The ability to hook up multiple speakers on a single system isn’t just a feature of Sonos speakers. It’s one of the main selling points. Any of the speakers you get from Sonos come equipped with the ability to speak with one another wirelessly. That means that you can set up a complex stereo system that coordinates across multiple rooms without the need for complex configurations or jury rigged protocol. But setting up a complex speaker system with Sonos doesn’t have to mean throwing all of your old speakers in the trash. Even wired speakers from other manufacturers can be connected into your Sonos ecosystem, so you can get a lot of value out of the components that you already have. While it requires a bit of an additional investment, it’s well worth the effort.
The Advantages of the Sonos Connect
While Sonos has developed their reputation for creating smart speakers that coordinate with one another, the very first product to roll off their assembly line was the Connect. This was built explicitly with the intent of upgrading your existing speaker components to work in a wireless system. You don’t even need a separate amp to make it work. So what advantages do the Connect products bring to your existing stereo system? They can take the existing speakers you have and essentially combine them in a single network. That means that even aging and archaic speakers can be retrofitted to run a wide variety of music streaming apps with little hassle.
Whether you’re looking to create a custom playlist using Spotify or set up a radio station personalized to your needs using Pandora, the options are there. The Connect works with both indoor and outdoor speakers, so you can have a unified experience that follows you wherever you go. Just keep in mind that each Connect amplifier is only equipped to handle four separate speakers, so more complex systems may require multiple investments in Connects. There are a number of smaller but nonetheless cool features to the Connect as well. Since it runs off of WiFi rather than Bluetooth, you never have to worry about the music stopping just because you receive a phone call, and the built-in amplifiers can provide you with added kick to your existing speakers whether you’re looking to add some spice to your home theater or put some power behind your outdoor multi-channel speaker system.
The Connect Vs. the Connect:Amp Vs. the Amp
There are presently three components Sonos sells that you can use to hook up your wired speakers to a larger wireless setup, but the one that’s right for you will come down to the specific demands of your equipment. If you have a selection of speakers you’re looking to tie in to your system and you don’t have a dedicated amplifier, the Connect:Amp is an ideal choice, as it comes with its own powered amplifier to get the job done. On the other hand, if you already have amplifiers in place, all you need is the standard Connect. It’s available at a fraction of the cost and can interface directly with your existing amplified devices, essentially serving as a bridge between your powered speakers from other manufacturers and your Sonos network. If you want the best that Sonos has to offer, you may want to consider taking a short wait and sticking it out for the release of the new Amp. This is the newest amplifier offered by Sonos in years, and it offers double the power you’ll find in the traditional Connect:Amp. While it costs a bit more than its older counterpart, it offers a serious 125 watts of performance, and it even comes with compatibility for AirPlay built in, so you can control your whole speaker system with just your voice.
More Control Via the Sonos App
Regardless of how complex your setup is, you can control all of your wired and wireless speakers through a single handy app. Available on both the Play Store and App Store, the music control app gives you versatile performance directly through your phone, tablet, or desktop, allowing you to take the devices you use in your everyday life and transform them into smart remote controls that can give you granular control over all the speakers throughout your entire house. It compresses all of your favorite streaming apps into a single interface, so you can flip between internet radio, locally stored music, and streaming apps like Spotify on the fly. And since Sonos allows you to link together all the speakers in your house, you can even select what plays where. A streamlined interface allows you to pick each room on a case by case basis and pick specified music so that everyone can get the experience they’re looking for at the same time. What’s especially cool is how well all your musical services sync together. If you’re looking for a particular song or album in your library, Sonos will search across all of your connected apps until it finds what you’re looking for. That means you don’t have to go hunting and pecking through a variety of different services just to find the song that matches your mood. One of Sonos’ great strengths is their constant refinement of their app, so you can expect the features available to grow and adapt with you over time. Your amp is an investment in the future rather than just a placeholder for today.