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Upgrade bedroom to 5.1 - What are my options? (1 Viewer)

HelperSeeker

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Hi there,

I currently have a Yamaha RXV681 with a wired 5.1 system in the living room.

In my bedroom I have a pair of Yamaha 030 that I use Music-cast to connect them.

I'd like to upgrade my system in the living room to a 5.1 but I want it to be all wireless.

What's the best way to go about it?
- Add 3.1 (speakers or soundbar) to the current 030?
- Buy a full new 5.1 system?

Can I connect it all thru the mentioned AVR, and have one wired and one wireless system play thru it or it can only host one system?

Thanks!
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Wireless continues to be the home theater unicorn. AFAIK currently only Yamaha and Denon offer wireless rear speakers for their HT receivers. The caveat, you have to use their speakers, whether you think they sound good or not.

Beyond that, things get complicated and not terribly pretty. Look for an article on this topic in my signature.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

JohnRice

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...plus, there's really no such thing as true wireless, because speakers have to be powered, typically from an A/C outlet. Batteries could theoretically be used, but would be a major pain.

Distributing music and/or video wirelessly through the house is a definite reality, but actual playback is a whole other thing.
 

HelperSeeker

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Thanks for your comments and thoughts.

I'm fine with the power cords. The audio wires are what I'm trying to avoid.

So all the products I see out there:
JBL Bar 9.1
Sonos Arc, One and Sub
etc.

Those aren't solid wireless surround systems?
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Soundbars are an entirely different ecosystem for surround sound. You can’t use them with an AVR. If your system is AVR based, you will have to entirely re-configure it, connecting all source components to the TV. This will of course require the TV to have eARC in order to “talk” to the sound bar.

The JBL system has battery-powered rear speakers. Not a big deal for a system getting occasional use, that that will ultimately be a hassle in a system that gets daily use.

Keep in mind that any consumer wireless system has the potential for connectivity issues. The two you mentioned seem to be better than average in that department, but they are not without a certain amount of complaints related to that. Personally I would not consider any wireless system that does not come with a generous return policy – just in case.

If you don't mind a total system reconfig, you might also look into a WiSA-based system. They seem to be more reliable in the connectivity department.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

JohnRice

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The bottom line is, yes it can be done, but with severe limitations and a lot of potential for it not to be reliable. So, something that should make it easier actually makes it a lot more complicated, just in a different way. If someone really is intent on a wireless system, I suggest getting one of the good soundbars that has the capability for wireless sub and surrounds and accept what it provides. If you have multiple sources, it might be a lot more difficult to achieve than you expect.
 

HelperSeeker

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Hey. Big big thanks for all your wisdom and patience.

I actually think I need to go back and understand a couple of basic things before I move on.

I'll go one by one.

Can I connect two systems to this AVR? One wired and one wireless. If not, is there an AVR that does support two 5.1 systems - one wired and one wireless?
 

HelperSeeker

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Ok. If that's the case my only option for a 5.1 wireless system in the bedroom is to purchase one system, which means either I add 3.1 system from Yamaha that works with MusicCast, and add it to the pair 030 that I currently have, or buy a whole new 5.1 system (i.e. Sonos Arc+Sub+OneX2). Correct?
 

JohnRice

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You're still not understanding the difference between an audio (and sometimes video) distribution system (MusicCast, AirPlay, etc.) and just some wireless speakers. MusicCast is used to do what the name implies, broadcast and play back music throughout your house. That cannot be used to connect a pair of surround speakers to a surround sound system.

To achieve what you want, you will need to purchase the proper closed system, such as offered by Sonos and some others. Most are basically a soundbar that can connect to a wireless sub and surround speakers. Just keep in mind, you'll tend to pay a lot for a fairly low grade system, but if wireless and surround are a must, that's pretty much your only option.

A search at Crutchfield gave THESE options, but be careful, several of them aren't actually wireless. These would replace your Yamaha receiver. The two can't be incorporated together.
 

HelperSeeker

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OK. I understand better now. I think what confused me was that the pair of 030 were connected to each other thru MusicCast (not the AVR) and I was playing music thru my phone that connected to the 030. This is what I'm looking for, just in a surround setup, not stereo.

Yes, wireless is a must, as it's going to be a headache to run wires thru my bedroom, and even if I prefer to do it the right way, with 5 speakers and a sub, and not a soundbar + 2.1, it's going to be difficult. So... yeah. Soundbar + wireless sub and surround speakers is what I'll go with.

Can I connect my 030 pair with the Yamaha Yas-209 or Bar 400 to complete the surround system?

Thanks for all your patience and help again.
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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A few years ago Yamaha expanded their MusiCast platform to include wireless surround sound for three of their mid-line receivers, the RX-V485, 585 and 685.

At the same time, Yamaha introduced two new MusicCast speakers, the 20 and 50, that could be used for surround sound. I can’t find anything on them, but Yamaha’s other MusicCast speakers haven’t been able to garner more than a 60% user approval rating on Amazon (combined 4-5 star reviews), which is no better than the cheapest wireless soundbars, with the most common complaints related to the wireless capability. Maybe the MusicCast 20 and 50 can do better since they include options for 5 GHz operation as well as 2.4 GHz (the previous models were 2.4 GHz only).

Might check Yamaha’s website to see of their still offering this feature with any of their current AVRs, and to see if your current MusiCast speakers are compatible with either one of their AVRs or soundbars.

Likewise, I though I saw somewhere a while back that Denon was also doing wireless surround with their HEOS platform. Again, check their website for details – I may be wrong about this.

Naturally, as John noted, these are all closed systems – “our sandlot, our rules.” If for some reason you don’t like the wireless speakers, tough luck – you can’t just go out and get some JBLs (or whatever) to replace them.

Regards,
 

JohnRice

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You might just consider a traditional, receiver based 3.1 system instead. That's what I do in my bedroom, but I don't watch movies in there, so I'm not concerned about surround sound.
 

HelperSeeker

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Thanks for all your time and help.

Yeah, it's not ideal. If I could go with wires in the bedroom, I would have, but it's going to be a big headache. Will have to dump the 030.

Debating between the Sonos Arc/Beam + sub + 2 Ones and Samsung Q990B.
 

Wardog555

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What's wrong with a simple wire or two to speakers in a bedroom? I have wires in my bedroom so I don't understand why you wouldn't.

This is by far the best solution to all options available and I cannot recomend anything else. Wires are necessary in order to achieve the sound quality and deliver sound to actual speakers.

Wireless has way too many issues and I've seen complaints. One person on YouTube even tried to achieve a wireless subwoofer. They ended up running a cable to the rear of the room and there's been 0 issues whatsoever.

It's super easy too and if you need to run along the baseboards and use trunking to hide them I would encourage you to do so!

This is not going work well for you if you reject wires. And then downgrade to a soundbar.

I hope we can convince you to use a simple wire.

Is the sound quality and experience number one pirioty or reject wires and experience potential issues and poorer quality etc?
 

smithbrad

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I agree with John on the traditional wired 3.1 system. We have one in our bedroom, and it works great. True, no surround speakers, but we have a quality system of our choice with no headaches and wires are easy to deal with in 3.1.
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Got wind today that Sony is introducing a new line of AVRs that have an option for wireless rear speakers. Their own speakers of course. Might see if it's right for you.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

HelperSeeker

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Thanks you all for your support.

If I was to find a solution for a wired system, anything you recommend?

Wayne, is it anything different than the Yamaha AVRs that support Music-Cast?
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Thanks you all for your support.

If I was to find a solution for a wired system, anything you recommend?

Wayne, is it anything different than the Yamaha AVRs that support Music-Cast?

You'd have to give us a budget for us to recommend some 5.1 speakers.

Not sure what you mean by different. Bigger or smaller speakers? Different colored?

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

HelperSeeker

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You'd have to give us a budget for us to recommend some 5.1 speakers.

The budget is in the $1500-$1900 range. Small-size speakers.

Not sure what you mean by different. Bigger or smaller speakers? Different colored?

I mean, I already have an AVR that supports wireless thru MusicCast in the Yamaha RXV681. Is the new Sony AVR better/different than what I currently have, that is worth the investment?
 
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