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My Task to Bring Music to Our Outdoor Speakers…Fruitful in the End!

Updated: Nov 16

I Was Determined and Armed With Technology…..

A young lady playing music outdoors.

Photo by Mariana Vusiatytska on Unsplash

We moved from our smaller house to a larger house, and my wife and I each had a list of jobs we wanted to complete in the months ahead. Whether it was upgrading all of the lightings throughout the house, the previous owners still subscribed to the old 60 to 100-watt glass lightbulbs or redoing wall colors, the list seemed to be growing. One such job, pretty low on my wife’s list but near the top of mine, was finding where certain speakers were wired within our house.

We had been in the house for several months now, and I had not found the origin point of the speakers. The last thing I was going to do was open up holes in the walls to find where the wires were headed. The kitchen was equipped with in-ceiling speakers, and located outside on our patio, a pair of outdoor Boston Acoustic speakers. I was growing anxious as each Summer day rolled by to use them. There never seemed to be time among work, transporting the kids between activities, meal planning, and a million other tasks. This all changed one-day last week. I was on a mission, and I had an epiphany. In the weeks prior, I had looked at our main floor, and there were a couple of options where one might find where the wires would be. Our main living room was wired for sound, and the original owners had wall points with wire connections. In my mind, it made sense this is where we may find the wires needed. I had purposely bought a 2-Zone receiver to be able to control these speakers. What good would the receiver be if I couldn’t find where the wires ended. The wall points were decently marked for surround sound within the living room on 2 separate walls. I assumed the previous tenants wanted the option of moving the television to either corner of the room. The funny thing with their setup is that extraneous wires are protruding from makeshift holes within the panel.

media by Jeff Clos

My first assumption was to work with these extra wires to see if they powered any speaker within the house. After working with them for a short period of time, I quickly scratched this as a possibility. They have nothing to do with these other speakers. I could only assume they work with something within the living room. I will update at a later time. It was at this time I had an epiphany. There is a panel within the basement where all the original security system, phone, and internet wiring was located. I had already spent a good portion of time converting the wiring within this box from hard wiring to CAT6 ends for a network switch. There had to be something for these speakers down there. I was on a mission to prove this out. After thoroughly looking throughout the box, I started to trace back the wires. It was at this time I could have shot myself. There were rogue wires roughly 6 feet away from the box near the ceiling. These rogue wires were different colors, and half-heartedly wire nutted together. This was pretty peculiar, but it had to be what I was looking for. Upon further inspection, they were labeled ceiling, deck, and the third was a mystery.

What were my options? These wires were quite a distance from any of my existing audio receivers. Did I really want to run an additional wire or reroute the wire to these receivers? No chance! The next options were as follows: I could splice and add distance to the existing wire for the deck speakers. The deck speakers would take precedence over the ceiling speakers in the kitchen. I am uncertain if we would ever use the kitchen speakers. The disadvantage of splicing the wires was not I had to find a way to get this unsightly wire to my receiver roughly 100 feet away. Was it worth it? The next option, invest in a Sonos Connect Amp or something similar.

media by Sonos

After looking at Sonos Connect Amp, it looked quite simple and similar to the other Sonos items I had in my collection. I have roughly 7 or so Sonos speakers. They work well, and this item would fit well within the ecosystem. It had connections for bare wire, which I have for the outdoor speakers. You can even add an alternate audio device (phonograph possibly). I had already deemed Sonos’s latest amp out of my price range at $650. The item pictured is an earlier model. I would search eBay or Facebook marketplace and get a deal. After a couple of failed sales, I finally got my hands on one, or so I thought. I had actually purchased the Sonos Connect. The Connect was a valid piece of equipment but would not power my speakers and only works as a conduit for audio equipment. The seller apologized for the misleading advertisement and promptly took back the item after a few more failed attempts to secure this device; I gave up and went with the following item (Brand New).

Echo Link Amp media by Amazon

I was pleasantly surprised Amazon made an Echo Amp. I am uncertain if they really advertise this item, but it served my purposes well. It had all of the necessary connections on the back, could be wired right to my internet, had the bare wires for the speakers. It had the necessary power I needed for the speakers at 50W per channel. Not as high as the Sonos, but I wasn’t going to be having a “Rager” in the backyard. I ordered the unit on Monday, and it showed up the same day. I had it hooked up and connected to my system within 30 minutes. The hardest part of the experience was finding a home for this above my network box in the basement. The second hardest part was connecting it to my internet with a few hard resets and a little bit of patience. I connected it to Spotify from my phone, and the first song out the gate was “Angie” by the Rolling Stones. It sounded, quite literally, like music to my ears!

media by Amazon

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