7 Zone DIY Sonos Killer Project

Hey everyone,

I wanted to share my experiences with a DIY home audio project I completed using the Arylic components.

When we were building our home we hard wired for speakers to 7 zones, including the patio, but ran out of budget to purchase the necessary equipment to drive them. Everything we found at the time was quite expensive. We had been Sonos users for a number of years with two Sonos Play 3s and these continued to be out audio solution for the first couple of years in the house.

Finally I got the itch to get all the speakers working and again started researching into what was available as equipment solutions to provide a true multi-zone audio experience - basically the Sonos experience to be honest and we quite enjoyed the speakers, app and capabilities.

Again everything was quite expensive, Sonos was certainly out of the running as it would cost about 900$ Canadian for each ‘Zone’ - just a crazy amount of money.

I have no idea how I managed to stumble onto Arylic, I believe it was through a search in YouTube. Immediately my interest was peaked. I continued to scour the internet for reviews and real world feedback on the products as they seemed to be ‘Sonos killers’ and too good to be true.

After reading enough material, and watching all the reviews I could find out YouTube, Arylic had a 20% promotion and free shipping so I decided to go for it.

I purchased the following equipment,

5 x Amp 2.0
1 x Amp 2.1
1 x UpstreamPro
2 x 350 Watt Power Supply

I have these providing audio to the following zones,

Living Room In-ceiling
Kitchen In-ceiling
Dining Room In-ceiling
Mater Bedroom In-Ceiling
Master Ensuite In-Ceiling
Patio Outdoor
Digital Input to Sony TA-1010 Amp (Upstream Pro)

After getting everything setup and using it all for a couple of months I can honestly say it was worth every penny, and then some. The solution has been rock solid, a true multi-zone audio experience. I’m using the 4Stream app in an IOS environment and it works really well. Grouping and ungrouping speakers, playing the same source across multiple zones, or difference sources to different zones has been no issue. Audio has been perfectly synced to all zones. Now I am a Spotify Premium user, and was before the move to Arylic. I think it’s kinda necessary to have a good music platform backing the system, but that’s no different than if you were with Sonos. I also use the built in radio stations a lot, and again these have worked perfect with all our local stations.

The three main items on my Wishlist, and these are fairly nit picky, are the following,

  • Would love to see a way to group the volume controls when adding multiple zones together. It’s great to have the freedom to control each zone’s volume independently but sometimes you just want to make them all the same, and adjust them all equally at the same time. Having to increase each one by one is a bit of pain, and I find myself doing this often
  • Spotify integration - Arylic uses the Spotify Connect functionality which means you have open the Spotify app to select the music you want to play. I’d rather have it fully integrated into the 4STREAM app, similar to how Sonos does it. It’s just a better experience if fully integrated. In Spotify you have to remember which was the main, or top speaker, in a group to get the music to play across all zones grouped together. This is minor but a small annoyance, means you’re juggling both the apps.
  • EQ in the 4Stream App. The equalizer in the app seems to be applied to all zones, and can’t be tweaked per zone without using the AudioBench software.

I also feel it’s necessary to touch on their support, as things all haven’t worked so smoothly. I am still struggling to this day to get the SPDIF IN add-on board working with my UpStream Pro. I can get it to work with my Amp 2.0 boards, but the Optical source will not show in the app for the Upstream Pro board. The good news is that support has been outstanding. The group at Arylic have been working with me to get this going, they have promptly answered every single email, and even sent me a replacement add-on board. I cannot say enough good about the support I have received to date. Given this is a real DIY product and newish to the market I have been absolutely impressed with their support. Hopefully we’re close to sorting this out as I want to use this board as a source to play optical out from my living room TV to my main floor zones, and then add a main floor in-wall subwoofer.

I’m attaching some pics of my setup. This is truly DIY for me. I don’t have a fancy enclosure for boards at the moment and the wires are a bit of a mess, but this speaks to the true DIY nature of this product. At some point I’ll build a proper enclosure but for now I’m just going to enjoy some music.

I really hope this review convinces someone of you to take a chance on this product as it really is amazing, and the configurability and expandability is endless. It has even allowed me to add a digital input source to my dad’s old vintage Sony 1970’s TA-1010, which has a lot of sentimental value for me.

Keep up the great work Arylic, I’ll certainly be purchasing more of your products as I look to expand the functionality of my system. Your equipment was a true ‘Sonos killer’ in my home.

Thanks for reading,
Rob
Newfoundland, Canada

10 Likes

@Rob_McCarthy: what an outstanding project ! This is really a SONOS-killer ! :slight_smile:

1 Like

cool project, it looks like you took all the boards back to a wired switch. did you connect any of them with WIFI and if so did they have any issues syncing with the rest of the boards on the wired switch?

1 Like

You are correct. 6 of the zones are hard wired to a network switch. Wireless is great but I’m a firm believer in physical wired connections where you can. When building this was a must. The 7th zone, which is the input to my Sony 70’s TA-1010 amp is wireless. That room is next to my master bedroom which has two zones of its own. I tested the ‘sync’ abilities between those 3 zones (2 wired, 1 wireless) and it was perfect, no issue at all. With wireless so much is based on the quality of the network you have created - if that’s good I have no doubt the wireless functionality will work flawlessly.

I’m am curious to find out once I get my TV optical digital out working will I notice any sync issues with the picture and audio to my main floor sounds - stay tuned! :slight_smile:

Rob

3 Likes

Great project, though boards and wires are still in mess but who cares, they are in the corner and we focus on music :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
Anyway, when grouped in multi room, the sound of input audio will have about 3 seconds delay with the sound you hear from the output. So, unless you can adjust the delay of picture on tv, it will definitely not sync with the sound.

2 Likes

I wanted to follow-up to the issue I reported in my review, where I was having issues with the optical source not showing in 4Stream after installing the SPDIF IN board. Arylic just release a new firmware and this has been resolved. I’m going to do some testing later and can provide some results of that as well.

Thanks Arylic team!

1 Like

Thanks @Rob_McCarthy for so kindly sharing! :love_you_gesture: :love_you_gesture: :love_you_gesture: :love_you_gesture: