10-Zone Outdoor Audio Install Overcomes Landscaping Challenges

Integrator frayednot had help from the landscape architect and vendors for a system covering long and winding cabling runs to 50+ loudspeakers.

10-Zone Outdoor Audio Install Overcomes Landscaping Challenges

New Jersey integrator frayednot installed multiple zones in the backyard and front, creating a convenient and extensive Sonos system for this customer. (All photos courtesy frayednot)

Photos & Slideshow
View the slideshow View the slideshow

How much music can one home hold? The trick answer is that it doesn’t have to be contained inside, the sound can burst outdoors just as easily these days.

Plus, while an interior might limit the amount of audio zones, outdoors a system can extend to the outer reaches of a property — integration customers can take a cue from this homeowner, who kept adding loudspeakers right up to near project completion.

When all was said and done, New Jersey-based integrator frayednot, with collaboration from landscape architect Jim Mazzucco of BW Bosenberg & Co., as well as vendor partners, had covered seven backyard audio zones and three zones in the front.

Main components of the extensive outdoor audio solution centered around Sonos Connect. At the endpoints for the multizone system were an Origin Acoustics Landscape AS41 system of 48 satellite speakers and 12 in-ground subwoofers, plus four PlanterSpeakers Piermont speakers on the deck. Also, five Ubiquiti wireless access points to ensure connectivity.

Outdoor Audio Enlists Team Approach

 “We were provided unlimited resources by the landscape architect for digging and trenching/manpower and machinery,” frayednot owner/lead tech Constantinos Sandoukas. “Conduit was laid where it needed to be, elsewhere was DB 12AWG wiring.”

Sandoukas says some of the conduit needed to ensure cabling traveled 500 feet. Managed PoE switches and PoE injectors/splitters were also deployed for the outdoor access points on the property, he adds.

The outdoor hardscape was already in place, Sandoukas notes, so the integrator worked with Mazzucco to navigate tricky wiring runs for multiple zones and tiers of the property.

frayednot outdoor audio trenching
Integrator frayednot worked closely with the landscape architect to trench and lay conduit.

“We had to use existing in-ground sleeves – 3-inch PVC – to get wire throughout, interconnecting sleeves up and down tiered stone rock walls as well as dig and trench many locations,” Sandoukas explains.

The installation used 12AWG “to help with loss and any possibility of audio delay relative to other areas,” he says. “If that wasn’t enough, we had to cover vast areas with Wi-Fi.”

Successful Solution Leads to More Business

Burned by a previous AV company, the owner wanted Sonos and welcomed Sandoukas’ plan for separate zone control and ability to balance volume from an iPhone.

Meanwhile, frayednot enlisting a company like Origin Acoustics for landscape speakers worked out well for the homeowner and integrator alike as the project took hold. In fact, as it seemed near the end, the owner wound up requesting more loudspeakers.

PlanterSpeakers’ Piermont models adorn the deck.

“Our manufacturer relationships (Origin Acoustics) allowed us to have product delivered overnight at one point while we were on site during the end of the project when the customer decided to add additional satellites in some areas during walkthroughs while we were on the tail end of the project,” Sandoukas says.

“This saved so much time for frayednot as well as coordination with the trench crew, machinery and man-hours. Having the ability to have instant conversations with manufacturers, architects and landscape company owners on projects like this are the key to efficiency.”

The exhaustive and successful outdoor installation work from the integrator and company certainly left a good impression on the homeowner – once this project was finished, the satisfied customer hired frayednot to redo the interior audio, too.