Answer Best answer as chosen by user drewfuss813
Here's the thing
If you want to do it right, and gain a lot of flexibility in what types of media/sources you can choose easily and send to surround speakers with a single remote control, I suggest going with an entry level AV receiver & 5.1/sub setup. For $300 you can quite a lot of bang for the buck of late in receiver-land (even including some iPhone apps). If you are working within a modest budget, grab the Energy Take Classic 5.1 to get your feet wet for surrounds. For deck speakers, if possible, go with a wired solution for much superior sound. Sonos, at least for the money, is better suited IMO if your goal is to pump music throughout the house. If you are only looking at a speaker A (5.1) / speaker B (stereo on the deck) setup, I'd suggest going with something a lot less expensive than Sonos. Are you planning on streaming anything from the PC/laptop/etc. a la Pandora(?) If so, perhaps you can find a receiver that can either accommodate the iPod/iPhone, or actually has the ability to tap into your home broadband connection for that purpose. The nice thing is the entry level receivers now typically have an iPod dock, which is really handy IME and O, especially if you have people over (esp. music fanatics) who bring in their own libraries on their iDevices. YMMV>
FWIW, it always amazes me though that so many people are still dealing with the WWAF (wife wire approval factor). There are so many darn ways to hide speaker wire (etc.) that it's a non-issue to be honest. There are quite a few AV centered web sites that can walk you through the process, and also some incredibly detailed youtube videos for that matter to get you started with the 'how to' portion of hiding/running wires through your AV space. Certainly don't let it deter you from starting out properly so you & the family can enjoy movies & music to their maximum potential .
Let us know what else you might need for this process.
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