Question

Outdoor Garden party


I have a Sonos 5, a couple of 1's and a playbar. We're having a party and I don't think the wifi signal will be strong enough down the bottom of the garden but I will have extension cables down there for power.

Is there a solution that doesn't involve any other Sonos equipment (I don't want to buy a Connect)? Can I, for example, plug my laptop in, somehow get the wifi signal boosted down the bottom of the garden, plug my laptop directly into the Sonos 5 and have a Sonos 3 (which i may buy) plugged into to another power cable on other side of garden to create a stereo effect? Would the Sonos 3 be able to link up to the 5? Would it create an ok sound?

I know the Connect and some proper speakers is a better option. I just want to know if I can avoid that expense and make something work out of what we have.

Thanks for any advice.

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12 replies

It's worth testing SonosNet, to be sure. Connect one of the Play:1s to your router with an ethernet cable, and put it as close to the garden as the ethernet and power cable will allow. Then plug in one of the other speakers in the garden, and see it it connects via SonosNet. You didn't specify distance, so it's hard to tell. In open air, a wifi connection goes a tad further than it does through walls.

If it doesn't work, take a second Play:1 and power it up halfway between the two locations (the first Play:1 connected to the router, and the speaker in the garden). It will act as an "extender" for the SonosNet mesh network.

You could conceivably just take your router, disconnect it from the internet, and plug it in down in the garden, and connect your laptop to it. It won't stream music from the ethernet, but you could certainly play music from your laptop on the system. Basically, it would end up being exactly as it is right now, just without a connection to the outside world.
I have a Sonos 5, a couple of 1's and a playbar.
Bruce has offered some good ideas, but have you seen if a play 1 works at the other end, wired to the power? Or, can the router be moved just enough to give unobstructed line of sight to the garden - that may well be all that is needed.

Another option is to invest in a Boost, wire that to the router and have speakers placed sequentially down the road from it in line of sight of each other to the end of the garden; in that case the signal will hop from one speaker to the next in line and so on. And given the size of your installation, the Boost is a good thing to use to anchor Sonosnet for regular use as well, if leaving one of your existing units wired to the router is inconvenient.
Would the Sonos 3 be able to link up to the 5? Would it create an ok sound?

And to just this point: Yes, and it would add more even coverage across the space, but not in stereo because they are different models. But a play 1 unit would also do that for a lower spend.
Thanks for the replies.

A few developments. First of all, I had the Sonos 5 in the garden over the weekend and tried pumping up the volume on it and was impressed by the sound it kicked out. So, providing it doesn't rain, I think I'll be happy with the sound from that and another Sonos speaker.

Secondly, I went into John Lewis and spoke to someone in their department. His recommendation was to get an internet booster. I asked about the Sonos Boost but he recommended "Devolo" so I bought one of those. He reckons that if I then plug this booster into the extension cable at the bottom of the garden I'll be able to have two speakers connected via wifi down there.

I was planning on buying a 3 but then he also mentioned that if both speakers were the same I could switch them to stereo mode. So I'm now debating selling a kidney and getting another 5. If you're going to have a party, make sure the sound and lights are totes amazeballs.
If the Play:5 is working in the garden, then don't waste any money on the internet booster, it's not necessary. Return it, and get your money back, Spend that money on the other Play:5 instead, having a stereo set would be awesome. The second speaker would be running off of the first one, no need for the booster.
His recommendation was to get an internet booster. I asked about the Sonos Boost but he recommended "Devolo" so I bought one of those. He reckons that if I then plug this booster into the extension cable at the bottom of the garden I'll be able to have two speakers connected via wifi down there.

That may well be a good recommendation - IF the Devolo works well. Powerline extenders depend on how your mains are wired up, so they don't always do the job.
But if it works well, it may be a good idea to overcome the problem WiFi/Sonosnet can have in getting past a lot of bags of water - humans - that will be between the signal source and the 5 units at the other end; something that you may only discover when the party is in full swing. You just have to find a way to ensure in advance that it works, and that the speakers are in fact getting the signal from the Devolo unit at the bottom of the garden.
Thanks guys.

The Devolo works when plugged into the garage (which gives me extra coverage) but it doesn't seem to be working down the bottom of the garden when plugged into an extension cable (which is plugged into garage). A guy in Maplins told me that not all extension cables are good enough to carry the signal down them.

All should be ok though as I tried it out last night and my laptop had wifi signal far enough down the garden that I could get music playing out of the speakers when they were both next to each other in speak position 1. I don't think the signal was strong enough if I had a speaker in speaker position 2.

My question is this: can I connect speaker 2 (in speaker position 2) to speaker 1 using an ethernet cable and therefore will have sound from both speakers. Airgetlam wrote "If the Play:5 is working in the garden, then don't waste any money on the internet booster, it's not necessary. Return it, and get your money back, Spend that money on the other Play:5 instead, having a stereo set would be awesome. The second speaker would be running off of the first one, no need for the booster." Does he mean run it off the first speaker with an ethernet cable?

By the way, I did end up buying a second Play 5 and it does sound incredible.
Does he mean run it off the first speaker with an ethernet cable?


No, what he meant- I think- is that the second will draw a wireless signal from the first. But if convenient, running ethernet cable between the two would be more robust. You can then run them as a stereo pair or as independent grouped zones.
Great. Thanks. I'll try that. How do you set them up as stereo speakers? When I was playing around last night all I could do was to group them and I couldn't see any obvious way of making them stereo,
https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1077/~/creating%2C-separating%2C-and-placing-a-stereo-pair
Ah ok. Unfortunately my old Play 5 is Gen 1 and I didn't realise when I bought the new one that Gen 2 and Gen 1 don't sync up to make the stereo sound. I'll have to just make do with the grouping. The sound on the new one is so good that it probably ok anyway.

Thanks
Lack of stereo pairing won't matter much in a garden party; independent grouping may even be better there.