Question

Need Outdoor Speakers


Userlevel 4
I know there has been a lot of request's for outdoor Sonos systems. I enjoy your product throughout my house and do not feel like getting below quality third party outdoor speakers and a connect or amp to drive them. I believe it is just time to develop an outdoor rated soffit speaker se we can enjoy Sonos quality audio on our Patio, instead of plugging and unplugging a Play 1 or 5 every time we go outside and linking it up to our phones, way easier to carry around a Bluetooth, but then you lose out on the Sonos sound quality. I understand they have been researching this for like 3 years, time to take a leap and be proactive as I believe this would be a huge selling point for Sonos, instead of urging us to buy competitors products. I believe that when Sonos recommends this, most people skip out of buying the Connecticut and/or Amp and buy a complete separate Bluetooth or other system when makes it a pain in the ass to have so many sound systems that could easily be averted by producing a simple outdoor Patio speaker that can be set up ready for use anytime the weather permits. If you need a product tester please let me know, just my two cents anyways.

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67 replies

Userlevel 5
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Hi Bigominot,

We definitely hear you. Although we don't have news to share, we're always passing along the feedback and requests to the team. We'll emphasize to them that this is something you'd really like Sonos to implement sooner rather than later. We also recognize that it's frustrating to hear this from us as you want a definitive 'yes, it's coming/ no, it's not' but we don't share future roadmaps or product releases. If anything comes down the pipeline to update, we'll make sure you guys hear it first.

Thanks for taking the time to reach out and share your thoughts.
Userlevel 4
Thank you for taking the time to respond, very much appreciated.
Userlevel 5
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Sure thing, Bigominot.

Don't hesitate to reach out in the future as well. Happy to pass along requests, feedback or help in any way we can.

Take Care.
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Grab a Connect Amp, wire some outdoor speakers(DefTech AW5500) to it, if not to much trouble!

Cross
a simple outdoor Patio speaker that can be set up ready for use anytime the weather permits.
Play 1?
Userlevel 4
Thanks Guys, yea I agree with Crossumind, but the minute I buy the $500 Amp and the $100- $200 outdoor speakers , then Sonos will come out with an outdoor speaker, plus I buy Sonos due to the sound quality and feel I would be missing that sound and settling for Sonos Amp convenience with ok sound . Just was hoping that with enough interest from the community Sonos would find value in an entire home system.
Userlevel 4
Kumar, we currently do unplug one of our living room Play 5 Sonos and plug it in outside and listen to it, then when we are done, repeat the process and relax connect it in our living, not the worst scenario but not the simplistic either, find my wife and myself lately we have been just using a JBL Charge Bluetooth that I carry in my golf bag as it is a true grab and go . But the sound doesn't compete with the Sonos Play 5.
The ideal solution is to run wires on a permanent basis to external speakers from inside the house and drive these by either a Connect Amp or a Connect if you have an amp lying around. Properly installed, these will last for years, and can yield as high quality sound as possible out of doors. No need to worry about battery recharging or mains power supply.

For portable use beyond this, I use a Bose Soundlink Mini that probably sounds better than said JBL. Sonos doesnt see this as their target market, and there are many good options to choose from.
And even if Sonos comes out with a true all weather outdoor speaker which seems unlikely, I can't see them provide a combination of capability/price/sound quality that will have you regretting a Connect Amp/Connect solution.
And even if Sonos comes out with a true all weather outdoor speaker which seems unlikely, I can't see them provide a combination of capability/price/sound quality that will have you regretting a Connect Amp/Connect solution.

Yes, the idea that you can't buy a good sounding outdoor speaker is a bit odd. You might have to spend a bit more than $100 sure but there's plenty of quality out there. I don't see Sonos doing an outdoor speaker any time soon (ever) either.
Userlevel 5
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Thanks Guys, yea I agree with Crossumind, but the minute I buy the $500 Amp and the $100- $200 outdoor speakers , then Sonos will come out with an outdoor speaker, plus I buy Sonos due to the sound quality and feel I would be missing that sound and settling for Sonos Amp convenience with ok sound . Just was hoping that with enough interest from the community Sonos would find value in an entire home system.

The Amp inside wired to a pair of outdoor speakers really is tough to beat. Always there, always on, electronics in the house and protected from the elements, etc. It is exactly what you are after, and for $600-$700 you will have a very nice solution. Someone earlier mentioned DefTech speakers, which i understand are excellent. I have a pair of Dayton Audio 6-1/2" outdoors, which were $80ish and significantly better than the $200ish Yamahas I tried. Highly recommend them, and truly better than just "OK sound". Anyhow...

If, and I think it is a big if, Sonos comes out with an "outdoor" solution, a stereo setup would almost certainly be in that cost range. I highly doubt a pair of "Play 1 Outdoor" would be any less than $500-$600, likely more. And, do you want some "free standing, unsecured" speakers on your patio 24x7? Or would you bring them inside all the time? And if you were planning that, then there really is no issue and you can do that already with the current Play series.

Lastly, relative to Sonos coming out with an outdoor solution and making you regret your investment...

1) You'd still have a perfectly functional and quality solution in place. Just because there is a different option would not make your Amp and outdoor speakers any less functional.

2) I would argue that you'd have a "safer" investment anyhow. Outdoor speakers can easily be replaced if/when needed. The Amp would last you many many years.

3) Even if you decided you had to have the Sonos outdoor setup, you'd still have a fantastic Amp that could be re-purposed for use indoors as an added zone.

4) Used Amps go for a pretty decent amount, so you could always sell.

TL/DR: Get an Amp, grab a beer, and sit outside and enjoy.
The one thing to keep in mind outdoors is the need for speakers to run in mono, each delivering all the content from both channels. Stereo sound not only doesn't work, but having a speaker deliver only one of two channels can be a positive disadvantage. The simplest way to do this is to look for a third party stereo amp that has a mono button, and use a Connect with it.
Userlevel 5
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Kumar - What do you mean? I have outdoor speakers driven by a Connect:Amp and they are stereo.
I've got 2 stereo pair of Bose outdoor marine rated speakers connected to a Connect amp through an impedance matching speaker switchbox. The setup fills either end of a 40' deck or the entire deck and most of the back yard. The speakers are mounted under the eaves so they are not fully impacted b y the weather but they get plenty wet and cold. For a temporary music source, I've got a Play:5 that is designated as the 'Traveler' and is unplugged and moved as the mood requires.

As much as I love my Sonos system, I would not buy an outdoor rated Sonos speaker/player. In my setup there are no power connections exposed to the elements, all electronics are in the protected environs of the house - as they should be. Leaving any plug in powered device always exposed to Mother Nature is only a problem waiting to happen.
Userlevel 5
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I am somewhat surprised that Sonos does not market the Amp as an outdoor solution more aggressively. Heck, package it with 100' of 12 gauge indoor/outdoor speaker wiring and label the box as "just add speakers".
Userlevel 7
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I am somewhat surprised that Sonos does not market the Amp as an outdoor solution more aggressively. Heck, package it with 100' of 12 gauge indoor/outdoor speaker wiring and label the box as "just add speakers".

Don't forget you have to control them. If you have to get up and walk 200' every time you want to change the music that's going to get tired pretty quick.
Userlevel 5
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How's that any different than controlling any other speaker, be it in the house, on the patio, in ceiling, etc. Of course you need some control device, be it a laptop, smartphone, or tablet. And in today's world, who doesn't have a device close by at most times?

I PERSONALLY feel it would be MUCH more inconvenient to have a stand-alone battery-powered speaker that can be lost, stolen (I live between 2 cops and not at all worried about theft, but it is a reality), knocked over, or inevitably without juice. Much more inconvenient than reaching for my iPhone to control the pair of speakers securely attached to the wall that work every single time.
Userlevel 7
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Because the controller needs to connect to the Wi-Fi on which Amp or connect is on. I believe one type of controller (Phone) can connect to SonosNet but without additional effort neither will be available where the speakers are. You could daisy chain Play1s every 10' or so I suppose............................
Userlevel 5
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Good point, Stuart_W...My response assumes that the outdoor area has needed wifi coverage and your device(s) are on the same network as the Sonos system.
The one thing to keep in mind outdoors is the need for speakers to run in mono, each delivering all the content from both channels. Stereo sound not only doesn't work, but having a speaker deliver only one of two channels can be a positive disadvantage. The simplest way to do this is to look for a third party stereo amp that has a mono button, and use a Connect with it.

Don't agree with that, my outdoor speakers are a standard stereo setup, sounds good sitting on the patio and acts as decent background music in the rest of the garden.
Userlevel 6
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I understand Kumar, stereo sounds much better indoors. Sound reflects, you still hear everything and the sound stage moves around properly. Outdoors however, depending on your yard, there can be much less reflection. The stage gets lost and you tend to hear mainly one side. The larger and more open the yard, the worse it will be. A smaller yard with closer speakers though may sound just fine. A good example is a live band or concert, it's in mono..
@Toolfool: the live band example is an obvious one that I had not known about, thank you.
For some time, I have occasionally posted here that it would therefore be nice to have a mono toggle in the controller for the Connect and Connect Amp. One day perhaps, Sonos will agree. There is a hardware workaround that involves adding resistors to the outputs of the amp that doesn't appeal to me, so for now I am living with the issue that isn't as much as it may be for people with a need to have music in a large yard or open space where the stereo imaging advantages aren't available.
Userlevel 3
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FWIW, I would also really like to see a 'convert to mono' checkbox on the room settings for the CONNECT:AMP (and since it'd be easy, they should probably add it to the CONNECT as well). Things like ceiling speakers in a bathroom are another perfect example of where stereo field is pretty much non-existent and mono sounds better.
Mono ia also useful for parties spread across the space where it is more helpful to have each speaker output content from both channels. Indoors, there is however the option of using play units that can each work in mono as independent grouped zones, or as stereo paired units, as desired.

The Connect Amp could also use another option that would be very nice, to run as a one channel supplier with 110 wpc into 8 ohms. It would then have adequate power to meet the needs of all but the most difficult speaker loads in large spaces, by using one amp for each speaker. Another thing I don't see happening...