Question

outdoor use

  • 5 January 2017
  • 11 replies
  • 7505 views

I have a covered porch and can mount a play 3 where it would be completely impossible for it to get wet. i would also bring it indoors in the fall and remount it in the spring so that it did not have exposure to the elements during the really cold months (live in Chicago). any reason to think i would be doing damage to the speaker with this setup? thanks!

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11 replies

I see no reason why this wouldn't work. Best of luck.
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I would be highly disinclined to leave a Play 3 outside overnight for any length of time. The Play 3 is not designed for any humidity protection (unlike the Play 1) and if you can access to speaker to take it down then moisture and rain can and will get in. You'd be better advised to buy a bespoke outdoor speaker and get an Connect or Connect:Amp depending on the speaker.
I would be highly disinclined to leave a Play 3 outside overnight for any length of time. The Play 3 is not designed for any humidity protection (unlike the Play 1) and if you can access to speaker to take it down then moisture and rain can and will get in. You'd be better advised to buy a bespoke outdoor speaker and get an Connect or Connect:Amp depending on the speaker.

I have a pair of Bose outdoor speakers attached to a connect:amp and haven't had any trouble. Going strong for 2 years.
My original intentions when I entertained investing into the sonos ecosystem was to do exactly that, four play 1's, grouped together and outside under a gazebo, wish me luck
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My original intentions when I entertained investing into the sonos ecosystem was to do exactly that, four play 1's, grouped together and outside under a gazebo, wish me luck

If you have power out in your gazebo, then I would imagine you can get speaker wire out there too.

I believe you'd be better served with a Connect:Amp safe-and-sound in the house (also closer to your network) and your choice of 4x8ohm speakers specifically designed for outdoor use in the gazebo.

From a cost perspective, it will be very close. In fact, depending on your choice of outdoor speakers, it could be a couple of hundred less.
Thank You, I appreciate your comments. I've had for the last few years, four Acoustic Research speaker's out in the gazebo, that were wireless and battery operated, coupled with a goggle audio cast. I grew tired of charging batteries and thus the sonos adventure. I purchased two Play 5's for the gazebo but given the weight and expense, I've reconsidered and have four play 1's to fit the bill.. Your idea makes total sense, I have considered Bose to fit that bill, I also have a retired flagship Yamaha amp that is collecting dust, so maybe a sonos connect would suit my needs better. I just cant get over the price of a sonos connect.
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Well, traditional outdoor speakers would alleviate the need for batteries (and power for that matter). So to your point, keeping the Yamaha amp inside the house, and adding a Connect (as opposed to my suggestion of the Connect:Amp) would be just $350 (plus some speaker wire, a shovel, and a couple of beers).

You talk about the price of the connect...but 4 the Play:1s you initially mentioned would be $800 at list price. The Connect is $350. Use those Play:1s in your house. Yeah...I just spent more money for you! 😉
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I would be highly disinclined to leave a Play 3 outside overnight for any length of time. The Play 3 is not designed for any humidity protection (unlike the Play 1) and if you can access to speaker to take it down then moisture and rain can and will get in. You'd be better advised to buy a bespoke outdoor speaker and get an Connect or Connect:Amp depending on the speaker.

I think it really depends on the OP's situation wrt speakers being sheltered from the elements. I live close to Chicago - in Rockford, a nearby city to the Northwest with a very similar environment - and in the summer, the humidity can be awful - in the 80-90% or higher range with temperatures over 90F (32C) during the day, and sometimes not much cooler at night. At my house, I have a covered patio that's roughly 12'x12' (3.5m x 3.5m). And by covered, I mean the house's roof covers it; it's as sheltered from the top as any other room inside the house. If I mount speakers up high on the back wall, the only way they'd ever get direct rain is if winds were so high rain was coming in horizontally, in which case, I'd have bigger problems than damaged speakers :P

I'd like to have music in this area synced to my main living space; so I'm considering some Play 1s given their stated humidity resistance. However, I think there could be a difference between a periodically high humidity environment (e.g. bathroom in an air conditioned house) and a constant high humidity outdoor environment. And to be fair, in my specific case, I'd probably not leave any Sonos speakers out overnight with any regularity, but hey, it might happen from time to time; depends how freely the libations are flowing 😉 . The other convenient option for me is a Connect+amp or Connect Amp in my garage and running speaker wire to outdoor speakers, but if I did that, the Sonos unit/amp would be in just as high a heat and humidity environment, though not otherwise at risk of exposure to the elements due to not only the roof but walls. Running wire from inside the AC areas of the house would also be possible, but quite a bit more work due to specifics of my house layout and construction.

Unfortunately, Sonos doesn't seem to give specifics of what temperature and humidity ranges are acceptable for each speaker, so I would tend to approach this from a risk perspective. In other words, let's assume that Sonos speakers/units are fundamentally meant to be used in sheltered and controlled (i.e. indoor HVAC) environments. So in any of these in other environments, how much risk of failure (by the user) can be tolerated? If low, then running a Connect + amp (or Connect Amp) indoors with speaker wire to specific outdoor speakers would be best. The next lowest risk might be to use it like the OP describes (overnight sheltered exposure from spring to fall) with Play 1's (assuming no direct rain exposure) since they're most resistant to humidity. Highest risk would be something like Play 3 (or Play 5) speakers kept outdoors for long lengths of time.

Where I'm really going with this is anything that's directly exposed to the elements is potentially at risk. It's largely a matter of how much risk can you stand (and accepting that using any equipment exposed to the elements puts you outside of any warranties unless the company states otherwise.....)
I am using a Bose 251 pair for over a decade now, and in addition to weather protection, they seem to be designed for better sound out of doors, where room reinforcement is lacking. Each unit has a tweeter array aimed to disperse the sound across a wider area, and rear firing bass ports, to do that job better. Other speakers designed for out of doors use may employ similar tricks that Sonos play units may lack, since these are designed for indoor use.

Another reason therefore, to consider speakers made for use out of doors, beyond the one related to weather proofing.
Thank you, I'm absolutely delighted with all of your opinions and perspective. I'm now convinced to go with my Yamaha amp and a connect with Bose speakers. I have conduit that leads from my utility room in the basement to the gazebo, so no shovel needed. The connect can serve double duty for a traditional home theatre room. Bravo folks, many thanx. On another note, do any of you have any experience with a connect and an exsisting home theatre set up.
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I am using a Bose 251 pair for over a decade now, and in addition to weather protection, they seem to be designed for better sound out of doors, where room reinforcement is lacking. Each unit has a tweeter array aimed to disperse the sound across a wider area, and rear firing bass ports, to do that job better. Other speakers designed for out of doors use may employ similar tricks that Sonos play units may lack, since these are designed for indoor use.

Another reason therefore, to consider speakers made for use out of doors, beyond the one related to weather proofing.


Kumar has a really good point about the fact that speakers themselves can be designed for different applications. So a question to the OP would be if he already has a Play 3 or other Sonos speaker that he's tried in his particular target environment, and does it sound it good? There is limited manual EQ for Sonos speakers; bass/treble and loudness like on an basic receiver. I tend to doubt TruPlay would be a good solution outdoors, though maybe I'm wrong. A Connect Amp with specifically designed outdoor speakers may give better sound, and a Connect + equalizer + amp might be even better yet. Depends on the particulars of what the OP wants.