Sonos...I Beg You For Outdoor Speakers!


I've been a loyal customer so long that I'm still using the 100 controllers (over 10 years). Sonos has rolled out a whole lot of very impressive products during that time. That said, the one glaring omission are outdoor speakers (with the built in amplifier to tie into your Sonos network). It would seem to be a very easy solution, and I'm still baffled that there have been no products launched for those of us who like to have music outside!

John

This topic has been closed for further comments. You can use the search bar to find a similar topic, or create a new one by clicking Create Topic at the top of the page.

37 replies

It would seem to be a very easy solution, and I'm still baffled that there have been no products launched for those of us who like to have music outside!

Perhaps because of the many available outdoor speakers that can be wired to a Connect Amp? Works very well at my place.
A wireless speaker would still need mains power leads, and running speaker wires may be safer and just as convenient.
I'm also hoping/waiting for an outdoor play:5 that can run on a built in Li-Ion batteriy or something similar.

I want to take it outside when sitting on the patio or leave it inside in the bathroom (plugged in).
Badge +7
by placing a play one inside a water proof seat. When the weather is nice outside.. Out pops the play one. I know its not ideal. I was just lucky I already had a water proof outdoor plug on my balcony
Perhaps because of the many available outdoor speakers that can be wired to a Connect Amp? Works very well at my place.


This. Very simple to run weatherproof wire to an outdoor speaker mounted under an eave. I have a dual voice single speaker on my deck that sounds great.
Badge
There is a guy on youtube who has set up a Play 1 to run off an external battery. He has shown video of it working, a strip down of the Play 1 and states the third video (when he has done it) will show us how it's done 🙂

1. Demo of it working

2. Strip Down

3........ waiting

Not for the faint of heart though 😮
How about getting something like the rCube from Arcam before they become completely unavailable - a bargain at around 200GBP. This is battery powered Kleer reciever. If you combine this with a Kleer transmitter eg from a pair of Sennheiser RS180's that takes analog input at headphone jock level and delivers "CD quality" Kleer wireless to any paired Kleer reciever. Not sure if you can get a transmitter on its own - great if you could but if not then at least you have a pair if good wireless headphones as well. I have not tried this combination but I I imagine it should work.
If you combine this with a Kleer transmitter eg from a pair of Sennheiser RS180's that takes analog input at headphone jock level and delivers "CD quality" Kleer wireless to any paired Kleer reciever.
My experience of Sennheiser RS180s with 2.4GHz Kleer wireless was distinctly unfavourable. They clobbered SonosNet to such a degree that I returned them the next day.
Badge +1
There is a guy on youtube who has set up a Play 1 to run off an external battery. He has shown video of it working, a strip down of the Play 1 and states the third video (when he has done it) will show us how it's done 🙂

1. Demo of it working

2. Strip Down

3........ waiting

Not for the faint of heart though :o


Thanks for that link!
My experience of Sennheiser RS180s with 2.4GHz Kleer wireless was distinctly unfavourable. They clobbered SonosNet to such a degree that I returned them the next day.

That's a shame - I assume there was no avoiding it with channel changing. I have the 170s and have not really noticed a problem - though I do my best to avoid SonosNet wireless anyway (previously with structured Cat5 and now in new property with Powerline). I was thinking to buy an rCube some time ago but the price was high - I may now give it a go.

EDIT:

http://www.avforums.com/threads/arcam-rwave-with-sennheiser-rs180-headphones-is-kleer-association-possible.1817203/

suggests it might not pair anyway.
That's a shame - I assume there was no avoiding it with channel changing.
The Kleer wireless frequency-hopped over the entire 2.4GHz band. Here is my original post on the subject.
Userlevel 2
And buying a bluetooth equivalent. I could obviously install outdoor speakers and buy a Connect Amp but the whole point of Sonos is convenient wireless networking. Doing an outdoor installation will cost more and require me to drill holes in my walls which i would prefer not to do. It would be nice if Sonos let its customers know if any outdoor speakers were in the pipeline though.
Badge +1
a few years ago i hard wired two B&W outdoor speakers to a connect amp in my basement. its awesome. a few tips:

Get the largest outdoor speakers you can afford/fit. I was worried they would be too large. they aren't. its amazing how the open space swallows up the sounds. i've used the same speakers in a summer cabin and they blast the indoors but outdoors they work perfect.

that said, even though they are waterproof i bring them in for the winter. i'm in boston, we get real winters so no need having them go thru that.

its worth it to spend the time to wire and mount the speakers. they are great to simply flip the switch and they are on. so convenient.

you might also consider putting them in a position to use as outdoor speakers for an outdoor projector based movie. the projectors are coming down in price and super fun. the kids love it. hang a sheet and your rocking.

finally, enjoy! outdoor music just rocks.
Userlevel 4
Badge +10
Logitech made the Squeezebox Radio years ago which was a battery powered network player, no idea why Sonos can't do the same. A battery powered play1 would be awesome
Logitech made the Squeezebox Radio years ago which was a battery powered network player, no idea why Sonos can't do the same. A battery powered play1 would be awesome

I do love my squeezebox radios, that are battery powered. I simply unplug them and carry out to the deck and it's a nice feature to have.
Yes, the Squeezebox line was so successful, they bankrupted Sonos and dominated the wireless audio space.

No, wait...

😃
Userlevel 4
Badge +10
Yes, the Squeezebox line was so successful, they bankrupted Sonos and dominated the wireless audio space.

No, wait...

:D


Squeezebox failed due to no marketing and being over technical. The individual products were superior to Sonos equivalents.
I simply unplug them and carry out to the deck and it's a nice feature to have.
Building in battery back up for occasional outdoor use like this - a good additional feature, as opposed to leaving them out on battery power all the time. It would address safer use in bathrooms as well, without having to weather proof them any more than they already are.
Squeezebox failed due to no marketing and being over technical. The individual products were superior to Sonos equivalents.
I don't know about marketing - but isn't an over technical solution by definition less superior? Except for people that love fiddling with the tech aspects which seemed to be the nature of the SB market.
On one level, SONOS is the most "over technical solution" available, and this is why SONOS works so well. However, in the current environment, if a company wants to appeal to a broad market segment, the setup and user interface must hide this tech. And, good user support is required.

I think that the original appeal of SB was to the tech community. Early on, recording and playing music on computers was a rather complicated tech adventure. This was the SB roots. And, in this context, SB was well positioned.

iTunes was the breakout as far as the mass market was concerned. iTunes buried tech. But, iTunes is really a single point or point to point player.

Enter SONOS with their whole house solution. SONOS solved the underlying technical issues with SB, buried the tech, and had first class marketing, customer support -- and management. In my opinion, most audio companies have a narrow vision, usually centered around a technical guru and founder. The point of the company is to design the best [...]. Once this product is out, the vision ends. Even if the product becomes somewhat popular, the company is not able to scale and build on the base. The company is limited by their production capability, warehousing and shipping capacity, and inability to market. Many of these companies think that good marketing is pumping out a couple of glossy handouts. The founder must be the center of everything and when this individual saturates or reaches some sort of short sighted goal, the company tops out.

From day one SONOS had a large vision and all aspects of the company were designed to scale. The large vision attracted venture capital, allowing SONOS room to outsource non core activities, such as production, warehousing, and shipping. As the company grew, it attracted experienced large enterprise talent, simply plugging into scalable modular slots that were already in place. And SONOS was not afraid to take risk. The initial pricing of the CR100 and ZP100, given the design, production, and marking costs, was too low to sustain a small company, but since SONOS had a large vision and some venture capital, they bet that volume would build and eventually the price would be sustainable. They won the bet.

I think that the original SB crew was running too lean on capital and LOGITECH was looking for a cash cow. Initially, it probably looked like a good plan for both. SB had access to some capital and logistic support and LOGITECH gained a relatively inexpensive cash cow that could compete with SONOS. In hindsight, probably the SB vision was too narrow and LOGITECH underestimated the capital requirements -- and the vision faded. LOGITECH's sweet spot is acquiring, then flooding the market with turnkey commodity products, but SB had not yet developed to this level.
SONOS solved the underlying technical issues with SB, buried the tech, and had first class marketing, customer support -- and management.

Good summary. As far as I know, it is the only US company that is a global market leader in its segment in the area of consumer entertainment electronics.
I love the discussion, but still no word from SONOS wether or not an outdoor speaker is in the pipeline.

I have an outdoor wall plug so a play:5 or 3 or even a 1 could easily be put outside, but I really want a weatherproof solution for the speaker (and would also love an internal battery).

And to stay in the spirit of wishing and dreaming (christmass) lets add airplay to SONOS.
Userlevel 2
Badge
I use a standard Sonos zp90 in my kitchen are hooked up to a old receiver that has speaker A+B connections. I use regular outdoor speakers on the deck and simply run the wires just above baseboard to the receiver thru the wall. This way I can cover 2 areas with one Sonos box.

Wireless outdoor speakers wouldn't make a big difference for me, but I can see some scenarios where it would be most helpful.
Userlevel 2
A re-chargable battery option would be nice. But I'm not sure a permenant outdoor weather proof speaker is feasible, most people wouldn't be prepared to pay the extra cost
Userlevel 2
I'm planning on mounting a play:1 outside, under an overhang. It will stay completely dry, but I'd still like to get a cover for when it's not in use. Haven't found much while searching the internet. Anyone have any ideas?
Userlevel 2
Badge
The connect:amp was expensive but it has worked flawlessly with my outdoor Bose. The outdoor speakers were given to me so took the bite out of the cost. Wiring was already done so was easy set up.
Badge
I was in Best Buy shortly after the new year chatting with one of the employees about Sonos and if he saw a decrease in Sonos sales due to all the new speakers (Samsung, Denon, Bose) etc that have been popping up. Anyway he stated that a Sonos rep had come by the store shortly before Christmas and claimed that the Sonos rep told him that Sonos would be releasing an outdoor speaker as it's next new product offering.... take it for what it's worth...