What's Unique About the New Sonos/Sonance Outdoor Speaker?

  • 14 February 2019
  • 13 replies

Userlevel 1
First, let me preface by saying, I'm a huge fan of Sonos and Sonance products and have accumulated more of these speakers than I'm willing to admit. I was really excited to hear that Sonos partnered with Sonance to design an outdoor speaker but I'm a bit confused. My intention is not to come off confrontational when I ask this but what's the difference between the new Sonos/Sonance Outdoor Speaker and the original Sonance Mariner 64? They appear to be the exact same speaker with the exact same specs. Is there added hardware which makes it a more Sonos centric product? My understanding is the new Amp identifies these speakers by sending a sine wave to read impedance values at different frequencies so that indicates to me there might not be anything unique about the new Outdoor speaker besides marketing and branding. How does the Amp differentiate between the new Sonos/Sonance Outdoor speaker and an original Sonance Mariner 64? As a loyal customer I need to understand what the advantage or incentive there is to justify the additional cost of the Sonos/Sonance Outdoor speaker over the equally capable and seemingly same Sonance Mariner 64 speaker. I look forward to hearing back. Thanks!

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13 replies

Me too!
My understanding is these Sonos branded speakers have a sound signature that matches the other Sonos powered speakers. You can also power up to 3 pairs off a single amp. For other speakers, Sonos states you can attach 2 pair if the speakers are 8 ohm. For the indoor speakers, you can also use trueplay on them.

In my opinion, I wouldn't go replacing my existing speakers for this. If you're already looking to get speakers in this price range, then these would be a smart option.

In comparison between the Sonos/Sonance and the Mariner, the specs are similar. Only difference I'm noting is the power handling. However, the crutchfield specs may not be 100% accurate. For one, it says it's Trueplay, compatible, which it's not.


This being a forum full of tech enthusiasts I can easily see someone from here testing a standard Mariner64 speaker with the Amp anytime soon...
Userlevel 1
Good catch on the Power Handling @melvimbe. I didn't notice that when I originally compared them. If the only advantage is higher power handling I think I'll stick with my Mariners. Thanks guys.
I can't even really justify the ability to add a 3rd pair of speakers as much of a feature. You can get a speaker switch that will allow you use 3 or 4 pairs without issue, and the ability to turn off pairs individually if you wish. The cost of a switch is easily covered in the difference in cost between that Mariner and the Sonos/Sonance.

But as passopp stated, a side by side is needed for comparison.
Userlevel 2
Who said these are Mariner 64's? The dimensions and weight are both different. The Sonos speakers appear to be sized between the 6.5" and 8" Sonance Mariner. Additionally I would put much faith in Crutchfields site. As of today they don't have them in stock yet.
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The Sonance Mariner 86 (higher specs than the Mariner 64) is priced at $799.99 on the Sonance website. May I ask all ye experts here, would it not be better to buy The Mariner 86 from Sonance and buy the Sonos amp and link them up
I too have the exact same questions! I am looking for an outdoor solution with an amp and 4 speakers, the Sonos version will cost me an arm and a leg and before spending them I want to understand if there is a technical difference or if its only branding!

By the way - has anyone tried out the sub out port? I have heard there where problems with it!
The essence of brand power is selling the same product at a higher price to customers that are influenced by brands. Marketing 101.
Sonos is not unique in its marketing approaches; there is no Sonos net or other tech patent that makes it so where marketing is concerned.
Hi Kumar!

Thanks for tour answer, I have the same hunch as you here, that Sonos are putting their brand on a Sonance Mariner 64 and charging a lot more for
the same thing. But I want to understand if this is true or if there is a real technical difference, and if so what the difference is exactly.

Do you happen to know?
No idea, I am not in the market for my Bose 251 replacement! But any technical difference would have to be close to revolutionary for there to be an audible impact, and I don't see any scope for such with passive speakers.
Lots of people have been clamouring for Sonos outdoor speakers, and this is the Sonos way to meet that demand and collect a premium at the same time. Nothing wrong with that approach of course.
Seems like you're re-asking the question that was already answered. When it comes to the outdoor speakers, you can safely attach 3 pairs of speakers to a single amp. Since you only want two pairs, this isn't much of an advantage to you. Other than that, the extra cost is going to be the overall quality of the speaker and the comfort of knowing it's Sonance/Sonos...branding. I have no doubt they are top notch, but for outdoor use, I'd rather get a $300 pair than an $700 pair (or whatever it is). I wouldn't say that the Sonance speakers are over priced as there certainly are other speakers in the same price range, it's just not a price range I really want to spend in.

As far as the sub output, haven't heard any issues about it. However, most outdoor subs are passive, not powered, and therefore would use normal speaker wire instead of the sub port. I would not hook up your 4 speakers + outdoor sub directly to the Amp, but you may be able to do so with a speaker switch. I've also heard others say that an outdoor sub isn't a good idea as the environment will limit the subs effectiveness.
Thanks guys for your time and effort!