Sonos Wired Architectural Outdoor Speakers Review

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Sonos is kind of like the Apple of speakers – they emphasize style, simplicity, ease of use, and an all-in-one solution. Basically, like Apple, they seem to want you to really buy into brand, almost as if it it’s a lifestyle choice that brings a level satisfaction that’s worth a premium.

Sonos Outdoor Speakers- Pair Of Architectural Speakers By Sonance For Outdoor Listening - Wired

click to see zoomable images on Amazon (affiliate link)

The eponymous Sonos Outdoor Speaker is currently the company’s only wired all weather speaker. The current model originally came out in 2018, which is actually pretty new in the permanent outdoor speaker niche.

Sonos Architectural Outdoor Speaker Specs Overview and Discussion

Frequency Response Range – Purportedly 55 – 20k Hz, with a max 3dB differential. This is comparatively average, and while the floor is decently low at 55 Hz, bass might still be lacking without an added subwoofer.

Power Handling – The peak power handling is 130 watts, but Sonos doesn’t specify a continuous power handling figure which is actually the more relevant and important stat. When continuous power handling isn’t specified, we assume a figure 1/3 of the peak spec (about 40 watts here) is a fair guesstimate. This is about on par with most budget competitors.

Efficiency – The efficiency or sensitivity rating is really what gives the power handling spec meaning, because it indicates how much volume a speaker can produce per watt of input. These speakers have a standardized rating of 89 dB, which is relatively OK. Ultimately, these speakers will be able to get sufficiently loud with small to medium field coverage, but a single pair probably won’t suffice for larger areas.

Weatherproofing – These speakers have an official ingress protection code of IP66, which means they are waterproof up to strong jets and fully sealed against dust/debris incursion. This is about as good a level of protection against the elements as you’re going to get with wired outdoor speakers.

Size and Weight – Each speaker has a width/height/depth of 7.5 in/7.5 in/13 in and weighs about 7 pounds. Comparatively their size is pretty average, but they are somewhat light, which does makes setting them up a little easier.

Warranty and Return Policy – All Sonos speakers have a one year warranty, which is the fairly standard industry minimum. This is comparatively short, though, and a decent extended warranty of 2-3 plus years is particularly important for outdoor speakers because they are more prone to failure. The return window is 45 days after purchase which is actually pretty generous.

Do the Sonos Architectural Outdoor Speakers Need Power? And do They Need Speaker Wire?

These speakers are passive, meaning they will need a separate amplifier or receiver to power them, and neither do they come with speaker wire (most don’t because the kind needed depends on the situation). Sonos does sell a popular but also relatively expensive amp (reviewed here) that’s designed to integrate with Sonos speakers, but there’s no real reason that any other decent receiver or amp can’t power these speakers just as well.

How do You Set Up the Sonos Architectural Outdoor Speakers? And How do They Generally Work?

These are wall mount speakers with C brackets that turn vertically the short way, which is a fairly standard design for outdoor speakers. Ideally you want to mount them right under a roof eave or something similar, oriented width wise (sideways) so they can swivel vertically, and angle them down to point at the sound target. Angling outdoor speakers down helps keep water and dust/debris from accumulating on the face.

Sonos Outdoor Speakers- Pair Of Architectural Speakers By Sonance For Outdoor Listening - Wired

the backs and brackets, click to see zoomable images on Amazon (affiliate link)

You’ll want to run the connected speaker wire through the wall and to the amp or receiver that’s sitting inside, then what people typically do is control the amp/receiver via Bluetooth. Make sure that you get the correct grade and gauge of speaker wire depending on what your set up is going to look like.

Related: Our full guide on how to install outdoor speakers

Related: How to pick the best and correct type of outdoor speaker wire

Are Sonos Speakers Overpriced? Or Are These Outdoor Speakers Worth Buying?

The MSRP of the Sonos architectural outdoor speakers is, at the time of this writing/update, around $850, though we’ve seen them discounted by up to a third or so from some popular vendors. Even discounted, there are multiple competitors with equivalent or better specs for less than half the price in some cases. We think these outdoor speakers are indeed overpriced because they don’t really offer anything unique that justifies a premium.

But does that mean they’re absolutely not worth buying? Not necessarily. If you like the integrative all-in-one style of the Sonos brand and want something that’s designed to be simple and easy, then maybe the premium is worth it to you. Sonos is like Apple as we said – Apple products are, pound for pound, generally more expensive than off brand separates, yet plenty of people still go all in and buy everything Apple because it’s really designed to all work together so easily.

Get the Sonos Architectural Outdoor speakers often discounted on Amazon (affiliate link)

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