If you already have a Sonos multiroom audio system and want to extend it to include your garden, patio, swimming pool, barbecue area or hot tub, then this article will help you decide on the best solution.
New Zone or Sub Zone?
One of the best ways to add Sonos to an outdoor space is to install a separate Sonos Amp indoors and wire this to a pair of all-weather speakers. Adding a new zone like this provides the greatest flexibility, allowing you to control the volume separately to your indoor zones and have different music playing indoors and out.
However, where independent control is not required, connecting your outdoor speakers to an existing Sonos Amp via a speaker switch can provide a simple cost effective solution. For example, if you have a Sonos Amp already running a pair of in-ceiling speakers in your kitchen, this Amp could also power a pair of outdoor speakers with the addition of a speaker switch to provide on/off control of each pair of speakers.
Speaker switchers have traditionally been manual, requiring a physical button press to enable and disable speakers. However we now stock a range of new Audioflow smart speaker switches which can be conveniently operated via an app or with an Alexa Skill for voice control.
On-Wall or On-Ground Speakers?
Weatherproof on-wall speakers are the most popular type of outdoor speakers. They provide excellent performance and value for money. In most cases on-wall speakers are also the easiest to install - once attached to an external wall or soffit, cables can be run externally and enter the house at a suitable location to install the amplifier. On-wall speakers are usually available in black or white to blend in with their surroundings. Single stereo speakers are also available for smaller areas which may not require a stereo pair.
In situations where wall mounted speakers may not be possible or desirable, on-ground speakers may provide an alternative solution. The majority of on-ground speakers are designed to look like rocks, enabling them to blend into the landscape. These rock speakers can be hidden away in borders, flower beds and planters for a discreet audio solution.
What about a portable speaker?
Sonos now make two battery powered portable speakers which can be used outdoors. The Sonos Move, and it’s little brother the Sonos Roam, provide a simple way of extending your Sonos system outside, with the added benefit of being able to use the speaker anywhere you choose via a Bluetooth connection when Wi-Fi is not available.
Sonos portable speakers provide a number of useful features over regular Bluetooth speakers which make them an ideal choice for anyone with an existing Sonos setup.
Do I need specialist outdoor speaker cable?
It is recommended to use outdoor grade speaker cable for all external speaker connections. The only exception is when a very small amount of cable is visible; where it comes straight through the wall into the back of a wall mounted speaker for example. Otherwise outdoor cable should always be used to protect against UV exposure and moisture. Cables can be attached to a wall or fence using cable clips, or buried underground. When burying any cable it is recommended to run it inside flexible conduit to protect it from debris, stones, garden tools and animals.