Main Content

Customer Ratings & Reviews

Sonos & Sonance - Outdoor Speaker Streaming Audio Bundle with xPress Audio Keypad - White/Gray-Front_Standard

Customer rating

Rating 4.7 out of 5 stars with 156 reviews

  • 20%
97%
would recommend to a friend

Pros

Cons

Customer ratings & reviews

Filter:
Page 1, showing1-20 of 156 Reviews
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    A definite upgrade for home entertainment

    Posted
    nickcal
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 100 ContributorTop 100 Contributor

    A few years back, we invested a lot of time and energy in sprucing up our back patio area. We added a pergola, some inviting furniture, and a shiny new grill. Over the summer months, we usually have at least one get together with family and friends and we wanted a comfortable place for everyone to enjoy. As nice as our patio has become, we have been missing one valuable piece of technology — a speaker system. In the past, we would take single Bluetooth speakers outdoors for entertainment, but as our gatherings have grown, those just aren’t a viable option because the crowd overpowers the single speaker. So, we decided to add in a streaming system from Sonos and Sonance. WHAT’S IN THE BOX This was my first experience with being a Sonos system owner and prior to this system, I had not been aware of Sonance as a brand. But, as I researched them and discovered that the entire system is part of the premium Magnolia brand family from Best Buy, I knew I was going to be happy with the quality that the system added to our home. The first overall impression of the system was good. The Sonos/Sonance Outdoor System comes well packaged in a single box with each part individually boxed inside. The system consists of the Sonos Connect: Amp, Two (2) Sonance Mag O6 Outdoor Speakers, xPress Audio Keypad, mounting equipment for the speakers, a power cord for amp, and a flat ethernet cable should you want to directly connect your Connect:Amp to your internet modem, router, or switch. If you read carefully through that list, one thing you will notice is the absence of speaker wire, which is required to connect the speakers to the Sonos amp. You will have to provide that outside of this packaged kit. SET-UP Overall, the system is not difficult to set-up. Getting started, you will want to select the places you want to mount the speakers paying close attention to their proximity to the amp and your selected length of speaker wire. You want to keep in mind that while the speakers are weather resistant, the Sonos Connect:Amp is not. It will need to be placed somewhere out of harm’s way. Once you’ve selected the proper location for your speakers and amp, you can mount the brackets provided with the speakers. For me, I mounted them into our wooden siding with little problems. After they are secured, you can snap the speakers into place, but you will want to make sure to run the speaker wire through the speaker first. The speakers have a spring clamp located on the front of the speaker. You attached the wire to the clamps and then run it through a channel at the bottom of the speaker and out the back through a rubber grommet. This seal keeps the speakers weather resistant. Hanging the speakers isn’t difficult, but they aren’t particularly light so it can be a bit awkward. I was able to use my shoulder to brace the speaker while I slid it into the bracket. When I heard the ‘click’, I knew they were locked in. At this point, you will run the speaker wire to your amp. You may choose to tack the wire up against your house (this was my choice) or run it through a wall. Again, this step isn’t ‘hard’ per se, but it’s time-consuming. The Sonos Connect:Amp is the ‘brain’ of the entire system. To get started, you will connect the speaker wire to the back of the unit and plug it into power. You need to download the Sonos app and follow the in-app set-up steps provided. The amp should automatically connect to WiFi (if available) during the app set-up. Sonos includes connection to a variety of streaming services (Pandora, Slacker, Rhapsody, Spotify, SiriusXM, etc.) so that you don’t have to connect your mobile phone or computer in order to have those services. The final step in the set-up is connecting to the remote. The xPlay Audio Keypad is connected to the system through WiFi and will allow you to pause, play, and skip songs as well as adjust the volume remotely. The xPlay app for the keypad is separate from the Sonos app. So, you will be downloading two apps for one system. One thing to note here - the keypad that accompanies the system can only be controlled with an app that is only available for iOS devices. Since Apple is the main brand I use for mobile devices, this wasn’t a big problem for me. Both Android and iOS users can enjoy the Sonos app and control your music, but only iOS users can use the remote. SOUND QUALITY I’ve been incredibly impressed with the quality of the sound this system produces. It has a wonderful even tone for music that is rich with highs and lows and even those who are hard of hearing thought all the audio was crisp and clear coming from the speakers. Even though I don’t consider myself an ‘audiophile’, I do appreciate good quality sound and the Sonance speakers push it out well. While the bass was nice and smooth, the addition of a subwoofer to this set-up might provide extra depth, but if you are using them outside, that might be difficult to add in. I didn’t notice and distortion even when we cranked up the volume quite high. While we didn’t receive any complaints from the neighbors, the speakers are LOUD. Our backyard is about 25 yards deep and someone at the back of the yard had no problems hearing the music played on the patio. NOT A WIRELESS SYSTEM As I mentioned above, the kit is devoid of speaker wire. This is an essential part of this system as it’s NOT a wireless system. Even though the description of the product does not spell out ‘Bluetooth’ or ‘Wireless’ system, it does describe the set as “Sonos & Sonance - Outdoor Speaker Streaming Audio Bundle with xPress Audio Keypad”. The ‘streaming’ part is misleading somewhat to anyone who doesn’t pay close enough attention to the rest of the specs of the system. Even though I had done my research, I was surprised to find that speaker wire was required and not included. When you look over the description of the product, it does not state that speaker wire is included with the bundle and the word ‘wired’ is no where to be found. So, at first glance with the product name indicating a streaming system, I could see how someone might think it’s a wireless system. The only wireless part to this system is the WiFi connection from the Sonos Connect: Amp, but even then you could hard wire it to your internet using the provided ethernet cable. Honestly, I was disappointed to find that so much wiring was involved in a system like this. MISSING WIRING Another thing I didn’t like about this system is that speaker wire isn’t included. I feel that with any product if a part is essential to its operation, it should be included with the product. Without the speaker wire, this system doesn’t work. In addition to that, it’s an annoyance to bring home this system to find you have to go back to the store for a lot of wiring to run from outside to inside where the amp will be located. You do have the option of setting these up indoors, but since we specifically wanted them for our patio, it was a disappointment to find a part missing from the installation kit. CONCLUSION The quality of the pieces of this system is undeniable, I just question the missing speaker wire and product description. We are very happy with the ease of set-up (once we had all the essential parts) and how the system sounds. If you go into this system with the knowledge that you will have time and additional money invested, then you will be happy with it. Audiophiles won’t be disappointed with the quality of sound produced and it’s definitely an upgrade for home entertaining.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Sleek and Impressive

    Posted
    DaveW
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

    I have had the opportunity to play around with the Sonos and Sonance set for a couple of days. I have had a Sonos Playbar for over a year now (its awesome btw), so I was excited to see this kit come out. Overall my impression of the kit is positive, but I have run into a few obstacles. I want to run through each component in the system, and then speak on the kit as a whole. First up - The Speakers I have had some experience with Sonance products at a previous job, so I know how good of a brand they are. The speakers are Sonance Mag 06's (pretty similar to the Mariners). They have a very sleek, powder white finish that looks fantastic. The speakers come with the necessary mounting hardware (bracket and screws), but only if you are mounting to a flat wall/corner. Pole mount or stand mounting requires you to supply you own hardware. I was mounting my speakers to my siding, which required ordering universal siding mounting blocks. Its a bad idea to just screw these in through the siding for a number of reasons (siding needs to float being the main one). If you are mounting to siding - buy mounting blocks and 2.5-3" outdoor screws. Also, buy a siding removal tool ($5-6 at the hardware store), it will save you some headache and finger knicks. I used 2.5" stainless timber screws, and stainless finishing washers (for the countersink head). I passed my speaker wire through a hole in the wall, and sealed the hole with some foam sealant. Once installed I tested out the speakers while doing some gardening/yard work. They truly sounded fantastic! I used to have some nice Insignia outdoor speakers a few years ago, but the Sonance's blow those speakers away. I can fill my entire backyard (1/4 acre) with the sound from these two speakers, and without them clipping or distorting. The mids and highs are really well represented, and perfectly crisp. The lows are there - not overly punchy, but not muddy either. Without a sub in the mix, that is all you can really ask for, so I am still happy. This is such a huge upgrade over the my little bluetooth wireless speaker. I have my daughters 4th birthday in a few weeks, and I know these speakers will provide some great background music for the party. Overall the speakers I give a 5/5. Next up - The Sonos Connect:Amp My first impression taking the Connect:Amp out of the box was - Wow! It has such a sleek and modern look to it. The fit and finish is spot on, it has a hefty weight, and the connections in the rear appear to be nice quality. This really is an impressive looking piece of audio equipment. I own several high end pieces of equipment, but none of them look anywhere near as elegant or refined as the Connect:Amp. Initial setup was pretty easy. I chose to connect my unit via ethernet, since its home would be 6" away from a gigabit switch. The unit needs to be located inside (not weatherproof), and I would caution away from locating it in a garage (unless the garage is relatively climate controlled). Setting the unit up with the phone app (Android) was pretty straightforward, The unit needed an update straight away, but that only took a minute or 2. I connected my speaker wires to the spring posts in the rear. Unfortunately I ran into trouble here. I almost exclusively use banana plugs on all of my audio equipment. I tried to use them on the Connect:Amp, but the fit was so loose that the plugs would slide out when almost no force was applied. Instead I had do the old fashioned connection - sticking the wire into the hole while pushing in the spring. Not the end of the world, but still rather annoying. I went about setting up my Pandora through the app as well as a few local radio stations - no problems here. Setting them up was easy, and they sounded great. Not as good as local, uncompressed files, but still very good. Everything was going fine until I tried to play music from my library on my Windows 10 PC. I mapped my library share, and was able to browse and select my music. However, I only get a split second of sound and then 20 seconds later I get the error "Sonos unable to play [song title] network connection speed insufficient to maintain playback buffer." I have literally spent 4+ hours trying to get this to work to no avail. I reset the amp, and tried connecting it via WIFI. I hit a roadblock here because I couldn't get it to recognize my network, so I went back to wired (there is a work around for this issue, but I haven't tried it yet). I took my router out of the chain and had my computer and the amp on the same switch - no change. I have enabled SMB V1 (not the most secure protocol) - no change. I have tried using Windows Media Player as a server/UPnP - the app can't see any of the files this way, so no change, and technically worse. I could put all of the music on my phone. Then my phone would always have to be in WIFI range for that to work, and my WIFI strength outside is terrible - so not an option. The only way I have gotten my music library to play is to stream it to my AV receiver,and use analog (RCA) cables to go from my Zone 2 Out to the Line In on the Connect:Amp. This works, but its a bandaid solution because now I need to juggle 2 apps to listen to my library. This shouldn't be this hard. The fact that my AV receiver, Xbox, phone, and tablet can all access my library without any issues tells me this is a Sonos specific problem, and not necessarily my network or PC. I'm sure I will get this resolved, and it may require contacting support (a first for me). I try will update my review with a solution once I have it worked out. Overall I give the Connect:Amp a 3/5. The banana plug issue is an annoyance, but the local library issue is major for me. If I fix the local library issue it's a 5/5. Last component: iPort xPRESS keypad First of all you need to have an IOS device to set up the keypad. I had to have a friend come over to help me set this up, since I only have Android and Windows Phone (you read this correctly) devices. Keypad setup was pretty easy and I had it paired in a few minutes. I set up my favorite radio stations to flip through. Once I get my media library issue sorted, I can use it to skip tracks. I really liked the design of the remote and the base as well. The magnet mount is awesome, and it feels great to plop it back onto its base. I can't speak on the battery life - I have had it in place for 5 days now and still has a charge. I installed the adhesive base just inside my garage, and I plan to install the surface mount base somewhere inside my house - not sure where yet though. The Overall Kit All together this is a really great kit. I seem to be one of the small few to have issues with the music streaming, so I can't imagine it is a widespread issue that you would need to worry about. The pairing of the amp and speakers is fantastic, and the little remote was a pretty cool addition. You need to provide some of your own hardware (mentioned above for the speakers), as well as speaker wire (I used 16ga CL3 since my runs were under 50' and the speakers are 8 ohm). Overall I really like this solution, and I can see the potential in it. I don't think you will be disappointed with this collaboration from Sonos and Sonance.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Fantastic Backyard Upgrade

    Posted
    Cupra
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

    When the bespoke Magnolia Outdoor Streaming Bundle arrived, I was surprised how large the packaging was. Inside the box were 4 items, all individually packaged, so this has been put together as a kit by Magnolia/Best Buy. You get the two Sonance MAG 06 Outdoor Speakers, the Sonos Connect:Amp and the iPort xPress remote. (Description says 'Audio Keypad' but lets face it, it's a remote!). I opened the Sonos Connect:Amp first, as it's the coolest looking piece of kit in the box. It's a nice, sleek designed box in aluminum and white. It has three buttons on the front, play, and volume up and down. That's it. On the back, you get four really nicely engineered, spring loaded speaker wire terminals. They push and grab the wire when you place it in the hole. Very secure connection. There is also a subwoofer connection and a voltage switcher, two ethernet ports and audio left and right connections. It's vented on top to let out the heat. This unit is NOT rated to be left outdoors. It is not waterproof or weatherproof at all. Next up was the iPort xPress remote. It is a relatively simple remote with play/pause, next track, favorite, volume up and down buttons. This remote is wifi enabled, so it will work anywhere that you have wifi signal in the house. So you don't have to worry about a signal not going through walls or glass to get to your Sonos Connect:Amp. It charges via an included USB adapter and charges within 3 hours. A little LED status indicator on there lets you know what state it's in and charge apparently lasts 6 months. Next I opened the Sonance MAG 06 Outdoor Speakers, which are IP66 Weatherproof rated. They were larger an slightly heavier than I was expecting, but their build quality is excellent. They feel really tactile, the included mounting hardware and brackets feel nice and solid. They have connection terminals on the front of the speakers in an IP rated and sealed area, making it easier to keep them water tight, but to also access them during installation. I mounted the brackets using the screws from my pre-wired speaker housings on my back patio. The holes in the mounting bracket match up perfectly with an electrical box outlet, and being as that was cemented into my wall, it was the perfect place to mount the bracket. Two screws and pulling the wires through the center of the bracket was a breeze. (Please note that no speaker wire is included in this kit at all). My house was pre-wired for outdoor speakers, so that is what I used. The speakers are a little heavy to hold in one hand and feed the speaker wire from the back to the front, so I ended up resting it on my shoulder as I did do. The clip into the speaker bracket with a satisfying and authoritative 'click'. They are adjustable up and down (or side to side depending on how you mount the bracket), with a locking mechanism as well. There is a black IP rated cover to go over the speaker connections, and then white vanity grills to go over the front of the speakers. With the outside part sorted, I headed back indoors and got to work setting up the Sonos Connect:Amp. Using the spring clamps in the back I hooked up the speaker wires into the back of the Sonos Connect:Amp and plugged it in. It turns on with a green light on the front and that is it. Downloaded the Sonos App and also the iPort app for the remote.Setting up the Sonos Connect:Amp was really simple, you find the product within the app and it walks you through setting it up. Took about 4 mins total to set up (assuming you have your wifi password to hand!). The iPort app is equally as easy to use and connect to your Sonos system. I then linked my Spotify family account and my Amazon Music account to the Sonos system and pressed play. First song I played was Disturbed's rendition of 'The Sound of Silence', which has amazing clarity, and depth of bass along with rising intensity throughout. It sounded good, but not amazing, like the Klipsch and Pioneer Elite setup I have in my living room. Delving a little deeper into the app, I found out why... you have control over EQ and Loudness settings as well under 'My Room'. Click on that in the app and you can adjust the settings there. The whole system 'woke up' then, filled the patio with strong, dynamic sound, enveloping me while I was grilling! Sounded a lot, lot better than I was expecting for an outdoor system. Very impressed with the sound. It's bright and loud without distortion. The bass is strong without being overbearing. I would highly recommend this package to anyone wanting to extend their music collection out into the back yard! Very impressed!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Wow...just WOW!!

    Posted
    tmcgo510
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    I absolutely LOVE this system! Let me start off my review by saying go ahead and order this, you WILL NOT be disappointed. First of all, there is the SONOS wireless music system. That in itself is an amazing system. Plug it in and download the app on your iOS or Android devices. Create an account and your all set! Sonos allows you to control your music over your wifi by logging into many different music services that you may subscribe to. On the back of this SONOS unit are two connections for speaker wire and several RCA connections for connecting a subwoofer or an auxiliary audio source. Connect the speaker wire and run it to the two Sonance outdoor speakers. My SONOS amp is inside (it is NOT weather proof) on the opposite side of my house from where the speakers are located. These two outdoor speakers are pretty large, so keep that in mind prior to buying them. They are noticeable and they do stand out. The mount comes with wood screws for mounting the speakers, however, if you would like to mount it to something other than wood you will need to look for some concrete screws or screws for whatever medium you will be drilling into. The speaker wire feeds into the back of the speakers through a small hole surrounded by a rubber gasket type material to seal out moisture. Once passing the wires through the holes, they connect to a standard speaker connection on the front of the speakers. The speakers also come with covers that snap into place with the Sonance logo on the front center of the grill. The most difficult part of the install was running speaker wire through my attic, which, to me, was not hard as I have some experience with wiring and wire fishing. The mounts for the speakers allow you to aim the speakers up/down/left/right depending on if you have the speakers mounted upright or sideways. I chose the sideways option due to the location which I mounted them. The mounts also have sliding tabs that allow you to "lock" the speakers into place. Once creating a SONOS account on my phone and tablet, the SONOS Connect Amp required an update which did not take long. Then, I logged into the different music and radio services that I already subscribe to. When I walked outside for the first time and turned on music, I was absolutely AMAZED! These Sonance speakers are outstanding and I promise, the audio quality will blow you away. These speakers have clear highs and deep, thumping lows. I was so excited! I will not be able to turn them all the way up as this will most likely cause my neighbors to call the law on me! However, when testing them and turning them all the way up, I noticed NO distortion. It is so convenient to be able to pull out my phone and start the music whenever I feel like it. Before, I had to drag out my bluetooth speaker, ensure that it was charged, and then hope it pairs to my phone or tablet. The only negative that I would have to mention with this kit is the xPress audio keypad that is included. It just did not work easily or reliably. First of all, I had to try two different iOS devices before I could get the keypad to connect to my wifi network. Then, when I finally got it paired, it worked one time to change the volume of the music and play/pause the music. After that, it would just flash a light and not control any aspect of the audio. I am not exactly sure what is going on with it and I will continue to attempt to make it work. With this being the only negative, it is most certainly NOT a deal breaker! The speakers and the SONOS wifi system are a dream come true! If you are on the fence about getting this, JUST DO IT! You will absolutely LOVE it!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    New to Sonos, but I'm now a fan

    Posted
    TechFan
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

    I've read about Sonos products for a while now, but never took the leap. When this became available, I jumped at the chance to get this set. Fantastic sound for outdoor speakers and very easy to setup with the exception of the remote. As I said previously, setup couldnt have been easier. In fact, it took me longer to find the mounts I needed for my vinyl siding than it did for me to mount these speakers. In full disclosure, I havent completed my final setup yet because of time and the amount of rain lately, but I will be cutting a hole into my house to run the speaker wires to the amp. For the time being, I just bring the amp outside and sit it on a table and connect the wires to play. The speakers and amp all came in one box, but were individually packaged. When I unboxed everything, I was impressed at how well they were packaged. Once I took everything out, I planned my installation and went to work. Fortunately for me, my deck is right off of my morning room and was able to snake the wires behind the vinyl siding and mount the speakers under the eaves. I bought some flat wire from Best Buy to do my install which made it a bit difficult routing the wires around corners, so i would recommend buying standard wire for an easier installation. The gauge of wire you need will be determined by how long the run is to your amp. I bought 16 gauge wire for my installation. I would also recommend buying a little bit longer length than you think you will need. Better to have more than you need than not enough. Once I marked my installation locations and connected the speaker brackets to the vinyl siding mounts, I ran the speaker wire through the mount and bracket, per the instructions. Although the hole in the back of the speaker has a rubber fitting that is supposed to be waterproof, I put a little bit of silicone caulk around it for a little added protection for the speaker wire. Particularly since I angled my speakers downward, I felt better using the silicone to prevent any moisture getting in and possibly ruining the wire. The speakers are a bit heavier than I thought they would be, so make sure you screw the brackets into a solid surface. I mounted mine using four deck screws into the siding, which had wood behind it. It was more than secure and I have no concerns about them falling. Once everything was mounted, I hooked up the wires and went through the setup process, connecting the amp to my wifi and adding my streaming services. I liked that it supported the more popular streaming services like Pandora, iHeartRadio, Spotify and Apple Music. Once I began playing my music, I was instantly sold on Sonos. The sound was much better than I expected and had a decent low end. I've read reviews about the lack of bass, but I found them to be sufficient. I'm not planning on putting on a concert so I was fine with the amount of bass. You do have the option of adding a subwoofer as there is an input in the back for one. It also has audio inputs that will allow you to plug in your TV or another audio source. It would need to be analog though as there is no HDMI or optical input. The only negative I have about the Sonos is the remote. I havent been able to pair it with my iPhone yet, but I will try it again once I finish running the speaker wire into the house. That's not really a deal breaker for me though. All in all, this is a great outdoor system for my use. I would definitely recommend this.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Premium sound that does not disappoint!

    Posted
    Kotor
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 10 ContributorTop 10 Contributor

    The Sonos and Sonance outdoor audio streaming system is three different products bundled together and offered as an exclusive Magnolia package. Sonos Connect Amp: The brains of the system is the Sonos Connect Amp. This is one of Sonos original products, and has maintained its longevity for good reason. The premium build quality and visual appeal are immediately apparent. It is made of aluminum with an attractive white finish. The compact size makes it easy to place and blend. It offers WiFi streaming from all the major providers to the welcome inclusion of Apple Music. This is especially valuable to me because my wife has 3,000 songs in her iTunes library. Be aware that while the Amp can stream over WiFi, it is not completely wireless. It must be plugged into a standard AC outlet, and utilizes speaker wire (not included) to power the speakers. Even though it is marketed as part of an outdoor system, the amp in NOT weather proof and must be kept out of the elements. Sonance MAG O6 Speakers Speaker quality is arguably the most important factor to sound quality. You can have the most expensive amp in the world, but if it is hooked up to lousy speakers you will get lousy sound. Fortunately, these speakers produce exceptional sound quality to match their build quality. They sound remarkably full-ranged with excellent highs, mid-range, and mid-bass. The pictures only tell half of the story, because you must see and hold the speakers to appreciate their mass and how well made they are. They are bigger than what they seem in the pictures, and that is a good thing because all things being equal, the larger the speakers the larger the sound. xPRESS Audio Keypad Think of this as a WiFi rechargeable remote that can be mounted. It has its uses, but I prefer the control and versatility of the App. Setup Setup of the Amp was as simple as plugging it in, connecting it to WiFi, and downloading the Sonos App. My patio is already wired for speakers, so this was simple as well. Otherwise you will have to run speaker wire to the speaker placement location. The speakers utilize a clever speaker wire pass-through to reach the front mounted speaker connector posts. I have never seen this before, but it is very innovative and I like it. The xPRESS Audio Keypad involved charging it and downloading an App, and then syncing it. Verdict Sonos has a reputation for premium sound and this product does not disappoint. The three high quality products in this package make them an exceptional value for the individual that wants premium sound and capability. I am something of an audiophile, and have spent approximately $5,000 on the surround sound system in my main listening area. So, I appreciate quality sound and can attest that: speaker for speaker, component for component, this system matches or exceeds anything on the market today. Insider Tips Even though this system is marketed as for the outdoors, there is nothing stopping you from setting it up indoors. The speakers will sound and look as good indoors as outdoors! And since the Amp has a sub woofer output, you can augment the low-end sound stage by adding a sub woofer if used inside. Theoretically adding a sub woofer outdoors is possible, but for practical reasons it would be very complicated to implement properly.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Awesome system with some annoying quirks

    Posted
    SgtRock
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

    If you are like me and scan the Magnolia section of Best Buy from time-to-time for cool looking new tech then you’ve already heard of Sonos. They make terrific looking sound systems that would be at home in a Star Wars movie but still look cool in your house too! They are known for their great sound. The Sonos & Sonance outdoor system is a very sleek looking system. As would be expected from a high-end system like this it’s packaged very well. Each component is packaged in a separate box, all within a larger box containing the system. They’re all sturdy pieces, which makes the package a tad heavy. Hook-up is generally the same as most sound systems, with the caveat that you should 1) be comfortable mounting things to the outside of your house and 2) be comfortable drilling a hole completely through the side of your house (assuming you want to hide the wires). You might figure out other ways to do it via wires under a garage door or something to that effect, but I had all the necessary tools to mount this to my home (which, with brick walls, is not the easiest thing). If you’re not comfortable doing these things, then I’m sure Best Buy has available help or can at least point you in the right direction. This leads to a minor annoyance (but understandable given the type of system): there is no speaker wire included with the set-up. When dealing with outdoor installations it’s easy to understand why—different distances require different gauge of speaker wire, but it would have been nice to have a high-end system include a reel of high gauge speaker wire. As with seemingly everything these days you’ll have to download an app to complete the set up. The app is pretty easy to use and the setup is simple. Once it’s connected to your wi-fi then you can start streaming from the usual assortment of streaming sources. The sound from this system is amazing. The speakers sound terrific, the system looks sleek when running and as high-end as you’d expect it to look. The range from the speakers is surprisingly good—they handle lows very well for their size. The sound is great out of the box, but the apps give you VERY in-depth controls for every aspect of the sound if you want to dive in that deep. The biggest issue I have with the entire thing (and the reason I can’t give it five stars) is that you have to download a second app to pair the Xpress remote to the system. Not too big a deal (though two apps for one system is a bit ridiculous), but the issue is the app is only available over iOS systems. It’s an odd choice to make it such a pain for over half the people that will buy this. I worked around it by downloading it onto an iPad. If this isn't an option for you don't worry: it’s really not worth the hassle. The remote is okay but somewhat limited, and the Sonos app controls the system better. It’s nice to have the remote in case you don’t have your phone nearby, but, really, who doesn’t have their phone nearby in this day and age? The best part of the remote is you can mount it, so you’ll always know where it is (but if you’re like me and have kids, they will know too haha—that could be a drawback). I do recommend this system to anyone looking for a high-end, outdoor sound system, as the sound is just incredible. For this price I would want to see just a little more finesse in the final package.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great bundle but don't forget to buy speaker wire

    Posted
    sdunnin
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    Outdoor streaming music system The first and important thing to understand that just because this says streaming and includes Sonos don’t be under the impression that it is a completely wireless system. Sonos is a wireless streaming system but the Sonance are very nice and are traditional wired speakers. The whole system is a very nice selection of components to give you an excellent out of the box experience. Sonos Connect: I already own an older Sonos connect amp. This model is a bit larger and heavier than my other one and I would assume that it has a higher wattage speaker output, however, I did not have a chance to compare specs between the two. It is solid and well built with wide rubber pads on the feet to keep it from sliding around. I really like the addition of the heavy-duty speaker binding posts on the back which is something the other unit did not have. If you are new to Sonos it’s very friendly and easy to setup via mobile app or on your computer giving you access to many streaming services or your own local or network collection. If you have an existing Sonos system it’s even easier to add an additional unit. Sonance Speakers: I have never owned outdoor speakers before so this was my first experience. I decided to mount in a garage so they won’t really see any harsh outdoor weather. Right after unpacking I could tell that the MAG O6 are substantial, well made, solid speakers. They are about the size of a small bookshelf speaker so you will want to make sure that you have room to mount them in your desired location. The max rated power is 80 watts and they seem plenty loud for an outdoor speaker. The Sonos amp has 200W printed on the bottom but I don’t know what the actual speaker output is but it has no problem driving these speakers. The speakers have some nice weather proof features such as a rubber sleeve that the speaker wire feeds through to keep out moisture. The wire connections are actually inside (behind the front grill) and have an additional cover so they are not exposed to the elements. The binding posts are a little bit hard to get the wire threaded into but they are secure once you do. The grills fit nice and tight and should protect the front of the speaker well. The mounting brackets are also very versatile and can be mounted in several different configurations including on a pole. I listened to a number of different types of music and various sources on Sonos and the sound quality was very good and met my expectations for a speaker of that size. One thing to note is that this kit does not provide any speaker wire so you will have to supply that separately. xPRESS Keypad: I found the keypad to be a really nice addition for this system. While Sonos is awesome and easy to use it does require you to launch and app and make a few taps before you can get your music playing. The keypad gives you a one-touch start up for your music. It can be mounted anywhere on a wall in several different ways. If you want it to look like a regular Decora style switch you will need to supply your own cover though. It does not really say if the unit is weather proof given this is billed as an outdoor system. From observation I would assume not and that it is intended to be mounted on an interior wall near the door where you can pop out the keypad and take outside with you if needed. Installation was fairly easy via a mobile app that you will have to install on your device. The app is fairly basic allowing you to setup keypads and assign to one or more Sonos devices, create scenes and assign favorites. If you need help the app will direct you to their website. By pressing the Star button on the keypad, it will cycle through favorites on your Sonos (My Sonos). If one of them is from a music library the middle play button will skip to the next track. The keypad does have to be charged and it comes with a very short USB power cable. You will need to charge it after unpacking but I found that you can still perform the setup while it is charging. The fact that you have to take the keypad out of the wall mount to charge seems a little inconvenient, however, it magnetically attaches to the mount and is easy to remove. I really cannot say how often it will need to be charged as it has not been in use for very long yet. There is a red LED that will come on telling you that it needs to be charge. It would be nice if the app could show you the battery level but unfortunately it does not. All in all though I think that it is a minor inconvenience to have to remove and charge periodically when compared to the benefit gained for controlling the system.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Simply Put, INCREDIBLE…But With One MAJOR Flaw

    Posted
    Panther68
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 250 ContributorTop 250 Contributor

    INITIAL IMPRESSIONS, UNBOXING, SETUP & CONFIGURATION: Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much. I mean, I’ve heard a lot ‘about’ So