The big difference is that the “Sonos Amp will automatically recognize the architectural speakers and optimize its output to bring brilliant sound right out of the box. The In-Wall and In-Ceiling speakers will be the first third-party speakers to be compatible with Sonos’s TruePlay tuning technology.
Up to this point, you could’ve paired any passive speakers with a Sonos Connect:Amp (or Connect) to integrate them into your home’s Sonos system. According to Sonos, the big difference here is that the “Sonos Amp will automatically recognize the architectural speakers and optimize its output to bring brilliant sound right out of the box.”
Who is Sonance? How long are they making speakers?
Sonance and Sonos are two companies pretty well-versed in the speaker biz. Sonance has been designing visually unobtrusive architectural speakers since 1983, while Sonos paved the way for multi-room wireless home audio back in 2003. Now, the pair have teamed up to deliver premium speakers that draw on each of their specialties: the first architectural speakers that can be used with Sonos Amp.
Why Sonos Sonance Speakers?
Essentially, Sonos is going to be selling Sonance’s own speakers, or “a collection of installed passive speakers for indoor and outdoor use, which have been specially engineered to work with the Sonos Amp. They’re not exactly Sonos speakers, but they’ll work like one.
The new collection is comprised of passive speakers, meaning they won’t work like traditional Sonos speakers on their own. Instead of just plugging them in, connecting them to Wi-Fi, and then setting them up through the Sonos app, the speakers in the Sonos Architectural by Sonance collection will need to be wired to a Sonos Amp to work. Also, they’ll need to be professionally installed. The Sonos Architectural by Sonance collection features three different kinds of speakers: Sonos In-Wall by Sonance ($599 per pair), Sonos In-Ceiling by Sonance ($599 per pair), and the Sonos Outdoor by Sonance ($799 per pair). The outdoor speakers have a weatherproof design, meaning they’ll have no problem handling “humidity, water, salt spray, heat, UV rays, and freezing temperatures.
Sonos Sonance Speaker dimensions, power rating, frequency response and cutout size
All three speakers are 8-ohm, two-way models, equipped with 1-inch pivoting polyurethane dome ferrofluid-cooled tweeters and 6.5-inch pivoting injection-molded polypropylene woofers. Sonos claims frequency response of 44Hz to 20kHz, +/- 3dB for the indoor models, and 55Hz to 20kHz, +/- 3dB for the outdoor speaker. The sensitivity ratings for all three are 89dB SPL (2.83V at 1 meter).
The power-handling characteristics of the line reflects that they were designed to be paired with the Sonos Amp: 5 watts minimum, 130 watts maximum (the Sonos Amp is rated to deliver maximum power of 125 watts per channel into 8 ohms). The Sonos Amp is equipped with custom banana plugs that can handle 10- to 18AWG speaker wire, so we presume that’s also what the speakers can accommodate. Sonos says each Amp is capable of driving up to three pairs of Sonos Architectural by Sonance speakers.
You’ll need an 8-1/4-inch cutout and 4-3/4 inches of depth to install the circular in-ceiling speakers (the white, paintable grilles are 9-3/4 inches in diameter). The rectangular in-wall speakers will need 6-15/16 x 10-3/4-inch cutouts and 3-1/2 inches of depth. Their white, paintable grilles measure 8-3/8 by 12-1/4 inches.