Do Sonos Speakers Need to Be Plugged In?

sonos move speaker on a bookshelf.sonos move speaker on a bookshelf.

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Sonos makes high-quality speakers for homes and offices. However, you may be wondering if you can take your Sonos speaker with you to a BBQ, the beach, or on a camping trip, or if they need to stay plugged in. To answer these questions, we did some research on how Sonos speakers are powered, and if they can be used on-the-go.

Most Sonos speakers must be plugged in to work. The Sonos Move is the only portable Sonos speaker. It has a built-in battery that lasts up to ten hours when in use. It can also be used while charging on its indoor charging port.

With seven different Sonos speakers on the market, there is something for everyone. Each Sonos speaker can be purchased individually, and there are also packages available. Read on to learn more about how Sonos speakers are powered and how to use them.

Which Sonos Speakers Need to Be Plugged In?

The following Sonos speaker models are powered using a standard AC power outlet:

Sonos also makes architectural speakers, which are designed to be embedded into your home’s walls and ceiling. These speakers must be plugged into an amp for power using a speaker cable.

The Sonos Move is currently the only Sonos speaker that does not need to be plugged in.

About the Sonos Move

Sonos released its first wireless speaker, the Sonos Move, in 2019. It’s an impressive portable Bluetooth speaker. It uses a rechargeable battery that has up to ten hours of playback time on a full charge.

The speaker comes with a charging port that connects to a standard power outlet. It’s recommended to store the speaker on the charging port when you’re at home, as you can still use it there, and it will always have a charge when you want to take it on-the-go.

The Sonos Move can be used indoors and outdoors. It has a weather-resistance rating of IP56; this means it is resistant to most dust particles and waterproof against direct, high-pressure water.

The Move also has built-in voice control compatible with Alexa and the Google Assistant.

Other Sonos Speaker Connection Requirements

In addition to requiring a wired power source, Sonos speakers need to be connected to the Internet to work. They can be connected using Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable.

Note: Sonos speakers use a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network. They cannot connect to a 5 GHz network.

Sonos architectural speakers also require an Internet connection through an amp. You connect the amp to your home’s Internet and then connect the speakers to the amp using speaker cables. Sonos recommends using the Sonos Amp for the best results.

What about Bluetooth connections? The Sonos Move is the only Sonos speaker that can connect to other devices using Bluetooth. Wired Sonos speakers are not Bluetooth compatible.

Can You Use Sonos Speakers Outside?

If you have a wired Sonos speaker, you can still use it in your yard by plugging it into an outdoor outlet or using an extension cord. It’s important to note that wired Sonos speakers are not waterproof, so they should never be left outdoors.

Your home’s Wi-Fi will likely reach to your yard. However, if your speaker won’t connect to your Wi-Fi network while outside, there are some options for you:

  1. You can use your phone as a mobile hotspot to connect your speaker to the Internet. Turn on your hotspot in your phone’s setting. Keep in mind that the hotspot will use your cellular data.
  2. You can purchase a Wi-Fi extender so that your Wi-Fi connection will reach out to your yard. This is an excellent option if you plan to use your Sonos speaker outside regularly.

Other Portable Speaker Options

If you are in the market for a speaker that doesn’t need to be plugged in, the Sonos Move is an excellent option. It’s highly-rated and has excellent features.

There are many other excellent portable speakers on the market as well. The table below compares six of the top-rated portable speakers to help you choose the best one for you.

Wireless SpeakerMaximum Battery LifeConnectivityWeather-ResistanceVoice controlAuxiliary Input Port
Sonos Move10 hoursBluetooth, 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, and Apple AirPlay 2IP56Alexa and Google AssistantNo
Anker Soundcore Flare 212 hoursBluetooth onlyIPX7Google Assistant, Siri, and BixbyYes
Bose Portable Smart Speaker12 hoursBluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Apple AirPlay 2IPX4Alexa and Google AssistantNo
JBL Flip 512 hoursBluetooth onlyIPX7NoneNo
Tribit XSound Go24 hoursBluetooth onlyIPX7Alexa, Google Assistant, and SiriYes
Ultimate Ears Boom 315 hoursBluetooth onlyIP67NoneNo

In Summary

All Sonos speakers must be plugged in except for the Sonos Move. Most Sonos speakers are powered using a standard AC power adapter; they also require an Internet connection.

Conversely, Sonos Move is a portable waterproof speaker that is battery-powered and can connect to other devices using Bluetooth. The Move comes with a charging port that plugs into a power outlet.

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