Network matrix assistance


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Hi there,

I'm new to Sonos and have recently installed 4 devices (2 x connects and 2 x Ones). I've had the occasional blip in playback so have run the network matrix which I've attached. My wifi signal is very strong in all areas - I've got hardwired repeaters in my roof directly above all the Sonos devices.

I havent hard wired any of the Sonos devices to the network yet as this would involve taking a cable down from ceiling. What I'm interested in understanding:

- should I start with hard wiring a Sonos device or is it better to go with a Boost?
- if you go with a Boost does that mean that Sonos then only works via the Boost? If so then I'd probably need multiple Boosts.

Any advice appreciate.

thanks.

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23 replies

Userlevel 3
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Hi Craig,

I would start with hard wiring one or more Sonos devices (the more the better). By doing that your Sonos family automatically starts up SonosNet, the dedicated and optimized wireless network for Sonos, so no more interference from traffic on your regular wifi. To answer your second question: this SonosNet is Mesh type meaning that the wired Sonos is the root hub but each other device passes through wireless signal to the others, so not all pointing to the cabled one. Sonos itself chooses the optimal gateways from device to device in your house. From here I would see how your matrix looks like and if a Boost would still add value to support better signal. The Boost has more antenna power but for the rest it does the same as your other wired Sonos devices would do. So if that is sufficient, you save the money for the Boost.
Network matrix assistance

The network matrix is in fact pretty meaningless in 'Standard Setup' (WiFi mode), since the units are not connecting via SonosNet.
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Thanks for the input. Does it make any difference which Sonos device I hardwire to the network - ie is it better to connect a Connect or a Play1 or doesnt it make any difference?
Userlevel 3
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No difference, as long as there is a reasonable distance from one to another device so they can gateway SonosNet to all devices.
Either would do. However, although I said the matrix was 'pretty meaningless' in WiFi mode it does in fact give a clue as to how well the units could talk to one another in SonosNet mode. Right now it looks like there could be problems. Of all of them Family Room would appear to be the best placed for being wired.
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Thanks for the responses.

Just for my understanding - in SonosNet mode do all the Sonos devices then ONLY connect to each other via their own network?
Or will they still use the existing wifi as well?
Well... they should all use their own SonosNet mesh. However, in a situation where some of them can't connect to their peers and they still possess the WiFi credentials those units will try and use the WiFi instead. This is 'Mixed mode'.

Sonos typically don't recommend Mixed mode as it can lead to instability. They usually advise that WiFi credentials be removed after switching to SonosNet mode.

You can tell which devices are using SonosNet and which are on WiFi by looking in About My Sonos System. WM:0 means it has a SonosNet connection.
Returning to your current arrangement, are the WiFi points in the ceiling actually hardwired access points or are they wireless repeaters? Do they all use the same channel?
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Attached is a sketch of the house with sonos devices and wifi points. The express above my bedroom is hard wired, the other one isn't. I'm not sure if they are all on the same channel (how would I check?)
The Express which is operating as a wireless repeater should not be used for Sonos purposes (other than to connect a controller); repeaters/extenders aren't officially supported for Standard Setup.

The Airport utility would be used to configure the channel. Sonos recommend that multiple WiFi points used to connect in Standard Setup should have the same SSID/key and channel.
Userlevel 3
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Just make sure you cable at least one Sonos and see what happens. Reboot all your Sonos devices and do the WM:0/1 check as Ratty explains. Big chance they are all on WM:0 hence your SonosNet is working well for all devices. If not you need to look further, f.i. a Boost to support the network. For me standard or mixed mode would not be an option.
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Hi, I'm going to need to get some extra length cat5 cables to do the hard wiring. I did however move the the Bedroom play1 into the roof and plugged directly into the airport extreme. Please would you let me know how I should interpret the different colours. thanks.
Userlevel 3
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Looks good but could you check on the WM (wireless mode) values under 'About My Sonos System' in the app. What does it state per device ? 0 or 1 ?
Yellow is 'good'. The orange in the left column reflects a bit of ambient noise seen by Braai. It could be due to some equipment nearby. It probably won't cause any problems.

All the nodes are connected via SonosNet. In due course the WiFi credentials should be removed from the system.
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Hi, sorry can you take a look now - this is with the Connect hard wired into the network (the only Sonos device). Its going to be quite difficult to wire the bedroom but I do want to get this right! So appreciate your advice as to whether this is necessary. Also if I add another play1 in stereo in the bedroom will that make things better or worse?
Similar to the previous matrix. Bedroom has a slightly worse signal, but will probably still work fine. Adding another PLAY:1 there will probably be okay too. The signal to the left unit of a pair is what matters.
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Hi, sorry but what do you mean by "the signal to the left unit of a pair is what matters."?

If I hard wired the Patio would that have a positive effect on the bedroom or do I either need to hard wire the bedroom or add another device in between the bedroom?

You also mentioned previously "In due course the WiFi credentials should be removed from the system." I've looked through all menus and can't find any wifi settings - do these not become disabled when sonosnet is active?

many thanks.
In any stereo pair, the left unit is the 'coordinator' (master). It fetches the stream and sends it to the right unit. Usually it does so directly peer-to-peer within the room.

I don't think you'll easily get a better wireless signal to Bedroom. The only viable connection it has is to Braai, which in turn connects to Family Room. Even if Patio was wired it wouldn't help. Sure, you could wire Bedroom itself if you want. I'd see how it behaves first.

If you've been connecting the system to the Airports then the WiFi details are in the system. Go to Advanced Settings/Wireless Setup, tap through and you'll see a 'Reset' button to remove them.
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hi, I've added another unit and paired them together with the the left speaker. I've not got 3 units wired. CAn you take a look and let me know if this is good enough!

thanks
A marked improvement. "Good enough" is whether it plays music without dropouts. On the basis of that matrix I think it should. But do note that the matrix is just a snapshot. Wireless interference may come and go.
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Hi Ratty,

Thanks for all the input. One final question - I want my bathroom and bedroom speaker to always play together so I've paired them. I know that this probably messes with the stereo and also doesnt allow me to do a proper true play. Are there better ways of always ensuring they stay in a "group". Also does it change anything from a network perspective if they are paired or running separately?
I want my bathroom and bedroom speaker to always play together so I've paired them. I know that this probably messes with the stereo and also doesnt allow me to do a proper true play. Are there better ways of always ensuring they stay in a "group". Pairing them is a bit of a bodge. You'll get the left channel from one and right from the other. Also the volumes will go up and down together, though you could always skew the channel balance using the EQ settings.

If you simply grouped them as two standalone speakers they should stay grouped until they're power-cycled, though sometimes wireless disruption will also trigger ungrouping.

Also does it change anything from a network perspective if they are paired or running separately?
To a degree. In a bonded stereo pair the left one is the 'coordinator'. It fetches the stream and sends it to the right one. If you ran them separately and grouped them, starting with the one which was 'left' and adding the 'right', it would amount to much the same thing. If you grouped them starting with the one which was 'right' then it would be the coordinator so the traffic flows would be different.
Userlevel 7
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Paired but in different rooms is going to sound really odd with any music that is heavily split between the L and R channels.

I agree grouping is the way to go, unless your WiFi is really bad or you have a lot of power flops you should be good, I have a group that has been up for months and re-establishing one is really fast on the new controller software. If it is bad power a decent small UPS is cheap.