Tell me about Mixed Mode

  • 5 December 2019
  • 5 replies

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

I think I have a situation that warrants using mixed mode, but I want to get some thoughts from others.

Ignore the products in my profile, this is a setup that I hooked up for someone else.

The Sonos products in use are (4) Play:3, (2) Play:1, and an Amp.  All of the Play speakers are wireless and the Amp is wired to an Ethernet switch in a rack in the basement.

Initially, I used Boost mode and things worked fine.  Most of the speakers were connecting through the speaker nearest the Amp, instead of directly to the Amp, due to the Amp’s poor signal quality inside of a metal rack.  This shouldn’t matter though, that’s just the mesh doing its job.

There is excellent WiFi coverage with access points throughout the house, so I decided to try mixed mode.  I set all of the access points to the same channel, as recommended by Sonos.  I then added the wireless network and then disabled the WiFi on the Amp to force mixed mode.  This also seems to work fine.

So, which option makes the most sense?  Mixed mode seems to make more sense to me, but most seem to steer others away from it.  Are there any pitfalls that I should be aware of using mixed mode?

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5 replies

If you have turned off wifi on the Amp, and that is the only wired speaker, then you are more or less in Wifi mode.  I suppose it is mixed mode in the sense that you have a wired component but don’t have SonosNet running at all.

If it works in this ‘mixed’ mode, why try to change it?  I do generally favour SonosNet for systems of more than 2 or 3 speakers, but if the wired device is compromised your solution might be better.

Better still might be a Boost wired to the router.  You could sort of test that by temporarily moving one of your Play speakers to nearby the router and wiring it.


Userlevel 2
Badge +1

I was referring to mixed mode as a combination of WM:0 (for the amp) and WM:1 (for the Play speakers).

There are Ethernet jacks throughout the house.  I could probably hardwire one the the Play speakers to improve the Sonosnet and forget about wifi mode.

That would also have the benefit of freeing up some bandwidth for the non-Sonos devices.  However, most other devices are on 5GHz anyway.

Userlevel 7
Badge +26

From what you’re describing, there shouldn’t be any issues as long as the network is allowing traffic to pass from the wired Amp to the wireless devices. We’ve done some work on more standard mixed mode setups of late, since the Move can’t be on SonosNet, so you should be fine as described. If you have any trouble, let us know, we’ll be happy to help out.

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

Interesting, I didn’t realize that the Move doesn’t support Sonosnet.  That opens the doors for some officially supported mixed mode configurations, but I think I’ve actually talked myself into using Sonosnet again.

I was initially leaning towards Wifi mode with wifi disabled on any wired players to avoid potential STP issues.  That should be easily solved by changing the switch from RSTP to STP and making sure that it’s the root bridge.

That would also allow me to use a mix of channels 1 and 6 for the access points and channel 11 for Sonosnet.

Userlevel 7
Badge +21

I’d say wire as many Sonos as you can and only disable radios that are actively causing you problems.

If you can’t wire at least one other Sonos device then add the Boost.