Trying to Stabilize a Very Large Wireless Sonos System (28 Speakers) in a 4 Story Home

  • 1 March 2023
  • 8 replies

I’m trying to figure out how to stabilize a Sonos system (16 zones made up of 28 Sonos speakers) spread out across 4 floors of a house. Individual zones generally work well, but as you group more zones together for a party, issues increase such as big delays getting music to play and operating transport controls, UI errors like “can’t play song,” and speakers randomly dropping out and coming back. Most zones are individual speakers, though some have 2 speakers, and there are 3 TV rooms with Sonos soundbar/rears/sub. The homeowner has spent many, many hours with tech support and tried all kinds of different configurations (Wifi, SonosNet, etc).


The network is made up of (4) Eero Pro 6, all wired with Ethernet. WiFi is fast with 400Mbps down in all rooms.  There are 3 more Ethernet cables through the house that could be used to wire Sonos speakers. The Eeros also have spare LAN ports on them.



  1. This is reaching the upper limit of 32 total devices supported in a Sonos system. Will this many speakers ever work? Do we need to remove some?
  2. Can I wire a Sonos device on each floor and have that act as a SonosNet antennae? I could wire 4 Sonos devices to connect another 24 wireless ones. There’s an unused ethernet on floors 1-3 going back to the router but the 4th floor we would have to use the LAN port of the Eero or add a switch. In any case I’m worried about causing a network loop.
  3. Would wiring a Sonos Boost be stronger than wiring a Play One speaker for wide reaching SonosNet? I’m tempted to add a wired Sonos Boost to each floor.



I was thinking about plugging my laptop into the LAN port of each wireless speaker and doing a speed test. If the speed is too low then move the speaker or pull it from the system. 


Attached is the network matrix showing a “Garage” Play One wired to the router in a central area and also the “Master Den” Play 5 plugged into the LAN port of an Eero upstairs. Everything else is wireless. SonosNet channel is 6 which appears to have the least interference in this environment.


Thank you for any guidance in stabilizing this system and in setting my expectations as to whether a wireless system this large will ever work!




Best answer by buzz 1 March 2023, 10:46

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Yes, wire as many SONOS units to the router or a network switch as is practical. Unmanaged switches rarely cause trouble. If you use a managed switch make sure that STP is enabled. Don’t use RSTP.

BOOST is simply a player with the audio section deleted in order to save costs. There usually is no advantage adding a BOOST if there is a regular player nearby. If you could wire a BOOST, but don’t want to wire a player in a difficult location, there may be an advantage to adding a BOOST. It’s easy enough to test this by temporarily locating a wired player at the proposed BOOST location.

I recommend that you avoid wiring a player to a mesh point. Add a switch if necessary to avoid this.

Note that humans are mostly bags of water and water absorbs WiFi energy. With lots of water bags hanging about during parties, wireless performance degrades. 

Each pair, and Group has a “Coordinator”. All network traffic for the pair or Group flows through the Coordinator. The left speaker of a pair and the first speaker in a Group becomes the Coordinator. If the Coordinator is struggling with its connectivity, its clients may suffer.

The network matrix characters are too small for me to read, but there are no red cells. This is good. Probably this will degrade somewhat during a party. (darn water bags!) In the Network Matrix you may notice that a BOOST is ignored and can be removed.

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I’d also consider setting static/reserved IP addresses for all the Sonos devices. For some systems that appears to be unnecessary while for others it is a big help to stability, primarily at power-cycle, update/reboot and DHCP renew times.

I have seen several recommendations to not wire Subs or Surrounds to your Ethernet, letting them use the Sonos 5 GHz links instead. I followed that guidance and it seems to be working fine here.

I’m also a fan of the wire everything easy to wire setup. I wire back to my switches, keeping all my Sonos traffic away from my WiFi aside from the connections to the WiFi linked controllers.

The nature of communication between a surround or subwoofer and its “parent” device is substantially different than the communication between normal Sonos speakers/devices. This is why you should never have either of them as your “connected” device. 

Thanks everyone for your clarifying responses! They are very helpful.

--I’ll wire at least one speaker on each floor back to the router (wire as many as possible but at least one per floor)

--In the TV areas if I am going to wire a speaker I’ll make sure that it’s the soundbar and not a sub or surround. In a zone with stereo speakers set up I’ll make sure to wire the left speaker and not the right/slave. 

--I’ll start a zone group by selecting music on a wired speaker and then will add other speakers to that group

I’m not saying “don’t wire the right speaker”, I’m suggesting that if you have a choice to wire only one speaker, pick the left when practical. Wiring only a surround or SUB or connecting a player to a wireless player is sub optimal and can ‘bite’.

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When wiring keep the spouse happy, color coordinated as well as small or flat cables are available.

I have the small cables here and they tuck nicely under the mop-board on carpeted floors, many lengths and colors are available:

I’ve used the flat ones with 3M clear Command clips and they are pretty invisible if you can match wall and cable color.


Unmanaged switches rarely cause trouble. If you use a managed switch make sure that STP is enabled. Don’t use RSTP.

Managed switches are not a problem. Ands the bit about not using RSTP is urban myth. I’ve got 10+ hardwired Sonos AMP running off of three Unifi USW8-POE managed switches with RSTP enabled, plus 8-10 Sonos devices on Wi-Fi, all on the same network without any issues of any sort. To avoid loop-back/broadcast storm on the network, ensure that none of your hardwired Sonos devices (e.g. 0, not 1 or more) have Enable Wifi checked. Manually assigning reserved IP addresses on the router can’t hurt. And get rid of your Boost.

Here’s one of the switches...



Good morning, i have the same problem with 22 ONE SL. 

i installed all speaker on wifi network, but some speakers are under not a good wi-fi and disappears from app.

My dream is wire almost 10 speakers, so i tried to wired  some one speaker and in the Sonos app these speakers goes correctly in WM:0 !

but after 3 wired speaker, the system goes in crash and blocking my internet connection. 

there is an issue between  SONOSNET and LAN network. 

STP is active. my the configuration is Broadcast’s Modem wired a Swicth, there is an A.P. too.

SONOSNET is a mesh network for SONOS devices, and could create loop-back / broadcast storm on the network if there are too much speakers wired ? 

Could i wire one speaker and after turn off wifi on that speaker if isn’t  in an strategic position for some close ONE SL?

So the SONOSNET should be have less device to connect.