Working with Linksys Velop

I recently moved to a new, larger home and started from scratch. I purchased the 3-node Linksys Velop system for Wifi coverage and have 5 Sonos units. I have seemingly very good Wifi coverage with all typical devices. I have had issues with the speakers not showing up occasionally in the controller app. When they do show up, I still have skipping of songs in the middle of them, etc. It will occasionally all work perfectly, then at times have trouble.
I connected one of the speakers to one of the Velop nodes, but don't know if this really helps.
I use Amazon Music, Apple Music, TuneIn Radio
I hoped I wouldn't need a BOOST setup with the fancy, new, expensive Wifi system...

Questions are: does connecting a single speaker to the node via Ethernet change how the other units work at all?
Other tips/tricks? I've changed the channel from 1 to 6 without much change, will try 11 next...
Should I just eat it and buy the BOOST?

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15 replies

Sorry, I should probably have been more detailed as far as my setup:

Modem==>Ethernet==>Velop (Main)==>Ethernet==>Linksys Switch==>Ethernet==>Sonos PlayBar

All other Velop units/SONOS components are wireless.
I never ran my Velop mesh in bridge mode. I didn't detail my configuration but will provide that now.

I connected each of my 3 wired Velop nodes to the nearest managed switch, 1 each at the west, middle and east side of the house. Those three switches see each other across a gigabit trunk which passes all VLANs. That provides wired back haul for the 3 Velops connected to the 3 switches. I have a 4th node that uses the wireless for its back haul.

The port for each wired Velop is a member of VLAN1 (untagged) and VLAN3 & 4 (tagged). This allows the wireless guest network to function across the network, regardless of which Velop the guest joins from.

I have 2 wired Sonos devices. A connect on the west switch and a boost on the middle switch. Their ports are VLAN1 only.

In this configuration I have had no trouble with Velop / Sonos conflicting with one another.

That might help others with similar needs for inter-switch connectivity & VLAN-ing.
I just bought the Velop AC6600, and has been mentioned, it only worked in bridge mode with the SONOS. I then installed an unmanaged Linksys switch downstream of the main Velop unit, and the SONOS Ethernet cable from my PlayBar to the switch.

It has been two weeks, and I have not had a single issue, and was able to disable the bridge mode on the Velop.

I hope this helps!
As followup to trying to fix my original problem, periodic dropouts in the music, I ran a WiFi scan to find all WiFi networks seen within the house (both my networks and nearby neighbors). This also gave me the channels those networks were broadcasting on.

Channel 11 is in use already by our security gateway (a router). That left 1 or 6 for Sonos. I found nothing on 6 and our next door neighbor on 1. Even though the signal on channel 1 from the neighbor was very weak, I chose 6 for Sonos. I then had Velop re-scan for channels and accepted its recommendations. Velop used a few channels that overlap 6, specifically 7 and 4. But the Sonos matrix is all green. I believe that is because Velop scans and sees 6 in use, so it puts nothing on 6. It will use channels that have some overlap with 6. It places those overlapping channels on nodes that are physically distant from Sonos devices using 6. The combination of the distance and the fact that an overlapping channel doesn't create the same level of interference that a second device using the same channel (6) would results in a level of interference that does not negatively impact the Sonos matrix. All of this left me with a solid Sonos matrix, excellent WiFi in the house and even to outside the house covering cameras and other devices.

Unfortunately it still left me with my initial problem, periodic dropout in the music being played by Sonos. After a variable period of time, all of the speakers throughout the house that are powered by the receiver connected to a Sonos Connect would have dropouts in the music. As a tribute to how robust the Sonosnet now is, the pair of Sonos:1 speakers that are not wired played through these interruptions without dropouts.

I began to notice that during the dropouts, on the front panel of the receiver, I would see the speaker icons blink off and back on. I thought the amp was getting overtaxed and the overload protection was stopping the music. Finally I realized that if it was a short or overload, the receiver would go into standby mode. It would not return power to the speakers until the cause of the overload was addressed and the power button pressed to take it out of standby mode. That wasn't what I was seeing / hearing.

It turned out that the coaxial output on the Connect or the coaxial input on the receiver had become damaged. the fact that the problem always cropped up after music was played for some period of time pointed to a thermal problem. Replacing the coaxial connection from the Connect to the receiver with a Toslink optical cable eliminated the dropouts and has provided trouble free music throughout the house since. Determining which end of the coaxial connection is at fault is another project for another day. Unless the optical connection fails at some point it is not that important to determine.

I hope this is helpful to someone else looking to solidify a WiFi mesh network, Sonosnet or diagnose an odd dropout condition.
I was glad to find this thread. Knowing others had the same problem I encountered moving my Sonos system to Wi-Fi via my Velop network made it OK to stop troubleshooting and go back to optimizing the wired solution I had for years.

The adage "if it ain't broke don't fix it" is a very good one. In the case of my Sonos it was "a little broke", periodic dropouts and stops, so I tried moving Sonos to my Velop Wi-Fi network. Almost immediately I could tell this was worse. Even though the Velop has been incredible since I installed it, 4 nodes, everything online, 2.4GHz & 5Ghz devices getting what they want, everything playing well together, Sonos did not. This was too bad, but I really like both the Sonos and Velop products so I did not look to place blame.

I set about troubleshooting to get it working in Wi-Fi mode hoping to eliminate the occasional dropouts and stops. I had Velop re-scan the Wi-Fi channels and optimize itself after the Sonos devices were moved to Wi-Fi, since that had freed up the 2.4GHz channel they formerly used for their proprietary mesh network. I then restarted all Sonos devices and the app. My Sonos devices already had dedicated IP addresses. After all of that my matrix still looked far worse than using Sonos mesh in a wired config. I began re-checking the matrix and seeing things I never had before red, orange and changes between each refresh of the matrix information.

Reading others experiences here led me to realize it wasn't just me and that something about how Velop manages the mesh, tunes channels and adjusts signal strengths among nodes/channels is not conducive to the operation of the Sonos devices. Most interesting was that near each of my Sonos devices that struggled with signal strength according to the matrix, there was another 2.4GHz only device receiving a great signal and having no problems.

I am back to wired and thinking through the other options to eliminate the occasional drops and stops with Sono, secure in the knowledge that switching over to Wi-Fi is not my answer. Thanks to those here for saving me further troubleshooting time, I appreciate it.
I just setup my home with several Sonos speakers and 3 Velop nodes. I was having similar issues discribed in the thread. After some research discovered that converting to bridge mode on the Velop network will resolve the issue. Bridge mode is a recent addition from what I understand. The issue with bridge mode is now you can not take advantage of all the cool features that Velop has such as prioritization and device controls. On another note, I don’t believe the Ethernet ports on the nodes allow for extendability to periferals (i.e. output), but rather an ability to hardwire to other nodes (i.e. input). Would love to see a continued discussion on this to confirm my assumptions and to continue to optimize my setup.

I have my second Velop node's LAN port connected with a Cat6 to my Apple TV, and it shows as connected by Ethernet. Both ports on a Velop can act as both WAN and LAN ports.

Also, you can make use of Velop's mesh capabilities while they are in bridge mode, but it takes a little bit of elbow grease. First, you want to connect your Velop to your ISP's router in bridge mode, and then reboot everything. Once everything is back online, disable WiFi on your ISP router. Your Velop will handle all of the WiFi in the house, and the ISP router will only control the home's LAN through Ethernet ports. (I recommend running a 1GB, 12 port switch from your modem or router as well, to reduce WiFi strain further). You should still be able to use the Velop app for WiFi administration with this configuration.

With that said, mesh networks such as Velop do not have separate named 2.5GHz and 5GHz bands. Rather, the routers prioritize devices according to the most open band at any given time. This can become an issue, as Sonos, and most IoT devices only operate on 2.4GHz. This band already faces bottleneck issues, and this is only compounded if you have a lot of smart devices in your home. Your 2.4GHz band will get bottlenecked, and the Velop mesh will attempt to reassign devices to the 5GHz. If the device is not compatible with 5GHz it will drop until it gets reassigned back to the 2.4GHz band.

Having one of your Sonos devices connected through Ethernet to your LAN should alleviate this, as Sonos then creates its own 2.4GHz mesh (the Boost does the same, but with more powerful antennas).

If Boost or Wired connection do not resolve your bottleneck issues, there are some workarounds still:

Workaround 1. Get a traditional dedicated router that only brodcasts on a separate 2.4GHz band on your network, and connect all devices that are only 2.4GHz compatible to this band.
Workaround 2. Go into the Velop desktop admin panel, and separate out the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands, and name them separately, and only connect your Sonos to the 2.4GHz band. (This defeats one of the main selling points of a mesh network though, since your Velops will no longer automate band selection, which increases overall performance).
Workaround 3. Get a 1GB/s unmanaged switch or two, and hardwire as many of your devices directly to your LAN
Workaround 4. Examine if you have a lot of devices operating on your 2.4GHz band, and see if you can replace any of them with comparable Z-Wave devices. WiFi smart home devices are largely frowned upon by power users, as they are usually not 5GHz comparable, so clog up an already strained 2.4GHz band. Protocols like Z-Wave and Zigbee operate on bands lower than 2.4GHz, and therefore do not contribute to the overall home bottleneck
I just setup my home with several Sonos speakers and 3 Velop nodes. I was having similar issues discribed in the thread. After some research discovered that converting to bridge mode on the Velop network will resolve the issue. Bridge mode is a recent addition from what I understand. The issue with bridge mode is now you can not take advantage of all the cool features that Velop has such as prioritization and device controls. On another note, I don’t believe the Ethernet ports on the nodes allow for extendability to periferals (i.e. output), but rather an ability to hardwire to other nodes (i.e. input). Would love to see a continued discussion on this to confirm my assumptions and to continue to optimize my setup.
Same issues here. Intermittent Sonos connection, songs skipping since Velop.

I’ve now connected each Sonos unit to a Velop node with Ethernet and works perfectly.

Sucks that Wifi connect is choppy but hopefully they sort that out in a patch. For now I’m good to hardwire.
Good to know, doudlenne, that prioritizing the Boost works. My Velop system is coming tomorrow (replacing a problematic wireless router and 2 extenders) and I was concerned about interference. I'll follow your procedure and monitor the situation.
I had the same issue when I've installed Velop in a 500m2 house.
I've connected a Boost with an ethernet cable to the Velop module which is connected to the modem, to reach the best internet connection as possible. Then I've connected all the zone players one by one to the boost (not to the Velop network) and I gave priority to the boost in Velop App (only to the Boost). Now that's working awesomely!
Replaced existing system with Velop. Have 5 sonos zones. GREAT WiFi coverage but struggled for many hours trying to get all Sonos zones to be seen at once and/or work at all. Could not update sonos systems etc. I ordered a Boost whhc arrives today, but in the mean time, I unpluegged ALL the sonos systmes. Connect ONE of the connect amps to the router and updated software latest and greatest. Then one by one, I plugged in and updated the other zones. System has been working flawlessly since. Not sure I will use the boost but will keep it just in case.
I've been speaking to Sonos support and they told me that of all the other mesh systems, Velop had the best result with Sonos which doesn't say too much. I still get some instability every now and then and I attribute it to the constant changing of channels of the Velop which cause music drops and "disappearing speakers." But after a while it stabilizes like I have right now. As I said let's hope the two get something as a permanent fix soon.
Thank you, TobyA. Since posting I connected my Playbar to ethernet (instead of a Play3) and for whatever reason it all seems to be working better. Maybe this is just some good luck. Do you know if any of the other wifi mesh systems (eero, orbi) work better with Sonos? I am not opposed to getting a different system if I have continued issues.
If you look at, you will see that there is a fairly large discussion on the inconsistent compatibility of Sonos and the Velop. A month into it, I found that the best fit so far, was to get a boost system by using one of your speakers hardwired to any of the nodes. However, there are still moments when nodes and the sound drops out. I have to constantly reset two of my units and make sure the 2.4Ghz channels of the Velop system are as far away as they are on my designated Channel 1 for the Sonos. Hopefully Linksys will come up with a better solution to work along with Sonos.
Having same issues, if you figure out a work around that would be greatly appreciated!