Boost and a hard wired system

  • 5 March 2017
  • 4 replies

I am new to Sonos, I have purchased the 'Boost" and 5.1 system for my main audio video area, and plan on adding a Play 3 and Play 5 to other rooms, as well as a "Connect" at my turntable. Currently I have no drywall up so running wires are easy. I know the Soundbar needs to be connected to the tv & network. My question is should I hard wire the play 1's to the network switch with the Playbar, or do a separate small switch only for the playbar, and plays 1's, and future "Connect", that hooks up directly to the Boost that is connected directly to the router? I know not all speakers need to be hardwired, I just figured since its really no effort at the moment it would not be a bad idea. BTW I am not planning on wiring the sub woofer.

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4 replies

Userlevel 5
Badge +10
Hi 801CDW. Welcome to the Sonos Community

If the Play 1s will be surrounds for your 5.1 (which I assume based on your description), then you should understand that you do not *have* to use ethernet wiring for them. They will connect to the PlayBar, along with the SUB, via a 5Ghz wifi dedicated communication channel. In a reasonably sized room, this *should* work very well and avoids an extra cable going to each Play 1 surround speaker... Sure, you *can* wire in any Sonos Components, but I'm just noting that you don't *need* to.

Another example, you mentioned the PlayBar: The PlayBar does need to be connected to the TV via optical cable obviously... It can be, but does not *need* to be, connected physically to the router. (Neither of mine are wired using ethernet and work wonderfully). Once you connect any one device to your router, presumably that will be your boost, that device will enable a unique, Sonos only, network (referred to as "SonosNet", but since this is the primary purpose of the boost, a "Boost setup".) that will attempt to connect your Sonos products to each other via a "mesh" network and back to your router through the connected component. As CapnLes says, you will set your wifi router to use one 2.4Ghz wifi network "channel" and you can, through the Sonos Controller application, tell the SonosNet to use a different channel to build the mesh network. This reduces wifi noise and congestion and helps to make a more stable environment for the Sonos products to work.

Obviously hardwiring directly back to a router can have its advantages with respect to stability and speed of communication... and if you want to spend the cash on wiring your house for ethernet, and the extra cabling connections don't become a mess or seem inconvenient for you, there is clearly nothing wrong with doing so and improves your future stability obviously. You will want to ensure you understand how you can route the wiring using appropriate spanning tree protocols. (I'm not an ethernet networking expert so can't give you great details here, but essentially my limited understanding is that this is ensuring you limit the number of "daisy chained" connections you make so you avoid the creation of data communication loops that cause communication to fail in a wired system... Others on the board can help with this if you need it.)
To 'hopefully help in my future' while the walls are open I have ran Cat6

In general, this is a good thing to do wherever possible. Networked things will only proliferate in homes in future and wired will always be interference free and useful for more than just Sonos kit. A couple of ethernet jacks in every room will be as common and useful as mains power sockets, with in room devices still used in wireless mode where necessary, but fed by in room wireless extenders plugged into the ethernet jacks.
Userlevel 6
Badge +3
HI 801CDW,

Welcome to the Sonos community.

So you are right to use SonosNet. Sonos works on WiFi but works best on SonosNet.


to use SonosNet you only need to wire one of your Sonos products to your router. So in your case the Boost. All Sonos products have a Boost in them. Once you have your Boost wired it will make a WiFi network just for your Sonos system each Sonos product will add to the Sonosnet network and expand it. The most important thing is to make sure you Boost is at least a meter from you router and Sonos and your router are on different channels
CapnLes I had not thought of each component having a 'boost' in them, and great point of 1 meter away.
SHARKB8T I appreciate the clarification of the mesh and wi-fi channel dedications. Sounds like I don't need to over complicate my system and should just use it as the 'regular' design of its sonos net.
To 'hopefully help in my future' while the walls are open I have ran Cat6 from both rears, and the sound bar to the switch area. Though I'm not sure I will terminate them any time soon.