Is a ZoneBridge (BR100) = Boost when trying to Google WiFi to work?


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I recently got the Google Wifi router/mesh system, which is working like a charm in my overly-connected smart home -- except for my many Sonos speakers (Playbar+Sub+ surrounds, 4 Play 3s, 1 Play 5, and 5 connect AMPs.

I've been scouring the forums for a solution, but haven't come across the definitive fix. It seems like using a Boost is the most common solution.

My immediate question: I have an (old) ZoneBridge (BR100). For the purposes of getting Google WiFi to work, is this equivalent to the newer BOOST, or should I buy a boost.

(My secondary (and perhaps more important) question: in case I have missed it, is there a definitive, succinct procedure to get Sonos and Google WiFi to work?:?

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11 replies

Userlevel 5
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essentially a Bridge enables a SonosNet connection much like a boost. There are differences in the details of the network enablement, but for experimentation I'd utilze a briodge to see if you get success before purchasing anything. (On here you will see references to "SonosNet 1.0 vs 2.0".

Having said that. If you have a 2nd Gen product, like a Play 5 Gen2 where you can physically connect it easily, that will set up your SonosNet network v2.0.

I've read a number of posts regarding setup with Google Wifi - you may find an answer here:

https://en.community.sonos.com/troubleshooting-228999/sonos-and-google-wifi-6798278
It is best to run the Sonos devices in Boost Mode. All that means though is connecting one of your Sonos products to one of your Google Hubs ethernet ports. I would opt for the Sonos device that is the most centrally positioned device in your premises.

Once you have the device connected, go into the Sonos App “Settings/About my Sonos Devices” and make sure all your Sonos products have an entry that says WM: 0. This needs to be the setting for each device and is confirmation they are each running on SonosNet.

When that is confirmed, go to “Advanced Settings” of the App and ensure the SonosNet channel is changed to one that is completely different to your Google Hub WiFi channel. If possible set them at least five channels apart. It’s also worth scanning the local WiFi signals to make sure that your WiFi channels are different to the ones being used by your neighbours. There is plenty of free software on the internet to do those type of scans.

Finally goto “Advanced Settings/Wireless Setup” of the app and reset/remove your WiFi credentials... this will stop the Sonos devices trying to switch connections between SonosNet and the Google WiFi signal.
To add the BRIDGE to the system -- and possibly to also update its firmware if it's very stale -- it will have to be wired to the network.

Temporarily wire one of the other players to one of the Google 'pucks'. As stated, this will put the system into SonosNet (BOOST) setup. Give the system a few minutes to change mode. Status LEDs will flash as units reconnect.

Wire the BRIDGE to the network as well and power it up. If there are no free ports left on the Google puck then wire the BRIDGE to an Ethernet port on any Sonos unit (wired or wireless).

Update the BRIDGE. Add it first if it's not already part of the system.

Unwire the player which was temporarily wired, replacing it with the BRIDGE.
Userlevel 7
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If the Bridge acts strange suspect the power supply of being flaky, swap in another and try it before you start tearing your hair out in frustration over Bridge oddness.
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Thanks, everyone, for your help here. Such a frustrating (and uncharacteristically Sonos) experience. Here's where things stand.

I connected my ZoneBridge to the main Google Puck (the one connected to the modem) and added each device one by one (by resetting each -- holding down button before power cord plugged back in). I got each device successfully added to the Controller app and each played music. Success!

Or so I thought. After a time everything disappeared ('cannot find your Sonos system'). Then periodically some (but not all) devices show up...until they disappear again.

Then I moved the ZoneBridge and connected it directly to a speaker (SoundBar) and Presto! everything showed up again. Until they disappeared again.

I then connected the ZoneBridge directly to a different Google Puck and experienced mainly the same issue. Things show up and then them seemingly randomly disappear.

I haven't yet done the "wireless setup" because most posts seemed to indicate that using a Bridge setup was the way to go.

Any suggestions?
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Take the Bridge out of the setup for now and just wire a speaker to your router and see if that makes a difference. It gives you SonosNet as the Bridge does but with possibly a bit less range. Any wired Sonos component moves you to Boost mode.
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Thank you again for your suggestions. I will try this.

Another observation which may or may not be related to this issue. However;? It’s seem to occur more less simultaneously with the Sonos issue. I also have a large number of Phillips Hue lightbulbs. That system has also started to misbehave on the Google Wi-Fi network. I don’t know if these two things are related (because of the Google Wifi system) or are indicative of some other issue.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
You can see if the SonosNet WiFi is iffy from the NetworkMatrix support page, that won't help you with the light bulbs though.

http://sonos-ip-here:1400/support/review

If you have a good WiFi analyzer, one that shows all signals including ones with hidden SSIDs you might be able to dedicate your cleanest (1, 6 or 11) channel to your Sonos gear.
It sounds like the BRIDGE power supply could indeed be on the wane. As they age the voltage can drop, resulting in intermittent connectivity failures. A healthy PSU puts out a steady 5.1V.

Compatible replacements are cheap from Amazon.
It’s also worth checking that the WiFi credentials have been removed in Advanced Settings/Wireless Setup of the App and that the SonosNet and Google WiFi channels are completely different.

I would opt for wiring a speaker too, to one of the hubs, forget about the bridge for now.

You may have to switch the other (non-cabled) speakers off/on again to connect to the cabled speakers SonosNet signal. You should not need to reset them again, that’s a last resort thing.
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Wanted to finally put a bow on this thread and say, "It's working!"

It's hard to know what exactly was the magic bullet, but at this point, it's looking like for me my old ZoneBridge (or its power supply, as mentioned above) was the main culprit. I replace it with a new Boost plugged into the router. After re-linking all the speakers, everything is up and running and seemingly stable now.

Thank you for the most useful comments and suggestions!