Sonosnet vs (Aruba) Wifi

  • 16 March 2023
  • 8 replies

I have Sonos system with fairly old (S1) components (ZPs, Play5s). It was working quite well with the legacy Sonosnet. I have had a proper Aruba network installed (instant Access Points not the Instant On, with Instant OS 8.6.15) to provide full coverage in the (fairly large full of reinforced concrete) house. So that I have proper WiFi access now (measured, calibrated, etc) stable 2.4 and 5 GHz reception all across.


I decided to switch the Sonos system to WiFi mode. I am experiencing quite a few issues: 
 * Stability of controllers is very poor now (dropping, not connecting without restart, etc)

 * Some device refuses to connect simply (got IP, but does not start broadcasting advertising itself, hence the other boxes and the controllers cannot see it)

 * Spotify no longer able to stream from the app to the Sonos system directly (you need to search start on the Sonos controller) 

Should I  accept the advice of support that (at least with these old boxes) the Sonosnet is far more reliable than any high speed WiFi network?


Second (minor question: If I return to Sonosnet) does it make sense to use more than one ZoneBridge?

Such as

              1st Floor  - Wired switch - > ZB  - > (sonosnet) - > Zoneplayer 1, 2, ...

       ===========================  steel concrete floor no wifi goes through 

              2nd Floor - another wired switch - > (sonosnet) - > Zoneplayer 4, 5, ...

 Can two Sonosnet mesh network co-exist in the same system?

Thank you in advance


My Aruba system is validated by the Sonos phone support: DLNA on, DLNA media on and do not block any broadcast, no blocked broadcasts , no broadcast storms in the console log, and I have tried the setup with and without the Aruba tweaks: 
I have tried with and without the known Aruba service group options on or off, reset boxes, no improvement. 

8 replies

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I know nothing about Aruba but here I got very frustrated trying to get my APs set up to work with Sonos and went to Sonosnet and have never looked back.

Keep in mind your Sonos gear isn’t fancy high speed WiFi gear, and you may have to dial things back on your WiFi from optimum settings for current gear to allow the old Sonos to be stable.

I’d get rid of the Bridges in any case. Simply wiring one or more of your Sonos is usually good enough, if it isn’t then call Sonos and ask about trading your Bridges for Boosts.


There is only one SonosNet per system. Any combination if wired and wireless is supported up to 32 units. It is possible to have multiple systems on the same LAN, but they will not interact with each other.

I suspect that your ARUBA system is changing channels. The SONOS units react poorly to this. IGMP Snooping should be enabled.

If you are using any BRIDGE’s. assume that their power supplies have failed -- until proven otherwise. If you have access to a voltmeter, they should measure slightly over 5V. Less then this there will be undescribable, often intermittent mayhem. BRIDGE can be replaced by BOOST. BOOST has more effective radios. As Stanly_4 notes, BRIDGE or BOOST is not required, but they can be convenient.

Hi buzz

thank you for the timely reply.

Could you clarify your point on the no two Sonosnet coexist, please? 

I mean I create one Sonosnet on floor 1 by connecting one of my zoneplayers to the wired network (default home subnet). Then on floor two where Wi-Fi and wireless Sonosnet cannot quite reach from floor 1 I connect an other zoneplayer to the wired network (default home subnet) and try to add more zoneplayers in the same floor via Sonos wireless mesh. 

Will the two part of the system see each other ?

It’s all one system. Don’t push this analogy too far, but it is similar to household electricity. While there may be multiple power panels scattered throughout the house, there is only one account with the utility company.

Even though it may not be possible for a central access point to wirelessly cover the whole house, the wireless segments of SonosNet will be knitted together with the wired segments and there is only one SONOS account. In some respects it is similar to your router. There’s only one router, but all of the network devices in your house have access to its services. All of the SONOS “Rooms” will be visible and controllable using any controller -- up to 32 simultaneous controllers and 32 simultaneous players. Note that a “Room” could be a stereo pair of players or up to five players in a surround “Room”. This implies that you could have 32 mono “Rooms” or 16 stereo “Rooms”, etc.

Hi Buzz

Thank you for the clarification. Do you have any additional details related to the networking, especially the wireless ports protocols used and network requirements? 

For example what makes Sonos think it is the “same” network? Subnet of IP range or SSID or …. 

What broadcast messages your system tend to have? What clients can utlize AirGroups? 



Unless you have deliberately configured the ARUBA to split into multiple subnets, there is only one subnet and all of the SONOS units will be able to communicate with each other. If you run multiple subnets, SONOS players and their controllers must be on the same subnet. SSID’s will not matter for SonosNet because SonosNet ignores WiFi and WiFi ignores SonosNet, only the wireless controllers will care about SSID. ROAM and MOVE only use WiFi. 

OK. Good news, it does work and very stable. 
Bad news it was a struggle to find, reverse engineer and test all necessary settings. (Google, wireshark, lots of time were needed).
Ping me if you have the same problem: Sonos on Aruba wireless.