Large home with Multiple access points


Sonos was recently modified to allow broadcasting via WIFI without a Bridge or Boost.  This is a great option.  I would suggest a further, related enhancement.  In large homes it is common to have 2 or more access points to provide strong WIFI throughout the house.  The current deployment of Sonos over WIFI works with multiple access points on the same subnet only if you use the same SSID for all access points.

While there are some advantages to using the same SSID for "roaming" it is often found that many phones and laptops do not automatically switch to the stronger signal of the closest access point if they can still get a signal (albeit weak) from the further access point they originally connected to. To address this many of us use different SSIDs (still on same subnet) so users can manually connect to the stronger signal if desired when moving around the house.  

Unfortunately the current Sonos iphone software will not find you system if you change to a different access point with a different SSID even if still on same subnet (although computer software with a wired connection to the same subnet will).

Ideally Sonos software would be modified to allow both control from a different SSID on the same subnet, and the Sonos system itself to span multiple access point on the same subnet whether using the same or different SSIDs.  Currently the work around requires mulitple Bridges or Boosts. Pretty much all other devices on the same subnet can see each other regardless of which access point (SSID) they are attached to, why not enable this for the Sonos system?

21 replies

User910341,

Check to make sure that none of your SSID's are "guest" accounts. If this is your issue, you'll need to drop these accounts.

An easy way to "roam" with iPhones and iPads is to swipe up from the bottom of a screen, briefly disable the WiFi, then continue. As the WiFi starts up again, it will pick the best deal, rather than struggling to retain a connection to a distant access point.
Yes that is an approach. But if you have, for example, 2 access points one in the basement and one in the family room with separate SSIDs (say "Basement" & "Family Room") you can easily see which access point you are connected and change to a different access point if desired. If all access points have same SSID (say "Home") you can't readily tell which you are connected to - an iphone for example will show "Home" regardless of which access point you are connected to.

We do have guest networks but that is not the issue - I did not put guest network password in phone or laptop so they never select "Guest"..
I agree that this feature needs to be added. Using the same SSID on multiple access points only has disadvantages, unless you are using professional grade equipment with roaming support. Most Sonos users will probably be using consumer access points in which case it is better to used different SSIDs.

HEOS for instance already has this feature: for each component you can choose to which SSID it has to connect. This allows the user to select the access point, instead of letting the system choose. The system might not always select the best access point if the same SSID is used on all access points.
The system might not always select the best access point if the same SSID is used on all access points.
Each player will choose the strongest.

It has to be said, though, that in a house with an extended and more complex network it would be advisable to use SonosNet ('BOOST Setup') mode.
The system might not always select the best access point if the same SSID is used on all access points.
Each player will choose the strongest.


Agreed, but the strongest isn't always the best access point. Signal strength may also vary over time. And if you want to balance the network by assigning each player to a fixed access point there is no way to do this.

Using SonosNet has the disadvantage that you loose 1/3 of the available channels for the other access points...
Using SonosNet has the disadvantage that you loose 1/3 of the available channels for the other access points...
My point was that SonosNet is the higher grade solution. Sonos' WiFi mode is essentially an entry level option for new customers. HEOS perhaps has to offer flexibility (if it's to have any chance of working on WiFi at all) since that's all it can use.

As for SonosNet claiming one of the 3 non-overlapping 2.4GHz channels, yes but in some instances the best solution is actually to have it share bandwidth with WiFi. Besides, you should be able to push some WiFi devices up to 5GHz.
The 5 Ghz range isn't that great, though... especially in larger homes. I struggle with the 5 in my family room, but the 2.4 blazes.

I think two properly placed Boosts will get this job done easily.
If you're deploying multiple access points in large houses, you have to plan channel assignment carefully. Sometimes you can't use certain channels because there is too much interference on them. Throwing in SonosNet messes everything up, and the fact that you can only assign it to channels 1, 6 and 11 doesn't help exactly either.

If you have a perfectly good WiFi network, you might as well use Sonos on your existing network. So in my opinion it would be useful if you could assign each component to its own SSID.

As for your 5Ghz comment: yes, it would nice if Sonos would finally support 5GHz, like the rest of the competition...
I fully agree with the requestor.
Also I am suffering from this missing feature.
Intentionally I am not using just one SSID for the entire house but 2, to be able to easier distinguish which AP my devices are connected to.
Channel alignment is nowadays done automatically by the access point hardware which also works pretty well if you have proper infrastructure devices in place.
The only challenge I have, SONOS players want to connect only to one SSID. I have no idea how I can teach them to connect to a different SSID when they are out of range.

This thread is already a year old. Has anything happened in this area already?
Sonos seem to be telling people that you cant use multiple APs .
We use Ubiquiti on our our home installs usually with multiple APS around the house as generally large houses and include gardens etc. we use the same ssids as they support roaming.

Worried though that for one customer they told him to get a Sonos boost even though we have a strong organised Wifi system using Ubiquiti APs on a single SSID. As above they told him Sonos wouldnt work with APs
Nobody says you cannot use multiple Access Points. However, they must be configured as access points, without DHCP running, and on the same subnet and SSID. In other words, they can't be configured as routers.

And by the way, nobody from Sonos has commented in this thread. So "Sonos" is not telling anyone anything. They are all knowledgeable users who enjoy helping others, but they are not official Sonos spokespeople.
I wasnt commenting on anything that was said on this thread but what Sonos told our customer on the phone i quote "It works on home wifi but not using APs"
Oh. Well maybe they don't officially support that configuration, but it certainly works. They do the same with Powerline adapters, but those are much more notorious for causing problems, and even the experienced users here will state they are not supported.
I suspect they are doing a blanket "no APs" rather than having to explain about SSIDS, Subnets etc
Agree about Powerline.

In our case it was annoying though as the customer didnt tell us they had installed a Boost and we couldnt work out initially why we were getting interference and drop outs. Ruined our nicely planned channel separation on the APs.

We've decided to leave the Boost in place and just rejigged the channels on the APs as the customer wants to go with what he was told by Sonos.
Heh. It's always difficult to troubleshoot when you don't have the full picture of what you're trying to fix. 🙂
Correct me if i am wrong but once a sonos device is installed and so are the access points they do are not moved so how would they have roaming issues. The only device that technically roams is the device running the sonos app. I know there are some sonos speakers but the connect amp would be stationary after installation. Now what does need work is when a device running the app roams it cuts out the music streaming. Now that should not happen.
Badge +1
Resurrecting an old tread but couldn't see anything more useful.

I have two Ubiquiti APs and want to add a third, problem is that sonosnet is using one of the 2.4 channels and i want to use it for the third AP.

Tried moving my SONOS speakers to the APs from their original boost mode.

That went ok but curiously it seems that the speakers gravitate to the same AP rather than than the closest.
I wonder if the speakers are checking the BSSID in addition to the SSID? - perhaps to avoid multiple hops if repeaters are used?
Badge +1
Nobody says you cannot use multiple Access Points. However, they must be configured as access points, without DHCP running, and on the same subnet and SSID. In other words, they can't be configured as routers.

And by the way, nobody from Sonos has commented in this thread. So "Sonos" is not telling anyone anything. They are all knowledgeable users who enjoy helping others, but they are not official Sonos spokespeople.


I just got off the phone with Sonos Support. They told me that multiple APs are Not Supported. The tech told me it was because that Sonos devices do not support changing channels, and my two APs are on different channels.

So, instead of updating their software to change channels (and maybe have the music skip, pause, or experience some other brief issue) they have decided to let the device drop from the controller so you cannot use it.

Just when I was starting to like and recommend Sonos again...
Resurrecting an old tread but couldn't see anything more useful.

I have two Ubiquiti APs and want to add a third, problem is that sonosnet is using one of the 2.4 channels and i want to use it for the third AP.

Tried moving my SONOS speakers to the APs from their original boost mode.

That went ok but curiously it seems that the speakers gravitate to the same AP rather than than the closest.
I wonder if the speakers are checking the BSSID in addition to the SSID? - perhaps to avoid multiple hops if repeaters are used?


I found that the zoneplayers do not switch to the strongest AP (same SSID etc) on the WiFi automatically, they connect to the one they find initially then stick with that, unless the signal is lost. You have to make sure that your AP’s are all switched on first, then go around and reboot the zone players to get them to reconnect to the best signal.
You could actually place a new AP right next to the zone player but it won’t swap unless you reboot.
Nobody says you cannot use multiple Access Points. However, they must be configured as access points, without DHCP running, and on the same subnet and SSID. In other words, they can't be configured as routers.

And by the way, nobody from Sonos has commented in this thread. So "Sonos" is not telling anyone anything. They are all knowledgeable users who enjoy helping others, but they are not official Sonos spokespeople.


I just got off the phone with Sonos Support. They told me that multiple APs are Not Supported. The tech told me it was because that Sonos devices do not support changing channels, and my two APs are on different channels.

So, instead of updating their software to change channels (and maybe have the music skip, pause, or experience some other brief issue) they have decided to let the device drop from the controller so you cannot use it.

Just when I was starting to like and recommend Sonos again...


Might not be supported but it works if using the proper kit. I installed 8 access points with 10 zoneplayers across 3 different channels in a 3 storey Georgian 10 bed house (not my house!!) and can roam between AP’s from one end of the house to the other with an iPhone and control everything..
I did have issues when trying to use standard residential router/ap that you could only ‘see’ the devices that were attached to the particular AP that you also were connected to, but swapped to a Ubiquiti Unfi system of managed AP and haven’t looked back in terms of coverage and performance.
Badge +1
Nobody says you cannot use multiple Access Points. However, they must be configured as access points, without DHCP running, and on the same subnet and SSID. In other words, they can't be configured as routers.

And by the way, nobody from Sonos has commented in this thread. So "Sonos" is not telling anyone anything. They are all knowledgeable users who enjoy helping others, but they are not official Sonos spokespeople.


I just got off the phone with Sonos Support. They told me that multiple APs are Not Supported. The tech told me it was because that Sonos devices do not support changing channels, and my two APs are on different channels.

So, instead of updating their software to change channels (and maybe have the music skip, pause, or experience some other brief issue) they have decided to let the device drop from the controller so you cannot use it.

Just when I was starting to like and recommend Sonos again...


Might not be supported but it works if using the proper kit. I installed 8 access points with 10 zoneplayers across 3 different channels in a 3 storey Georgian 10 bed house (not my house!!) and can roam between AP’s from one end of the house to the other with an iPhone and control everything..
I did have issues when trying to use standard residential router/ap that you could only ‘see’ the devices that were attached to the particular AP that you also were connected to, but swapped to a Ubiquiti Unfi system of managed AP and haven’t looked back in terms of coverage and performance.


I get it, but, I have random zoneplayers that drop out from time to time. The Sonos support agent saw my diagnostic files and said my mutli AP setup was not supported. My options, if I wanted more help, were 1) configure and use SonosNet, or 2) Convert my setup to use only 1 AP. I have been using multiple APs for years, but, suddenly over the last few months I have been having issues with zoneplayers dropping off the system. And, if I want help from Sonos (not like they would expose any real troubleshooting info to users) then I have to convert a /supported/ configuration. Sucks.

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