Unable to add sub and Play:1s as surround

Hello all! Just purchased a Playbase, Sub and two Play:1s and trying to set them up as a 5.1 system. Unfortunately when I'm trying to add the Sub or the Play1s as surrounds, I'll always get failed message. When prompted to press the pair button(s), they were all detected successfully. However, on the next screen when Sonos is trying to add the devices to work with the rest of the system, it'll take a very long time, then the screen with an exclamation mark telling me that the it failed and make sure my connection is normal and the devices are powered on. If you go to room setting, I'll have the options to "remove sub" and "remove surround" so I'm assuming the they're in the same group as the Playbase already but somehow I can get them to work. I've tried reset the Sub and the Surrounds to factory setting multiple times but still can't get pass the last step of the pairing process. Any helps would be much appreciated. Thanks!


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10 replies

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It's failing to bond. Reset everything and connect one of the Play 1s directly to your router via an ethernet cable (even if it's not in the same room), and then see if the 5.1 setup works. If it does (and your router isn't in your media room) you'll have to get a Bridge and have it sit next to your router (which is frustrating given the amount of money already spent!).
Thanks for the quick reply D33p5t3r! I believe I have a Bridge somewhere in the house but just have to dig it out from storage. I'll give it a try as soon as I find it.
Finally got a chance to hook up the Bridge today, instantly it picked up the Sub and the two surrounds. Followed the instructions on the Sonos app and everything is up and running within minutes. Big thanks to D33p5t3r for the help!
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That is fantastic news! Glad it worked for you. 😃
Having the same issue, but don't understand why I would have to go out and purchase a bridge. Doesn't the firmware allow for wifi connection of the speakers? i went through the information to add surrounds at
no where does it state a bridge is required, any other suggestions?
There's definitely no requirement for a bridge. The Playbar/Playbase would act as the bridge in terms of normal operation, but for setup, you still would need to connect the "new" speaker to the router at first, in order to add it to the Sonos ecosystem. Once the new speaker has been set up in Sonos, you can then remove the cable so that it can hang off of the Playbar/Playbase's own network (SonosNet, for those two speakers, it's a 5Ghz connection, but that's only with the Playbar/Playbase, not a normal bridge, which is 2.4Ghz)

If you've done that already, and the speaker shows up in the controller as a "room", then you just would need to then bond them to the playbar/playbase as the instructions tell you.

If they're not showing up in the controller while connected with an ethernet cable, then there's perhaps other issues, and you may want to submit a system diagnostic, and post the number here, for the folks at Sonos to look at.
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Whilst there is no requirement for a Bridge (at all), I've seen a lot of people have issues with bonding Play 1/3's as surrounds and the most frequent way of fixing it was by going into a Boost setup - either by directly wiring any Sonos unit to the router, or by adding a Bridge (given it is not always possible for the router to be next to wherever one may want their speakers).

I'm not a fan on AV forums of offering advice where the OP has to spend more money to get their already expensive gear to work, but in my experience having a dedicated Sonos network will give the best performance (particularly for surrounds where latency is key). My understanding is that for a Boost setup to be present you will need to have one of the units permanently hardwired. How would a Sonosnet exist if you simply wired a Playbar/Playbase momentarily for the setup but then disconnected it?

As a final aside, I really wish Sonos would change the name of their new bridge hardware (i.e. "Boost"). Leads to frequent misunderstanding when trying to explain.
The SonosNet would be created by the Playbar/Playbase, for the purposes of the Surround Sound. It creates a 5Ghz network for the SUB and Surrounds to connect to.

But yes, you're correct, one device would need to be wired for the rest of the system to be in "boost" mode. Whichever device is connected (a Connect, a Boost, or a speaker) would become the source of the 2.4 GHz SonosNet network. But if you've only got a 5.1 setup, there are no additional speakers to worry about, and everything is connected with the Playbar's 5Ghz network. You just have to wire it at the beginning to tell it to recognize your Wifi network.

And a hearty "Amen" to the silliness of the naming. Every time I type "you need to connect the Connect" I cringe inside.
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Hi Bruce,

Thanks for that info! I spoke to Sonos Support too just out of curiosity and they confirmed that basically for a 5.1 wireless setup (Playbar / Play 1s) the Playbar piggybacks off the 2.4GHz network from the router, creates it's own 5GHz network and then bonds everything so that the router sees the 5.1 setup as a single device. Pretty cool technology! And just to compound the naming issue, I usually denote "SonosNet" to something that has at least one device directly wired to the router. They really need to change this!

Best, Deep.
I do make the occasional complaint about it, but I'd be willing to bet their support folks who work these boards are pretty good spokespeople about the silliness of the naming 🙂 I do this for fun, but then do this kind of thing for a living, and having to rearrange your sentences 8 hours a day so you're not saying something like "you need to connect the Connect" must be painful.