Multi-room audio without the Internet

  • 6 February 2020
  • 1 reply

Userlevel 4
Badge +6

Recently my Internet connection went down, and I came to a realisation that some things in my smart home don’t work when my local network is isolated. All three voice assistants (Alexa, Google and Siri) stopped working, but while I had access to every devices through Apple Home, the Google Home and Amazon Alexa apps just didn’t work. My Sonos system, of course, continued to work flawlessly with my local content.

I’m currently considering the future of my entire Sonos system given that a significant part is populated with legacy devices. So, while I might replace those components with newer Sonos devices, I might also go with a mix-brand solution or even replace my system altogether. However, the recent Internet failure has lead me to think about how smart devices behave when the Internet is down, and this is an important consideration in any future multi-room audio system. In my preliminary research I’ve looked at the specification of Echo and Google speakers, as we as other devices from the likes of Denon (HEOS), Onkyo, Yamaha, Bose, Kef, B&W, and those based on BluOS. What I haven’t done is develop a shortlist to go and audition.

Can you help me? For those of you that have had a close look at any multi-room audio systems, can you tell me which ones can work in local mode and which will simply not work when disconnect from the Internet?


Please note: I’m doing long-term research and planning, so it’s not necessary to tell me to wait until May when we will know more about Sonos’ solution the legacy products.

1 reply

Userlevel 7
Badge +21

Look at Denon and Bose long term product support before worrying about how they network.

I’ve never looked past Sonos and my local ripped from CD music library for non-Internet sound so I can’t help with other brands.