Roam/Roam SL Poor Wifi channel selection

  • 30 August 2023
  • 5 replies

Userlevel 3

I have 3 Wifi access points in my Home. The broadband router is on 2.4GHz channel 1, and a pair of powerline APs are on channels 6 and 11, so there’s minimal overlap between the three. My Roam Alexa and Roam SL are set up as a stereo pair and stand on the same desk as the router, about 1 metre from it. Despite this the Roams regularly connect to one or other of the powerline APs despite the signal strength being considerably lower.  Why?  I’d expect the Roams to go for the best signal. The only difference I can see is that the router only supports a 20MHz channel width while the two powerline APs support 20/40MHz.

I’d really like the Roams to connect to the router and start there so they can get straight out onto the internet. If they connect to a powerline AP then any data to them has to come in through the router, out through the local Ethernet powerline adapter, across the ring main, into the remote powerline AP, and out from there over Wi-Fi to the Roams, which is so unnecessary. Any suggestions?

5 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

Can you add an SSID on the router only, not on the extenders?

Sonos doesn’t support extenders so you may see issues with them or they may work fine.

Userlevel 3

If I were to do that then my Roam wouldn’t work in the back garden, because the router is at the front of the house and one of the powerline APs covers the back.  Failing to support multi-AP Wi-Fi networks rather goes against the name “Roam”, wouldn’t you think?  These APs aren’t extenders, they’re fully-fledged access points, they just use the household mains wiring for the backhaul rather that a length of Ethernet cable.

Userlevel 3

Hmmm … explicitly calls out Ethernet over Power networks - maybe the potential for additional latency can cause problems. However, it actually recommends the use of “mesh Wi-Fi” - these systems present the same SSID on different channels, so you’d still expect the Roam to go to the AP with the strongest signal. And I don’t really see why a Wi-Fi backhaul would have any less latency than a powerline.  Seems that they’re making it up as they go along. 

Userlevel 5
Badge +11

I can't comment on why the ap is selected rather than  the router. Wanting to use the router makes sense as EOP has a number of issues compared to a wired or WiFi backhaul. Power circuits are usually  not that clean they can be very noisy, suffer from interference etc fridges/ freezers turning on or off. They may work well, most of the time they have for me, but their potential problems are why Sonos do not support them.

Userlevel 3

That’s the gripe, really. If the Roams would reliably and consistently connect to the strongest signal, lowest channel number AP then they wouldn’t have to contend with any backhaul whatsoever. But they don’t.


I had worse problems when the Roams were on my 5GHz SSID. I’d nailed the router to channel 100, with the powerline adapters picking up 36 and 44, and the Roams kept losing sight of each other as a stereo pair.  Things improved a lot nailing the router to 36, but dropping to 2.4GHz (leaving the 5GHz channels to various video streaming devices) made it better still.