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Connection issues Sonos products on TP-LINK Deco M9


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Hello,

At home I have installed a Mesh WiFi using 4x TP-LINK Deco M9 stations: 2 at the first floor (incl. the base station), 1 at the second floor and 1 at the third floor. If I run Internet speedtests on various mobile devices in various places of my home I reach approx. 400 Mbps download / 40 Mbps upload / 18 ms ping time. The WiFi provides 2.4 and 5 GHz networks. All devices that are connected to the WiFi (old iPhones, new iPhones, old iPads, new iPads, old Android phones, new Android phones, Apple TV, Chromecast, Smart TV, IoT devices, laptops, Chromebook, etc. etc.) all connect ok and have a good, fast and stable signal. Except my Sonos speakers. 

I have a Play:3 and Play:1 at the first floor, Play:1 at the third floor and a One at the fourth floor. I use the new Sonos app on iOS. All firmware of Sonos and Deco devices is up-to-date.

Even if placed within 1 meter of the Deco M9 stations, the Play:3 and Play:1 on the first floor are sometimes sluggish and sometimes give connection errors. Most of the time they work, but for some reason they sometimes have connection errors. I have wired those with network cables to the Deco M9 stations. I don’t like it, but it’s working.

The Play:1 (third floor) and One (fourth floor) or not easily wired to the Deco M9 stations without “home redecoration”. They are connected approx. 25% of the time (and then function properly), but most of the time they are not identified (listed) by the Sonos app and I need to restart the Sonos devices, restart the Sonos app, restart the Deco M9 stations, etc. to get it working (or not). I feel quite frustrated because both Deco M9 and Sonos devices are well rated and the not cheapest systems, and I just want to listen to music without breaking the walls and putting new cables in them.

I have read some forum posts either suggesting to buy a Sonos Boost, which not always seems to be solving this issue. Furthermore, I don’t want to spend more money for something which should work out of the box. Other forum posts are suggesting it is due to a problem in TP-LINK Deco M9. Which seems a bit strange since all my other devices (and guest devices) work on the same WiFi? If it is a legitimate issue with TP-LINK Deco M9, could anyone point me to the (technical) description of the issue so I can file a support ticket with them?

Thanks for the help,

Ronald

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Best answer by rluttikhuizen 11 January 2022, 23:32

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Userlevel 7

Hi

Assuming the TP-LINK Deco M9‘’s are setup correctly make sure that only the main node has DHCP capability for WiFi. If the other nodes have DHCP enabled they are generating IP addresses for Sonos in their sphere of influence.

You should only wire one Sonos speaker and that would be to the main node to create the SonosNet. Do not wire Sonos to other nodes.

  1. Unplug all Sonos
  2. Wire the Sonos speaker to main node
  3. Plug-in other Sonos 1x1
Userlevel 7
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Sonos requires devices on your local network to communicate with each other seamlessly: few other devices on your network require this, so it is not uncommon for home routers to screw this up, especially mesh systems poorly implemented, or routers that block comms between devices on different radio frequencies.

The post above is an attempt to try and avoid any such issues with your router.

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Thank you for the replies. My Deco M9 is setup as router (not AP) and uses the built-in DHCP of Deco. The modem provided by my broadband provider is setup in bridge mode. On the Deco I configured address reservation so that all devices (including the Sonos speakers) have fixed IP’s.

I cannot find anything in the Deco app in the DHCP Server settings on enabling/disabling DHCP capabilities per (main/slave) node. Also I cannot find anything on that topic in the Deco forums. Does anyone know where to configure this, and whether this is needed when using fixed IP’s for the Sonos speakers?

The only thing I can try right now is to unhook one of my Sonos speakers so that only one Sonos speaker is wired, and all others (try to) connect wirelessly.

You should definitely not attempt to put the Deco into bridge/AP mode, since your ISP box is already bridged.

FYI using IP reservation doesn’t take away the need for a DHCP server. It simply hands out pre-assigned addresses.

What happens if you follow the suggestion to wire just one Sonos unit, to the Deco primary node? You can always try different SonosNet channels, under Settings/System/Network.

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So my Deco is setup in router mode (and using its own built-in DHCP server) and not in AP mode. 

I was merely stating that the modem provided by my ISP is setup in bridge mode. That way I can use Deco as router instead of AP. The main Deco station is connected to the ISP modem. This is also the setup that is recommended by my ISP. By the way, the default setting of the ISP box is that it is not in bridge mode (it has its own WiFi and DHCP).

I know that I need the Deco’s DHCP server when I use Deco in router mode. The DHCP is also enabled on Deco.

I’m just unsure what exactly is meant in AjTrek1 earlier reply: 

 

make sure that only the main node has DHCP capability for WiFi

 

This sounds like I need to make a specific configuration change on my Deco’s DHCP server? And that by default all stations of the Deco (also the slave stations) have their own DHCP server which might result in generating conflicting IP addresses of the Sonos speakers? I don’t fully understand this. Also I thought it might be good to know that I have configured fixed IP’s so that there cannot be conflicting IP address reservations for my Sonos speakers.

I’m just unsure what exactly is meant in AjTrek1 earlier reply: 

 

make sure that only the main node has DHCP capability for WiFi

 

This sounds like I need to make a specific configuration change on my Deco’s DHCP server? 

I wouldn’t imagine so, and I’ve never heard of this being necessary.

Any sensible mesh system would recognise that there’s a primary node, acting as router and DHCP server, and all the slave nodes would simply act as access points.

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Yes, that’s also my understanding of how mesh systems work. Hopefully  @AjTrek1  can shed some more light on the remark?

Thanks for the reply. So far I have 1 possible fix for the issue I’m experiencing (make sure only one Sonos speaker is connected by wire, and reconnect the other speakers wirelessly). I’ll try this later today or tomorrow and post the result here. I’ll also have a look at the network settings in the Sonos app.

So far I have 1 possible fix for the issue I’m experiencing (make sure only one Sonos speaker is connected by wire, and reconnect the other speakers wirelessly). I’ll try this later today or tomorrow and post the result here. I’ll also have a look at the network settings in the Sonos app.

When you wire one speaker the rest should connect to it over SonosNet automatically, though you should allow 5 minutes for them to do so. You can look in Settings/System/About: all should show WM:0.

Assuming all connect successfully over SonosNet you’d be advised to remove the Deco WiFi credentials from the system, to avoid any instability. You don’t list any Roams or Moves on your profile, so the WiFi details are not required.

Userlevel 7

Yes, that’s also my understanding of how mesh systems work. Hopefully  @AjTrek1  can shed some more light on the remark?

Thanks for the reply. So far I have 1 possible fix for the issue I’m experiencing (make sure only one Sonos speaker is connected by wire, and reconnect the other speakers wirelessly). I’ll try this later today or tomorrow and post the result here. I’ll also have a look at the network settings in the Sonos app.

I’m not familiar with the Deco M9 mesh. Meaning can anyone of the nodes be designated as main or is only one allowed or can either node be set as an extender (which the latter I assume is a long shot). Therefore I just wanted to make sure you performed your due diligence during setup 😊. 

Hopefully, wiring only one speaker to the main node only will resolve your issues. Also follow the advice of @ratty if appropriate.

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Thanks for the replies.

@AjTrek1  In a Deco M9 mesh setup, one Deco node is designated (fixed) as the main one. It’s the Deco node that is connected to the Internet signal. In my case it’s the Deco node that is connected to my ISP box. All other Deco nodes are automatically marked as secondary/satellite nodes. 

 

@ratty I’ve read up about SonosNet since this was an unknown for me. After reading the articles on it, I think I know where the problem comes from. I have 1 network at home to which devices can either connect by WiFI (mesh using my Deco nodes) or ethernet cable (switches connected to one of my Deco nodes). I’ve always assumed that connecting a Sonos speaker using an Ethernet cable instead of connecting it by WiFi, would mean the speaker would get the Internet stream (Spotify, radio station, etc.) over the Ethernet cable resulting in a more stable and faster connection than when connected over WiFi. (This is the same when connecting laptops, Smart TV’s, NAS, etc. using Ethernet cables instead of WiFi). What I didn’t know is that connecting a Sonos speaker using an Ethernet cable has a completely different result/meaning:

Sonos will then create its own wireless 2.4 GHz network (called SonosNet) and all other Sonos speakers need to connect using this SonosNet network. If I read the articles correctly, other Sonos speakers can then not connect over WiFi anymore. They need to use SonosNet.

Since my Sonos speakers are spread over 4 floors, using SonosNet is not a good option since there’s quite some walls and floors the SonosNet signal needs to go through. That’s the reason I use a mesh network at home: I have Deco mesh nodes on every floor, while I have no Sonos speaker on the 2nd floor meaning the SonosNet signal would need to go from floor 1 to floor 3 in one go (resulting in a poor signal). 

Also, other reasons to use SonosNet are not needed in my situation:

https://livingspeaker.com/what-is-sonosnet/
SonosNet comes into action when you are grouping two or more Sonos speakers together.

I’m not grouping my Sonos speakers together. All of them act as individual speakers.

https://eyenetworks.no/en/sonos-and-wi-fi-how-to-minimize-interference/
Select Wi-Fi mode If there are many wireless networks around you

I live in a city with lots of WiFi networks around me, so it seems better to use WiFi mode in my case.

First thing I will try is to disconnect all Ethernet cables from my Sonos speakers and try a WiFi setup to see if it works. 

Please let me know if I misunderstood the SonosNet setup and/or if you have additional info. Thanks again.

 

@rluttikhuizen,

You may find a read through this thread useful, as it discusses Sonos products running alongside WiFi mesh systems: 

https://en.community.sonos.com/troubleshooting-228999/troubleshooting-sonos-on-wifi-6856334?postid=16520976#post16520976

Userlevel 7

Hi

If a Wi-Fi only setup for Sonos works then the SonosNet should work as well; regardless of walls or floors. The signal from the main node has to travel the same path to reach the other nodes. The only way to get a stronger (or rather a more consistent) WiFi signal to the nodes would be if they were connected via Ethernet cable from the main node. That is called an Ethernet Backhaul vs WiFi Backhaul which is what you are using currently. 

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Thanks @Ken_Griffiths .

If I read this correctly, it looks like I’m screwed:

Using WiFi on my Sonos

The article states:

Separating your 2.4 and 5GHz bands so they have different WiFi network names resolves this, if it’s an option (mesh systems generally don’t allow this). If in doubt, get in touch with our technical support team.

 

My Deco M9 mesh system uses the same name for 2.4 and 5 GHz bands (like most mesh systems). Meaning my Play: 1 and Play:3 speakers probably will have issues connecting to my WiFi when in WiFi mode.

Using SonosNet in my Sonos

Because of the 2.4 / 5 GHz issue, I need to use SonosNet. Since I don’t have Sonos speakers on every floor (but I do have Deco M9 nodes on every floor to actually have proper WiFi coverage on every floor) the “SonosNet” will have bad signal reaching the Sonos speakers on the top floor. 

 

Anyway, I will try both options again tomorrow and post the results here.

 

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Hi

If a Wi-Fi only setup for Sonos works then the SonosNet should work as well; regardless of walls or floors. The signal from the main node has to travel the same path to reach the other nodes. The only way to get a stronger (or rather a more consistent) WiFi signal to the nodes would be if they were connected via Ethernet cable from the main node. That is called an Ethernet Backhaul vs WiFi Backhaul which is what you are using currently. 

 

I don’t think that statement is accurate in my case. 

I have Deco M9 nodes on every floor of my house. Making the WiFi signal strong on every floor of my house, although there is some additional latency (more so on higher floors) because of the WiFi backhaul. Then again, I can watch 4K on my attic, Zwift there and play games using WiFi. So the connection is more than stable and fast enough to play music there as well.

I do not have Sonos speakers on every floor of my house. Meaning the SonosNet mesh created by Sonos using the Sonos speakers will have a problem bridging two floors in my house where I don’t have speakers. The SonosNet cannot use the Deco M9 nodes.

Userlevel 7

You’re over thinking this regarding the SonosNet. It’s just a WiFi signal. It doesn’t matter if there are no Sonos Products on each floor. I don’t have a permanent Sonos speaker on my deck. However, I can disconnect it and take it outside and re-connect to the SonosNet. 

Indeed. My SonosNet signal is more than capable to handle several floors of speakers. There’s nothing magical about height versus vertical, it’s all just distance and signal strength. 

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You’re over thinking this regarding the SonosNet. It’s just a WiFi signal. It doesn’t matter if there are no Sonos Products on each floor. I don’t have a permanent Sonos speaker on my deck. However, I can disconnect it and take it outside and re-connect to the SonosNet. 

 

I’m thankful for the quick replies here. But please provide some (technical) arguments before making statements about me “over thinking” the SonosNet setup. It really does matter for SonosNet where I have my Sonos speakers. That might not be the case in your situation (lucky you), but it does in my situation.

I will try once more to explain the issue I am facing. 

Context:

  • I have a small and tall house in an urban area with loads of WiFi networks. Almost all 2.4 GHz channels (including 1, 6, 11 that can be used by SonosNet) are also used by neighboring networks.
  • There are multiple concrete, stone, plaster and metal walls/floors/objects between floors and rooms.
  • In the past I tried using a single expensive high-end router on the first floor with a WiFi with a very strong 2.4 GHz frequency signal. It gave me a great WiFi on the first floor and most of the second floor. It had issues giving me a proper signal on the 3rd floor, and no signal for most devices on my attic (fourth floor). This is the reason I went for a mesh (Deco M9 in my case) with nodes on each floor and using WiFi backhaul (and possible Ethernet backhaul in the future if needed) for a better WiFi coverage on all floors of my house. And that works (duh, it’s created for that purpose).
  • I have Sonos speakers on the first floor. Now imagine those speakers running in a SonosNet setup creating their own WiFi network. Now imagine there is no speaker on other floors, so there is no speaker repeating/boosting the signal. Image it has to reach the Sonos speaker on my attic. Do you think it actually would outperform the high-end routers I used before and be able to connect to it? Answer is no. It is even not possible to make it connect to my Sonos on the 3rd floor. Sonos is not a networking company, it is a speaker company.

So please explain to me why it doesn’t matter there are no Sonos products on each floor. And that it is just a WiFi signal?

 

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@ratty and @Ken_Griffiths I have removed the Ethernet cables from my Sonos speakers and reinstalled all my speakers using WiFi. The install wizard in the Sonos app looked to be stuck when configuring the connection to my WiFi for my older Sonos Play speakers. But somehow after a few retries and restarting the Sonos app, those speakers appeared in the System overview. For my newer Sonos One it went ok right away (no issues connecting to the mesh network). All of my 4 speakers are now listed as WM:1 in the Sonos app (so making use of WiFi and not SonosNet) and seem to be working. Let’s hope it stays this way. Thanks for the suggestions.

Userlevel 7

You’re over thinking this regarding the SonosNet. It’s just a WiFi signal. It doesn’t matter if there are no Sonos Products on each floor. I don’t have a permanent Sonos speaker on my deck. However, I can disconnect it and take it outside and re-connect to the SonosNet. 

 

I’m thankful for the quick replies here. But please provide some (technical) arguments before making statements about me “over thinking” the SonosNet setup. It really does matter for SonosNet where I have my Sonos speakers. That might not be the case in your situation (lucky you), but it does in my situation.

I will try once more to explain the issue I am facing. 

Context:

  • I have a small and tall house in an urban area with loads of WiFi networks. Almost all 2.4 GHz channels (including 1, 6, 11 that can be used by SonosNet) are also used by neighboring networks.
  • There are multiple concrete, stone, plaster and metal walls/floors/objects between floors and rooms.
  • In the past I tried using a single expensive high-end router on the first floor with a WiFi with a very strong 2.4 GHz frequency signal. It gave me a great WiFi on the first floor and most of the second floor. It had issues giving me a proper signal on the 3rd floor, and no signal for most devices on my attic (fourth floor). This is the reason I went for a mesh (Deco M9 in my case) with nodes on each floor and using WiFi backhaul (and possible Ethernet backhaul in the future if needed) for a better WiFi coverage on all floors of my house. And that works (duh, it’s created for that purpose).
  • I have Sonos speakers on the first floor. Now imagine those speakers running in a SonosNet setup creating their own WiFi network. Now imagine there is no speaker on other floors, so there is no speaker repeating/boosting the signal. Image it has to reach the Sonos speaker on my attic. Do you think it actually would outperform the high-end routers I used before and be able to connect to it? Answer is no. It is even not possible to make it connect to my Sonos on the 3rd floor. Sonos is not a networking company, it is a speaker company.

So please explain to me why it doesn’t matter there are no Sonos products on each floor. And that it is just a WiFi signal?

I’m done explaining. Looks like you got things working so good for lucky you.

 

You’re over thinking this regarding the SonosNet. It’s just a WiFi signal. It doesn’t matter if there are no Sonos Products on each floor. I don’t have a permanent Sonos speaker on my deck. However, I can disconnect it and take it outside and re-connect to the SonosNet. 

 

I’m thankful for the quick replies here. But please provide some (technical) arguments before making statements about me “over thinking” the SonosNet setup. It really does matter for SonosNet where I have my Sonos speakers. That might not be the case in your situation (lucky you), but it does in my situation.

I will try once more to explain the issue I am facing. 

Context:

  • I have a small and tall house in an urban area with loads of WiFi networks. Almost all 2.4 GHz channels (including 1, 6, 11 that can be used by SonosNet) are also used by neighboring networks.
  • There are multiple concrete, stone, plaster and metal walls/floors/objects between floors and rooms.
  • In the past I tried using a single expensive high-end router on the first floor with a WiFi with a very strong 2.4 GHz frequency signal. It gave me a great WiFi on the first floor and most of the second floor. It had issues giving me a proper signal on the 3rd floor, and no signal for most devices on my attic (fourth floor). This is the reason I went for a mesh (Deco M9 in my case) with nodes on each floor and using WiFi backhaul (and possible Ethernet backhaul in the future if needed) for a better WiFi coverage on all floors of my house. And that works (duh, it’s created for that purpose).
  • I have Sonos speakers on the first floor. Now imagine those speakers running in a SonosNet setup creating their own WiFi network. Now imagine there is no speaker on other floors, so there is no speaker repeating/boosting the signal. Image it has to reach the Sonos speaker on my attic. Do you think it actually would outperform the high-end routers I used before and be able to connect to it? Answer is no. It is even not possible to make it connect to my Sonos on the 3rd floor. Sonos is not a networking company, it is a speaker company.

So please explain to me why it doesn’t matter there are no Sonos products on each floor. And that it is just a WiFi signal?

 

You’re 100% correct in your assessment and your approach.   You have a distance issue and sonosnet can’t span it.   You will have to use Wi-Fi or else add a Sonos speaker on one of your middle floors.  

You’re over thinking this regarding the SonosNet. It’s just a WiFi signal. It doesn’t matter if there are no Sonos Products on each floor. I don’t have a permanent Sonos speaker on my deck. However, I can disconnect it and take it outside and re-connect to the SonosNet. 

 

I’m thankful for the quick replies here. But please provide some (technical) arguments before making statements about me “over thinking” the SonosNet setup. It really does matter for SonosNet where I have my Sonos speakers. That might not be the case in your situation (lucky you), but it does in my situation.

I will try once more to explain the issue I am facing. 

Context:

  • I have a small and tall house in an urban area with loads of WiFi networks. Almost all 2.4 GHz channels (including 1, 6, 11 that can be used by SonosNet) are also used by neighboring networks.
  • There are multiple concrete, stone, plaster and metal walls/floors/objects between floors and rooms.
  • In the past I tried using a single expensive high-end router on the first floor with a WiFi with a very strong 2.4 GHz frequency signal. It gave me a great WiFi on the first floor and most of the second floor. It had issues giving me a proper signal on the 3rd floor, and no signal for most devices on my attic (fourth floor). This is the reason I went for a mesh (Deco M9 in my case) with nodes on each floor and using WiFi backhaul (and possible Ethernet backhaul in the future if needed) for a better WiFi coverage on all floors of my house. And that works (duh, it’s created for that purpose).
  • I have Sonos speakers on the first floor. Now imagine those speakers running in a SonosNet setup creating their own WiFi network. Now imagine there is no speaker on other floors, so there is no speaker repeating/boosting the signal. Image it has to reach the Sonos speaker on my attic. Do you think it actually would outperform the high-end routers I used before and be able to connect to it? Answer is no. It is even not possible to make it connect to my Sonos on the 3rd floor. Sonos is not a networking company, it is a speaker company.

So please explain to me why it doesn’t matter there are no Sonos products on each floor. And that it is just a WiFi signal?

 

You’re 100% correct in your assessment and your approach.   You have a distance issue and sonosnet can’t span it.   You will have to use Wi-Fi or else add a Sonos speaker on one of your middle floors.  

Or possibly a wireless Boost. Whether it gets used as a relay would depend on the various signal strengths. SonosNet won’t use an additional wireless hop if it doesn’t need to.

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Following up on this, my setup using WiFi and fixed IP addresses for all of my Sonos speakers (no idea if it actually helps, but for sure it can’t hurt) is still working :slight_smile:

Looking back, the biggest thing I faced was not knowing about the SonosNet feature. After reading the responses in this forum post and the articles by Sonos on SonosNet, I understand its use and why Sonos created SonosNet. 

My 2 cents for product management of Sonos (I have no idea if they scan these forums for input), is to not automatically setup and use SonosNet when you plugin an ethernet cable in a Sonos speaker.

In other words, make it two separate/distinct features:

  • If you plugin an ethernet cable in your Sonos speaker, the Sonos speaker will get the connection from the ethernet and not the WiFi (like the behavior of all other devices that have an ethernet port and WiFi capability).
  • Make SonosNet a feature that you can turn on/off using the Sonos app. Don’t activate it automatically when a user plugs in an ethernet cable, and don’t make the use of SonosNet mandatory if you plugin an ethernet cable.

Reasons for making it a separate feature: 

  • Default behavior: most people will assume that plugging in an ethernet cable will result in connecting to the wired network and not connecting to WiFi. (Not that a separate mesh network is setup on the fly and is used from that point on.)
  • Some people do want a Sonos configuration in which some speakers are connected by WiFi and some of their speakers are connected by ethernet cable, without any of them using SonosNet. I can’t do that right now. (I have the luxury of having 2 Sonos speakers right next to a switch where I can easily attach an ethernet cable to my speakers.)
  • This might be my doing (not having read enough articles), but using SonosNet has quite some implications; most notably that it creates a mesh using only Sonos devices which can impact connectivity and coverage. Also, the creation of a SonosNet mesh, its activation and what it means are beyond quite a few none IT-savvy people I think. This can cause quite some frustration for people that accidentally activate SonosNet and have no idea what it does and why it does it, or that it even exists. I think it would be better to make this an advanced feature that users have to explicitly turn on/off using the Sonos app, rather than it being done behind the covers when plugging in 1 cable. 
  • If you use SonosNet, why not allow for other Sonos speakers to also be connected by ethernet cable (so why have the “1 speaker connected by ethernet”-only limitation for SonosNet)? UPDATE: this is possible (see reply below by @Mr. T )

Finally. I like the looks and sound of my Sonos speakers. But talking to some people I know that have Sonos and reading on the forums, I think it is quite important that the whole issue of connecting your Sonos speakers by WiFi on mesh networks that use the same network name for 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies should be solved (mesh network adoption is growing quite rapidly). It causes great frustration for quite some people, especially when the Sonos app spams you with new Sonos products to buy :wink:

Userlevel 4
  • If you use SonosNet, why not allow for other Sonos speakers to also be connected by ethernet cable (so why have the “1 speaker connected by ethernet”-only limitation for SonosNet)? 

The ability to connect multiple Sonos speakers by Ethernet cable already exists. One wired speaker is required to create SonosNet but you can wire as many speakers as you wish in your system (upto the 32 device limit)

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Ah ok, good. I didn’t know. Thank you for clarifying! From some forum posts I was under the impression you could only have 1 speaker connected by wire. Let me add that part to my previous post :)

Ah ok, good. I didn’t know. Thank you for clarifying! From some forum posts I was under the impression you could only have 1 speaker connected by wire. Let me add that part to my previous post :)

My own understanding here, is it’s usually fine to wire multiple speakers back to the main router/hub, but it’s often suggested in the Sonos community threads, to not wire Sonos products to wireless mesh satellites, as that may present some problems with multicast/broadcast discovery and backhaul communications for ‘some’ mesh setups, particularly in Sonos ‘grouped-room’ situations, where the mesh Satellite hubs are perhaps also operating on completely different WiFi channels. 

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