Important Note If You're Replacing Your Bridge With a Boost

  • 17 October 2014
  • 46 replies
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The order in which you replace your wired Bridge with your new Boost is really important. To avoid wiping out all of the work you've done to make your Sonos system uniquely yours, perform the steps below. BTW, the same process works if you're replacing your wired Bridge with another wired Bridge.

Some users will end up physically swapping their Bridge out with the Boost in the wrong order, then erroneously setting up their Sonos system once again from scratch - thinking that's what they're supposed to do, performing button presses on their speakers, adding room names back - unaware of the ramifications. Don't do it that way or you'll lose all of your personalized Sonos settings. Gone will be your favorite radio stations, you'll have to add you music subscription information back in from scratch, you'll even have to set up your music library again.

In order to maintain your existing room names, music subscriptions, custom radio stations and Sonos favorites, do this:

1) Do Not unplug your Bridge from power or the router just yet. Your Sonos system should be exactly how it normally is, with the Bridge wired to your router.

2) Plug the power into the Boost, give it around 30 seconds to boot up. You'll see the blinking green light on it. This indicates it is a new component that has not yet been added to your Sonos system. Don't wire it to your router yet. Wireless is fine at the moment.

3) Go into the Sonos software and choose the option to add the Boost. On a PC or Mac, it's under Manage > Add a Bridge or Boost. On a iPhone or tablet, it's under Settings > Add a Bridge or Boost.

You'll then be presented with the options Wired to Your Router and Use Somewhere Else. Either choice is OK, just don't wire it to your router when prompted to. Sonos will see the button press and add the Boost. The LED on the Boost will stop blinking green and go to solid white when it has been added successfully.

4) Finally, physically swap the Bridge with the Boost. You're done, and your Sonos favorites, subscriptions, etc are still intact.

You can always use the Bridge wirelessly as a signal booster for the Sonos components in a different area of your home. Use it to get a signal out to your garage, patio, pool, etc if you ever take a player outside to use for the day. It will be a good way of ensuring you won't get audio interruptions during an outdoor celebration. Just plug it into power on the inside wall that's closest to your outdoor area and you can leave it. Or store it with the power supply and bring it back out if the Boost ever malfunctions.

The new Sonos software automatically gives the wired component root bridge status, so the Boost will become the root device in your Sonos system.

You might be able to have the Boost wired in when adding it in the Sonos software, but err on the safe side by adding it wirelessly, then doing the swaperoo with the Bridge when complete.

All good! 😃

46 replies

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This is damn good advice, and should be made a Sticky!
This is damn good advice, and should be made a Sticky!
Agreed. I was looking for this guidance for when my ordered Boost arrives.
The set up routine is not that clear. I was aware that you needed to register your Boost first before replacing the Bridge but when you just power it up the question comes up 'Do you want to wire it to your router'. The subsequent script implies that you then have to wire it to the router, ie replacing the Bridge connection. I found that choosing the 'use as a wireless extender' option first off, getting the Boost recognised by the system and then replacing the Bridge worked fine.
My guess is that the vast majority of Boost buyers will want it to replace their Bridge so the instructions from Sonos need to be much clearer.
Userlevel 1
The set up routine is not that clear. I was aware that you needed to register your Boost first before replacing the Bridge but when you just power it up the question comes up 'Do you want to wire it to your router'. The subsequent script implies that you then have to wire it to the router, ie replacing the Bridge connection.

Well that's what you are doing. Do the instructions tell you at any point to remove the connection between the Bridge and the router BEFORE you've wired the Boost?
I'm just reporting my experience with the setup. The second page of the script says 'Connect your Boost or Bridge to the router with the supplied ethernet cable'. If your intention is to replace your Bridge with the Boost you might reasonably think that this means disconnect the Bridge and connect the Boost to the router instead. A little clarity would help, bearing in mind the range of tech expertise among Sonos owners.
A little clarity would help, bearing in mind the range of tech expertise among Sonos owners.
Sounds right. I may well have done the physical change before anything else, and that may have caused issues. The OP guidance therefore is most welcome.
To be honest, adding a BOOST is no different from adding any other unit. Unless you're in WiFi mode then during the association process at least one existing device in the Sonos household must remain wired.
To be honest, adding a BOOST is no different from adding any other unit.
Not quite, where the Boost is to take the place of a wired Bridge. Other units are left in place on being added.
I am quite clear about the best way now, thanks to this thread.
Okay, adding a BOOST is no different from adding any other unit which you want to take over as wired component.

The same business has cropped up many times when someone has needed to commission a replacement BRIDGE. During the association process the wired component must be an existing member of the Sonos Household.

If it's not -- and the new unit is wired instead -- then a second, breakaway Household could be created comprising just the new device, which won't talk to the existing components.
Userlevel 4
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I think one should also take into account that the previous BRIDGE was probably prioritized to be a root bridge of the network, and replacing it like this will probably lower the priority to the same as all other players. This means that one of your players might instead be elected root (and probably will, considering the MAC-address range of newer units starts with B8E9 instead of 000E).

A call to Sonos support to sort that out might be a good idea or follow the instructions found in other posts of the forum.
Sonos have evidently tried to deal with the FirstZP/root issue by the new STP bridge priority scheme. A device will detect a wire and adjust its priority accordingly. In most standard cases this could come up with the correct root without outside intervention.

I haven't established whether the Wired to Your Router or Use Somewhere Else dialog has any effect on priority.

There is now an additional under-the-hood setting for forcing the priority.
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I have a Play as my wired Sonos unit. I have just received my Boost to (hopefully) increase my coverage through our solid Victorian walls. My intention was to replace a Bridge in the centre of the house with the Boost. This will be connected wirelessly. Will this work? The earlier posts mention a bridge as a first wired component, but can't any Sonos unit be the wired one?
Mikeyy,

First post! Welcome to the forums.

Yes, any SONOS unit can be the wired unit. I recommend wiring as many wired units as is possible because wired is always faster and more reliable than wireless. Wireless is a convenience.

Functionally, BRIDGE and BOOST are identical, BOOST uses more modern, more capable technology. Placing BOOST at the center is a reasonable approach. I'd prefer the central unit to be wired, but I realize that this is not always practical. In your situation using BRIDGE as the only wired unit is probably not optimal. (but each situation is unique) Now that you have a BRIDGE available for redeployment, you could use it to improve the wireless performance in another area. Place BRIDGE about mid way between the problem area and good coverage.
Userlevel 2
Hi, Thanks for the quick response.

When I first set up my system several years ago I had what are now called a Connect and a Connect Amp wired together and one then wired to the router. I had lots of problems, mainly that the replay when in party mode would stop. Only a removal of the power and rebooting would allow the playing to resume. Since having, apart from the Connect Amp which is wired(sorry not a Play as I said earlier) a totally wireless system I have had few problems apart from the odd dead spot. Should the wired connections be directly to the router for all the units or can the be daisy chained as I had originally?
Mikeyy,

Daisy chain is fine as long as the chain length is seven or less. I suspect that you had a networking issue.

Party mode and Groups can cause some very odd issues if some wireless players are in poor signal areas. When Building a Group, the first player in the group becomes the "coordinator" for the Group and music traffic for the Group originates with this player. If the coordinator is struggling, the whole Group will struggle. If you had built the Group starting with a wired player, results would have been better.

Network switches are very inexpensive at this point. If you have run out of ports on your router, but can easily run more wires, investing a few bucks in a network switch is a great plan. The switch, regardless of its port count, is only one link in the daisy chain.
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https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/421
Userlevel 2
SBSurfer, many thanks.
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@in2insight - happy to help 😃
I'm looking into purchasing a boost.

My current setup:

- Play 5 wired into my router
- A second Play 5 and a Play 3 connected wirelessly in two different rooms
- A bridge connected wirelessly that's about 20 feet from the second Play 5 and the Play 3

I added the bridge in the hopes of decreasing signal drop outs which happen from time to time. I have not been able to isolate the problem. Even after speaking with Sonos support the issue could not be isolated and I was told several different variables could be causing it.

Ideally I would like to keep my Play 5 wired to the router. Could I replace the bridge with the boost? Or does the Boost HAVE to be connected to the router?
Could I replace the bridge with the boost? Or does the Boost HAVE to be connected to the router?
The BOOST can go anywhere, wired or wireless. However I suspect that neither it, not your existing BRIDGE, would get used. If the SonosNet mesh thinks it can get a decent enough signal by a direct path it's likely to skip over an intermediate wireless relay node.

This situation can be remedied by forcing the wireless node to be the STP 'root bridge'. There are some under-the-hood commands for this. Unless you're familiar with the term 'root bridge' I suggest you talk to Sonos Support and ask them to fix things for you.
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Great instructions SBSURFER thanks.
Just one question when you say "now swap the bridge with the boost" is everything still connected and switched on?.
for example do I unplug my bridge power and network and unplug the power to the boost then swap the network cable over? and power the boost up?

just want to get this right
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I wired a BOOST into my existing SONOS system and it promptly killed the entire network. I think the issue was related to a Broadcast Storm, as I already have numerous SONOS devices wired to Ethernet Switches that support the STP (Spanning Tree Protocol).

When I wired the SONOS BOOST, I connected it to my AT&T Motorola NVG589 Residential Gateway through a Linksys SE2500 Unmanaged switch.

The SONOS BOOST was connected to the Linksys SE2500 switch which was then connected to the AT&T Motorola NVG589. Once the connection was made all traffic on my network came to grinding halt.

I am going to try and use the BOOST with just a wireless connection to see if that makes a difference. Do I need to do anything if the BOOST was originally installed as a wired connection during the install?
Do I need to do anything if the BOOST was originally installed as a wired connection during the install?
No. It will be fine either way.

At a guess, one of the switch/router devices along the path from the wired BOOST was blocking STP traffic, hence the storm you experienced.
I have just installed the Boost in place of a wired Bridge, using the guidance here. Flawless switchover in five minutes, and where my bedroom play 1 pair was getting a one hop signal to one unit, and a marginal direct one to another, it is now a relatively healthy yellow direct connection to the Boost for both units.
With this, hopefully, my once in a few months hiccups in music play are a thing of the past.
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How can you tell if things are "hopping" or not? Special command?

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