Sonos Bridge in Wi-Fi mode - does it help or hinder?

  • 21 October 2017
  • 7 replies

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I have 2 Play:5s, a Play:1 and a Playbar. I am currently running in Wi-Fi mode as this has been providing a better experience than using my Sonos Bridge plugged into my router which I had used prior to Wi-Fi mode being launched.

I am aware that when running in Bridge mode (SonosNet), the Bridge can be used to improve the Sonos network and extend coverage, but is the same also true when running in Wi-Fi mode? Or would placing a Bridge between two speakers to improve connectivity be pointless as all traffic is using my router.

The question stems from my lack of understanding of how Wi-Fi mode uses Sonos devices.

Thanks - Dave

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7 replies

Hi Dave. Unless you have a Sonos component wired to your router, the Bridge will do absolutely nothing in the situation you describe. Even if you were running SonosNet by having another component wired, I doubt the system would make use of the Bridge in the situation you describe.

I am surprised you had problems with the Bridge wired to the router. But it is important to keep the router and Bridge on well separated channels (e.g. 1 and 11) and not to have the Bridge physically too close to the router (at least a couple of feet apart).
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Thanks for the reply. I was also surprised that Wi-Fi mode gives better performance than using my Bridge; I did have the channels separated and the Bridge away from the router. I had assumed that because the Bridge is older tech (wireless g) and my router is wireless n, then that explains the Wi-Fi improvement. If I had a Boost as opposed to a Bridge I guess I would be fine.
And to help with your layman's terms, when you wire a Sonos component to your router, you have two segments to your home LAN (network) - a SonosNet segment and a wifi segment. The two can pass data to each other through the Ethernet cable between the router and the wired component.

This is still one network - your router will hand out IP addresses to everything, including the Sonos components. But any data traffic between Sonos components will take place over SonosNet. One potential advantage of this is that unlike traditional wifi, SonosNet is a mesh network, which means that each component can act as a repeater, and so components can potentially be much further from the router.

If you operate Sonos in 'Standard' (wifi) mode then with traditional wifi all traffic goes direct from the router to each component, over your home wifi, as with any wifi-connected device.

Nowadays a number of mesh wifi systems have emerged, such as BT Whole Home and Google WiFi, but this doesn't change the operation of SonosNet.

I hope that helps.
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Thanks very much. That all makes sense. I might have to dig out my Bridge and give it another shot.
Thanks very much. That all makes sense. I might have to dig out my Bridge and give it another shot.If the system is working fine without, I would leave it alone!
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As a follow up, most of the drop outs were occurring when I use a DAB radio plugged in to a Play:5 (rural broadband, DAB is fine). I had audio compression set to automatic, and now that I've set it to compressed there are no drop outs. Hadn't played with that option before, but it made a positive difference.
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Dave, when you want to use Sonosnet, make sure your standard wifi is not set to 'wide/broad' as this will cause conflicts between the two wifi networks.