Ability to Add Sonos Roam to Multiple Sonos WiFi Systems?


Userlevel 4

Is it possible to add a Sonos Roam to multiple Sonos WiFi systems?

I recently purchased a Roam and took it with me on a road trip. My in-laws have a Sonos system and I wanted to add my Roam to their system so I could get all of the benefits of using Roam over WiFi instead of Bluetooth. 

However, the only way I could get the Roam to connect to their system was to reset it to factory and set up the Roam as a new speaker in their Sonos system. When I came home I had to repeat the process by resetting to factory and adding it back to my Sonos system.

The feature I’d love to see is the ability to add a Roam to a second Sonos system over WiFi without having to remove it from an existing Sonos system. Ideally, after initial setup, the switch between Sonos systems would be done automatically based upon the connected WiFi network.


101 replies

It’s messy.

Power down all units in house #2, uninstall the house #2 controllers, and bring a unit from house #1. Get the house #1 unit operating in house #2. Now you can Factory Reset all of the house #2 units and add them to the system. Be very careful at this point — don’t setup a new system. Now there is only one household. The system does not mind that it is split between two households.

It’s easier if you wire the house #1 unit to the network. If the WiFi user name and passwords are different in the two houses, you can add a second WiFi network in the house #1 unit. Do this before adding the Factory Reset units. Do not Factory Reset the unit from house #1.

Music service registrations and SONOS Playlists will be brought along from house #1.
 

Nags: All of the SONOS Playlists from house #2 will be lost. If these were simply duplicates of house #1 this is no big deal because the player from house #1 will bring its Playlists along. 

Some music services will not allow simultaneous play in both locations.

Minor nag: There may be a duplicate room issue. For example: If you brought “Bedroom” from house #1, you may need to temporarily use “Bedroom2” as you setup house #2. After the house #1 unit is powered down in anticipation of returning to house #1, you can rename “Bedroom2”.

Thanks for the reply! They are set up as two different households, but both linked to the same main Sonos account. I’m not sure how I could make them into one household, since I would need to be on both networks simultaneously to do so… I think. Would love to know if I’m incorrect or there is a work around. 

Userlevel 7
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You have two Sonos households on one account? You could possibly make them into one household so the Roam could be used at both locations. Others might comment on how.

Did Sonos ever figure this out?  I have a Sonos network at both homes. Would understand if you were trying to jump on someone else’s system or Wi-Fi but if I’ve paid for multiple systems, it’s pretty silly to not have that option with a portable speaker. May as well have just bought a cheap one

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Please add this. “Roam” in the name you’d think this already existed.

It would be free advertising if as you travel you can show off the Roam across networks easily.

 

 

According to my experience (confirmed by Sonos) the Roam and Move cannot move between different networks (SSIDs) over wifi without a reset each time. So if each ‘household’ or ‘location’ has its own separate network with a different SSID and password a reset will be required at each different location to connect via wifi. It has been suggested that a possible work around would be set the same SSID and PW for each network but this is not always possible.

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No, as I understand it they can move between different wifi networks, but not between different households. The speakers in your home and the speakers at the office are different households on the same account.

John B, You are correct and yes I wasn’t serious. I am just frustrated to have just wasted time and energy trying to figure this out. I’m a plain, run of the mill user and not a network specialist but my different network set ups are straightforward and maintained by a professional. I really think that the Sonos marketing and guides regarding these two products is confusing at best.  The Sonos helpline have confirmed that these products do not ‘roam’ over wifi between different networks (only via bluetooth) - so why they don't explain this in the product information is beyond me.

Ken, Thank you so much for your help and explanation. We now seem to have gotten to the bottom of this!

As I understand I have one Sonos system / account and have added / registered all my Sonos speakers to the same Sonos account  / system. I can see them all my Sonos products in my Sonos user interface. I simply named the Sonos elements in order to identify their physical location on the single system. However, each distinct wifi system has its own SSID for security and network reasons which are beyond my control (eg at the office).

I called the very efficient Sonos helpline who confirmed that the Roam and Move speakers are not designed to move between separate wifi Networks without resetting the Roam each time. After trying to solve the issue as you have already described they understood my confusion and disappointment. They suggested a work around as you mentioned to update the Network via Settings but the Roam is not detected over wifi in my second wifi location and they said for the time being there is nothing more that they can do - there is currently no available Sonos update to remedy the situation.

To conclude : Rome and Move are not ‘moveable’ speakers over different wifi networks, only over bluetooth. Sonos does not make this clear in the product’s marketing and user manuals. As consumers we are lead to believe as their name suggests they will roam and move over bluetooth and wifi in different network locations (eg wifi in a hotel or office). Sonos’s marketing of these products is at best imprecise and confusing, at worst misleading.  In my opinion a class action for misrepresentation would not be a forgone conclusion, although damages would be minimal. I have been a loyal customer for over 10 years and I feel badly let down. Whatever, Sonos need to clear up this confusion and provide clear information to existing and potential customers regarding their only partial ‘roam’ and ‘move’ products as they are confusingly named and marketed.

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So the problem in this case is the Roam will connect to wifi but not to a another household.

@James Scott,

Imagine you initially had your main Sonos system setup at Home with the Sonos Roam included, you simply add your ‘other’ WiFi network to that Roam for your ‘other’ location a mile away.

Once that’s done, you can then add the Sonos speakers you have at that ‘other’ location to your Roam, so now all devices are on the same controller/system/HH, otherwise you would end-up having to install all your music services, favourites, playlists all over again if you decided to start with a brand new Sonos system/household at the other location. .. Doing the setup this way, starting with the Roam, you just add the speakers at that other location to the Roam …and only ever set up everything once only.

Hope that helps you to see the easiest way to go about these things … I suspect you chose to setup a new Sonos system in each location and install your music services twice, effectively having two separate Sonos Households, within the same account, and having to then maintain each of those systems entirely separately. It needs to be one system spread across different locations.

My network is pretty much the same in each case: fibre optic connection with a wifi 6 mesh router.

Each network is physically separated by about a mile and has its own router, SSID and password. Each network is stable and working fine with multiple connected devices: TV, several macs, i-phones, home control units, and of course Sonos speakers. All very straight forward with no issues.

I have set up a Roam on my home1 network (a pair of Sonos One (gen 2), a pair of One (gen 1), and a pair of Sonos Threes) - so far so good. But when I move to my office1 network where I have a pair of Sonos One (gen 2) and a Sonos 3 the Roam will not connect. I have tried via:

 - Sonos/Settings/System/Products/+ Add Product : The wheel turns and cannot detect the Roam (which is switched on and in close proximity). It will only see the Roam if I f reset the Roam to factory settings. In this case it will no longer show up on the home1 network.

 - Sonos/Settings/System/System Settings/Network/Manage Networks : in Networks I see the SSID of Office1 (Home  is no longer visible°). I update the network but it will only find the existing Sonos elements on the network, not the Roam.

I suspect that the reason your Roam is not connecting to the system at each place, is the fact you have setup separate Sonos Households at each location. They ideally all need to be the same Sonos Household.

Perhaps the easiest way to explain it to you, is…

For ease of use and I’m just trying to keep things simple here, it really ALL needs to be just the ONE complete Sonos system (same Household ID), with all the WiFi networks, from each location, added to each/all speakers.

So imagine you gathered together ALL your Sonos speakers at Home and set them up just as one huge system and then added the WiFi credentials to that system and then later transported any speaker(s) to your other location a mile away - the speakers will now connect automatically to the nearby WiFi (as the credentials for that WiFi are stored on the speaker - in network settings in the Sonos App) and when you connect your mobile controller to that WiFi too it will immediately find just the speakers on that nearby network.

No need to setup a separate system/household as you already have one …and no need to ever factory reset any device - all devices you setup at Home will connect to the nearby WiFi and show up in your Sonos App network as seen in my earlier posted screenshots.

I hope that helps explain why your Roam is not currently roaming - I suspect that you may have created a different Sonos system at each separate location.

My network is pretty much the same in each case: fibre optic connection with a wifi 6 mesh router.

Each network is physically separated by about a mile and has its own router, SSID and password. Each network is stable and working fine with multiple connected devices: TV, several macs, i-phones, home control units, and of course Sonos speakers. All very straight forward with no issues.

I have set up a Roam on my home1 network (a pair of Sonos One (gen 2), a pair of One (gen 1), and a pair of Sonos Threes) - so far so good. But when I move to my office1 network where I have a pair of Sonos One (gen 2) and a Sonos 3 the Roam will not connect. I have tried via:

 - Sonos/Settings/System/Products/+ Add Product : The wheel turns and cannot detect the Roam (which is switched on and in close proximity). It will only see the Roam if I f reset the Roam to factory settings. In this case it will no longer show up on the home1 network.

 - Sonos/Settings/System/System Settings/Network/Manage Networks : in Networks I see the SSID of Office1 (Home  is no longer visible°). I update the network but it will only find the existing Sonos elements on the network, not the Roam.

I am dumbfounded and disappointed to discover that the Sonos Roam does everything but roam between different wifi networks!

The names ‘Roam’ and ‘Move’ are highly misleading and should at least contain a note* (*only via Bluetooth, not between wifi networks).

This almost merits a class action.

What absolute nonsense.  Class actions are for things like mass financial loss caused by fraud or severe disability caused by inadequate testing of drugs.  Not because you have a bit of a problem with your music system, which is as likely as not down to suboptimal network setup on your part.

Please tell me the “class action” comment was a joke.

The Sonos Room and Move can roam beween networks, as has alerady been explained on this thread

I wish it was so easy. I have done as you suggested but the Roam will only not connect to my other wifi-6 networks, except the one it was initially set up on. I am running up to date software and I have reset and rebooted the networks and their devices to no avail. The Bluetooth connection works fine on all the networks.

You might need to perhaps explain your networks, where they are and what you’re trying to do?

In my own case, I have a WiFi network setup at Home, another one in the camper van (MobileNet) and another WiFi network at a holiday bungalow, plus I have added both a portable mobile hotspot (iPhone XR) and a MiFi wireless network (D-Link dwr-2101) to my Sonos system/Household and so when I take the Roam, or Move, to any location, (or a new location with the portable wireless products), the controller and the speakers simply use that (stored) local network. 

No additional setup is required. I have all my services, playlists, favourites and voice assistants etc.

I also use Plex with a Plex Pass and that allows me to stream my Home NAS library music whilst at any location. I do sometimes use Bluetooth as a fallback, or occasionally for playing TV/Music audio to the Sonos speaker from an Amazon Fire-Stick.

The Roam definitely does ‘roam’ without any problem, and the Move can be moved seamlessly to different places too, but maybe you’re trying to achieve something different with the Sonos setup in your case, perhaps🤔? You might need to explain the type of outcome you’re looking for?

I wish it was so easy. I have done as you suggested but the Roam will only not connect to my other wifi-6 networks, except the one it was initially set up on. I am running up to date software and I have reset and rebooted the networks and their devices to no avail. The Bluetooth connection works fine on all the networks.

Also, just to add to the above, when at the same location, I have seen my Roam, called ‘MotorRoam’ switch from one WiFi band 5Ghz over to the 2.4Ghz band too, as I step away from the premises/WiFi network - In my case, it switched around the 60ft+ distance to the nearest access point. That’s approximate, and may of course vary by make/model of router/AP and the local operating environment.

FWIW, I grabbed a screenshot of it working on both bands to show it had switched (attached). Note too that the Roam also switched ‘Access Points’.

I am dumbfounded and disappointed to discover that the Sonos Roam does everything but roam between different wifi networks!

The names ‘Roam’ and ‘Move’ are highly misleading and should at least contain a note* (*only via Bluetooth, not between wifi networks).

This almost merits a class action.

I think you would lose, as I for one, have this working. The ‘Roam’ will store up-to 16 separate WiFi network SSID’s and will auto-switch between them when one WiFi is out of range and another is in range. 

Just add the SSID’s to the Roam via the Sonos App network settings as per the example shown in the attached image and then try roaming between the networks with the Roam. You will see it works straight away as you move between the stored locations.

I am dumbfounded and disappointed to discover that the Sonos Roam does everything but roam between different wifi networks!

The names ‘Roam’ and ‘Move’ are highly misleading and should at least contain a note* (*only via Bluetooth, not between wifi networks).

This almost merits a class action.

How about plugging the ‘sticky’ AP into a smart plug so you can power it off for a few seconds while the Roam connects to the nearer AP, without your leaving your chair?

Yes I know this is pretty desperate, and not something you should want or need to do, as there are obvious downsides.

I agree that the Roam is ‘sticky’ to an original WiFi AP.

I haven’t tried this for sometime either, but IIRC, when I did once grab a Sonos Roam and began walking further away from the original AP-1, stepping past another AP-2, the Roam did eventually give up its connection to the distant AP-1 and it switched to the then nearer AP-2.. it was like it needed it’s WiFi connection to AP-1 to become ‘very weak’ before it would let go of AP-1 and it certainly did not switchover because the AP-2 was nearer... there must be a signal strength ‘value’ below which the Roam lets go it’s connection and then finds another, I suspect.

So my thoughts are @spacegrass is that your Roam is perhaps hovering somewhere in the (grey area). The ‘Neither’ Zone, perhaps🤔? 

So, going back to a third Roam wifi roaming scenario referenced by Corryp earlier in this thread, I would like to have the Roam work in my own back yard for a start, given my Sonos-equipped country estate hasn’t quite materialized yet. Corryp for Sonos acknowledged in a separate thread about a year ago that the Roam’s inability to easily switch between access points on the same wifi network was a known issue, and that Sonos was working on an update to fix it. Afaik, that hasn’t happened yet as of firmware update 14.14. My specific question is re Corryp’s advice earlier in this thread, that a power down of the Roam and restart in the new location will allow the Roam to connect to the stronger wifi signal in that location. That does not work for my Roam - it apparently stays connected to the more distant router in the house and the sound continues to cut in and out badly. Is there another workaround to force the Roam to grab the signal from the nearer, stronger wifi signal from my access point? ( And I mean without having to set down my mint julep and get out of my comfy chair in the back yard.)

@melvimbe

Good point on the voice assistant.  That is also a negative for resetting and re-adding the speaker.  You have to configure all of that again.

 

 

That was not my point at all.  The point is that if you and your friend have different voice accounts.  His service can’t control your speakers, and yours can’t control his.  And it’s not as simple as “we’ll we just won’t use that” because Amazon would have write their programs on how to handle that situation.  Google too. Conflicts like that can’t just be ignored.

 

Regarding the music services, I believe that is a system/account setting.  I’m not prompted to set up a music service for each speaker I add, only the voice assistant. 

 

Music and voice service accounts are both stored at the account level. The difference is that you need to enable voice on the specific speakers, although voice can control music playback on all the speakers in your system.  But again, these credentials are stored on your speakers, not on your phone or in the cloud.

 

I use Spotify and when I’ve added speakers to a friend’s system, works seamlessly.  I can’t speak for the other music services.  In the model I’m proposing, the host would just have additional speakers to use in a group where the host is controlling the music.  In that sense, they would become ‘dumb’ speakers in a group.  If this is the limitation, but am able to share my speakers without having to reset, worth it IMO.

 

 

Turning smart speakers into temporary dumb speakers, which sound simply on the surface, is actually rather complicated.  It’s not impossible, but a rather big change that would impact Sonos code as well as 3rd party code that integrates with Sonos.

 

Other manufacturers (Bose, UE, etc.) market their ‘party mode’ feature. It may not be something you’d use, but it does drive sales.  In the case of Sonos, it just creates frustration.

UE makes bluetooth speakers, not WiFi.  Bose still makes WiFi speakers as well as bluetooth.  Are you saying that you can take your Bose WiFi speakers to a friends house and have them play in sync with other WiFi speakers without doing a reset?

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@melvimbe

Good point on the voice assistant.  That is also a negative for resetting and re-adding the speaker.  You have to configure all of that again.

Regarding the music services, I believe that is a system/account setting.  I’m not prompted to set up a music service for each speaker I add, only the voice assistant.  I use Spotify and when I’ve added speakers to a friend’s system, works seamlessly.  I can’t speak for the other music services.  In the model I’m proposing, the host would just have additional speakers to use in a group where the host is controlling the music.  In that sense, they would become ‘dumb’ speakers in a group.  If this is the limitation, but am able to share my speakers without having to reset, worth it IMO.

Other manufacturers (Bose, UE, etc.) market their ‘party mode’ feature. It may not be something you’d use, but it does drive sales.  In the case of Sonos, it just creates frustration.

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OK, I reset my Roam and opened up S2 and it detected the Roam and I added it fine.  It’s the only speaker in the App.

I then want to allow it to connect to another network and found myself in the previously mentioned loop….

i.e.

I connected my phone to a different SSID and opened the S2 App - I’m presented with this:

I select the Update Network Settings Option - and get this screen:

I select Find System - and get this screen:

I select Continue and get this screen:

I can swipe to the left and it shows my S1 speakers (on another network!).  I think this is stored in the App though (?) as these were also seen when I was trying to do the setup on holiday.

I hit ‘Select’ when on the Roam screen (above) and it takes me back to the second image above - to ‘Find system’ - where again, it finds multiple Sonos systems and I’m in a loop.

How do I allow it to connect to a different WiFi network without resetting it?

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