Question

What's wrong with Boost wifi?

  • 19 December 2016
  • 9 replies
  • 209 views

I want to use 4 to 6 play3s in a restaurant.
This setup has to be reliable and also flexible, so I also bought bought Boost and connect.

For the first test I used Boost connected to the internet router and then included the connect and one play 3 in the setup.
They are all within one foot of each other.

When I use the line in on the connect, the music jumps every 10 seconds or so!

I read that maybe the wifi channel of the boost has to be changed manually, but there are only 3 possible channels.

Is this the reliable wifi streaming experience that Sonos advertises?
Did I just buy a dedicated Sonos router supposed to add more reliability which can't even create a robust wifi network in a dense urban environment?

Please help, I really don't want to have to wire all the Play 3s with Lan!

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9 replies

Hi. A few points that may help:

1. The Boost isn't a router. It is a network device that creates a separate mesh segment of your LAN called SonosNet over which your Sonos players can communicate, and forms a bridge between the SonosNet and WiFi segments of the LAN.
2. It is completely appropriate that only channels 1, 6 and 11 are available because these are the only non-overlapping channels available. Your router should be set to one of these and the Sonos channel to a different one.
3. The worst thing you can do is have the Boost and router close together - get at least 3 feet between them.
4. You could create SonosNet by wiring the Play:3 and doing without the Boost (although the Boost does have certain advantages). But get the P:3 away from the router too.

What source are you using the line-in for and why are you using a line-in and Connect at all? Line-in is inherently less reliable than direct streaming.

I hope that helps.
And if you do need to use the line in, try setting the line-in compression to "compressed" rather than "uncompressed" or "auto".
Thanks for your help John B.
I did a hard reset of all equipments involved and put them further apart. I also set the "compressed" setting as suggested.
Given the length of the provided lan cable, I wasn't able to put the router and the boost very far apart, though.
It works for now.
Thanks again.

The Line-In is necessary because the staff from the restaurant puts on the music with their smartphones. Having them all connect with the Sonos controller app does not sound like a good idea, but I may be wrong?
That sounds like progress. Going forward, factory resets wipe out playlists, favourites, music service setups etc and rarely help with problems so steer clear of those would be my advice.

A dedicated Music source would be a better solution if achievable. Does your router have a USB port? A lot of music will fit on a 128GB drive. If you did allow staff to connect to Wi-Fi then they could stream direct from phone and cut out the Connect.

I hope this network is separate from any that diners can connect to or anyone with the Sonos app could take over!
Why is line-in inherently less reliable?
I would have tried to use digital interfaces, but there is no digital input on the connect even though it costs $400.- and I don't want to buy a Sonos soundbar...
I did not do a factory reset. I just unplugged the power.

In order to stream from the phones they need to connect using the Sonos app. we can try this.

A dedicated music source is not as interesting. If the staff puts on their own music, there is more variety.

The connect will be used to integrate a subwoofer (other than the Sonos) in the system.

I will make sure no customer can connect to the Sonos system.

Thanks for your advices.
I think you may have misunderstood the role of the Connect and I am very sceptical about getting a subwoofer to operate meaningfully as you describe.

My advice? Get your money back on everything you have bought so far. Buy four Play:5s instead. Connect one by Ethernet to router and use that for line in if you really must. Forget the subwoofer. You won't need it with the P:5s
You're probably right. Unfortunately the P5s don't fit in spot where I want to put the P3s. They're also double the price.
Maybe I'll replace the connect and 1 P3s with 2 P5s.
Fair enough. That sounds reasonable. Not quite twice the price and much more powerful. But if they don't fit they don't fit.