100% Wireless Sonos for NYC Apartment

  • 24 February 2017
  • 3 replies

Userlevel 2
Hi, I have a small 1050sqf 2 bedroom NYC apartment. I am first looking for a completely wireless 5.1 utilizing the soundbvar, meaning none of the speakers will be able to be plugged into an ethernet as the cable modem / router, is all located in a closet. The living / dining area is 1 large room that is 12' 4" x 27' 9" with the actual movie viewing area being 12'4" x roughly 13'. Also have 1 bedroom that we would like 1 speaker in for music that is 11xs15. Any suggestions?

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3 replies

There's no requirement in the Sonos environment for a speaker to stay connected to ethernet constantly. You usually need to do so for initial setup, which you could do at the closest outlet to the closet where your router is, and once it's set up, you could then move the speaker to it's permanent location. All of the access settings persist across power outages, just not "factory resets" which is a whole 'nother beast.

So, you could hang all of them directly off of your own wifi, or (the route I've chosen) purchase a Boost, and leave that connected to your router in your closet. It's basically a "repeater" device. It sets up a separate wifi-like network called SonosNet so your music streaming doesn't disturb your wifi usage. I'd heartily recommend setting up reserved IP addresses for everything, just to keep the speakers out of the normal distribution of IP addresses that your router hands out to various devices.

The Playbar itself has to be connected to the TV via the optical connection, in addition to the power cord, but all other speakers you get will need only power connections.
Userlevel 2
Thanks, why did you decide to use the boost rather than do the first method? Also what would you recommend for the bedroom as far as a single speaker? For a room that size would a Play 3 suffice, or is a Play 5 worth it?
Heh, great question. The reason I had the Bridge (and replaced it with a Boost) is when I joined the ecosystem, the speakers did not have the ability to hang off of your own wifi signal, that unit was required. I found it to be an extremely solid connection, and at the end of the day, kept the music traffic off of my own wifi, and on it's own "band". It's only been a couple of years (maybe? I'm not good with remembering) that they've added the ability for any speaker to act as a Boost.

The other half of your question is a bit harder. It really boils down to personal preference (and your ears). I've got a pair of Play:3s in my bedroom, but mostly because I had one, and needed to set up a stereo pair, so I bought the second one. I've got a Play:5 in my computer room, and have been contemplating getting a second one there to also set up as stereo, but it would be a little more challenging, since I've got a Gen 1 Play:5 (you can't pair Gen 1 and Gen 2, so the outlay would be more). Which is better? It's a crap shoot. The Play:5 seems to have nominally more reach into the bass, due to it's larger footprint and bigger cones (IMHO). But the Play:3s work just as well for me in my bedroom. And frankly, so does the Play:1 pair I have now in my can't go wrong with any of them. In my mind, it boils down to a couple of things: First, what kind of listening are you going to do....background, or serious? Second, how do the speakers sound to you? Go to a store, and listen to both of them. Take your own music with you, so that you can listen to the same thing on all speakers. Then remember that no matter what they sound like in the store, they'll sound different at home, even after you run Trueplay on them. Speaker placement makes a difference. Trueplay does a fair job of evening it out, but there's still a difference.

Lots of non-helpful advice, there, I guess. But it's hard for me to say one is better than the other. They both do an excellent job, and for me the decision was driven more by other reasons than sound reproduction, since I found all Sonos speakers to be excellent.