Boost vs Bridge

  • 28 November 2017
  • 10 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge +15
So, my daughter's fiance fell in love with my Sonos over Thanksgiving's visit, so wedding gift was an easy choice - two Play:3s, which are very nicely priced if you have access to a military exchange (sold out online, unfortunately). Their house is not large, so I assume they can wire one direct to their router and then put the other elsewhere. If they do end up needing to separate them from the router and wifi doesn't cut it, is there any advantage to getting them a Boost rather than just pulling one of my old Bridges out of a drawer? Seems like a huge expense when I can give them a Bridge or buy one on eBay for $20 or so.

I tried searching, but my search-fu was bad this morning (need more Red Bull) because I found nothing that describes the benefits of Boost over Bridge.

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10 replies

Boost is a lot better in range and coping with interference where it is needed to do so. But if that isn't needed, a Bridge serves just as well, so: try the Bridge first and if it works well enough, nothing further need be done.
Userlevel 2
Badge +4
So I just purchased two Sonos Play 1 speakers. They will arrive today and should be ready for set up when I get home from work. I don't think I will need a Bridge or a Boost for the speakers. But if I do which one is better? Looks like Bridge has been discontinued and Boost is fairly new? I can still buy Bridge on Ebay. But do I really need one if my wifi is good. The only situation I would probably need the Bridge/Boost would be when I take the new Sonos Play 1 into my garage. My other question on Bridge/Boost is will it work on other wifi devices? Or only on the Sonos products?
Kumar's explanation about the differences is pretty good. The only additional point I'd add is that the BOOST handles SonosNet 2.0, and the BRIDGE is only SonosNet 1.0. But I absolutely agree with him, if a BRIDGE works, there's no reason to upgrade to a BOOST.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
I looked at the same question, cheap Bridge or a more expensive Boost, ended up getting the Boost for the v 2.0 Sonos Net and better range.

Now if I had a Bridge sitting around I'd go with that and only if it proved to be a problem go to a Boost.

On the two Play 3s, they might want to do a stereo pair too, that really makes a big difference in the sound to my ears. I'd toss an unused Bridge into the gift box for them so they set things up that way from the beginning.
I’ve got a bridge hooked up to my wireless cable modem; and spare bridge units lying around, because they were supplied as part of the package when I bought my play 1 pairs a few years back. So question is, would I eliminate the occasional hiccups by getting a boost, or could I distribute the other bridges around the house for better sonos net coverage?
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Doubtful a boost will do any better then bridge. Make sure your bridge is not right on top of your router. Keep them at least a foot apart. Also make sure the sonosnet channel is not overlapping home WiFi channel. Only use channels 1 6 or 11. Sonos on one and home WiFi on the other.

When do you have hiccups.
The trouble may be elsewhere, so identifying the cause comes before putting fixes in place. If you have many units across the home, each also serves as extender bridge if needed by the Sonos network, so adding bridges will probable not make an difference.
Chris, where we live we have a lot of power surge and outage issues; and other times our ISP (comcast) has a momentary fink out that seems to disconnect the speakers from the network long enough they require a reinstall. I’ve got everything on surge protectors, but it isn’t foolproof. Other hiccups seems to result from loss of wireless signal, so I was hoping a boost might give me abetter shot at avoiding those.

All told, the system is pretty robust, but when I want to hear the news on npr before my morning espresso, and end up spending half an hour rebooting the modem and router and reinstalling three pairs of speakers and a sub, it turns into a pain.

You’re right, though... hoping a boost will solve most of my issues is probably wishful thinking.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Boost helps in areas where there are too many WiFi signals as it has better rejection rates. It only really improves the first link in the chain.

If you have something like a play:5 gen2 or new Sonos One. You could hard wire one of those to your router and then disconnect the bridge. This will at least show you if a better sonosnet 2 first link would help your stability.
Chris, that’s a good idea. I do have a pair of play 5 gen2, so may give it a try for a while. I shouldn’t have a lot of interference from other wi fi, we’re in a small community of single family homes on acreage by the water, so nothing like a city wifi environment.