Do I Need a Sonos Boost

  • 23 June 2019
  • 4 replies


I’m a long time user of Sonos with a One, Play:1 and Play:3 at home. However, we moved house to a bigger house with a decent sized garden, and now the nice weather is here and we’ve started to sit in the garden I am finding an issue with my phone being too far from the router so having poor connectivity to WiFi which means the phone cannot control Sonos.

Layout context:
  • Router is in the living room at the front right corner of the house
  • Sonos One is also in the living room (front left corner), Play:3 is in the front bedroom upstairs and Play:1 is on the kitchen windowsill close to the back door which leads on to the rear garden. None are hard wired.
  • Patio area where we sit is in the back left corner of the garden, effectively diagonally opposite the router.
So the issue is that when we sit out on the patio, the phone is still connected to WiFi, but only just, with a poor connection. When we try to use the Sonos controller it runs really slowly, often freezes and generally gets buggy. If we come closer to the house, as the signal improves, it sorts itself out and works fine. Go back to the patio and the issues resurface. But having to come closer to the house every time we want to change the song or adjust the volume is a pain.

So, I was wondering if buying a Sonos Boost (or hardwiring the Sonos One) might solve the issue?

As the problem isn’t with the Sonos speakers being too far away from the router (they work perfectly), it’s just the phone that’s getting too far away and dropping the WiFi signal I’m not sure whether the boost will extend the WiFi coverage to the phone in the garden or is literally just to add extra speakers further away?

Any help appreciated! Thanks

Best answer by Airgetlam 23 June 2019, 21:35

The BOOST will have no impact on your cell phone’s connection to your WiFi, it is designed to extend the SonosNet network, not the WiFi network.
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4 replies

The BOOST will have no impact on your cell phone’s connection to your WiFi, it is designed to extend the SonosNet network, not the WiFi network.
Wire a speaker or, if that's not convenient, get a Boost. This will put the system into SonosNet mode, allowing you to...

Buy a cheap WiFi access point, such as the TP-Link TL-WA850RE, and wire it to the Play:1 in the kitchen. Either configure its SSID/password to match the router or, if preferred, make them different so you know which signal the phone's connected to.

Note that the bandwidth available from the kitchen access point will be modest, as it'll rely on SonosNet to connect back to the router. Expect of the order of 10Mbps, give or take.

Once set up on SonosNet you should remove the WiFi details from the system, via Advanced Settings/Wireless Setup, to avoid any instability.

Also, choose 2.4GHz wireless channels with care. Use only 1, 6 or 11. I'd recommend using different channels for SonosNet and the WiFis, but you could most probably get away with using the same channel for the router and the kitchen access point.
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Hi CraigRobbo

In addition to the advice given thus far....

If your router is 5 years or older and you bought the bare minimum just to create a Wi-Fi signal then it may be time to upgrade the router. But before you buy log-in to your routers admin page to see if there are updates available. Do the same for your iOS and/or Android devices. Of course make sure that the Sonos App is up-to-date. At the very least reboot your router and move any security camera base stations and/or baby monitors at least 6 feet away from it.

If you feel you should upgrade your router...look for these features listed in order of importance:
  1. 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Compatibility
  2. Dual Band (2.4Ghz + 5Ghz)
  3. A minimum of 1300 Mbps to 1700 Mbps combined throughput for all bands
  4. Tri-Band (2.4Ghz + 5Ghz band 1 + 5Ghz band 2)
  5. Beam Forming (narrows the signal to the location of the device)
  6. Smart Connection (automatically distributes traffic between bands for best performance)
You might also consider a MeshNet work that has a base module and 3 or more satellites positioned tragically throughout your home. Works under same principle as adding a range extender but IMO may be a better solution for a large home. The caveat is to make sure that only the base module has DHCP activated and not the satellites.

Let us know how things sort out. Cheers!
Many thanks to all of you guys for taking the time to reply. I will consider everything over the next few days/weeks and see where to go from there. Much appreciated, cheers!

to answer your question AjTrek1, it’s a Virgin media super hub 3.0, their top of the range hub. It’s 18 months old, and all of the WiFi router, iPhone/iPad/Mac, and Sonos auto-update so they ‘should’ all be running the latest variant of their software. Cheers