Sonos possible in 3 closely adjacent buildings?

  • 4 November 2016
  • 11 replies

We enjoy 5 PLAY:1 speakers (and a Bridge) in our multi-story large home, but we'd like to consider a Sonos setup to play "background music" for our small business. Details:

1. The business is in 3 buildings grouped quite close together. The greatest distance between the router and the speakers placed in building farthest away would be 80-100 feet.
2. The building where the router is located is the largest, a single room about the size of a 3-car garage. Probably 4 mono speakers here would be appropriate.
3. The next closest building to the router, where its single speaker would be about 50-60 feet from the router int he largest building, could easily be covered by 1 mono speaker. (This building is about the size a very small 1 car garage.)
4. The farthest building, about 80-100 feet from the router in the largest building, has 2 small rooms, each about the size a good-sized bedroom. Each room could be served by 2 mono speaker--so a total of 2 speakers for this building.
5. So we're talking a total of 7 speakers. Based on our experience with the PLAY:1 speakers in our home, we'd be satisfied with those same speakers in the business.
6. Can we feed 7 PLAY:1 speakers at once? If not, what do you recommend?
7. Do we need a Bridge or a Boost?
8. Anything else we should consider?

Thanks in advance,


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11 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +21
7 Play 1s will be no problem at all. The issue I guess will be ensuring a wi-fi or SonosNet signal to the speakers. If you can wire 1 to your router via ethernet cable then allow that Play 1 to communicate with nearby Plays via SonosNet that would be best.

I know that Sonos can have issues with extenders and they don't like those systems that put the wi-fi through your electric circuit.
Thanks, Stuart, this is very helpful. I'm enough of a Sonos newbie to be nervous about making the considerable investment without some good hand-holding advice.

In the largest of the 3 buildings, there is one ethernet wall jack that is hardwired to the router in our house (about 100 feet away). In this out building, the sole ethernet jack connects to an Airport Extreme router that wirelessly provides internet to several computers in the largest building--including the one that would provide an ITunes music library that would be played on all speakers. The Wi-Fi coverage is strong and reliable.

Hmmm. So could we 1) connect the "first" Sonos speaker to one of the ethernet LAN ports on the Airport Extreme or 2) use some sort of "splitter" to attach the one ethernet wall jack to both the Airport Extreme and the "first" Sonos speaker?

Thanks again,

Bill aka Mr. Questions
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
By Connecting one Sonos to the Ethernet you start Sonosnet. So then that first speaker sends out Sonosnet ... but then all the rest of the speakers become repeaters. So while the first Sonos unit may be in the middle of one building. You then can have another unit by wall closest to the 2nd building and it will then send a signal out from it which hopefully a unit close to it in the second building can pickup and then the unit in the second building sends out another signal to all the units in the second building ... and so on.

Sonosnet the more Sonos units you have the wider and further you signal distributes out. You could have 50 sonos units each 30ft. apart and have sonos signal reach 1500 ft. as an extreme example.
Chris, thanks so much. I'm greatly encouraged.

Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Should be ok - if your spanning a building I would just have one sonos unit in the first building by a wall that is as close as possible to another sonos unit in the other building by the wall.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
When you start Sonosnet you'll need to set the wifi channel that Sonosnet uses. Your home wifi should be on channel 1, 6, or 11 (the non-overlapping best channels). Just put Sonosnet on one of those 3 different from your home wifi. You set the Sonosnet channel under settings...advanced in Sonos app (once you have hooked a sonos unit to router to start sonosnet).

The other great thing then is that all music traffic (since multiple building assume a lot of the time you'll be playing different music and streams in different buildings) will be over sonosnet and not bog down your main home wifi. Much more reliable.
Thank you, again, Chris.
Only thing you could have a problem with, and you really won't know until you try it, is the the thickness and quality of the wall material. It may prevent the SonosNet signal from reaching the unwired units. Again, you won't be able to tell without trying. I have a set in my home office that have to be plugged into the router or they won't communicate with the main Connect on the other side of the house. The gear is returnable in most cases if it doesn't work, and hopefully you're good to go. Please post your results once you try it. Good luck!
Thanks, BCM. I guess the good thing is that the buildings are wood---and over 100 years old. So it's old wood, new fiberglass insulation, and dry wall. At least the walls are not 4 bricks thick like our equally old house!
Userlevel 1
Badge +1
In relation to controlling these units within the adjacent buildings. The app will still be using your wifi network so this may prove problematic - the great news is that if you have an Android device you can use SonosNet for your wifi also - allow it in the app and then choose the network On the phone settings - appears like SonosNetxxxxxxxx - IOS DEVICES WILL NOT SEE THIS unfortunately. So if you want to be able to control these units as well from within the buildings you need to take this into account. Happy to be corrected though!!
New Oxford Guy,

As I understand it, the Airport Extreme is located in the first, largest building. How are you currently providing WiFi coverage into the two other buildings?