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5Ghz or bust!!! Please Sonos!


Living in a crowded area with 20 different 2.4GHz wireless networks around is really frustrating with Sonos. I've invested in many speakers and I'm constantly getting queues of podcasts either skipped 2 minutes into each 1hr podcast or the playback stops altogether because of interference... really annoying when you're listening from the shower or busy in the middle of something around the house. I've called Sonos tech support and while they are excellent, the best they could do is have me put my system in Bridge mode which didn't solve the problem.

Apparently the speakers I have all do support 5GHz (contrary to what most say) because when you have a Surround setup it uses 5GHz to communicate between the speakers. So PLEASE let me enable 5GHz on all of my other speakers to avoid this interference. If the hardware exists in the speaker, let me use it!!!

I understand it won't have the same range with 5GHz but I don't want range anyway. I want flawless playback.

I've invested a lot in Sonos and to not have this capability is ridiculous... unless there is truly a technical limitation preventing it, in which case it should be detailed by Sonos.

Please reply here if you're in a similar situation.
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Best answer by jgatie 2 August 2017, 18:27

1) Not all support 5 GHz. The Connect and Connect:Amp do not.

2) Sonos has found that 5 GHz is actually less reliable, because while it has the low latency needed for surround sound, 5 GHz has less range and penetration, so it is not suitable for whole-home audio which requires a longer range must pass through walls and floors. This is why it is only suitable for surround sound setups which are by nature close range and in the same room.

The fact you do not want the range of 2.4 GHz means nothing if you need to to go through walls or floors. In addition, you are not the only customer, and for every one of you that would not complain about the range, there are many, many more who would expect their systems to work. I imagine Sonos has done the math on that equation and have found 5 GHz through the whole home is not practical.

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1) Not all support 5 GHz. The Connect and Connect:Amp do not.

2) Sonos has found that 5 GHz is actually less reliable, because while it has the low latency needed for surround sound, 5 GHz has less range and penetration, so it is not suitable for whole-home audio which requires a longer range must pass through walls and floors. This is why it is only suitable for surround sound setups which are by nature close range and in the same room.

The fact you do not want the range of 2.4 GHz means nothing if you need to to go through walls or floors. In addition, you are not the only customer, and for every one of you that would not complain about the range, there are many, many more who would expect their systems to work. I imagine Sonos has done the math on that equation and have found 5 GHz through the whole home is not practical.
Userlevel 4
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I don't think he wants the speakers to use 5 GHz as the only option, just one of the options. I can understand why that still wouldn't be desirable because the average user may not be able to troubleshoot issues due frequency selected, and may opt to assume Sonos is just junk. Plus there is the additional cost of firmware development that will probably only help a small percentage of customers. Seriously, I would think most sonos customers don't have the volume of networks OP has, and also have the limited open space requirement.
Userlevel 3
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Same here. I can count 24 different routers.
Hard wiring speakers with ethernet cable and changing the wifi channel and no interference at all. Unlike my Dot which will drop out from time to time.

Get a wifi analyser app if necessary to find what's the best channel for Sonosnet. Or what channel to set your router to.

You will have to eliminate domestic interence too e.g. Cordless phones, baby monitors, microwave ovens etc
I'm obviously asking for 5GHz just as an option, not a replacement. And you can't tell me that that's a concern for users thinking Sonos is junk because it can still default to 2.4GHz out of the box. Not to mention there's already countless ways (advanced settings menu) you could make Sonos work sub-optimally.

I just ask for the option to set 5GHz given that my speaker only has to go to the next room but I can't run Ethernet there. 5GHz is solid in smaller living areas, no problem so please don't regurgitate something you heard about 5GHz not going far enough. It's silly. All my other devices are on 5GHz with flawless speeds at 200Mb/s. I also work in the technology field so it's a bit funny seeing people try to tell me how 5GHz is inferior. It is not. It is just different. The lack of signal distance is actually a strength in a condo or townhome or apartment because you'll have less 5GHz networks from neighbors interfering with you.

Btw I'm accessing the network statistics web server running on each speaker via my browser to see the same packet stats that are included with the troubleshooting data you can submit to Sonos, so I know a little bit about this stuff and am not just spouting 5GHz without knowing anything about it.
I don't have the expertise to say why Sonos have not enabled this, but presumably if it were cheap and easy with no downsides they would do it. To address your problem as it currently stands...I too have operated Sonos flawlessly in a very crowded wifi environment. If you don't have a Boost it might be worth trying, as it is more powerful and has better interference resistance than other Sonos components (allegedly). Buy from Sonos and you can return for a full refund if it makes no difference.

Keep any wired component at least three feet from the router and experiment with channels (although I appreciate you may well have tried all this).

It might be instructive to see the network matrix. In a browser, type http://xxx.xxx.x.xx:1400/support/review, substituting the IP address of a player for the x's. Then click Network matrix. Post it here if you feel so inclined.
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BoredofBalham wrote:

You will have to eliminate domestic interence too e.g. Cordless phones, baby monitors, microwave ovens etc



I'm finding that eliminating the usual 2.4 GHz suspects (above) isn't enough to keep Sonos gear happy, other electronic devices that don't even have a 2.4 radio in them can also degrade the Sonos network to where there are problems.

My WD, Western Digital Live Drive, an Ethernet connected external hard drive plays badly with my fairly new Play 3 if it is less than about 6 feet away. My Raspberry Pi, V2, the one with no WiFi chip needs about 3 feet before the network matrix goes to yellow.

Not too many neighbors, too close so the noise from their systems isn't too big a deal but I'd be happy to move to 5 GHz and add a second wired Boost if necessary to get away from my non-WiFi noise issues.
In my original post I said bridge mode... I meant Boost mode. I'm running Boost mode from my Playbar. I thought of trying the Boost device from Sonos as you suggested but to be honest I'm not a huge fan of having what is essentially an access point on my network that I don't control. I believe Sonos uses WPA2 and I have to hope they use some secure password but it's just not something I feel comfortable with. I like knowing I've secured my own network myself and no one else in the world has the password.

I may try the Boost device anyway, but I'm confident 5GHz would be a better solution for me. Glad to see I'm not the only one having problems with 2.4GHz despite trying the channel options etc. Ultimately channel selection doesn't do a lot of good because all routers default to automatically switching channels on their own when there is contention. So if I switch to a less occupied channel, my neighbors routers gravitate there too eventually and problems start again. All the networks are constantly bouncing around and at any given time all channels are pretty occupied. There is a point where there are so many networks that channel selection doesn't do any good and you need to switch to 5GHz which for me is far less crowded. That's the point I'm at now.
You clearly don't understand what the Boost is but I have tried to help and I wish you good luck.
Thanks for the attitude guy, but I know exactly what it is. It is effectively a 2.4GHz access point that prompts all Sonos speakers in range on the network to connect to your network and each other *through* the Boost. Obviously in order for that to work, the Boost device needs to be visible to the speakers somewhere on he 2.4GHz spectrum. Now this means there is some wireless device that is accepting wireless connections that is directly plugged into my otherwise secure network. So the security of my network now rests in Sonos' hands. Sorry, but I'm not comfortable with that.

You can do the same thing with any Sonos speaker by plugging it directly into the network... whichever speaker you do that with functions just like the standalone Boost device, effectively, but it's not as strong as the Boost device.

You clearly don't have anything constructive to offer to the thread, so feel free to stay out of it. Thanks!
So why are you worried about security of wiring a Boost but not a Playbar?
Hi Seventh,

Just a thought, though you probably tried that already: have you ever considered switching to standard wifi mode instead of Boost mode for further testing? I read through all of your posts in this thread but couldn't find anything related to 'non-Boost mode'.

In my personal setup I've experienced my own network router's 2.4Ghz wifi to be way more stable compared to a wired connection through either of my zone players. After all, the additional mesh wifi network which Sonos creates once one (or several) zone player (or Boosts/Bridges) is/are wired to your local LAN is essentially one more wifi network in range to worry about.

Network congestion can be tricky to get around and though I still believe that Boost mode is the recommendable option for the majority of scenarios it might just not be the top-notch solution for everyone.
passopp wrote:

Hi Seventh,

Just a thought, though you probably tried that already: have you ever considered switching to standard wifi mode instead of Boost mode for further testing? I read through all of your posts in this thread but couldn't find anything related to 'non-Boost mode'.

In my personal setup I've experienced my own network router's 2.4Ghz wifi to be way more stable compared to a wired connection through either of my zone players. After all, the additional mesh wifi network which Sonos creates once one (or several) zone player (or Boosts/Bridges) is/are wired to your local LAN is essentially one more wifi network in range to worry about.

Network congestion can be tricky to get around and though I still believe that Boost mode is the recommendable option for the majority of scenarios it might just not be the top-notch solution for everyone.



Thanks for the reply. I started out in non-Boost mode... it happens either way :(

Right now I'm thinking the only potential solutions are:

1) to try the actual Sonos Boost device which their tech support said would have a stronger signal than using a normal speaker as a Boost device, or

2) buying an even more powerful router and hoping all the existing interference of numerous 2.4GHz networks can be cut through... something I really hoped I wouldn't have to do. Everything else I have works flawlessly on 5GHz so it would just be so much better for me to use that, hence the thread.
I couldn't agree more. Sonos sell these products on being the best and most advanced speakers and charge a premium and when you finally get it home and set it up realise the limitations are frustrating and baffling. I'm trying to move things off the 2.4 to 5 range and see no reason that the 5 shouldn't be a simple option. The 5 is faster and no interference.
It's just ridiculous that much cheaper speakers connect to 5ghz and YouTube and other music streaming apps like podomatic. Or a volume bar appear on a Samsung TV so I have some idea of what volune is set.
Music quality is one thing but not being able to listen to anything on YouTube app or numerous other apps etc makes them redundant and I find using a good UEBOOM Bluetooth speaker system more than the speakers I was told would be life changing and revolutionary.
Wrong! 5GHz may be faster, but it has shorter range and less penetration, so it has more trouble going through walls and floors than 2.4 GHz. Hence the reason why Sonos only uses it for 5.1 surround, it is not reliable enough to send a continuous stream through all the walls of the home like 2.4 GHz. You may wish to do more research before posting.
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I think one of the most revolutionary things about Sonos has been the Sonosnet 2.4 ghz network it creates.

You can set your router to 5ghz only but have a Sonos unit hooked to router so they communicate via their 2.4ghz mesh. Much better range and reliability (speed as well) since speakers talk to each other and don't have to route all their communication via the router.

As jgatie mentions. They do speak to each other via 5ghz in situations where they need the low latency of 5ghz.
Thanks Chris, I'll look into that appreciate the constructive and polite reply, as for jgatie another rude arrogant poster on here that takes peoples comments and frustrations personally as though they invented sonos. I did my "research" and I have (as does the other person who commented originally re their frustrations with sonos) an understanding of the 5ghz limitations. Of which there is no issue with 5ghz where I live, and could be easily fixed with a wifi booster if there was a low latency issue.
Not everyones home is the same, and what I'm saying and the original "poster" is that both options could be available for people to choose what works best for them.

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