Question

Can Sonos connect to 802.11n or 802.11ac in wireless mode?

  • 3 December 2014
  • 16 replies
  • 16808 views

Hello, I just got my first Sonos, play 5, really enjoying it. I didn't buy the bridge and have it connected in wireless mode to my AP. I had to change the configuration to support b/g. Is there a plan to support 802.11n/ac? In order to support n or ac, I am wondering if it will be a different hardware or another firmware/software update? TIA

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16 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +22
If it were me I would get a bridge or boost and keep Sonos on separate network (then you can go back to your N network and also keep Sonos traffic off that network).
Userlevel 6
Badge +3
Hi Pawandeep,

Standard wireless setup is not supported on:
  • Guest networks/Hotspots that use a portal page to login.
  • Enterprise access points configured to require certificates or some other form of enterprise authentication (aka "802.1X", "RADIUS", or "WPA/WPA2 Enterprise").
  • Networks with wireless range extenders.
Here is a FAQ: Sonos WiFi Setup
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
.. .and N only 5 ghz networks not supported
Chris, Max P - Thank you so much for your time and responses. I appreciate it. Chris - I think I might do that just to separate and go back to N configuration on my Access Point. Max - I did review the documentation and was aware of that information. It doesn't apply to my scenario. I think I did not ask the my question the right way. What I am looking for is that given Sonos now supports direct wireless connect and 802.11n/ac are the new wi-fi standards, when will Sonos support the new standards down the road? And when Sonos is ready to support n and ac as new wifi standards, will it be software only or hardware change? I believe it will be hardware change but I am curious. What I am looking for is whether Sonos roadmap has support for 802.11n and 802.11ac. If yes, when?
Setting up a CONNECT now.  I too find it odd that I had to adjust my router back to n/g compatibility ("2008 called...").  Can we expect 802.11n support?
As I hit "submit" it hit me ...  I'm guessing the answer is "no" as 802.11b vs 802.11g vs. 802.11n is usually a HARDWARE limitation.
This is a joke, no 802.11n support?  When was the hardware for these speakers made, 2005?
Between the no 802.11n support and the inability to support networks with range extenders, that's a problem. I have a Time Capsule and an Airport Express for extending to my home office. I've had significant issues/conflicts with the Sonos bridge, controllers, etc. losing connection.

Can anyone at Sonos confirm if this is even something on the roadmap? Long time Sonos customer, told many friends about it, but I can't justify buying more gear if it means I can't have an extended network for my work...
Userlevel 1
Badge +2
@Chris: can I say SONOS just have totally no support for 5GHz WLAN at all?
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
@Chris: can I say SONOS just have totally no support for 5GHz WLAN at all?
At least at this time, that is accurate to say. Whether it remains that way in the future, only Sonos knows.
Well technically the newer models do, the Playbar uses 5ghz to communicate with surround bonded play:1s, 3s and the sub but other than that no. I can't see how they could connect to a 5ghz network and still maintain the direct bonding connection either, unless they added a second 5ghz radio to the units, which isn't going to happen any time soon.
Userlevel 1
Badge +2
Well technically the newer models do, the Playbar uses 5ghz to communicate with surround bonded play:1s, 3s and the sub but other than that no. I can't see how they could connect to a 5ghz network and still maintain the direct bonding connection either, unless they added a second 5ghz radio to the units, which isn't going to happen any time soon.

@The LHC:
May I know how did you find out that the PlayBar is using the 5GHz band?
Originally, SONOS ignored WiFi and WiFi ignored SONOS. SONOS developed its own SonosNet because WiFi was not designed to support streaming audio and video. Unfortunately, uninformed equipment reviewers, competitors, and sales personnel kept bashing SONOS for "not supporting WiFi" -- implying that WiFi was the best or only wireless technology and SONOS was therefore second class. In order to eliminate this hostile "checkbox," SONOS enabled the use of WiFi, even though this was a step back in technology. In this application SonosNet is much more robust than WiFi. In simple setups with relatively little interference, short range, and only a few SONOS players, WiFi can work, but in my opinion one should ignore the "checkbox" and use SonosNet.

The competition also claimed that SonosNet was "complicated" to setup. This is not the case. SonosNet is 100% plug and play. With WiFi one must fuss with SSID (wireless network name) and passwords. If one changes the WiFi network, one must then mess with the SONOS WiFi setup too. SonosNet does not care about any of this.

Here is the list of supported WiFi configurations.

At one point a FAQ mentioned that PLAY:1, PLAY:3 and SUB can use 5GHz to communicate with PLAYBAR, but this FAQ seems to have been removed. In any case, adding 5GHz to the other SONOS models would require a physical change to the SONOS hardware and this would be too difficult and likely illegal for the D.I.Y.

The 5GHz band is relatively congestion free compared to the 2.4GHz band and this can be an advantage. However, this low congestion is due to the very limited range of 5GHz compared to 2.4GHz -- you and your 5GHz neighbors cannot interfere with each other because of the limited range of 5GHz. The limited range of 5GHz makes it a poor choice for "whole house" wireless transmission, but 5GHz is a great choice for SUB and surround speakers -- that will always be in the same room as PLAYBAR. In-room 5GHz bonding reduces overall congestion in the 2.4GHz band.
Badge
This is a joke, no 802.11n support?  When was the hardware for these speakers made, 2005?


I think this has been resolved, mine seems to work on 802.11n fine. Check out the tear down. 802.11 chips.

https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Sonos+Play%3A3+Teardown/12475
Badge +1
Just to be real clear, I can tell you UNQUESTIONABLY that as of July 4, 2017 the Sonos Connect: AMP DOES NOT work with 802.11n or ac. It only works with 802.11b or g. The Standard Setup guide states that clearly (unfortunately, that happened after I bough the product and downloaded the app) and I tested it with my router in 802.11n and it did NOT work, but it worked as soon as I switched my router to 802.11b/g model.
No problem here putting two Sonos 3's on a wifi range extender. I have g off on the main router, but the extender offers it, and this works fine. Sonos definitely needs to be on something with g enabled, though. But g offers sufficient speed for compressed music.