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Why Does Sonos Only Have 2.4Ghz Support?


Hey all. I’m a new Sonos owner, having just purchased a Sonos Beam. Other than complications with it not working with my Insignia TV HDMI ARC slot properly (which I resolved by using the HDMI to Optical adapter), I’m enjoying the sound of the Beam quite a bit.

In setting it up though, I was completely shocked to find it wouldn’t connect to my 5GHZ network. I’ve streamed music using AirPlay for many years and when I jumped to 5GHz, stability improved dramatically, so I never used 2.4Ghz again (except for wireless printing). For example, the large multi-suite home I’m in now is packed next to other similar homes and thus the 2.4Ghz spectrum is over saturated making reliable streaming (let alone reliable Internet usage) on it pretty much useless. For this reason, I hardwired the Sonos Beam to my router instead of even trying to use it wirelessly.

Can someone please explain the logic of this?

I mean 2.4GHz does give you an extended range but if the stability is flaky, what good is the extended range? I would have at least thought it would support all ranges, thus letting you connect to the band that is optimal for you (since most people have dual bands on their router).

Alternatively is there something special about Sonos networking system that makes it perform better or maybe cache better upon the 2.4Ghz band to maintain a stable music stream?

For example, I haven’t even tried streaming with Airplay 2 yet, so perhaps that creates a better cached stream that is more stable on the 2.4Ghz band as well. Anyone have any experiences comparing Airplay 2 stability to Airplay 1?

All said and done, the idea was to add more Sonos speakers to other rooms which would require wireless networking to do so. So if we buy them and they can’t maintain a stable stream, we’ll return them and forget about creating a whole Sonos system which was our desire in the first place.
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Best answer by jgatie 15 May 2019, 20:07

1) Original Sonos devices still in use pre-date 5 GHz.

2) 2.4 GHz offers better penetrations and range, albeit at less speed and throughput.

3) Sonos was originally designed to use Sonosnet, a dedicated proprietary mesh network designed for streaming. It puts your system on a 2.4 GHz channel separate from your home WiFI, and it's a mesh for greater reliability. If you intend to expand beyond 2-3 devices, I recommend switching to Sonosnet (aka Wired Setup).

Choosing between a wireless and wired Sonos setup
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Well with over saturates wifi. Setting up the sonosnet mesh network would be the answer. Just make sure your router is not on the wifi channel you set up the sonosnet on. And since it is mesh you furthest point from the network is the next closest sonos device.

Sonos uses 5gh to set up the ht group. So the reason might be why 5ghz is not used for normal wifi.
1) Original Sonos devices still in use pre-date 5 GHz.

2) 2.4 GHz offers better penetrations and range, albeit at less speed and throughput.

3) Sonos was originally designed to use Sonosnet, a dedicated proprietary mesh network designed for streaming. It puts your system on a 2.4 GHz channel separate from your home WiFI, and it's a mesh for greater reliability. If you intend to expand beyond 2-3 devices, I recommend switching to Sonosnet (aka Wired Setup).

Choosing between a wireless and wired Sonos setup
When you say set up a "SonosNet mesh network", do you mean what Sonos defines as a Wired Setup? In effect, by me hardwiring my Sonos Beam to my router already with an Ethernet cable, it’s activated this mesh network automatically? So when I add more Sonos speakers wirelessly, they should automatically connect to this this Wired Setup network?

If that’s not what you mean, can you provide a link on how to setup a SonosNet mesh. Thx.
If you intend to expand beyond 2-3 devices, I recommend switching to Sonosnet (aka Wired Setup).


Ok awesome. As I thought. If I’ve already connect my Sonos Beam via an Ethernet cable to my router (and turn WIFI off on it), is this SonosNet activated automatically? If not, how do I activate it?
That is correct, Wired Setup is Sonosnet, and all it requires is one of your Sonos devices wired to Ethernet. When you add the new devices, make sure to set the Sonosnet Channel to something different from your router.
That is correct, Wired Setup is Sonosnet, and all it requires is one of your Sonos devices wired to Ethernet. When you add the new devices, make sure to set the Sonosnet Channel to something different from your router.

Awesome. Thank you.
Note: You will need to turn WiFi back on on the Beam, that is how it talks to the mesh. Just don't fill out the SSID/password credentials, they are not needed in Wired Setup.
Note: You will need to turn WiFi back on on the Beam, that is how it talks to the mesh. Just don't fill out the SSID/password credentials, they are not needed in Wired Setup.

Ah ok. Thank you for letting me know. I’ve enabled it again.
That is correct, Wired Setup is Sonosnet, and all it requires is one of your Sonos devices wired to Ethernet. When you add the new devices, make sure to set the Sonosnet Channel to something different from your router.

Sorry one last question. I realized that I have networking cabling in my Kitchen as well. So when we get a Sonos speaker for there, can this speaker be hooked up via an Ethernet cable as well and will doing so improve the proprietary Sonosnet mesh as a whole as well (thus getting better coverage for additional wireless Sonos speakers that I add)?

In effect, can two Sonos speakers be wired or does that cause a conflict, as it tries to create two separate SonosNet networks?

Sorry one last question. I realized that I have networking cabling in my Kitchen as well. So when we get a Sonos speaker for there, can this speaker be hooked up via an Ethernet cable as well and will doing so improve the proprietary Sonosnet mesh as a whole as well (thus getting better coverage for additional wireless Sonos speakers that I add)?

In effect, can two Sonos speakers be wired or does that cause a conflict, as it tries to create two separate SonosNet networks?


Two Sonos can be wired, but the router/switch they are connected to needs to be STP transparent (i.e. a dumb switch) or STP enabled to prevent network storms. Not hard to do, but just know it may be necessary depending on your hardware.
Two Sonos can be wired, but the router/switch they are connected to needs to be STP transparent (i.e. a dumb switch) or STP enabled to prevent network storms. Not hard to do, but just know it may be necessary depending on your hardware.

Ah ok. I’ll try to just have one wired at first and if it works fine for the other wireless speakers, I’ll leave it at that.

Thanks again. Really appreciate you clarifying this all.
Glad to help.

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