The trick to solving the network issues plaguing your “Wireless” Sonos Speakers

#hope
7 min readJul 10, 2021

For those who have been following my journey optimizing my wired and wireless networks at home, you would think that everything is running very well now. Well, the truth of the matter is that while most of the network runs very well most of the time, the slow parts can really drag you down when they happen.

What we are told is that if any Sonos speaker is connected to a wired connection, that will make the overall Sonos experience better because all the speakers can work together in mesh mode creating wifi connections between each other.

While that maybe true, I noticed that as I added more speakers to my setup, even with a majority of speakers hardwired, performance was getting very slow occasionally with the app, and certain rooms would drop connections and be generally very hard to connect to while trying to Airplay music (which honestly is the only way you can playback from Apple Music to Sonos, unlike Tidal which did Tidal Connect).

On a quick side note, I am better able to appreciate the smaller file sizes in MQA, now that I notice the same songs migrated to Apple Music managed to fully fill up my 256gb iPhone.

Powerline Ethernet Adapters don’t work period

I have tried with 300mbps ones and a Netgear 1gbps power-line setup, and both failed pretty miserably when being used to hardwire Sonos. Wifi works better than powerline hardwired ethernet!

Powerline ethernet on paper can solve all problems, but has never worked well for me, even for 100 mbps between two wall plates in the same room.

Weak Sonos Wifi Implementation?

Given that so many of my speakers are hardwired and yet the few wireless ones are so slow and drag my network down, I suspect that the problem is that these Gen 2 Play 5 speakers and Subs use 2.4 GHz Wifi (like a surprisingly large number of IoT devices, probably for cost control), which I admit is crowded at my home, because:

  • I use an old Apple Wifi network for my IoT Devices like sprinkler, air purifier, Roomba, etc.
  • I also have a Google Wifi/ Nest Wifi setup for phones, tablets & laptops

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#hope

“If you see something that’s not right, not fair, not just, do something about it. Say something. Do something.” — Rep. John Lewis