What Is SonosNet? What You Need To Know

What Is SonosNet

No, SonosNet is not a Sonos product or any smart speaker. It is a technical word that only technicians will understand. A big No again. Here is debugging the hype around SonosNet and making it simple for everyone to understand.

Further reading: What is Sonos? Here’s Everything You Need to Know About the Wireless Sound System

What is SonosNet?

SonosNet is a mesh network that Sonos uses to connect its own speakers. SonosNet comes into action when you are grouping two or more Sonos speakers together.

When connecting two or more Sonos speakers together, Sonos provides an option to choose from two modes, Wi-Fi mode or SonosNet mode.

Read ahead to know the difference between the two.

What Is The Range Of SonosNet?

SonosNet has a wider range as it makes use of the 2.4Ghz band. In addition, SonosNet 2.0 also features MIMO (multiple in multiple out) communication i.e., it can send the same data through multiple channels and can receive it through a single antenna.

Also, it utilizes 20Mhz wide channels enabling Sonos speakers of similar configurations to connect each other through a dedicated wireless mesh Wi-Fi network.

Also, a 2.4Ghz band is considered to have a longer range than a 5Ghz when it comes to wireless devices like Sonos. A wireless signal has greater strength than a 5Ghz signal, even at the same distance.

How Does SonosNet Work?

SonosNet works when grouping more than one Sonos speaker together.

To make the SonosNet network work, at least one of the Sonos speakers should be in a wired connection with your home router with the help of an Ethernet cable. For this reason, Sonos consider SonosNet as a ‘wired’ setup.

Thereafter, to connect other Sonos speakers wirelessly to the one connected to the router, follow:

  • Open the Sonos app
  • Go to Settings and then to System
  • Now under systems, choose Network and then Sonos Net Channel
  • Under SonosNet Channel, the Sonos system will choose the best wireless channel for you (from among channels 1, 6, and 11).

If the set channel is not working for you, you can manually change the channel through the menu. The channel can be changed to reduce wireless interference from other wireless devices and other materials like metal that obstruct the wireless signals.

SonosNet Vs Wi-Fi: Which Is The Best?

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So, there are two network modes through which you can connect your multiple Sonos speakers i.e. SonosNet Mode or WIFI Mode. Which one to choose and which one is better depends on several factors.

The biggest factor that decides if SonosNet or Wi-Fi wireless mode is better for Sonos products is the presence of another wireless network around you.

The other wireless networks around you could be

  • Cordless phones
  • Wireless security cameras
  • Other wireless speakers
  • Wireless set up boxes and cables
  • Wireless home products i.e., smart devices
  • Wi-Fi routers and extenders
  • Microwave ovens when in use
  • External monitors/LCDs

Use SonosNet When

If you have fewer of these above wireless devices and networks, you can use SonosNet to a channel other than the one other wireless device are making use of. For this reason, SonosNet 2.4 GHz band provides three channel options 1, 6, and 11 to choose from. Chose a non-overlapping channel to avoid congestion and interference.

Use Wi-Fi Mode When

If it is not possible to avoid overlapping (i.e. when many devices are connected through all the channels and no channel is left spared). It is better to connect your Sonos device to the wireless Wi-Fi network available at home.

Alternatively, you can first make all your wireless devices on the network that support the 5Ghz frequency band to it. This is to reduce the congestion for the 2Ghz frequency band. Thereafter, only allow those devices on the 2.4Ghz network that doesn’t support 5Ghz.

This will leave the channels free, and there are fewer chances of overlapping.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of SonosNet

Well, obviously, SonosNet is advantageous for Sonos products as it provides them with a dedicated wireless network to stay connected among themselves. You will be able to enjoy a multi-room music experience with better reach and clarity.

The disadvantage of SonosNet is not concerned with the performance of Sonos products but with other wireless products in your home and around you. Even in the SonosNet dedicated wireless space, the signals that are sent by Sonos products can interfere with the performance of other wireless devices.

It takes up airtime and leaves less space for other wireless devices to stay connected wirelessly. For instance, if you have a wireless security camera connected through a 2.4Ghz band, it will have less capacity to operate.

Another disadvantage is not all Sonos speakers use SonosNet. Only a few Sonos speakers are enabled to work in a SonosNet mesh network. For the speaker that doesn’t, they use Wi-Fi mode to stay connected.

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You may also like: How To Connect Sonos To Wi-Fi Without Ethernet Cable?

Which Sonos Speakers Work With SonosNet?

As SonosNet works over only 2.4Ghz frequency band, only those Sonos devices that run over 2.4Ghz support SonosNet.

Other Sonos devices like soundbars, subwoofers, and surround speakers in a 5.1 surround sound setup won’t work with SonosNet as they make use of a 5Ghz frequency band to communicate with each other.

To list the Sonos speakers that work with SonosNet, these include:

  • Sonos One, Sonos Play:1, Sonos Play:5, and other portable Sonos speakers.
  • Sonos Beam, Sonos Roam, and Sonos Move currently can’t work with SonosNet. The arrangement that works includes, setting up Sonos Beam or Sonos Move to your router through Ethernet cable (i.e. wired connection). Do not disable the Wi-Fi (wireless radio) settings on the Beam or Move. To enable the Wi-Fi settings on Beam or Move, go to Room settings and then Select Beam or Move (whichever Sonos you are using), now:
  • Go to Advanced Room> Wi-Fi> Enable Wi-Fi.
  • Now, connect all other Sonos speakers to Beam or Move wirelessly through SonosNet. Do not confuse the word Wi-Fi here with the normal Wi-Fi connection. The word Wi-Fi here denotes wireless radio. The wireless radio is termed as a system that a speaker makes use of to connect to a wireless signal. It should never be turned off to enable Wi-Fi, SonosNet, or in a home theatre setup (i.e. when speakers are bonded to SUB, soundbars, etc.)

How To Turn On/Off SonosNet?

To understand how you can turn on/off SonosNet, you need first to know:

What does turning on SonosNet mean

If you are turning on SonosNet, it would mean you are setting a wired connection (even if it only includes one Sonos speaker being in a wired connection with your router). This is because the other speakers would be connected to the host speaker wirelessly through SonosNet.

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Red line shows wireless connection (through Sonos dedicated wireless network, SonosNet).

Source: support.sonos.com

To turn on SonosNet, follow the steps as mentioned under the subheading How SonosNet works?

What does turning off SonosNet mean

Turning off SonosNet means you are setting multiple Sonos speakers in a wireless connection. In this case, there is no wired connection (there is no host speaker connected to the router wirelessly). All the Sonos speakers are connected through a wireless router connection over Wi-Fi.

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Blue lines show wireless connection (through router’s Wi-Fi network).

Source: support.sonos.com

To turn off SonosNet, just remove the wired host speaker to the router and connect all Sonos speakers in a group over Wi-Fi.

FAQs:

How to force Sonos to use SonosNet?

To force Sonos to use SonosNet, connect one speaker (host speaker) to the router with an Ethernet cable. Connect other speakers to host speakers over SonosNet by following Settings> system> Network> SonosNet Channel> Select Channel 1,6 or 11.

How do I know if SonosNet is working?

To check if SonosNet is working, check if speakers are in a wired setup. For this, in the Sonos app on mobile devices follow Settings> Systems> About My System.

All speakers should display WM: 0 to know SonosNet is working. If it shows WM: 1, it means the speaker is in a wireless setup. WM: 2 denotes the product is in a surround sound setup.

Does Sonos Move use SonosNet?

No, Sonos Move does not work in a mesh network. It can act as a host speaker that is connected to the router with an ethernet cable (i.e. wired connection). Other speakers can then connect to Sonos move through SonosNet mesh wireless network.

Does Sonos Roam use SonosNet?

No, like Sonos Move, Sonos Roam cannot use SonosNet. It can be connected directly through Wi-Fi but cannot be used in a mesh network (SonosNet).

Do you need Sonos Boost for SonosNet?

No, you do not need Sonos Boost for SonosNet. If at least one of the Sonos speakers can connect to the router via Ethernet cable, you do not need a Sonos Boost to set up a SonosNet network.

Conclusion

SonosNet is a type of Sonos own and dedicated mesh network that allows multiple Sonos speakers to connect without using Wi-Fi. Sonos has termed SonosNet as a wired connection as one of the speakers has to be in a wired connection to the router through Ethernet cable.

Alternatively, when all speakers are in a wireless setup, they are in a Wi-Fi Mode.

Levi Alston
I write dozens of helpful informational articles based on topics that I have identified again and again throughout my research and work experience. I am here to help you find the right smart speaker.