Sonos Move To Two Wireless Speaker Connection Options
The US Company believes that the changes will enhance the reach of the Sonos signal while also delivering an improved listening experience.
Sonos has eliminated the need for a physical connection with their speakers with owners now able to connect to a home wireless network instead of the wireless mesh network created between Sonos speakers.
Users setting up a Sonos wireless multiroom-audio system won’t have to make a wired Ethernet connection between a wireless router and one of the speakers to take advantage of Sonos’ mesh-network technology which has been the backbone of their success. The move also eliminates the need to buy a $72 Sonos Bridge to connect Sonos devices.
While the system effectively eliminates the need for a physical connection, either via a speaker or the Sonos Bridge, it is still only one connection option. Speaking to Pocket-Lint, vice president of product development Nick Millington advised that existing setups will continue to operate as usual. “You can ditch your Bridge, but there is no real reason to do that. There is no reason to disturb a working system.”
The capability brings Sonos systems in line with a growing number of new wireless multiroom-audio systems such as the new Denon Heos system that don’t require consumers to connect a component directly to a router.
“The vast majority of new customers will now be able to use the Wi-Fi setup, which works for all speakers within range of the Wi-Fi router,” Nick Millington said.
Sonos executives said that the dedicated Sonos network, which is only obtained through a wired connection to your router, remains the best way to ensure the most bulletproof experience” in several scenarios. Those include homes in which Wi-Fi signals don’t reach every room in which users want to place a Sonos speaker or streamer.
Another scenario involves the addition of a wireless subwoofer to a three-channel Sonos soundbar or the use of Sonos speakers as surround channels for the soundbar. When used alone the soundbar does not require the use of a Bridge or require the bar to be connected via Ethernet cable to a router, but adding Sonos surround speakers or a Sonos subwoofer will require a Bridge or wired connection to one of the Sonos products.
Separately, the company announced plans for a US$99 Sonos Boost device later this year to offer enterprise-grade wireless capabilities for challenging home Wi-Fi environments, the company said. The product and details will be available “in the coming months. In Australia the device is expected to retail for over $129.