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Do I need a Sonos Bridge or Boost?
Not sure if you need a Sonos Bridge or Boost to start your Sonos system?
Is the Sonos Boost or Bridge required to use a sonos system?
As of July 2015, it is not a requirement to have a Sonos Bridge or Boost to use your Sonos system. Sonos speakers can now connect to your existing WiFi network on their own, without the need for any other components, providing your WiFi is strong enough.
However, there are a few scenarios where a Sonos Boost may be needed.
Sometimes WiFi just isn’t enough. Some people have problems streaming movies or surfing the web at home because their network is crowded with too many wireless devices, and others have rooms too far away from the router that don’t get a WiFi signal at all.
If this sounds familiar - you can always plug any Sonos product into the router via ethernet or buy a Boost (RRP £99) to create a dedicated wireless network just for your Sonos speakers.
What will using a Sonos Bridge / Boost do?
Plugging in any Sonos speaker or Sonos Bridge / Boost directly to your WiFi router with an ethernet cable launches a reliable mesh network on a separate wireless channel.
This means that your speakers don’t have to talk to the WiFi router directly, and can connect reliably through any nearby Sonos player.
This increases the range of your Sonos system and ensures that you’ve got great connectivity, no matter how large your home or how many WiFi devices you use.
Note: the Sonos Bridge or Boost will not boost the speed of your WiFi. Rather, they will put your Sonos speakers on their own network which means they won't conflict with other wireless devices on your network, meaning you can listen to music with no drop-outs.
What's the difference between the Sonos Bridge & Boost?
The Boost now replaces the Bridge but in terms of their functions, their job is exactly the same as wiring any one Sonos speaker directly to your router via ethernet - to put your Sonos speakers on their own mesh network.
With the Boost being a newer product than the Bridge, it comes with a number of advantages.
RANGE: 50% greater wireless range than Bridge
COVERAGE: Three antennas for flawless 360 degree wireless coverage through walls and ceilings.
POWER: Advanced wireless interference rejection.
Situations where a Sonos Boost may be required
If you have poor WiFi
If your WiFi network speed is less than 5mbps or you generally suffer WiFi inconsistencies / problems at home, you may wish to add a Boost. This is most common if you live in a rural area or your walls in your house are made of stone, or quite thick in general.
If you own more than 5 Sonos speakers
If your speakers are connecting wirelessly to your WiFi network, each speaker is like another laptop, tablet or phone on your network. We'd recommend installing a Boost as a precaution, so your Sonos speakers don't compete with your wireless devices for available bandwidth on your network!
If you have a very large house
If your house covers a large area, your WiFi router might need a little help. To make your WiFi stronger, you'll of course need to think about upgrading your WiFi router first. A Sonos Boost will also ensure your speakers get the best coverage they can on your network.
FAQ: I have an old Sonos Bridge already. Should I remove it from my system?
There is no harm keeping your Bridge in your Sonos system as it ensures your Sonos speakers are maintaining the best possible connection on your WiFi network.
However, if you have no known issues with your WiFi at home, Sonos speakers are capable of connecting to your WiFi wirelessly.
If you would like to connect your speakers wirelessly to your network, please follow the steps in the article: removing a Bridge from your Sonos system
Conclusion: do you need a Sonos Bridge or Boost?
The Sonos Bridge was replaced by the Sonos Boost and the only time you should consider adding a Sonos Boost is for any of the reasons highlighted above.
The Boost is generally not required for a Sonos system if your WiFi works fine at home.
We normally recommend to see how you go without a Boost first, and if you experience any drop-outs or problems streaming music, you can add a Boost at a later date.
About smart home sounds
Smart Home Sounds is a UK Sonos specialist dedicated to filling homes with the joy of music, one room at a time!
We provide expert advice on the full Sonos range, from the voice controlled Sonos One to a Sonos wireless home cinema system with PLAYBAR, SUB, and 2 x Ones all with free next day delivery and a 6 year extended warranty.