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Sonos Bridges Falling Down

Santa Barbara, Calif. – Sonos is making it a little simpler and a little less expensive to build a Sonos wireless multiroom-audio system in most homes.

Most consumers 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 in a Sonos system to take advantage of Sonos’ mesh-network technology, quality of service, and low latency, the company announced. Nor do they have to buy a $49 Bridge and connect it to the wireless router in lieu of connecting one Sonos speaker in a system directly to the router.

The capability brings Sonos systems in line with a growing number of wireless multiroom-audio systems 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,” the company explained. “But 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, a spokesman said.

Separately, the company announced plans for a $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,” Sonos said.