Sonos Is About to Get Even Easier By Ditching the Bridge

Illustration for article titled Sonos Is About to Get Even Easier By Ditching the Bridge

Sonos' multi-room wireless music system is crazy easy to use, but it's always had one annoying little drawback: You've got to plug at least one Sonos speaker or a Sonos Bridge into your router for it to work. Well the company just announced that it's overhauled its tech so that you don't need to be plugged in anymore.

Sonos keeps all of the speakers throughout your house connected together by creating a big wireless web it calls SonosNet. It's basically just another network that's plugged into your network. When Sonos developed its tech a decade ago, it was built around having the Bridge plugged directly into your network, serving as the air traffic control that all the speakers and devices could stay in communication with.

According to Sonos, the company has evolved its software so that all the different parts of SonosNet can stay in sync without being plugged into the router. Some users may still benefit from using a Bridge, but the company says that in its testing, most use cases won't need it any more. Now all you'll need to do to set it up is a speaker, a smartphone, and a wireless connection.

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That's not just awesome because it's easier, in a lot of cases it'll also make it cheaper to get on Sonos. Typically a Bridge costs $50, though, the company frequently bundles it with speakers in deals.

The new software is currently in beta while the company completes testing, but if it's far enough along for an announcement, we'll hopefully see it hit Sonos systems everywhere soon. Gotta love it when easy gets easier. [Sonos via Verge]

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DISCUSSION

writerdowner
Writer Downer

I am skeptical of this. I really hope they pull it off, but let me share my story.

I own four Play5 speakers and one Play1. After *many* long phone calls and emails (over a number of months) with their truly excellent customer support staff, it was determined that even though my wireless system had good strength, there were huge bursts of noise that caused my signal to noise ratio to intermittently get out of whack. This resulted in problems ranging from a single speaker cutting out rapidly with crackles for the duration of a movie (played through line-in source), or in my system pausing itself and not coming back on until I physically went into the app and pressed play again.

The fix for the multitude of issues I was having —with what we ultimately presumed was a nearby school intermittently blasting out significant amounts of interference into my otherwise strong network connection and close proximity of speakers within my house— was to wire EVERYTHING up using outdoor rated cat6 Ethernet cable on the outside of my house. This has eliminated all of those problems that I had been experiencing for so long.

So as much as I truly love Sonos for my home entertainment speaker setup and seamless Pandora integration and outstanding customer support, I'm weary that their new changes will be dreamy for everyone (although admittedly they might make things easier and cheaper for the vast majority).

It sucks to have had to pay for and install cat6 in my house when the cost is already so high for the Sonos wireless integration and supposed simplicity, but the improved reliability and the way the app works with the Sonos speakers makes the whole thing worth it in my opinion.