With a Sonos sound system, people can pump music through every room of the house using their Android phone or tablet as a master control device. This wireless audio jujitsu previously required users to directly plug a Sonos Bridge into their routers, which would create a dedicated network for the system to do its business on. With version 5.1, the Bridge is no longer required. New customers can set up their Sonos systems using their existing Wi-Fi networks.

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Now here's the thing, customers who have already got things up and running using a Sonos Bridge should just leave everything as it is. That approach is still the preferable option, as it gives the sound system its own dedicated network. This can result in a better experience than having Sonos share the same Wi-Fi connection with every other Internet hungry device in the house.

But for people who don't already have a Bridge, Sonos is asserting that doing without a direct connection to a router should still result in a solid experience free of drops, echoes, and delays. The company is confident enough to push new users towards this setup option by default. Nevertheless, there are still some situations that are better addressed by making sure you have a bridge.

BRIDGE setup is ideal for:
  • Larger homes where the WiFi performance isn’t reliable or doesn’t reach all of the rooms where you want music. ·
  • Homes where the WiFi network is already in high demand with streaming video and web surfing and you want to create a dedicated wireless network exclusively for your Sonos speakers.
  • Sonos 3.1 or 5.1 home theater system setup (BRIDGE setup is required if you want to pair a SUB and/or a pair of rear surround speakers with your PLAYBAR).

For more details, hit up the source links below.

Source: Sonos [1], [2]

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • motoridersd

    Only 2.4 Ghz networks are supported, but it has been working great for me. I have a separate 5 Ghz network where I put my more bandwidth-heavy devices.

  • Alberto

    I still prefer bridge over wireless got enough devices already on the network.

  • Marcus Karlström

    So i can bring my play 1 to any existing Wi-Fi, connect and be up and running? Huge step :-)

  • Ray

    Damn!! This just made Sonos A LOT more attractive for me. Might check out the latest pricing on the weekend. Saving $100 by not having to purchase a bridge.

  • Gilles

    For all those worried about Sonos' pricing, check out Rocki (http://www.myrocki.com) They sell a little box which plugs in directly into your own speakers and lets you stream your music over wi-fi to it. I've got 3 in my house and they work great. 49$ for a Rocki is also a whole lot cheaper than Sonos!

    • Eric Mendes

      Has the Rocki Android app improved at all? I checked it out a few months ago and the reviews were horrible!

      FYI, if you have Spotify and an old smart device available, you can plug the device into the speakers and control the Spotify remotely from anywhere as long as you're on the same Spotify account. This feature hasn't made it over to the desktop Spotify, but if you have a windows laptop, use the Spotiamp app. It must connect to the mobile API because you can control the Spotiamp instance as if it were a mobile app. Works perfect for me and its free if you have devices laying around.

      • Gilles

        The apps works quite well yeah! Not using it often though. Mostly streaming from my PC and now also through Spotify connect to my Rocki.

    • hellerox

      I pledged for a Rocki Play+ and they have been pushing back the release since February. In the other hand I REALLY love my Sonos devices, I totally recommend them.

      • Gilles

        I only have the 'regular' Rocki which if I'm not wrong is currently available from their webshop.