Sonos has often been praised for its super minimalist setup process. Power up a couple Sonos speakers in different rooms, open the smartphone app, and boom — wireless sound around your house… right?
Mostly. There’s currently one tiny asterisk in the process that tends to get forgotten: one of those speakers (or a separately purchased “bridge” unit) needs to be wired directly into your router to act as the brain of the operations.
The reason this sucks? Because “good spot for a router” and “good spot for a booming speaker” don’t always overlap. Thanks to improvements in wireless signal technology, many of us just stuff our routers in the back of some closet and forget about it until the Internet whonks out and we have to smack it with a hammer.
Now Sonos wants to drop that requirement.
Before this, you had two options:
- Run an ugly ethernet wire from the router to wherever you actually want the speaker to be.
- Drop $50 bucks on Sonos’ dedicated bridging unit, which can be plugged into the router to act as the brain in place of a speaker.
In a blog post this morning, Sonos announced that they’ve figured out a way to rework their software so that no wired connection to the router is necessary. In an upcoming update, the speakers will be able to wirelessly work together to orchestrate the operations and keep your tracks in sync, all without a speaker/bridge unit hardwired into the router.
Now, you do still need a router/WiFi in the mix, so don’t expect to drag the ol’ Sonos system out to the beach — but for many people, this takes the one last little annoying quirk out of the Sonos configuration process.
Sonos notes that while their new setup should work for most people, folks with particularly big homes (or homes with walls that like to eat wireless signals) might still need a bridge. For them (and for everyone already using a bridge), the bridge should continue to work just as it always has.
Sonos is rolling out the new bridge-free software in Beta first. Interested? Signups are right over here.