It is not required for you to have a Bridge or Boost on your Sonos system. The speakers connect to your existing Wi-Fi setup independently without the need for additional equipment.
This outcome is dependent on the strength of your signal. If you stream movies or play video games on a crowded network, it may be helpful to have the Sonos Boost available.
When your speakers don’t need to speak directly to your router, the system may connect more reliably to your player.
Sonos Bridge vs Boost – Here’s Which One You Need
The Sonos Bridge provides improved connectivity for the connections your speakers need to your Sonos system. Boost is a more robust and updated version of this technology. It creates a dedicated mesh network on a separate channel for more consistency. You need one if your connections are inconsistent.
If you currently use a Sonos Bridge for your system successfully, it is unnecessary to upgrade to the Boost.
When you purchase a new Sonos system with several speakers, Boost is a better option because of its upgraded features.
Since Sonos speakers can connect to Wi-Fi independently, you may not need either choice. If you don’t have smart technology at home and limited computers, tablets, and laptops, you likely have enough capacity to support your system with a direct connection.
It is only when your Wi-Fi is not capable of supporting your Sonos system alone that the Bridge or Boost becomes a necessary addition.
You don’t need both. Understanding the differences between the two can help you choose the correct option for your system.
What Is the Difference between the Sonos Bridge and Sonos Boost?
The Sonos Boost is the updated version of the Sonos Bridge. Both items have the same job, connecting your speakers to the mesh network to play high-quality sounds through your system.
You’ll receive three distinctive advantages when using the Sonos Boost over the Sonos Bridge.
- It provides up to 50% greater wireless range within your home.
- You receive three antennae for 360-degree coverage that penetrates your ceilings and walls.
- Advanced interference rejection improves the quality of sound received, even when installed at a distance.
Most people do not need the Sonos Bridge or Sonos Boost with their installation. If your home is 2,000 square feet or less and you have a broadband connection from your ISP, you have everything you need.
When the following situations are part of your setup, it may be wise to invest in the Bridge or Boost to improve it.
1. You Have Poor Wi-Fi
If your network speed is below 5mpbs, you should consider getting the Sonos Bridge or Boost. This issue occurs most often in rural areas with DSL or satellite connections.
Anyone with an ISP that offers an unstable service or frequent pings may want to create more stability with one of these items.
2. You Have Thick Walls
Wi-Fi signals travel through standard sheetrock, plaster, and drywall with relative ease. If your home has thicker walls because they’re made from brick, stone, or other natural materials, getting the Sonos Bridge or Boost helps to keep your speakers adequately connected.
3. You Have Five or More Speakers
Each new item that connects to your system is like adding another computer or smart device.
When you reach a certain number, the sheer volume of support needed for the equipment starts slowing everything down.
If you have five or more speakers associated with your Sonos system, it helps to use Bridge or Boost to reduce network competition.
4. Your House Is Big
A house with more than 2,000 square feet may not have end-to-end Wi-Fi coverage. Most ISPs route the connection to an office or entertainment area.
These rooms tend to be on one end of the home, which means a system on the other side may not be connected correctly.
Sonos Boost can improve the network coverage, although you may want a router upgrade or improved positioning.
How to Setup Your Sonos System without Sonos Bridge
When you set up your Sonos system for the first time, you’ll need the product’s companion app to complete the work.
Download the software to your iOS or Android device. It is also available on Amazon’s Appstore.
Choose the Sonos product that you wish to set up at home. If your system is new, the app will guide you through the process of adding each one.
You can expect a six-step process from start to finish.
- Connect all of your Sonos devices to a compatible power source.
- Connect the devices to your existing Wi-Fi network.
- Open your Sonos app on your mobile device.
- You’ll see a message pop-up that says, “New Sonos product found.” Hit the “Learn More” button that appears.
- Tap the “Set It Up” command when it appears.
- Follow the remaining instructions in the app to complete your Sonos system setup process.
Once the Sonos app has multiple system connections, it will automatically recognize each one when your mobile device is on one of the networks.
If you don’t want this outcome, you must complete the process of forgetting a system through the app’s software.
How to Remove a Bridge from Your Sonos System
Sonos provides a Bridge removal tool in their companion app to your system. You’ll find the best way to shift out the equipment from your network by using this software.
The tool determines if Your Sonos speakers can create a reliable Wi-Fi connection. If the system cannot accomplish this step, it will tell you if your Bridge needs to get replaced with the upgraded Boost.
Follow these steps to complete the removal process.
- Open your Sonos app on your iOS or Android device. From the settings tab, go to the system menu. Tap the bridge removal command from the tools section, following the on-screen steps to complete the work.
- Connect Sonos to your Wi-Fi by updating it to the latest software version. From the companion app, tap the system menu, go to the network options, and choose Wireless Setup. Complete the steps to connect your system to the Wi-Fi. Disconnect the Bridge from your router once your speakers have a successful connection. It helps to give your products some time to connect. They’ll show up under your rooms tab.
- If your Bridge is connected to your Ethernet, disconnect it from its power source first before removing it from your network. Connect your Sonos item to the router instead before connecting it to power. Once the system boots up, you’ll know it is ready when the blinking light becomes a solid white.
■ What If I Want to Replace Bridge with Boost?
If the Sonos companion app told you that your equipment requires an upgrade to Boost, the steps to create this connection are relatively easy to follow.
Instead of disconnecting your Bridge immediately, you’ll need to add the Sonos Boost to your network first.
It helps to have the power and Ethernet cables ready at your router before beginning this process.
Once you’ve got everything organized, go into the settings tab in the Sonos app. After going to the system menu, select “Add Boost or Bridge.”
The software will take you through several on-screen prompts you must complete.
Your app will detect the Bridge still connected to your router. Choose the “Connect to Router” option that appears.
You’ll receive another series of steps in the companion app to get your Boost connected to the router. More prompts appear that enable the connection to work with your system.
If you don’t have any open ports on your router, wire the Sonos Boost to your second Ethernet option on the Bridge until you complete the setup process.
Once Boost connects, you can remove Bridge from the router. If you had it wired to your Bridge to complete the work, your Boost could now replace the connection on your router.
■ Should I Remove My Old Sonos Bridge?
If you already have a Sonos Bridge that functions well, there is no harm in keeping it. Your system works as intended.
Boost gives you an upgraded experience, but it may be an unnecessary expense if your Wi-Fi or Bridge already supports your system.
When you have no Wi-Fi issues at home, your speakers can connect to your system wirelessly to give you the listening benefits you want.
■ What Can I Do If I Don’t Want My Sonos Bridge?
If you upgraded to the Boost or decided to create a direct connection to your Wi-Fi, the Sonos Bridge is no longer necessary for your system.
Sonos recommends that you take the product to your nearest e-waste site for recycling. If you don’t have a location nearby, the company will pay for its shipping return for most customers and perform the work themselves.
Since Sonos is not updated its old gear at this time, you may find that speaker performance gradually declines while using the previous connections. An update may eventually be mandatory.
- Boosts your Wi-Fi signal for when it doesn't reach every room or if you have too many users on the same network
- You can simply plug it into your Wi-Fi router
- The signal boosting is comparable to enterprise-level Wi-Fi routers
- Offers 2 10/100 Mbps Ethernet ports and ships with an Ethernet cable
■ Is It Better to Buy a Sonos Bridge or a Boost?
Sonos discontinued the Bridge when they introduced the Boost to their new systems. It was a necessary part of the original ecosystem, but it is no longer mandatory.
Changes to this setup went into effect in May 2020. You can now connect the multi-room wireless speakers to your network.
If you find that it is still necessary to connect the system outside of your router, the Boost is your best option.
Do I Need a Sonos Bridge or Boost at Home?
If you want to enjoy the premium sound from affordable speakers while maintaining a clean look, Sonos is the system you want.
Plug the speakers into power, and they’ll work with your current network. You can add more at any time through the companion app.
Is Sonos better than Bose? That answer depends on your personal preferences. It is undoubtedly more affordable to create a complete system when choosing Sonos products.
You can stream up to 60 different music services globally when using this equipment.
When you set it up with a Bridge or Boost, if your Wi-Fi is weak or congested, you’ll always hear your favorite songs or watch your favorite movies or shows with its stunning audio performance.