I’ve been using Sonos as an in-home streaming solution for many years and since it relies on WiFi it provides infinite levels of flexibility in speaker placement. However, since it is wireless, there are times when things don’t work perfectly. I’ve found that sometimes, signals have trouble getting through mirrors and other obstacles – typically made of metal.
Moreover, you will have to reboot your components every now and then to ensure they work properly.
When the company fist launched its solution, many years ago, they required a Bridge device which also helped improved quality. In the past few months, the company has been able to provide their solution without the need for this Bridge.
This upgrade was no-doubt in response to competition from Samsung, Bose and a slew of other companies who seemed to suddenly realize how successful Sonos had become.
This is why it is interesting that Sonos now has a product called BOOST which is designed to ensure the signal is much stronger in your house. The company claims comparable broadcast strength to expensive enterprise-grade routers and its $99, making it a reasonably priced add-on.
I asked Eric Nielson with Sonos about how this new product compares to the Bridge. He said via email, “Just think BRIDGE on steroids. The three antennas offer full 360 degree coverage and the state-of-the-art software does a tremendous job of interference and noise rejection. The result is a 50% greater wireless range.”
Basically, you can try the system out without BOOST and if you find you have lots of metal in your walls or some rooms located far from your access point have sound quality issues, you can add this component later. One other option of course is to just swap out your access point for the one with the farthest range you can find. The benefit of doing so would be improved performance for all devices on the network.