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    Installing and living with the new Sonos Boost

    Mel Martin
    10.19.14
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    I've been a long-time fan of the Sonos whole house music system. When it was first introduced about a decade ago, it provided high quality music to several rooms in my house, and later updates allowed me to have complete control of the system from my Mac, iPhone or iPad.

    The only issue I ever had with my system is interference. I live in a pretty densely-built neighborhood, and I see Wi-Fi signals coming into the house at or near the signal strength of my own Wi-Fi router. As a result, music would sometime drop out or Sonos would report insufficient bandwidth to play the music.

    Design

    To solve the problem for me and countless others, Sonos has just introduced the Sonos Boost. It's a small US$99.00 white box that promises 50% greater range, and freedom from wireless interference.

    Configuration and Conclusion

    Hooking up the Sonos Boost is easy. In my original configuration, I had one of my Sonos boxes -- a Connect: AMP -- hooked directly to the router in my office. I unplugged that ethernet cable, and plugged in the Boost instead using the same cable. My Connect: AMP was now mated to the system wirelessly. I followed the quick setup steps in the Sonos Controller app on my Mac, and I was quickly reconfigured to use the Boost.

    The Boost has three internal wireless antennas which are designed to overcome just about any kind of interference.

    Real World Testing

    I've had the Boost as part of my Sonos system for about a week and so far I haven't experienced a single dropout. That's a decided improvement to my pre-Boost system. Before, I was constantly having to change the wireless channel the Sonos was using in order to try to stay away from channel changes on other people's home Wi-Fi systems.

    Everything is now calm and stable. In fact I've tried all the available wireless channels on the Sonos and they all work without dropouts or music interruptions. I simply could not do that before, as every channel change was at risk of losing connectivity.

    If you currently have a working Sonos system in your home, the Boost really isn't for you. But if you are living in any kind of Wi-Fi interference hell with your Sonos system, it appears that the Boost will give you a ticket out of your issues and into a state of audio nirvana.

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