Do Sonos Speakers Need Wi-Fi?

sonos 5 speaker in an officesonos 5 speaker in an office

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Besides the sleek design of the Sonos speaker, its ability to seamlessly connect to wireless technology sets it apart from its competitors. Users can not only connect to streaming music devices but also smart home automation systems, such as Google Home and Alexa. With that said, do Sonos speakers require Wi-Fi to maintain these connections?

While it is possible to operate certain Sonos speaker models without a Wi-Fi connection, you may miss out on multi-room streaming and advanced remote features. However, even without an available Wi-Fi connection, you can still play music on your Sonos using the autoplay feature or connecting to Ethernet.

In this article, you’ll learn about setting up your Sonos speaker, connecting to Wi-Fi, and how you can continue to use your speaker even without Wi-Fi.

Can Sonos Speakers Work without Wi-Fi?

Newer Sonos speakers, like the Sonos Play 5, can work without Wi-Fi connections, but you will need to first connect to Wi-Fi to set it up.

This is made possible by enabling the auto play feature, which allows the speaker to play with or without Wi-Fi connectivity once it detects a line-in signal. However, note that without a Wi-Fi connection, you will not be able to control the volume via the Sonos mobile app or access other remote features.

Setting Up the Auto Play Feature

The following is a simple way to set up the autoplay feature to allow your Sonos speaker to operate without a Wi-Fi connection. In the dedicated Sonos app:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Connect a 3.5mm aux cable to the speaker and your music streaming device.
  3. Click on Room Settings.
  4. Once your 3.5mm cable is plugged in, you should see the line-in room settings.
  5. Click this option and set the line-in auto play room to the location you wish to use your speaker without Wi-Fi in. For example, you can set the line-in auto play room as “office” or “lounge,” etc.

Once your Sonos speaker is set up, you can start using it without a Wi-Fi connection even after switching it off and back on again.

Note: Remember that the auto play feature may not be accessible with earlier versions of Sonos speakers and using your speaker without a Wi-Fi connection will limit your access to multi-room streaming and advanced remote features. While Sonos recently released the Sonos Move, which features Bluetooth connectivity, most older generations of Sonos speakers are still Wi-Fi-dependent.

How to Connect Sonos Speakers to Wi-Fi

Since Sonos speakers need Wi-Fi either for setup purposes or to help you stream tunes across rooms, you will need to connect your Sonos speakers to Wi-Fi to get the fun started. Below is a step-by-step process to help you connect your speaker to the Sonos mobile app to later connect to Wi-Fi.

Connecting to the Sonos Mobile App

  1. Place your speaker within a close range of your Wi-Fi router. Check the Wi-Fi signal strength on your phone or other connected devices with a screen display.
  2. Connect the Sonos speaker into a power supply/outlet. The latest Sonos Move requires users to plug in their power cable into its dedicated charging base.
  3. Once properly connected to a power supply and set up, check your Sonos speaker LED for a flashing green light. You’ll find your speaker’s LED between the play and pause buttons (varies across models).
  4. Open the Sonos Mobile App (Available on Apple and Google store).
  5. Tap “Set up a new Sonos.”
  6. You may decide to sign in to your previous account or create a new account if you are connecting to the Sonos Mobile App for the first time.
  7. Click on “Standard setup” to access the next step.
  8. Confirm that your Sonos speaker is already powered on and click “NEXT.”
  9. The Sonos app will do a quick search to identify your speaker, link it, and configure it for further use.
  10. At this point, your Sonos speaker will be configured and ready to connect to your home or office wireless connection.

Connecting to Wi-Fi

  1. In the Sonos app, open the Settings tab.
  2. Click on Systems and then Network setting.
  3. Click on Wireless Setup and enter your Wi-Fi password.
  4. You will receive a pop-up message saying that your Sonos speaker is connected to your Wi-Fi network.

Note: If your Sonos is having difficulty connecting to your Wi-Fi network, please check your phone’s network settings to confirm that it is linked to the same wireless network as the Sonos speaker.

What If I Don’t Have a Good Wi-Fi Connection?

While it is essential that you connect your Sonos speaker to a reliable Wi-Fi connection, you can still operate your speaker if your wireless signal is weak. Many Sonos speakers come with a dedicated built-in Ethernet port that allows you to connect to the Internet via an Ethernet cable and create a special Sonos wireless network.

If you’re using an Ethernet cable, the setup process is still the same as with setting up with Wi-Fi; the only difference is you’ll need to choose BOOST setup instead of the Standard setup in your Sonos mobile app.

In Summary

Unfortunately, older generations of Sonos speakers cannot operate without being connected to Wi-Fi. However, many of the newer Sonos speaker models, such as the Sonos Play 5 and the waterproof Sonos Move, can still work without it. The only kicker is that you’ll need to connect to Wi-Fi when first setting up the speaker to enable that feature.

In addition, when your speaker isn’t connected to Wi-Fi, you can lose advanced remote features, such as adjusting the volume on your device—although the physical buttons on a Sonos speaker can still be used manually for this purpose.

If you can’t establish a good Wi-Fi connection, many Sonos models come with an ethernet port that allows you to connect directly to your router for Internet access. So, either way, Sonos speaker owners have various options for connecting available.

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