How to throttle Sound Quality to Sonos speakers, and not to other Roon endpoints

Plugged into Mesh routers caused me an issue as the Sonos was taking over the routing and was not fast enough compared to my Orbi Mesh network. Hence the move back to a Boost and WiFi, and so far about 2 or 3 months in and no issues (at least until the next Sonosand Roon updates)

As @Johnny_Ooooops writes, “managed” is the operative word.

Sonos likes to create its own “mesh” of devices. This is a peer to peer network in which all of the Sonos devices attempt to connect directly with as many other Sonos devices as they can. If you have one or more Sonos devices plugged in, Sonos will create the mesh.

Think of your network like a tree in which your externally facing router is at the root. Some devices connect directly to the router. Then you have switches and access points. Sometimes switches under the switches. Devices connect to the access points, and to the switches. It all forms a nice tree. In this tree, there is one deterministic path from any device up to the root. There’s also one deterministic path from any device to any other device…data travels up to the lowest common parent in the tree and then down to the destination. It’s all nice and simple.

Now think of the Sonos mesh. Take that mesh and connect one device from the mesh to one device in the tree. Now you’ve got a cluster of Sonos devices hanging off of some node in the tree. That’s not bad, actually. All of the rules of the tree, and how routing works, haven’t been impacted by this. The mesh can route within itself but everything else works normally.

Now connect a different element in that mesh to a different element in your tree. Now what you’ve done is created the potential for data that has nothing to do with Sonos to travel across the Sonos mesh. Was that what you wanted? Probably not, but it’s what happened. And to make matters worse, you’ve created a multi-path environment because you now no longer have a simple tree - you’ve got a complex graph.

That’s what happens when you connect more than one Sonos unit.

Networks are designed to automatically detect and handle these sorts of cycles. They have to be able to do it because consumers, independent of Sonos, can do dumb things and connect up networks in ways that create cycles. There are also very valid reasons to have multiple paths for redundancy, failover, performance - these are data center, connectivity provider type things.

So networks support a couple of variations of “spanning tree” strategies which basically just set the network so that there is, at any one time, only one deterministic path for data to flow through to get from one place to another.

Sonos creates spanning tree problems and then does its best to fix them by trying to manage spanning tree weights within your network. They created the problem, so they try to fix the problem. But this doesn’t always work because of a variety of reasons including the fact that managed switches may not be willing to let any random element on the network set spanning tree weights (which are really just jets values that cause one path to preferred over others).

I know @Johnny_Ooooops uses UniFi and I don’t think UniFi lets Sonos set RTSP weights. So @Johnny_Ooooops did the work to set RTSP values on every switch to basically force traffic to flow through his network versus the Sonos mesh. Super competent users like him, on super sophisticated networks like his, can do this sort of thing. The rest of the world can’t.

I don’t know if this is interesting or new info for most people. I hope it illustrates, though, how there are a few permutations of Sonos network options. They are:

  1. Everything connected to your home WiFi network. No mesh, no cycles. But for some reason, devices drop and far more people than you would expect have issues. I have personally had extensive issues running in this mode for years and years and have spent hours with Sonos support building and rebuilding my Sonos network.

  2. One Sonos device hardwired. You get a mesh but no cycles and spanning tree issues. In other words, Sonos doesn’t create problem with your network and, consequently, doesn’t try to fix problems it created. This gets you a different set of Sonos problems.

  3. Multiple Sonos devices hardwired. Welcome to the world of multipath (cycles) and spanning tree. You were warned.

When Sonos shipped its first device in 2005, some of this made sense. At the time, they didn’t support what I described as #1 above. Home networks were fledgling and the couldn’t assume that people had decent enough WiFi or hardwired ports to rely on consumers’ networks. The mesh helped with this. It really did. I started with Sonos in 2008 and because of my personal network strategies, started wrestling with their approach at that time.

I’ve thrown in the towel. I just can’t things working reliability with or without Roon. I hate to say that because I’ve loved the convenience of Sonos for many years and I still think it can be a simple, turnkey system for the right people. I also am very sensitive to the fact that people have invested a lot of money and time into Sonos and can’t just easily walk away from it. But that is what I did.

@Thomas_Vandromme I hope this gives you some insight into what is going on. I hope the extender helps. I wish it wasn’t this complicated. It isn’t with some other vendors approaches though there are always tradeoffs.

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That was an incredible write-up. Frame it.

Not incredibly competent, incredibly stubborn. Preternaturally stubborn. Be prepared to act like you’re competent for weeks and to destroy. This way lie monsters.


Pedantic, hair-splitting nonsense. At the end of the day, we’re all imposters. The trick is to ignore that, get [expletive] done, learn along the way. Bonus points for being a decent and helpful human.

Thank you @gTunes I did understand a little.

My girls both want for Christmas a speaker for Spotify. But no bluetooth. I was thinking Sonos. Now I’m scared LOL
The wifi is too weak to cover both their rooms (building a new wifi takes the cash from the speakers)
They each have 2 ethernet cables in their room.

After this thread I think about Yamaha musicast. Same problems?
I guess the easy way it would be a pi with volumio (and I can insert my roon in there :rofl:)

little Sonos Roam would be good , has lots on connection options.

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Hi, @Traian_Boldea.

I’m not sure that Bluetooth is a bad idea for a small speaker in a kids’ room. It’s easy to play to, very compatible, can be easily taken to a friends house, and some music apps (Spotify, for example) can be used to play directly to it. I just wouldn’t rule that out.

I know I just said a lot of words about challenges with Sonos but if you do decide to go that route, @Phil_Ryan’s suggest for a Roam is possibly a good idea. It has a lot of connectivity options.

Bluesound devices are also an alternative. They have a number of streamer, amp, speaker options. They basically complete head to head with Sonos but they don’t do the mesh thing. I’m using a number of Bluesound Nodes as pure streamers that feed a distribution amp. No networking nonsense, they just work and they’re Roon Ready so no (at least in my case) Roon issues.

If you’re looking for additional recommendations, you might want to start up a new thread so we don’t take this one over with a discussion of Sonos alternatives.

It’s making me smile to think of you giving music to your daughters as a holiday gift. I know I did the same thing from an early age and it definitely help build a love for music in my kids.

Happy Holidays! :slight_smile:

Thank you. I’ll keep in mind all that you said. (bluetooth they do not like, they have some jbl headphones with bluetooth and are not happy, do not remember to charge or they have to reconnect)

Happy Holidays!

I believe that the sonos connect gen 2 (s2) late 2017 model does output 24bit 48khz.
But whether sonos software/roon implementation will output anything higher that 16bit 44.1khz is unknown. Furthermore, support for it maybe dropped anytime, given that the newer sonos port only does 16bit 44.1khz.