Speaker systems that create their own wireless networks can cause interference for other networks in your home — and for your neighbors.
There are many brands and types of music systems with wireless speakers. Sonos is a widespread brand in Norway and is used as an example here, but the advice will be the same for most brands.
Most devices from Sonos and similar products use the 2.4 GHz frequency band. That is, the frequency band with the most interference and the longest signal range.
On Sonos, you have two network modes to choose from:
So which is better? This mainly depends on how many other wireless networks are nearby.
If there are few other networks, it is easy to change Sonos to use one of the "good", non-overlapping channels on the 2.4 GHz band — 1, 6 or 11 — and set your own wireless network to use one of the other two channels.
If there are many other networks, connecting the Sonos devices to the normal wireless network is probably the better choice.
The best solution is to use the 5 GHz frequency band to the maximum extent possible for other wireless devices on the network, and only let clients that do not support 5 GHz use the 2.4 GHz band.
Sometimes we get questions specifically about Sonos speakers and Airties Wi-Fi, the wireless mesh solution that we distribute. Exactly the same rules of thumb apply here as for other wireless networks.
Please note that although both Sonos and AirTies access points form mesh networks with other devices of the same type, they cannot be part of a mesh network with each other. Sonos must either be on its own network or use the Wi-Fi network.
SonosNet is a mesh system, but not an ordinary wireless network, so it will not be intercepted by an ordinary Wi-Fi scanner. The screenshots below are from a spectrum scanner and shows measurement done in the same location with and without SonosNet.
On the first picture we see that there is a lot of activity on channel 11 and some activity on channel 6.
In the second picture, Sonos is in use on channel 6. Sonos is using its own wireless standard and is being observed as interference to common wireless devices.
Article by Jan Pedro Tumusok and Jorunn D. Newth