One of the original names behind multi-room audio is changing the way its technology works, cutting out the mesh network hub if you don’t need it, and that’s good news for consumers.
If you’ve been itching to try multi-room audio, but have been thrown off by the requirement of buying a $75 mesh-network Bridge to start yourself off, well, you can now throw those fears away.
From this week, owners of the Sonos system won’t have to rely on a mesh network if they don’t want to, with the speakers now able to be connected straight to the router using WiFi or wired Ethernet.
According to Sonos, this update applies to all Sonos speakers, including the Play:1, which sits at the bottom end of the range and is the entry level for new customers keen for a dash of sound, but not exposure to the entire range, which includes a mid-level speaker (Play:3), high-end model (Play:5), the Playbar sound bar, and a subwoofer conveniently named the Sub.
Previously the Hub was required for the Play:1 and Play:3 speakers, and recommended if you had more than one speaker in the system and wanted to play music around your home.
But with this update, it’s not even required for that.
“Following our largest beta test to date over the last several months, we’ve studied the performance across all kinds of home environments around the world to ensure the new WiFi-enabled setup meets,” said a post on the Sonos blog.