updated 11:50 am EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
Software update being tested could remove need for Sonos Bridge
Sonos is testing a software update for its wireless speaker system that removes the need for a physical connection to the home network. The software would allow for the system's SonosNet network to operate with one of the speakers accessing the local Wi-Fi network, and avoiding wiring either a speaker or the Sonos Bridge wireless networking device to a router.
At the moment, the speakers create the SonosNet wireless mesh network between each other independently from a home Wi-Fi network. In order to provide an Internet connection, one of the Sonos speakers has to be connected over Ethernet, or the Sonos Bridge can be used to join the two networks together. The new system would allow for a speaker to be wirelessly connected to the home network, configured by a smartphone, with the speaker then organizing the separate SonosNet network.
While the software update would effectively remove the need for the Sonos Bridge, it could still find itself useful in some instances in the future. Sonos notes that some large homes or "challenging network environments" where the speakers will not be in range of the Wi-Fi signal, so a Bridge or a wired speaker may be required. Sonos does claim that, in its early testing, the majority of homes will "work well" with the new software.
"Wireless technology has improved over the last 10 years and alongside other investments in evolving your experience with the changing times, we are preparing to take SonosNet to the next level," reads a company blog post.
Sonos did not reveal when it will be releasing the software update, but it is accepting applications for its beta program.