If the word Sonos doesn’t mean anything to you, read up here and then come back.
Sonos have changed things up a little recently – they’ve cut the cord! Now you can get set up even easier with a single PLAY speaker, CONNECT component or PLAYBAR. Previously, either a Sonos component or BRIDGE hardwired to your router was a requirement. It’s now officially optional – the only time you’ll absolutely need that hardwired connection is if you have a PLAYBAR you’d like to pair with a SUB and/or rear speakers.
This doesn’t mean the BRIDGE is obsolete. In fact they’ve also now added the BOOST to their line up. The BOOST is really a BRIDGE with a whole lot more OOMPH! The fact is, a wired connection will always be better. If it’s convenient for a Sonos speaker to be near your router, hardwire that one. If it’s not, use a BRIDGE. If you have a very large home or you currently suffer from WiFi drop-outs/issues, a BOOST will give you the most solid performance.
Using Sonos wirelessly will use up bandwidth from your router so if you’ve got an old one, it may not perform well, however if yours is newer/better/faster, go for gold. Keep in mind that while you can get away without a BRIDGE/BOOST to begin with, if you continue to add components and use them together regularly, it will take more of a toll on your WiFi network and you may need to add a BRIDGE at a later date.
Lastly, we’ve had enquiries lately of something that’s a little off topic but not very well documented so I thought I’d throw it in anyway. There are three options to add rear speakers to a Sonos Home Theatre system. You can use a pair of PLAY:1s, a pair of PLAY:3s or a CONNECT:AMP. If you have in-ceiling speakers and you’d like to make use of them, a CONNECT:AMP will allow this. It must be connected to the PLAYBAR via an Ethernet cable and in this case the PLAYBAR must also then be hardwired to your router. Hopefully that helps!