#Sonos' latest 5.1 software update means you no longer need to have your first Sonos device connected to your router – turning the Sonos Play family in to true, one-box wireless speakers and removing the need for the Sonos Bridge.
Great news for lowering the entry price into the world of Sonos, but should existing Bridge owners cast aside their plucky little Bridges?
We don't think so, and with the further announcement of a more powerful Bridge - called #Sonos #Boost - it appears Sonos still have belief in their own mesh network.
Love or loathe the Bridge, it does at least give a reasonably dependable signal in most modern living environments. Many may feel the need to do away with it and switch to their own wireless router. But how many different routers are out there and - more critically - how many of those are mid or high end routers, rather than the cheap "throw away" routers supplied by all Broadband providers?
They may cope with a handful of Sonos components, but a whole house system? As well as dealing with the rest of the network traffic demanded by the rest of the family? Smartphones, Tablets, Smart TVs, Bluray decks, Games Consoles, and PCs will all be placing demands on that cheap router and it will also now be being asked to handle potentially several audio streams across your Sonos system...
The 5.1 update has launched following the biggest beta test Sonos has ever run involving thousands of Sonos users, the update is now official and available to the public. However will this latest release be perfect? Unlikely.
If you're running a Sonos 3.1 or 5.1 home cinema set-up you will NEED to still run with at least one hard wired connection. Live in a particularly big house or have a weaker than average WiFi network, and we would still advocate either a ethernet wired setup or utilising a Bridge or the new Boost.