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Good news, music fans: There’s now one less headache involved when setting up Sonos’ wireless speakers in your home.
Sonos today rolled out a new update for its wireless speakers that will let them connect directly to your Wi-Fi network. Previously, you had to hook up Sonos’s $50 “Bridge” device directly to your router, which would then serve as a wireless control hub for all your Sonos speakers, or plug your Sonos speakers into your router with an Ethernet cable.
The update is a direct response to the rising popularity of wireless speakers like Jawbone’s Jambox and Logitech’s UE Boom, which are powered by Bluetooth and can wirelessly stream music from your phone or computer without a complicated setup process.
Sonos was the first company to make high-quality wireless speakers a reality, but their high price (on top of the additional price for the Bridge device) put them out of reach for many consumers. With the launch of its $199 Play:1 speaker and this update, Sonos is clearly trying to make its devices more appealing to mainstream buyers rather than just rich gadget hounds.
Sonos says it held its largest beta test ever to work out the kinks of this wireless update. The update also won’t solve connectivity issues for every Sonos user: You’ll still need to have a Bridge connected to your router to create a Sonos 3.1 or 5.1 home theater setup, which is made up of the company’s PlayBar speaker and an array of smaller Sonos speakers.
The company also announced that it will release a $99 “Boost” gadget later this year, which will serve the same function as the Bridge while also boosting the coverage of your wireless connection.
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