Hardwired Setup for Sonos 5.1 Theater System


You would think hardwiring Sonos speakers in a 5.1 setup would be easier than setting them up as wireless... but nope. It's not. It took me a while to figure out how to do it mainly because there isn't a clear error.

When I first attempted hardwire the system everything actually worked but only for about 5 minutes. What happened next was that my whole network went down. The reason why this happened is due to what's called a "network storm". My router was overwhelmed with routing network packets generated by the Sonos system in this configuration. Seems like there's a loopback created because of Sonos' use of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) simultaneously across WiFI and ethernet connections when both are available to a speaker. The only way to get rid of this issue easily is to connect the system into a router/switch that has STP (Spanning Tree Protocol) support.

If you don't have access to one of these routers/switches then one option is to connect and disable the wifi for each speaker in a sequential fashion. The way I did it was as follows:

  1. Connect Playbar to ethernet (wait about 10 minutes)
  2. Enter Sonos app on phone, enter playbar menu, disable wifi
  3. Connect right rear speaker to ethernet
  4. On sonos app disable the wifi for the right rear speaker
  5. .... and so on for the remaining speakers

With this procedure everything works.

Written by
Alex Luis Arias