Sonos S5, Stand Alone Wifi? or More? Clarity Requested I keep reading but I can't quite understand the semantics. Can I just buy one of these and have it wirelessly connect to my network or do I need to hardwire it into the LAN? I was under the impression all I needed was this unit but now I'm not so sure. I have a new shop and we want to have one in the front of house, one in the kitchen and while they may run different audio profiles the ability to link them for special events would be pretty cool. If anyone could break this down for me it would be appreciated.
You need to have one of the Sonos components connected to your home LAN via Ethernet (wired network). You cannot use the built in wireless functionality to connect to your home wireless LAN (WiFi). If you happen to have any other Sonos components, they will be wirelessly connected to this S5 that you have connected to your home LAN - that wireless connection is called Sonosnet (http://www.sonos.com/experience/wireless/default.aspx?rdr=true&LangType=1033) and be able to access the same content as the Sonos component that is hard wired into your home LAN. The wireless functionality of Sonos works very well, and I have not had any issues with two home installations with multiple Sonos components.
Not sure what you mean by party mode, but as Kevin Damour says, you'll need at least one Sonos component connected by ethernet cable for the Sonos wireless to work. That component does not need to be the Sonos Bridge, can be a Sonos Player like the ZP90. The latter is my configuration.