Best Overall Zigbee Stick

Did you get the P or the new E version ?

I’ve got the Sonoff Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus and have about 25 sensors in my house. But only 22 are working. Even new ones only work for some minutes and then they lose connection.
But Zigbee should support approx. 250 devices, shouldn’t it?
Is this dongle the problem? Can I attached a second one?

if u r sure (22/25), u can add a second one as a router. this worked just fine for me.

Most mains devices are routers.

@jtihonov how is your sonoff stick after some time. I am in the same boat, I have conbee + deconz and it is so unreliable.

Which version of the Sonoff stick?
I experienced a similar issue when using a Sonoff ZBDongle-E (together with Z2M). It’s still listed as experimental on the Z2M homepage so I got myself a Sonoff ZBDongle-P instead (also flashed it to the latest SW). Haven’t had any more issues after that.

I use the P version. Never had any issues. I think I added it for about 2 years now

Unfortunately not possible like that, at least not at with Zigbee 3.0 and previous Zigbee standards.

The ZHA integration does at this point not support multiple Zigbee Coordinator adapters at the same time and you can unfortunately not either at this point have multiple ZHA integration components instances installed and running inside a single Home Assistant core instance at the same time.

See questions and answers as well as suggested workarounds like installing a Zigbee2MQTT instance at the remote location just for any distantly located devices → Multiple ZHA integrations possible?

The best solution is however just to build only one big Zigbee network with more and stronger Zigbee Router devices (to one Zigbee Coordinator inside a single Zigbee gateway instanse), see → Zigbee networks: how to guide for avoiding interference and optimize for getting better range + coverage

Again, Zigbee uses mesh networking topology, which means that most mains-powered devices are a “Zigbee Router” that can act as a signal repeater and range extended by transmitting data over long distances by passing data messages through the Zigbee network mesh of intermediate devices to reach more distant Zigbee devices. Thus to have a healthy Zigbee network, you need many Zigbee Router devices relatively close to each other in order to achieve good coverage and range.

Any battery-powered device will be a “Zigbee End Device” which means that they do not route/repeat messages and thus does not contribute to routing to help extend the range of the Zigbee network mesh.


So if you plug the second sonoff on a power source like an electric plug adapter it will automatically repeat the signal to the one plugged on your HA server (for my part Rpi4) ? Or does it need some tweak or config ?

I think I’m going to buy a pair of P version if yes

Needs to be flashed with router firmware and then paired like any other zigbee device.

Yes, both the ZBDongle-E and ZBDongle-P can be repurposed/converted into dedicated Zigbee repeaters/extenders by flashing a respektive ”Zigbee Router” firmware, after that they just need power via a USB-changer and be paired/joined just like any other device.

Very good. Forgot about it’s existance. Zero fail.

Are there any upsides of running a usb stick as a repeater vs any other router (say IKEA TRADFRI plug or an aliexpress type switch control module)?

I do have a few of these routers and sadly my zigbee network performance is miserable that’s why if this offers any real advantages I’d like to go this route.

Better control of firmware updates and radio power settings (at least with CC2652 based sticks). Likely a better antenna.

IKEA Trådfi Outlet Plug is known for having much worse reception than IKEA Trådfri Signal Repeater, and mentioned Zigbee USB dongles with external antennas are known to work better than those. Read:

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I bought a cheap CC2531 based usb stick off of ebay, it’s plugged in on a 30cm usb extension cable into my rpi 3 via ZHA and i have had zero pairing or reliability issues. I do have a fair few mains wired devices that are acting as zigbee routers. But i have stuff in my basement garage under a concrete floor and they all work reliably. Mix of hue lights,xiaomi sensor + plugs and tradfi button devices. I guess i could be lucky but i haven’t had ongoing issues like some have reported.

Hi which stick did you bought


Copy of my post here in this new thread → Zigbee buyer's guide

The best Zigbee Coordinator hardware radio adapter to buy in December 2023

Zigbee Coordinator adapter product purchase recommendation summary:

If you today want a Zigbee Coordinator that can work great with either Home Assistant’s ZHA integration (built-in Zigbee gateway implementation) or Zigbee2MQTT (third-party Zigbee gateway application that can run stand-alone) then currently the best purchase recommendation is to buy a Texas Instrument CC2652P based USB radio adapter dongle with external antenna, (like for example ITead’s Sonoff ZBDongle-P , flashed with the latest stable community build of TI’s Z-Stack Zigbee Coordinator NCP firmware). (The only downside with using CC2652-based USB radio adapters is that there are currently no built-in features to upgrade Z-Stack Zigbee Coordinator firmware so that has to be done using third-party add-ons and external tools).

If you are however sure that you will only be using Home Assistant’s ZHA integration (built-in Zigbee gateway implementation) (and not Zigbee2MQTT) then the better option is to instead buy the official Home Assistant SkyConnect (USB radio dongle) o get an excellent user experience and super easy lifecycle maintenance. Most other Silicon Labs EFR32MGxx based radio USB dongle with Silabs EmberZNet Zigbee NCP firmware (not RCP firmware) will also give you a similar ease-of-use user experince when sticking to the Home Assistant’s ZHA integration (built-in Zigbee gateway implementation) (and not Zigbee2MQTT).

The reasons for buying those specific Zigbee Coordinator hardware radio adapters are:

If you’re using Home Assistant Operating System (HASS), Supervised, or Container, it’s recommended to use an external USB radio dongle (i.e. USB stick format) rather than an internal GPIO module, because not only do you get better reception with an external USB radio dongle, but passing a serial module through Docker can sometimes be more complicated than passing a USB adapter through, (at least if not using the Silicon Labs based EFR32MG21 radio module that if built-into the Home Assistant Yellow appliance). Network-attached Zigbee Coordinator adapters like the ZigStar’s UGZ and TubeZB’s CC2652P Zigbee to Ethernet/USB Serial Coordinator is another alternative to solve remote connection of a radio adapter but note that it adds a little more complexity than simply using a very long USB extension cable.

While most Zigbee Coordinator adapter hardware of different radio types should work great if using Home Assistant’s ZHA integration (and setup according to best practises), it should be noted that currently only Texas Instruments CC2652 and CC1352 based Zigbee Coordinator adapter hardware radio types are commended if using Zigbee2MQTT (which is due to the adapter code for other radio types in Zigbee2MQTT not yet offering feature parity with the adapter code for Texas Instruments based adapters, and most notable full backup + restore functionality is not available in Zigbee2MQTT and therefore it list support for other adapters as “experimental”).

Also note that support for commissioning Zigbee 3.0 devices via “Install Code” or “QR Code” via has so far only been implemented for ‘ezsp’ (Silicon Labs EmberZNet) or ‘znp’ (Texas Instruments Z-Stack) radio type in Home Assistant’s ZHA integration and Zigbee2MQTT. Other radio types like deconz (ConBee/RaspBee) and ZiGate are still missing “InstallCode” support in their respective radio libraries and manufacturer’s firmware commands/APIs or their serial interface documentation (i.e. ConBee/RaspBee and ZiGate have not added support for it to their firmware and/or not published API documentation).

The best dedicated Zigbee Router (repeaters/extender) devices to buy

Zigbee Router (repeaters/extender) product purchase recommendation summary:

To get the “best-of-the” Zigbee Router devices today it is recommended to buy a few Silicon Labs EFR32MG21 based USB radio dongles with an external antenna (like for example ITead’s Sonoff ZBDongle-E (based on Silicon Labs EFR32MG21 radio SoC) and convert/repurpose them by flashing over USB with a Zigbee Router firmware image, after than you can simply power them via USB-changers and pair to have them work as stand-alone dedicated Zigbee Router devices. An alternative is ITead’s Sonoff ZBDongle-P (based on Texas Instruments CC2652P radio SoC) which also can be reflashed with Zigbee Router firmware and repurposed as a stand-alone dedicated Zigbee signal repeater and range extender devices.

For all-in-one dedicated Zigbee Router products that work very well out-of-the-box, it is recommended to buy a few of IKEA’s Trådfri Signal Repeater devices and/or Aeotec’s Range Extender Zi producs. Both of those devices are based on Silicon Labs EFR32MG21 radio SoC, and many people have reported that Silabs EFR32MG21 based products with slightly better as dedicated Zigbee Router devices than TI CC2652 based producs.

The reasons for buying and using those specific products as Zigbee Router devices are:

Having a few “great” Zigbee Routers (a.k.a. Zigbee signal repeaters / Zigbee range extenders) with better radios and antennas for better reception can affect in Zigbee network mesh range and coverage performance positively as communication signals in Zigbee do not have to be resent. Acting as a stable backbone in your Zigbee network mesh. Also, adding at least a few "know good"dedicated Zigbee Router devices between the Zigbee Coordinator and any devices having issues will normally make a huge difference.

You have to understand and remember that each Zigbee device by itself has very limited coverage, short range and their weak signals have poor wall penetration, so to workaround this a Zigbee network relies on mesh networking (a type of network topology/technology/architecture), which means that a Zigbee network heavily depends on having a swarm of mains-powered devices are a “Zigbee Router” that are always-on so they can act as a signal repeater and range extended by transmitting data over long distances by passing data messages through the Zigbee network mesh of intermediate devices to reach more distant Zigbee devices.

So while having a Zigbee Coordinator with good radio and antenna away from any EMF sources can have similar benefits, Zigbee signals have such poor range and bad wall penetration power so having good router devices is really a must.


What I would add here - is obviously the SLZB-06 adapters (POE+network/USB/WiFi)

Screenshot 2024-02-08 214438

Currently, I would suggest having a look at these models:

Some features:

  • Multilanguage
  • VPN included
  • OTA core and Zigbee updates, scheduled updates
    Screenshot 2024-02-08 215528

You can run multiple instances with the single HA setup, as described here.

Hi Maxym,
I have the same idea to decouple HA and both my Zigbee and Z-Wave gateway’s.

Did you actually went this path? And what are your experiences?

Do you also have Z-Wave devices? And do you have any tips for people wanting to go this way?

Kind regards, Bert