Question

Best way to make stable groups


After years of resistance, I now have a TV in the patio dedicated to music videos, to be played there and streamed to other Sonos zones indoors. I am seeing the group break up often, even where all the concerned Sonos units have solid green signal strengths back to Boost.

Line is set to uncompressed; both compressed and the choosing the Airplay device trick does not seem to work; the latter does not fix the lip sync problem caused by the former.

The TV is connected to a Connect in the patio, which is used to initiate a group with the 2 other zones indoors, which are also closer to the Boost than the patio Connect. Often, and usually when I choose to change the video being played, these two drop while remaining as a group, leaving the patio Connect playing on its own. When I add the Connect back to these groups, play resumes on all three zones, and, I suspect, in a more stable manner.

Any ideas as to solutions? If I wanted to wire an ethernet cable from the Patio to the router what would I have to do - one end would go into the jack on the Connect, and the other back to the jack on the Boost? Would that solve the problem?

PS: The TV is connected from its audio analog line outs to the Connect Line in.

10 replies

I am attaching a sketch of the layout and the Sonos unit locations to make things clear. Some comments on the layout:
  1. There is no door between the Patio Connect and the Boost, allowing a line of sight from about 16 feet between the two units.
  2. The Boost is placed next to a Play 1, on a table, with a bonded Sub on the floor adjacent. The router is on a smaller table, about 3 feet below the Boost.
  3. The Dining Play 1 pair, also with line of sight, is about 16 feet away.
  4. The Connect Amp at the other end of the Living room, at the top of the sketch, is line of sight, but about 24 feet away.
  5. Router on channel 1, and Sonos on 11.
  6. All units are in green tunnels in matrix.
No surprise therefore that for music played via NAS/Apple Music, there are zero issues, including in grouped play, regardless of which unit is the group lead. I have occasional issues in an adjacent bedroom on the other side of a brick wall that has a yellow tunnel, but all units in the sketched space always perform flawlessly.

Repeating the question in the first post, therefore, what are my options?

I can run an ethernet wire from the Patio Connect to the vicinity of the Boost with some effort, but what do I wire it to there? And will this address the problem of unstable group play at all, or will it mess up even what is working fine today where grouped play is used?

Any help will be much appreciated. The TV to Connect Line in works fine in the Patio, but extending the sound to the open plan adjacent seems to be a challenge. At a minimum, I would like to extend the sound to the single play 1 + Sub, grouped with the Connect; not having the Play 1 pair or the Connect Amp do this as well would be something I could live with.

What I have noticed in the matrix is high noise levels on the Connect, which moves from yellow to orange boxes; I suppose this from the streaming stick which necessarily has to be in the vicinity.

I have sent Sonos Support a bunch of diagnostics as well.
Why bother with the Boost Kumar? .. did you ever perhaps try just using the Play:1 wired instead as the Sonos Household Root device.

If that doesn’t work I would maybe try more separation between the Boost and the Play:1. I tend to prefer 4 feet of space between devices, but that’s mostly a personal thing.

I assume there are no stored wifi credentials in Advanced Settings/Wireless Setup?

Have you tried simply swapping WiFi and SonosNet Channel to see if that makes a difference.
Good question, Ken. In fact I used the Play 1 as the wired device, as root bridge. Last summer I found it was running very hot even when silent, and the Boost was available and sitting in a desk drawer, so I moved the root bridge role to the Boost and conserve the play 1 and the system works fine just as before - except for this line in signal propagation to a group.

I will try what you suggest and move the 1 back to wired root bridge role, see how things go, and report.

Another curious symptom which puzzles me: I find that when the play 1+ Sub are playing in group with the line in driven Patio Connect, the sound levels from them seem to be a lot lower than at other times, including when they are playing as part of a group where the NAS is the wireless source. Why should that be the case? I thought digital wireless means on, stuttering, or off. If on, there should be no audible impact.

I keep thinking that the proximity of the streamer to the Connect is causing interference to the Connect and curtailing its ability to supply signals to the other units in the group and if this was so, I am not sure this will be addressed by your suggestions.
Why bother with the Boost Kumar? .. did you ever perhaps try just using the Play:1 wired instead as the Sonos Household Root device.

If that doesn’t work I would maybe try more separation between the Boost and the Play:1. I tend to prefer 4 feet of space between devices, but that’s mostly a personal thing.

I assume there are no stored wifi credentials in Advanced Settings/Wireless Setup?

Have you tried simply swapping WiFi and SonosNet Channel to see if that makes a difference.

Why bother with the Boost Kumar? ..
Damn, my long reply has gone for moderation...
I agree that a Boost right next to the Play:1 is a bad idea. Adjacent transceivers can give rise to a near-far issue.

Try wiring the Play:1, and set the Boost aside. If the Boost is to be used I'd suggest the Play:1 be wired with its radio disabled.

Is the patio Connect driving anything by way of an amp or active speakers, or is it simply a Line-In?
As agreed, I will revert the play 1 to root bridge role, and pull the power to the Boost and see/report.

The patio Connect is wired to amp via analog line out.
Waiting for Sonos support to respond, a thought came to me whether given the layout in the sketch, with a NAS wired to the router not shown there, would moving from Sonos net to Wifi be a solution? Does the WiFi have a better ability to carry the uncompressed data, seeing that all the places where it needs to go to in grouped play are in line of sight of the router?
Kumar,

I don’t see a problem at all with trying a WiFi connection here, the answer has to be 'try it and see'. The important thing seems to be having a degree of separation between your devices. I choose to recommend a distance of 4 feet, but it’s what is convenient for you.

I will just add that personally speaking, I tend to choose a SonosNet connection, as it’s 'exclusive' to Sonos devices and I much prefer that, in fact I tend to run my 'other' WiFi devices in the home mostly on the 5ghz band, where practicable, but not all my devices support that connection, the Harmony Hubs, for example, will only run on the 2.4ghz band.

SonosNet's exclusivity has proved to be less problematic in my case and I can easily run 'line-in' Sonos connections (uncompressed) to large speaker groups, with no dropouts, using that type of connection, whilst also watching streaming movies on TV and Surround Speakers over a 5ghz link, using an Apple TV device etc.
SonosNet's exclusivity has proved to be less problematic in my case and I can easily run 'line-in' Sonos connections (uncompressed) to large speaker groups, with no dropouts, using that type of connection,
Good for you, and I am then surprised that the Sonos first response before seeing any diagnostics was that they are not confident of the capability of their products to do this beyond a limited group size, given the large bandwidth needed for the transfer of uncompressed line in.
Here is the reason for my question - I recently moved up from a 16 to a 40 Mbps broadband plan and found that in an adjacent bedroom where I was using an AEX as an access point, wired to a Connect Amp, the received speeds through the Sonosnet tunnel remained at 4-5 Mbps. When I reconfigured the AEX to work wirelessly with the router, this speed jumped to 10 Mbps, and even more, at times.
I guess "try it and see" is the thing to do, seeing that this is quite easy, if one follows the precise Sonos instructions to go back and forth between wired and wireless.

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