Drop Outs Discussion

  • 30 August 2022
  • 27 replies
  • 342 views

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I’ve had a few discussions with people here.  We concluded that I had the wrong channels selected on my WiFi/Sonos system.  Changing those helped a lot.  Now I’m having issues with the three installation options.  One solves the issues I have, but creates other ones.  I have an Orbi AC3000 with 3 satellites.  I have 21 Sonos Nodes powering 24 speakers (one is Amp with L/R/S).  Three are BT capable (so no SonosNet).

My gold standard is being able to stream HDMI audio sources or a streaming song everywhere, hearing the first chord, and experiencing no drop outs.

The three options are:

  1. Amp plugged into Orbi Satellite Ethernet with WiFi on, generating SonosNet for all my speakers that are wireless.  Several are plugged into Orbi (base or satellite) with wifi off.  Audio plays 99% perfectly.  Starts instantly, is smooth, adjustments are fast (volume, pause, seek).  But, I see like 30% of my network requests fail.  It’s like a request goes down a Sonos node and then just hang.  So apps/stuff just are weiredly unreliable.
  2. Using Beam as SonosNet generator instead, which is plugged into Base Orbi.  Then everything else is either wireless exclusively or plugged into Orbi with wifi off.  This seems less damaging to network requests.  Maybe because it’s plugged into Orbi base.
  3. Just doing the standard expected setup.  Every speaker wireless and just one, Beam plugged into Orbi Base.  Audio is atrociously bad.  I played an Apple Music song and it took about 30 seconds for other nodes (except Beam plugged into Orbi Base).

When I rely on Orbi backhaul, it seems that the extra high speed wireless network helps.  But I definitely see these loop back issues.  If I get managed switches or create a VLAN, can I avoid all of them?  I want Orbi to just work like I have it in #1 but not mess up my network.


27 replies

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Can I just reiterate my first forum post here?  My instincts were spot on -- SonosNet is basically useless in my setup.  I tried and pushed and retried over and over and after spending 80+ hours (these past couple of months), all along I just needed to surgically remove this “feature” from my system.  I mean I spent years refining and expanding my beautiful Mesh wifi system so I have spectacular connectivity in my entire 1200 SF place, plus my 2 outdoor patios, courtyard, and even my garage.  All of which, including outdoor space, probably adds up to 3-4K SF total.  Hence why 4 total Orbi’s isn’t completely and utterly overkill.  But the precious backhaul is what saves the day.

I will admit that I abandoned Home WiFi mode early on in my huge amount of time spent on this problem because I saw that I couldn’t run stereo pairs as a single node.  That was a disappointment, but likely is because SonosNet operates more in a bridge sense for each device, while clients to home wifi are simply individual clients, not bridges.  Although this seems like a software issue that could be revised, because I know hardware bridges can connect to my Orbi and give me Ethernet ports.  I like reducing total number of talking clients and pushing more data over fewer clients.  But my Orbi network is strong enough to gracefully handle ~9 fully wireless nodes, with ~6 hardwired to Orbi.

I wish I could blend the two network styles.  I’d like my surrounds/sub to be able to operate with a single connection to Amp.  But no, since my whole network is in non-SonosNet mode, nothing, even ad-hoc devices, can be grouped/bundled over one connection.  Evidenced by surrounds/sub do not show unless wifi is on for each.  They can’t jump over Ethernet to another Sonos to get data.

BUT at least my network seems to be functioning now.  Audio is fantastic, 99%+, and I don’t get spin spin spin loaders on everything...omg that was awful.  It’s great when you’re curated, carefully crafted network with fairly decent equipment (now old but still robust) just isn’t stable.

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Using home wifi sadly only works flawlessly with streaming music.  Not with grouping to a live audio source (HDMI or analog input).  While SonosNet worked great with live audio sources but not streaming music.  So neither works fully for everything always.  Makes sense because using home wifi means there are at least 2 hops to get audio to any other nodes while SonosNet can hop only once to get live audio sources to other zones.

The only way that my sized system works is to use a hybrid approach with some connected to Orbi and some using SonosNet, which works great, except breaks my network.  So I guess it’s just not possible for me to use Sonos reliably for all use cases.

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