Problems finding Sonos system when using powerlink adaptor to extend home network

  • 6 September 2014
  • 70 replies

My kitchen is a wifi blackspot and so I have used a TP-LINK AV200 power-line adaptor to extend the range of my wifi to that room. So I in effect have two wifi access points (for present purposes, lets call them HomeNet and HomeNet-TPL). My kitchen is the room we use the most and the Sonos Play 5 we have there connects to HomeNet-TPL. At least, I assume it does since they are next to each other and HomeNet doesn’t normally reach the kitchen. The Sonos Bridge connects by Ethernet cable to the Homenet Router. The problem is that my iPhone App doesn’t always find my Sonos Network when it connects to HomeNet-TPL (as it normally does when I am in the kitchen) and so I cannot control Sonos. I normally fix this by walking towards the HomeNet Router and then when my iPhone connects to that part of my network it then finds Sonos. However, this is an intermitted problem. Sometimes, my iPhone app does succeed in finding Sonos when it connects to HomeNet-TPL. Any ideas to avoid this annoying problem? It is embarrassing when I have friends around and show off my Sonos system and then my controller app can’t connect! They aren’t impressed.

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70 replies

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Is it possible for you to separate the wireless channels for your router and extender? Ideally we'd like to see your router on e.g. channel 1, extender on 6 and SONOS on 11.
Also make sure none of your SONOS components are too close to other wireless devices (router, extender, etc), maximizing the distance as much as you can.
Submit a diagnostics report and reply with your confirmation number so we can check if your system needs more improving.

Hi we also have exactly this problem, was there any further update on a solution for this? Many thanks
Hi, I got the same problem. The wifi signal of the extender (TP-Link) is stronger than the wifi signal of the router (which is connected by wire to the Sonos play 5). I would like have the (TP-Link) signal as standard for Sonos in Iphone and laptop.
Is there a solution?
I have exactly the same issue with a TP-Link WPA281 AV200 powerline extender. I've been dealing with Sonos Tech Support who have been very helpful but unable to resolve the issue so far.

Sonos do not support connectivity via powerline extenders, but this is clearly a problem for larger houses where the router wifi does not cover certain parts of the property. My problem mirrors that of the raiser of this ticket - Sonosnet works fine in my kitchen (Play:3) but I stuggle to connect to it via iOS apps through my powerline extender.

My extender has the same SSID as the main router, the security settings are fixed and match, I have reserverd IP's for all Sonos and mobile devices and channel separation is good (Router-1, Powerline Extender-6 and Sonos-11).

Basically I have to renew the wifi lease in order to connect to Sonos via the wifi extender in my kitchen. This is done my turning wifi off/on on the mobile device or going into wifi settings and selecting 'Renew Lease'. Once connected I have no issues until I leave the property or shutdown the device. I then get the issue again.

This is an annoyance and not good user experience considering the relative value of the equipment.
Agree its an annoyance. 

What's really weird is that the Sonos Play has absolutely no trouble connecting trhough the powerline extender.   Its only the Sonos App on the iPhone (or on a laptop) that can't connect to Sonos through the powerline extender.

I gave up with Sonos help line, whose suggestion in the end was not to use powerline extension.....
That's because the Sonos devices themselves connect via SonosNet (Sonos propriatory wifi network) and not the wifi network from your router/extender. As long as you have a Sonos device connected to your router and your other Sonos devices are in range of each other to create the SonosNet mesh you should have no problem with the devices themselves.

My setup is the same. The devices work fine - it's the ability to connect the controller apps to the Sonos system via the powerline extender that is the issue. I can remove the powerline wifi extender and connect seamlessly via the router wifi to solve the problem, but this means that I have to be within range of the router. Basically I would have to control the system from my living room if I want to listen to the devices it in my kitchen.

I've got a new wifi router on order which will hopefully have a much broader wifi range (that stretches to my kitchen). If so this will negate the need for the powerline wifi extender and solve the connection issue. I'm not confident and I'd really like to see Sonos get to the bottom of this. Sonos is a premium priced system but I don't consider this to be a premium user experience.
I resolved my iOS app connection problem by removing the wireless powerline extender and replacing it with a wifi repeater that I located in between my router and Sonos players. I have had to reset a number of controllers since so I am not 100% sure that I have a reliable and stable connection when I roam between the router and repeater wifi signals.

I'm also on the Beta programme and updated to apps v5.2. I don't know if this had any impact on my connection.

The downside is that the wifi repeater signal is weaker than the wireless powerline extender signal - effecting the performance of all other apps that use the signal.

Sonos is a product predicated on wireless. The product documentation and support material should be much clearer and detailed about connecting Sonos controller apps to Sonos Players in locations that are out of range of the primary router wifi signal.

Sorry to revive and old(ish) thread, but i have the exact same issue as described by the original poster.

This thread is marked as solved, but the only solution I can see is to remove the extender. Is that correct? If so its a fairly unsatisfactory solution because no one installs an extender unless they need it.

@TheManOnTheBus, did you get to the bottom of this? If so how please?

Thanks a lot for any help, its driving  me mad!
Correct. Sonos categorically do not support controller access via powerline wifi extenders. After hours of tweaking and telephone technical support it was clear that there was no solution for my setup using the powerline wifi extender.

I had to remove the powerline extender and replace it with a standard wifi range extender. This fixed the issue with controller when out of range of the main router but it introduced controller connectivity issues when in range of the router and the extender at the same time.

The wifi range extender is also less effective that my original powerline extender so all of my other mobile apps are now slower.

At one point I was advised by Sonos tech support to purchase a 'cheap' Android tablet and use that exclusively as a Sonos controller, connected directly to SonosNet rather than the wifi. I don't need more expense or indeed another mobile device.

My SonosNet mesh network is solid but the user experience is poor when I have to go to a different room to manage my audio via the iOS controller. In my experience Sonos do not have consistent and reliable OSX or iOS controller applications for use in properties where Sonos zones are beyond the primary router wifi range.
Thank you Stephen.  I have re-read all your posts with interest.  My problem is identical to yours. (I have to go to the living room to control Sonos in the Kitchen - ridiculous experience).

So Graham - no I didn't get to the bottom.  As Stephen says, it won't work with a powerline connector.  I have not yet got round to getting a wifi range extender, but it is on my "to do" list.

Agree that Sonos - at its price point - should solve this.

Do they read these forums?
Just to reiterate a previous entry, we get around this by switching the device (iPad) wifi off and back on, then clicking "renew lease" each day. It's a clunky solution but at least it works (for as long as you keep the device in range). Fully agree with the comments above however, some of us find a power line adaptor is the best/only solution to extend the wifi range in our houses, so it would be good if Sonos took a little time to sort this out.
Thank you all for the input. I am reluctant to replace the extender as it works so well for everything apart from Sonos.

User127..  Your solution might the one i use for now and hope that Sonos make an effort to solve the issue in future, so thanks!

The problem is we're all invested now. If i had know this up front i might have thought twice about sinking almost £1000 into the system.  It should be written very clearly on the box/website etc that Sonos does not work with powerline extenders, which i am sure is a common setup.

I think Sonos need to to be more proactive or they will see their market share dwindle as new contenders come into the multi room streaming space, Panasonic, Denon etc...
Hi everyone, 

Further to User127..'s suggestion to renew the lease, it transpires that turning aeroplane mode on then off does the same thing as the steps mentioned above. I have tried this a few times and it has worked every time. 

Whilst still not perfect, it makes connecting much less clunky.

Hope thats helpful, let me know how you get on with this.  

PS a SONOS technician pointed this out to me..
Cheers Graham, seems to work for us too.
Is it possible to connect the iOS controller to the SonosNet?  Which would be a neat way of possibly getting it to work.  I assume not since its not been mentioned, but if SonosNet is a separate mesh network, shouldn't it be possible to leverage its coverage for  non Sonos devices?

Another solution I am thinking off is to hire wire an Ethernet cable into the location I currently have a PowerLine adaptor.   I assume that will work (ie the iOS device can connect to Sonos through an appropriate ACcess Point). Anyone any experience of tat?

I'm afraid I don't know anything about connecting to sonosnet. Sonos support recommended I set up a wireless access point, which would involve hardwiring an Ethernet cable from the primary router to the access point. Whilst I'm pretty sure this would solve the issue, I am not 100% so i would seek further clarification from sonos. I thought about doing this myself but I'm happy with the workaround discussed above for now. In fact, my girlfriend found an even slicker way of doing it if you re using an iPhone or iPad. Once you are in sonos app and it doesn't find your system, instead of hitting home and then going into settings to toggle aeroplane mode, simply swipe up at the bottom of the screen to bring up the shortcut menu thing. Don't know the official name for this menu but it has options to turn wi fi on and off and also aeroplane mode on and off. Toggling either of these makes the sonos app connect in the background without even leaving the sonos app. Nice one Chloe! Hope it's helpful
Thanks, Graham and Chloe. The aeroplane mode thing is indeed neat. Crap of Sonos not to fix it in their software though.  (Not sure who set this problem to SOLVED either!  Its not solved, we are all making do with a crap "feature".)
I've just bought a TP-Link Powerline Wi-Fi extender and stumbled into this issue. 1 year on from the original thread being started and still Sonos has not resolved the issue.

Nevermind, they have at least changed the controller app a few times and made it less user friendly instead. Go Sonos, you have your priorities just right! 😉
I've just bought a TP-Link Powerline Wi-Fi extender and stumbled into this issue. 1 year on from the original thread being started and still Sonos has not resolved the issue.
Resolved what issue? Sonos has always been clear that Powerline connections aren't officially supported, though some people get good results nevertheless.

For streaming purposes Powerline has highly variable available bandwidth, and some models block broadcast traffic making it impossible for a controller to discover the Players. Neither are Sonos' fault.
It may not be the fault of Sonos, however updated software that allows this configuration to work would be greatly appreciated. The more configurations supported would allow more units to be sold. That should be the carrot for Sonos to add this "feature".
I think you're missing the point. Sonos can't update software to fix an inherent problem caused by some models of Powerline adapter blocking certain types of network traffic. I should point out that Sonos uses standard UPnP procedures to locate the Players; it's those Powerline units which aren't standards compliant.
It may not be the fault of Sonos, however updated software that allows this configuration to work would be greatly appreciated. The more configurations supported would allow more units to be sold. That should be the carrot for Sonos to add this "feature".

Why would they spend the time to update software to support a configuration that they officially do not support? There is a reason powerline adapters are not supported, it is because their performance is greatly dependent on the age and usage of your electrical system, for which there are no standards. Programming to and/or supporting that type of non-standard infrastructure would be a support nightmare, which is why they do not support it.

Power lines were designed over a century ago to supply 50Hz or 60Hz energy for lights, appliances, and industry. There was no anticipation of a future attempt to stuff music and video onto these wires too. Using some very sophisticated technology, we can superimpose a high frequency "carrier" on the power lines to facilitate sending some data over the power wiring, but this is a very fragile situation because, to some extent power wiring picks-up stray radio and TV transmissions and this can cause interference with electronic devices such as TV's, radios, and computers. To mitigate this interference we install filters to strip this stray high frequency energy from our power lines. This is a touted feature of all of the up scale surge suppressors -- resulting in better audio and TV and more robust computing.

On one had we are stuffing a high frequency carrier on to the power lines, but "best practices" suggest that we should strip all high frequency information from the power lines. Even if we don't explicitly strip the carrier, large appliances such as microwave ovens, furnaces, and air conditioners tend to absorb the carrier -- unless they have been specifically designed not to do this.

Bottom line, transmitting audio, video, and data over power lines is hit or miss and very much depends on the local situation. Some users report success while others report frustration. Further, a working situation could be disrupted after the installation of a new appliance as simple as a modular power supply. Personally, I would not design a system to rely on EoP (Ethernet over Power Line), but EoP is worth a try in situations that are too hostile for WiFi or SonosNet wireless and pulling Ethernet cables is not practical. Sometimes EoP is a miracle, mostly it is a frustrating waste of time.
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There's an easier way to do this. Set up a wireless access point from the Sonos itself. This way you do not have to set up the access point from hard wiring to the main router, you can simply hardwire the access points into one of the spare Ethernet ports at the back of the Connect.

I use Sonos to distribute wifi throughout my house this way. I have Sonos everywhere to create the sonosmesh, then connect a wireless access point a sonos on each floor.

Yes, this painless scheme works, but at some point one can swamp the SonosNet with non audio traffic. Careful use of this facility can work miracles. While I'm not supporting a WiFi access point here, I'm typing through a wireless CONNECT because my computer is sitting in a hard to wire spot.