SonosNet is a Mystery

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SonosNet does not activate when it absolutely should.  I have talked to Tech support several times and followed that “converting to a wired setup” instructions procedure a dozen times.  I’ve audio recorded the “click” that I hear when I plug my Ethernet cable into my one plugged in device more times than I can count, just to ask a friend and ensure that I did in fact hear the magical “click” sound.

When I check my setup, a half dozen speakers are in, hooray, “WM: 1”!  If I remove my WiFi network from the app, all those speakers VANISH forever.  It’s like they’ve given up on life and have no will to live.  Even though supposedly there is a magical SonosNet blasting around everywhere.  The only fix is to plug my physical Boost back in, and they magically re-appear!  This Boost must have the magical key that gets them to connect.

The fix for this?  RESETTING my entire system one-by-one.  Tech support told me not to, their forums as well.  But the moment I finished spending 30 hours trying to diagnose the issue, and switched to 2.5 hours resetting my 20 Sonos nodes, BAM it worked!  My Beam became the node that every other speaker connected to.  It’s the most central, newest, and most cable device that I own.  Over SonosNet!  All WM: 0

After a few weeks of fiddling with stuff, I’m back to where I was before.  Half my speakers are green in the status panel and labeled WM: 1.  Sure, my Orbi provides a lot cleaner signal than SonosNet, but I’m really just trying to get my 20 Sonos nodes to not cut. out. every. 10. milliseconds.

Can someone tell me why there is not a more forceful way to disable using home wifi?  I want this prevented and never allowed.  But then when I drop my WiFi, “some” of the speakers get dumb and forget how to connect to SonosNet.  Why do they lose their ability to connect?  I’ve power cycled each and all 20+ times.  Once in a while they work with no rhyme or reason.

What gives?  Why is this so complicated and confusing, even tech support was confused and thought that somehow my router wifi was interfering.  Well guess what, after a full Sonos reset (going against all advice from tech/online) it worked flawlessly right away.  Something is getting into a bad state.

Why did my Beam go from having colored boxes connecting it to every Sonos node to now having no colored boxes in the status table web page?  It was doing exactly what it needed to, being the root node (albeit labeled Secondary for some unknown reason) and connecting to every Sonos node flawlessly.  The system even performed halfway decent!  I was able to stream HDMI audio to every zone pretty much perfectly.  Until other nodes started taking over and then some hopped onto my home WiFi.  Back to total disaster again.  What gives?  Why is there no more advanced configuration when you know the auto negotiation mechanism is failing and making bad choices.

53 replies

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I hope I’m gobbing up all the spectrum.  Why do you think I have 4 Orbi AC3000s over 1200 SF?  Ok I moved Sonos down to channel 1.

Nope, every node shows up in the top row in addition to undefined columns.  Mac addresses are unique.  I have 29 columns.  But yeah, some people have bigger tables.  I don’t have those Mac addresses in my spreadsheet.  I’ll dig a bit more to see what they might be.

I hope I’m gobbing up all the spectrum.  

I hope you don’t have any neighbours, otherwise 40MHz at 2.4GHz could be viewed as greedy and selfish.


Why do you think I have 4 Orbi AC3000s over 1200 SF?  

No Idea. It sounds like major overkill for that floor area.


Nope, every node shows up in the top row in addition to undefined columns.  Mac addresses are unique. 

The MACs used for DHCP reservation correspond to the serial numbers 

SonosNet wireless MAC addresses are +1 removed from the above. 5GHz HT MAC addresses are +2 with respect to the above.

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I don’t have the Orbi’s for the square footage.  I have them so higher bandwidth devices are offloaded off the slow 2.4 and 5GHz bands.  They’re handled by the 1.8gbps wireless backhaul.  So my two primary networks are barely used and available with minimal traffic.  These other devices are connecting to local equipment, not hitting the internet.  So I need more than the paltry 600mbps or whatever standard WiFi 5 at 5GHz can do.  I plug every possible device I can into Orbi’s Ethernet, plus lots of devices have older WiFi chips.  Those are disabled everywhere.  Orbi handles the traffic, exclusively Orbi.  With its massive antennas and point to point lightning fast connection.  I don’t want to have to buy a new security camera just because its wifi is ancient.

Plus, I just get rock solid functionality out of these devices when Orbi takes over.  Yeah your little ol’ iPhone is fine, it should use the main networks, but established devices should be handled on the other network.  Having a third band that wipes the floor with the first two is very nice.  Yeah WiFi 6 bumps things up a bit but like 5% of my devices support it.  They all support 100 or gigabit ethernet.  And the backhaul pushes 1.8gbps -- half that in real world is approaching a gigabit in single duplex speed, that’s not far off from a 2 gbps dual duplex Ethernet cable.  That’s why it revolutionized wifi for my space.