Sonos One interference causing system-wide audio dropouts?


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Since adding a Sonos One into my existing Sonos setup, I've been plagued by audio dropouts and strange crackling noises. I have my Playbar ethernet wired in Boost mode, and I've previously had to troubleshoot the Sonos wireless channel in order to prevent my rear surround Play:1's and Sub from dropping out intermittently. I had it all working flawlessly, drop-out free, until adding the Sonos One last week.

Now I'm having my Play:1's and Sub dropout intermittently during Spotify music and TV playback. Oddly, even the Playbar goes through weird bouts of crackling/dropping out...which I've never experienced before.

The only thing I could conclude was the placement of the Sonos One interfering with my Airport Extreme router (they're on the same TV console shelf, about 2-3ft apart). I tried switching the Sonos wireless channel, to no avail. Same with doing a hard power-cycle on the Playbar, it only provides a temporary fix before the dropouts return. With the Sonos One unplugged completely (and an Echo Dot in it's place), everything returns to working fine...

Is anyone else experiencing similar issues since incorporating a Sonos One? Do I just need to trial-and-error moving the One further away from my router?

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16 replies

Userlevel 7
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Hi, el_matt0. We can certainly get to the bottom of this for you. Following an occurrence of this issue, please submit a diagnostic and respond with the confirmation number. This way we can identify the cause for you. Many thanks in advance.
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Diagnostic number 1466091222. It turns out it's not (directly) related to the addition of the Sonos One, as I had it unplugged for 24h and still experienced occasional dropouts (including my Play1 surrounds/Playbar). I plugged the One back in further away from my router, and thought things were sorted after changing my Sonos channel to 11 (my router is on channel 1). Unfortunately, while using the TV line in, I just experienced complete cutting in and out of my Playbar, sub, and surrounds. The diagnostic report above corresponds to that. Any suggestions? The only other thing that has changed recently is we've opened the doors/windows more (and live in a busy downtown condo area, could wireless from others be playing a part?!). Please help - thanks!
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Diagnostic number 1466091222
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Just submitting an additional diagnostic report, as I was listening to TV-line in, and experienced the Play:1 surrounds and sub simultaneously dropping out, Playbar kept playing audio (this is the most common occurrence). Diagnostic #102746327
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(it looks like my previous post did not go through) I have the Sonos One plugged back in now, as I was also experiencing the same dropouts with it unplugged for 24h (albeit to a lesser degree it seemed). Still experiencing the dropouts unfortunately!
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Diagnostic 1620816933. Changed my Sonos wireless channel to 6 (it used to work flawlessly on this), still having my surrounds/sub drop out intermittently for 10-15s. This time it occurred during Spotify music playback. I am really stumped...clearly it wasn't adding the Sonos One that caused the issues. The only other thing that's changed is the windows/patio door are now open given the warmer weather, and I live in a busy downtown condo area (interference from others that might've been shielded by the closed door/windows during colder months?)...with that said, I wasn't experiencing these issues last season! Please help, as this infuriating issue is popping up every 30 minutes or so! Thanks!
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Sonos, any help here? This is an additional diagnostic number 853149523 (again, Play:1 surrounds + sub dropping out for about 20-30s while playing Spotify audio - Playbar keeps playing).
Userlevel 7
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Sonos, any help here? This is an additional diagnostic number 853149523 (again, Play:1 surrounds + sub dropping out for about 20-30s while playing Spotify audio - Playbar keeps playing).

HI el_matt0,

There are a couple of things going on from what I can see in your report. First off, your Sonos One is reporting some wireless interference on the 2.4 ghz band. This is the signal that is changed when you change the Sonos wireless channel. Your other speakers aren't showing the same interference. Is there something near your Sonos One that could be interfering? Common sources of wireless interference include cordless phones, wireless cameras and wireless baby monitors. Try moving your third party electronics away from the Sonos One, or relocate the Sonos One and see if things improve.

Also, I see that there is some interference on the 5 ghz band, which is what your PLAYBAR uses to communicate with the rear speakers and SUB in your home theater setup. This channel is not adjusted by changing the wireless channel in the Sonos app. Please look around and in between your 5.1 setup for any third party electronics which could be causing 5 ghz interference. Try moving any such devices away.

If any issues continue, please send in a new diagnostic report and reply with the confirmation number.
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Hey Jeff. Thanks for looking into this and for the info. I was not aware that the Playbar (ethernet wired in Boost mode) communicates on the 5ghz channel to my rear surround Play1s and Sub. So I guess the custom Sonos wireless channel setting only applies to grouped speakers (ie. other rooms like bathroom etc) when playing music? Guess I can stop fiddling with that thinking it affects the surround/sub audio dropouts then!

In terms of reducing 5ghz interference between the playbar and rear surrounds, that’s a difficult request. The setup is in our main living room and we virtually always have multiple laptops and phones running in that room, all of which are connecting to our router on the 5ghz channel.

I did however just set our router to provide a separate 5ghz channel (rather than dual-band simultaneous), and I’ve set the laptops/phones to connect directly to that as I was noticing some interference in the 2.4ghz channel as they swapped back and forth. Somehow this seems to have completely resolved the dropout issues (fingers crossed, it’s been 5h of steady usage). Which is odd that helped based on your saying the playbar/surrounds are also going via 5ghz.

Anyways I will post another diagnostic if anything crops up again, but hopefully won’t need to! Thanks again for the insights.
Userlevel 7
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Hey Jeff. Thanks for looking into this and for the info. I was not aware that the Playbar (ethernet wired in Boost mode) communicates on the 5ghz channel to my rear surround Play1s and Sub. So I guess the custom Sonos wireless channel setting only applies to grouped speakers (ie. other rooms like bathroom etc) when playing music? Guess I can stop fiddling with that thinking it affects the surround/sub audio dropouts then!

In terms of reducing 5ghz interference between the playbar and rear surrounds, that’s a difficult request. The setup is in our main living room and we virtually always have multiple laptops and phones running in that room, all of which are connecting to our router on the 5ghz channel.

I did however just set our router to provide a separate 5ghz channel (rather than dual-band simultaneous), and I’ve set the laptops/phones to connect directly to that as I was noticing some interference in the 2.4ghz channel as they swapped back and forth. Somehow this seems to have completely resolved the dropout issues (fingers crossed, it’s been 5h of steady usage). Which is odd that helped based on your saying the playbar/surrounds are also going via 5ghz.

Anyways I will post another diagnostic if anything crops up again, but hopefully won’t need to! Thanks again for the insights.


It's good to hear that things are working right now. It may be that your router's dual band signal was competing with the PLAYBAR's signal, and they may now play well together. At any rate, please let me know if any issues return.
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Well unfortunately, I had about 3 good days of uninterrupted (dropout free) audio, but just encountered some bad interference last night. The rear Play1 surrounds and Sub were continuously dropping out for 5s each time, about every 20 seconds. It occurred while I had the TV line-in audio coming through the Playbar, and was also streaming some content on my iPad in the same room (it's connected to my 5GHz wireless channel). Interestingly, the dropouts completely stopped as soon as I closed my iPad (clearly implying it's likely a 5GHz interference issue). I hadn't recently changed any of my wifi or Sonos settings that had been working for the past few days (since splitting my wifi into dedicated 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels).

Based on the previous info about the rear surrounds and sub communicating via 5GHz, this makes me wonder if SonosNet (boost mode via ethernet wired Playbar) is switching 5Ghz channels intermittently? Or my router auto-switched it's 5GHz channel to a conflicting one with Sonos. I know in advanced settings we can set the Sonos 2.4GHz channel. However, I'm curious if Sonos always run on certain 5GHz channels, ie. it would be advisable to set my router to a static 5GHz channel outside of the Sonos range in order to minimize interference?

I can submit an additional diagnostic report the next time this behaviour happens. But I suspect it will just show the same as the last ones (eg. "interference" from other devices on my 5GHz channel). Thanks in advance for the additional help Sonos team!
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Here is a diagnostic corresponding to the most recent surrounds/sub audio dropouts. Diagnostic # 1690248755. It seems to only occur when laptops/phones are being using in the same room, which makes sense if everything is competing on the 5GHz channels. Sonos team, can you advise on my earlier question about whether Sonos rear surrounds/sub in Boost mode use certain 5GHz channels? In other words, would it be preferable to set my router to use 5GHz channels outside of that Sonos range? Thanks again - hoping to get this worked out soon!
Userlevel 7
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Hey there, el_matt0. Are you still running into problems in the 5GHz band? Sonos will always look for the least crowded 5GHz channel. If you "lock" your router to a particular 5GHz channel, Sonos should steer clear of the interference. Typically, we want to lock it to a lower channel such as 36 or 44. Test this and let us know how it works out.

Thanks!
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Hey Keith. It's been in general a lot better, but still definitely not perfect sadly. We are still getting about 1 or 2 brief dropouts every hour or so if listening continuously (or using the TV line in) on our living room surround setup. The rear surrounds/sub audio dropouts always seem to coincide with someone checking text messages or using their phone on the 5GHz band in the same room (which in theory is "between the line of sight" of the ethernet wired Playbar and the rear surrounds).

I will try setting my router to the lower 5GHz channels to see if that works. Generally it seems to prefer either 149 or 165 when set to auto, so I had currently left it locked in at 149 but was still having the above issues.
I have been experiencing very similar issues and seem to be at the same point, can you please let me know if changing the 5ghz channel worked. My router is set to channel 161 80mhz.
Cheers
Sorry just re read your post and see that changing the channel did not help, it has been six months can you please post an update i would be very interested to know if you have resolved this problem
Cheers