AirPlay cuts out on pause

Userlevel 2
I just got a Sonos One (Gen 2) after reading that Airplay was finally working well with it. I was hoping to use it as my speaker when streaming video from my MacBook Pro, but have been hounded by audio issues–even with it connected via Ethernet to my Airport. The audio cuts out if paused for more than a few seconds. The easiest fix has been to go to Volume in the Menu Bar, switch the output device to something else and then back to Sonos. It's a pain to have to do this over and over. The audio comes back without much delay.

I noticed that there is a substantial delay when I go to unpause music that's been paused for a bit as well, but not as bad as when unpausing Netflix or Youtube. The audio also cuts out in minute drops every now and then, which probably just comes from AirPlay sucking up my shitty wifi's bandwidth as I've read in other posts.

Given all the other unresolved issues I have read about and the hassle that was setting this up over the phone since the app's automated setup didn't work, I am thinking I am probably just going to return my speaker. I would rather have a cheap Bluetooth speaker that I don't need to run an additional application for or even have plugged into the wall all the time.

I feel mislead. I don't get the hype for this thing.

Corry P 3 years ago

Hi all.

This was brought to my attention on another post - thanks @joycean 

I have done some investigating and found out the following:

  • AirPlay 2 requires that a buffer be filled prior to playback. Airplay 1 does not. As live system sounds cannot be buffered (you’d need time-travelling software code), when AirPlay-ing from macOS system settings AirPlay 1 is always used.
  • AirPlay likely times-out if no data is sent (ie. silence), though I cannot find a figure for this period.
  • AirPlay 1 is not supported by Sonos, but tends to work. Therefore, if you are using AirPlay 1 and sending all system sounds to Sonos, it works, usually, but may have issues like those described here. As AirPlay 1 is not supported by Sonos, we will not be addressing these issues.
  • macOS Applications (like Safari, Apple Music and Spotify) do support AirPlay2, but you must initiate the connection from that application, not the Mac’s settings. The media stream can then be buffered to the speaker and synced for playback.

In our own testing, we were unable to produce this issue when using AirPlay 2. If you experience these issues while using AirPlay 2 (initiated at the application level rather than at the system level), we would very much like to hear about it. Please get in touch with our technical support team if this is the case, as this is something that we would want to resolve (be it a networking or software issue).

It would be interesting if any of you could recreate the issue as you have before, but while having one media paused (YouTube for example), start something else playing over the AirPlay 1 connection - when you restart the paused media, does it play through Sonos immediately? I suspect so, as the second media playing will have kept the connection to the speaker live. I suspect @eldiets1’s fix of having a minimised window does exactly this.

I hope this information helps you all to use your Sonos speakers with your Apple products in a satisfactory way.


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Userlevel 2

Sine you said that your Sonos is plugged into your AirPort, it could be that the Sonos is getting its IP address from your internet router, while your WiFi devices are getting theirs from the AirPort itself.  My experience is that se tup can cause very similar problems to what you’re seeing.  

I think he’s saying the airport IS his “internet router” and he means that the difference between WiFi and ethernet do not change the outcome. Which would be the same in almost everyone’s case. Airplay devices are detected by the Apple product of which are on the same LAN. Please correct my comment if there are inaccuracies. 

I’m assuming that he has a cable modem or other router to which his airport is connected.  I had airplay working across a subnet like that, but I had similar problems to these - very flaky connections.

Just to want to add I’m also having the same issue when streaming via airplay 2 to an amp. 

Macbook Pro (Mojave) > Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Router > AMP

It’s super annoying having to disconnect / reconnect to Sonos every time media is paused. The weird thing is that it seems the device is still connected via airplay under network settings, but there’s just no sound. The amount of time that something is paused in order for this to happen also seems irregular. Sometimes I can pause for a minute or two and everything is fine. Other times I pause for a few seconds and then have to disconnect/reconnect (also it seems the reconnection process takes longer to happen once the problem has been triggered, than it would when starting a fresh connection via airplay.)

I have not been able to figure this problem out either. HOWEVER I do have a fix. I have been trying to figure out what the issue was and why it might happen. Sitting here watching a podcast and then it hit me. What if your computer told your Sonos something was always playing but no audio was actually playing.  Boom - play this video when you connect and minimize the tab. 


Enjoy only connecting to sonos once….now if only we can have a default to Sonos audio feature

It’s slightly disappointing that this thread is now over 7 months old, there has been no Sonos response and this hack is still the only thing that ‘fixed’ the issue

Userlevel 7
Badge +26

Hi everyone,

When using AirPlay 2, this shouldn’t be an issue, however a lot of apps through the MacBook Pro will use AirPlay 1 which can have this behavior. I’d be happy to pass some extra information along to the team to look into this further, in case there’s something else going in. If you can get this to occur regularly, can you recreate the issue, then submit a diagnostic and let us know the confirmation number in here? Let us know what device was sending the AirPlay stream, and what software the stream was coming from. Thanks!

Hi everyone,

When using AirPlay 2, this shouldn’t be an issue, however a lot of apps through the MacBook Pro will use AirPlay 1 which can have this behavior. I’d be happy to pass some extra information along to the team to look into this further, in case there’s something else going in. If you can get this to occur regularly, can you recreate the issue, then submit a diagnostic and let us know the confirmation number in here? Let us know what device was sending the AirPlay stream, and what software the stream was coming from. Thanks!

Ryan, with all due respect, this is not an “issue” that you’d need someone to submit diagnostics for, this is design which you (as in Sonos) can easily test by:

  1. Using macOS
  2. Connect to Sonos speakers using AirPlay (in sound preferences, under the volume adjustment icon)
  3. Go to e.g. using your favourite browser
  4. Start playing video (any video will do)
  5. Stop the video for say 30sec
  6. Start playing video again

Anyone using Mac in your team can do these diagnostics, this is caused by design not by user-end issue.

I abstained from writing a post in the community for so long. I have been facing this horrible problem for more than two years. I did not even talk to Sonos because looking at the state of affairs in the community forums, it seemed to be a futile exercise. It makes me sad that such a high end, costly product has these petty and stupid issues which must be a hygiene factor. 

With all respect, community managers from Sonos only scratch the wounds by asking members to recreate the issue. This is the limit. There are tens of threads where people are so desperately looking for solution to this. Do you really think they are all making this up.  

Hi Sonos Management team,

This post appears to be going on for over 8 months now and I just purchased brand new Home Theater - 5.1 Surround Set and experiencing exactly the same issue with both, Beam and ONE SL’s. 

Unfortunately, this is unacceptable for $1,300 speakers set to not be able to play Apple Music for longer than 10 minutes without glitches with disconnecting/pausing and requiring re-connection that takes few minutes to play music again.

Can someone please review this issue ASAP with Airplay random pauses and advise how to resolve it? It just appears to be embarrassing to return such a great home set for this simple but major issue.

Thank you,

Alexander Sivokho

Count me in, have same problem.

MacBook Pro 2017 playing any Youtube or something from browser over Airplay. Go and pause. after 2 minutes try to resume. No sound for more than 30 seconds but Video continue playing 

Userlevel 1

I noticed the same problem.

My setup:
MacBook Pro 2017 (macOS 10.15.2) <-- WI-FI 5GHz --> Router MikroTik 952Ui <-- Wire --> Sonos ONE <-- SonosNet --> Sonos ONE SL 

I submitted my diagnostics:
Your confirmation number is: 1132744257.


Steps to reproduce:
- Using macOS
- Connect to Sonos speakers using AirPlay (in sound preferences, under the volume adjustment icon)
- Go to using Chrome (84.0.4135.1)/Safari (13.0.4) browser
- Start playing a video (any video will do)
- Stop the video for say 30 sec or more
- Start playing the video again
- The video is played without sound for about 40 seconds
- After about 40 sec the sound plays synchronously with the video

The interesting point is that there is traffic to Sonos after starting playing a video but the sound comes after some time:


Userlevel 1

@Sonos , do you have any update on this?  I still like my Sonos Beam, but this problem is well documented by now and there are tons of people who would appreciate a workaround or a fix! 

yep same issue here. i have to deselect sonos speaker and then reselect it after a pause.

Userlevel 1

I have 2x Play 1SL and experiencing the same issue with Mac OS 10.14 and 10.15.

It is very frustrating and destroys the good experience of using the speakers.


@Sonos you must provide some response after years of reporting on the issue.
It’s a major bug!


This itself, makes me reconsider my opinion about the brand and I am not recommending it to a friend.

Userlevel 1

On twitter with Sonos Support handle.  Trying diffferent things from locking down the wireless AP’s channel to Channel 6. Moving the AP closer, etc.  No dice.  I cannot believe I was dumb enough to buy another Beam for my home office after giving my first one to my parents for their TV.  Ah well, the triumph of hope over experience! 

I just figured this was an issue with my wifi and hoped wiring it up would sort it.

Pretty stunned it didn’t help and that this looks like a software glitch! :scream:

Userlevel 1

Since I bought the Beam from Costco, I am taking it back to them.  This bug was too much of an irritant for me unfortunately.  However, for those who have this problem, there is a workaround if your beam is accessible, i.e. within reach.  Pressing the pause/play button ON THE BEAM, almost always works in picking it up fairly immediately.  If you do the same from your iOS device though, it is a hit or miss - mostly a miss.  But if you want to walk over to your Sonos device and press the button there, it almost always works.  Good luck with your setup!  


Same issue on a NEW Sonos Five.

MacOS 10.15.5

Same here : MBP Catalina 10.15.4 & 2x One SL

Same issue here.

@Ryan S any update on this?


this is really disappointing - can’t really recommend Sonos for anyone for now.


+1 - I’m also experiencing this. Finally registered just to post about this topic:

I use my i5 Mac Mini at my Desk and for its speakers I thought I’d utilize a stereo pair of Sonos One devices. I’m able to recreate this issue 100% each time:

  • Start playing music on the device (select “This computer” on spotify).
  • Plays successfully and will play without interruptions from song to song.
  • Pause song.
  • Play song and it won’t proceed although it’s listed as still connected successfully via Airplay.
  • Switch back to normal speaker output and swap back to stereo pair sonos.
  • Playback resumes.

Found a fix!

A third-party application for Mac called SonoAir works consistently for me. When you launch the application it will detect all Airplay compatible devices and add them to the sound menu. Your speaker will show up as “Speakername+.” Select that one and it should connect immediately (much faster than previously).

I’ve tested a number of intervals and across multiple applications (Spotify, Youtube, Chrome, local sounds) pausing or closing these apps completey.  I have been unable to recreate the issue that I was having beforehand.

The only downside is there is a delay in sound output. This can range from 1-5 seconds at times. I was experiencing delays using the native configuration but I don’t believe it was this long. The app is free (I won’t link the site so please Google the name of it) but the developer accepts donations to continue improving it.

Hi everyone,

I have a imperfect fix. 

If you press play using the Apple remote and you hear nothing, clicking pause/play from the Sonos App (on your phone) will kick the sound back in.

It's not a perfect solution for obvious reasons, but it's brought some light relief as I would rather do this than have to connect/reconnect the speakers everytime which is what I have had to do so far….

I can’t believe that such a common action is still buggy after so much time. This is literally frustrating me more and more each day and I’m close to abandoning the Sonos ecosystem.

It’s odd to me that you’re having such difficulties. I use AirPlay 2 on two different Sonos systems without issue. 

It leads me to think that there’s something different about your local environment than mine that’s causing the problem, but there just isn’t enough information, beyond your frustration, to help figure it out. 

Is there still no fix for this?


I’m using 2x Symfonisk speakers as stereo pair with ma AppleTV 4K.

Every time I pause the video for more than a few seconds audio dies.

Have to deselect them as audio output and select again for audio to work.

Till the next time, I pause the video.