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 7
Badge +18


I appreciate your concern. As mentioned, we are now investigating this issue a bit further due to the instructions we have been providing on our own website. I cannot give any indication as to how long this will take, however.

I am also having the same problems outlined by @rigoli.mail. I’m using a Sonos Beam, Version:13, Build: 62186220.

A quick search revealed others are also having similar issues:

 @Corry P, thank-you for being active on this thread. :)

I am using MacBook Pro (2016) to Sonos One (Gen 2).

One work-around that I’ve come up with, inspired by the 10 hours YouTube video, is to create an HTML-document that plays a sine wave that is inaudible while the web page is open. One benefit over the YouTube video is that this runs forever. You don’t need to think about restarting the video.

<title>AirPlay fix</title> <script>const audioContext = new AudioContext(); const oscillator = audioContext.createOscillator(); const gainNode = audioContext.createGain(); oscillator.connect(gainNode); gainNode.connect(audioContext.destination); gainNode.gain.setValueAtTime(0, audioContext.currentTime); oscillator.start();</script>

Save into a .html-file using TextEdit, make a bookmark for it in your browser, create a separate window in your browser, open it from the bookmark, and have it running in the background in that separate window.

Hope this helps!

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

Hi @alexanderte4155 

Thanks for sharing that!

Hey! Wanted to share my experience. So.. I bought a One less than a week ago and have had most of the issues on these forums haha, still love the sound and looks, so won’t be returning it and would love to eventually have a 5.1.2 system. 

Anyway, I’m having the same issue with AirPlay. I didn’t see some of these posted, so might as well share some tips:
-Pressing play/pause with the touch controls usually makes the audio go through in a few seconds.

-Using the Sonos app or a plug in like Siri, Yonomi (free) or Soro for Sonos ($5.00) on iOS, you can play/pause and it seems to have the same effect.

-Airfoil ($29.00), if the setting to disconnect after 5 minutes of no audio is not activated, then no issues here even after 20-30 min. So in essence, it totally seems like its an integration issue.

Please keep in mind that I understand some of these options are not ideal, but at least while Sonos engineers come up with a solution, these seem to work.

My hardware (for context and for engineering):
-2012 Macbook Pro with Catalina.

-2017 iMac with Big Sur. 

-iPhone XS

Recently I bought a brand new Sonos Amp which would be ideal for my use case; playing music from Spotify, my apple devices through Airplay 2 and TV sound. Unfortunately this problem still excists and Sonos still did not fix the issue. 

The temporary solutions posted in these topics are not ideal, but the one using the free SonoAir application does the job (with some delay) till Sonos comes up with a solution. I hope they do. In the very near future. Please. Thank you. @Sonos 

Stumbled across this thread after searching for a fix. I’m having the same issues many have described in this thread. I have an iPhone 11, a Sonos Move, and two Sonos One SL devices.


I use AirPlay 2 all the time with them, usually just to a single speaker (not a group), and I have these symptoms:


Pause on phone, but it doesn’t pause speaker

pause on phone, only pauses on speaker after 2-40 seconds (yes, two to forty)

pause on speaker, doesn’t pause

pause on speaker, again a delay on pausing

resuming from phone or speaker sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t, often has a delay


It doesn’t matter how long it’s paused. Could be 1 second or 1 minute. The resume problem frequently, almost always, occurs.


Here’s the thing though…this also happened BEFORE I had Sonos when it was just iPhone to HomePod (the big one, not the mini). It’s why I switched to Sonos, where apparently it isn’t any better.


And it happens between my series 4 Apple Watch and my iPhone 11!


Whether it’s Apple to Apple or Apple to Sonos, I always have to change it to play locally, then reconnect. And even that takes a few tries. 

There are some SERIOUS problems with the Airplay 2 protocol. I don’t know how this got through QA. 

I’ve tried a million things with my WiFi, even switched from UniFi APs managed by a Unifi controller to TP-Link EAP-225 managed by Omada Controller. 

Then again - this happens when WiFi isn’t even part of the equation, like when I’m out walking my dog and just try to pause my audiobook from my Apple Watch (playing on iPhone and listening to on AirPod Pros).



Based on my experience, I don’t think Sonos can do anything about this. Airplay 2 just sucks. And I say this as someone who owns a device in almost every Apple product line. 

However, Sonos doesn’t get a pass because I’ve also used the Sonos app to play ocean waves at night on a Sonos One SL, and the sound will randomly cut out - either pause for a moment, for many moments, or never resume - which wakes up the baby. I’ve tried the Sonos One SL on WiFi, hooked directly to Ethernet, and I’ve tried using the app to stream from Spotify and from Amazon Music. I can NEVER get reliable ocean waves all night. I’ve tried the 8+ hour tracks and I’ve tried the 2 minute tracks on a loop. I’ve tried playing through the app, and playing from a phone on Airplay. No matter how I do it, the sound will ALWAYS eventually cut out. Had to switch to a dedicated sound machine because Sonos was so unreliable. 

Same problem here.. regardless of source device (iMac / iPhone) or model (Play 5 / One SL)… very frustrating

I have the samt problem with my IKEA symfonisk products.

I have the bookshelf, lamp and frame that I use as background music in my home.


When i play from my macbook pro 2017 (OS: Monterey 12.0.1) and paus the music I can't start playing to the devices without switching the output speaker back to the computer and then reconnect to the speakers again. (spotify, youtube, netflix)


Symfonisk lamp, bookshelf and frame: 

OS: S2 

Version: 13.4.1 build: 66423300


When I play from my Iphone I dont have this problem. (Iphone 12 pro 15.1.1)

But it takes about 5-10 seconds until the music starts from the phone after I press play again after pausing.



Hello there,

i just found this topic and wanna share my problem:

i have two Sonos 5 and listen to music either from my iPhone or Apple TV via airplay 2 to it.


everytime I pause music for some time (a few minutes) and press play again the music won’t play again though the Sonos.


weirdly: when I watch YouTube or Netflix on my Apple TV with the Sonos connected, I don’t have this probleM so the audio starts right away again. When I use Spotify or Apple Music and stop it it won’t come back.


it seems like when listening to audio via Airplay 2, the connection goes to idle mode or something and doesn’t wake up again.


it’s really bothering. Is there any chance Sonos will address this problem soon? 


Since it’s an issue with Apple and AirPlay 2, it’s unlikely that Sonos can do much, they’re merely a receiver of data in this case. 

I now tested this with my roam and it’s the same problem. I had a call with the Sonos hotline and they told me a work around is to press the play button on the speaker twice. And that actually works. But they couldn’t tell me when this bug finally is going to be fixed which is disappointing. I mean not being to able to pause and play  is a major problem in my eyes.


I also noticed that when you pause your music via Airplay and then open up the Sonos app, the Sonos app thinks the music never stopped and is still playing. So it seems like the pause command is not getting through correctly.

My father has a Receiver which also is Airplay 2 capable so I will test in the next days if this happens there too or just with my Sonos.

I wanna give an update to this because I think I found the guilty part: it’s probably spotify and Airplay 1!

i tried out Apple Music now and there’s no problem with Airplay and the Sonos then. I then read on the internet, that Spotify doesn’t support Airplay 2 yet so that would be an explanation! It’s still sad that pausing and playing with Airplay 1 is a problem on the Sonos but at least there is hope that Spotify will upgrade to Airplay 2 in the future. 

This is still an issue unfortunately. I may whip up a little status bar utility for Mac to resolve the issue. Bonus points if I can make it default to using Sonos Airplay on first open.

Came here to solve a similar issue in having. No issue for me with playing music to the ones throughout my home from my iPhone even when I play pause. 
but my issue is I just got an arc and using it to airplay from my Apple tv (plex currently). Every time I pause and then resume even for a few seconds the sound goes out and I need to switch outputs and back. Quite ridiculous I used to think sonos worked quite well with the Apple ecosystem but I’m having lots of issues with my Apple TV and sonos (another one related to Apple TV is every time I play a new video I need to switch my audio output to the arc ) 

I just purchased a Sonos Arc and two Sonos One speakers.  I listen to music while I work and have to pause frequently, and every time it fails to play unless I switch audio devices and switch back on my Mac, just as described in this two year old thread.  Since Sonos has apparently done nothing to fix it, I am sadly going to have to return everything.  :-(

Userlevel 7
Badge +17

Why not play using the Sonos app? In my experience this is a more stable connection and you can still pause from the Mac app.

Just registered to add that I’m having the same issue. It’s incredibly frustrating. I have two new Gen 2 One SL speakers set up as a stereo pair, connected via AirPlay to a 2021 MacBook Pro running Ventura 13.1
The pair of speakers are called ‘Office’ and Apple Music can be playing happily to Office, but then I pause, and when I start them again, the computer can’t find Office.. I try again, and it finds it immediately.

Following some comments on here, I’ve been trying the AirPlay button within the Music app and directing the sound direct to  ‘Office’ from within the App, rather than to my MacBook Pro. This has worked for the last couple of hours. One drawback of this approach appears to be that the volume can no longer be controlled by the keyboard volume buttons, but they can on the Sonos speakers directly.

How have they not solved this? Sonos is baffling sometimes. 

As a possibility, its not a Sonos bug, but an Apple thing, that Apple needs to fix? Sonos doesn’t have the capability to go in to Apple’s code base, unfortunately. Both companies tend to be slow to release fixes, but I’ve seen much more active response from Sonos than I ever have from Apple. When it’s Sonos’ fault, that is. When the responsibility is elsewhere, they tend to stay quiet, and not throw their partners under the proverbial bus. 

Userlevel 3
Badge +2

As a possibility, its not a Sonos bug, but an Apple thing, that Apple needs to fix? Sonos doesn’t have the capability to go in to Apple’s code base, unfortunately. Both companies tend to be slow to release fixes, but I’ve seen much more active response from Sonos than I ever have from Apple. When it’s Sonos’ fault, that is. When the responsibility is elsewhere, they tend to stay quiet, and not throw their partners under the proverbial bus. 

I’ve got the same problem, with multiple Macs and Sonos One SL. One problem is that Apple sells the HomePod (both mini and now the Gen 2 full speaker), which is in many ways a competitor to Sonos. I don’t know the true cause of why they won’t fix, but they may in fact have an incentive to not fix it except for their own speakers, as depressing as that is.

So great to read this thread. Thanks to all the contributors. 

I just bought two Gen 2 SL’s and immediately hit this problem. 

I literally had an Arc, two more SL’s, and a mini-sub in my cart ready to overhaul my entire home theatre system and so grateful I didn’t. And now I won’t. I can’t think of a way to acknowledge a problem other than with my wallet. 

VLC, QuickTime, streaming apps, and webpages - all the same. Press pause and the audio disconnects when connected via the AirPlay top menu. Whereas my Apple TV and all my old Airport Expresses are rock solid. Sorry Sonos, I guess we’re just not lucrative enough to care about. So I’ll be shopping elsewhere. 

After all this time, still having this problem. It shows that SONOS is not really concerned with its clients. As a result, in the future, I will be opting for products from other brands. This inaction by SONOS is absolutely unacceptable to me, especially considering the prices of their products.

Userlevel 7
Badge +17

Look like you too have connection problems. Why not work them out (with Sonos’ help) instead of just venting here.

Why are you assuming that I’m “just venting here”?