Answered

Using Ethernet vs WifI on Sonos devices

  • 21 August 2021
  • 22 replies
  • 3697 views

On my Sonos 2 systems (2 Amps and 1 Port), I hard-wired all 3 using ethernet to save Wi-Fi bandwidth.  It works great until there is a glitch in the power or internet provider; they can never get back online automatically.  However, if do not use ethernet connection and just use Wi-Fi for all 3, when power goes out or if there is a glitch in the internet, they all automatically find there way back online where I can use them via the app.  This only happens with my S2 products, my S1 products (Connect:Amp and Connect:Port) are hard-wired too and they find there way back online.  Not sure what is going on with S2 and ethernet option… any suggestions?  

 

Thank you,

Bill

icon

Best answer by controlav 22 August 2021, 15:43

View original

This topic has been closed for further comments. You can use the search bar to find a similar topic, or create a new one by clicking Create Topic at the top of the page.

22 replies

Try reserving fixed IP addresses for the Sonos units in your router’s DHCP server. If a glitch is causing some network devices to restart and others not then a bit of address confusion could be setting in. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +23

Your router sounds a little challenged in the DHCP department. What kind it it?

Thanks for your replies.  I am using Google Nest (1 router + 2 points) mesh network.

I also want to note that I am using switch from the router, so it goes router → switch → sonos devices.  Again, this only has issues with the S2, not S1 sonos devices.  Thanks again for your help...

Userlevel 7
Badge +23

There are some Google-specific notes on this page:

 

Badge

As a preface, it’s my understanding (but who am I) that only one single Sonos device should be connected via Ethernet. From there, they form a special wireless connection between themselves (Sonosnet). Multiple Sonos devices connected via Ethernet causes issues.

Having said that, I too am having issues with speaker discovery on the S2 controller installed on an iMac (M1 ARM) that is modem > router > switch > Ethernet iMac (running Big Sur). If I disconnect the Ethernet cable to the iMac, all speakers are instantly discovered. Very weird….. I don’t have this problem on an intel-based Mac Air using Ethernet or an Android table using ethernet. My guess, until someone on the forum calls me an idiot, is the S2 controller and the ARM-based iMac are not friends. 

Anyone out there with an ARM-based Mac, on Ethernet (WiFi turned off), that instantly discovers all speakers when the S2 controller boots-up?

 

Any number of Sonos devices can be connected via ethernet. For “wired”, there’s a minimum of one, but SonosNet is able to handle more than one connection back to the router. 

In general, it’s only managed switches that have issues with multiple connections of Sonos devices, which can cause, in certain situations, network storms, but assuming the switch is set up properly, it should be able to handle more than one.

But there’s been a ton of misinformation out there, even some of it from me, I suspect, so it’s understandable that you may have arrived at that conclusion.  In a “normal” situation, having multiple ethernet connected devices should not be an issue. 

S2 and S1 operated essentially the same, in terms of network connections, from what I gather. So there really shouldn’t be a significant issue there.

I’m running an intel based Mac of the Powerbook variety, running Big Sur 11.5.2 with no issues. I happen to be using a BOOST connected to my router, the BOOST creates the SonosNet network, as it’s connected to my Netgear router directly. The Mac itself does connect via wifi, though. I also have an Air, which uses the M1 chip, running Big Sur 11.5.2, again with no issues, again via wifi. Which leads me to suspect something in your connection chain between the modem and the Mac.

It might be helpful if you were to do a test, to help identify where the issue might be coming from. First, let us know what modem, what router, and what switch you’re running, so that we can see if there’s a known issue with one (or several) of them. 

Next, try temporarily connecting the Mac directly to the router, rather than the switch, and see if all devices show up. That is what I’m currently expecting to happen.  I’m guessing that it’s an issue with the switch you indicate is in between, so would love to know what happens if it’s out of the equation (just as a test, not permanent!)

Finally, it’s worth it if you were to submit a system diagnostic , and call Sonos Support to discuss it.

There may be information included in the diagnostic that will help Sonos pinpoint the issue and help you find a solution.

But when you speak directly to the phone folks, they have tools at their disposal that will allow them to give you advice specific to your Sonos system and network.

 

Badge

Our network topologies are virtually the same. Mine is cable modem > Eero Pro 5 mesh WiFi router > Netgear unmanaged switch > Ethernet 5e distribution. From the switch, Ethernet to a Boost (the only Ethernet connection to Sonos product in the house) and Ethernet to a iMac M1 ARM running Big Sur 11.5.2 (as well as various TVs, an NAS, and other stuff).

 I have proven that using the SAME Ethernet cable (coming through the switch) for the iMac M1 -- but connected to an Intel-based Mac Air with Wifi off -- results in instant discover of all speakers. (Same is true of Android tablets, Android Phone, and iPhone - if the Wifi is turned off and Ethernet is used). BUT…..if I connect my wife’s Mac Air M1 ARM Big Sur 11.5.2 using the same Ethernet cable, then this Mac Air cannot discover all speakers. If I change either the Mac Air M1 or the iMac M1 to Wifi all speakers are instantly discovered.

The only common denominator is M1 Mac Big Sur 11.5.2 running S2 via Ethernet. Each time S2 is restarted if will discover some but not all of the speakers. Of the ones it discovers, they work perfectly. Connection with the NAS works perfectly. If does not always discover the same speakers. Sometimes it discovers all of the speakers over time -- not instantly. If I disconnect the Ethernet cable and connect via Wifi, which allow all speakers to be discovered, then when I reconnect the Ethernet, and turn off WiFi, all speakers are present and all work perfectly on the iMac M1 until I reboot Sonos.

I have talked to Sonos and submitted a diagnostic report. They had no easy answer. I’m a retired IT guy -- that doesn’t count for much -- but this is a bit of a head-scratcher. I have a solution: Get under my desk, disconnect the Ethernet cable, turn on Wifi, reconnect the Ethernet cable, and turn off Wifi. It’s not high-tech, but it works!

There was, at least I think, at one point an issue with the AirPlay 2 implementation for M1 Macs. Not sure if that’s been resolved, or is still out there as an issue on the Apple side (if it was on Sonos, no AirPlay 2 would work). I always use my iOS devices to connect via AirPlay 2. But that’s not our problem, is it?

All of what you’re saying sure points, in my mind, to an issue on Apple’s side of things. It works fine on one machine, but not on another machine, and the only significant difference is the chipset in user as a CPU. So that leads me to the belief that it’s not a Sonos issue, it’s an Apple issue. Similar to my first paragraph. Or potentially the code base works differently on an ARM than an M1 chipset...which would probably still be an Apple issue, not a Sonos issue, since they’d likely just call a function in the operating system. 

I’d actually still be interested, intellectually, as to what happens if you connect that BOOST to the Eero Pro 5 mesh wifi router, instead of the Netgear unmanaged switch. I’m treading out of my depth here, but I know/have read the discovery process for Sonos devices is something that can be gated occasionally, it would be instructive to know if there’s possibly some difference between the way it’s working on an ARM vs an M1 Mac, and perhaps the issue is the switch. Not holding out a ton of hope, but testing is what I’m all about.

I’d honestly not expect a whole bunch of knowledge from a Sonos phone rep. This is a pretty esoteric issue, and likely not one covered by what I assume is their scripts. And expecting a close to minimum wage phone/CS person to have intricate network skills is dicey, on the whole.  

There are, on this forum, some members who are substantially more network and code savvy than what I am, and I’m hoping that teasing out some of these specifics here will help them build a mental image of what might be going on. It might be helpful if you were to detail specifically which Netgear switch is in use, since you’ve told us which Eero device you’re using. Just on the offhand chance one of them knows something specific. 

The challenge we all face as expert of any type is that we have preconceptions as to the way we think it’s suppose to work, and sometimes Sonos can surprise us. One of the steep learning curves I had when joining this forum many years ago was the need to throw out much of my “knowledge” as to how a computer connected to a LAN, in favor of the way a Sonos device does. Both are valid, but extremely different, since the Sonos spends much more time cross checking all devices (relatively, when compared to a computer, which never does). The Sonos devices need to have knowledge about all other Sonos devices on the network at all times, as well as a connection to the outside world (well, mostly) and a connection to a controller. There’s a lot of topological barriers to that kind of communication, especially when using non-Sonos mesh networks (Unifi comes to mind, but others, too). The nice thing is in your case, we’re not dealing with someone elses (Eero’s) network, we’re dealing with only the SonosNet network. Sure, since both are radio networks, there can be interference between the two, but in general it’s easier to diagnose a SonosNet system than many others.

Which raises the question. You have removed the network information from the controller, so that the system isn’t trying to flap between SonosNet and your Eero network, correct?

 

Badge

Like you I’m not sure what happens inside Sonos and how it “does its thing.” It’s kinda like modern cars with their engine-top shields; you don’t need to understand what’s happening under this engine cover -- just drive the damn thing!

I do know that Version 13.2 of Sonos S2 requires Rosetta 2 to run since it remains an Intel-based product (System > Applications > Sonos. Right click > Get Info. Note “Kind: Application (Intel)” If it was ARM-ready it would be “Kind: Application (Universal)” Therefore, it’s hard to toss too many bricks at Apple until Sonos develops a Silicon-ready version of its controller.

Moving on to your suggestion of a direct connect between the Eero parent router and the Boost, thus bypassing the switch: The Eero has two (count ‘em) Ethernet ports. The best I could do is disconnect the inbound Internet signal from the modem (the equivalent of the ISP being off-line). I would plug the Boost into that Ethernet Port. I would then disconnect the second Ethernet port on the back of the Eero that now goes outbound to the switch and hard-wire (via Ethernet patch cable) to the Mac Air M1 with Wifi off. That way I have a direct connection between the Eero and the Boost while testing in an Ethernet environment. (Remember: WiFi works great.) I will try your suggestion -- but not while my wife is at home. Cutting her off from the Internet is akin to cutting off her oxygen. I’ll let you know what happens or if anything will happen at all if Sonos can’t see the Internet.

I’ve been debugging longer than I can remember. I go back to Alpha Micro -- the first small box multi-user/dumb terminal central-processor, back in the mid-1980s. Its operating system called AMOS had a command SYSACT that was normally delimited and was used to erase data. If you typed SYSACT without a delimiter your terminal would respond “THIS COMMAND WILL ERASE EVERYTHING. ARE YOU SURE YES/N” If you replied “N” the terminal would respond “DAMN. THAT WAS CLOSE!” It was all fun back then….

Resolution:  First off, thanks for all your replies and feedback!  I called Sonos support and they ran their diagnostics to provide a workable solution.  Instead of connecting the “wired” Sonos device from a “router-->switch” combo, I just connected it directly to the router (i.e. removed the switch from equation).  The other Sonos devices were left in WIFI mode so the Sonos network would pick them up.  I have not had any issues with this setup and the power has gone out a few times.  Sonos support suspected the switch was the issue and they highly recommend the Sonos device to be connected directly to the router to have stable behavior.

Badge

Not a workable solution for me. Modem is in bridge mode, so no IP assigning, and it has only one Ethernet output. Never had a problem in 5 years and don't have a problem now except for any Mac M1 (non-Intel) product on Ethernet.

 I have proven that using the SAME Ethernet cable (coming through the switch) for the iMac M1 -- but connected to an Intel-based Mac Air with Wifi off -- results in instant discover of all speakers. (Same is true of Android tablets, Android Phone, and iPhone - if the Wifi is turned off and Ethernet is used). BUT…..if I connect my wife’s Mac Air M1 ARM Big Sur 11.5.2 using the same Ethernet cable, then this Mac Air cannot discover all speakers. If I change either the Mac Air M1 or the iMac M1 to Wifi all speakers are instantly discovered.

The problem must be with the Mac’s Ethernet interface then. Anything different about it? VPN?

Badge

No VPN. Nothing unique about the Ethernet IP assignment. Everything works - except for Speaker Discovery, where random speakers are discovered with each reboot of S2. My thought is that the S2 Controller, that is designed for Intel-based Macs, has some issue when dealing with the Rosetta 2 interface on a Silicon/ARM machine. Any Intel Mac or Android on this same Ethernet connection works. Any M1 Mac on the Ethernet connection does not. 

Badge

Here’s another bit of information to add to the puzzle(ment).

If the S2 Controller installed on a Mac M1 computer on Ethernet does not discover a given speaker (e.g. it does not show in the System List), I can go to another device (cell phone, laptop, Intel-based Mac) running S2 on our home network, select the missing speaker or speakers (since they are always visible of these non-Silicon Mac devices regardless of whether Ethernet or WiFi), start playing a song, and that speaker/speakers will instantly show up on the list of available speakers on the Mac M1’s/Ethernet implementation of S2.

Weird…...

CharlesTN,

I’m curious what happens if you power down one SONOS component. Are all of the remaining SONOS units then discovered? If so, power up this unit and power down another unit and repeat the test. I’m curious if the issue is with a particular unit or the count of units.

If you have some sort of network analysis App, check the PING times of the SONOS units and also check for dropped packets.

Here’s another bit of information to add to the puzzle(ment).

If the S2 Controller installed on a Mac M1 computer on Ethernet does not discover a given speaker (e.g. it does not show in the System List), I can go to another device (cell phone, laptop, Intel-based Mac) running S2 on our home network, select the missing speaker or speakers (since they are always visible of these non-Silicon Mac devices regardless of whether Ethernet or WiFi), start playing a song, and that speaker/speakers will instantly show up on the list of available speakers on the Mac M1’s/Ethernet implementation of S2.

Weird…...

So the controller is receiving event notifications. Yet apparently the SSDP discovery multicast (and broadcast) is not making it out the gate.

Badge
  1. Powering down a given Sonos speaker that is visible on the System list has no impact on making a missing speaker appear. Interestingly, on the iMac M1, powering down a speaker that is visible on the System list does not cause it to be removed from the System list on S2.
  2. Testing Ping and Packet Loss from Terminal on the iMac M1, using the command ping -c<number of times to ping> <IP address> (e.g. ping -c50 192.168.x.xx) to either a speaker that is present on the System list OR to a speaker that is NOT present on the System list results in acceptable ping response (1.1 ms average) from either with no packet losses. Both speakers are visible from a system perspective -- simply slow to be discovered by S2.

Let’s try a variation on the power down test. After powering down a SONOS unit, shut down and re-start the SONOS controller.

Badge
  1. Power down Speaker that is visible on the S2 Controller on iMac M1 via Ethernet.
  2. Quit S2 Controller on iMac M1.
  3. Restart Speaker and wait for solid white light.
  4. Restart S2 Controller on iMac M1.
  5. Result: Speaker disappears from System List. Speaker can be pinged from the iMac.
  6. From Android Phone requested music to be played from that Speaker.
  7. Speaker instantly appears on iMac S2 Controller.

I’m out of ideas. What I know is that any PC, phone, Mac (Intel or M1/Silicon), or tablet can instantly see all speakers via Wifi. Any PC, phone, Intel Mac, or tablet can see all speakers via Ethernet. All speakers are ping-able. No packet loss.  Using the same Ethernet cable and modem > Router > switch connection, any iMac Mi Silicon cannot see random speakers until music is played on that speaker. It can discover most of the speakers over time, but not all of them.

This is not a WiFi problem. It is not a switch problem. I’m laying my money on some deep, deep inconsistency between the S2 Controller that is designed for Intel Macs, and a Silicon M1 Mac that is running the S2 Controller (Version 13.2) under the Rosetta 2 compatibility software. I’ve got a workaround. At some point Sonos will deliver a version of the controller that is “Universal” -- meaning it is compatible with both Intel and Silicon Mac. At that point I’ll retest. I appreciate everyone’s comments.

My thought is that the iMac M1 for some silly reason can discover ‘n’ devices, but you have ‘n+1’ devices.

Badge

Thanks for all your help and thoughts. Yeah, it’s weird. There’s no rhyme or reason what speakers S2 will discover on each restart of Sonos on the iMac M1. I’m over it…...