Please improve associated product selection process. Please.

  • 25 February 2024
  • 6 replies

Userlevel 1

I know that the “associated product” is the first speaker that responds when starting a controller.  I’m simply expressing some frustration at how rudimentary that process is and how annoying it can be when you have a lot of Sonos products that you’ve accumulated for about a decade.  I have a mix of about a dozen speakers, with my oldest being ten year old Play:1s and my newest being an Arc. I notice that my Sonos controllers (both desktop and Android) are much, much more responsive when the associated product is the Arc or the newer Five. However, my controllers seem to have a knack for finding one of the older Play:1s.  The phone and desktop controllers consistently find the oldest speakers in my system when starting up and they’ll be sluggish and the queue is harder to manage.  When the associated product is one of the speakers I’ve added within the last couple years, the controller is much more responsive.  It’s a stark contrast.

Like I said, I know how the associated product selection process works.  I already tried searching the community to see if there’s a better option than just repeatedly closing and reopening the controller until it finally connects to one of the newer speakers.  I would be happy with an option to manually refresh the associated products without having to close the app, but I would love being able to select the associated product after having reconnected to the system.  This would get me closer to being a Sonos zealot again.  When somebody asks me how I feel about my Sonos ecosystem now, I usually invoke the sunk cost fallacy.  I’m in too deep and not sufficiently dissatisfied to look elsewhere.  Yet.

Has anyone figured out a better way to manage this?  This might seem like a minor gripe, but since the controller is how you interact with the system.  It’s a suboptimized aspect of the UX.  Since I think Sonos fancies itself as a tech company, I figured I might resonate better.

Be careful, Sonos.  You’re well on your way to being the Logitech of speakers, with decent hardware and terrible software.

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6 replies

The first player to respond becomes the Associated player. If you could speed up a newer player, possibly by wiring it to the network, or slow down the out in front players by going wireless, you may be able to improve the situation. Another potential slowdown scheme might be to wire the out in front players to other SONOS players. This is not my favorite trick because there could be undesirable side effects. None of these schemes is guaranteed to improve the situation, but they are easy to try.

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

I’d even settle for an option to prefer wired Sonos over WiFi ones.

Similar situation here. Preference for wired would help. Or preferred speaker. 
For us the lag renders the system joyless. A phone call requires immediate response. A 5-12 seconds lag causes tensions. Didn’t pay for that. 

I suggest contacting SONOS support. While they will have no immediate solution, the call will be logged and if enough users call, there will be a response that attempts to improve timing and therefore the number of calls and the cost of support.

Conceptually, this is a difficult issue to resolve because it is not mandatory that players always be online. For example, a portable product may go into standby or be out of the area. Or, a Room may be powered down for some reason. By inspecting MAC Addresses it would be possible to distinguish newer units from ancient units, but if an ancient unit replies first, should the system startup be delayed, hoping that a faster unit will respond later? Certainly, if a faster unit is later discovered, association could be transferred, but this would be a complicated, timing dependent process, sort of like changing socks while running. Waiting to see if a faster unit is available would not automatically resolve the slow startup, however, it could resolve slow response after startup.

Userlevel 7
Badge +23

My app chooses it the same way, but I have considered a “scoring system” - some function of “time to respond” with “amount of memory” (which is the only real way to get an idea of the performance of a device) and the model number (the bigger the number, the newer the device).

Mine you five seconds sounds really bad, I would reboot such a device in the hope of speeding it up.

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

Just chiming in here. The “new” search fails if I’m on one of “associated” to one of my older Play:1 or Play:3 speakers, works great if I’m associated to my Arc or a newer Five or Era. And My Arc and Five are wired in, so you’d think those would routinely be chosen first, but no… Like, literally, the signal from the older Play:3 must *pass through* the Five or the Arc to make it to my phone, and yet still somehow those are the ones that associate most often.

Hopefully the update coming out this week fixes this entirely, but I don’t have my hopes up. :(