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Problems with Sonos speaker sound synchronization

  • 5 December 2023
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I’ve been experiencing an issue recently with my Sonos speakers, whereby when I switch to a new song, some speakers continue to play the older song, some play the newer one, some silent.  I have 2 Sonos S2, Sonos Move.

I have a Netgear Orbi (802.11.ac) router.

Everything here is in one room; the farthest from the router an S2 is may be about 20 ft.  So that is not an issue.

My “controller” is an iPhone 15 Pro with iOS 17.1.2; my Macbook Pro 16” (Intel) is where I do a lot of my work and control Sonos.  The Sonos code on MacOS is:

Version: 15.10
Sonos OS:  S2
Build: 76246300
 

Up until recently, things have worked just fine.

I can’t imagine what the problem is, as bandwidth or signal should not be an issue with the relatively low proximity of the router.  So unless someone is aiming a signal jamming device (LOL) at me, I’m at a loss as to why this is happening (yes all my Sonos speakers are on the local WIFI network).

I restarted the app on MacOS, no effect.

The problem manifests intermittently.  The music is streaming from my Macbook Pro 16” (Intel).  There is no other significant network traffic going on (just email).

 

This happens when I manually switch songs.

 

So what gives?  Anyone see this happening?  How might I resolve it?

 

Thanks!

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Best answer by Airgetlam 5 December 2023, 04:45

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Unplug the affected speakers for a couple of minutes and reboot your router.

There’s a plethora of possibilities. It sounds like your speakers are occasionally and briefly losing contact with your router, and rather than executing the new command, still playing the previous music.

Despite your humorous comment, it is entirely possible that wifi interference is coming from outside your home, or even from within. Interference doesn’t have to be intentional. Take a look at that FAQ, and apply as many of the solutions you see fit, they might help, and would be unlikely to hurt.

similarly, if you haven’t set up reserved IP addresses for your Sonos in your router, I’d encourage you to do so, and honestly, for any and all devices connected to your Wi-Fi. Instructions on how to do that vary, but should be covered in your router’s manual.

However, if neither of those potentials fix the issue, I would encourage you to submit a system diagnostic within 10 minutes of experiencing this problem, 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.

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 network and Sonos system.

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There’s a plethora of possibilities.

In my case, the router is literally just a few feet away, and it’s a well-powered Netgear Orbi.  The symptoms only seem to occur when I manually track/adjust a song while it’s playing.   That is, I might fast forward slightly, sometimes speakers get confused, go off the air for a bit, etc.   Otherwise, I don’t see the issue.

Now, in terms of interference, I can’t imagine what that would be here.  This is a large apartment/loft/mill space.  Internet is included, the structure is pretty well designed IMHO.  So unless my neighbor downstairs is aiming something at me just as I adjust a song, then I can’t figure what it might be :)  Also, our building is surrounded by open space, I face the outdoors from my unit.  I don’t have other issues with streaming, etc., on other services I use.

True, all of these speakers have a DHCP address, but the lease is very long and nothing really changes on the network here.  So I’m not sure that is the issue.

This is now sounding like there may be an issue with the Sonos protocol(s) sync’ing from the originating controller (in my case, my Macbook Pro Intel 16”) that is making the command.

I will go ahead and submit diagnostics when it happens again, tho.

Thanks!

Don’t think that any network is static. Not only will the router often get updates without your knowledge, but your network can change based on items inside your home, or things externally affecting the network. 
Your first paragraph could be ‘everything is fine up to “X” bandwidth, but anything above can be dicey, or even evidence of issues with duplicate IPs. 

When I lived in Texas, a neighbor moved into the house next door, and set up a router that interfered with my Sonos network, completely to my surprise, I’d assumed their home was far enough away not to impinge on me, that turned out not to be the case. When I lived in San Francisco, my system was impacted by my own microwave, as the protection it had from generating interference deteriorated. That interference went away when I replaced the old microwave with a new one. 

All of this is just to say that you shouldn’t ‘assume’ anything about your network. I’ve learned to go into it with an open mind, and willing to try anything…I’m not a networking expert, and have only a smattering of radio wave physics knowledge. And even hardwired networks, based on what I know about routers, can change network data paths depending on variables. The design is, to what I understand, supposed to be malleable, and not always the same. 

Don’t assume that the person you end up on your call always knows more than you. Customer service can be a crapshoot, IMHO, some folks will give great advice, some may be still learning, and reading from scripts. But be willing to listen, and try. They’ll certainly want to help. 

It seems sonos went downhill. My whole house is setup with sonos and all speakers (5xplay1, 1xplay5, 2xsonos1, era 100) are no longer in synch. I have replaced wifi routers several times but these dont work anymore after couple of years working fine. Whatever software update these went through, know that this synch problem is not going away. So sad and i’m not buying any new sonos anymore. I was a fan before when they started but this is now disaapointing after investing a lot on them :(

See my response to the other cut and paste post you made. 

In diagnostic mode, once you’ve decided that the issue must be [ … ] or cannot be [ … ], you are likely to be blindsided. That said, always play the percentages. There is no point looking for the 1% before the 99% probability.

In your case I suspect intermittent connection issues. The players will attempt to buffer music. In some cases most of a track will be in each player’s buffer. When you suddenly change tracks, the current buffer must be discarded, then rebuilt. If there is a communication issue with one player, it will miss the message to fetch a new track and will continue with the current track. The purpose of the buffer is to allow time for the players to work through temporary communication issues without interrupting the music. 

maybe sonos needs to increase their bufferring or make the others wait until the othet catch up. this is audio stream and not even video stream though. my 2 cents.

the wifi signal has always been the default culprit. but know that is inhouse coverage and not even 5G. 

i’ll try that diagnostics since the other person on this feedback didn’t have a good experience when he called in.

Improved buffer management will not help when skipping a track because the buffers must be flushed and rebuilt. I think that most listeners would be annoyed if track skipping is delayed a second or two while buffers are rebuilt. This creates the risk that something unfortunate could happen while the buffers are empty. When playing an online remote source the system is exposed to external risks in addition to local network risks.

Given your problem description I put some sort of network issue in the 90% class. I’m not ruling out some sort of glitch inherent in an update or a hardware issue with a unit, but these possibilities are not as high on my list. Start keeping a log of events. Selectively power down or ignore a player and log the results.  Keep track of the order in which Groups are built. I once had a very severe issue, much worse than yours. After some logging it was clear that daytime and some evenings were problem free and Sunday was nearly impossible. I slipped a copy of the log, along with a polite note, under my neighbor’s door. A couple days later the note returned with annotations. She sometimes traveled overnight for business and called mom on Sunday. She was using a cordless phone system that was known to trash the WiFi band. I was able to work through the issue by avoiding wireless connections near her base station.

for those interested on my case, it turn out out the era 100 when its grouped after chatting with sonos support. it is never the wifi though. looks like my issue started when i added this new era100 on my system. and i don’t know how sonos will even fix it as it doesn’t seem to play along with my old play1s ( living room and family room) which is all over my house aside from 2 sonos one (bedrooms) and 1 play5.

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