Setup and settings work on my iPad, but not on my iPhone


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I recently picked up a Play 5 and a One, and when trying to set up the devices at home via the Sonos App on my iPhone (iPhone 8), I constantly got the error message "Network problem; Check your internet connection and make sure your speakers are plugged in" despite being on the same network at the devices and having a relatively good signal. For the sake of troubleshooting, I grabbed my iPad (iPad Pro 2017) and was surprised to see that I was not having this issue with the Sonos app on my iPad. I was able to set up both devices normally.

The situation now is that I am able to control both my Sonos devices with the App on my iPad and iPhone, but only the iPad app is able to change some settings, like room settings, or add another device, like the One. If I try to do this with the iPhone app, I again get the error "Network problem; Check your internet connection and make sure your speakers are plugged in". Playback to Sonos from third-party apps like Spotify work well from both devices.

For reference:
Both my iPad and iPhone are on the same network as the Sonos, run the most updated version of both the Sonos app and iOS, and are both managed devices with certificates and profiles installed by my employer. VPN is off. Both devices use the same Apple ID and correct time/date settings. I have tried to reboot the speakers, restart my iPhone and reinstall the Sonos app, just in case - unfortunately to no effect.

Any idea what could be causing only my iPhone to refuse to connect to the speakers when attempting to perform setup actions or change speaker settings?

Thanks! :D

18 replies

Not offhand, honestly. One guess, but you say you've checked it.

The one that stands out as a strong possibility in my mind is that your phone is connected to your router's SSID at 5Ghz, and your iPad is connected to the same SSID at 2.4Ghz. I've taken to naming my two channels slightly different names, so that I'm sure what I'm connecting to. And it may be that your particular router isn't passing data between the two sides.

That's completely a guess, though...since it's not obvious when you look at the wifi settings whether you're connected to a 5Ghz signal rather than a 2.4Ghz signal....it just shows you the SSID name and sometimes what kind of security (like WEP) that it has.

Try going in to your router's settings, and append a 2 to the name of the SSID 2.4Ghz side, and a 5 to the 5Ghz SSID name, and then go in to your phone and "forget" the current wifi, and reconnect to the new name for the 2.4Ghz side, and see what happens.

Beyond that, I'd be stumped. Wouldn't hurt to submit a system diagnostic from the iPad, since it will connect, but it likely won't be a good source of data as to why the iPhone won't connect.
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Airgetlam wrote:

The one that stands out as a strong possibility in my mind is that your phone is connected to your router's SSID at 5Ghz, and your iPad is connected to the same SSID at 2.4Ghz.



Thanks for your reply! I thought this might be it but it looks like both my iPhone and iPad are connected to the 5Ghz Network. If they needed to be on the 2.4Ghz network, I suppose the iPad wouldn't work either?

I found this old thread, in which a user says:

the controller devices -- such as iPhone -- can connect via anything: 2.4GHz, 5GHz, 802.11ac, wire, etc. It's only the Sonos Players configured to use WiFi Setup which must attach to an access point supporting 802.11g. at 2.4GHz


https://en.community.sonos.com/wireless-speakers-228992/2-4ghz-or-5ghz-41446

So I'm guessing this is something on the level of the device, not the network :(

For the sake of troubleshooting I tried to split the SSIDs to 2GHz and 5GHz and connecting to the 2GHz with my iPhone. I was unable to connect to Sonos at all ("Unable to find speakers").
You should not rule out the 5GHz issue. In Boost mode (with a wired Sonos device, which used to be mandatory) it is fine for the the controller to connect over 5GHz. If you are operating in wifi mode, then it depends on your router whether it lets a controller on 5GHz talk to a Sonos player on 2.4GHz. Some routers bridge the bands, some don't.

But your subsequent checks do seem to deal with this.
Please see what happens if you temporarily wire a speaker to your router???
Another speculation... I have a very vague recollection of a user who found his iPhone was set to block the Sonos system, although he didn't know how it had come about. I don't have an iPhone but it may be under Restrictions?
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John B wrote:

You should not rule out the 5GHz issue. In Boost mode (with a wired Sonos device, which used to be mandatory) it is fine for the the controller to connect over 5GHz. If you are operating in wifi mode, then it depends on your router whether it lets a controller on 5GHz talk to a Sonos player on 2.4GHz. Some routers bridge the bands, some don't.

But your subsequent checks do seem to deal with this.



Both my iPhone and iPad can indeed talk to the Sonos devices over 5GHz - it is only the iPhone which is unable to access the Setup and Settings on Sonos. It can reach the Speakers when controlling music just fine, so there's at least some one-way communication happening here.

I'll try to wire my Play 5 to the router this evening and will report back. I'm guessing I need to reboot the speakers to force them onto ethernet when this happens?
@Liron, check if the so called WiFi Assist ist turned on; should be turned off.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205296
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Smilja wrote:

@Liron, check if the so called WiFi Assist ist turned on; should be turned off.



Thanks, I've turned it off. I'll try to connect to Sonos again this evening and will report back!
Liron wrote:

John B wrote:

You should not rule out the 5GHz issue. In Boost mode (with a wired Sonos device, which used to be mandatory) it is fine for the the controller to connect over 5GHz. If you are operating in wifi mode, then it depends on your router whether it lets a controller on 5GHz talk to a Sonos player on 2.4GHz. Some routers bridge the bands, some don't.

But your subsequent checks do seem to deal with this.



Both my iPhone and iPad can indeed talk to the Sonos devices over 5GHz - it is only the iPhone which is unable to access the Setup and Settings on Sonos. It can reach the Speakers when controlling music just fine, so there's at least some one-way communication happening here.

I'll try to wire my Play 5 to the router this evening and will report back. I'm guessing I need to reboot the speakers to force them onto ethernet when this happens?

Reboot may not be necessary, only do it if it doesn't switch automatically. In About My Sonos system, WM:0 indicates connection over Ethernet or SonosNet, WM:1 wifi.
The baffling thing is that it only affects the Settings aspects. Normally when these are unavailable it means one of two things. Either:
(1) the controller is on a device whose operating system is not fully supported by Sonos, or
(2) there is a mismatch in Sonos software version numbers between the Sonos controller and the Sonos speakers.

Everything you have said seems to rule these out, but you could check this in About My Sonos System too.
Note that the controller device (your phone and iPad) are talking to the router, and then the data is being passed on to the Sonos. Small distinction, but an important one, I think, in troubleshooting this particular issue.

And yes, I'd certainly make sure that both devices are running 9.2 by looking at "About My Sonos System" on both controllers.

And since we're going down that road, what iOS version do you have on those devices?
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Airgetlam wrote:

And since we're going down that road, what OS version do you have on those devices? Which iPhone is it that you're having issues with?



I am running iOS 12.1 on both devices, the iPhone in question is an iPhone 8.
Heh. You caught my post before I edited it, having double checked that you'd indeed told us it was an iPhone 8 in your first post. Sometimes it's easy to lose track of the early data.

I'd still recommend John's check to make sure you're running 9.2 on both devices. And a reboot isn't out of the question.
Any chance the iPhone 12.1 is a beta?
John B wrote:

Any chance the iPhone 12.1 is a beta?


That's the recently released product version.
Smilja wrote:

John B wrote:

Any chance the iPhone 12.1 is a beta?


That's the recently released product version.

I was just looking for possible differences in OP's iPad and iPhone, e.g. iPhone not yet updated from beta, iPad is? Pure speculation
And perhaps at this point, running a diagnostic from both machines, and then calling Sonos might be best. You've certainly stumped me.
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Thanks for all the help and tips! The problem is "solved":

Here's the result of my recent troubleshooting, in the following order:

- I have rebooted my iPhone

- Checked that both the Play 5 and One are running software 9.2, so are my iPad and iPhone

- Turned WiFi Assist off, seems to have no effect on the ability of the iPhone to access Sonos system settings

- I have connected the Play 5 to the router via Ethernet and confirmed all devices are WM:0, I still can't access Sonos system Settings with my iPhone

- I have split my network into two SSIDs, one for each band, and then followed https://support.sonos.com/s/article/1061(didn't do this before, I assumed the speakers would just pick up the network from my phone), connected the iPhone to the 2.4Ghz network and BAM, iPhone can now connect to Sonos setup and settings.

I mention above that the problem is "solved", because I am still baffled by the fact that my iPad has no problem accessing Sonos settings over the same 5ghz network, and connecting the system to the router directly also seems to have no effect (although it probably... should have?).

Thanks all for your help and patience. Still a bit of a mystery.

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