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Severe battery drain with Sonos app in iOS


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I am seeing very significant battery drain on iOS when using Sonos app. This morning I just used the app for about an hour to play music, and the battery usage report shows that Sonos has consumed 47% of the battery usage in the last 24 hours. This is a trend I've noticed a lot recently. What can I do?

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Best answer by Ryan S 29 March 2017, 19:55

Thanks for the details guys. We've been looking into iOS battery usage and so far it's all seemed pretty normal. The biggest drain on the battery that Sonos uses comes in two pieces, first off, the app is still going to try and keep alive access to your players while you're on a wireless network, which, even in background mode, will use a bit of the battery. The second piece, is that when you're using the iOS Lock Screen controls on Sonos, the app is "playing" a silent track on the phone. This is the only way to have a non-media app take control over the lock screen in iOS.

If you think your system is seeing an unusually high amount of battery usage, we're happy to take a look, and I'd encourage you to give us a call on our support line.
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126 replies

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I have exactly the same battery drain issue. Bought Sonos two days ago. Using iPad mini IOS 9 (latest version) with Sonos controller 6.2.2. Set everything up two days ago. After one day noticed unusually large battery drain on iPad. Battery statistics for last 24 hours show Sonos 45 mins on screen - 3.1 hrs background!!

Why the massive gackground usage? No other app comes close.

Under advanced settings I have "usage data" turned off. Check for updates is on.

Clearly the Sonos controller is responsible for my batter drain. But why?? I really hope this can be fixed.
Guys, when you have the App. open in the background, it is constantly communicating with your system over WiFi. There is nothing unusual about this. The way to avoid it, is to close the application when not in use.

Thanks Edward.

Are you saying that the battery consumption at this order of magnitude is expected behaviour? At the weekend, Sonos was responsible for more than half my battery consumption. 13 mins on screen, 18 hours in background. It drained my phone as close to empty as it ever gets. I had Safari on screen for 1.2 hours, actively browsing the internet, and it consumed less than half the amount of battery.

Your solution of force quitting or killing the app is odd. Both Apple and Google have recently recommended against doing that to save battery life. It's only recommended where there is a problem with the app.

I cannot see any reason for Sonos to remain so active in the background. If it's relevant to lock screen control, then I would happily choose to toggle that off. You might please pass on that suggestion to the iOS development team. Thanks.

If this really is expected behaviour, then I would be interested in recommendations for other controller software on iOS. Do you or others have less battery intensive recommendations?
I switched off lock screen controls and have had no battery drain issues since. You lose the functionality of controlling from lock screen or watch, but that's best until fixed or changed.
Userlevel 7
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Hey guys, if you're seeing what looks like abnormal battery usage can you try turning off the iOS lockscreen for a few days to test? The lock screen has to trick the phone into playing a silent track in order for the app to be able to take over, which might use more background activity than it did previously. This should be the case with the last couple updates, and not specific to version 7.0, but it'd be great to try as a test.

We'd love to look into any trouble you might have with this though, so if you do have a lot of battery usage it'd recommend give us a call on our support line and working with a technician live. They'll take a look at the system and see if we can help improve things.
Userlevel 2
Had the same problem on iphone 6s (IOS 10.2) and Sonos app 7.0.1.
In Settings -> Sonos I disabled "Lock Screen Controls" and "On this Device" (I don't need this option) and this seems resolved an issue.
This is a terrible problem which is already haunting me for weeks without improvement. The only thing that "works" is force quitting the sonos app after each time you need it, which defeats its purpose and is totally not what Apple recommends. Besides that it is easily forgotten which leads to an empty battery when you need it the most.

See screenshot below: the sonos controller has been used ONCE to start an internet radio stream on the sonos player via tunein radio. Afterwards it hasn't been opened. But apparently it used up 45% of my battery whilst doing nothing in the background. Thats more then 3 apps (a game, tweetbot and safari) which have been used for over 70min on screen but only used 32% battery whilst doing so in the same 24 hours interval.

Please FIX this.

Edit: Latest iOS version, Latest Sonos App version, iPhone 7.
iPhone X with awe-inspiring battery strength is no match for Sonos App! I took my iPhone X camping for 2 days and still 49% battery, but launch Sonos App and it's the first and only iOS app that took the awesome battery of my X to zero!

Mostly just pause the music from the iPhone while selecting songs from the Mac OS app...

Never had this problem with iPhone sonos app version 7.x and prior releases. This 8.x release is truly a disaster.
Sonos, time to pony up some $$ for solid iOS engineers who know their stuff and get busy winning back your loyal user base before this ship sinks. I may delete this app off my phone.
Can you do another screen shot after you tap the little click button next to "last 7 days"? That'll show you the foreground and background usage minutes.
Userlevel 5
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The clock icon on the right will tell you how long the app was being used. May be useful in isolating what's going on.
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Here are two more screenshots with the clock icon revealed.



Wow. That seems really unusual. I guess I've been using the computer controller lately. I don't remember my ratio being so out of whack though. Try rebooting your phone and see if that helps. The next thing I'd try would be to delete and reinstall the app.
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I tried both of your suggestions. Will reinstall Sonos app and see what happens. Would love to hear from someone from Sonos if they're familiar with this issue.
Yeah, me too!
Userlevel 4
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Interesting. A couple of years ago many iPhone users, myself included, were experiencing excessive battery drain from the Sonos app running in the background. Sonos fixed this with an app update. Are you running the latest versions of iOS and the Sonos app? Reinstalling the Sonos app would be a good start.
Userlevel 7
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There was some trouble a couple years ago as testcard says, but that should be long resolved. Just checking, what source of music were you listening to? Playing tracks off the phone will use the battery more than from a music service directly.

If you're still having trouble can you submit a diagnostic from your Sonos system using that controller and reply back with your confirmation number?

Thanks
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There was some trouble a couple years ago as testcard says, but that should be long resolved. Just checking, what source of music were you listening to? Playing tracks off the phone will use the battery more than from a music service directly.

If you're still having trouble can you submit a diagnostic from your Sonos system using that controller and reply back with your confirmation number?

Thanks


I have only had Sonos for a few months, and am running the latest version 6.2.2. I am listening to music on Spotify and Apple Music, never from my phone or iPad. My diagnostics confirmation # is 6096812.

I tried restarting my phone, and deleting and reinstalling the app. The battery usage is still way more than it should be. Here is the latest screenshot:

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Just clarifying the above post: not playing any music from my iPad. All music played is from TuneIn radio.
I reckon it's the app running in the background on iOS that is the source of the drain. I do turn the ''Background App Refresh' feature off in Settings/General, for all apps and I also regularly 'swipe up' to close the Sonos software controller when it's not in use. Here is s screenshot (attached) of my battery usage for the last 7 days. I am posting the iPad-usage here, as I tend to use that a little more than my mobile

So looking at the Sonos App use only showing up here as 3% in the past 7 days, it seems to indicate and point towards something going on in the background.

I don't know if that helps people get to the bottom of what's going on, but perhaps try turning off the app by swiping it 'up the screen' is a short-term answer.

There is one other thing I have noticed too with the iOS implementation of the app and that is if you go into the iOS device settings (grey coloured Cog icon) and scroll down the list of settings and apps on the device, you will see the Sonos app listed there. (The list is in alphabetical order) ... In the Sonos app settings, I see that the Sonos app has access to both Location Services and the Microphone? There is also access to the mobile date service on my iPhone.

I can't see the purpose for some of those things, so personally I have turned them off manually with the usual on/off toggle switch. I don't remember authorising access to my microphone during the install of the app, but that feature was turned on? ... Perhaps I did, I can't remember. Anyhow it's worth checking that too I think and switch off what you don't use, or need on a regular basis.

Hope that helps and goes some way to resolve this issue.

Ken Griffiths
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Thanks, but no -- it hasn't helped at all. My background app refresh is off and has always been off. I have always had access to my microphone turned off in Sonos.

There should be no need to "regularly swipe up" to close down an app. Obviously if you swipe up and close the app it won't user battery. But you shouldn't have to do that. Imagine if we had to that with every app. Luckily we don't as most are well behaved and don't use up battery when they are meant to be doing nohting. The whole point of this thread is that when Sonos is in memory and supposedly doing nothing it is, in fact, draining the battery. It shouldn't do that. None of my other apps do as they don't have this "bug" that requires you to "swipe up" every time you turn off your iPad.
Thanks, but no -- it hasn't helped at all. My background app refresh is off and has always been off. I have always had access to my microphone turned off in Sonos.

There should be no need to "regularly swipe up" to close down an app. Obviously if you swipe up and close the app it won't user battery. But you shouldn't have to do that. Imagine if we had to that with every app. Luckily we don't as most are well behaved and don't use up battery when they are meant to be doing nohting. The whole point of this thread is that when Sonos is in memory and supposedly doing nothing it is, in fact, draining the battery. It shouldn't do that. None of my other apps do as they don't have this "bug" that requires you to "swipe up" every time you turn off your iPad.


No I wasn't saying that z.sonos. I was just saying the things I mentioned were to try and help fix things in the short term. Indeed the matter does need fixing properly, but clearly no one wants to keep draining the iphone/ipad until the matter is sorted and my suggestions were merely an interim suggestion to help.
Userlevel 5
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Len, the access to microphone was used for Trueplay. Once it's done you can switch it off.
Len, the access to microphone was used for Trueplay. Once it's done you can switch it off.

Yes of course... How obvious is that? ... Yet I missed it. I couldn't think why the microphone option was there and I turned it off.

It's been a while since I did any trueplay tuning... I must remember to turn the microphone on, whenever I do it next time. How stupid of me to miss the obvious.

Thanks for that, BoredifBalham, it's something I won't forget next time.
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I have background refresh off and I also turned off access to the microphone and cellular data. I still get the huge battery drain.

I appreciate the suggestion for force-quitting Sonos after using, but agree that it shouldn't be required. It's on Sonos to figure out why their app is consuming this much power in the background.
Userlevel 7
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I have background refresh off and I also turned off access to the microphone and cellular data. I still get the huge battery drain.

I appreciate the suggestion for force-quitting Sonos after using, but agree that it shouldn't be required. It's on Sonos to figure out why their app is consuming this much power in the background.


Hi Switters,

Please send us a diagnostic report from your iPhone and reply here with the confirmation number, here's how.
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Jeff, I already did that further up in the thread. The confirmation # is 6096812.