Question

why does my sonos app use so much bandwidth


Badge
I notice that my Sonos app on my android phone is burning large amounts of bandwidth throughout the night, even though there is no device playing. For example last night MyDataApps reported that the Sonos App consistently used ~1MB of wifi bandwidth. Thats 1MB of data every hour. Sonos is the highest data bandwidth consumer on my phone. I'm very concerned about this because it is means the wifi is on and is depleting my phone battery overnight. Of course, I can get around this problem by turning off the wifi. But that defeats the purpose of having a wifi connection. What is the Sonos app doing to want to use 1MB of data every hour? What can I do you limit/reduce/stop this data burn and thereby reduce the battery consumption of the wifi. Thanks, Rob

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.

25 replies

No. So far only Apple Music and Deezer are linked.
Most of the LAN traffic above is SSDP (verified with tcpdump) so we can ignore it.

That being said, why did the Sonos mobile app use 524MB of data in the last month alone without ever being open (all background data)? Keep in mind this is all MOBILE DATA, not WIFI DATA! [...]

By any chance, are you using Spotify Connect?
Most of the LAN traffic above is SSDP (verified with tcpdump) so we can ignore it.

That being said, why did the Sonos mobile app use 524MB of data in the last month alone without ever being open (all background data)? Keep in mind this is all MOBILE DATA, not WIFI DATA! If it was SSDP on the LAN/WiFi that would be one thing.. Sonos is way down the list as far as battery consumers go but it's near the top for data consumption. Unless it's checking for updates every 60 seconds (bug) or looking for my PLAY1's on the cellular network (good luck.. that'd sure be a bug) I can't think of what it'd be doing.
Userlevel 3
Badge
From the little monitoring I've done, the chit chat of the Sonos app is all service discovery on the local network, not anything being sent to the Internet. It's the app keeping track of the status of your Sonos devices. Are they still there? Are they playing something? If so, what and how far into it are they? Etc. The same goes for the Sonos devices themselves; they do a lot of local SSDP traffic, and very tiny requests back to the monthership (measured in kilobytes per day) to check for things like if there is a new firmware version available.

So even people with restricted data caps should not have Sonos eating up their Internet data.

Now, is this background activity going to drain your mobile? (Keep in mind, the original post was over 4 years ago and mobiles and Android have changed a lot since then, including enforcing rules on what apps can do in the background...) Who knows? Personally, I don't have an issue with Sonos battery drain on my devices. Sonos isn't even in the top ten consumers.
Badge +18
Unplug the wire from your router to the Modem (or whatever device goes off to the internet) and and measure again.
Userlevel 5
Badge +11
Figured I'd add another "me too" but judging by this thread it's probably not going to help. Note that I see a significant amount of data usage on an Android phone (514MB in the last month alone of mobile data, all background; I've launched the app once.. use my desktop or iPhone to control the speakers primarily) *and* coming from each speaker. I use Open-Mesh wireless gear in my home which tracks bandwidth usage of every connected client. The Sonos speakers upload about 4MB/hour and download "only" about 400KB/hour. For a speaker sitting idle this is pretty absurd. I have a pair on my desk (paired as a stereo pair) and they both show the same upload usage when idle but only the left speaker shows download usage when streaming (I'm guessing Sonos streams to the right speaker via Bluetooth from the left). Bandwidth usage graph for the last 2hrs (speakers were 100% idle) attached. In the last month, each speaker has uploaded nearly 3GB of data to somewhere.

So rest assured, the app isn't the only thing chewing through data. If you have a metered internet connection, each speaker will happily chew through your internet bandwidth as well even when not streaming. Judging by the age of this thread, it looks like all the competent engineers must have left Sonos and found better jobs..


I'm not familiar with Open Mesh, so I have a question about the graphs.

First, to my knowledge no Sonos gear uses Bluetooth at all. It's WIFI (Sonosnet). Is the data upload you're tracking actually going outside the network? I bring this up because some of the posters seem to be conflating the two as the same thing.

It may be worth discussing if Sonos, idling, uses 4MB hourly (although really for most broadband plans even that wouldn't be noticeable). However, if it's all staying internal that's utterly insignificant.

For what it's worth, I checked my app WIFI usage. It's right about 300MB in the last 30 days. 1/3 of that is foreground, the rest is background.
Also, there may be 8 clients on my network but all the bandwidth above is going to my 2x Play1s.. here are graphs filtered by client.

Graph for "left" speaker in pair:



Graph for "right" speaker in pair:

Figured I'd add another "me too" but judging by this thread it's probably not going to help. Note that I see a significant amount of data usage on an Android phone (514MB in the last month alone of mobile data, all background; I've launched the app once.. use my desktop or iPhone to control the speakers primarily) *and* coming from each speaker. I use Open-Mesh wireless gear in my home which tracks bandwidth usage of every connected client. The Sonos speakers upload about 4MB/hour and download "only" about 400KB/hour. For a speaker sitting idle this is pretty absurd. I have a pair on my desk (paired as a stereo pair) and they both show the same upload usage when idle but only the left speaker shows download usage when streaming (I'm guessing Sonos streams to the right speaker via Bluetooth from the left). Bandwidth usage graph for the last 2hrs (speakers were 100% idle) attached. In the last month, each speaker has uploaded nearly 3GB of data to somewhere.

So rest assured, the app isn't the only thing chewing through data. If you have a metered internet connection, each speaker will happily chew through your internet bandwidth as well even when not streaming. Judging by the age of this thread, it looks like all the competent engineers must have left Sonos and found better jobs..

Absolutely agree. The app is a nightmare. I have a restricted usage policy as I use satellite BB. The app and Sonos playbar constantly poll each other creating huge data usage. I've asked them to add a feature request for a wifi off option. Still waiting. In fact even if you switch off all play speakers apart from a playbar and use it to enhance your TV film sound experience and connect via a optical lead connection, the app on your phone/ipad/etc will STILL poll. Sonos need to fix it. Been waiting 18 months.....
Userlevel 2
Badge
On your Android device; Settings, Data Usage, Wifi and then scroll down to view usage by each app.

John
Tooslow2007,

I'm curious. How did you measure that the SONOS Android App generated 450MB of WiFi traffic?
Userlevel 2
Badge
buzz, I have not said that the Sonos app uses mobile data, nor have I said that it creates internet traffic. I said "wifi doesn't cost anything, so long as it's working within the home network and not going out onto the internet".

I have spent a long time with Sonos second level support. It uses wifi in the background. Take a look at Settings, Sonos app and down at the bottom are "Battery use since last charge" and "Memory". Mine currently shows "0% since last full charge" BUT take a look at any other app that you have not used recently and it shows "No battery use since last full charge". Zero in this case means more than 0% but less than 1%. Sonos support agree. Next down is memory. I often, but not always, get a non zero memory usage "in last 3 hours" showing here, indicating that the app has been waking up. Remember that you have control over the period reported. If you see zero, look again later. The app appears to wake up, do whatever it does, set a timer to wake up later and then end. That's why you can't Force Stop it. The timer goes "ting!" a few hours (?) later and off it goes again.

If your app is showing zero that's great. Mine doesn't. it doesn't use much but at the end of a month when it's showing 450MB and I've not used the app (I've maybe controlled the Sonos kit from a tablet or another phone) I'm left wondering what the **** is it doing and why is it so poorly written?

Apparently the way you exit the app is important (say Sonos support). The approved method appears to be to pull up "Recent apps" and slide the Sonos app off to the left or right. Otherwise it clocks up data at a heck of a rate. Like I said, it's not well written.

I don't know what your point is. Mine is that the app uses resources when I'm not using it, it isn't doing anything useful to me and would Sonos please fix it. I doubt they will. I'm not happy with them.

John
Tooslow2007,

Using WiFi and creating Internet traffic are two different functions. Yes, if you have WiFi enabled, there will be some local WiFi traffic and battery drain as the Android device keeps the WiFi connection alive. I keep my Android WiFi turned OFF unless I specifically need WiFi.

Even when you have not launched the SONOS App, does it show up in the Battery use table?

I haven't launched the Android SONOS App in a while and I see zero SONOS battery use and zero 4-G data use. I'm not setup to log Internet traffic from my router.

Are you sure that the SONOS related Internet traffic is generates by the SONOS Android App? Are you running any other SONOS controllers?
Userlevel 2
Badge
Buzz, I've been through this with Sonos second level support. Trust me. The app uses wifi even if your Sonos gear is switched off, even if you don't use the app. If you force stop the app it wakes up again later. It's a vampire app, you can't kill it.

I have the app on my phone and a tablet. I rarely use the app on the phone. If the Sonos kit is switched off and the app unused it will still clock up MB. If you're in luck maybe 2 - 3 MB per day, otherwise 15+, or in Daryl's case...

Try it. Leave your Sonos kit off, don't use the app and you'll see it clocks up wifi. Most people won't notice because wifi doesn't cost anything, so long as it's working within the home network and not going out onto the internet. Make sure you have "share data with Sonos" switched off, switch off "scan music library". If it's using wifi then it's using battery. Try killing it. It makes no difference. It'll be back. It's doing "helpful things" say Sonos, though they couldn't say what these "helpful things" might be.

It's a crap app.

John
If you are streaming tracks or Internet Radio the streaming continues if you Mute a player. Pause will stop streaming to the player. If you Group players, Mute will make that room silent, but streaming continues.

What happens if you force stop the SONOS controller App on the Android?
Userlevel 2
Badge
Darryl, you'll have to raise a call with Sonos. Maybe if enough of us gripe they'll do something. I raised a call, I had to be persistent, but polite because first line are set up for simple problems. You'll need to get past them. Once past them I found the support guy to be helpful and understanding but the result was not what I wanted. I got the app down from 10 - 15MB / day WHEN NOT IN USE(!!!) to about 2 but once in a while it takes off again for no apparent reason.

My view is that if I'm not using the app it should be using precisely ZERO but Sonos seem to disagree. It's doing "helpful" things in the background. I was unable to determine what these "helpful" things might be but would they just not bother please?

1.26GB. Wow.

Good luck.

John
Userlevel 1
Badge
1.26 GB in under a week on my new Galaxy tab used by the Sonos app. Not using widgets. What's going on, folks?
Userlevel 2
Badge
Sorry to resurrect a two year old thread but some time in the last 6 weeks or so I have started to suffer this problem. Maybe an update to the app? Is there a solution? Is anyone else suffering this?

I have even uninstalled the app and re-installed. This seems to have accelerated the rate at which wifi is being used. even though my Connect is switched off and I'm not using the app. I assume that the app is back to delivered default values.

I have emailed support, I'll see what they some up with. meantime does anyone out there know anything about this issue?

John
Thanks for your comment Rob. 
I turned off the notification (Widget), however I liked that widget a lot. Not sure that helped,
I also turned checked the box to limit the backgrounddata, in Android settings per app. I think that  helped alot.

It is odd that so much background data was transfered. Like you comment, one would excpect a little check for updates, but not 72,79 MB in 18 days.

I will monitor the data usage now the background data is limited and I will check out the suggested MyDataApp monitor. However, whether it is wifi of mobile, this much dat is currious.

If anybody else observers the same or has insights please comment.
Badge
So how was this resolved?

And aside from bandwidth, what about energy consumption of SONOS devices when they are on stand-by, i.e., not playing music/sounds? How much is it in watts and what to do to reduce it?

Adil. This is the last information I have on the problem from the Sonos tech support. There are certain steps that can be taken right now to avoid this behavior. One way to avoid this is to turn off the notification option in the Sonos app under settings and delete all Sonos widgets if you use any. You would then use the back button on the Sonos app until it prompted you to exit and then select to exit The other way would be a feature request on the part of Sonos. I can understand why you want to preserve battery life and one option would be for a "status suspend" option in Sonos that would manually turn off the wifi keep alive feature Sonos is using. The downside would be a delay every time Sonos was launched to connect back to the Sonos system. This type of feature request would be submitted on the same ask.sonos.com site you used to post these bandwidth and battery concerns. Rob
Badge
Alexander. As far as I know, the sonos app only uses the internet periodically to check for updates. It doesn't use the internet for normal operation. I would suggest using an app like MyDataApp to monitor Sonia bandwidth usage. You can see what apps are using mobile data and which are using WiFi. Rob
So how was this resolved?

And aside from bandwidth, what about energy consumption of SONOS devices when they are on stand-by, i.e., not playing music/sounds? How much is it in watts and what to do to reduce it?
Userlevel 5
Badge +2
If that didn't have an effect, then we'll want to look into this with you in more details. I've opened a support ticket for you under reference number 130702-000638 and I've sent you an email. Let's continue working there so we can determine the cause of the data usage.
Badge
Thanks for you reply. I turned off notifications as you suggested and left the phone on wifi overnight. The app continued to use in excess of 1MB per hour throughout the night. To answer your other question, no I don't have any other widgets on the home screen. Unfortunately I am not able to take a screen shot of the MyDataApp screen showing the usage. Any other suggestions as to the cause of the high data usage while idle?
Userlevel 5
Badge +2
I'd recommend disabling notifications within the Sonos app. Sonos places has a notification present in your notifications bar - it shows the currently playing tracks and can allow playback controls. https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2118 You can disable them within the Sonos app under Settings --> Advanced Settings --> Show Notifications. Do you have the Sonos widget added anywhere to your Android home screen as well?