Airplay "Unable to connect"

  • 4 September 2020
  • 30 replies

I have a Sonos One in the living room and Sonos One SL in the bedroom.

When I am playing songs from my phone (iOS 13.3.1), airplay to either speaker won’t work.

The error message I get is > Unable to connect to “Living Room”.

However, when I airplay to Apple TV, it works!


Any kind soul can help what’s wrong? I try restart my router, speakers and phone. It doesn’t work at all.


Best answer by Elwin 12 September 2020, 03:24

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30 replies

To report back, Sonos found a hardware failure and have since replaced the speaker. Fantastic customer service in my experience! 

In most cases, issues with AirPlay 2 are device dependent. Every time I have had an issue, a full reboot of either my iPhone, or iPad, has resolved the issue. It hasn’t, so far over the last three years, been an issue with Sonos.

That being said, if you have an Apple Music subscription, why bother with AirPlay 2, why not just set up the Apple Music subscription in the Sonos controller?

I have an issue with using airplay, but, it works via spotify. I’ve tried everything! My diagnostic report is here960798441, any help is appreciated as I have thousands of songs on Apple Music but am forced to use the Sonos radio app instead!  

The only thing I found to resolve the AirPlay connect issue was to delete the iOS app and reinstall it & start from scratch. Hard resetting the devices had no effect. 

I still get loads of crackling at the start of every track played on Apple Music or Spotify and the quality of surround sound changing throughout playing a track, its so bad I’m sure it will at some point damage the speakers and I shan’t be getting another Sonos set then.

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

Hi @Liz Dao 

As you have UniFi, I recommend you disable Airtime Fairness on your UniFi system. Reboot Sonos afterwards and test. 

I hope this helps.

Hi Sonos Team,

I too have the same problem with streaming audio from my Mac and iphone, although i have been able to stream before. Currently still able to stream music via Spotify and other skills supported by Sonos , but unable to play others audio through airplay.

The sonos app is on the lasted update, Mac is on BigSur (11.2) and iphone is on 14.7.1

I have done tones of factory reseting and still nothing works. currently, using 2.4 GHz band wifi. 

The speaker was recently fixed, since there are ants living within the speaker, by a third party since Vietnam does not have a certified retailer. But i find it odd that i can still connect and play music fine, except the Airplay function. Please help

I’ve created a diagnostic report: 68976479


Hey @stien 

i got mine replace by Sonos. They sent a new one and worked without issues. 

I have some ocasional issues with AirPlay (dropping on/off) but are more related to the mesh network I have setup (Google Nest Wifi) which I haven’t been able to troubleshoot. However once Sonos replaced my old One, the new one works connected via Airplay without issues. 

Hi @Xander P 

Just wanted to find out whether the above was resolved? If so what was the solution? I’m having the same problem with airplay via iPhone which only seems to be an issue with the Sonos One. I have an Arc in the living room and its working with Airplay. When I try to add or airplay to the Sonos One in the office via HomeKit I’m getting the same error as above. Spotify and other services seem to work fine with the Sonos One using the S2 app. 

I’ve tried:

  • Factory resetting the Sonos One many times
  • Separating 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wifi SSIDs and forcing the One to join the 2.4 GHz band.
  • Even tried the specific network settings mentioned here (no ability to change airtime fairness on the router). 

At this point I’m thinking it’s either the router (Telstra smart modem gen 2 DJA0231 VCNT-A) or the speaker itself. 

If anyone’s managed to get this working please let me know. 

I’ve created a diagnostic report: 1757935601. 


Thanks in advance.


Userlevel 6
Badge +15

Hi @dlac10, got it - thanks for trying that.

At this point it certainly does seem like an issue with the speaker itself, however I wasn’t able to find any clues in the diagnostic I’m afraid.

I can see that your case has been sent to our senior engineers for investigation though, and they should be able to get to the bottom of this with the information provided :)

Hey Xander,

I have been emailing support and also over the phone with them this evening. I have done everything I can think of. We even unpaired my other surrounds from my beam (2 Sonos one) and tested airplay individually on them and it worked fine.


yes, is only the newest Sonos One I purchased 2 weeks ago. We did factory reset and everything they suggested. Turned off additional mesh wifi point and connected the device to the main one via ETH or Wifi, still the same problem. At this point, I can only think of a hardware malfunction after all tests we have done. 

 Lastly, yes I use HomeKit and just added the Beam + Surrounds to it, guess what happened when I tried to add the “Office” Sonos One. (See screenshot) 



Userlevel 6
Badge +15

Hi @dlac10, thanks for trying those steps - sorry to hear we’re still having trouble.

As it’s just the one speaker giving you trouble, even on an Ethernet connection, I would suggest performing one more Factory Reset on the Office speaker, and adding it back in - if there’s still no sign of AirPlay, then it may be best to get in touch with the Support Team via live chat or phone call.

One further thought that may or may not be helpful - do you use Apple HomeKit at all? If so, have you added the Office in using the Apple Home app?

Hey guys, 


  • Wireless setup as per follow
    • Google WiFi (Old version) Main router located in Living Room
    • Google Nest Wifi (Point) Connected to Bedroom, Next door to Office 
    • Both devices are sync on a mesh network
  • Sonos One (Office) disconnected from Office & Wireless and connected to Main router directly via ETH Cable 
  • Changed Network channel on Sonos app to 11 (just to see if it will do something
  • Power cycle iPhone and launched Music (Spotify) from it. Attempted to connect via Airplay (not spotify connect, that works fine) - Unable to Connect
  • Installed latest update on both Sonos, iPhone & MacOS
  • Attempted to connect Airplay via MacOS which is what am trying to achieve - Could not connect to “office” 
  • So the connection going to Ethernet does not seem to be working
  • Ran another diagnostic 1732745715
  • I dont see a problem with Google Wifi on mDNS. However I was considering upgrading the main router to a Nest Wifi just as the additional point I have connected on bedroom


Anything else you guys can think of? It seem very odd to me that one will work with no issues and the other one will not

PS. I also disconnected the additional Wifi point, reconfigure the network on all devices again via Sonos app, tested again and still the same problem

Userlevel 6
Badge +15

Hi @dlac10, there weren’t any obvious issues in the diagnostic I’m afraid.

Wiring the speaker would only be a temporary test, just to see if it gets picked up on a wired connection - having a mesh network shouldn’t pose any issues for this :)

As mentioned by @DuncanS, some routers do have trouble passing traffic between 2.4 and 5GHz - if the mesh system you are using doesn’t allow you to split the bands / disable 5GHz, however, then temporarily wiring the speaker should have the same effect of making the speaker visible for AirPlay - in this case I would recommend reaching out to our Support Team via either live chat or phone call for some more in depth and live troubleshooting :)


Try turning off 5GHz wifi of your router. Some routers have an issue not passing multicast DNS (mDNS) traffic (which is used by AirPlay) broadcast on the 2.4GHz side over to the 5GHz side. 

Hi Xander, 

Did the diagnostic said anything to you?

No, I can’t connect it to the Ethernet cable since I have a Wireless Mesh network at home. The Beam + 2 Ones are connected in My living room wirelessly and they work fine and can AirPlay from it (no issues). Is only the single Sonos One that I purchased 2 weeks ago which does not seem to be working for Airplay. I have factory reset the Sonos One, have turned off/on router, mesh network, modem, etc. 

Userlevel 6
Badge +15

Hi @dlac10, welcome to the Sonos Community!

Would it be possible to test with the Office speaker connected to the network via Ethernet cable? Does this allow you to AirPlay?

It may also be worth performing a full network reboot - starting with the router, followed by any further Mesh nodes, then each of your Sonos speakers, and finally your Macbook & iPhone.

If this doesn’t help, I’d recommend getting in touch with our Support Team via live chat or phone call - they have more tools available to perform some live troubleshooting with you :)

Hey Mark,


I have the same problem here myself with a Sonos One. I have setup the Sonos Beam + 2 Ones in my living room for the TV area and the Airplay functionality works but I purchased a new Sonos One recently for my office and am unable to connect this to my Macbook Pro or Iphone for that matter. 


Diagnostic number 1761283912


I have done factory reset on router, sonos & powercycle. Only the newest Sonos One is affected by this any other device works fine. 

Userlevel 5
Badge +14

Hi @Yohome.

Welcome, thank you for reaching back to Sonos Community and providing the diagnostic number.

Here are router settings that need to be verified. You can contact your ISP or the manufacturer of the router for assistance.

a. Auto channel must be set to Off

b. Choose best non-overlapping channel (1,6,11)

c. Set channel bandwidth to 20MHz

d. Both 2.4GHz and 5GHz should be enabled

e. 802.11 band should be set to b/g/n

f. Airtime Fairness should be disabled

After you check the router settings unplug all Sonos devices, then rebooting the router. When the router comes back up, plug back in the Sonos devices.

Let us know if it works. If you need help with any other information, please be sure to let us know.



Userlevel 2
Badge +4

The issue was solved by rebooting my modem and router.

Thank you

Mark - thanks! the confirmation number is 


Userlevel 5
Badge +14

Hi @khaz22 and @Yohome .

Welcome, thank you for reaching out to Sonos Community, We appreciate your time and effort in posting your concern here in our community.

Can you both submit a diagnostic report from your Sonos system and reply back with your confirmation number?

Let us know if it works. If you need help with any other information, please be sure to let us know.

I’m having  similar problems. 

I’m running a Macbook with the latest update, Deco M9 Plus (latest Firmware) and Sonos One (latest update). 

I was able to connect Airplay a few days ago after a few tries- but now getting a spinning wheel. 


No problem to connect Sonos Mac app, Sonos IOS app or Spotify to Sonos speaker. However when I play sound from a browser I get the following. 



Userlevel 2
Badge +4

I have a Home Pod that I airplay from to a few different Sonos speakers, but since the last update I have not been able to access any of the speakers using Air Play.  I am able to listen to music from the Sonos app directly to the speakers (Move, Beam or One SL’s), but this is not how things were able to work just days ago. 

I am hoping this is not needing a factory reset for all speakers in order to fix this issue.  I am using an Orbi mesh system, so I am not able to complete the list above, just as Elwin was not able to with his.

Hi @Elwin.

Welcome, thank you for reaching back to Sonos Community.

If you cannot see those options you can try to contact the customer care hotline of TP‑Link or your cable provider to find the options that we need to setup.

If you need help with any other information, please be sure to let us know.


Mark, finally I managed to solve the problem by doing a factory reset. What a relief!

Userlevel 5
Badge +14

Hi @Elwin.

Welcome, thank you for reaching back to Sonos Community.

If you cannot see those options you can try to contact the customer care hotline of TP‑Link or your cable provider to find the options that we need to setup.

If you need help with any other information, please be sure to let us know.