Airplay causes zones to drop out - then totally disconnect and disappear

  • 24 September 2019
  • 5 replies

Userlevel 2
  • Contributor I
  • 2 replies
This is crazy. I try to play via airplay on my iPhone 6 and the connected zones play intermittently, like they all have bad wire connections when driving your old pickup over a bumpy road (of course, that is not happening since everything is in my home and not moving about...) Then after about a minute or two the zones all disconnect from each other and I cannot even play from the phone at all -- because the zone I was connected to with Airplay (a Sonos One) is no longer available. So I have to go restart that zone to get it back.

I have tried restarting all my 11 zones, I have rebooted my router, I have restarted my phone, I've tried all the standard "try this and try that", "Get out and kick the tires, the car will start" guesswork things that the supposed experts (even from Sonos) suggest. I have even set fixed IP addresses for the Sonos zones - per Sonos recommendations that I found on this forum.

Totally unacceptable and beyond frustrating. So much for the panacea of using Sonos with Airplay. It doesn't work.

This is absolutely crazy for the amount of money I have spent over the years for all the 11 zones I have for this to happen. What a waste of my money. I *thought* this was a simple plug and play system - and it used to be years ago, it used to be flawless. It used to be the most reliable thing I had and I bragged all the time about it to anyone who would listen -- until Sonos started adding all the other farkle like Alexa, etc. Now the system is the most UNreliable electronics that I own and I will not recommend it to anyone, in fact I tell people to consider Sonos using the guideline, Caveat Emptor.

C'mon, Sonos, don't you care about your advertising, or are you like all the others - smoke blowers who over promise and under deliver? I just want to play music. How hard is that? Like some others have posted, I would not recommend this system. Too buggy and one needs to be a computer network admin to hope to get it to work reliably. If I could give it a zero I would.

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5 replies

Sounds like a classic case of WiFi interference. Install a WiFi analyzer app on your phone, look for the cleanest channel, then switch Sonos to it.
Userlevel 2
Hi chicks. Thanks for your reply, I appreciate it. And it seems like a reasonable thing to try. However, this did not work. I tried all three available channels (1, 6, 11) and every one blows up - this past time so much so that the controllers on my iPhone, iPad and iMac would not connect to the system. Not a one. I had to go around and restart EVERYTHING by unplugging and plugging it all back in again - then finding each of the zones and setting each one up, sometimes even going through the step of connecting my phone to the temporary Sonos WiFi network and re-entering the WiFi password into the Sonos zone to get a given zone back online - then rename it all over again, etc. It took several hours for all the zones I have.

All I want to do is play music from Airplay - which is an advertised feature from Sonos. And I am not doing anything that is beyond what Sonos recommends. It simply does not work. It is a huge understatement to say that this is incredibly frustrating and that I feel ripped off by Sonos. They have gone from hero to zero.
Works perfectly well for me, and most others. Almost certainly something wrong or misconfigured with your WiFi. You should contact Sonos support and have them take a look.

If you’re using things like WiFi extenders or powerline LAN adapters, or the newer mesh routers, you can experience issues.
Userlevel 2
Hi chicks. Gee, thanks for the condescending comment. That was productive. That was about as useful as the Sonos tech who told me that he has his system installed in his 80 year old brick house in Boston, so because it worked for him clearly their system works for everyone. Helpful commentary.

Just to be clear, I have had Sonos since before they connected to iPhones and you had to use their handheld controllers - if you remember those. I've had the system for quite a few years, adding zones periodically throughout the years. I listen to Pandora on it each day for several hours, sometimes all day long. Once set up it works great without bumps.

I recently bought the latest zone so that I could play via Airplay. Well, trying to play via Airplay deep sixed everything so badly that I had to go around and find each 'missing component' by setting up temporary Sonos WiFi network then adding it to my home WiFi. Sometimes even re-adding the WiFi password to the given zone. Had to do this for all 14 zones because it would not find any of them through any other means. That was nice.
Saying it's working fine for me and most others is condescending? Dunno how...

Anyway, you should open up a case with Sonos and have them look at your system. They'll find out what's going on. Also let them know if you have other AirPlay target devices on your WiFi, which may cause issues.