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Sonos Roam, a very unreliable product

  • 12 December 2022
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Hi again comunity, I hope you can help me out 

I made a previous post about the behavior of my Sonos Roam and things where improved, but unfortunately, My Sonos Roam now became so unreliable and so unstable again, since I installed the 14.19 update. The music keeps cutting out using Bluetooth and Airplay, and now after reinstalling 14.19 update  the Bluetooth control is not working properly: When my Roam is in Bluetooth mode, I can’t disconnect it using the back button, it gets stuck in the solid Blue light and keeps paired with my iPhone, so, I have to go to my phone and disconnect it manually. 

Factory reset didn’t work, and here in Mexico Tech support is so unhelpful, it’s a hustle to get an efective solution because 1. They keep telling me that I’m not pressing correctly the button and it’s Wireless interference, Really? First of all, I perfectly know how to pair it and disconnect it from Bluetooth, Well,  I made a Speed test and the page tells me that I have 220.37 Mbps, it sounds really Good, all other devices don’t have any type of Wifi issue, neither my iPhone 11, neither my iPad Pro, Neither my brother’s xBox Series X and neither an Alexa 4th gen that I have in my secundary dining room, and about the Bluetooth, I don’t have any issues with other speakers using the same phone, so it’s not my Internet, it’s not my iPhone,  it’s not Wireless interference, and it shouldn’t be that unstable.

     2. I sent a video to the tech support about the Bluetooth control issue and they want to replace the unit, that’s fine, but the problem is that here in Mexico there is a Sonos provider called Biastara, but they don’t answer the Emails, Sonos tech support keeps insisting me to get in touch with them to get this sorted out, but they don’t answer any Email and I can’t wait more time with a broken Sonos Roam just because a Firmware update ruined again the device, resulting in an unreliable product, at least for me.

 Is someone else facing the same issue with your Roams? I don’t want to return it because I love the sound, but it’s unreliability and unstability is dissapointing me so much.   Any help is appreciated.

Thank you and kind regards.

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Best answer by Jamie A 22 December 2022, 11:44

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61 replies

No, for what it’s worth, I have two Roams and I’m not seeing any issue with the Roams rear multifunctional button-control for power/pairing etc. It is working okay as per the instructions HERE.

If your Roam has been confirmed as faulty, you just need to return it to your seller and get it replaced, I’m not sure the user-community here will be able to assist with that return process. I would perhaps keep trying to communicate with Biastara.

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Thanks for your reply Can, I appreciate it. Sonos said that the behavior of the Roam on Bluetooth is not normal at all, I think  the Firmware update damaged the Bluetooth controle or something ode happened during the installation, tech support doesn’t offers any reparation service and for the price of the speaker, it sounds appalling to me, really Sonos? What a waist of money, defective speakers and no repair options. This Sonos Roam might be the first and the last Sonos speaker that I’m going a buy, this is the second  unit that I have,   If the third one also gets faulty,  shurely I’ll be returning it to never buy it again. Sorry guys, but I’m pretty annoyed😢🥺     

I wouldn’t be annoyed. It just seems sensible to follow the advice you were given. Biastara are probably just busy during the holiday season, most companies usually are this time of year.

The recent Sonos updates have been installed here too, I’m currently running all on v14.20 (screenshot attached) and the Roam button works exactly as described in the article that I linked to previously, so no fault seen here following the update. Your button issues are probably just a coincidence.

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I’ve installed the 14.20 update on Friday afternoon and problem still occurring      

I’ve installed the 14.20 update on Friday afternoon and problem still occurring      

Your paragraph here seems slightly confusing to me …

<quote>

"When my Roam is in Bluetooth mode, I can’t disconnect it using the back button, it gets stuck in the solid Blue light and keeps paired with my iPhone, so, I have to go to my phone and disconnect it manually."

<end quote>

Did you look at the link I posted earlier, because it’s not the steps I would perhaps do and not the ones that I’m seeing in the instructions that Sonos mention in their support link to disconnect from Bluetooth - you are just jumping back into ‘pairing mode, by all accounts, but perhaps study the steps in the link and see what you think.

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Sorry, but I don’t know what do you mean by Jumping to Bluetooth mode, once it’s paired to my iPhone, I can’t disconnect it using the button, I’ll tell you what’s happening based on doing the steps from article  to see if we can understand better each other. A fault is there, that’s for sure,  Don’t you worry!, I’m going to explain it to you.   Now,  I like to make things understandable, but when I’m stressed out it’s a bit difficult. So,  let’s go to the article. 

 

First step: Press and hold the power button on the back of Roam for two seconds, then release. You will hear the pairing tone and the status LED on the front will start flashing blue. Error: Sometimes the light keeps solid white, but the tones are the same. 

2nd: Go to your device’s Bluetooth settings and select Roam from the device list: Fine.  

 3rd: When successfully paired, you’ll hear another tone and the status LED will change to solid blue: Fine. 

During Playback:  Error,  Music cutting out, silence  for one second every 5 to 20 minutes or so. Disconnect your device from Roam   (From your Bluetooth device): Works fine. 

 

Disconnect your device from Roam (From Roam): 

First step: While Roam is paired to your device via Bluetooth, press and hold the power button on the back of Roam for two seconds, then release. Roam will go into pairing mode and the status light will start flashing blue: Errors: Sometimes the light keeps solid blue, and if I hit Play the music from my phone   resumes. 

2nd: Repeat step one and Roam will disconnect from Bluetooth. The status light will turn solid white: Errors, The tones are the same, but: The light gets solid blue again and music from my phone is still playable if I hit the Play button, before installing 14.19 it was working flawlessly. 

My question is, am I doing something wrong? Thanks.     

 
         

Sorry, but I don’t know what do you mean by Jumping to Bluetooth mode, once it’s paired to my iPhone, I can’t disconnect it using the button, I’ll tell you what’s happening based on doing the steps from article  to see if we can understand better each other. A fault is there, that’s for sure,  Don’t you worry!, I’m going to explain it to you.   Now,  I like to make things understandable, but when I’m stressed out it’s a bit difficult. So,  let’s go to the article. 

First step: Press and hold the power button on the back of Roam for two seconds, then release. You will hear the pairing tone and the status LED on the front will start flashing blue. Error: Sometimes the light keeps solid white, but the tones are the same. 

It’s referring to ‘initial’ pairing… once the speaker is ‘already paired’, it then looks for the device it was last paired with …and if nearby, it will auto-connect to that device (assuming you haven’t disabled the BT beacon). So there are a number of factors to consider here and it depends on the ‘pairing-state’ you start with.

2nd: Go to your device’s Bluetooth settings and select Roam from the device list: Fine. 

Yes indeed, once a device, like a mobile phone, is BT-connected (paired) already to the Roam, you can do all the connecting/disconnecting of the BT-link from that phone - you don’t need to touch the rear button on the speaker, as you have already done the ‘pairing’ - it is done once only… you only need to use the button, if you want to pair the Roam to a different device for the first time, like an iPad, or PC etc. 

If you press the button once for two seconds it goes back into pairing mode, but will look again for the last device it was paired to - if it doesn’t find it, it will go onto to allow itself to be connected to a different BT device. Press the button a second time for 2 seconds and it returns to WiFi mode.

3rd: When successfully paired, you’ll hear another tone and the status LED will change to solid blue: Fine. 

During Playback:  Error,  Music cutting out, silence  for one second every 5 to 20 minutes or so. Disconnect your device from Roam   (From your Bluetooth device): Works fine.

The music cutting out, is that when playing back over Bluetooth, Airplaying the audio, using the Sonos API, or via WiFi (Sonos App) ? - that really is a separate issue to the rear multifunctional button, but my suggestion would be to change the channel-width of the local WiFi 2.4Ghz band to 20Mhz only and test the Roam running on one of the non-overlapping WiFi channels (1, 6 or 11) - that may help with reducing interference for the BT connection too, but keep the playing mobile about 3 feet from the speaker and do not have the devices too close to other wireless devices. See if those things help to sort the matters mentioned.

Disconnect your device from Roam (From Roam): 

First step: While Roam is paired to your device via Bluetooth, press and hold the power button on the back of Roam for two seconds, then release. Roam will go into pairing mode and the status light will start flashing blue: Errors: Sometimes the light keeps solid blue, and if I hit Play the music from my phone   resumes. 

2nd: Repeat step one and Roam will disconnect from Bluetooth. The status light will turn solid white: Errors, The tones are the same, but: The light gets solid blue again and music from my phone is still playable if I hit the Play button, before installing 14.19 it was working flawlessly. 

My question is, am I doing something wrong? Thanks.      

I truly don’t know if you’re doing anything wrong here, I’ve not seen your video etc; of how you operate the speaker, but I guess it’s a possibility. However my suggestion is to simply follow each of the instructions mentioned in the support document, as those things each work perfectly for me & the two Roam speakers that I’m using here.

@Manu84,
Perhaps it might help if I just briefly mention this…

When I first got my Roam and set it up using the Sonos App, I immediately bluetooth paired it with my iPhone XR and now I just do all the connecting/disconnecting from the iPhones bluetooth screen (see screenshot). I do not ever need to goto the Roam and press it’s rear button again to switch between WiFi and BT mode, as that is all done on my iPhone, simply because it’s already been paired with that mobile. I would only ever go to the Roams rear button again, if I wanted to ‘BT-pair’ it with ‘another’ device, like a PC, or iPad etc.

Obviously the rear button is multifunctional, so I still use the Roams button for other tasks, like putting the speaker into standby mode, or powering it off completely, but it’s rare I need to use that button for Bluetooth purposes, as I mainly leave it paired with my iPhone.

Anyhow, perhaps that information will help with your understanding of how the Roam works over a Bluetooth connection.

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Can, thanks a lot for your help, I appreciate it. Wel, I followed the article in order, maybe I shouldn’t use the Roam’s power button for Bluetooth control, but when I want to activate Bluetooth mode and  my iPhone’s Bluetooth is disabled  sometimes, not   always, the light remains solid white in stead of blinking blue, so the fault is there, and with AirPlay the music is constantly  cutting out like a dammaged cd, it isn’t any stable. I sent the video to Sonos about the Bluetooth control issue and they confirmed my Roam as faulty so it needs to be replaced, I’m just waiting for a response from the provider  Viastara Mexico  so they can continue with the next steps so my new Roam can arrive me. while, I’ll wait for an other firmware update to see if the matters get sorted out. Kind regards       

@Manu84 

To sort the audio interruptions you may need to make the changes suggested…

  • Set the routers 2.4Ghz band to use a non-overlapping channel try all three channels ( 1,6 or 11 )
  • Ensure the Roam is using that band in the App network settings and not the 5Ghz band.
  • Set the channel-width to 20Mhz only.

That should sort the audio interruptions for you. 🤞

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I’m going to try it, but reading many posts here in the comunity, I’m afraid it wouldn’t work. It seems that Sonos makes several updates making the speakers so unstable just to blame our network set ups, Why would always be a network problem? I don’t really  get it

Well the wireless network settings offered to you are only very general/basic suggestions to help you to reduce the potential for interference, that’s why I have kept them easy for you to follow and put in place.

I wouldn’t ignore checking the settings, as they may immediately resolve the audio interruptions mentioned, but obviously there are plenty of other things that maybe at the heart of your audio issues, but it’s best to start with the basics mentioned. It’s a 5 minute job to check the settings and adjust the channels/channel width etc.

It’s a little more effort to switch your device(s) between wireless bands, if that’s needed, That’s just a case of adding the 2.4Ghz SSID/credentials to the network settings of the App and removing the 5Ghz SSID/credentials and rebooting the devices - it’s straightforward, but just slightly more time consuming - but no more that 10 minutes at most. 

All worthwhile and absolutely nothing to lose by trying these things anyway.

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Sorry, I bought my Sonos Roam to enjoy and listen to my music nicely, not to study Wireless interference and networking and get annoyed because it’s faults after each update. It should  be beyond stable and reliable, it should be enjoyable. I’m not happy at all with the 14.19 update, it ruined the behavior completely. Sonos, Do you think I want a Bluetooth speaker to study Wireless interference and networking? Really? No… I bought it to enjoy my music when I’m taking a shower, when I’m in the beach or in my room,   to enjoy and sing my favorite songs at high volume, to relax and have a nice hot drink like teas, and to use Alexa. I’m so sorry, but that’s why I bought it, Sonos should listen to us and make its speaker’s software errors free        

The Wife and I don’t have any issues with the Roams we have here - they both work absolutely fine. 

My Children/Grandchildren have no issues with their Roams either, but we all keep an eye on our wireless networks, as they can change regularly, with neighbours rebooting their own routers and auto-seeking channels on startup etc.

Anyhow who would want their speakers operating on overlapping WiFi channels with a 20/40 MHz channel-width?

One common example that can arise is where some users might place their Roam on a 5Ghz less-penetrable WiFi band and if the router is a few years old and located the other side of a brick wall it may struggle to get a reliable connection, whereas the more penetrating 2.4Ghz band operating on a non-overlapping single channel will provide a reliable connection and have the Roam playing all day without a single audio interruption.

As mentioned you just need to check your settings and the routers user-manual will show you how to change the channel etc. it’s no more difficult than changing a fuse in a plug, it’s easier in fact. 

I change the channels here every couple of months anyway, mostly to avoid neighbouring routers.

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Hopefully it would work, if not, my Sonos Roam speaker is going to be returned 

Hopefully it would work, if not, my Sonos Roam speaker is going to be returned 

Maybe post details of your network hardware router, switches, wireless access points, channels, channel-widths, that you are using etc. and others here might be able to make some suggestions for you to perhaps try and help get things working as they should be. It would be helpful to know if you are using any zigbee devices too - smart-home lights/plugs etc.

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12/14/22, Speed test, 14.29mbps  two tests made in about 2 minutes, all other devices are working fine in my Wifi Network, even an Alexa that was playing music during hours without any interruption during an event   Sunday at night, even stable with Bluetooth, my Wonderboom2 Bluetooth speaker 360 audio and Waterproof, I use it always during my shower time, in my room…, it works  very stable,  I’ve never had a single Bluetooth issue with its Bluetooth connection  and I enjoy it a lot, so, I don’t really get it, What’s the matter with the Sonos Roam? Why it isn’t stable as it should be? Excuse me so much, but   I’m so annoyed. Now, in my house we’re 5 family members, mom, dad, 1 sister, one brother and me, everyone we use the network, I do my homework’s using the internet, my brother too, my mom works at home quite sometimes and my dad, who doesn’t has any idea of networking, also uses its smartphone, that means internet. If I make the changes supposedly to reduce wireless interference just for the Roam, as soon as I see that those changes affect my family members, the speaker is going to be returned immediately, I’m not playing games on Sonos blaming the network. I’m done!     

12/14/22, Speed test, 14.29mbps  two tests made in about 2 minutes, all other devices are working fine in my Wifi Network, even an Alexa that was playing music during hours without any interruption during an event   Sunday at night, even stable with Bluetooth, my Wonderboom2 Bluetooth speaker 360 audio and Waterproof, I use it always during my shower time, in my room…, it works  very stable,  I’ve never had a single Bluetooth issue with its Bluetooth connection  and I enjoy it a lot, so, I don’t really get it, What’s the matter with the Sonos Roam? Why it isn’t stable as it should be? Excuse me so much, but   I’m so annoyed. Now, in my house we’re 5 family members, mom, dad, 1 sister, one brother and me, everyone we use the network, I do my homework’s using the internet, my brother too, my mom works at home quite sometimes and my dad, who doesn’t has any idea of networking, also uses its smartphone, that means internet. If I make the changes supposedly to reduce wireless interference just for the Roam, as soon as I see that those changes affect my family members, the speaker is going to be returned immediately, I’m not playing games on Sonos blaming the network. I’m done!     

 

So did you miss my post? See below:

Maybe post details of your network hardware router, switches, wireless access points, channels, channel-widths, that you are using etc. and others here might be able to make some suggestions for you to perhaps try and help get things working as they should be. It would be helpful to know if you are using any zigbee devices too - smart-home lights/plugs etc.

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@Ken_Griffiths, excuse me so much, Please, but   as I said in your previous post, I’m not playing games on Sonos blaming the network, I don’t even know my network hardware and my brother, who manages the internet at home, doesn’t allow me to touch it because wi use it mostly  for work and other important things, rather than  to see if Sonos Roam works or doesn’t work being so unreliable it is, like many posts here in the comunity confirm. So,  it’s not any network problem, it’s the update system that ruin the speaker, mine was ruined that way. So before anyone comment here that it’s a network problem, no, it isn’t a network problem    

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Guys, Are you going to help me out or ar you going to keep blaming my network set up? Tech support is also pretty bad. Stop being a Sonos fan and help me out as it should be, there is not Wireless interference, there is not an issue with my phone, my internet is fine, so I don’t get it. Seriously, What’s the matter with you Sonos?

@Manu84 

As the saying goes…"You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink", I guess that’s true.

 

It certainly sounds like a local network issue to me 🤷‍♂️, but if you don’t explore that with your Brother, then there’s very little anyone else here can assist with, particularly as you’ve already spoken to Sonos Support. This is ‘mostly’ a user community and I’m guessing few people are experiencing the same issue and it would be impossible to resolve, that’s if it is the local network environment and you are unable/unwilling to explore that aspect.

Sonos most probably sell many (many) hundreds of thousands of these little ‘Roam’ speakers worldwide and if the recent update had caused an issue with the device, then it’s true to say that these boards would ‘light up’ with people complaining from across the globe.

So you most likely (still) need to look a little closer to Home. I will now leave it with you, but don’t forget you can always submit a system diagnostic report after encountering an issue and can go onto speak with Sonos Support Staff about the matter via this LINK.

Good luck and hope you get the issue sorted. 👍

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Have you ever read tons of posts here about people complaining of their Roam speakers? How many are faulty? Why does it fail so often? Once again,  Stop blaming our network setups, please, this is not a game and Sonos speakers aren’t any cheap, please… I’m being nice to you, please listen to us and don’t blame us as users, again, please guys      

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Why is Sonos blaming the network? I just want to know the true. If the Roam is so expensive I don’t understand  Why  it has multiple connection issues, people are complaining and not repair option is provided! Really?  Sonos isn’t doing anything right here and I’m so annoyed, here in the comunity, there are tons of Sonos fans that might blame us as users just because we have a supposedly bad internet, I already made a speed test and my internet is fine, OK? So,  don’t you tell me, please, that is a network problem, my Sonos Roam got an update and it ruined the device, if I buy another unit  and it works fine it wouldn’t be a network problem, the Sonos S2 software really sucks      

Once you’ve decided that the issue must be [...] or cannot be [...] it is likely that you’ll be blindsided and never be able to resolve the issue.

There is a well known network issue that can be triggered when a bunch of SONOS units update. This is a preventable issue, but the user must take action.

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@buzz, My Roam is the only Sonos speaker that I have, so it’s the only speaker in my Sonos system. Besides the music cutting out, rear button is not working properly after the update, I can’t disconnect it from my iPhone once connected, I have to do it from my phone. Why does everybody says it’s a network issue? What type of Wifi and bluetooth  cards does the Roam use? If it’s sensible to Wireless interference after each software update and I’m not the only person reporting these issues