Trouble setting up surround with 2x Play:5 gen2 (with Wifi extender)

  • 10 June 2022
  • 8 replies

Spoke to Sonos customer service. The staff were friendly, polite, helpful and knowledgeable. The products I’ve used have generally been great, easy to setup, user-friendly and are relatively seamless and produce decent quality sound for the price-point… but I’ve hit a snag on my Sonos journey that I’m hoping will not be the end of an otherwise good relationship. Was hoping to grab the sub gen 3 to compliment the set, but really want to overcome this hurdle first.

Problem: can’t add my recently inherited 2x Play:5 gen 2’s to my new Arc as ‘surround’ speakers.

So far:

1. The play:5’s came factory reset from a friend and I had no problem connecting to them or adding them to my ‘Living room’ (where the Arc is).

2. I can link the play:5’s as ‘stereo speakers’ no problem, both in the ‘Living room’ or other rooms.

3. When trying to link them to the Arc as ‘surround speakers’ (noting that this has been attempted following a factory reset and relinking as well as after they had been setup as ‘stereo speakers’), it times out after about 2 mins and I get an error message about them not being connected to the network.

4. After attempting 3 (above), I have that familiar ‘?’ (Question mark icon) in my ‘Living room’ setup (showing ‘Arc+?+?’).

5. After attempting 3 (above), despite the white solid light, no sound comes through, and the speakers no longer seem connected.

6. After attempting 3 and noting 5 (above), I attempt to ‘Find Missing Products’ via Support in the app without success (including after power-cycling, resetting the router, allowing sufficient time for devices to complete power cycles, reestablishing network/internet connections, etc).

7. After attempting 6 (above), the only way I seem to be able to reconnect the Play:5’s is by performing a factory reset and the cycle begins again. I feel like my trouble-shooting has just about reached its limits and note that all the above steps were performed multiple times and allowing additional time between steps and to allow for user error / other unforeseen factors, etc..

8. I note that all software and ‘networks’ have been updated using the Sonos (S2) App on my iPhone 12 Pro Max running latest public iOS build.

9. On calling tech support as a penultimate resort, questions were raised about the ‘router’ I was using. I explained I have a fairly common Netgear EX7000 Wifi Range extender router and do not use any wired connections on any Sonos product, and that I do not apply any ‘filtering’ or black/white lists on the range extender or on the modem-router it is connected to.

10. As a likely last resort I turn to the forum in the hopes that there may be something I’ve overlooked or someone may have encountered this issue or otherwise have a solution for me.

11. I have also power-cycled the Arc, but it doesn’t seem to be having any issues either way and I do not ‘lose’ it after failed attempts to create the surround speaker link.

12. Tech support note that Sonos do not support Wifi range extenders and similar devices. I am not unsympathetic to that point: it’s difficult for a manufacturer to guarantee their products will work with such a broad range of protocols and third party products or always play nicely with each other. That said, 

13. Considering the Sonos devices connect fine to the Wifi range extender (router) just fine otherwise, and will even let me pair them as a stereo couple on that (router) device, I think it’s reasonable to think I should be able to fix this without taking more drastic measures.

13. Support suggested connecting by Ethernet (obviously a purpose-defeating pain for most Sonos owners these days) and/or

14. Connecting to the modem-router instead. But, considering I have literally everything in my house from a Samsung TV to gaming consoles to IOT / smart devices / microcomputers to laptops / ipads/ iphones, you name it connecting to my wifi range extender just fine, and, the modem/router I literally just use to connect to the internet with a hidden SSID, it feels like an unnecessary pain if I’d have to route the Sonos devices only through it when everything else interacts with the Netgear just fine.

Can someone please help me connect my Play:5’s before I go get a sub? Searched the forums to no avail so far. What have I missed?

Many thanks in advance!




Best answer by ratty 10 June 2022, 11:49

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Be sure Wi-Fi is enabled on the Arc and Play:5s in the Sonos app.

Try temporarily connecting the Arc to your router with an ethernet cable and then adding the Play:5s as surrounds. Also try swapping the Play:5s and see if it makes a difference.

Thanks a lot for the reply @GuitarSuperstar ! Will give it a go tonight (Sydney, AU) and see how we go + reply to thread.

It sounds to me as though the Play:5 satellites aren’t getting an IP address. When satellites are bonded they rely on a proxied DHCP request via the home theatre master (the Arc in this case) to get an IP. Some network kit doesn’t like this, and extenders in particular can make life even harder as some present a ‘virtual MAC address’ for attached client devices.

My first guess is that the proxied IP requests from the satellites are being seen by the main router as coming from the same virtual MAC as the Arc’s. If that’s the case the HT setup clearly won’t work.

I’d have to route the Sonos devices only through it when everything else interacts with the Netgear just fine.



But do any of your other devices require constant communication between several devices, an unavoidable characteristic of a multiroom system, or even just one wireless HT system?

Is the extender in bridge mode?


I think, for the ‘likely’ reasons @ratty mentions above, it would be worth trying a Boost (or some other Sonos product) wired direct to the router, which will switch the entire setup over to a SonosNet connection, just don’t use either of the Play:5’s to do that, as it’s not helpful to wire an ‘intended’ surround speaker.

If you can cable the Arc (even just temporary) just to see if it will work on SonosNet and then get yourself a Boost (or another compatible standalone Sonos device) to wire to the main router, then all will then work. Note you will only need to wire that one Sonos device only to get around the limitations of the router/extender.

Is the extender in bridge mode?


It’s a pure extender. I have some experience with these older Netgears. 😬

In the web interface, Settings > WiFi Settings > Connected Devices would reveal what the extender thinks its clients are, and their virtual MACs.

If you can experimentally wire the Arc, or another Sonos device (if you have one) to trigger SonosNet,  then at worst the results would be informative.

Agreed, wired would be more predictable.

An alternative would be to replace the extender’s SSID with the hidden router SSID in the Sonos network settings (Settings>System>Network), to get the system off the extender. The router would then most probably be happy with the Arc’s satellites. Controllers could still connect via the extender.