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why do Sonos products never work ?

  • 24 September 2023
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  • Contributor I
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I have nine sonos 2nd gen devices and they never work properly as a net. Most of the time some stutter or do not play. I’m sick and tired of having to reset my router to try and fix this for a few minutes before they fail again.

There’s no point in having great sound quality that doesn’t play..

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Best answer by Corry P 25 September 2023, 15:54

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It would be helpful to know a little more about your local network setup…

  • Make/model of router, or WiFi mesh based system - If using the latter, are you running the Hubs in router mode, or bridged to the existing main router?
  • Wifi and SonosNet channels in use - If they are fixed or auto-selected?
  • The channel-width in use by your routers 2.4Ghz WiFi band (20Mhz or 40Mhz)
  • Are you running all Sonos devices on your WiFi, or SonosNet signal - how close is the wired device to your router?
  • What’s near to your speakers that might interfere with their connection?
  • If using WiFi access points or extenders (details of their configuration)?
  • Network switches on the local network (if managed or unmanaged)?
  • Any other information you think may assist, such as Zigbee channels in use etc. baby monitors, dect phones. ISP download/upload speeds etc.

Seriously, I am reasonably technical but these questions are ridiculous. The problem is with Sonos not me. If you can’t produce products that work on a typical consumer network then go and do something else.

I have an ordinary Sky broadband connection with a BT mesh. No baby monitors, but twenty other devices vying for channels. A typical domestic setup.

 

 

Userlevel 7

I think a more accurate question is “Why do MY Sonos products never work?”

Have you tried wiring one of your speakers directly to the router with an ethernet cable? If this isn’t possible, consider adding a Sonos Boost.

Without some “ridiculous” details we cannot provide much help. Maybe something here will help.

Seriously, I am reasonably technical but these questions are ridiculous. The problem is with Sonos not me. If you can’t produce products that work on a typical consumer network then go and do something else.

There is another way to skin the cat if you can get hold of two of the cheapest Echo devices like the Dot. Even older ones will suffice.

See if these set up quickly and play in a stable manner in your environment. Singly as well as an Echo group, in perfect sync. If they do, the subsequent part of sound quality is easily addressed, even using Sonos if the kit you have has line in jacks. And using the same Dots as part of the solution.

If they too do not play in a stable way, then the problem is somewhere in your network for sure.

I guess if you purchase a computerised wireless network based music system you do need to know at least the basics about wireless networking and there is nothing in my first post that isn’t beyond the basics, such as the make/model of router and the WiFi channels in use, but I guess without the detail being provided, then SonosNet is perhaps the way forward by wiring one Sonos product to the router, as recommended.

Just ensure the wired device is at least one metre away from that router or other Wireless AP and let’s hope🤞your router is using a non-overlapping WiFi channel that does not correspond with the SonosNet channel shown in the Sonos App.

Otherwise get some cheap and naff Amazon echo devices as suggested by Kumar and let’s watch you perhaps struggle setting up line-in autoplay to a room or group, Alexa group ‘enabling’, linking a music service skill and asking why the Alexa responses are chopped off at the beginning when first using its line-out connection. All of which are certainly far more technical than any of the basic questions asked in my initial post.

 

Otherwise get some cheap and naff Amazon echo devices as suggested by Kumar and let’s watch you perhaps struggle setting up line-in autoplay to a room or group, Alexa group ‘enabling’, linking a music service skill and asking why the Alexa responses are chopped off at the beginning when first using its line-out connection. All of which are certainly far more technical than any of the basic questions asked in my initial post.

I have had no trouble doing any of the above. All it takes is fooling around with the Alexa app to enable some settings there that make these issues disappear; except the line in auto play that is a Sonos feature, that works just as well with an Echo device wired to it as a source as it does with any other source. It just needs the Sonos kit to have a line in jack to fully exploit some clever design by Sonos there, when used singly or to autoplay to a Sonos group.

It is interesting to see how human nature that refuses to use Sonos because it is too cheap - and I am referring to audiophiles that drop by and say that the Port/Port DAC is not high end enough for their audiophile kit - is also reflected here in denigrating Echo devices for the same reasons. Which, by the way, for SQ have not been shown to be inferior as a source when wired to the same downstream kit that a Port is wired to. Or, if more expensive kit than Port is used as a source. I know a set up that is just a Echo Show 8 wired to the line in of a high end power amp wired in turn to high end speakers - the result is as good as any that the expensive parts of that set up is able to deliver with any other kit replacing the Show. The Show of course throws in the added and considerable benefit of showing album art for whatever song is playing and makes for a very neat, low footprint HiFi/audiophile set up so long as one does not need more than Spotify/similar as source. And has the internet pipe of the quality to reliably deliver from that source all the time.

Hardware home audio hardware is very cheap now when mass manufactured; it is clever brand marketing that allows it to command high prices in markets of interest.

I suggested the Dot as an experiment to the OP because my experience suggests that it needs less handholding to wirelessly play in a stable way, than what Sonos seems to need, in comparison. Yet, it offers all that Sonos does EXCEPT this:  playing music from a local library on the NAS.

I do have one of the devices hard wired to my router and I am capable of answering those questions above but I know the issue here is with Sonos not my network (actually I even know the problem is that Sonos and mesh networks are incompatible).

My system used to work seamlessly, but has degraded over the past couple of years, and my Sonos 1 system at my other home made up of my legacy products works fine.

 

I do have one of the devices hard wired to my router and I am capable of answering those questions above but I know the issue here is with Sonos not my network (actually I even know the problem is that Sonos and mesh networks are incompatible).

As a blanket statement that’s incorrect. My system is perfectly happy in WiFi (‘wireless’) mode on an ASUS mesh. 

That’s not to say that Sonos might not have troubles on some mesh networks. As it happens I did try running it all on a BT Whole Home WiFi mesh (in ‘wireless’ mode), but encountered problems with controllers not being able to discover players on the other WiFi band (a not uncommon issue with some poorly written router firmware).

Note that had I just kept the BT mesh in parallel with a SonosNet/wired setup for my system there wouldn’t have been any issues. 

 

On the broader point of “it’s not my network that’s the problem”, I wish I had a fiver for every time I’ve seen that kind of claim. It almost certainly is, and I’d encourage you to check out the basic hygiene steps that Ken set out.

@Kumar,

I do rate the Amazon echo devices highly for their smart-home control and I do personally use Alexa in the Home for blinds, cameras, lights, heating, plugs, fans, speakers etc.  in conjunction with Alexa installed on compatible Sonos products - it’s a far better integrated system than Google can provide IMHO, having tried that particular smart-home service for a long time too.

The Amazon music interface though is rather poor ‘naff’ in the Alexa App when selecting rooms, content and playlists and there is much better dynamic ‘on the fly’ Sonos ‘room’ auto-grouping/ungrouping with the Sonos Skill and Alexa, though that’s when not using an echo devices line-out connection. Sonos’ own SVC assistant is fairly good for that aspect too though, I guess, or at least their voice assistant compliments the control/playback of Sonos grouped rooms.

As we all know, Sonos also has access to a ‘ton’ of music services, not least Sonos Radio HD, that are missing from Amazon, so Amazon is certainly not so great without Sonos alongside. 

It’s okay to use the line-out from dots etc; to single Sonos rooms. I guess, but personally I find it just a bit clunky and it can sometimes be unreliable when used with Sonos line-in and the voice assistant services.. Line-in audio across grouped speakers can have its demands on wireless networks too particularly without increased audio buffering and/or compression.

Presumably, almost any stereo source will sound fine (say above 256kbps) to most people’s ears… and I certainly personally hear no significant differences to music quality, played in a room, when venturing above 16/44 quality audio, but it’s not all just about the quality of audio. Take away Sonos from your Alexa echo setup and I’m sure you would certainly miss it and no matter what audio source you use for playback on Sonos devices you will still need Sonos to be operating on a stable network to have it reliably play across grouped speakers. 

I just personally see the echo dot line-out source as actually not being necessary, as all can work fine (reliably) anyway, if not better, just with the Sonos Skill in place and streaming the audio direct to the Sonos speakers, rather than through the echo device.

Without Sonos and its multiroom grouping features, an echo device line-out music source would just not (ever) satisfy my personal requirements for music around the Home …and when using Echo devices with Sonos grouped rooms, you’re certainly still going to require network reliability.

@Kumar,

when using Echo devices with Sonos grouped rooms, you’re certainly still going to require network reliability.

Yes, but if you have enough Sonos units with line in jacks, the Echo units can be grouped, and when wired to the Sonos line in jacks can drive Sonos units as dumb hardware even if the Sonos WiFi is turned off. Network reliability then is only to the extent needed for the Echo units to work properly there.

Once one uses the Echo units as front ends, one starts preferring their UI to that of Sonos.

Sonos is no longer the only road to multi room wireless audio in the home. Echo is one way, definitely offering more value via lower price points. There are probably many others as well, for all I know.

I moved to Sonos in 2011 and had no regrets leaving behind wired legacy kit; I moved from Sonos to Echo in 2020, and again, no regrets at all. And because I have enough Sonos line in jacks, it was a painless move that involved nothing more than getting in the right Echo devices ranging from a Show 8, to a Echo Flex that has less hardware than even a Dot, where a screen was not needed.

PS: I use none of the other “smart” stuff that Alexa offers, it is all turned off because much of that is still silly. All I use the devices for is as music sources, with optional voice control.

In my own system some SONOS units are on a 3rd party wireless mesh, some connect directly to my ISP’s WiFI, and others are SonosNet. There is an S1 and S2 system. Controllers can be wired, or connected to either WiFi. The system works well until there is an occasional blast of interference from a neighbor. There is a healthcare facility next door and a network scan can sometimes observe 70 nearby access points — some using very unfortunate channel assignments and widths.

SONOS requires more robust network support than simple web browsing, file fetch, or email.

If you dig around the Internet there are lots of ‘fires’ burning around ISP’s Gateways, my own included. From time to time, it will get its knickers in a knot and needs to be rebooted.

There is a large number SONOS systems in the field and the number is increasing. If all of these systems worked as well as the system described here, the number of systems in the field, would be shrinking, not expanding. 

Yes, but if you have enough Sonos units with line in jacks, the Echo units can be grouped, and when wired to the Sonos line in jacks can drive Sonos units as dumb hardware even if the Sonos WiFi is turned off. Network reliability then is only to the extent needed for the Echo units to work properly there.

Once one uses the Echo units as front ends, one starts preferring their UI to that of Sonos.

Sonos is no longer the only road to multi room wireless audio in the home. Echo is one way, definitely offering more value via lower price points. There are probably many others as well, for all I know.

I moved to Sonos in 2011 and had no regrets leaving behind wired legacy kit; I moved from Sonos to Echo in 2020, and again, no regrets at all. And because I have enough Sonos line in jacks, it was a painless move that involved nothing more than getting in the right Echo devices ranging from a Show 8, to a Echo Flex that has less hardware than even a Dot, where a screen was not needed.

PS: I use none of the other “smart” stuff that Alexa offers, it is all turned off because much of that is still silly. All I use the devices for is as music sources, with optional voice control.

Not every Sonos product I have @Kumar has a line-in - I have Play:1’s  Ones/SL’s, Move (v1), Roam x2, Ray, Beam etc. so I can’t add an echo device to any/every one of these products individually - so your setup may be okay for you and your hardware, but it’s not going to work in my own case and I suspect that will be the same for a good many other Sonos users too… The network reliability will still be a centre-issue for the majority of Sonos users, IMHO.

if you have enough Sonos units with line in jacks, the Echo units can be grouped, and when wired to the Sonos line in jacks can drive Sonos units as dumb hardware even if the Sonos WiFi is turned off. Network reliability then is only to the extent needed for the Echo units to work properly there.

Since you’re now basically only using the old Sonos boxes as unconnected dumb amplifiers I have to ask: why are you still taking the time to post here? 

Since you’re now basically only using the old Sonos boxes as unconnected dumb amplifiers I have to ask: why are you still taking the time to post here? 

A fanboy question from an unexpected source.

Since you’re now basically only using the old Sonos boxes as unconnected dumb amplifiers I have to ask: why are you still taking the time to post here? 

A fanboy question from an unexpected source.

 

No, a legitimate question by someone who is sick and tired of listening to your constant bashing, not to mention the claims of superiority of your “Echos into Line-Ins” hack over something which you have NEVER EXPERIENCED!

Yet, it offers all that Sonos does EXCEPT this:  playing music from a local library on the NAS.

 

Patently false.  Here are some of things that Sonos speakers can do that echo speakers, or an echo/amp line in hybrid cannot do.

  • Play from local libraries, as you mentioned
  • Play from aux/line in sources.
  • Play from TV sources
  • play from bluetooth sources
  • airplay
  • Play from steaming music services that Amazon doesn’t support
  • Add and remove rooms from groups on the fly.  
  • portable speakers
  • atmos music (Amazon may have some way of playing atmos music, but not anywhere near the quality sonos plays it)

Probably a few other things I’m not thinking of.  I get that many users don’t care about these features, and an echo based system is fine for them,  but to pretend they don’t exist is just silly.

Also, Amazon recently had an event to launch new products, one of them being a soundbar.  It doesn’t work with  Amazon echos, stream audio on it’s own, or anything like that.  It’s essentially a dumb speaker. Maybe Amazon is just capturing a market, but it doesn’t make me think that Amazon is really that invested in the multiroom audio market.

It amazes me how someone can speak so definitively on the capabilities of a system they have never once actually used.  I have coworkers who declare themselves SME’s when they are not all the time, but at least they have operated the system upon which they are claiming to have expertise..  

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

Hi all

Okay people, lets try to keep this thread on-topic. It doesn’t look like the OP mentioned Echos, so perhaps we all can provide some help that doesn’t require the purchase of third-party speakers to be used in parallel?

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

Hi @IPJ 

Welcome to the Sonos Community!

There are only 3 speakers registered to your account, so I think I know why 6 of your 9 are not working - I recommend you get in touch with our technical support team who have tools at their disposal that will allow them to give you advice specific to your Sonos system and what it reports. That’ll be the quickest way to get the surest answers - please be aware, however, that they are likely to ask some very similar questions to those asked by @Ken_Griffiths above.

I hope this helps.