Play5(gen1) periodic cutout of left speaker in stereo mode for ~10 seconds

  • 17 March 2023
  • 6 replies

After experiencing this problem for months, I just switched from a Bridge to Boost device (w/ downgraded G1 software install with Sonos staff assistance). However, the cutout still occurred periodically, although a 3-16-23 Sonos diagnostic report showed no interference or other errors (1698750761). Based on other Community discussion, interference or slow wireless speeds would seem likely as a cause (also, perhaps consistent with this, the cutout seems to occur more frequently on Spotify premium and CD direct line than Pandora, which has significantly lower streaming quality).

Summary of network settings: Sonos devices on Channel 11. Router setup is Verizon Gateway 3100 (set to Channel 6, 20Mhz; 300Mbps max service), with Boost wired connection via coax (MoCa), located on separate floor and same room as Play5 stereo pair. A second router, AX50 (Channel 1, 20Mhz), is located in a separate room and is devoted to wireless home smart devices. Evaluation w/ a network analyzer app confirms non-overlapping separation of the frequencies for the two routers on Channels 1 and 6. Download/upload speeds for Gateway router connection at Boost and Play5s locations are about 70-90Mbps.

My assumption is that use of Channel 11 for Boost and Play5 devices would provide maximum protection against interference given my router settings, yet the cutout still periodically occurred using that channel. Sonos staff person, who reviewed above diagnostic and performed some continuous monitoring, suggested switching the Sonos system to Channel 6. So far, no cutout has occurred after about an hour or more of playing Spotify. If this favorable response continues, it would seem to be counterintuitive as a solution. Any thoughts on the channel choice issue or other comments on the cutout problem?

6 replies

No cutout of the left channel has occurred yet using channel 6.

I’m beginning to think that the original problem using channel 11 was a limited throughput issue (not interference). Switching to channel 6 (same as the Gateway router) may be necessary to ensure max throughput. 

This would suggest that, in general, a Gen 1 Play 5 device & Boost system should be set to the same channel as the router that the Boost is wired to, so that the transmission rate is sufficient to avoid signal loss (my understanding is that the Gen 1 Play 5 is limited to only a 54Mbps rate).

Can anyone confirm this or offer other interpretations/suggestions?


No, that merely suggests to me that there is less interference on that channel, despite the fact that your normal Wi-Fi is using the same channel. 

Generally speaking, running SonosNet and your own Wi-Fi on the same channel is to be discouraged. 

Thanks for your response, and your comment that SonosNet should be on a separate channel from the WiFi router. I thought that might be the case, but I was beginning to doubt it given that channel 6 seemed to be working.

However, since my last post the first cutout of the left speaker has occurred using channel 6. 

So, it would seem that channel 11 would be the preferred for the SonosNet (if Gateway router is on channel 6). Channel 11 should be largely free of interference, given that the routers are set to channels 1 and 6 (both 20Mhz bandwidth).

Therefore, can we conclude that the left speaker cutout when SonosNet is on channel 11 most likely due to a limited throughput? If so, I’m wondering if this a limitation of the Gen 1 Play 5 (54Mbps), given that transmission rates at the location of the speakers are 70-90Mbps. If that’s the case, the only solution would seem to be to replace the speakers with Gen 2, which I assume have a higher transmission rate. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks for your help. 


Unlikely, in my opinion, to be attributed to throughput of any Sonos product, I used a pair of Sonos PLAY:5s gen 1 as a stereo pair for years (before S2) without any issue, but perhaps more likely due to Wi-Fi interference in that location. 

54Mbps is more than sufficient for a few wireless PLAY:5’s -- unless there is interference. With a BOOST connected, WiFi will ignore SonosNet and SonosNet will ignore WiFi, but they do use the same radio spectrum. A neighbor’s wireless use can cause issues, along with Microwave ovens, baby monitors, wireless cameras, and ZigBee.

Make sure that your WiFi is using a fixed, not “AUTO” channel.

While this monitor is becoming less useful with later models, your PLAY:5’s will populate this page. Go to http://[address of a PLAY:5]:1400/support/review and look at the Network Matrix at the bottom. Red cells indicate potential issues. Note that this data is static. Refresh the page to review current data. (this area is not documented, but we have figured out a few of the details)

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What you can do is try your Sonos on each of the clear channels, 1 - 6 - 11 while moving your home WiFi to one of the other two. Keep the Sonos on the channel that works best for it and try your home WiFi on the other two and use the best one there.

It is very difficult to actually see what is going on on the channels WiFi uses as so many apps only show you WiFi signals, ignoring so much else, like the Sonos signal. A good measurement tool can see all the signals and check how busy a channel is but usually aren’t cheap. Some APs and Routers may have a built in RF analysis tool too.