F.A.Q.

Troubleshooting Sonos on WiFi

Troubleshooting Sonos on WiFi
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Hi Folks, 

I’ll share some general advice about how Sonos products connect to your network, and the kind of network problems that can result in dropping rooms, to help you understand and solve some challenges with your Sonos system.

Updated 21/4/23

 

2.4 & 5GHz bands (and WiFi 6)

A few older Sonos devices will only connect to the 2.4GHz band, whereas most will connect to the 5GHz band broadcasted from your router. A full list of which devices will connect to 5GHz can be found here on our Supported WiFi modes and security standards for Sonos products page, under “Products that can connect to 5GHz WiFi networks”. Era 100 and Era 300 will connect to 802.11ax (WiFi 6) or 802.11ac (WiFi 5).

Home Theatre products will not connect to 5GHz, as the 5GHz radio is reserved for talking to the surrounds and Sub(s).

Sonos will perform best on 5GHz as it is faster, has lower latency and has less congestion. 2.4GHz still has it’s advantages, however, as physics dictates that it has a better range and a stronger solid-matter penetration ability (it gets through walls, ceilings and furniture easier), so do not be too concerned if your router informs you that your Sonos device is utilising it. Due to the amount of varied use of 2.4GHz, it can be important to ensure that you do not use channels that overlap with other nearby sources (1, 6 & 11 are the only channels that do not overlap - it’s best to stick with these).

Although we used to recommend splitting the bands on your router so that they had different credentials, we now recommend letting the router do it’s work with band steering - this way, one set of credentials can get all your devices connected to the best band for them (this will vary with model and location/reception). If in doubt, please get in touch with our technical support team.

 

Mesh Networks

If you have a mesh WiFi system to extend the range of your WiFi, and your original router is still present, you must either:

  • Configure your router to act as a modem only. Some have a specific option for this (like Virgin Media in the UK), but on most router’s you’d need to disable the DHCP server. If you still need to use the WiFi coming from your router, or if you connect devices via ethernet to it, this is not an option. Doing this will allow you to use the usually more advanced routing features on your mesh (as compared to those on a free, ISP-provided router).

    or
  • Configure your mesh system to be in ‘Bridge/AP mode’ - otherwise it acts as a router and you now have two logical networks running on one hardware layer (this is commonly referred to as Dual DHCP). To find out how to do this, perform an internet search for “[name of your mesh system] mesh bridge mode”. I’ve listed a few common ones here:

 

Netgear Orbi mesh: https://kb.netgear.com/31218/How-do-I-configure-my-Orbi-router-to-act-as-an-access-point

Linksys Velop mesh: https://www.linksys.com/us/support-article?articleNum=243548

Tenda mesh: https://www.tendacn.com/faq/3123.html

Eero mesh: https://support.eero.com/hc/en-us/articles/208276903-How-do-I-bridge-my-eeros-

Google mesh: https://support.google.com/wifi/answer/6240987 - In my experience Google mesh systems can be difficult about going into Bridge mode. Please contact Google if you have trouble with this.

 

Extenders / Boosters / Powerline adapters / Sky Q

Another challenge, with networking and Sonos, is WiFi boosters and extenders. Sonos does not support these as they halve your available bandwidth (due to being half-duplex) and often block multicast transmissions which gets in the way of the Sonos system from operating smoothly. 

Powerline line adaptors can also induce additional issues as they are subject to noise present on your mains power supply (‘noise’ is created by some LED dimmers, for example).

In the UK, Sky Q boxes can be a challenge with Sonos, as they repeat the WiFi from a Sky router (but not from other routers). If a speaker connects to one of these (common with Sonos Home Theatre products) it can result in the speaker being missing from the Sonos app. One option would be to use SonosNet by connecting one or more Sonos devices (not Era - Era does not use or create SonosNet) to the network with an ethernet cable. For other options, I recommend contacting our technical support team.

 

Sonos and Ethernet

To bypass some WiFi configuration issues, you can connect any one (or more) Sonos devices to the network with an ethernet cable (Sonos Move & Roam excluded). Wired Sonos products (other than Era models) will transmit a ‘Sonos only WiFi’ for use by your other Sonos devices (Sonos Move, Roam & Era excluded). This all happens automatically, but sometimes your speakers need a power cycle (unplug them from the wall socket, and plug them back in again after 30 seconds) to help them along. Wiring Sonos will not resolve anything if you have two routers on your network (as described in the Meshes section). Each Sonos player that picks up the ‘Sonos only WiFi’ from the wired Sonos speaker will rebroadcast it, thus extending the range for speakers out of range of the wired one(s). 

When you wire a Sonos product, you go from a configuration like this:

Sonos using your WiFi​​​​

to one like this:

Sonos using Sonosnet

It is worth pointing out, however, that the bandwidth available on 2.4GHz (which SonosNet uses) is limited. If you’re going to group a lot of rooms together, we recommend having one wired unit for every 5 non-wired units, and these wired units would ideally be evenly distributed in your home.

As long as you have good WiFi coverage, your router’s WiFi will often be a better option. As became evident with the release of the Era speakers, we are now moving away from SonosNet which was only really needed back when routers were not the more capable devices that they are today.

 

WiFi Noise / WiFi interference

Sometimes it’s just not a network configuration issue. All WiFi devices (not just Sonos) like to have at least 1 meter / 3 feet of space from all other WiFi devices (and devices that are not on your WiFi but may use similar frequencies). In my experience, one of the most common solutions to a ‘WiFi problem’ has been to physically move a speaker/Boost/Bridge farther away from the router it’s wired to. A common misconception is that the closer the device is to the WiFi broadcasting unit the better - this is not the case. Sometimes speakers are kept very close the router, but this is far from ideal - these devices should not be located less than 1m apart from each other. We have a helpful guide on reducing wireless interference. Close by glass or metal surfaces can reflect WiFi back at a device and also create interference. 

Interference is, I would say, the biggest cause of problems, like dropped rooms, or music interruptions, for Sonos users.

Many non-WiFi devices will use 2.4GHz - mobile/cellular telephones, baby monitors, smart meters, CCTV cameras, DECT phones, microwave ovens - the list goes on. This is another reason why 5GHz can be a better choice for your Sonos system to connect to - less congestion, more channels, more bandwidth, better experience.

 

Home Theatre

As mentioned above, Home Theatre Primary devices (like Ray, Beam or Arc) will connect to 2.4GHz WiFi or SonosNet. However, their surround speakers and Sub(s)/Sub Mini will connect directly to the HT Primary over a dedicated, low latency 5GHz channel. So, if you ever experience audio interruptions on your surrounds or Sub, keep in mind that the cause could be interference near the HT Primary just as much as it could be interference near the surrounds/Sub.

Audio interruptions of TV audio heard on the Home Theatre Primary itself have nothing to do with interference or networking - this is most commonly fixed by forcing the TV’s software to restart by unplugging the TV for a couple of minutes.

 

Network Configuration (IP Reservation and IGMP Filtering)

Sonos needs no more from your network than many other devices, but it can often help to reserve IP addresses for the devices that commonly connect to your network, including Sonos.

Normally, connecting devices send out a broadcast asking to be assigned a unique IP address so that they can be found and recognised on the network. If, for whatever reason, the router loses track of which clients have which addresses (if it reboots but the devices keep their IP, for example) it can start distributing out IP addresses that are already in use. This can result in the Sonos app asking a particular speaker (by it’s IP) if it is still online and ready to operate, but because the speaker is in fact a smart refrigerator, it doesn’t reply, resulting in a room dropping from the Sonos app.

To combat this, reserve IP addresses in your router’s settings pages for all the devices that commonly connect. This will greatly reduce the chance of such an occurrence, and has often been the answer to many user’s woes.

How to do this exactly will depend on your router, but the option is typically found in the Network or DHCP section of the settings. If your router has a Basic/Advanced settings division, this will most likely be in Advanced. Please consult your router’s manual. For a typical installation, your router’s own IP address will be, for example, 192.168.0.1, 192.168.1.1 or 10.0.0.1 (though other addresses are possible and common). The “DHCP pool” will be a range of addresses that the router will distribute to client devices, which will often range from 2 to 254 on the last number of the address. I recommend narrowing this somewhat to perhaps 30 (or higher if needed) to 254, then reserving addresses for regular client devices (including Sonos) between 2 and 29.

After making any such changes, it’s a good idea to reboot the router and then the devices that connect to it, but from then on things should be pretty stable.

Not all routers have IGMP Snooping/Filtering, but if yours does, it’s a good idea to turn it on. This feature prevents multicast (more than one destination) data packets on the network that are not destined for Sonos devices from clogging up your speakers’ network input buffer with data it doesn’t want. IGMP-capable network switches can also be bought cheaply, but will only help a Sonos system using SonosNet, and should be fitted between the router and any Sonos devices wired to it.

 

Controllers

It may be that you cannot connect to Sonos not because your Sonos system is having trouble connecting to the network, but because the device you’re running the Sonos app on is unable to communicate with the System (or parts of it).

Although this can be caused by a few things, the most likely are the following:

  • Multiple Access Points - WiFi boosters and Extenders tend not to work very well. Often, you can only connect to rooms that also connect to the same extender your phone is on, or can’t connect to them because your phone is on the main router’s WiFi. We don’t support the use of these products for this reason. Mesh systems are not affected by this. In the UK, Sky Q boxes repeat WiFi from Sky routers in this way.
  • Guest WiFi - You cannot run Sonos on a Guest WiFi, nor can the Sonos app connect to a Sonos system if the controller is connected to a Guest WiFi.
  • On iOS devices - make sure you give the Sonos app permission to access devices on the Local Network (more info on our Sonos app permissions help page)
  • On iOS devices - make to to disable Private Address in the iOS connection options for your WiFi network.

 

Help

Sometimes, no matter how much you know, the speakers themselves have to be ‘consulted’ as to what is going wrong before you will find a resolution. In such situations, the only solution is to get in touch with our technical support team who can receive your Sonos system diagnostics which will tell the agent all about what your system has experienced. If you’re going to call/chat with our tech agents, please try to recreate the issue you are experiencing just before getting in touch, if you can, and try not to reboot any players - reboots clear the system logs and as a result the diagnostics contain less information. 

 

I hope this helps you to understand a bit of what’s going on when no steps taken seem to be working for you. As always, we’re more than happy to assist with getting your Sonos system stable, so please either get in touch with our tech support if nothing works, or write here on the community if you need more guidance.

 

 

Edit: Updated to include additional mesh options, Roam and some other details.

Edit: Updated to include iPhone Local Network and Private Addresses options as they can affect connecting to Sonos

21/4/23 Edit: Changed some advice regarding WiFi bands to reflect software improvements, added Network Configuration and Home Theatre advice


87 replies

What about IP address conflicts? Another common cause of problems, that is easily resolved with address reservation.

Userlevel 5
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Any chance of the option to use the 5ghz band for Sonosnet - might be able to play Flacs again without running out of bandwidth? 2.4ghz band hopeless in my urban area.

Userlevel 7
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 @Kumar - A fair point, but not once in 2 years of technical support did I need to reserve IP addresses for Sonos devices to resolve problems. If your DHCP is in order, it’s not necessary. If your DHCP is not in order, as in if you have Dual DHCP/NAT, it probably wouldn’t help anyway.

A regular router reboot is likely to clear these issues up, and others - I recommend 6 times a year for cheaper, ISP provided routers. As I like to say, you’d know about it if you paid for a router that doesn’t need regular reboots.

To be honest, I’m a little puzzled over the current proclivity of community members to suggest static IP reservation. If it works, it works, but I never found a need. I actually have static IPs on my home network (for pihole, PC (back when I used VNC) and NAS), but not for Sonos or phones/tablets.

Thanks for this Corey.  Good information.

 

Regarding mesh routers, I have an Orbi and I think I have it in a slightly different setup than you’re recommending.  My modem router has the WiFi turned off, and I think al DHCP functions are turned off.  It’s then wired to the Orbi base, with WiFi and DHCP functions turned on.  I am using Sonosnet, so it likely isn’t an issue either way, but curious if this is an acceptable setup for those who aren’t using Sonosnet.

 

Too be clear, I have not looked at the modem/router settings in years and not 100% DHCP is turned off or if that’s even possible.  In fact, I am having issues with remote access to plex, not really related to Sonos, that hints that a double NAT might be the problem.  Probably need to dig into my settings for both devices and see what’s going on.

 

The simple fact is that whole ‘process’ used to reset duplicate IP addresses covers quite a few other potential issues as well. While the chances of duplicate IP addresses can be low, going through those actions indicated in many of my posts can assist many, many users, without needing access to diagnostics, or a lengthy back and forth to pinpoint exactly where their issue lies. 

Your argument seems to be ‘I’ve never had or seen an accident, so wearing a safety belt doesn’t make sense’, which seems odd to me. As long as the customer resolves whatever issue was plaguing their LAN, whether or not it actually was a duplicate IP address or not is moot.

And duplicate IPs have happened...at least on my system, years ago before I set up reserved IP addresses. Perhaps newer routers have better firmware than what I used to use, so the chances of duplicate IPs are reduced, but I will continue to offer that as a potential solution, as long as the occasional poster comes back with a ‘that resolved it, thanks!’.

 

Userlevel 7
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I’ve spent a lot of time chasing system instabilities with my Sonos, starting back in 2006. Several different routers, the last one commercial grade. Different switches too. No matter the connection, router WiFi, AP WiFi, wired speaker and with a Boost and I was never able to get my setup to just work. Issues when powering individual units down and back up, Issues after power failures and the worst issues after updates.

Much DHCP v4 log reading on the last router never showed a duplicate v4 IP being issued and nothing in any of the logs showed a problem or conflict. Older lower end routers had no meaningful logging to look at. Still I had the issues and as I added Sonos gear they got worse.

Giving up on finding the issue, due to spousal input, I gave in to the suggestions here to assign static/reserved DHCP v4 IP addresses. After a system-wide reboot I have never had an issue again. Very frustrating to not be able to see why the v4 IP reservation made a difference but the result convinced me that something beyond my abilities to find was wrong.

I started recommending it to others years ago and have had several folks report back that it solved their issues too. Since it is just a couple minute task, and has no downside I see no reason not to keep recommending it.

 

I have seen no similar issues with IP v6 and apparently my Sonos gear is not using my DHCP_6 server to obtain addresses. It happily survives v6 PD changes with no problems too.

 

I realise that this is just one data point, but in my case Sonos uptime showed a marked improvement  (Apple Time Capsule as a router) after IP address reservation. On S1 now, so I don’t see frequent upgrades, thank heavens, but as I recall IP address reservation helped in making frequent upgrades in the past a pain free process.

Userlevel 7
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Like I said, if it works it works - I have no problem with you guys suggesting to reserve IP addresses, especially if it works. It’s just that I never found the need, so I left it out of the article (or should say it’s not part of my standard “toolkit" so I didn’t really think of it).

Regarding mesh routers, I have an Orbi and I think I have it in a slightly different setup than you’re recommending.  My modem router has the WiFi turned off, and I think al DHCP functions are turned off.  It’s then wired to the Orbi base, with WiFi and DHCP functions turned on.  I am using Sonosnet, so it likely isn’t an issue either way, but curious if this is an acceptable setup for those who aren’t using Sonosnet.

Absolutely. Sometimes routers are just terrible at what they do, and if you’re stuck with it (need it to get online with your ISP) disabling WiFi and DHCP and getting another device (like a mesh) to do the job instead is the best option. For the average user, however, it’s easier (and safer?) to put the mesh into Bridge mode. 

Having Dual DHCP/NAT is a huge problem whether you’re on Sonosnet or not, and Sonosnet won’t protect you from the effects (though it may mitigate some).

Just to be clear:

  • Dual DHCP -- on the same subnet -- of course creates mayhem.
  • Double NAT per se is not a problem in the slightest, so long as the user recognises there are two subnets and acts accordingly. 

Sometimes users want the mesh routers’ security or parental control features, so may have no alternative but to double-NAT. In the case of Google’s WiFi mesh it has to run in router mode.

Hello,

I have a Eero mesh network and have tried the troubleshooting steps above, putting the mesh network into bridge mode but my living room setup (beam, sub and 2x one SL) still disappears from the sonos app everyday! At least once A day I have to search for missing products or update the network on my living room surround setup so that it returns to the app. 
This has been ongoing for about a month now, nothing has changed on my network. As a worst case scenario, yesterday I factory restored the whole living room and still the living room disappears from my app. 
 

please help!!

Userlevel 7
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Hi @AJL10 

I see you’ve got a thread on the subject:

We’ll assist you there.

I use UniFi®️ AP AC LR Access Points for my meshed network although most of my SONOS gear (six ONEs and one Port) are wired connected and wifi disabled. The remaining ONEs, Play5 and two Symfonisk devices are (5GHz) wifi connected. The connections are stable and we switch several times a day from radio stations between the different rooms. The only issues we have is when we start using Airplay and devices disappear or do not sync. Any suggestions?

Userlevel 7
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Hi @el rubio 

With a UniFi system in place, you can try the following:

  • Log into the UniFi controller.
  • In the Settings tab, click Wireless Networks.
  • Click Edit next to the network SSID.
  • Expand Advanced Options.
  • Uncheck Block LAN to WLAN Multicast and Broadcast Data.
  • In the Settings tab, click Sites.
  • Disable Auto-Optimize Network.

Please also enable IGMP Snooping (which is in the Networks settings page).

I hope this helps.

thanks @Corry P I wiil have a look at the settings and observe the impact

 

hi @Corry P my UniFi system was configured with your suggested settings, except for the IGMP Snooping since that needs an UniFi switch. However, I have now ‘Point to Point‘ and ‘P2P Cross Connect’ enabled in the wireless network settings and my perception is that this has improved the behaviour of the SONOS devices.

 
Userlevel 7
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Hi @el rubio 

Good to hear, and thanks for sharing!

This, for me, is one of the most helpful posts/threads, on this particular topic, that I’ve seen in the community in quite a while. Great stuff @Corry P. Thanks for the time & effort in researching and pulling all this information together. It explains everything in ‘easy to follow’ terms and is very much appreciated.👍

I will certainly be referring users in the community with such WiFi mesh systems and devices, that are encountering any related Sonos issues, to read through this entire thread and to take onboard the considered advice suggested here.

 

 

Userlevel 7
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Thanks @Ken_Griffiths 

I’m glad you find it helpful!

Hi I'm Lanz,

 

Recently I went back to my country the Philippines and have my Sonos Ikea symfonisk speaker transported also to Philippines from Singapore from where I used to work.

In Singapore I have been using the symfonisk speaker very well and it was really great! But when I set it up at home in the Philippines, I have changed/set up to the new router even connected the device there and plugged but when all is connected there is an error that keeps me from playing music and the error message shows like this.."unable to play music"...."error occurred while adding your music to the queue, error(701)".…

Please acknowledge my inquiry, i don't want to end up keeping my Sonos away in box for being useless.

I also went in and out of my phone's settings and app permissions and yet it still not resolved.

Might be helpful if you were to also list the source of the music, as the streaming companies that have authorized Sonos to stream in Singapore may not have authorized Sonos to do streaming in the Philippines yet. Also, I’d suggest you submit a system diagnostic , and call Sonos Support to discuss it.

There may be information included in the diagnostic that will help Sonos pinpoint the issue and help you find a solution.

When you speak directly to the phone folks, they have tools at their disposal that will allow them to give you advice specific to your Sonos system and network.

Thanks @Ken_Griffiths 

I’m glad you find it helpful!

@Corry P maybe time to write a dedicated FAQ for meshed wifi networks only and list the do’s and don’ts - I notice more users are getting meshed networks in their premise 

 
 

hi @Corry P my UniFi system was configured with your suggested settings, except for the IGMP Snooping since that needs an UniFi switch. However, I have now ‘Point to Point‘ and ‘P2P Cross Connect’ enabled in the wireless network settings and my perception is that this has improved the behaviour of the SONOS devices.

 

after some months experience I can confirm that my UniFi system and Sonos devices still behave well and AirPlay is stable - moreover, I have observed that none of my Sonos wireless connected speakers are ‘visible’ in the UniFi Network clients list, except for the Sonos Roam - I believe this is related to the SonosNet (on channel 6) connectivity - all Sonos wire connected device are visible though - all Sonos devices (wired and wireless) have an IP Address with WM:0 except for the Sonos Roam (using 11ac (5GHz) - channel 40) that has WM:1

 
Userlevel 7
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I know the PC is not very cool these days but it might deserve a mention here: a common issue with the PC app not finding any players is if the WiFi network is not marked as Private. Windows will block all inter-device traffic if a Wifi network is marked Public.

The official instructions for switching the type of a network are here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/make-a-wi-fi-network-public-or-private-in-windows-0460117d-8d3e-a7ac-f003-7a0da607448d

It’s a  speaker system, for god’s sake.  Either get a PhD or buy something off the shelf that works.  There are some good options out there.  Personally, I like to use my equipment, not fiddle with it all the time.  What is the big deal with Sonos beyond getting an inherently problematic system to produce sound.  If you like getting beaten-up join the WWF.   

Userlevel 7
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It’s a  speaker system, for god’s sake.  Either get a PhD or buy something off the shelf that works.  There are some good options out there.  Personally, I like to use my equipment, not fiddle with it all the time.  What is the big deal with Sonos beyond getting an inherently problematic system to produce sound.  If you like getting beaten-up join the WWF.   

No, its a networked speaker system. It requires a network that functions correctly, and that is often a challenge for some hardware/configurations.

And this is the first post you have ever made on the forum. Nice.

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