Yet another wifi problem


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I've got a fair amount of Sonos gear, but I'm starting to get fed up with the poor wifi in their speakers. The stuff in my TV room - Arc, Sub min, two rear Ones - works fine. I have a Sonos amp in my office, and I rarely have problems with that. But in my bedroom, there have been problems for a long time.

Previously, I had a pair of Ones, and the right speaker signal dropped out often. Sonos suggested changing the wifi channel, and I did that, and it was improved.

I recently update to a pair of Era 100s, and it's even worse. Almost every time I listen, one of the speakers goes offline and reboots. Sonos support says that this is because it's searching for a good wifi connection, but I have a Netgear Orbi wifi 6 mesh system, and in that room, I get several hundred Mb/s in speed tests. And this is with an access point less than 20 feet from the speakers.

No other wifi device I own - and I have quite a few - has problems with this. The wifi radios on the Sonos gear must be underpowered, and the technician said as much. 

I may end up selling the Era 100s and buying a pair of HomePods. They're more expensive, but they never drop out (I have a pair in another room).

Any suggestions for those who may have resolved this issue, which seems way too common? 

Before anyone suggests using SonosNet, the Era speakers don’t support it. 


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Well, the Sonos doesn’t really give off a signal, unless you’re using SonosNet.

 

Of course it does, if it is wireless.  It doesn't communicate back to the router via telepathy.

I switched the two speakers, left to right. Now I get SNR of 42 and 45. That suggests that there is a weakness in the radio of one of them. The one that was 35 before, is now 42; it’s about eight feet closer to an access point than before. That shouldn’t make as much difference. 

There may be a performance difference between the units. Also consider that signal strength for the desired signal and any potential interference varies in three dimensions. Be anal with placement and orientation when comparing location performance. Your body placement is also in the mix.

 

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Well, the Sonos doesn’t really give off a signal, unless you’re using SonosNet.

Funny, we’ve had WiFi wary tin-foil beanie types complain the WiFi signal given off by Sonos is far too strong.   Guess you can please them all.  

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I moved one of the access points to the room right next to the bedroom, which has a connecting door. It’s clearly the Sonos that just has crappy wifi. I haven’t tried playing music long enough to see if it still drops out. And I haven’t tried moving the Ones yet. 

I switched the two speakers, left to right. Now I get SNR of 42 and 45. That suggests that there is a weakness in the radio of one of them. The one that was 35 before, is now 42; it’s about eight feet closer to an access point than before. That shouldn’t make as much difference. 

I try to aim for 45dB or higher - I would have thought you could achieve that with a 6 hub Orbi network, but I guess it depends on size of property/building materials etc. Do the ‘Ones’ perform any better in the same place(s)?

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I switched the two speakers, left to right. Now I get SNR of 42 and 45. That suggests that there is a weakness in the radio of one of them. The one that was 35 before, is now 42; it’s about eight feet closer to an access point than before. That shouldn’t make as much difference. 

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I’m on the edge of a village, and there are only a few wifi networks that reach my house, so that’s not an issue. But I did try that. 

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FWIW: in this day and age, more people are using better kit than a few years back and wifi conflicts between neighbours is more common. Have you tried moving your wifi channel to a different one? Channels 1, 6 & 11 are the best to try. 

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SNR 35 and 46. Oddly, the left one is lower; previously, with a pair of Ones, the right one would drop out of a stereo pair, and it’s further away from any access point. So the left being lower is surprising. I’ll try later switch the L to R, and I’ll move in a pair of Ones I have in my TV room. 

Do you mean left <> right? I haven’t tried that. Interesting idea, I’ll do it later. 

Another thing you could maybe do here, is check the SNR level of each of your Era-100’s WiFi connection to your Orbi network, as shown in their room settings in the Sonos App - ideally they need to have a level of 45dB, or higher. You could even swap location of an Era-100 with an older Sonos One perhaps, let things settle, and then recheck their SNR levels in the App.. just to see if there is a difference in their connection to your WiFi.

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Do you mean left <> right? I haven’t tried that. Interesting idea, I’ll do it later. 

Is there a difference if you physically swap the 100's?