AirPlay cuts out on pause



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@Sonos 

My work computer is 15in MacBook Pro, personal computer 16in MacBook pro.

I haven’t tested this extensively, but can confirm that on both computers using Firefox and Chrome, this issue has happened for as long as I’ve had my speakers.

If I pause from either computer, when I play the music/audio again, the Sonos speakers do not play anything at all.

Every single time I have to disconnect and reconnect. Twice I’ve had to even unplug the Sonos speakers and plug them back in for them to work again with my MacBook.

 

This thread doesn’t really get my hopes up for this ever being fixed.

I called the support just now. And they said they are not going to fix it because it is caused by Apple. However, HomePod works for me really well for MacBook Pro. So HomePod might be a better choice here.

I called the support just now. And they said they are not going to fix it because it is caused by Apple. However, HomePod works for me really well for MacBook Pro. So HomePod might be a better choice here.

By this, Sonos completely lost me. I’m all in Apple world and if something doesn’t work, I don’t care whose fault it is, I just want it to work. Was considering buying full Sonos setup in addition to my One pair, but not anymore. unfortunately, that means I have to move on to something else. Sorry Sonos 

Hardly reasons for you to be sorry, juls07. This has come to be expected normal Sonos behavior; disregard, and disawow, responsibilty for issues they ought to make an effort to fix, when they can blame outside factors/events.
But hey - new colors!

I have the same problem.

Same problem. It ruins the experience of using the Sonos Move, which should work like any portable speaker - you can pause and play with the hardware buttons just as you would touching the phone. Any time someone walks up to me to ask a question or something, I lose my connection and have to start again from my phone. Bluetooth speakers work perfectly - as does the Move in Bluetooth mode - but then you are disconnected from the whole concept of a complete Sonos system.

The Sonos app is garbage for finding and playing anything, and I want to use my podcast app anyway. Airplay dropping out like this makes the Sonos Move a much poorer product.

Same problem for me. If I had not bought the damn Sonos shelves and installed them on the wall, I would have replaced with a different setup, as these problems are a disgrace for a ‘premium’ product.

I have discovered on a Reddit thread that the audio will resume playing when you unpause, but it normally takes about as long as it was on pause for. A fix if you cant be bothered with the Disconnect and Reconnect procedure, as I find this flakey too - 3 out of 5 times it wont find the speakers and then they magically disappear from the Mac volume menu.

So I gather this is something that wont be fixed? Utter rubbish, Sonos. My crappy bluetooth setup before was far superior.

Same problem, brand new Mac desktop and brand new pair of play 1’s. Will be opening a support incident with Sonia.

I have to admit, I’ll be extremely surprised if they resolve it. I spent hours on the phone to support, to basically be told there is nothing they can do about it.

I wasted so much time trying to get it resolved, and in the end I gave up and got some nice bluetooth speakers. Sonos One’s are in the kitchen being used as smart speakers, which they work flawlessly for.

Ultimately, the Sonos One’s should not be thought of as desktop computer speakers...

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Same problem here, bit by bit.

I think I’ve had an AirPlay 2 enabled Sonos One for about two years now, and version after version, patch after patch of both Mac OS and Sonos Software this remains unsolved.

This is not a “minor glitch affecting a small subset of users”… this is AirPlay 2 and Sonos Speakers not being able to do the single thing they were fundamentally conceived and designed to do, which is play audio for long stretches of time, which may (oh, the weirdness of some users), include pause periods.

Dear Sonos, at least please have the decency of publishing a technical note stating, in very clear terms, why this can’t be made to work, se we all poor idiots can buy an UE boom in peace.

Same problem here, bit by bit.

I think I’ve had an AirPlay 2 enabled Sonos One for about two years now, and version after version, patch after patch of both Mac OS and Sonos Software this remains unsolved.

This is not a “minor glitch affecting a small subset of users”… this is AirPlay 2 and Sonos Speakers not being able to do the single thing they were fundamentally conceived and designed to do, which is play audio for long stretches of time, which may (oh, the weirdness of some users), include pause periods.

Dear Sonos, at least please have the decency of publishing a technical note stating, in very clear terms, why this can’t be made to work, se we all poor idiots can buy an UE boom in peace.

I can understand your frustration, but there are loads of Sonos users who don’t experience this problem (my wife, for example, Airplaying to various speakers in our Sonos system).  It may be some obscure combination of conditions, at least some of them local, that causes this to happen.  That is no comfort to you, I realise, and you need a solution for your system, but this is not a widespread problem or there would be thousands of posts about it, not a few 10s.  Your request for a technical note implies a generic problem, but there isn’t one.

Userlevel 6
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Hi all.

This was brought to my attention on another post - thanks @joycean 

I have done some investigating and found out the following:

  • AirPlay 2 requires that a buffer be filled prior to playback. Airplay 1 does not. As live system sounds cannot be buffered (you’d need time-travelling software code), when AirPlay-ing from macOS system settings AirPlay 1 is always used.
  • AirPlay likely times-out if no data is sent (ie. silence), though I cannot find a figure for this period.
  • AirPlay 1 is not supported by Sonos, but tends to work. Therefore, if you are using AirPlay 1 and sending all system sounds to Sonos, it works, usually, but may have issues like those described here. As AirPlay 1 is not supported by Sonos, we will not be addressing these issues.
  • macOS Applications (like Safari, Apple Music and Spotify) do support AirPlay2, but you must initiate the connection from that application, not the Mac’s settings. The media stream can then be buffered to the speaker and synced for playback.

In our own testing, we were unable to produce this issue when using AirPlay 2. If you experience these issues while using AirPlay 2 (initiated at the application level rather than at the system level), we would very much like to hear about it. Please get in touch with our technical support team if this is the case, as this is something that we would want to resolve (be it a networking or software issue).

It would be interesting if any of you could recreate the issue as you have before, but while having one media paused (YouTube for example), start something else playing over the AirPlay 1 connection - when you restart the paused media, does it play through Sonos immediately? I suspect so, as the second media playing will have kept the connection to the speaker live. I suspect @eldiets1’s fix of having a minimised window does exactly this.

I hope this information helps you all to use your Sonos speakers with your Apple products in a satisfactory way.

 

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Thanks a lot @John B and @Corry P for your inputs. I hope you understand the frustration it produces in your customers to join the Sonos family in pursue of great audio and connectivity, only to find the simplest of use cases doesn’t really work all that well.

Maybe supporting AirPlay 1 in full would help, judging by the comments above… just a suggestion! :)

Looking at immediate solutions, I’ve just found in a Reddit thread a third-party solution: Rogue Amoeba’s Airfoil. It’s a bit pricey, but well worth the $ considering it gets the job done and supports a ton of audio targets beyond Sonos.

Userlevel 6
Badge +17

I hope you understand the frustration it produces in your customers to join the Sonos family in pursue of great audio and connectivity, only to find the simplest of use cases doesn’t really work all that well.

To be fair, we have never claimed to be making computer speakers. The fact that it works is at all is just a side-effect of the technology by which music can be streamed to Sonos, primarily intended for iPhone, iPad, iPod users to play their iTunes (Apple Music, now) libraries stored on those devices. That it works for video sources too is a welcome bonus, but these are compressed formats that can be pre-loaded, just like Sonos’ normal mode of operation.

Maybe supporting AirPlay 1 in full would help, judging by the comments above… just a suggestion! :)

AirPlay 2 was released before Sonos ever supported AirPlay, so AirPlay 1 support is not something we’re looking to develop. 

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Those are respectable product design choices, I just think the following particular use case is under-served:

  • Home office where a lot of hours are spent, music is often playing in the background
  • Mac computer
  • Ethernet cables to everything, including computer and Sonos, because who wants to deal with WiFi issues when cabling is viable
  • Music library in non-Apple cloud music service (YouTube Music in my case)

The Sonos Desktop App in this has very limited functionality in contrast with the YouTube Music web app and its desktop incarnations, so generic streaming via AirPlay is the way to go.

In any case, I understand products can’t be everything to everyone. Sonos clearly pours a lot of talent and sweat in theirs, so all is good :)

Just to be clear, all Sonos employees are clearly marked as such, and I am just a fellow user.

Even so, I think there is zero chance that Sonos will support Airplay 1.  Until Airplay 2 came along, Sonos made it pretty clear that they thought Airplay 1 was technologically flawed and unreliable, and they wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole (my choice of words).

Of course you have every right to highlight what you believe to be a gap in provision, and have certainly argued your case clearly. 

 

  • macOS Applications (like Safari, Apple Music and Spotify) do support AirPlay2, but you must initiate the connection from that application, not the Mac’s settings. The media stream can then be buffered to the speaker and synced for playback.

In our own testing, we were unable to produce this issue when using AirPlay 2. If you experience these issues while using AirPlay 2 (initiated at the application level rather than at the system level), we would very much like to hear about it. Please get in touch with our technical support team if this is the case, as this is something that we would want to resolve (be it a networking or software issue).

 

Hello Corry,

in the documentation article about Airplay https://support.sonos.com/s/article/1230?language=de it is clearly being stated by Sonos to use systemwide sound output on a Mac.

 

In fact, I am wondering how you propose to use AirPlay2 in Safari video playback for sound transmission - using the Airplay icon in a video player to switch to Sonos would either stop the video from playing or to continue playing audio internally on my Mac (Big Sur).

 

Apple Music is working fine, but I am looking to use Sonos and Airplay in Safari for video streaming without the very annoying audio timeout happening in system-wide audio output.

 

Also when switching to my grouped speakers, the mute on my One SL is being lifted. This speaker is muted to activate an Airplay group with two Play:3s but not to play itself.

 

Do you have a solution to this issue? 

 

Unfortunately this is still an issue after I bought a pair of Sonos One last week.

I found a work-around (doesn’t work 100% of time though) which basically uses Apple Script to simulate the action of connecting to Mac’s default speaker and then connect to Sonos, which I then trigger with one key press using Better Touch Tool

tell application "System Preferences"
reveal pane id "com.apple.preference.sound"
end tell

tell application "System Events"
tell application process "System Preferences"
tell tab group 1 of window "Sound"
click radio button "Output"
tell table 1 of scroll area 1
select (row 1 where value of text field 1 contains "Macbook Pro")
end tell
end tell
end tell
end tell

tell application "System Events"
tell application process "System Preferences"
tell tab group 1 of window "Sound"
click radio button "Output"
tell table 1 of scroll area 1
select (row 1 where value of text field 1 contains "Sonos")
end tell
end tell
end tell
end tell

if application "System Preferences" is running then
tell application "System Preferences" to quit
end if

 

I wish I would have seen this thread before buying 2 Sonos SL Ones for my Mac.

I wanted to connect my audio output (system wide) to the Sonos configured as a stereo pair.

It works until I stop the music for a short while and then I need to reconnect. Mac (Big Sur) does not even detect that it lost the connection, the sonos speakers are still connected.

For your customers this is a really frustrating problem and it is not very customer minded to tell them to **** off and whine with Apple. Sonos should, as a trusted partner of Apple, talk to them and somehow work together on a fix, not push the work onto the customer's shoulder. Reporting an issue to Apple as a regular small customer makes practically no impact at all. Sonos states that it only supports Airplay2 and that Mac OS is sending Airplay1 … well nice to know, but that is something that the tech people of Sonos should discuss with Apple to get a fix implemented.

I am now thinking of sending back my Sonos and never look back at the company … this is really not an acceptable customer support. This problem should be put as a warning to all potential Sonos buyers because it is not something that is evident to know/understand as a non tech buyer.

 

*Moderator Note: Modified in accordance with the Community Code of Conduct.*

 
 
 
 
 

Sonos will never add Airplay 1 to Sonos. It is a flawed technology that Sonos deliberately eschewed when it was the only option. 

Same problem with One SL and macmini M1 , big sur last version 

This product doesn’t work. I’ll be refunded and buy something else 

Userlevel 6
Badge +17

Hello Corry,

in the documentation article about Airplay https://support.sonos.com/s/article/1230?language=de it is clearly being stated by Sonos to use systemwide sound output on a Mac.

Thank you for bringing this to my attention. The text in that article will be altered soon but as we’ve been advising this usage for a long period, we’re now planning to investigate deeper into this usage case and the associated issues.

 

 

Also when switching to my grouped speakers, the mute on my One SL is being lifted. This speaker is muted to activate an Airplay group with two Play:3s but not to play itself.

Do you have a solution to this issue? 

It seems a software engineer has made the assumption (probably long before AirPlay support was introduced) that a speaker being added to a group wouldn’t be added to a group if it wasn’t going to play, so is automatically unmuted. I will feed this back to the relevant team for consideration. Thank you again.

Hello Corry,

in the documentation article about Airplay https://support.sonos.com/s/article/1230?language=de it is clearly being stated by Sonos to use systemwide sound output on a Mac.

Thank you for bringing this to my attention. The text in that article will be altered soon but as we’ve been advising this usage for a long period, we’re now planning to investigate deeper into this usage case and the associated issues.

 

 

Also when switching to my grouped speakers, the mute on my One SL is being lifted. This speaker is muted to activate an Airplay group with two Play:3s but not to play itself.

Do you have a solution to this issue? 

It seems a software engineer has made the assumption (probably long before AirPlay support was introduced) that a speaker being added to a group wouldn’t be added to a group if it wasn’t going to play, so is automatically unmuted. I will feed this back to the relevant team for consideration. Thank you again.

Hey Corry P,
Thanks for engaging in this community discussion.

I’m happy to add some troubleshooting/test notes.
I suspect it’s an AirPlay issue and wish I could connect to my Sonos Amp via Bluetooth instead.
I have several other sets of Bluetooth speakers connected to my Mac Mini (Jabra conf speaker w/mic, Sony earbuds w/mic, even a massage chair with speakers).
The responsiveness (how long it takes from when I press pause/play/next to when the speakers stop/start playing is better over Bluetooth connections vs AirPlay).


Bluetooth start/pause delays: ~0.8 sec / no noticeable delay (android sonos app/amazon music service)
Airplay start/pause delays: ~2.2 to 6+ seconds / ~0.8 sec (amazon app on mac and amazon.music.com on chrome - similar delays)

Apple has a history of issues with ‘sleepiness’ and impact on devices. I use a mac mini and sometimes the video display (I use a wall mounted TV) gets to an unusable state after a long sleep. I work from home (who doesn’t these days...) and often let my mini sleep overnight. Most days the display wakes up fine. I’ve tried quite a few work arounds including energy settings (no display sleep).

Alexa even seems more responsive, but you have to give verbal commands which isn’t nearly as convenient or expedient as pressing pause/play/next on the keyboard. Plus, having the visual music interface adds to the experience.

Like several others, a longer pause can fail to recover and play again (no sound, but Sonos device still showing selected). It’s as if AirPlay forget’s to send the sound signal to Sonos. If I toggle between other output devices, the sound immediately plays. When I toggle back to the Sonos Amp it sometimes will start playing again. I’ve had scenarios when I had to toggle several times to get sound over the Sonos Amp again.

What I haven’t determined is how long you need to wait after a pause, but pause to take a phone call and come back, likely you won’t have sound; or the delay is so long, you think the connection is no longer working.

Decided to do some pause tests.

configuration: using amazon music app (v8.0.0.2229) on macOS (v10.14.4 mojave)

Test steps:
1. play song in amazon music app
2. press pause
3. wait target time
4. press play and start timer
5. wait & listen

Below are pause and sound continuation times:
30 seconds / ~7.5 second delay to continue playing
60 seconds / 16+ second delay
90 seconds / 22+ second delay
120 seconds / 29+ second delay
180 seconds / 6+ second delay (hmm, though I was still doing stuff on the computer)
300 seconds / 1:19 second delay (this time I walked away from computer during the pause)
300 seconds (retest, for fun) / 1:04 second delay (again I walked away from computer)
600 seconds / 2:28 second delay (I almost gave up)

Conclusions:
AirPlay is delaying sending signal to Sonos product after a pause (Amp in my case).
Longer pause → longer delay until signal is sent.
Continuing to use the Mac during pause time impacts the test; delays are not as long.
When I use a Bluetooth connection I simply don’t get these delays.

Suggestion, allow Sonos devices to be discoverable and connect like other Bluetooth sound devices. Don’t depend on Apple to “fix” the issue with AirPlay.

Userlevel 6
Badge +17

Conclusions:
AirPlay is delaying sending signal to Sonos product after a pause (Amp in my case).
Longer pause → longer delay until signal is sent.
Continuing to use the Mac during pause time impacts the test; delays are not as long.
When I use a Bluetooth connection I simply don’t get these delays.

Suggestion, allow Sonos devices to be discoverable and connect like other Bluetooth sound devices. Don’t depend on Apple to “fix” the issue with AirPlay.

Thank you very much for doing those tests - I’m passing this info along to the right folk.

Pretty weird, to be sure.

The Move and the Roam are the only devices Sonos make that can stream via Bluetooth. Unlike the Move, the Roam is able to share it’s Bluetooth-received stream with the rest of a Sonos system, so the addition of one of these to your system would allow you to use Bluetooth instead of AirPlay.

Having the exact same issue and couldn’t be more frustrated. I bought a Sonos One and used it in the kitchen, mainly with Google assistant, and thought it was great. I then bought into the whole Sonos ecosystem and spent >£3000 on various speakers for every room in the house. I am pretty sure I will be sending these back as it seems clear from all these posts that this isn’t going to be fixed any time soon. 

Every time I want to use Airplay to listen to something (e.g. YouTube) when using my mac I have to connect via settings. If I pause for more than a few seconds, when I press play again the video continues and no sound comes out. I have to reconnect to listen again. This is beyond frustrating. This issue in addition to not being able to increase or decrease the volume with the mac volume buttons just really adds up to a dealbreaker. 

 

So very disappointed, thought I was onto a real winner as love the aesthetics and sound. However core functionality issues are not being resolved. 

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