AirPlay cuts out on pause


Userlevel 2
I just got a Sonos One (Gen 2) after reading that Airplay was finally working well with it. I was hoping to use it as my speaker when streaming video from my MacBook Pro, but have been hounded by audio issues–even with it connected via Ethernet to my Airport. The audio cuts out if paused for more than a few seconds. The easiest fix has been to go to Volume in the Menu Bar, switch the output device to something else and then back to Sonos. It's a pain to have to do this over and over. The audio comes back without much delay.

I noticed that there is a substantial delay when I go to unpause music that's been paused for a bit as well, but not as bad as when unpausing Netflix or Youtube. The audio also cuts out in minute drops every now and then, which probably just comes from AirPlay sucking up my shitty wifi's bandwidth as I've read in other posts.

Given all the other unresolved issues I have read about and the hassle that was setting this up over the phone since the app's automated setup didn't work, I am thinking I am probably just going to return my speaker. I would rather have a cheap Bluetooth speaker that I don't need to run an additional application for or even have plugged into the wall all the time.

I feel mislead. I don't get the hype for this thing.

90 replies

Came here to solve a similar issue in having. No issue for me with playing music to the ones throughout my home from my iPhone even when I play pause. 
but my issue is I just got an arc and using it to airplay from my Apple tv (plex currently). Every time I pause and then resume even for a few seconds the sound goes out and I need to switch outputs and back. Quite ridiculous I used to think sonos worked quite well with the Apple ecosystem but I’m having lots of issues with my Apple TV and sonos (another one related to Apple TV is every time I play a new video I need to switch my audio output to the arc ) 

This is still an issue unfortunately. I may whip up a little status bar utility for Mac to resolve the issue. Bonus points if I can make it default to using Sonos Airplay on first open.

I wanna give an update to this because I think I found the guilty part: it’s probably spotify and Airplay 1!

i tried out Apple Music now and there’s no problem with Airplay and the Sonos then. I then read on the internet, that Spotify doesn’t support Airplay 2 yet so that would be an explanation! It’s still sad that pausing and playing with Airplay 1 is a problem on the Sonos but at least there is hope that Spotify will upgrade to Airplay 2 in the future. 
 

I now tested this with my roam and it’s the same problem. I had a call with the Sonos hotline and they told me a work around is to press the play button on the speaker twice. And that actually works. But they couldn’t tell me when this bug finally is going to be fixed which is disappointing. I mean not being to able to pause and play  is a major problem in my eyes.

 

I also noticed that when you pause your music via Airplay and then open up the Sonos app, the Sonos app thinks the music never stopped and is still playing. So it seems like the pause command is not getting through correctly.

My father has a Receiver which also is Airplay 2 capable so I will test in the next days if this happens there too or just with my Sonos.

Since it’s an issue with Apple and AirPlay 2, it’s unlikely that Sonos can do much, they’re merely a receiver of data in this case. 

Hello there,

i just found this topic and wanna share my problem:

i have two Sonos 5 and listen to music either from my iPhone or Apple TV via airplay 2 to it.

 

everytime I pause music for some time (a few minutes) and press play again the music won’t play again though the Sonos.

 

weirdly: when I watch YouTube or Netflix on my Apple TV with the Sonos connected, I don’t have this probleM so the audio starts right away again. When I use Spotify or Apple Music and stop it it won’t come back.

 

it seems like when listening to audio via Airplay 2, the connection goes to idle mode or something and doesn’t wake up again.

 

it’s really bothering. Is there any chance Sonos will address this problem soon? 
 

 

I have the samt problem with my IKEA symfonisk products.

I have the bookshelf, lamp and frame that I use as background music in my home.

 

When i play from my macbook pro 2017 (OS: Monterey 12.0.1) and paus the music I can't start playing to the devices without switching the output speaker back to the computer and then reconnect to the speakers again. (spotify, youtube, netflix)

 

Symfonisk lamp, bookshelf and frame: 

OS: S2 

Version: 13.4.1 build: 66423300

 

When I play from my Iphone I dont have this problem. (Iphone 12 pro 15.1.1)

But it takes about 5-10 seconds until the music starts from the phone after I press play again after pausing.

 

 

Same problem here.. regardless of source device (iMac / iPhone) or model (Play 5 / One SL)… very frustrating

Stumbled across this thread after searching for a fix. I’m having the same issues many have described in this thread. I have an iPhone 11, a Sonos Move, and two Sonos One SL devices.

 

I use AirPlay 2 all the time with them, usually just to a single speaker (not a group), and I have these symptoms:

 

Pause on phone, but it doesn’t pause speaker

pause on phone, only pauses on speaker after 2-40 seconds (yes, two to forty)

pause on speaker, doesn’t pause

pause on speaker, again a delay on pausing

resuming from phone or speaker sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t, often has a delay

 

It doesn’t matter how long it’s paused. Could be 1 second or 1 minute. The resume problem frequently, almost always, occurs.

 

Here’s the thing though…this also happened BEFORE I had Sonos when it was just iPhone to HomePod (the big one, not the mini). It’s why I switched to Sonos, where apparently it isn’t any better.

 

And it happens between my series 4 Apple Watch and my iPhone 11!

 

Whether it’s Apple to Apple or Apple to Sonos, I always have to change it to play locally, then reconnect. And even that takes a few tries. 
 

There are some SERIOUS problems with the Airplay 2 protocol. I don’t know how this got through QA. 
 

I’ve tried a million things with my WiFi, even switched from UniFi APs managed by a Unifi controller to TP-Link EAP-225 managed by Omada Controller. 
 

Then again - this happens when WiFi isn’t even part of the equation, like when I’m out walking my dog and just try to pause my audiobook from my Apple Watch (playing on iPhone and listening to on AirPod Pros).

 

 

Based on my experience, I don’t think Sonos can do anything about this. Airplay 2 just sucks. And I say this as someone who owns a device in almost every Apple product line. 
 

However, Sonos doesn’t get a pass because I’ve also used the Sonos app to play ocean waves at night on a Sonos One SL, and the sound will randomly cut out - either pause for a moment, for many moments, or never resume - which wakes up the baby. I’ve tried the Sonos One SL on WiFi, hooked directly to Ethernet, and I’ve tried using the app to stream from Spotify and from Amazon Music. I can NEVER get reliable ocean waves all night. I’ve tried the 8+ hour tracks and I’ve tried the 2 minute tracks on a loop. I’ve tried playing through the app, and playing from a phone on Airplay. No matter how I do it, the sound will ALWAYS eventually cut out. Had to switch to a dedicated sound machine because Sonos was so unreliable. 

Recently I bought a brand new Sonos Amp which would be ideal for my use case; playing music from Spotify, my apple devices through Airplay 2 and TV sound. Unfortunately this problem still excists and Sonos still did not fix the issue. 

The temporary solutions posted in these topics are not ideal, but the one using the free SonoAir application does the job (with some delay) till Sonos comes up with a solution. I hope they do. In the very near future. Please. Thank you. @Sonos 

Hey! Wanted to share my experience. So.. I bought a One less than a week ago and have had most of the issues on these forums haha, still love the sound and looks, so won’t be returning it and would love to eventually have a 5.1.2 system. 

Anyway, I’m having the same issue with AirPlay. I didn’t see some of these posted, so might as well share some tips:
-Pressing play/pause with the touch controls usually makes the audio go through in a few seconds.

-Using the Sonos app or a plug in like Siri, Yonomi (free) or Soro for Sonos ($5.00) on iOS, you can play/pause and it seems to have the same effect.

-Airfoil ($29.00), if the setting to disconnect after 5 minutes of no audio is not activated, then no issues here even after 20-30 min. So in essence, it totally seems like its an integration issue.

Please keep in mind that I understand some of these options are not ideal, but at least while Sonos engineers come up with a solution, these seem to work.

My hardware (for context and for engineering):
-2012 Macbook Pro with Catalina.

-2017 iMac with Big Sur. 

-iPhone XS

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

Hi @alexanderte4155 

Thanks for sharing that!

I am using MacBook Pro (2016) to Sonos One (Gen 2).

One work-around that I’ve come up with, inspired by the 10 hours YouTube video, is to create an HTML-document that plays a sine wave that is inaudible while the web page is open. One benefit over the YouTube video is that this runs forever. You don’t need to think about restarting the video.

<title>AirPlay fix</title> <script>const audioContext = new AudioContext(); const oscillator = audioContext.createOscillator(); const gainNode = audioContext.createGain(); oscillator.connect(gainNode); gainNode.connect(audioContext.destination); gainNode.gain.setValueAtTime(0, audioContext.currentTime); oscillator.start();</script>

Save into a .html-file using TextEdit, make a bookmark for it in your browser, create a separate window in your browser, open it from the bookmark, and have it running in the background in that separate window.

Hope this helps!

I am also having the same problems outlined by @rigoli.mail. I’m using a Sonos Beam, Version:13, Build: 62186220.

A quick search revealed others are also having similar issues:

https://www.reddit.com/r/sonos/comments/cz5n5j/airplay2_stops_working_after_long_pause/

https://en.community.sonos.com/troubleshooting-228999/airplay-from-mac-no-longer-working-after-pause-6854461

 @Corry P, thank-you for being active on this thread. :)

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

@AudioLondon 

I appreciate your concern. As mentioned, we are now investigating this issue a bit further due to the instructions we have been providing on our own website. I cannot give any indication as to how long this will take, however.

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. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

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.

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 7
Badge +18

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.

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 

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

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.*

 
 
 
 
 

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

 

 

  • 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? 

 

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. 

Reply