Question

Amazon Music HD dropouts


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I am getting major speaker dropouts when trying to play Amazon Music Playlists.  I recently ‘upgraded to Amazon Music HD’ and I am wondering whether that is connected?  Diagnostic 8730064442 taken a few mins after it happened this morning.

If I play a playlist from my local NAS it is fine.  All speakers behave and play music fine.  If I try an Amazon Music playlist it goes berserk with various speakers dropping in and out.  It is unlistenable.

ISP is BT.  70 Mbps reliable download speed.  Location is South East United Kingdom.

Router is BT Smarthub 2 which is hard wired into a Netgear 24-port gigabit switch (JGS524PE).

Full managed wi-fi is provided across the house by five hard wired Ubiqiti Unifi access points (three AC-PRO and 2 AC-LITE).  Single SSID on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. BT Router wifi is turned off.

Sonos is using the above wi-fi network.  I have 2 x Play 5 speakers and 10 x Play 1 speakers for music and a sub, soundbar and 2 Play 1 speakers for TV.

Any help appreciated.

Stu
 

 


14 replies

Userlevel 7

It might have something to do with your router:

 

Userlevel 5
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Thanks for your reply but i am not using the wifi on the router as I have a Ubiquiti managed wifi network. 

What format is the NAS music, and where is the NAS connected? 

As an experiment it would be worth wiring one Sonos device to the switch, waiting 5 minutes for the system to flip to SonosNet mode, and testing with Amazon again.

Userlevel 6
Badge +17

Hi @Stuart_17 

Thanks for your post.

Please try the following steps on your UniFi configuration application:

  • 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.

I also recommend changing your APs to all broadcast on one channel - Sonos uses the channel your WiFi is on for direct speaker-to-speaker connections and when this channel differs from AP to AP, it can cause problems.

I then recommend you experiment with putting different rooms in charge of your large group - the centrality and environment of a particular unit can make it the best choice of speaker to be in charge of a group.

If, however, it doesn’t seem to matter which room is in charge (selected first when creating the group and listed first in it) then I can only recommend you try reducing the size of the group to improve matters, as you may be saturating the 2.4GHz link with all the distributing of the feed your system is doing, especially with higher bitrates.

As @ratty suggested, you can also try wiring Sonos to ethernet, though considering the size of your system and the group you’re using, I recommend you ethernet-wire 3 or more devices, as well spread throughout your home as possible - 3 wired units in one location will probably be worse than one, and you will need more than one connection. We generally recommend one wired connection for every 5 speakers in a group, but as Amazon HD needs more bandwidth, you may need more than this 5:1 ratio. Letting Sonos use it’s own mesh will ensure only “music traffic” is used on that WiFi channel (put SonosNet on the channel that UniFi is no longer using after the steps taken above: Settings » System » Network » Change SonosNet Channel).

If the music on your NAS is mp3 or m4a (or other lossy formats), then this is all likely due to the increased bitrate of Amazon HD, as you suspected. I’d expect FLAC or ALAC files on your NAS to produce the same results as Amazon HD.

I hope this helps.

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@Corry P Thanks.

I had already made most of those Unifi changes.  I have now set all the APs to the same channel and will give it try at that before making any more changes.

 

Cheers

Stuart

I am having the same issues as well. I AM running my sonos off of wifi, but have never had any issues until I was made to upgrade to Amazon HD. Sirius, Pandora and all other apps works fine, but when I switch to Amazon HD, various speakers go in and out and its unlistenable. I upgraded from the Bridge to a Boost thinking that would help and it didnt. I even moved the Boost to a more central location thinking that would help and to no avail. Sucks because Amazon was our go to with the Alexa and playing a specific song. Now we have to solely use Sirius.

Userlevel 6
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Hi @BarryHurley 

HD playback requires more from your network by dint of what it is - it uses at least 4 times as much bandwidth.

I recommend you get in touch with our technical support team, who have tools at their disposal that will allow them to give you advice specific to your Sonos system and what it reports.

Corry, 

     Thank you for the response.  I read another response you left further up and it gave me some suggestions to try.  All in all, we have (7 Sonos Products) 6 Sonos 1’s and 1 Sonos Move playing at the same time in 1 group so that may be part of the problem.  First thing I will try is to make 2 groups, 1 for upstairs and 1 for downstairs and see if that helps.  I have also tried your suggestion of making a more central speaker the “master” speaker and sometimes that helps, but only for so long.  We’ve never had a problem until my Amazon acct forced me to go to HD.  I didn’t realize it until last night that that was the main cause.  I had been avoiding it since I knew it wouldn’t make much of a diff in my listening experience and also having had problems with other “upgrades”.  If it aint broke, why fix it, right?

Userlevel 6
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Hi @BarryHurley 

Glad to be of help!

Generally, either an ethernet-wired speaker, or one that has the best connection to your router (the least range/interference/signal-blocked-by-mass-in-the-way) is the best choice for a group coordinator. With HD content, 2 groups or more may be the way to go (or just a smaller group). Unfortunately, the only way to be sure you’re getting the absolute best performance available to you is to call technical support.

To be honest, you’d need very good (and probably well trained) hearing to be able to tell the difference between 320kbps lossy formats and lossless ones, not to mention a quiet environment. This doesn’t hold true once the bitrate falls below 256 or 192kbps. I remember when mp3s were first a thing and most were at 128kbps. High hats sounded like they were underwater due to the fact that it’s difficult - nay, impossible - to accurately describe high, irregular frequencies without high bitrates.

As for 16 bit vs 24 bit, it’s best to not even mention these on this forum due to all the arguments you’ll cause :joy:.

It’s my opinion that any difference you are able to perceive will soon diminish due to perception editing performed by your brain, just like with curved TVs - you’ll notice at first, and literally 20 seconds later your brain has forgotten the difference and just watches the movie (for curved screens this has been proven with electroencephalogram scans done on people while watching various screen types). You’ll notice curved screens have all but disappeared? I wouldn’t be surprised if similar experiments have been done with lossy/lossless music playback with identical results. As an illustration, have you ever noticed when something (TV, music, whatever) suddenly goes quiet and you can now hear fan noise from a PC or similar? That noise was there whole time, but is only now noticeable and maybe even annoying. I guess 100 billion neurons do a better job than pretty much anything else you can imagine...with those same 100 billion neurons.

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@Corry P I have just downgraded my Amazon HD subscription back to a standard subscription as it would appear that my large Sonos network was not able to cope with the larger files.

I don’t have the option to ethernet wire any of my speakers (let alone three of them) so I couldn’t try SonoNet.  This is the reason I invested heavily in a good managed wireless LAN (Ubiquiti).  It just seems a bit of shame that I will never be able to take advantage of the free upgrade to Amazon HD.

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Corry, 

     Thank you for the response.  I read another response you left further up and it gave me some suggestions to try.  All in all, we have (7 Sonos Products) 6 Sonos 1’s and 1 Sonos Move playing at the same time in 1 group so that may be part of the problem.  First thing I will try is to make 2 groups, 1 for upstairs and 1 for downstairs and see if that helps.  I have also tried your suggestion of making a more central speaker the “master” speaker and sometimes that helps, but only for so long.  We’ve never had a problem until my Amazon acct forced me to go to HD.  I didn’t realize it until last night that that was the main cause.  I had been avoiding it since I knew it wouldn’t make much of a diff in my listening experience and also having had problems with other “upgrades”.  If it aint broke, why fix it, right?

@BarryHurley seems like we have had very similar issues.  I contacted Amazon this morning and they set me back to standard Amazon Music again.  There does not seem to be a way to do this on the Amazon website.  Hope that helps.

Userlevel 6
Badge +17

Hi @Stuart_17 

I completely understand your expectation for your UniFi system to work - I would expect the same. I can only recommend you get in touch with our technical support team, for some real-time troubleshooting should you wish to try HD playback again in the future.

Thank you that info Stuart 17!  I was looking on my Amazon Acct and trying to figure out how to go back to SD and didn’t see that info so figured there wasn’t a way.  I’ll give them a call this evening to see if they will switch me back to Standard!

Corry, 

     Thank you for the response.  I read another response you left further up and it gave me some suggestions to try.  All in all, we have (7 Sonos Products) 6 Sonos 1’s and 1 Sonos Move playing at the same time in 1 group so that may be part of the problem.  First thing I will try is to make 2 groups, 1 for upstairs and 1 for downstairs and see if that helps.  I have also tried your suggestion of making a more central speaker the “master” speaker and sometimes that helps, but only for so long.  We’ve never had a problem until my Amazon acct forced me to go to HD.  I didn’t realize it until last night that that was the main cause.  I had been avoiding it since I knew it wouldn’t make much of a diff in my listening experience and also having had problems with other “upgrades”.  If it aint broke, why fix it, right?

@BarryHurley seems like we have had very similar issues.  I contacted Amazon this morning and they set me back to standard Amazon Music again.  There does not seem to be a way to do this on the Amazon website.  Hope that helps.

Thank you!  Never thought to give them a call to go back to Standard.

 

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