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Audio Drop-out Issue with Play:5

  • 8 January 2019
  • 5 replies
  • 140 views

Some info about my current set-up:

I have a Bridge wired into the router in my Family Room. In that same room are two Play:1 speakers, stereo paired together (Family Room L+R). In my Living Room, I have a turntable that's connected to a Play:5 via the line-in component (RCA -> 3.5MM). For months I've had this set-up working seamlessly. The Play:5 starts the vinyl sessions, which is then channeled through the Play:1 pair and played in both rooms without issue. Sounded great, loved the setup.

Recently, I had an issue with the Play:5 (out of the blue) in which it wasn't appearing in my app nor was it connecting to my other speakers. Upon troubleshooting that issue with Sonos, the problem was traced back to a faulty wi-fi card in the Play:5 (a known issue apparently), and I was issued a replacement speaker. Bummer but glad they replaced it at no cost. So...now to my issue...

Upon connecting the new speaker, I am now having intermittent audio drop out on my Play:1 speakers when they are paired with the Play:5, but ONLY when playing the line-in audio. This doesn't happen with music services such as a Spotify are played in both rooms, and it doesn't happen from the Play:5 at all. I spent nearly 2 hours on the phone with customer support and while the gentleman who helped me did a much appreciated deep dive into what was causing the issue, I wasn't really thrilled with the solution.

Essentially, after all the diagnostic tests, unpairing/repairing the speakers, trying each speaker individually, disconnecting wifi, resetting the bridge, changing the SonosNet channels, changing the channels on my actual router etc. etc., the solution he landed on was to change the compression for my line-in source from "uncompressed" to "compressed".

I'd really prefer not to degrade the audio quality here, especially when it played for months under this setting with no drop-outs at all. Any solutions? Anything else that can be tested?

Thanks in advance!
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Best answer by pwt 8 January 2019, 11:17

You may find the info. in this [1] thread useful. Take a look at my response re: the 'AirPlay Device' hack.

Note that in practice it's unlikely you'd be able to discern an audio quality difference between Line-In Compressed and Uncompressed, especially with the relative low quality of vinyl. It's the 3s buffering delay that I found more annoying.

[1] https://en.community.sonos.com/troubleshooting-228999/connect-component-input-drops-out-periodically-6818331
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here’s my diagnostics number: 191438517
Userlevel 7
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You may find the info. in this [1] thread useful. Take a look at my response re: the 'AirPlay Device' hack.

Note that in practice it's unlikely you'd be able to discern an audio quality difference between Line-In Compressed and Uncompressed, especially with the relative low quality of vinyl. It's the 3s buffering delay that I found more annoying.

[1] https://en.community.sonos.com/troubleshooting-228999/connect-component-input-drops-out-periodically-6818331
thanks for the reply! will definitely give this a try. I did go into the line-in settings and was messing around with the levels at some point, but never tested it. so that is a good hack. the audio output isn't as strong at the lower levels though, so I guess I have to make a decision between higher level/compressed or lower level/uncompressed. I'm still struggling to know why this started only with my new Play:5 though. I never had an issue prior. Seems strange that the bandwidth would suddenly be too much for my system to handle...wish there was a better fix. appreciate the help!
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
thanks for the reply! will definitely give this a try. I did go into the line-in settings and was messing around with the levels at some point, but never tested it. so that is a good hack. the audio output isn't as strong at the lower levels though, so I guess I have to make a decision between higher level/compressed or lower level/uncompressed. I'm still struggling to know why this started only with my new Play:5 though. I never had an issue prior. Seems strange that the bandwidth would suddenly be too much for my system to handle...wish there was a better fix. appreciate the help!
No ... you don't adjust the 'Line-In Source Level', you adjust the 'Line-In Source Name'!

As I also covered in my response on the other thread, it's not necessarily a problem with your average bandwidth, it's just that Uncompressed uses a very small 70ms buffer. Even very short bursts of noise can result in buffer under-runs and consequent drop-outs.

No ... you don't adjust the 'Line-In Source Level', you adjust the 'Line-In Source Name'!


Ahh thanks for clarifying, I misread your initial response. Will definitely give this a go later. Appreciate it!