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Compatibility WiFi 6 (802.11ax) mode

  • 25 January 2021
  • 41 replies
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Hi there.

I recently upgraded my router to a Wifi 6 (no extender or mesh). 

I have

3 x older Play 1s (2 as surrounds)
1 x Soundbar
3 x One SLs

I have found that, using 2.4GHz wifi, the 3 One SLs (i.e. newer hardware) work just fine however the older hardware cannot be seen on the network

UNLESS I turn off Wifi 6 mode and go into a compatibility mode… Then everything is fine. 

As a workaround, my house is Cat 5 wired (and a couple of units are placed to enable connection directly to an ethernet port. I therefore connected the Playbar to try and create a hard wired configuration… It seemed that this didn’t work either, with an inability for anything to be seen / configured by the iOS app…

My questions are therefore:
1. Am I right to assume the Play 1’s and Playbar will not work with Wifi 6?
2. Because wireless router remained on whilst trying to config in wired mode, has this prevented a wired mode setup working?
3. What is the range of using SonosNet (i.e. wired mode) vs WiFi?
(and finally) 4. Would a Boost alleviate all my woes above and thus enable me to use WiFi 6 in my house?

Appreciate someone’s help on this. 

Thanks

 

 
 

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Best answer by BunkMuffin 1 February 2021, 20:29

Right. I’ve rolled back my router firmware to version 384.9948.

I can see Sonos is already behaving differently on the network. 

Fingers crossed this works.

Nice one controlav.

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41 replies

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Right. I’ve rolled back my router firmware to version 384.9948.

I can see Sonos is already behaving differently on the network. 

Fingers crossed this works.

Nice one controlav.

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Are you using an ASUS router? The new ones are incompatible with Sonos (and other gear) based on several other threads. You need to downgrade the firmware apparently to get a compatible one.

Thanks for this.

I’ve done a bit of digging and can find some threads, so will start to go through these. 

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Are you using an ASUS router? The new ones are incompatible with Sonos (and other gear) based on several other threads. You need to downgrade the firmware apparently to get a compatible one.

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As an update:

I continue to tweak settings including channels, static DCHP IP address for Sonos and roaming rules yet still experience drop outs...

I’ve found that my Ring Doorbell started dropping connections from the 2.4GHz band too. After moving this to the 5GHz band, I’ve had zero issues… This points me back tot he 2.4GHz band…

The Wifi 6 setting continues to be a red herring… so I’ve reverted back to “Wifi 6 mode” on 2.4GHz band...

My next route is to reduce the Channel Bandwidth. Presently, the router switches between 40 and 20MHz at will on the 2.4GHz Band. After a little research I understand that the 20MHz bandwidth setting is less likely to fall foul of interference… so that’s my latest setting change… 

Again, will let things bed in and see. At least by the end of this, I’ll have learned more about home network configurations...

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I am wondering whether I can try and get two Sonos components to be hard wired into something somehow… Either the Modem, or the Router. The former potentially being more likely with a little creative placement of hardware… 

Note that you can’t wire two Sonos units if one is ‘upstream’ of the Asus router and one ‘downstream’. They’d wirelessly bridge the two subnets on either side of the Asus unit and cause addressing mayhem.

If the double-NAT arrangement causes problems in terms of what can be conveniently wired where, there is of course the option to just put the Asus router into Access Point mode. There’d then be a single flat subnet throughout. 

Yep, thanks Ratty. I’d read something elsewhere that was similar. 

It basically means, that unless I want to cause a new WiFi range problem, and the try and solve this by buying another router or node for my Asus network, I need to either fix this wireless drop out issue through process of elimination, or purchase a Sonos Boost. 

Boost seems the cheaper option, with less likelihood of impacting something elsewhere in the network…

I appreciate everyone’s input so far. I’ve learned quite a bit this weekend. 

So far, I’ve managed to gradually bring everything back into the network. Conclusion is the system does not like WiFi 6… So I’ve put the 2.4GHz band into “compatibility mode” and reserved the 5GHz to WiFi 6… 

Now to let it settle down and allow time to give me an answer... 

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Out of interest, in wired mode (i.e. SonosNet) how does my iOS app then communicate with the Sonos hardware? In wirelss mode, it communicates via the 2.4GHz wireless SSID..? 

Your phone sends info to your router, using whichever WiFi band your phone is connected by, then over the wired link to the wired Sonos component.  2.4GHz SonosNet is used for the communication between Sonos devices.

Ok, that so that’s the Captain Obvious bit that I’d missed, hence why wired connection to a “Modem” isn’t going to work ;)

I am wondering whether I can try and get two Sonos components to be hard wired into something somehow… Either the Modem, or the Router. The former potentially being more likely with a little creative placement of hardware… 

Note that you can’t wire two Sonos units if one is ‘upstream’ of the Asus router and one ‘downstream’. They’d wirelessly bridge the two subnets on either side of the Asus unit and cause addressing mayhem.

If the double-NAT arrangement causes problems in terms of what can be conveniently wired where, there is of course the option to just put the Asus router into Access Point mode. There’d then be a single flat subnet throughout. 

 

Out of interest, in wired mode (i.e. SonosNet) how does my iOS app then communicate with the Sonos hardware? In wirelss mode, it communicates via the 2.4GHz wireless SSID..? 

Your phone sends info to your router, using whichever WiFi band your phone is connected by, then over the wired link to the wired Sonos component.  2.4GHz SonosNet is used for the communication between Sonos devices.

You don’t need to ‘get your kit into wired mode’. Just wire one device. The rest will (or should) flip over within a couple of minutes. The About display should then show all as WM:0.

Once in wired mode, the Network Matrix at http://IP_of_a_player:1400/support/review starts to get interesting as it reveals a basic picture of the SonosNet mesh status.

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The Boost is a pure networking device designed as network bridge to create SonosNet, if it’s inconvenient to wire a Sonos speaker to the router. Sonos has a generous return policy (from 45 to 100 days, depending on your location), if you purchase the Boost from them and the Boost doesn’t eliminate your performance issues with the Sonos system.

Cool. Thanks. 

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Ok, thanks for all this. I didn’t appreciate that, like a Mesh system, you can have multiple units “broadcasting a signal”. This might be my answer to getting good coverage across the house (including a bedroom above my garage(!)...

I am wondering whether I can try and get two Sonos components to be hard wired into something somehow… Either the Modem, or the Router. The former potentially being more likely with a little creative placement of hardware… 

I just now need to remember the process of getting my Sonos kit into wired mode. I think I need to get one speaker plugged into the router, switch to wired mode, then get another speaker plugged into the modem, then break the router / Sonos connection next so I’m then relying on SonosNet entirely. 

Out of interest, in wired mode (i.e. SonosNet) how does my iOS app then communicate with the Sonos hardware? In wirelss mode, it communicates via the 2.4GHz wireless SSID..? 

The Boost is a pure networking device designed as network bridge to create SonosNet, if it’s inconvenient to wire a Sonos speaker to the router. Sonos has a generous return policy (from 45 to 100 days, depending on your location), if you purchase the Boost from them and the Boost doesn’t eliminate your performance issues with the Sonos system.

@BunkMuffin, Purchasing a Boost would probably prove to be the straight forward solution.

So by purchasing this, I’ve a small box that can very easily follow my router, regardless of it’s physical location. 

Correct

Would a Boost then be the piece of hardware that all other Sonos components would connect to? 

Yes, but the same would be true of any Sonos player / speaker wired to a router.  And SonosNet iis a mesh in which every device is a potential repeater

If so, does it produce any interference with my router do you know? 

Potentially, but if you keep the channels well separated it is unlikely to cause a problem.  Sonos was designed to be operated using SonosNet.

And finally, would a Boost solve any compatibility issues (which I think is what is happening) with the various Sonos components? 

I don’t believe compatibility is an issue here - but putting the system onto SonosNet would mean that any 5GHz vs 2.4GHz issues go away.  Your controllers still need to be on the same subnet as your speakers.

 

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@BunkMuffin, Purchasing a Boost would probably prove to be the straight forward solution.

So by purchasing this, I’ve a small box that can very easily follow my router, regardless of it’s physical location. 

Would a Boost then be the piece of hardware that all other Sonos components would connect to? 

If so, does it produce any interference with my router do you know? 

And finally, would a Boost solve any compatibility issues (which I think is what is happening) with the various Sonos components? 

 

@BunkMuffin, Purchasing a Boost would probably prove to be the straight forward solution.

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@BunkMuffin, I’m having the same configuration: Two routers, the first one acting as modem with WiFi turned off; the second one, the WiFi router is connected to its WAN port. Therefore I have two different IP ranges → the modem 192.168.0.x, and the WiFi router 192.168.178.x. With all my networking devices connected to the latter range the Playbase is also cabled to the WiFi router.

 

You’ve got to find a way to connect the Playbar to your WiFi router (Asus).

Cheers Smilja. I’ll put my thinking hat on.

My challenge is physical location of the WiFi broadcast. Achieving the above places it at one side of the house (or in a small cupboard under the stairs), rather than centrally, which creates a new problem sadly. Hmm, I’ll continue to test things… 

It’s very strange to me that this hasn’t been an issue before I upgraded to a more modern router. Yet playing around with router settings has not found the magic bullet just yet… The only other thing that’s changed is putting a switch in… however it’s nowhere near the sonos or router config, so I think it’s a coincidence (however I’ll think harder about this aspect too)…. 

@BunkMuffin, I’m having the same configuration: Two routers, the first one acting as modem with WiFi turned off; the second one, the WiFi router is connected to its WAN port. Therefore I have two different IP ranges → the modem 192.168.0.x, and the WiFi router 192.168.178.x. Having all my networking devices connected to the latter range the Playbase is also cabled to the WiFi router.

 

You’ve got to find a way to connect the Playbar to your WiFi router (Asus).

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Thisis how I think you should have this set up.

  1. The only thing connected to the Sky modem/router should be the Asus router.
  2. Wifi on Sky should be turned off
  3. Any network switch should be connected to the Asus router not the Sky box
  4. Even if only as an experiment, connect a Sonos speaker by Ethernet to your router (even if you have to move a speaker).  If there isn’t a free Ethernet port on the router, use the switch.

You will need then to power off EVERYTHING to get the IP addressing sorted out. Power the Sky box fully back on first, followed by Asus, then anything wired to your network, then anything wireless.  That includes mobile devices.

I cannot guarantee this will sort it out, but your current arrangement doesn’t sound right.

I think the technical phrase is I’m running a double NAT config… With wireless turned off on the Sky Router (effectively making it act like a modem). I don’t think that this is an unusual set up (many with an aftermarket wireless box will have this set up). 

I’ve also verified that the handling of IP addresses is not conflicting between the modem and the router, therefore if the TV and sky box are routed to the modem, whilst the router is wired to other components, this shouldn’t cause a conflict. 

I will try this experiment though and see where it takes me. Funnily instability happened when I introduced the Play 1 (i.e. the older kit). I will try and eliminate this factor by testing with One SLs instead….

Further to @ratty ‘s post, I think what I suggested above would make it certain that everything connected to the Asus.

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At the risk of being today’s Captain Obvious, a Sonos controller connected to the Asus router is not going to be able to see any Sonos unit wired to the Sky router (or to its switch). They’d be on different subnets.

Equally any controller on a device wired to the Sky box or switch couldn’t see a Sonos device using the Asus’ WiFi.

It reads as obvious, but initially I was falling foul of this error, so thanks! 

Thisis how I think you should have this set up.

  1. The only thing connected to the Sky modem/router should be the Asus router.
  2. Wifi on Sky should be turned off
  3. Any network switch should be connected to the Asus router not the Sky box
  4. Even if only as an experiment, connect a Sonos speaker by Ethernet to your router (even if you have to move a speaker).  If there isn’t a free Ethernet port on the router, use the switch.

You will need then to power off EVERYTHING to get the IP addressing sorted out. Power the Sky box fully back on first, followed by Asus, then anything wired to your network, then anything wireless.  That includes mobile devices.

I cannot guarantee this will sort it out, but your current arrangement doesn’t sound right.

At the risk of being today’s Captain Obvious, a Sonos controller connected to the Asus router is not going to be able to see any Sonos unit wired to the Sky router (or to its switch). They’d be on different subnets.

Equally any controller on a device wired to the Sky box or switch wouldn’t see a Sonos device using the Asus’ WiFi.

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The Sky router also serves a wired connection to a unmanaged switch, which serves my sky box and TV.

The Asus router serves two PCs (wired).

Currently, no Sonos is connected by Ethernet.

 

As an update from this morning… I reset everything in the early hours, then connected the playbar (with two surrounds) and a single One SL. 

Everything seemed fine and stable. 

I have just connected a Play 1 now (starting via wired and then disconnecting into wireless mode) and the whole system has again disappeared from my network. The iOS app can’t see anything. Neither can my PC. 

Could this be a firewall setting on my router?

Is anything other than the Asus router wired to the Sky router?

There is mention of a switch.  How does that figure in the scheme?

What does ‘configure the Sonos by plugging into asus router’ mean?

Currently, is any Sonos device connected by Ethernet to anything, and if so, to what?

Thanks

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OK.  In that case I would like to understand better (if you wouldn’t mind clarifying) what the relationships are between the modem, switch and router that you have mentioned.  What is connected to what and how?  If you can easily provided makes and models of the devices that would be helpful.

Are you sure that what you have referred to as a modem is indeed a pure modem, not a modem/router?

No problem.

Master phone point » Sky Q router (wireless turned off) » ASUS Ax82 wireless router located in middle of house. 
I configure the Sonos by plugging into asus router.

 

My house is cat 5 wired, so I have an option to hard wire the playbar in, however, subsequent testing finds that it’s physical location means it can’t see all my other Sonos hardware via Sonos net.

Dolet me know if there are other details you want! Cheers