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Devices offline

  • 29 September 2018
  • 10 replies
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We have had a Play:5 and 2 Play:1 in our house for about 2 years. This is the first time this particular problem occurred.

The Sonos app on my Android phone could not connect to the devices - multiple tries, standing right beside each device. Same issue with the app on another Android phone. The phones and other devices in the house had fine Internet access so the Router was not the issue. At each device I pressed the buttons to reboot the device - no improvement. I used a network scanning app on the phone and it said that the 3 Sonos devices were "offline" and not responsive.

Finally I unplugged the Play:5 (the easiest to reach) and plugged it back in. Immediately ALL 3 OF THEM were again online and responsive and the Sonos app could connect to them. The Play:5 self identifies as also being the Controller. When I started the app it wanted to install an update - never clear to me if it is updating the app or updating the devices or both. But I let that complete and everything was normal again.

I would not have been very much out of date since I recall an update like this 3 or so months ago and there was no loss of service before that update. Was there something special in the update to version 9.1 build 45156150?
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Best answer by Stanley_4 1 October 2018, 09:08

If you search these forums (use an external search engine, the built in one is horrible) you'll see that is an often suggested first step to stabilizing a Sonos system. I did it a long while back and have has far less problems ever since, I haven't seen any network diagnostics that point out just what is going wrong and Sonos has locked us out (for the safety of the dimmer Sonos owners) of a lot of the internal Sonos device data that used to be available.

I have some fairly high end network kit and even without the static/reserved IP v4 addresses being set I rarely saw any churn in the actual assignments from the DHCP pool. Even so following the suggestion made here ended a persistent issue I had with updates causing issues, I was in the beta program at the time and was seeing far more updates than a non-beta user will ever see.

This of course is completely ignoring the IP v6 addresses that suddenly appeared on my LAN as newer Sonos gear (Play 5 Gen2, not ZP-80) started requesting them.

I went as far as setting static/reserved IPs for my controller devices a while back as I was able to correlate glitches in the operation of my system with Sonos controller devices making DHCP requests of my router. This was just a renewal of the existing address, not a change which makes it even more frustrating to me. I got nowhere trying to understand what was going wrong and opted for the "try a fix" versus the "do hours of investigation" route. Got lucky and the oddness stopped and I never went back to investigate further.

I'd love to hear more from Sonos on this issue but so far there hasn't been a lot said about system internals. A easy test would be to do a web-scrape of the remaining available internal Sonos status information a DHCP log capture from your router and a bunch of LAN traffic captures. That might establish correlation but without more internal Sonos access it isn't likely to give causation.

Others have posted stuff about what protocols Sonos uses for communications and how. I don't delve into that unless I have to as I'm not very good at it and only venture there if I can't avoid it.

I'll have to agree with the "something else" diagnosis but I have no clue what it might be. Just as an ancient medicine man could tell you chewing willow bark will help your hangover but without having a clue why, I can safely recommend setting some static addresses and see if it hurts less in the morning. Takes 10 minutes and certainly won't make things worse, so why not.

I'd love to read a post by someone that has the skills and interest to dig into this but so far I haven't seen a lot past the basics.
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Userlevel 7
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At each device I pressed the buttons to reboot the device - no improvement.

Reboot buttons on your Sonos devices? Did you perhaps do a Factory Reset and completely wipe out your Sonos system?

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/1096?language=en_US

Factory resetting any of your Sonos products is not recommended and should not be done in an attempt to resolve an issue.

If none of these steps help resolve the issue, or do not pertain to the issue you're having, we ask that you contact Sonos customer care before proceeding.

========================
How to reboot your Sonos player

To reboot a Sonos player:
Simply remove the power cord from the wall outlet or from the back or bottom of the Sonos player.
Wait about 10 seconds for the unit to completely power off and then plug the player back in.
Allow 1 minute for the player to boot back up.
If the player was previously setup, it should automatically rejoin when the boot sequence is complete.

==========
Factory Reset

Play:1, Play:3, Play:5 (gen1), Connect, Connect:Amp, and Playbar:

Unplug the power cord from the electrical wall outlet.
Press and hold the Play/Pause button while simultaneously plugging the power cord back into the electrical wall outlet.
Continue holding the Play/Pause button until the light begins flashing amber and white.
Once reset, the light will flash green indicating the product has been reset and can be added back to your Sonos household.
Sonos One, Play:5 (gen2), Boost, Bridge, Sub, Playbase, and Beam:

Unplug the power cord from the electrical wall outlet.
Press and hold the Connect button while simultaneously plugging the power cord back into the electrical wall outlet.
Continue holding the Connect button until the light begins flashing amber and white.
Once reset, the light will flash green, indicating the product has been reset and can be added back to your Sonos household.
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Perhaps "reboot" is not the correct term? I pressed and held the Play/Pause button and the + button simultaneously then released and the light flashed red and finally went back to white. I have done that before when a device seemed to be not working as intended and it cleared things up.

When that didn't work, I pulled the power cord on the Play:5, waited about 5 and a bit seconds and plugged it back in. That seemed to have got everything working again.

How I happened to get it going again is not so much the point as - what was it that went wrong and caused all 3 devices to appear as offline. And then, of course, what is it that I SHOULD have done to correct this.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
If you factory reset them, which is what it sounds like you did you need to start from the beginning with setting up one speaker and then add the others to your system. Once they are all in you will need to recreate all your streaming accounts, music library and playlists and favorites.

Standard mode: https://support.sonos.com/s/article/2627?language=en_US

Boost mode: https://support.sonos.com/s/article/3240?language=en_US

Since you factory reset them you erased any clues to what went wrong, not even Sonos can tell you anything from a diagnostic at this point.

In the future doing a reset by pulling power from all devices for 30 seconds and then powering them back on one at a time, about a minute apart will give you a full reset while not deleting your settings, data and accounts.
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Only the Play:5 / Controller was power cycled. Apparently I did NOT do a Factory Reset because I lost nothing of the configuration. As I said originally - once I powered the Play:5 again, everything worked, all 3 of them.

From the apparent behaviour, it seemed only that the Controller had become tied in knots and made it impossible to contact it or any other device on the network and power cycling it cleared things up.
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It seems my incorrect use of the term reboot has got you running down the wrong path. And your assumption of a factory reset seems to stem from that. There was no reset done that lost my configuration. Forget all that.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
That makes things a lot simpler, my first try would be to go to the router's DHCP page and set static/reserved IP addresses for all your Sonos gear, that avoids the confusion that sometimes happens when the router hands out random IPs and Sonos hangs up.
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I understand DHCP and static IPs, but say more please.

Is all communication between the cell phone app and the Controller and the separate devices conducted only by IP, allowing for no discovery if the IP does not respond? That would seem to be a tragic design incapable of handling VERY conventional networking changes in IP! Each device advertises its MAC address and I figured that was how they communicated once they had been discovered by broadcast.

I'm not saying static IPs would not make things more predictable, it surely would, but I'm surprised and maybe even alarmed that such predictability is necessary and that Sonos cannot live robustly without it!

Moreover, from having looked at my network many times, I am pretty sure that the Sonos Play:5 / Controller has always had the same IP address. I labelled that IP in my network discovery app and the label still applies to the same device and IP address. That suggests that the IP did NOT change and thus cause some confusion. So it was likely something else.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
If you search these forums (use an external search engine, the built in one is horrible) you'll see that is an often suggested first step to stabilizing a Sonos system. I did it a long while back and have has far less problems ever since, I haven't seen any network diagnostics that point out just what is going wrong and Sonos has locked us out (for the safety of the dimmer Sonos owners) of a lot of the internal Sonos device data that used to be available.

I have some fairly high end network kit and even without the static/reserved IP v4 addresses being set I rarely saw any churn in the actual assignments from the DHCP pool. Even so following the suggestion made here ended a persistent issue I had with updates causing issues, I was in the beta program at the time and was seeing far more updates than a non-beta user will ever see.

This of course is completely ignoring the IP v6 addresses that suddenly appeared on my LAN as newer Sonos gear (Play 5 Gen2, not ZP-80) started requesting them.

I went as far as setting static/reserved IPs for my controller devices a while back as I was able to correlate glitches in the operation of my system with Sonos controller devices making DHCP requests of my router. This was just a renewal of the existing address, not a change which makes it even more frustrating to me. I got nowhere trying to understand what was going wrong and opted for the "try a fix" versus the "do hours of investigation" route. Got lucky and the oddness stopped and I never went back to investigate further.

I'd love to hear more from Sonos on this issue but so far there hasn't been a lot said about system internals. A easy test would be to do a web-scrape of the remaining available internal Sonos status information a DHCP log capture from your router and a bunch of LAN traffic captures. That might establish correlation but without more internal Sonos access it isn't likely to give causation.

Others have posted stuff about what protocols Sonos uses for communications and how. I don't delve into that unless I have to as I'm not very good at it and only venture there if I can't avoid it.

I'll have to agree with the "something else" diagnosis but I have no clue what it might be. Just as an ancient medicine man could tell you chewing willow bark will help your hangover but without having a clue why, I can safely recommend setting some static addresses and see if it hurts less in the morning. Takes 10 minutes and certainly won't make things worse, so why not.

I'd love to read a post by someone that has the skills and interest to dig into this but so far I haven't seen a lot past the basics.
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I assigned static IPs for my 3 devices. I noticed also that the Play:5 / Controller (SonosZP) has acquired an IPv6 address even though my router does not serve IPv6 DHCP. Interesting.

If the static IPs result in fewer instances where I'm scratching my head wondering what's going on, then that's great. Thanks.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
IP v6 is endlessly frustrating and darned near impossible to understand, at least in my old and confused state. Then you get into the various ways the hardware and software vendors have (mis)interpreted the rules... I just wasted a couple weeks worth of evenings trying to get IP v6 ULAs working here to get around networking messes caused by my ISP's prefix delegation system, only to discover that it is beyond my skill level.

That said, Sonos may be using one of the self configuring v6 modes that don't require router support.

If things continue to act up post a screenshot of your network matrix and get some comments on it.