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Endless problems with Sonos


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I’m on the brink of giving up on my Sonos system. Almost daily the system loses devices and then I can’t restore them to the network. Current problem is that all five of my devices are clearly visible on desktop / mobile apps and I can group them fine but then music only comes out of two. Creating a separate group with the remaining three works fine, but when I try to group all five again music doesn’t come out of them all. There doesn’t seem to be any method of diagnosing the problems so I can’t tell whether it’s a wireless issue, configuration issue, problem with my router or what. Constantly powering off devices is not practical (partly because extracting the power cables from the devices is so hard, and several area not easily reachable). WHY DOESN’T SONOS PROVIDE AN OFF BUTTON IF POWERING DOWN IS A CORE PART OF PROBLEM-SOLVING? God, I’m so frustrated. Sonos used to be amazing, but it’s so unreliable now I need to find an alternative.

So, my question is: how do I diagnose problems with my setup? Or do I just have to keep randomly trying things until something works?

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Best answer by Jean C. 1 April 2020, 19:10

Hello @redcitrus,

Thank you for that last diagnostic report. 

It looks like your Spare Room is on Sonosnet Channel 1 and the rest of your system is on Sonosnet Channel 6.

If you keep your lamp wired for the moment, can you change your Sonosnet Channel to 1? 

Once you have that changed, please test playback and then test this player un-wired and report back with your results. 

  

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Hi.  Definitely not worth a random approach.  Sonos Support may be your best bet, or you can submit a system diagnostic and post the confirmation number back here immediately after a problem.

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/141?language=en_US

My Sonos system is rock solid and you don’t need to experience these problems, so get the help that is available.  I never have to power cycle my Sonos and this should be a rare thing for any user.

One question - do you have a wired Sonos device or are you fully WiFi?  There is a diagnostic tool you might use but it would be helpful to know the answer to this question first.

 

A further question - do you have any network devices in your network other than a router?  Switches, extenders, access points, powerline adapters, mesh networking satellites?

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HI John. Thanks for the reply.

Yes,  I have lots of devices. I have some powerline adapters, a mesh extender. I realise that these might be causing interference but I’ve no idea how to diagnose the problems.

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Sorry, missed your first question. Yes, some of the Sonos devices are wired, others are using wifi only.

HI John. Thanks for the reply.

Yes,  I have lots of devices. I have some powerline adapters, a mesh extender. I realise that these might be causing interference but I’ve no idea how to diagnose the problems.

OK this will be what is causing the problems, but I am sure they are resolvable.  In most situations Sonos is plug-and-play.  But unlike single devices, there is constant communication between Sonos components, controllers etc and these can be disrupted in less straightforward setups

What mesh system do you have and does it augment or replace your ISP router?  Do you know what channel(s) your mesh is using on 2.4GHz band?  What channel is Sonos set to?

Powerline adapters do sometimes cause problems.  Are any Sonos units connected using them?

Please go into ‘About my System’ in the app.  Find the IP address of one of your Sonos speakers.  For illustration I’ll pretend it is 192.168.1.12, but please substitute the address of your player and type the following into a browser address bar:

http://192.168.1.12:1400/support/review.

Then click ‘Network Matrix’ and a picture should appear.

If you post that as a screenshot then I am happy to take a look and see if there is anything obvious.

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Thank you, John. I’ve attached a copy of the network matrix. As far as I can tell, “SonosNet Channel” is 6, although it’s greyed out so I can’t change it via the app.

Currently my router’s wireless network is using channel 11 on 2.4GHz and channel 100 for 5GHz. The weird thing is that the app shows all five Sonos devices grouped, and bahving properly (ie. I can group and ungroup them, and press any device to start and stop the music), however, sound only comes out of three of the five units. If I ungroup the silent units I can play music on them successfully.

I did have one of the units (“Living Room”) plugged into the DLAN, but now I’ve disconnected it so that everything is running over WiFi.

Thanks again for your assistance.

R

redcitrus,

Since none of your units are currently wired, SonosNet is not being used and the Network Matrix is not very useful. I will note that Office is showing a relatively high levels of interference. This might be a hint about where to start looking for problems. OFDM ANI level ‘9’ is worst, ‘0’ is best.

SONOS uses 5GHz only for bonding surround speakers and SUB, not for music streaming. Your controller devices can use 5GHz for their WiFi connection as long as the router allows clients on the 5GHz segment to communicate with clients on the 2.4GHz segment.

At one point there was an obscure ‘reboot’ command, but that has been removed. I share your frustration.

If your mesh system is channel agile, this will frustrate SONOS. It is best to fix the mesh channel.

The players buffer as much music as possible in order to ride through temporary communication issues. When the buffer is empty, if it seems that conditions might improve in the near future, the unit will simply mute and wait for more data. This can create a situation where enough bits and pieces of data struggle through to keep the player on the optimistic path of waiting (sometimes forever) for intermittent communication issues to clear. If the network connection is truly lost, there will be an error message. In your case conditions are poor enough that you cannot support large groups as you have defined them. When you define a Group, the first player is the “coordinator” for the Group. All data for the Group passes through the coordinator. If the coordinator is struggling, the Group will suffer. Try building the Group starting with wired unit or a different unit that may have a better wireless environment.

Generally, I recommend avoiding EoP (Ethernet over Powerline) because it is often a pain in the anatomy, but it is constantly improving and can occasionally be the miracle bullet. If your EoP adapters provide a network port, it may be helpful to connect SONOS players to these ports when practical.

Hi.  Very helpful observations and advice from @buzz .  I would still like to have answers to my questions about the mesh system you have.  You would probably benefit from wiring a Sonos unit again, but it is impossible to give advice on this without knowing more about the mesh.

 I would just try systematically turning off things in the office to see if that red disappears.  You need to refresh the matrix every time.  You are looking out for other wireless systems like hue lights or baby monitors, but almost anything electrical could be responsible.

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Hi - after another week of trying I’m still no closer to solving my network problems. It seems as if my Sonos system has separated into two different networks. If I try and group them then the app lets me do this, but no sound comes out of two of the units. If I ungroup these two units I can play music successfully from them. It’s incredibly frustrating.

I’ve tried wiring these units into a LAN, but this seems to make no difference.

Attached is the new network matrix which shows the current setup. Strangely two of the units which are now wired sit within each of the two separate networks. There’s no way to bring the whole lot together. I’ve even tried factory resetting one of the units and joining it to the main network, but this hasn’t done anything either. “Living Room” and “Spare Bedroom” are both wired, but neither will operate together. I’m getting desperate. Any ideas? And thanks for your help so far - much appreciated.

 

Why are there two separate networks?  Why not just one?  No wonder it’s falling over.  You need any extenders to be in ‘bridge’ or ‘access point’ mode so that all Sonos are on the same subnet.

@redcitrus, firstly remove the WiFi credentials from the system, the units are still connecting over WiFi.

 

  1. Unplug all powerlines/wireless range extenders
  2. Remove the WiFi details. On iOS or Android: From the Settings tab, tap System > Network > Networks. Select the WiFi network you'd like to remove, and tap Remove
  3. Subsequently wait about 10 min, then go to Settings → System → About my Sonos system and see if WM:0 is being displayed next to each unit

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Bit of an update, if anyone’s interested.

I was using a mesh repeater to extend my wireless network which I’ve now turned off and I’ve managed to group all the Sonos units successfully and all are playing music. It seems that some of the Sonos players were connecting via the repeater and some via my router. So it seems I have to make a choice between being able to play music throughout the house or haing a decent wireless signal. I can’t have both.

@redcitrus, if you still have a unit wired to the router remove the WiFi credentials from the system (see above), if you are aiming at a reliable system. Sonos does not go well with repeaters, wireless range extenders and powerline adapters.

Bit of an update, if anyone’s interested.

I was using a mesh repeater to extend my wireless network which I’ve now turned off and I’ve managed to group all the Sonos units successfully and all are playing music. It seems that some of the Sonos players were connecting via the repeater and some via my router. So it seems I have to make a choice between being able to play music throughout the house or haing a decent wireless signal. I can’t have both.

Or put the repeater into ‘bridge’ mode so that it doesn’t split your network.  Also make sure router and repeater use the same wireless channel, and Sonos is on a different one (if you still have a wired unit).

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Hi, @John B - thanks. The repeater was already in bridge mode, and Sonos was working on a different channel. It just seems that Sonos is incompatible with a mesh extender, so I have to make a choice between the two. It would be really helpful if Sonos could explain, clearly, the different kinds of setup as I really don’t understand how to get it working properly. Should I wire units to a LAN or not? Does Sonos run on an existing wireless network or does it create its own? Why doesn’t it work with DLAN or repeaters? Why not? Where is this explained? I’m not asking you guys to explain this to me, it’s just really frustrating that this isn’t made clear in the Sonos support pages.

@redcitrus, did you read Sonos system requirements?

 

The SonosNet is a proprietary meshnet based on Spanning Tree topology, taking the load off of your WiFi network.

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Hi @Smilja Yes - and my system complies with those requirements. Despite Sonos suggesting that a mesh system is OK, I can’t get it to work. I turn off the mesh, and suddenly it does. So the system requirements appear to be incorrect, at least for me.

Can I ask a dumb question? If I have a wired Sonos device on my system, assuming Sonos sets up its own “SonosNet” network, why do I need Sonos to connect to my Wifi network at all? Doesn’t the wired device just obtain an IP address from the LAN and then serve all of the attached devices independently?

OK.  First, I keep asking what mesh you have.  They vary in how they work and so it is hard to give a guaranteed recipe.

Does your repeater use the same network name (SSID) and password as your main router?

SonosNet is not a separate network. It is a mesh that allows data to flow between Sonos units using Sonos’s own protocol, rather than over your WiFi.  Your controller connects to WiFi and the wired Sonos unit provides the ‘bridge’ that allows controller to talk to speakers.  But everything is still part of your LAN and everything gets an IP address from your router.

Further observation - for some reason the Sonos units are not connecting to SonosNet.  If they were, the issue of connecting to router or repeater goes away.

Sonos can be set up operating either over WiFi or over SonosNet. The wired unit serves as a LAN to WLAN network bridge. If the system is running on SonosNet, any previously stored WiFi credentials should be removed in order to avoid a system working in mixed mode where the units may jump back and forth between SonosNet and your router’s WiFi signal. When the system is running over SonosNet the router only detects the wired unit, therefore displaying each unit as wired.

 

 

 

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Hello @redcitrus ,

Welcome to the Sonos Community and thank you for reaching out for assistance.

diagnostic report from your system could help us understand what is going on with your Sonos system a little more clearly.

You can post the confirmation number here if you would like me to look it over. 

@buzz,  @Smilja  and @John B have provided excellent pointers for your system.

You may also find the following links handy:

Incompatible Network Hardware

The Difference between Wired and Wireless

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Hi @Jean C. Thanks for your offer of support. I’ve submitted a diagnostics report under the number 405751090 but I don’t know how to paste the contents here.

I thought I’d solved the problems but it seems today that the same issues are reoccurring. I get a sudden drop-out of one speaker or another and/or an “insufficient buffer” error.

I suppose I should be trying to revert to a SonotNet setup but I don’t know how to do this. I can see from my router interface that some of the speakers appear to be connecting via my mesh extender - but I don’t understand how to prevent this. Only one unit (Living Room) is wired to router. All the others are wireless.

Any help you could provide would be great.

Thanks - Russell

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For the record, here’s the current network matrix. I understand that this looks bad for “Office” and “Master Bedroom”. What I don’t understand is why “Master Bedroom” is so bad, but “Spare Bedroom” has such a good connection despire both speakers being about 15 feet apart, either side of a very thin wall. Shouldn’t “Master Bedroom” be having its signal boosted by “Spare Bedroom”? Or does that only work under a SonoNet configuration?

 

@redcitrus, is currently any Sonos component wired (the living room)? The topology nodes are missing, are you running the system over WiFi?

 

A matrix displaying SonosNet paths looks like this:

 

 

 

I suppose I should be trying to revert to a SonotNet setup but I don’t know how to do this. I can see from my router interface that some of the speakers appear to be connecting via my mesh extender - but I don’t understand how to prevent this. Only one unit (Living Room) is wired to router. All the others are wireless.

 

  1. Unplug all range extenders
  2. Remove the WiFi credentials from the system: On iOS or Android: From the Settings tab, tap System > Network > Networks. Select the WiFi network you'd like to remove, and tap Remove. Subsequently wait about 10 min, then go to Settings → System → About my Sonos system and see if WM:0 is being displayed next to each unit - if so, you can plug the range extenders back in

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