Question

Fluctuating OFDM ANI level / Play 5 Cutout

  • 10 October 2016
  • 18 replies
  • 1069 views

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I have a Sonos system that consists of 5 speakers looking like the following:

Living Room: Playbar and two Play 1's setup as surrounds.
Kitchen: Play 5 (New Model)
Bedroom: Play 3 (hardwired)

I have issues off and on with the Kitchen Play 5 dropping in and out. they are usually rather quick in nature, a second or so blip.

Additionally I noticed today that both my Play 1's (surrounds) are suffering high OFDM ANI level's. Looking for assistance/thoughts on what might be up.

I have attached the network matrix.

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18 replies

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And now without any change, they have no OFDM ANI level. No idea what to make of that.
Userlevel 4
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Hi kylepauljohnson, this is an interesting question. The nature of wireless interference is that it will rise and fall depending on a large number of environmental factors. This article from Cisco is probably the best explanation out there at the moment. We also have our own, more Sonos focused article here. There is probably a device or two nearby which is producing some more interference from time to time. This could be something like:

  • Cordless phones
  • WiFi extenders
  • 3G or 4G signal boosters
  • Microwave
  • HiFi Amplifiers (very close range)
  • Wireless doorbells, motion sensors, security, heating and lighting systems.

If you send us over a diagnostic, we can take a closer look.
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I submitted a diagnostic. ID: 6632068
Userlevel 4
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The interference definitely looks to be coming from something quite close to the Living Room. Can you try switching off anything electrical in that room and close to it? Check the OFDM levels with everything off; they should be good. Start switching on devices one by one and check the network matrix or send us diagnostics as you go. This should pin down the device throwing out the interfering signal. One thing I should add to my previous post is Plasma TV's. These give off a lot more electromagnetic radiation than LED TV's.
One thing I should add to my previous post is Plasma TV's. These give off a lot more electromagnetic radiation than LED TV's.

Maybe but they heat the room ever so nicely! Never noticed any particular interference from mine.
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I suspect honestly that it's interference coming from inside the wall or the other side of the wall. Reason I suspect this is I live in a townhome. The other side of the wall is a different home, and all three of the offending devices are on the same wall.

Is there something else I can do to eliminate interference with these devices considering I may not control the environment 100%?
The red items in your first matrix are the PLAY:1 surrounds, which are using 5GHz. Unless they're breaking up I wouldn't worry about the ANI Level 9. It just means the noise rejection is doing its job. The signal strength to the PLAYBAR is good.

If the Kitchen unit is dropping out that's a different matter, and could be because the Master Bedroom wired unit is also picking up a bit of noise.
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The red items in your first matrix are the PLAY:1 surrounds, which are using 5GHz. Unless they're breaking up I wouldn't worry about the ANI Level 9. It just means the noise rejection is doing its job. The signal strength to the PLAYBAR is good.

If the Kitchen unit is dropping out that's a different matter, and could be because the Master Bedroom wired unit is also picking up a bit of noise.


Right, so the kitchen Play 5 does indeed drop. Not all the time, but on occasion. which is the larger issues here. The surrounds actually perform rather well despite the ANI Levels.
You should submit a fresh diagnostic within 15 mins of a kitchen dropout, and Sonos can see if there's been an interference burst. I'd also suggest keeping a diary. You may find a correlation with activities in the house, time of day, day of week, etc.
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This evening I was listening to podcasts (downloaded via Itunes) played through the "On This Phone" option. I was listening to these on the Kitchen speaker and probably 4 separate times I seemingly lost connection and it would skip to the next track before completing the one I was listening to.

I submitted a few diagnostics when this happened two different times. Diagnostic ID's are: 6656616 and 6656622

Not sure if this is related to the issues I have been having with cutouts now and then.
If playback from a phone dropped out my first inclination would be to blame the phone's connection to the network. That's more likely to be interrupted, especially if it's being carried around in a pocket. Humans are mostly bags of water, which is quite effective at attenuating 2.4GHz WiFi.
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@ratty: Couple of notes. I was connected to my 5ghz channel as best I know this evening with my phone. I had left the phone on the counter much of the night rather than carrying it around.
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More hopefully helpful details:

I worked from home today, and the Play 5 performed perfectly all day. Streaming NPR, playing podcasts from my IPhone, playing tunes from Spotify all worked without a hitch.

Thinking more about the issues with the cutouts, these often happen on the evenings or the weekends. The times I can recall noticing it I think were all times I have football playing on my TV and I am grouping in the kitchen speaker. So maybe that specific configuration has something to do with it?
Grouping with the PLAYBAR for TV sound is similar to uncompressed Line-In, which is the most onerous stream in terms of bandwidth and shallowness of playout buffer. If wireless conditions are borderline at certain times, perhaps due to activities in the evening in a neighbouring property, it could be tipping things over the edge. Send in a diagnostic after such an incident, whilst the group is still intact, and post the number.
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Just set that up to some baseball and it's happened already a few times.

Submitted diagnostics: 6659573 and 6659582. The latter hiccuped several times in a couple seconds.
Userlevel 7
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Hello, Kyle. On those last two, everything was coming up red; OFDM levels at a solid 9, across the board. It seems clear to me that the neighbours have a device which is highly inimical to your system, in terms of interference.

Grouping with the PLAYBAR for TV sound is similar to uncompressed Line-In, which is the most onerous stream in terms of bandwidth and shallowness of playout buffer. If wireless conditions are borderline at certain times, perhaps due to activities in the evening in a neighbouring property, it could be tipping things over the edge. Send in a diagnostic after such an incident, whilst the group is still intact, and post the number.

This. Running line-in from your television then grouping in a player is one of the more demanding things you could ask of your system. In a (considerably) less than immaculate WiFi environment, this is going to prove problematic.
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Interesting. This was mid day, a time I would expect slightly less interfeeence from neighbors.

I semi recently switched the channel my router runs on which dramatically helped out my speeds. Anything else i can do here or am I pretty much out of options at this point?
Userlevel 7
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Beyond speaking to your neighbours to see what they may be using that could potentially cause this issue, I would worry that you may have exhausted all options that can be undertaken within your own home.