Question

Grouping of Speakers to Overcome Drop Outs


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My Sonos System is of a moderate size. I live in a smallish flat/apartment. No speaker is more than four to five metres to the most distant one.
Downstairs I have in the living room- Stereo play 1s, a connect to "wire in" a CD Player and Record Player. The connect is wired by Ethernet to the router, so Sonos Net is in operation.
In the kitchen there is a Play 3.
Climb seven stairs and there is a Stereo Play 1 in the Office and a Connect Amp- the Amp has a CD Player Radio, a Record Player and speaker wires that run into the Bathroom to run the two smallish speakers. In the bedroom, I have a pair of stereo Play 1s.

The best I can achieve is the system running without drop outs for 5 days at maximum. This is with all speakers grouped and playing the same source. This morning and yesterday afternoon I have had constant drop outs- but Saturday and yesterday morning it worked without problem- and I have made no changes to the system.

I've changed wifi channels, I've added and taken out a Boost (that just made things worse), I've relocated speakers.

Now downstairs tends to have better wifi. I've always struggled with wifi up the massive set of seven steps. Even mobile phone signals are variable- upstairs, no signal. Downstairs perfect reception.
Walls are concrete.70s bodge job built. Houses to the left and right, Nothing in front and behind woodland and an open field. I'm not rural, this is South London.

Any suggestions?

This morning I've grouped the downstairs speakers separately to the upstairs speakers, but made them play the same source. I'm not tempting fate, I hope- no drop puts so far but not sure if that's just luck.

I've submitted many diagnostics in the past. I've followed all the suggestions. I regularly check the Sonos Matrix- this tends to tell me what I already know- that the speakers upstairs have the weakest signal.

I'm at a loss to know what else to do. I love Sonos when it works, I wouldn't have spent so much money on it if I didn't. But when you are told that Sonosnet will create a really strong system and you are still struggling to have a day without dropouts, you start to get a little frustrated.

I'd welcome any suggestions- I'm not a technical numpty- I've just run out of ideas and patience.


Keith

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42 replies

Userlevel 3
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I guess no one has had a similar problem!

Dropouts continue this morning, though it has now settled.

Limited in what I can do now- spent so much money on this system, generally love it- but at this moment in time its heading for the back garden via the second floor window.

I'm running Sonos Net, I've followed every suggestion from support following 8 or 9 diagnostic submissions, I've reserved the IP addresses for each speaker (even though support said I don't need to do that), I've unreserved them for a while, I've-re-reserved them, I've added the Boost, relocated it and taken it out completely.

Please, any thing else I can do????
Userlevel 7
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You could try getting another Bridge or Boost and placing it between the upstairs and downstairs.

You could try wiring one of the upstairs units to the router.

Might also be worth looking at access points though they don't always play well with Sonos
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Thanks for the reply, Staurt_W.

The BOOST did sit between upstairs and downstairs but it didn't actually Boost. What it did was created a different branch on the spanning tree protocol, to which nothing connected. Tried it in every place I could think.

Wiring an upstairs speaker to the router could be a runner. Would you do it in addition to the Connect/Router set up I have, or instead of?

Thanks for the suggestion.
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I think you would do it in addition to what you already have. But it would be easy enough to disconnect either.

My system has a Bridge and I did find that it was sensitive to being near the router. I moved my router into the cupboard under the stairs and took the Bridge with it. Previously the Bridge had been sitting on top of the router (or rather a shelf above it) and I'd had no problems. In the new place the Sonos system had no end of problems. With support's help we diagnosed interference so now the Bridge is as far as the supplied LAN cable will allow and I have no issues.

I'm not a particular network expert though there are on this board some very knowledgeable on such matters. I'm surprised you say the Boost just provided a network that nothing connected to. What I was thinking was a Boost or Bridge (NOT wired to the router). But I assume your upstairs speaker(s) are connecting to one of the downstairs units if the energy path is more optimal.

Of course it's always worth considering interference in case either you or your neighbours have introduced something that might be upsetting the wireless environment - CCTV cameras, baby monitors, DECT phones.

Do you have your Wi-Fi credentials entered to Sonos. May be worth removing them and force sole use of SonosNet.
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The BOOST has been used as stand alone, not connected to the router. I'd expected it to act like a relay, but it didn't. It didn't do anything.
I'd also used it as a direct connection to the router but the Connect seems to work better.

Just had a thought. Could connect a downstairs speaker to the router to create Sonos Net, in place of connecting it through the Connect. Then reintroduce the BOOST in a more central place to create the relay.

I think neighbour interference is an issue. I think my biggest problem is our flat/apartment is concrete built. I am sure that sometimes I get a better router signal from the downstairs flat than I do between the living room and office.
Userlevel 7
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Although not recommended or supported by Sonos, I use a powerline adaptor to provide connectivity to the PLAY:5 pair in my kitchen, which has challenges with wireless connectivity to the rest of the house. It works without any issues. (The system is on SonosNet; one PLAY:5 is wired to the powerline adaptor, the other is wireless, receiving its feed from the wired speaker.)

You may want to give this a try between your upper and lower areas.
Whilst not supported powerline adapters may help you if the wifi connection between the Sonos units upstairs and downstairs is weak.

I live in a large rambling Victorian house with thick walls and every room has an even thicker fireplace. The only way I can get Sonos to be 100% reliable is to use a powerline adapter to get to the furthest bedroom.

Using a wifi scanner I see 32 different wifi networks from neighbours so know its very crowded here, just a case of choosing two channels that are least congested, one for Sonos and one for normal network.

Try the lowest Channel for Sonos, the lower the frequency, the further the RF signal can travel. Whilst this is miniscule at these frequencies it may help.

Keeping the router / boost / sonos soeakers apart a good few feet from each other will help considerably. Too close and the signal can in effect make the reciever of the equipment close hard of hearing:)

Edit PWT beat me to the powerline!
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Thanks for the suggestions, guys.

Have used devolo power lines to extend my WiFi before I moved to BT but had little success. I guess this is a slightly different solution though. One plug to the router, the other plugging into a speaker.

So upstairs I have the Connect Amp and two pairs of stereo Play 1s. If the power line was connected to the Connect Amp) which sits centrally) the improved signal should provide a boost to the other speakers?

But (and I might be wrong) wouldn't plugging my unused Boost into the Amp achieve the same thing?
Not the same as a boost, the powerline device transmitts your network over the mains and give you an Ethernet port as if its connected to the router abiet slower due to powerline technology.

Not powerline wifi extender, but powerline network extender if that makes sense. These work for me :)

http://www.argos.co.uk/product/5742734
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Okay, think I understand. Now just to decide what to buy!
Argos is easy and cheap, if you get home delivery you can send back easily.
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Which brand have you used?

Edited: sorry, just. Noted the link.
The TP link ones as in my post a few back.
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Yeah, just noticed it. Thanks 😃
Userlevel 7
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So upstairs I have the Connect Amp and two pairs of stereo Play 1s. If the power line was connected to the Connect Amp) which sits centrally) the improved signal should provide a boost to the other speakers?
Yes. Or consider connecting the Boost to the upstairs powerline adaptor: in principle, the Boost's wireless hardware should be superior to that in the Connect:Amp. With the powerline adaptor, you should have some options as to where to position the Boost for best effect.
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I think I am being a bit of a numoty now- is there any basic difference between the powerline adapter such as the TP link powerline and the Devolo dlan 500 wifi/duo.

I've had the Devolo for ages but it has been of no use whatsoever. I've never been able to get it to work.
you don't need the wifi versions, just basic ethernet.
Userlevel 7
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I've had the Devolo for ages but it has been of no use whatsoever. I've never been able to get it to work.
The Devolo setup is basically the same as the TP Link kit, with the addiion of a WiFi base station at one end. Both ends of the Devolo have an Ethernet port, which is what you'll need.

Can you elaborate a little on the problems you've encountered getting this to work? If they relate to the basic quality of the electrical wiring, then the same issues will probably apply to all powerline kit. If it's some other configuration problem, then that should be fixable.
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Ok. But what I want to avoid is unnecessary expense.

My question is really would they do the same job- the wifi version appears to imply that it will boost the WiFi and the internal network, so should do the job. But yet no matter what I do it won't work.

Really appreciate your help.
Userlevel 7
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My question is really would they do the same job- the wifi version appears to imply that it will boost the WiFi and the internal network, so should do the job. But yet no matter what I do it won't work.
As I allude above, the Devolo equipment should do what you need: plug each one into a power socket near where you need them, pair them according to the instructions, connect the router via Ethernet cable to one adaptor, the Connect:Amp (or Boost) to the other via Ethernet cable.
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Hi pwt,

I think my issue is potentially wiring, location of sockets, etc. Due to the poor location of mains sockets (generally in the centre of walls, rather than by doors) but with the phone socket by the door most of my electrical connections are through extension sockets. I've read that powerline adapters would prefer to be plugged in directly to the main socket.
I've got a similar problem upstairs- Connect Amp plugged into an extension, as are the office Play 1s. I can plug the bedroom Play 1s into the mains but the socket location places them furthest from the router.
Userlevel 7
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I think my issue is potentially wiring, location of sockets, etc. Due to the poor location of mains sockets (generally in the centre of walls, rather than by doors) but with the phone socket by the door most of my electrical connections are through extension sockets. I've read that powerline adapters would prefer to be plugged in directly to the main socket.
I've got a similar problem upstairs- Connect Amp plugged into an extension, as are the office Play 1s. I can plug the bedroom Play 1s into the mains but the socket location places them furthest from the router.

First, I'd verify whether the adaptors work with power extension sockets. (One of mine is set up that way.) If they don't, I'd then verify whether they work when connected to the most convenient ring main sockets. If that works, you may have the option of longer Ethernet cables to reach the router and Connect:Amp.
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pwt and Belly M, thanks for all your help today.

A few things to work through.

Have tried the Devolo again and it's still not working as expected. It might be too complicated- perhaps the TP link might be a better option.
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UPDATE

Purchased the TP Link Powerline.

For the router, it wouldn't work on a power strip, so have had to run an Ethernet cable from the router to the kitchen. That was after moving a lot of the furniture around to try it in another plug- but it only received a weak signal, so had to put it all back again!

The only speaker I can connect to the other plug of the TP link is in the bedroom- hoping that as this was one of the culprits with a poor signal that this will help boost the other speakers upstairs.

Going to give it a couple of days to see if this arrangement works.
Keep us posted, in the meantime does your matrix look any better?