Question

Grouping of Speakers to Overcome Drop Outs


Userlevel 3
Badge +2
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

This topic has been closed for further comments. You can use the search bar to find a similar topic, or create a new one by clicking Create Topic at the top of the page.

42 replies

Userlevel 3
Badge +2
A final word on this and many thanks to Belly M and pwt for all your kind suggestions.

Two days without any dropouts and that is from radio and upstairs record player and downstairs CD and record player. Haven't streamed anything yet but not expecting anything untoward.

Case closed. ?
Userlevel 3
Badge +2
Yeah, I will do- even if just to make me think I didn't waste the money buying it a couple of years back, LOL.

Going to give it a go in the Office in a bit.
Badge +18
Glad you have got somewhere... but do keep trying the Boost, just in odd areas and not attached by Ethernet to see if it helps.
Userlevel 3
Badge +2
Ok, thought it worth a bit of an update:

Only TP Link Day 1, but no drop outs today. Matrix hasn't fluctuated at all, although still got lots of RED around upstairs speakers.

Going to give it a week before fixing the Ethernet cable to the Router plug in place.

Thanks for your help, guys.
Badge +1
To be clear, I have Sonos Play 1's all over the house and have no issue. My issue is with the 5.1 setup, where my rears and sub drop out. This was not a problem at all until an app update.

Sorry, bozer, but I've had this problem since well before the update to the app. This is about basic connectivity. I've had Sonos for 2 and a half years now and I simply can't get constant connectivity to the upstairs part of my flat.

I've read the thread about the app. Yes, it certainly takes a lot of getting use to, but that is not the problem that I am having.

Thanks for the suggestion, anyway.
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
Sonos needs to admit that there is a strong possibility they actually introduced this problem with an app update.
I strongly doubt that. This forum represents a minuscule proportion of the Sonos user base, and it's natural that problems are prominent because that's what the forum is for.

The new one is not as good as the old one, I don't think anyone would even debate that.
Well, I would.
Userlevel 3
Badge +2
Sorry, bozer, but I've had this problem since well before the update to the app. This is about basic connectivity. I've had Sonos for 2 and a half years now and I simply can't get constant connectivity to the upstairs part of my flat.

I've read the thread about the app. Yes, it certainly takes a lot of getting use to, but that is not the problem that I am having.

Thanks for the suggestion, anyway.
Badge +1
Sonos needs to admit that there is a strong possibility they actually introduced this problem with an app update. I had no problems at all until an app update and there have been many reports of the same from others. Look at the massive thead about cutting out. The only solution I've heard is change channels, reset all your stuff, etc. I've done it all, that's not what the fix is. They need to roll back the app to the one that worked. The new one is not as good as the old one, I don't think anyone would even debate that.
Badge +18
There “must” be something that's causing the interference, you could even try using the the channels inbetween in the hope they have less interference, keeping your home wifi a good dustance away.
Userlevel 3
Badge +2
Thanks, Belly M. I'm still persevering.

I've been trying to get rid of the red in the matrix since I first learnt how to show it!!!! (one thing that I think could be more generally publicised by Sonos for part of the self help process).

I've used every possible channel on Sonos and the Router.

Current computer keyboard and mouse is not wirless. I've moved the wirless telphones as far away as I physically can. I know the microwave can interfere but it's not normally being used (and is switched off) when Sonos is running.

I've relocated the speakers in the bedroom and in the office- they've physically gone from one side of the room to the other. They've been at eye level, they've been at knee level.

I'm fairly limited on the places that the BOOST can go- I want so much to beleive it's going to do something, but it only seems to complicate the matter. Support have told me that it wasn't contributing anything!
Badge +18
You should also try and get rid of the red in your matrix, as you know this signifies noise / interference that is local to the Sonos unit. Try again channels 1, 6 and 11 but also switch your home wifi to another channel. Make sure there are no devices close which produce RF such as baby monitors, wireless cameras, security PIR’s, home telephones or Bluetooth devices, keyboards, mice etc.
Userlevel 3
Badge +2
I'm definitely learning lots!!!!

Tried the Boost- it makes things worse! It makes the Office Right go orange, and nothing actually gets routed through it- the entire Boost column stays blank.

Will try other configurations to see if anything works better.
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
Being a bit dim- what do you mean by the homeplug?
Homeplug is just another name for a powerline adaptor.
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
As for the Matrix, the left hand column, which lists the speakers and their signal strengths, still has the usual culprits as RED but the body of the Matrix, which I think tells me how they are communicating with each other, is all GREENs and YELLOWS.
That is correct, and (assuming this matrix snapshot is representative) having greens and yellows only suggests that this configuration should work fine. (You can't do much about the reds in the LH column, which are a function of the environment in which the devices are located.)

Worth trying out the suggestion above of connecting the Boost to the upstairs Powerline adaptor, instead of a speaker.
Userlevel 3
Badge +2
Being a bit dim- what do you mean by the homeplug?
Badge +18
Try the boost on the homeplug instead of the bedroom speaker.
Userlevel 3
Badge +2
Will do.

As for the Matrix, the left hand column, which lists the speakers and their signal strengths, still has the usual culprits as RED but the body of the Matrix, which I think tells me how they are communicating with each other, is all GREENs and YELLOWS.

I have attached a picture of it- hope it uploads ok.
Badge +18
Keep us posted, in the meantime does your matrix look any better?
Userlevel 3
Badge +2
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.
Userlevel 3
Badge +2
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.
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
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.
Userlevel 3
Badge +2
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
Badge +20
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.
Userlevel 3
Badge +2
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
Badge +20
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.