Question

Issues with Sonos deployment in restaurant (large system)


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Hi folks,

Here is my setup and problem.

The restaurant is in a mall, and yes it does have a lot of wireless devices running. I ran a Cisco clean air via the Meraki AP and did a site survey with some LAN tools. Channel 6 is overloaded, 1 and 11 have about 12-20% utilization depending where I'm at in the building. The Meraki is on channel 11 while SonosNET is using channel 1.

When running streaming music via the SonosApp (Pandora for example), the system works WELL... without any drops, cutouts or delays. There are some business features that would be great to have, but for now the owner is happy. (Auto Schedule, Auto Group, Volume Presets within the App).

The problem is massive cutouts once we select our LINE IN Source from the Connect Amp, which is fed from a Pandora Business/DMX Box.

Here is an inventory with exactly what i have.

Everything is configured in a single "Party zone"

Bar : (2 are hardwired for Sonos Net system) - One bar speaker is the most central in the restaurant (wired) and is the "Group Controller" for the entire zone
1 x Play 5
1 x Play 3
5 x Play 1's

Bathrooms
2x Play 1(1 in each )

Main Dining Area

6 x Play 1's (3 speakers are wired for SonosNet)
3 x Play 3's
1 x Play 5

1 x Play Connect with a DMX/Pandora Business hardwired into the system (I'm having issues with this piece).


Meraki MX 64 Security Appliance
Meraki MS220-8P Switch
Cisco SG500 Layer 3


All Sonos devices are on an isolated VLAN, and not on the Meraki AP, everything is via SonosNet


What i have done:
Reset entire system and reconnected
Set inline to compressed
Changed channels
Tried "Smaller zones"
Factory reset Connect and rejoined the system.

Its the same ongoing issue. Audio will work for 3-4 minutes then randomly cut out, speakers drop, or the entire system stops streaming audio. As soon as i switch back to the Sonos/Pandora account, everything streams without issues.

Hoping to get some help on this! !!!

14 replies

Userlevel 7
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That's quite a Sonos system!

Probably the best thing to do would be to submit a diagnostic from the system, after experiencing the Line In issue (maybe even after a couple of times, so there's a little history to be looked at). Post the confirmation number of the diagnostic report so a Sonos employee can retrieve it, and they can go from there.

Does it happen if you only stream to one speaker? I know you mentioned smaller groups, but didn't say anything about just streaming the input to a single speaker. Try one wired speaker first, then one wireless speaker.

When you create the group, are you selecting a wired speaker as the one that all other speakers are joining? If not, try that. The wired speaker will inherently be more reliable than a wireless one, and that speaker will be the one responsible for receiving the audio data and passing it to the other speakers in the system.
Userlevel 7
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MikeV's advice is good regarding submit a diagnostic.

Some routers will have problems with multiple Sonos units hard wired (STP must be enabled properly). Have you tried with one of the 2 wired Sonos units unhooked. I would try unplugging the bar one first.

Unsupported but worth a try would maybe also be turn wifi off on the Connect with it and bar hardwired like you have it.
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Thanks all

Mike V:

The "Controller" speaker is a Play 1 and wired (this was per support saying the Play 1 had the best wireless module of all the units). Prior i had the "Connect" as the route but told by Support that was not best practice.

I cant recall seeing if one speaker has cut out issues or not. Honestly to me it dosnt matter, I need all the units to function properly with the Line In source.

Chris:

STP is configured properly, which is why all speakers are working properly. Definition correction, STP is ethernet/layer2... not routing which is level 3 🙂

The Meraki is setup as the Root STP, the SG500 is secondary bridge.

I will work on getting another diagnostics #, but requires being there during off hours which is the challenge right now 😞
Userlevel 7
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I still think my suggestions may help. But diagnostic is good way to start.
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Chris, the connect IS Wired to the unit.... not sure if its connected via SonosNet or not. With support we had to factory reset a few units, as of right now NOTHING has the wireless network configuration saved. Its wired directly to the same switch, isolated VLAN and bridged via SonosNET
Userlevel 7
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Wired to your network it should still be connecting wireless (sonosnet) too. Some people have experienced problems having more than one unit wired and wireless (sonosnet). Therefore my recommendation to turn off the wireless on the Connect or unhook one of the 2 wired units to see if it resolves the issue.
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Chris, the wired configuration was recommended by sonos support when i first setup the system. If there are issues with a mixed wired/wireless, that is a software/product defect with the configuration.

Support, here is the diagnostic with music working via Sonos App over Pandora

4905205
Userlevel 2
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and the system is acting like the good child it should be, dmx without any cutouts...... but its also midnight and empty,

diagnostic streaming from the line player.

4905234
People, a well known absorbent of microwave radiation. Do you also have a public WiFi network for customers to access?

Is there any way you could wire all the players? That should avoid any wireless issues completely.
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The LHC,

I would hope the people are not absorbing all of the wifi signal 🙂 Speakers are 10 feet above everyones heads, hopefully it helps since they have a clear line of sight.

We wired 2 more speakers into the system. This give us 2 wired speakers in each of the main areas (dining room and the bar). Music has been stable and i hope it stays as such.

We do have the option of wiring (once i buy another network switch), its something i would like to avoid as the major cutout issue is around Line-In. Yes it could be signal issue, but running ping tests against different speakers has not shown any major latency or packet loss.

Streaming from the pandora app from the Sonos Controller does not cut out, its just line in via the Sonos Connect.

I'm still thinking its a software defect or something with the overall configuration. If we have to end up pulling additional cables, another switch ect. Hoping to get this working with the network and wireless units before we drop another 1k into a network switch and additional cabling.
The line-in is the most demanding of the network, it's a full fat, uncompressed signal, similar to playing wav files, rather than flac for example, it requires more bandwidth, so any weakness in the wireless network will be found out.

Don't dismiss the idea of human interference, water is the best absorber of microwave radiation and as a wise, err, crystal, once said, humans are ugly bags of mostly water. There's been many a tale in these parts or systems that work perfectly in grouped mode, only to fall apart when the house is full of people for a party, just when you don't need it.
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Latest Diagnostics with the new speakers installed and wired in.

When changing some alarms and running the diags package the system had major cutouts while playing from line source.

We now have 7 sonos devices wired, 2 play 3's, 4 play 2's and the Connect.

Hopefully this can help start to isolate the issues...

4905636
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The LHC wrote:

The line-in is the most demanding of the network, it's a full fat, uncompressed signal, similar to playing wav files, rather than flac for example, it requires more bandwidth, so any weakness in the wireless network will be found out.

Don't dismiss the idea of human interference, water is the best absorber of microwave radiation and as a wise, err, crystal, once said, humans are ugly bags of mostly water. There's been many a tale in these parts or systems that work perfectly in grouped mode, only to fall apart when the house is full of people for a party, just when you don't need it.



LHC, wireless loss would show its self when running continuous pings correct?. With TCP and a wireless "drop", there would be a packet retransmit, with UDP (and my guess Sonos uses UDP between speakers), a loss of one or two packets should not cause a 5-10 second audio blackout. It should be minimal as the rest of the stream is still coming. The lack of public facing troubleshooting tools is insanely vexing when trying troubleshoot (Argh!!!!)

The Connect In-Line feed is set to compressed audio. When looking at the "Streaming Port" on the Meraki switch, im showing total traffic right now at 401kbps via multicast my WAN link is VERY light right now, about 100k which is really the inbound Pandora stream to the DMX box (thats wired to the Sonos).....
Userlevel 6
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Hi jbagatti,

I have reviewed your diagnostic. We found multiple network and sync errors. The best would be to have a Sonos agent check your local network and Sonos setup.
The agent will be able to remotely check this with you. I have sent a private message with your ticket number and our contact information.

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