Music skipping when playing from iPhone

  • 11 August 2018
  • 35 replies

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Hi, I know there are loads of threads about this, but wasn't sure whether to piggy back one of them or start a new thread. Sorry if this is bad etiquette.

Brief summary:
Since I bought some new Sonos speakers recently I am suffering with music skipping whilst playing from iPhone. This never happened previously and is now constant.

Old setup:
I used to have a Connect linked to my router, with two Play 5s in other rooms and a Play 1 in another room. This worked fine. I never had an issue. Not a single skip. I used the same iPhone X I'm using now and the same router.

New setup:
I have got rid of the Connect and now have a Playbar and Sub. The router connects directly to the Sub. Everything else remains the same. The Playbar is at least 4 feet from the router, the sub is about 8 feet away from the router.

I'm fed up enough of spending thousands on equipment then losing the lock screen controls, but the skipping is just horrendous and quite frankly embarrassing. I don't have any issues when using Spotify.

I have read that Sonos position is that mobile phones don't have the strength to stream the music, but I'm not having this because it worked perfectly on my old setup for years and for over 10 months with the very same phone and router. Also this is a terrible angle for Sonos to take given it is the whole model upon which the system is based.

Other info:
Router channel - 2.4ghz = channel 1 and 5ghz = channel 48
Sonos channel = 11

Diagnostics reference number is 61441487

Any help, ideas or guidance greatly appreciated.

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35 replies

I bought my NAS drive for $120. I consider that to be fairly cheap.

In my opinion, Sonos is stuck waiting for a fix from Apple, who wouldn't put the same amount of urgency on a fix as Sonos does, since Sonos is a much smaller percentage of their users.
Airgetlam - it’s irrelevant if you feel a NAS drive is cheap or not. I don’t see any stores selling Sonos with signs saying you must purchase a NAS drive for this product to work correctly.

I don’t believe it’s an apple issue - I think it’s just convenient for Sonos - they have tried hard to rectify my problem - and the last resort was it’s an apple issue. If it’s a known apple issue then it’s an issue period. But that’s not the case is it. There are no press releases from Sonos acknowledging the issue (not that I’ve seen), yet the community is littered with the same issue.

They can’t fix my problem, so told me to buy a NAS Drive, what about customers buying Sonos for the first time - it’s simply not on not telling them but be aware if you have an iPhone.

My Sonos system is way more expensive than my iPhone and if some poor sap is about to buy into this expensive tech then they need to know it’s flawed with an iPhone - if I knew I would have avoided, or considered changing my phone.
Still hasn't been resolved. Great product - the sound is first class - but can't play music properly. Sold my sonos system last week as a result and fortunately saved a family member who was about to buy one
I have been a hardcore user of itunes since its release. I have spent probably 12 to 15k dollars on downloads over the years just on my music uploads. I also have another maybe 2000 cds I bought before music became digital. I've read thru the many responses and it's been an education. About four years ago I bought a new home and one of the first things I did was spend money outfitting the new house with a home entertainment system to suit my voracious appetite for music. Sonos was a welcome addition. Until recently...

I don't know when exactly this began, but I would guess it was sometime within the last four months that I began experiencing the annoying skipping that has been debated ad-nauseum on this site. I immediately felt that Apple may be behind this. My thoughts had to do with the fact that Apple has seemed to ignore people like me (who have built extensive libraries on their computers in favor of the new streaming model that has taken over. This has made me increasingly pissed off at the powers that be at Apple. I have probably 1000 custom playlists that i have built for various music experiences over the years. I have spent much time and money on building these custom mixes for a variety of reasons over the years. In fact, one of the reasons I moved to CA is b/c I wanted to build a job as a music supervisor, something I am uniquely qualified to do but never had the connections in Hollywood to make a living doing what I love.

The guy who helped me build my home system runs one of the biggest Best Buys in Orange County. I met him thru his older sister, who was married to a close friend who introduced me to my wife. He helped me double my investment b/c he sold me most of the equipment in my new home at about 50% off what the general public typically pays. It was still a big investment for me. Probably at least 20k.

My original Sonos purchase was a single soundbar. When the system was being built, we added four Sonos Amps, another unit which connected directly to my receiver, and a Sonos bridge, which recently ended up being irrelevant. My system worked flawlessly for several years. Between two and four months ago, I started experiencing the skipping and stopping I've read about on this site. I immediately thought it was Apple. As they've been making it more difficult for me to work with itunes since I decided to try their streaming service. I shut it down b/c we were also paying Amazon and Sirius for the same service in our house via Alexa and in our car. I liked the service b/c I was able to play the music my wife and daughter liked to listen to, but I hated that it seemed to prevent me from playing my own carefully curated mixes. When I sampled the Apple service, one of the first things they did was to convince me to move my music to the cloud.

I have since lost the easy ability to upload mixes to my devices which can't hold my entire music collection, namely my iphone 7. For about two years before discovering that I could control my music on my iphone, I had been using a 160 gig ipod classic in a dock to play music mixes in the house. As soon as I learned I could do this from my phone, I stopped using my ipod and switched to my ipod.

When the skipping problem started happening, I joined the Geek Squad's advanced support program for about $300 as I knew this problem would not be easily resolved. I soon learned that they would charge me $50 for each and every problem I was having. I have three AV arrangements in the house. One in our bedroom which is not hooked up to the Sonos system, and two others that are. One is in our original TV room, the other is in our living room. I also have three outdoor zones. My Sonos system potentially powers the original TV room, our living room, and three outdoor zones.

Mostly, I use Sonos to play music outdoors. The indoor Sonos is mainly used for AV in the two separate rooms. Having control outdoors via iphone is easier than having to come indoors and physically change songs, mixes, etc. The skipping was something I immediately attributed to Apple in their quest to drive people towards the music streaming model, despite the significant amount of money I'd invested over the past 15 years. My sense was that it had to do with an ios update. After reading these threads, it might be a Sonos update that caused the problem. I have often thought Apple would buy Sonos. So I will probably buy a Sonos position on Monday.

I have spent money on Geek Squad now to examine the problem. They could not solve. I have a friend who is significant at NASA who also looked at the problem. I also hired a guy who said he was a beta tester for Sonos years ago. All of these guys knew what they were talking about but still could not fix the problem. So I'm maybe $400 in here. A friend of mine's brother does this business and immediately upgraded my home network. We replaced all of the Apple WiFi products which they are abandoning and installed Eero. I now have a pretty bullet proof mesh network. My house is not large. Under 3k square feet. I considered Ubiquity, too. The Eero consultation and installation was about 900 bucks.

So this problem is really beginning to piss me off. Apple or Sonos needs to solve this problem. I shouldn't have to jimmy rig my iphone so that it doesn;'t autolock to enjoy music in my home. Put your heads together and solve this problem. There's now turning back for me and I'm a huge fan of both companies, but my patience is wearing thin. I am vocal, and I know how to make noise...
So, I'm going to chime in here and simply say "ditto!" on all fronts.

- Big investment in SONOS ecosystem
- Continued investment was driven mostly by streaming personal library off of phone
- Worked fine up until the software change = SONOS not Apple
- Other brands (neighbor has a competitor's system) aren't suffering these failures
- Submitted a thorough description of system and network (which is stable and unchanged) to SONOS only to receive the standard "It could be so many things"...
- Have stopped recommending SONOS to friends and family due to this - Reality is that we carry our music on our phones

SONOS has a contradictory philosophy. It has detuned the Sonos controller application on my computer and made the iOS version much more robust, yet it is telling us all to move back to our non-portable sources to stream music from. This is not the world we live in. We all have moved our libraries and sources to our portable devices and phones due to the sheer convenience of doing so. I can be in any room or yard on our property and access the music and its manner of playing... Not anymore and the crime is that the "Killer App" for SONOS used to be convenience!

SONOS - Please listen to this community that is trying to constructively work with you to solve a real problem. I work in the aerospace industry, this unscientific approach to an acknowledged problem would get my company thrown out of the business that we are in. We paid your premium, now live up to the promise that we invested in.

Happy Thanksgiving
[...] SONOS has a contradictory philosophy. It has detuned the Sonos controller application on my computer and made the iOS version much more robust, yet it is telling us all to move back to our non-portable sources to stream music from. This is not the world we live in. We all have moved our libraries and sources to our portable devices and phones due to the sheer convenience of doing so. I can be in any room or yard on our property and access the music and its manner of playing... Not anymore and the crime is that the "Killer App" for SONOS used to be convenience!
Have we? I didn't, never will. I have my music collection uploaded to iCloud instead.

And yes, Apple is to blame here.


I'm happy to hear that your lifestyle allows you to enjoy listening to your SONOS as enabled by online storage. I wish mine did, but I am a traveling executive that wants to take full advantage of what technology has to offer. While iCloud may work for some, I don't want to pay for the storage and spend a large amount of time away from connectivity. Thus, my library exists on my phone not in the cloud.

I also enjoy critical listening (per my handle) and listen to my music on a very high end system in a dedicated environment when able. That being said, the rest of our house and family has come to depend on the convenience that most of us on this board have lamented losing in our SONOS systems.

If Apple is to blame, I'd love to hear the evidence and I will take my/our case to them.

In the interim, I appreciate your point of view and look forward to seeing more of you on the boards.

Happy Thanksgiving.
Sonos isn't going to blame their affiliates.
Any movement on this front for any of you?
Let me start with that I am so disappointed with Sonos. The problem is real, and it looks like that Sonos sits on the high horse and doesn't care. After years somebody could have solved this annoying problem. If there is a will, there is a way.
It is not Apple. For more than two years I was "fighting" with Apple. It turns out it is Sonos.
UnfortantelSonos doesn't care to lose customers. They don't see when somebody switches.
Two friends of mine switched to B&O and Bose. We, in our company, gave away more than 50 Sonos speakers - skipping of songs was painful. I spent too much money and couldn't afford to switch.

I started to listen to radio stations and neglected my iTunes library.
However, I found a solution.

I downloaded my iTunes library to an external HD on my iMac (or PC). When you open the Sonos app on your phone, you can choose what you like to listen to or from where. I used to play from my iPhone. Now I play it from "My Music Library," which is my external HD. Zero skipping, Zero problems.
Knowhow: You can tell iTunes library/music to download the catalog to a different source - like the ext. HD.

It works, but it bothers me to find out that Sonos support not even gives you this solution.