Question

Music streaming drops out for a few seconds every now and then.


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Hello All,

I recently set up a Sonos system for a client.
They reported every now and then whilst streaming from "Radio by TuneIn" the music drops out for a few seconds.

Below are the current devices I set up and how I configured them:-

Setup is in "Boost" setup
Every single device on this project is hardwired with a CAT6 Ethernet cable connecting to a 24port gigabit switch.
I believe Boost setup and having everything hardwired (if possible) is the best way to configure the Sonos. (Please correct me if I am wrong).

Project details are as follows:-

1 x Boost next to modem / router with hardwired Ethernet to Gigabit switch.

Living Room (Configured as 5.1 Ch. Surround Sound):-
1 x Playbar
1 x Sub
1 x Connect Amp

Retreat Lounge (Configured as 5 Ch. Surround Sound):-
1 x Playbar
1 x Connect Amp

Kitchen:-
1 x Connect Amp

Balcony:-
1 x Connect Amp

BBQ Area:-
1 x Connect Amp

I am suspecting maybe a clash with wireless channel.
I need some more understanding on how the SonosNet Mesh network works.

Question 1:
Does it work on the same frequency as 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz (or both) as the WiFi LAN frequency?
If so I would then need to ensure the channels from the WiFi are separated apart from the SonosNet Channel.
However on larger homes we have several WiFi access points which we usually manually configure on certain channels to ensure they are kept apart.
If the above is correct then the key is to ensure either channel 1, 6 or 11 is reserved and used for the SonosNet Channel and not used for WiFi LAN.

Depending on your answer to the above question and if SonosNet is 2.4Ghz I am also inclined to enable "band steering" and "airtime fairness".

Question 2:
Would leaving WiFi access points, WiFi modem/routers etc to "Auto" on the channel selection (which is typically default) could then possibly go on the same channel as the SonosNet channel and cause the occasion dropping out of streaming on Sonos.

If so then as commented in Q1 the key is to ensure either channel 1, 6 or 11 is reserved and used for the SonosNet Channel and not used for WiFi LAN.


I would appreciate anyone's knowledge / feedback.

Kind regards,
Philip

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5 replies

The BOOST appears superfluous, as everything's wired.

Moreover SonosNet should be irrelevant, for the same reason, unless the switch is putting out RSTP path costs causing the Sonos to wirelessly bridge past it. What make/model of switch is it?

'Band steering' and 'airtime fairness' in what? These are surely irrelevant too, as the Sonos system is fully wired.

If the system has ever had WiFi credentials entered (via Advanced Settings/Wireless Setup) then remove ('reset') them.

On the question of channel allocations, although SonosNet shouldn't be doing much apart from a tiny amount of management traffic, it's never a good idea to allow WiFi to auto-select. Use only 1, 6 or 11, ideally one which Sonos isn't using. Don't use a 40MHz/wide channel for 2.4GHz.
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Hello Ratty,

Thank you for your reply. Much appreciated.

So I now understand that if I hardwire "every" Sonos device I don't need a Boost?

I understand that SonosNet is irrelevant as everything is hardwired.
The switch installed is a Netgear Prosafe JGS524E.

Band Steering and Airtime Fairness was referring to Devices connected via the WiFi network, and can now see it is also irrelevant.

No the system has never had WiFi credentials.
When I was setting it up, I would plug the Sonos device into the network via Ethernet first then add it from the app.

Note taken on not using a 40MHz channel for 2.4Ghz and also to not use auto select. Thank you.

I am suspecting that since Sonos has SonosNet even though it is not using the SonosNet, the WiFi could be on the same channel and cause the occasional dropping out when streaming music etc. What do you think?
I will check this when I am back onsite next.

Cheers,
Philip
You don't need a BOOST.

SonosNet, though active, should have very little traffic over it. As I say, it's very sparse management traffic, not audio stream data. (There is a hidden option to disable the radio on wired Sonos units, perhaps put there originally at installers' request for situations such as yours. Google for it. Sonos don't like the details posted here.)

That Netgear switch appears to be managed, but without explicit STP support. As such it ought not to interfere with Sonos' operation. To be sure, go to http://x.x.x.x:1400/support/review -- where x.x.x.x is the IP address of a player, not a BOOST -- and click on Network Matrix. If all units are communicating via wire you should see no coloured cells in the body of the matrix at all. The left column will however still show colours reflecting ambient RF conditions.

Returning to the symptoms, have you checked whether all radio stations are affected or just a few?

If you can't get to the bottom of things, get the users to submit a system diagnostic after a dropout event and note the number. Contact Sonos with the number and they can look into it.
Userlevel 7
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Your situation sounds very similar to mine except I have some wireless connected Sonos devices as well as wired ones. With the help of ratty and a few others we fiddled and tweaked a bit but when it came down to the source of the problem it really looks to be a problem with the incoming streaming audio, not an issue with the Sonos in-home network.

The submit diagnostics and call in the ID number is probably your best bet unless you want to spend a good bit of time digging out hard to find information.
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Hello Ratty & Stanley.
Thanks for your replies, much appreciated and apologies for very late reply.....Better late than never as they say.

Cheers,
Philip