Question

Persistent playback issues

  • 4 September 2021
  • 54 replies
  • 376 views

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Hi all

 

I'm posting here as a final hope. I have a set up of:

1 x boost

1 x beam

4 x play:1

1 x play:3

2 x One SL

1 x One

1 x Sub

 

I moved into my current house in January, moving in with most of the speakers and adding the 2 One SLs.

The house isn't massive, but it is old. And has a mixture of walls between rooms that vary from a single bricks thickness to an absurdly thick 20 inches (of brick and stone. Like I said...old house!) 

 

Due to the walls the house kills WIFI. I have cable broadband with download speeds of up to 220mbs if within a few feet of the router. However if you move to the adjoining room (beyond one of the 20 inch walls) you'll be lucky to even pick up the WiFi, not least achieve any respectable download speeds. So I've installed a netgear orbi mesh, with 3 access points in the 'dead zones'. WiFi now works perfectly well, as does the 2 hue hubs I have (1 hub for each floor, every room in the house is equipped with hue).

 

I also have ring door bell and a couple of their cameras that work fine.

 

I've recently shiftes the 5ghz network to the cleanest channel (using a WiFi analytics app), and shift the 2. 4 ghz to second cleanest channel, and set the sonos mesh up to the cleanest channel.

 

I have one neighbour who lives closely. But they often my phone won't even find their WiFi due to the walls! 

 

The boost is hardwired into the main router, as is the sub. 3 subsequent speakers are hardwired to 2 separate APs.

 

But the speakers constantly cut out when playing music. Randomly on occasion, certainly when skipping a track. I've called sonos support who advised I've "done everything" and to try hard wiring more speakers (which I did, hence the number plugged in). This hasn't helped. There's no constants, some speakers are worse than others on different days. But they are all unreliable at different times. Sometimes all the speakers stop and skips to the next track. Sometimes a couple just stop playing for a few seconds.

 

I'm now left questioning if it's time I move to another make of speakers. I love sonos, and appreciate the house is a challenge for WiFi. But I am finding myself just switching off music and/or not even bothering to turn them on now which makes me sad!

 

Having checked the network matrix, it is mostly made up of green, couple of orange. No red. I spent months slowly moving speakers to new locations to eradicate red. I don't want to run cables everywhere and I've exhausted my limited knowledge of networking! I have also rebooted everything several times. Problem is its only sonos that is not working as it should. 

 

I stream Spotify mostly. If anyone could suggest anything to try I'd greatly appreciate it

 

Thanks

 

Tom


54 replies

Userlevel 7
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Hi

I can relate to your situation, been there! :nerd:

Before we start looking for solutions to your wi-fi, can you check out my post here: Tips & Tricks - Resolving random issues impacting Sonos devices.. | Sonos Community

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Hi

I can relate to your situation, been there! :nerd:

Before we start looking for solutions to your wi-fi, can you check out my post here: Tips & Tricks - Resolving random issues impacting Sonos devices.. | Sonos Community

Thank you! Unfortunately I've tried this, I haven't allocated the speakers fixed IP addresses, but will try that. However last time I spoke to sonos (45 minutes) their advice was to hardwire more speakers. So before I hard wired I essentially turned the power off the whole house and restarted everything one at a time in the order suggested. Included the hue hubs. And to no avail

Userlevel 7
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Okay, I would still recommend reserving IP addresses for the future as it’s good practice.

Have you installed a wi-fi analyser on your phone to check for interference? ( I use wifianalyser)  Check the channel graph to see any overlapping SSID’s.

I have had success with Powerline devices connected via ethernet to each Sonos player but some older houses have ‘interesting’ wiring circuits, which can cause problems!

I assume that the wired devices perform fine?

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Okay, I would still recommend reserving IP addresses for the future as it’s good practice.

Have you installed a wi-fi analyser on your phone to check for interference? ( I use wifianalyser)  Check the channel graph to see any overlapping SSID’s.

I have had success with Powerline devices connected via ethernet to each Sonos player but some older houses have ‘interesting’ wiring circuits, which can cause problems!

I assume that the wired devices perform fine?

Yes, I used a WiFi analyser on my phone to ensure the channels are clear from overlapping. The wired devices perform no differently to the wireless ones (as in they all cut out randomly, sometimes in pairs, sometimes the whole set up falls. Silent across the house). It was actually the speaker in my bedroom that is hardwired into an Orbi AP that cut out this morning! That's partly what is confusing me as I assumed the speakers nearest the boost and the speakers that are hardwired would be faultless. 

 

One of the most guilty speakers (in the dining room) is not hardwired, but is situated maybe 10 feet from the boost (which is hardwired) with absolutely nothing in between. Both the boost and the speaker are placed as to be as far from any possible interference as possible. But it still. Routinely cuts out!

 

The house has been extended a few times over the last 100 years, so the wiring is certainly a bit curfuddled (technical word) but assuredly safe! 

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As a test, can you try music to just one of your wired speakers and see if that plays okay?  If this works, then please add your other wired speakers.  If this works, add your other wireless speakers, one at a time and let us know when the issue starts.

Have you removed your wi-fi credentials from the Sonos App?

Userlevel 7
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Yes, I used a WiFi analyser on my phone to ensure the channels are clear from overlapping. The wired devices perform no differently to the wireless ones (as in they all cut out randomly, sometimes in pairs, sometimes the whole set up falls. Silent across the house). It was actually the speaker in my bedroom that is hardwired into an Orbi AP that cut out this morning! That's partly what is confusing me as I assumed the speakers nearest the boost and the speakers that are hardwired would be faultless. 

Sonos works by using the first device in the Group to co-ordinate audio across your system.  Make sure that this device is one of your wired devices to test if this makes a difference.

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Yes, I used a WiFi analyser on my phone to ensure the channels are clear from overlapping. The wired devices perform no differently to the wireless ones (as in they all cut out randomly, sometimes in pairs, sometimes the whole set up falls. Silent across the house). It was actually the speaker in my bedroom that is hardwired into an Orbi AP that cut out this morning! That's partly what is confusing me as I assumed the speakers nearest the boost and the speakers that are hardwired would be faultless. 

Sonos works by using the first device in the Group to co-ordinate audio across your system.  Make sure that this device is one of your wired devices to test if this makes a difference.

Sorry, excuse my ignorance. Do you mean that, if I were to group speakers then I ought to ensure the first speaker I start playing music on is hardwired, and then add speakers to form a group? I had the entire system grouped together to play music this morning. Sometimes I group with only a few speakers. I permanently get issues though, albeit without any apparent pattern to when the issues occur 

Userlevel 7
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Yes, I used a WiFi analyser on my phone to ensure the channels are clear from overlapping. The wired devices perform no differently to the wireless ones (as in they all cut out randomly, sometimes in pairs, sometimes the whole set up falls. Silent across the house). It was actually the speaker in my bedroom that is hardwired into an Orbi AP that cut out this morning! That's partly what is confusing me as I assumed the speakers nearest the boost and the speakers that are hardwired would be faultless. 

Sonos works by using the first device in the Group to co-ordinate audio across your system.  Make sure that this device is one of your wired devices to test if this makes a difference.

Sorry, excuse my ignorance. Do you mean that, if I were to group speakers then I ought to ensure the first speaker I start playing music on is hardwired, and then add speakers to form a group? I had the entire system grouped together to play music this morning. Sometimes I group with only a few speakers. I permanently get issues though, albeit without any apparent pattern to when the issues occur 

Yes. :) If you select a wired speaker that is not grouped and play music, what is the result? Then in the screen with the music controls click the up triangle and add other speakers in the order above.

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Yes, I used a WiFi analyser on my phone to ensure the channels are clear from overlapping. The wired devices perform no differently to the wireless ones (as in they all cut out randomly, sometimes in pairs, sometimes the whole set up falls. Silent across the house). It was actually the speaker in my bedroom that is hardwired into an Orbi AP that cut out this morning! That's partly what is confusing me as I assumed the speakers nearest the boost and the speakers that are hardwired would be faultless. 

Sonos works by using the first device in the Group to co-ordinate audio across your system.  Make sure that this device is one of your wired devices to test if this makes a difference.

Sorry, excuse my ignorance. Do you mean that, if I were to group speakers then I ought to ensure the first speaker I start playing music on is hardwired, and then add speakers to form a group? I had the entire system grouped together to play music this morning. Sometimes I group with only a few speakers. I permanently get issues though, albeit without any apparent pattern to when the issues occur 

Yes. :) If you select a wired speaker that is not grouped and play music, what is the result? Then in the screen with the music controls click the up triangle and add other speakers in the order above.

Sorry I missed your earlier message - I have previously removed WiFi credentials

 

So, I've just tried playing music through one of the hardwired speakers on its own. It started playing fine, but didn't like it when I skipped tracks (sometimes not responding, and sometimes not playing the next track but skipping to the next song after a few second of silence). I left it to play for a minute without me doing anything, and then I tried adding the other speakers upstairs (an additional 4, 2 of which are hardwired). 1 of the hardwired added immediately, the other 3 (including 1 which is hardwired) didn't respond as they "could not be found". I tried a second time and the all added fine. But the music still isn't seemless

 

It does appear at its most worse when I first start playing music. And if I skip tracks or change the playlist it struggles. If left playing without me touching anything it settles down, with only the occasional track skipped or speaker temporarily dropping out. 

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This sounds like it can eventually build up a buffer but when you skip or cause the buffer to be rebuilt the issue occurs.  This either means that the first device is struggling with a connection or your broadband speed is low. (which we know isn’t the case) 

Can you try turning off your Boosts and run the same test?

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This sounds like it can eventually build up a buffer but when you skip or cause the buffer to be rebuilt the issue occurs.  This either means that the first device is struggling with a connection or your broadband speed is low. (which we know isn’t the case) 

Can you try turning off your Boosts and run the same test?

I'll try the boost

 

Some disclaimer though, I have a netgear orbi mesh set up. 3 APs. The WiFi from the main router is upwards of 200mbs. The APs tend to offer up to 10mbs (never less than 8mbs) depending on where you are in the house. Feel like I should have probably mentioned that.. 

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Mesh networks can cause problems in their own right as some use different subnets and also change frequency if they detect interference.  Normally best to use SonosNet in this case, unless wired via Ethernet cables throughout.. 

 

Edit: 8mbs would be more than enough...

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Mesh networks can cause problems in their own right as some use different subnets and also change frequency if they detect interference.  Normally best to use SonosNet in this case, unless wired via Ethernet cables throughout.. 

 

Edit: 8mbs would be more than enough...

Tried turning off the boost. Can't say it's made a tremendous amount of difference. The speakers joined the group quicker, but playback still struggled when I skipped tracks. (one of the speakers appear to be the new root bridge when I check the matrix) 

 

Do you think it might be because some speakers are plugged into different access points? And maybe I'd be best of plugging as many speakers as I can into the one AP (via a switch)

 

I appreciate your help so far as well, thank you

Userlevel 7
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Mesh networks can cause problems in their own right as some use different subnets and also change frequency if they detect interference.  Normally best to use SonosNet in this case, unless wired via Ethernet cables throughout.. 

 

Edit: 8mbs would be more than enough...

Tried turning off the boost. Can't say it's made a tremendous amount of difference. The speakers joined the group quicker, but playback still struggled when I skipped tracks. (one of the speakers appear to be the new root bridge when I check the matrix) 

 

Do you think it might be because some speakers are plugged into different access points? And maybe I'd be best of plugging as many speakers as I can into the one AP (via a switch)

 

I appreciate your help so far as well, thank you

Yes, I think that would be worth a try.

​​​​​​A few comments.

Do not wire Sonos units to the Orbis, assuming the latter are wireless and don’t have a wired backhaul. It will confuse the Sonos system no end, as it will think there’s a solid wired path available when in fact it’s flaky wireless.

Do not wire the Sub, if it’s bonded to the Beam. You should not wire a home theatre satellite unless the main HT player is also wired.

Hue uses Zigbee. Zigbee and 2.4GHz WiFi (and hence SonosNet too) often don’t get along. https://www.metageek.com/training/resources/zigbee-wifi-coexistence.html

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​​​​​​A few comments.

Do not wire Sonos units to the Orbis, assuming the latter are wireless and don’t have a wired backhaul. It will confuse the Sonos system no end, as it will think there’s a solid wired path available when in fact it’s flaky wireless.

Do not wire the Sub, if it’s bonded to the Beam. You should not wire a home theatre satellite unless the main HT player is also wired.

Hue uses Zigbee. Zigbee and 2.4GHz WiFi (and hence SonosNet too) often don’t get along. https://www.metageek.com/training/resources/zigbee-wifi-coexistence.html

I say! Might suggest some of my issues. When I spoke to sonos support line they recommended wiring "as many as possible". But I could have sworn I read somewhere not too. But I appreciate the addition of the orbi system does create additional layers of issue

 

I assume I need at least one speaker hardwired (I've previously hardwired the boost to the actual main orbi router, not one of their satelittes) to achieve sonos net? Am I correct? If so, would it worthwhile hardworking more speakers into the same main router (not a satellite?) 

The mantra to “wire as many as possible” assumes a wired path into the network. A wireless mesh AP doesn’t count I’m afraid.

If the extra wired speakers are in the vicinity of the Boost they won’t make much of a difference. If they’re more spread out but still hard-wired it could help. 

You could unwire everything except the Boost, wait 5 mins to let everything settle, then screenshot a network matrix. See what story that tells.

An alternative strategy would be to go over to WiFi mode entirely, running off the Orbi mesh. The Boost would obviously be disconnected. It might be worth a try if SonosNet struggles.

Userlevel 7
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​​​​​​A few comments.

Do not wire Sonos units to the Orbis, assuming the latter are wireless and don’t have a wired backhaul. It will confuse the Sonos system no end, as it will think there’s a solid wired path available when in fact it’s flaky wireless.

Do not wire the Sub, if it’s bonded to the Beam. You should not wire a home theatre satellite unless the main HT player is also wired.

Hue uses Zigbee. Zigbee and 2.4GHz WiFi (and hence SonosNet too) often don’t get along. https://www.metageek.com/training/resources/zigbee-wifi-coexistence.html

Thanks Ratty. I must admit I was trying as many variations to see if a common cause could be identified.

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The mantra to “wire as many as possible” assumes a wired path into the network. A wireless mesh AP doesn’t count I’m afraid.

If the extra wired speakers are in the vicinity of the Boost they won’t make much of a difference. If they’re more spread out but still hard-wired it could help. 

You could unwire everything except the Boost, wait 5 mins to let everything settle, then screenshot a network matrix. See what story that tells.

An alternative strategy would be to go over to WiFi mode entirely, running off the Orbi mesh. The Boost would obviously be disconnected. It might be worth a try if SonosNet struggles.

I've now only got the boost hardwired. My understanding of the matrix is limited..does this tell you much? I find the colours to the far left varies from time to time. Typically more green than what is currently showing, but never red

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Having tried playing music now..

 

I started just playing through the dining room( 10 feet from boost, same room, nothing in between the boost and speaker). The music started immediately without issue. However when I tried to group any speaker the app said it couldn't connect. So I stopped the music, and started playing it through the living room. Took a few seconds to get going but then played without issue. I then grouped the entire house at once and it all worked fine. Until I skipped a song, then the main bedroom, dining room, utility room, and both polly's and Penelope's rooms cut out. Taking up to a minute for each one to reconnect! 

There’s something odd. Node 94:9F:3E:58:35:4B is showing in the top row as “undefined”. It has a good connection to the Boost yet no row of its own. Is this the Dining Room player? 

When you grouped everything from Living Room -- which seems like a good candidate -- what source were you playing? Was it lossless FLAC or ALAC format? It sounds like SonosNet was choking during the initial buffering phase at the start of a new track.

The matrix is only a snapshot, and doesn’t really reveal an awful lot. There could be interference and intermittent packet loss/retransmission going on which we can’t see (but is visible in the full diagnostic). What happens if you temporarily turn off the Hue kit? 

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There’s something odd. Node 94:9F:3E:58:35:4B is showing in the top row as “undefined”. It has a good connection to the Boost yet no row of its own. Is this the Dining Room player? 

Yes, this must be the dining room. Which is the play:5, and one of the worst offending speakers despite its location and proximity to the boost

When you grouped everything from Living Room -- which seems like a good candidate -- what source were you playing? Was it lossless FLAC or ALAC format? It sounds like SonosNet was choking during the initial buffering phase at the start of a new track.

Not entirely sure what you mean, but I was streaming music from Spotify via the sonos app. Does that answer your question? 

The matrix is only a snapshot, and doesn’t really reveal an awful lot. There could be interference and intermittent packet loss/transmission going on which we can’t see (but is visible in the full diagnostic). What happens if you temporarily turn off the Hue kit? 

I am sure I'll sound daft. But by turn off do you mean just the hue hubs? Or each individual bulb and light too? The hubs is a quick job. Otherwise it'll take ages. I have a lot of hue kit! 

Thanks for your help thus far

 

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Just the hue hubs...

There could be something slightly amiss with the Play:5. They’ve been known to have the occasional hardware issue with the wireless module. I would take it out of the equation by powering it off for now.

Spotify is 320kbps Ogg Vorbis, which shouldn’t be much of a problem. There is however a tendency with these online services for the Sonos Group Coordinator (the first room in the group) to buffer like crazy at the start of a new track, in some cases buffering the entire track. I’ve seen this temporary bandwidth demand sometimes affect grouped players.

On the Hue question, just try turning off the hubs to begin with. 

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There could be something slightly amiss with the Play:5. They’ve been known to have the occasional hardware issue with the wireless module. I would take it out of the equation by powering it off for now.

Spotify is 320kbps Ogg Vorbis, which shouldn’t be much of a problem. There is however a tendency with these online services for the Sonos Group Coordinator (the first room in the group) to buffer like crazy at the start of a new track, in some cases buffering the entire track. I’ve seen this temporary bandwidth demand sometimes affect grouped players.

On the Hue question, just try turning off the hubs to begin with. 

This is the third time I've committed a day to try and rectify the speakers. Curiously enough I identified  the play 5 as an issue last time - I could swear the system is worse when the play 5 is grouped in. But I didn't think too much of it as other speakers do the same and the play 5 is second gen and relatively new (bought immediately before gen 3 came out)

 

I've switch the hubs, and tried skipping tracks again. Made no difference as to when they were on. So hue seems safe to stay! The only speaker not struggling is the living room beam, which is the speaker I first played through before grouping.. 

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