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playback stops with unable to connect to sonos product message


I have used Sonos for years but have suddenly got this issue. I note that others have been told it is the WiFi network (classic tech company response) but my network is not a mesh and is rock solid for everything else and has not changed. Runs a single ssid via 1 routed and 4 access points all wired.

 

Only reinstalling the app sorts the issue temporarily. 

 

Apart from blaming my network is there any advice on how to fix this or is it just another example of why the s2 app is not fit for purpose?

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Best answer by Corry P 10 June 2021, 13:11

Hi @Brynbuga 

It depends on the age/model of the speakers you have. Some units will only connect to 2.4 GHz, but as they have 5GHz radios (reserved for stereo pairing and Home Theatre binding), your router is mistakenly identifying them as devices willing to connect to 5GHz and thus tries to “band steer” them to a 5GHz connection which they refuse, and they then reapply for a connection. What all this boils down to is that the speaker, when initially connecting or refreshing an existing connection, can take a bit longer than it should to get connected.

You can see which speakers are willing to connect to 5GHz (when not bonded to another speaker in some way) on our Sonos system requirements help page, under “Supported Wi-Fi modes and security standards”.

One option is to split the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands on your router so they don’t have identical SSIDs (broadcasted network name). I recommend just adding -5 to the end of the SSID for 5GHz. You will then need to teach your smartphones and other devices the new details for them to connect to 5GHz, but they will still connect to 2.4GHz automatically. If Sonos doesn’t know these credentials, then it will only ever connect to 2.4GHz.

Another option is to wire one Sonos product to ethernet permanently. This will create a mesh WiFi just for Sonos that all other Sonos devices will prefer over any WiFi from your router, and each connected unit will expand the range of the mesh they create. Note that Sonos Roam and Sonos Move will not utilise SonosNet, but they will both connect to 2.4 or 5GHz anyway. If your router is in a location where you do not want a speaker, then there is the Sonos Boost which will do the same job and is cheaper than a speaker. I would recommend you split the bands on your router rather than spending more money, however. 

Any wired unit (or unwired, for that matter) should be kept 1m away from the router and other sources of interference to maximise Sonos reliability and performance.

Incidentally, many routers come preconfigured to have their 2.4 and 5 GHz bands separated in this way, and it seems to mostly be ISP-supplied routers that don’t, for whatever reason (at least, in my own experience). I wouldn’t describe it as suboptimal, just alternatively configured. Nor would I describe our software as buggy - Sonos operated in exactly this fashion long before many routers provided 5GHz as an option, and before any of them were powerful enough to transmit across a home, as we need them to do (hence the Bridge or another wired unit being a necessity in the old days). For compatibility reasons, we were unable to change most of this functionality until the advent of S2, but it depends on hardware limitations of older units too. Now, things are changing, but mostly with the newer models.

I hope this helps you understand how things currently stand.

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Userlevel 7

What router are you using?

Net gear x4s d7800, not changed recently 

Userlevel 7

Does rebooting your router help? Are you able to directly connect one Sonos speaker to the main router with an ethernet cable?

Rebooting doesn't help. I thought wiring one of the sonos devices created a sonos network? Given that the house has really difficult WiFi coverage (made of high ferrite bricks) this is unlikely to work unless it runs over the main network. 

Userlevel 6
Badge +17

Hi @Brynbuga 

Welcome to the Sonos Community!

What brand are your wired APs?

Also netgear. 

 

I saw a post saying that this can relate to the network trying to communicate with the sonos kit via 5ghz and recommending different ssids  for 2.4 and 5. I understand 5ghz is only used by sonos kit when using its own network. 

Turning the 5ghz radio off on the ap closest to the worst affected sonos kit (amp) seems to have resolved this, albeit only 2 days.

If this is the issue itsuggests that I (we sonos users) will have to suboptimally configure my network because there is a bug in the sonos firmware. 

 

Not good  from the market leader. 

Userlevel 6
Badge +17

Hi @Brynbuga 

It depends on the age/model of the speakers you have. Some units will only connect to 2.4 GHz, but as they have 5GHz radios (reserved for stereo pairing and Home Theatre binding), your router is mistakenly identifying them as devices willing to connect to 5GHz and thus tries to “band steer” them to a 5GHz connection which they refuse, and they then reapply for a connection. What all this boils down to is that the speaker, when initially connecting or refreshing an existing connection, can take a bit longer than it should to get connected.

You can see which speakers are willing to connect to 5GHz (when not bonded to another speaker in some way) on our Sonos system requirements help page, under “Supported Wi-Fi modes and security standards”.

One option is to split the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands on your router so they don’t have identical SSIDs (broadcasted network name). I recommend just adding -5 to the end of the SSID for 5GHz. You will then need to teach your smartphones and other devices the new details for them to connect to 5GHz, but they will still connect to 2.4GHz automatically. If Sonos doesn’t know these credentials, then it will only ever connect to 2.4GHz.

Another option is to wire one Sonos product to ethernet permanently. This will create a mesh WiFi just for Sonos that all other Sonos devices will prefer over any WiFi from your router, and each connected unit will expand the range of the mesh they create. Note that Sonos Roam and Sonos Move will not utilise SonosNet, but they will both connect to 2.4 or 5GHz anyway. If your router is in a location where you do not want a speaker, then there is the Sonos Boost which will do the same job and is cheaper than a speaker. I would recommend you split the bands on your router rather than spending more money, however. 

Any wired unit (or unwired, for that matter) should be kept 1m away from the router and other sources of interference to maximise Sonos reliability and performance.

Incidentally, many routers come preconfigured to have their 2.4 and 5 GHz bands separated in this way, and it seems to mostly be ISP-supplied routers that don’t, for whatever reason (at least, in my own experience). I wouldn’t describe it as suboptimal, just alternatively configured. Nor would I describe our software as buggy - Sonos operated in exactly this fashion long before many routers provided 5GHz as an option, and before any of them were powerful enough to transmit across a home, as we need them to do (hence the Bridge or another wired unit being a necessity in the old days). For compatibility reasons, we were unable to change most of this functionality until the advent of S2, but it depends on hardware limitations of older units too. Now, things are changing, but mostly with the newer models.

I hope this helps you understand how things currently stand.

Hi Corry,

Thanks for confirming this; I beg to differ on the configuration as I think it is suboptimal to have separate SSIDs for the bands and the fact that most ISPs preconfigure to a single SSID supports this view, even if it is marginal.

I have 3 amps a beam and 2 ports on the system; am I interpreting the system requirement page correctly that it is only the ports which will have this issue?. Hardwiring and moving to Sonos mesh does not work for me as the transmitters are not strong enough for my house.

As you confirm that this is a real issue I would suggest that you put this into the instructions that come with the kit or at least in the FAQs; you will be aware that there is a lot of negativity around the new S2 app, this is undoubtedly part of the problem so if you gave the advice about using separate SSIDs it may help!

Userlevel 6
Badge +17

Hi @Brynbuga 

Hi Corry,

Thanks for confirming this; I beg to differ on the configuration as I think it is suboptimal to have separate SSIDs for the bands and the fact that most ISPs preconfigure to a single SSID supports this view, even if it is marginal.

Perhaps. As things are, you’ll need to separate the bands for Sonos to work on WiFi reliably. Routers are configurable in the first place because different users have different needs, and those needs are often dictated by the devices being connected, as well as by other factors.

I have 3 amps a beam and 2 ports on the system; am I interpreting the system requirement page correctly that it is only the ports which will have this issue?. Hardwiring and moving to Sonos mesh does not work for me as the transmitters are not strong enough for my house.

The opposite - the Amps and Beam reserve their 5GHz radios for surrounds and Sub connections and will not connect to 5GHz WiFi. The Ports will.

It’s a difficult call to make before the fact, due to the brick walls. Try it and see - if it works, it’s worth the effort of trying. Due to the mesh nature of how SonosNet works, you may be surprised. It really depends on how close the next speaker is, and the next, and so on. I suppose high ferrite bricks will be worse for WiFi than normal bricks, so you are likely correct.

As you confirm that this is a real issue I would suggest that you put this into the instructions that come with the kit or at least in the FAQs; you will be aware that there is a lot of negativity around the new S2 app, this is undoubtedly part of the problem so if you gave the advice about using separate SSIDs it may help!

I agree, in part. So does Sonos at large. There are help articles on this forum that mention splitting bands, and our web team are looking into incorporating some of our articles into the main support pages.

However, as with many manufacturers these days (and quite rightly), we’re looking to reduce the amount of wasted materials. Many of our devices are purchased by existing Sonos customers who wouldn’t read any included documentation anyway, so we feel the website is the best place for such things.

Corry

 

Fair points,  the amp and the beam being the issue makes sense from the location of the devices. 

 

Thanks will separate the bands and see how it goes,.

 

Thanks. 

Userlevel 6
Badge +17

You’re very welcome, @Brynbuga! Good luck!

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