Roam Control Buttons Stop Working


I’ve had the Roam for a week now and this has happened three time - the four top controls (play/pause, volume up & down, mic on/off) all don’t do anything after the device comes out of standby. No action, no LED changes, no audio cues indicating recognition of the press.

  • All devices and controllers are up to date.
  • Play/pause, volume, mic on/off all respond via the app.
  • I’ve repeatedly checked the settings to verify that the control setting (System → device → Touch Controls) is enabled.
  • When in the failed state, toggling the Touch Controls or Status Light settings does nothing.
    • When the unit is working properly, those settings take effect immediately.
  • The device has been at 50%+ battery charge.
  • A full reset (which requires using the play/pause button) after the first occurrence did not fix the problem - it cleared on its own overnight while connected to a USB charger.
    • I left it on the wireless charger overnight during the second occurrence, it was still unresponsive the next day.
  • Connecting via BlueTooth does clear the problem.

So - known issue (haven’t seen it mentioned elsewhere yet)? Software bug that can/will be fixed? Defective unit that can be returned for a replacement?


12 replies

Same problem I am having after one week of usage. It was working fine until none of the control or button works. Sonos Roam just went dead, can’t be switched on. Charging still works because I could feel the warmth at the back of Roam. But no light, no nothing.

I have contacted local support and hope to get a 1 to 1 exchange. I believe I have got a defective unit. Looks like it is a common problem too (I read online from one of the reputed sources).

Update: Took the Roam off the charger this AM, front status LED was on, unit did not respond to top control buttons. Put it in standby via the power button (short press, LEDs turned off) for a few seconds, woke it back up same way (power button, short press), top controls worked.

Update #2: Listened to the Roam for an hour or so this AM, stopped it and left it to idle time-out on its own, which it did, going to sleep after a half hour. Woke it up, same as before - top controls were unresponsive. Brought up this post to check for comments, then started a support chat session, periodically pressing play. After an additional two minutes or so while trying to get past the ‘digitial assistant’ to a human, the buttons started responding again.

Update #3: After continuing with troubleshooting this throughout yesterday and this morning, looks like it simply takes 1-3 minutes for the top buttons on my unit to start working after the unit is taken out of standby via the power button. Nothing else matters - app open/closed, connecting via BT, whatever, still takes some random amount of time for the top controls to start working.

  • If I manually sleep the unit and wake it up after a few minutes, it’s fine.
    • If it’s left for longer periods - 10-15 minutes+ - the problem occurs on the next wakeup.
  • If it enters standby after the half-hour idle timeout, the problem occurs on the next wakeup.
  • In all cases, the device appears online in the app within 2-3 seconds after coming out of standby, and immediately responds to play/pause/volume commands from the app - but the top buttons still don’t work until some random interval has elapsed.
  • The failure is distinct from a transient service issue or no-selection state.
    • Failure I’m seeing - pressing a button does nothing; status LED stays solid, no confirmation beep, no activity.
    • Service glitch - pressing play generates a beep and the status LED goes into a slow flash while the system attempts to contact the service. The app may show a service-error bubble message.
    • No-selection IIRC does a beep and a short (double?) slow flash.

Contacting Support once the morning rush has a chance to clear.

Same here.  Roam keeps freezing. If I hold down the off button for 30seconds sometimes it comes back to life

Update #4: Had a good chat with a support representative online; did the usual triage checks & diagnostics submit, and was told this:

Based on the diagnostics the Roam is getting a weak signal from a wap that is too far away from it's current location. That is the cause of the delay on providing command on the button. Unlike the Move it will automatically connect to a nearest available WAP, Roam will stay connected where the device was last connected.

Basically, it was connected to the WAP at the front of the house, and I was in the basement to the rear; WiFi app on my phone shows good signals on 2.4G, weak on 5G, so ok, fair enough, although I’d experienced the problem at different locations around the house. Got it to use the basement WAP by power cycling it, came up, and the buttons behaved. Was also advised that the RF environment per the diagnostic was noisy and my system would likely benefit from a complete reboot. Said I’d repeat the testing to confirm the fix and ended the chat there.

The next day I had some downtime so I unplugged all of my Sonos devices and made some changes to my Wifi config (one of the WAPs was on the same channel as my system’s SonosNet). Based on a before & after check of the network matrix, the changes helped - the before was mostly orange and red, while the after was a mix of yellow and green in the left hand column. I then repeated the testing I’d been doing, making sure the Roam was associated with the closest WAP (from my desk, direct line of sight to a ceiling mount 10’ away). Again, this involved letting the device enter standby, then waking it after some period of time. The Roam was somewhat more reliable; but it still - 40-50% of the time - randomly took 1-3 minutes before it responds to the top buttons, despite being immediately visible in the app and immediately responsive to the same play/pause/volume inputs from the app.

Currently, the jury is still out on whether to exchange/return the device - depends on my non-techie wife, who just wants things to work without fiddling.

Sonos folks:

  • The handling of the buttons as described above makes no sense - while I appreciate the complexities of synchronized behaviour over WiFi, if the device can respond to remote inputs, it should be able to accept the local equivalents.
  • The Roam not supporting WiFi roaming is pretty ironic. I can understand locking it to an AP while actively streaming, but it would be useful to have it roam properly like other modern devices while idle. E.g. the normal use case for us is leaving the device in the front of the house close to one WAP and easy to grab on the way out, but we may take it out back to use, in an area covered by a different WAP. The device should not need a hard power cycle to accommodate that.
  • A reboot device/all command in the app would be really useful. I know that some problems need a hard reset, but having to crawl around the house replugging things (11 devices in my case, and I’m sure there are much larger installations out there) is a pain. It would be nice to be able to at least try a soft reset before having to pull plugs.

Cheers...

Going to keep the unit; we’ve been leaving it on the charger, so it doesn’t go to sleep, dodges the worst of the problem. Not particularly thrilled with it, hope the points I raised above get some traction.

So much for that idea; left the unit idle on the charger for a day (bad weather), the four buttons on the top of the unit stopped working completely. Reopened the ticket via online chat, another good session, the usual diagnostics and tests, including a complete reset, no change - power button works fine, play button worked for a reset, but that was it - as before, unit worked fine with the app, but no response to the four controls. Looks like an intermittent hardware issue that finally failed hard, so I asked for and received an RMA for a replacement. That’s done, dead unit already shipped back, waiting for the new unit.

 

Annnd final update: RMA’d on the Friday, received the replacement the following Monday, been using it for almost week now, zero issues - added normally, just works. Even used it across the house, weak signal, behaved like it should.

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Hi @User530366 

I’m glad to hear that a replacement has fixed the issues. Thanks for updating!

After working properly for few days, it is dead now . No white light , just orange blinking I tried everything it shows off line. I bought through Amazon Turkey. Could help me ? Any service number for Turkey

To my knowledge, there’s no “office” in Turkey to call in to, you’d end up calling somewhere else. 

In the meantime, what are you powering the device with? It sounds a lot like the brick you’re using isn’t powerful enough to properly charge the device. What wattage and amperage is it? Is it a Qi device, or a direct plug in?

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