Question

Sonos Connect will not do multi-room if connected wirelessly


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I recently acquired a used Sonos Connect (Gen1) with a view to integrating my hifi (in a separate room) with my Sonos network of room speakers in the rest of the house.  When connected by Ethernet cable, the Connect participates in multi-room play without a problem.  When connected wirelessly, as soon as other rooms are included in the group, the Connect ceases to play while the other rooms continue to do so.  I thought the location it was in might have only a weak wireless signal but this problem occurs (wirelessly) wherever the Connect is located.  None of the other speakers have a problem connecting wirelessly.

I also use a Sonos Bridge connected directly by Ethernet to the router to facilitate wireless connectivity.

The reason why this cannot be solved simply by using a wired connection is that the room where the Connect is to be used cannot be reached by that method.

Is this a configuration/set-up issue or is the Connect faulty?

Thanks in advance for any advice.


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33 replies

‘Study’ displays weird figures.

It’s an old node. I suspect it could be the ZP100. The ambient noise figures are a bit hit and miss these days, in terms of whether the data returned by the wireless NIC is compatible with the matrix.

 

@milesman, by the way, powerline is not supported by Sonos, it might introduce dropouts/cutouts due to voltage drop.

Grouping could falter due to latency variation, but delivery of network streams to a group coordinator should be okay so long as the EoP connection doesn’t totally drop out.

‘Study’ displays weird figures.

@milesman, by the way, powerline is not supported by Sonos, it might introduce dropouts/cutouts due to voltage drop.

Play:5/gen1 is at least SonosNet 2.0.

If you’re interested in what “root bridge”, “secondary node”, etc mean then google “spanning tree protocol”. But I warn you that the rabbit hole can go pretty deep...

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@ratty , thanks for this. Dining room is a Play: 5 (Gen 1) so your guess as to its age is correct and, yes, it is the device connected to the powerline.  This matrix does give a very detailed account of the network. I will study it carefully and try and understand the status of the network.  You’ve already given me some pointers - thanks.

Dining Room is on the powerline connection. What Sonos model is it? Not a young one, to judge from the MAC address and ambient noise metric. It’s supporting all the wireless nodes except Master Bedroom, which is the only node connected to the Bridge.

Unfortunately Master Bedroom has a poor signal strength to Dining Room, otherwise the Bridge could have been jettisoned. 

If you hadn’t already figured, the coloured cells in the matrix body are active ‘tunnels’ (in each direction A → B and B → A). The colour reflects signal strength. Amber will typically work okay if there’s low interference. And thankfully Bridge and Master Bedroom have low ambient RF noise; that’s what the colours in the left column indicate.

Note that the matrix is a snapshot. If conditions change you’d need to refresh.

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In your position I would want to know why the system was and is behaving the way it does. The most obvious user-accessible tool is the Network Matrix, an undocumented part of the diagnostics. It displays a basic snapshot of the SonosNet mesh topology.

Note the IP address (x.x.x.x) of one of your players (not the Bridge) and point a browser to http://x.x.x.x:1400/support/review substituting the numeric address. Paste a screenshot here if you’d like some input. 

Thanks for that tip.  Here it is...

Just keep the Sonos system in SonosNet mode. These mesh WiFi systems are not ideal for Sonos in WiFi mode.

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WiFi mesh and Sonos can need some special care.  Which brand of mesh? How does it Connect to router?  So router wifi is turned off? What is acting as DHCP server?


It’s a BT Whole Home disc system using two discs, one of which is connected to the router by Ethernet cable.  The router wifi is not turned off but is not used by any device.  The router acts as the DHCP server.

In your position I would want to know why the system was and is behaving the way it does. The most obvious user-accessible tool is the Network Matrix, an undocumented part of the diagnostics. It displays a basic snapshot of the SonosNet mesh topology.

Note the IP address (x.x.x.x) of one of your players (not the Bridge) and point a browser to http://x.x.x.x:1400/support/review substituting the numeric address. Paste a screenshot here if you’d like some input. 

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Hmm. So the Bridge PSU is fine.

When factory resetting the Bridge one has to be very patient. Keep pressing the button and eventually the LED will flash amber.


So I tried again, more persistently, and eventually got the orange, then the green light.  The device was re-registered as part of the process suggesting success.

I now have the Bridge working and one of the players connected by Ethernet to a powerline device, and I’m pleased to say that multi-room playing is working, including the Connect - provided the latter isn’t the first player added to the group.  Hopefully, this solution will keep on working.

Thanks again for all the advice and encouragement I’ve received.

 

It does seem to me that, as a pioneer in wireless multi-room music, Sonos has been beset with issues around backward compatibility as they have developed and improved their OS and devices over many years.  This is going to get even more challenging/interesting with the advent of Sonos S2….

WiFi mesh and Sonos can need some special care.  Which brand of mesh? How does it Connect to router?  So router wifi is turned off? What is acting as DHCP server?

Hmm. So the Bridge PSU is fine.

When factory resetting the Bridge one has to be very patient. Keep pressing the button and eventually the LED will flash amber.

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Thanks for all the further comments.

  • It is an ancient ZP100 Amp.
  • The Bridge PSU is giving a solid 5.12v
  • No you didn’t miss the bit about the mesh because I hadn’t previously mentioned it.  Does that make a difference?  There is an option to use the router’s own wifi but I’m not sure that it would reach all parts of the house where the players are situated.

I have tried to reset the Bridge but I only got a flashing white light when it was powered up with the button pressed. I did get a flashing orange light when adding the product but it was added with its previous device name still showing and I’d have expected that to have disappeared if the reset had been successful.

I agree that the Bridge seems to be the weak link here and it will need replacing.  The only alternative is to cnnect a player via Ethernet but this would only be possible on a continuing basis using a powerline device and our mains circuitry is not very powerline-friendly.

Thanks again for all the advice you have given - it’s been an education.

Since connecting the Bridge, my mesh wifi network is showing as an ‘other network’.  I have removed it so that only SonosNet is identified as running on Channel 11 but this has not resolved the problem. Using either of the other two channels makes no difference.

 

You have mesh WiFi?  Did I miss this bit of information somewhere along the way?

@milesman

If the Connect was working fine multi-room when the Play:1 was wired, but not with the Bridge, then that does rather suggest the Bridge is at fault. Probably its PSU in fact.

If you have access to a meter, test the PSU’s output voltage. It should be a shade over 5.1V DC, and steady. Anything less than 5V, usually accompanied by voltage wobble, and the PSU is an ex-PSU. It is no more.

There are third party compatible PSUs on Amazon, but it would be understandable if you opted to replace it with a Boost.

ZP100 (which is a Connect:Amp)

I hate to nitpick, but it’s the ZP120 which is the Connect:Amp. ZP100 is older, larger, and with rather more connection possibilities.

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I mean the Amp.  When I looked at the network settings I was invited to set up wifi and there was no indication of existing wifi credentials. Since connecting the Bridge, my mesh wifi network is showing as an ‘other network’.  I have removed it so that only SonosNet is identified as running on Channel 11 but this has not resolved the problem. Using either of the other two channels makes no difference.

I appreciate your comment about the Bridge.  I shall reset it and reinstall it just to see if it makes a difference but, as you say, I shall probably have to replace it.

Do you mean ZP100 (which is a Connect:Amp) or the Connect?  If anything connected even temporarily to WM:1 it suggests there are still some Wifi details in your system somewhere.

I think you should dump the Bridge, tbh.  If everything now works with the Play:1 wired, and that is not a viable setup going forward, then I would think about getting a Boost to replace the Bridge.

What did you find when you went into wireless setup?  Were there any WiFi credentials in there?

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@John B I followed all your steps successfully, thanks.  The ZP100 did show WM:1 but this reverted to WM:0 on a reboot.

After getting multi-room working with the wired Play:1, I powered up the Bridge and transferred the wire to it from the Play:1.  Unfortunately, the Connect stopped working in multi-room mode.  I wonder if I should reset the Bridge to factory default and set it up from scratch.

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@John B thank you for this comprehensive guide.  I’ll give it a go later on and let you know how I get on.

It sounds to me that for once it may not be the Bridge that is to blame.  Having said that, as others have remarked, it is old tech and now prone to problems, so for the purposes of next troubleshooting steps I would do the following:

  1. Power off your router and all Sonos, including the Connect..
  2. Wire the Play:1 instead of the Bridge.  Don’t wire the Connect.
  3. Power on your router and let it come fully up.  
  4. Power on the wired Play:1
  5. Power on the rest of your Sonos, except the Bridge and Connect
  6. Check your system works OK with the Play:1 wired and without the Connect and Bridge
  7. Check in About my System that all your speakers have WM:0 next to them, not WM:1.
  8. Go to Settings, System, Network, Wireless Setup and check there are no WiFi details in there.  If there are, reset (delete) them
  9. Factory reset the Connect as you power it back on. (see link below)
  10. In Settings, System, use ‘Add Product’ to add the Connect wirelessly.  (If it won’t add, wire it and try again).  It will doubtless require updating.
  11. See if the Connect now behaves.  It, too, should show WM:0 in About my System.

I apologise in advance if that doesn’t help, but it should not take long despite the number of steps, and it covers off a lot of possibilities.  If that doesn’t fix it, I am out of ideas I’m afraid.

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/1096?language=en_US

 

 

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Don’t think of the Bridge as Legacy equipment, it is still supported but it is truly obsolete. Aside from the power issues and the grief they cause it only supports SonosNet v1.0 that has a lot less capability than the v2.0 that anything other than the Bridge and oldest ZonePlayers use.

I recall a chart on which Sonos used which version but can’t seem to find it.

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No.  A job for tomorrow...

Have you reset it?

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@ratty, The Line-In on the Connect is not connected to anything and so no settings are available (I assume that’s what you are referring to).  Other players function perfectly well when in the same location as the Connect and group play works perfectly well too.  It is only the Connect that has the problem so I’m inclined to think the issue is with that device rather than the network as a whole.