Sonos speakers drop out. Controller drops connection. Crashing.

  • 10 October 2015
  • 15 replies

We've had Sonso in our office for months and have not been able to get it to work consistently at all.

We have 8 Play 5's with 2 Subs.
We have set up a dedicated Wifi network just for the Sonos. Nothing but the Sonos speakers and the computer running the SONOS app are on this network.
Here are the issues
- During the day, the speakers constantly drop out. At night when none is here, they work pretty well.
- Also, during the day the SONOS controller also "looses connection to server" and stops playing music (even music locally on the computer) and will go back to the beginning of the playlist.
- Sometimes we are unable to add all the speakers to the main group.
- Sonos looses connection to Spotify and Tune In radio even if the web browser can connect -
- Controller freezes constantly.

I tried rebuilding the system. Updated all the software on all speakers last night. Problem just seemed to get worse.

I submitted a report today - the ref number is: 4983701

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15 replies

Are these Sonos devices wired to the network or are they connecting directly to the wireless network?
In the wifi. Our IT dept hasn't given us a wired network - just a wireless medialan.
No amount of system rebuilding/updating/rebooting is going to cure bad wireless reception, which the units are plainly suffering from. During the day normal WiFi traffic is possibly crowding out the Sonos, owing to co-channel bandwidth competition and/or adjacent channel interference. Moreover the office fills with humans, who are great obstructors of 2.4GHz wireless.

Wire one Sonos unit. The system will switch to SonosNet operation and the units will set up a self-reinforcing wireless mesh dedicated to audio. It may not cure all the problems but IMO it's an essential first step, particularly with that many Players operating in grouped mode.
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Wire one Sonos unit. The system will switch to SonosNet operation and the units will set up a self-reinforcing wireless mesh dedicated to audio.

I submitted a report today - the ref number is: 4983701

Hi Dratsum, I'm quoting ratty here as he has a great point the best would be to wire one of the Sonos units after reviewing your diagnostic.
If wiring a unit is not an option then the best would be to contact our customer care team by phone. A Sonos agent will be able to remotely check your setup. Let us know how it goes, and if needed I will start a ticket for you.
Hi Max,

I've gotten a set of ports on a medialan network. We've plugged the Play 5's and the controller into the network. It seemed to be fine for the most part for about 10 minutes, then the controller died again. When dies, it drops all the speakers, goes back to the first song in the que, and stops.
Ok - Updated here.

We have the speakers wired. There are 2 that are not close to a port and are still wfi, but the other 6 are jacked into ethernet. Big improvement - the system isn't freaking out and resetting anymore... however, speakers are still dropping in and out.

I sent another diagnostic: 5049714

Can you see what's going on now?

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If you have some of the speaker wired then the rest should be connecting with Sonosnet and not to your office wifi. That should help. How far are the dropping out speakers from each other (are the wired ones dropping too?)

Now question would be what channel wifi do you have sonos on. Under settings...advanced... what channel 1, 6, or 11 and make sure as far a number from your office wifi channel.
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Thanks for the diagnostic Dratsum. As Chris suggested, changing your Sonos system up to channel 11 would be best here. At the time of the diagnostic there were a lot of wireless networks in the area at channel 1 and several at 6, but 11 was pretty clear. Go ahead and give that a try and let us know how it goes. Please send another diagnostic if it cuts out some more.
Changed to 11... When playing Spotify through the Sonos App, there are still a lot of drop outs... playing Spotify on a separate machine, then using the line out / into a Sonos speaker is better, but still dropping.

Almost all of the speakers are plugged into ethernet - is there a way to get them to just use the ethernet and not create a wifi mesh?

Submitted new report - 5052675
Thanks / b
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Looks like the wireless was so bad some of those units didn't even change the wireless channels. Generally, players will use the shortest route back to the network. If your players are wired directly to a switch, then to the router they'll use that connection over wirelessly jumping to one player with a wired connection back to the network. Several of your players seem to have multiple wired connections, but they aren't necessarily using that as the route back to the network.

How are your players wired in to the network? What is the network topology there?

I'm happy to continue troubleshooting here with you, but it may be best to give us a call on our support line and work live with a technician to resolve this fastest. You can find our contact information and hours here:
Not sure what you mean by shortest route. Our network is a VLAN with a Trunk (not sure if I'm using that term correctly) connecting our office in New York to our networking hub in Boston. Switching is handled there. I can call support... but am afraid I'll need to get people in Boston involved -- which might be tough. I find it hard to believe that the speaker that drops out the worst (Ping Pong Table) is getting a better connection through the Wifi Mesh than the ethernet tho. Even the speakers that are wired drop out.
Oh - I have the controller computer wired into the second ethernet port on the machine that the group is build off of... I left that out.
I figured it out... -- disabling the wifi fixed it
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I figured it out... -- disabling the wifi fixed it

Disabling the wifi isn't generally recommended, but if it's working for you right now I hope it lasts, often times it isn't a full solution just a bandaid. You'll want to keep an eye on things and we'll see how it goes. Keep in mind with the WiFi disabled there are some things which may not behave properly, such as anything you'd like to try and connect to the Sonos wireless, or the range on wireless players. Good luck and let us know if you have anything further come up!
My bit for the world community. Have had a lot of help from other on the net before, never been able to pay them back:
I had a lot of issues with not just SONOS speakers dropping off, but laptops, tablets, mobile phones. Seemed to be random, bizarre. Much research and reflection, nothing. Then I stumbled on the answer for me and I suspect this is the common to many others too: connected to the router admin URL, looking among all the options for clues. Mine's a NetGear, but all routers will have a similar admin page accessible using a web browser.
Under "Advanced" find the section "LAN IP" and select it to bring up a new page
On new page you'll see two fields:
"Starting IP address" default value
"Ending IP address" deafault value
Further down there is a list of all devices connected "DHCP client lease info"
So this meant I had 10 IP addresses available. Made quick inventory of Kit in the house requiring an IP address: mobiles, laptops, tablets, SONOS speakers & other SONOS bits, Microsoft WIDI adapter gadget things. Total 13and realise all are competing for the same 10 IP addresses. Eurika! Changed the "Ending IP Address" from 19 to 29 and APPLY.
Reboot the laptop and the SONOS speaker which currently seem to have dropped off et voila. Prob solved, big smug smile and announce to the wife Im a expletive genius. NOT THE END OF THE STORY! Months later it happens again. Why? NetGear router is rebooted to factory defaults whenever the cable company have an update for it. So reset the router password again (v. important to do this guys & gals to stop hackers) and reset the no. of IP addresses again.
This also explains why on the inital prob from Dratsum above it was fine at night (every one left taking their mobiles with them, no more contention for the same limited no. of addresses). I really think this will help a lot of people. Good luck.