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SONOS + TIDAL + Netgear ORBI AX6000: Tracks skip 10-20 seconds before end


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Hi,

This may or may not be because of new wi-fi setup, but I haven’t noticed it before: Tracks almost always skip from 10-20 seconds before end.

Setup:
SONOS Connect (wired, wi-fi off)
4 SONOS One (wi-fi)
1GB/1GB Fiber
Orbi AX6000 (RB850) Router + 1 sattelite

Everything works. Lots of bandwidth, fast response from app, but about 20 to 10 seconds before end of track, audio dies. SONOS keeps counting the final 10-20 seconds of the tracks and then starts next track.

I’ve tried:
Restart
Reset and setup of new system
UPNP on and off
Reserved IP for all units
SONOS Connect wifi on/wifi off

Only one layer of NAT: Fiber goes directly to Orbi router.

Does anyone have an idea on what could be wrong?
 

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Best answer by ratty 6 August 2022, 23:07

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When you switch the WiFi ‘on’, on the Sonos Connect (which I will assume is wired to the primary Orbi Router/Hub and is set at least one metre away from that hub/other wireless devices?), perhaps also try this…

Goto the Sonos App ‘Settings/System/Network/Manage Network’ and remove the Orbi WiFi SSID/credentials from the Sonos network list and force all your devices over to SonosNet (wired mode) and see if that resolves your issue.. after removing the WiFi from the App, give the system a few minutes to switchover. If any of the devices don’t show in the app, then simply reboot them. Do not wire any Sonos products to the Orbi satellite hubs.

Hope that resolves your Tidal issue.

NB: You will of course need to add the WiFi credentials back to the Sonos App, if you later ever decide to uncable the Connect, or switch off it’s WiFi adapter, for more info on doing that, see this support link:

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/3209

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Hi Ken,

thank you very much for your answer. The problem arose while having wifi “on” on my hardwired SONOS Connect, thus having my four SONOS Ones on SonosNet. I then tried to turn wifi to “off” and moved all Ones to wi-fi. Didn’t make any difference. Also, the issue is with the hardwired Connect so it seams to be a problem with the stream to the Connect, and not with the connection to the SONOS ONEs.

Nothing is wired to the satellite and the SONOS Connect is placed more than 1 m from the Orbi. If the issue was interference (even though the radio is turned off on the Connect) then why does it only affect the last 10-20 seconds of a track? 

It’s really a mystery.
 

During the last few seconds of a track Sonos charges its playout buffers with data for the next track. Indeed on some services it will attempt to buffer the entire upcoming track. 

Your network connection -- or Connect -- is most probably choking for some reason or other. A system diagnostic would reveal whether there’s major packet loss. Only Sonos Support has access to the diagnostics.  

If the Connect is in a group but is not the Group Coordinator (the first room in the group) the stream from a wireless One that is the GC could be faltering as it loads its buffers. A group will always perform better if the GC is wired.

So does Tidal play okay to one or more of the ‘Ones’ over WiFi, if you power off the Connect?

Have you tried wiring one of the (presumably standalone) Ones to the Orbi router instead (with its WiFi ‘on’) in place of the Connect, just to see if it makes a difference?

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During the last few seconds of a track Sonos charges its playout buffers with data for the next track. Indeed on some services it will attempt to buffer the entire upcoming track. 

Your network connection -- or Connect -- is most probably choking for some reason or other. A system diagnostic would reveal whether there’s major packet loss. Only Sonos Support has access to the diagnostics.  

If the Connect is in a group but is not the Group Coordinator (the first room in the group) the stream from a wireless One that is the GC could be faltering as it loads its buffers. A group will always perform better if the GC is wired.



Hi Ratty,

As I have plenty of bandwidth I doubt choking is an issue. Also, I had no issues of this kind on my coax connection w an old Nighthawk Router. But yeah, I may need SONOS support to look into it.

Problem persists even when the Connect is not in a group.

If you read read ratty’s response, you may be able to tell the choking he was referring to may be either in the network, or in your CONNECT.

Since you claim your network bandwidth is fine, then the diagnostic ratty suggested might be the next logical step. 

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During the last few seconds of a track Sonos charges its playout buffers with data for the next track. Indeed on some services it will attempt to buffer the entire upcoming track. 

Your network connection -- or Connect -- is most probably choking for some reason or other. A system diagnostic would reveal whether there’s major packet loss. Only Sonos Support has access to the diagnostics.  

If the Connect is in a group but is not the Group Coordinator (the first room in the group) the stream from a wireless One that is the GC could be faltering as it loads its buffers. A group will always perform better if the GC is wired.

Hi Ratty,

Sorry for my short answer – @Airgetlam is absolutely right, I didn’t read your suggestion thoroughly.

Now I did, and you may be on to something. I connected one of my ONE’s to ethernet, turned off its wi-fi, and it seems to work. So it may seem that my SONOS Connect choked for some reason. I’ve never had that problem before, so it probably comes from the configuration of the ORBI 850 in combination with the data demands of TIDAL HiFi.

Your next step should be to submit a diagnostic after a dropout on the Connect. Note the confirmation number and follow up with Sonos Support. 

As a matter of interest does it misbehave with any other source? It could be a Tidal peculiarity (along with the notorious MQA). My recommendation would be to try content from say Amazon Music Unlimited. 

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Also, it seems that 1) there are no issues when playing from YouTube Music (low bandwidth stuff, i guess) and 2) there are no issues when there’s nothing in the queue after the TIDAL track currently playing. Which points to a problem with buffering the next track from TIDAL.

Do you know if the SONOS PORT is able to handle more data? I’ve hesitated to buy it till now, as I’ve heard its sound quality it not on par with the CONNECT Gen 2.

The Port ought to be fine. I have three and have never encountered such a problem. I won’t go near Tidal, but Amazon Music UHD has similar bandwidth requirements.

There were comments after Port’s launch that, on Variable Volume through the digital output, the soft-knee limiter (to prevent clipping on the S/PDIF) could be a bit aggressive. Neither Fixed Volume digital nor analog output (Fixed or Variable) were affected by this potential sound quality issue. Sonos may have quietly updated the DSP programming since then; they haven’t made any statements that I’m aware of.

Personally I’d consult Sonos Support first before junking the Connect. 

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Thanks @ratty! Very appreciated. I’ll get support on the line.

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Just to follow up:

1) Talked to three very nice supporters with SONOS. Diagnostics show nothing out of the ordinary. We tried new DNS servers to no avail.
2) I tested with a free Spotify account: No issues at all.
3) I tested with TIDAL Connect (HiFi quality – can’t force it to Normal on TIDAL Connect for some reason): Same error: Sound stop exactly 10 seconds before end of track.
4) Tested with streaming quality normal and HiFi: It seems that the issue does not arise with Normal quality. “Seems” because caching makes it difficult to know exactly when quality is normal or HiFi, and SONOS doesn’t show what quality stream you’re getting. 

It definitely smells like a very niche TIDAL / SONOS issue on my Connect Gen 2.

SONOS Support will get back with some thoughts on what might be the issue.

I wasn’t aware that a ‘Normal’ (presumably lossy 320k) Tidal subscription level was available on Sonos. Maybe it’s still there as a fallback if the FLAC stream is either unavailable or the connection struggles? If so a modest 320kbps bandwidth would obviously present less of a challenge.

As far as I’m aware Sonos will still only request a 16/44.1 stream from Tidal. I’m happy to be corrected but I don’t think it gets 24-bit. It wouldn’t be attempting to fetch anything above 48kHz sampling rate, and definitely not MQA.

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Maybe there is not - that explains my varying results in trying Normal vs HiFi, I guess any difference is confirmation bias :) 

The HiFi stream is 16/44.1 - Master doesn’t work on SONOS, afaik.

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Anyway, I installed Roon Core on my iMac and am now enjoying lossless 16/44.1 FLAC from TIDAL via Roon > SONOS Connect. So it seems that the issue is with the Connects interpretation of the TIDAL stream. When it passes through Roon first, it’s perfect. And the player is more responsive than SONOS’ own, btw. 

It sounds like a solution then, albeit via an intermediary.

Is your system running S1 or S2? 

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It sounds like a solution then, albeit via an intermediary.

Is your system running S1 or S2? 

S2 – it’s a Connect Gen 2. And yeah, I think I might like the Roon interface. The stream is the same, it’s just another, albeit pricey, UI. Nice, though. Signal path tracing, DSP controls and things like that are great.

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