Surround Speakers Dropping


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I have a Bar, Sub and 2 Play 3s configured together. I've tried using the Sonos network ("WM:0") as well as my wi-fi network. I've tried changing the wireless channel. All to no avail, so at this point, I'm not sure what to try next. The Play 3 speaker drops happen intermittently with no real pattern and last about 10-15 seconds. The surround speakers re-join without any action from me. This happens when playing music from streaming services (Spotify) as well as music in my local library.

I'm actually using a fairly new router that has a very strong signal (Asus GT-AC5300), but the issue existed with my prior router as well. The affected Play 3's are within about 10-15 feet of the unobstructed router and hard-connected Playbar. I've done some channel analysis and made multiple updates to the channel the router uses for 2.4GHz (it was previously set to Auto) to no avail.

I've changed to static IP's for all the Sonos devices, recycled the router/modem, moved 2.4 GHz channels, etc. I followed suggestions I've seen in other threads here, but have ultimately also submitted a diagnostic - 7529177.

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The surrounds are on 5GHz to the PLAYBAR, not 2.4GHz. Your tri-band router could be putting the squeeze on the available bandwidth.

5GHz AC should in theory allow everything to co-exist, since it uses per-frame channel bandwidth sharing. 5GHz N could however tend to monopolise the airwaves.

One other thing: after reserving IPs for the Sonos devices did you power cycle everything on the network, just to ensure that nothing else was already sitting on those IPs?
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Interesting, ok, thank you for that, I didn't know it used 5GHz for surround. I looked at the map and there appears to be very little interference on either channel (or around either) being used for 5GHz by the router, though. I'm not sure how to check if the router is constraining actual bandwidth on the channels though, or to see what 5 GHz channel the playbar->surrounds are using?

And yep, I did power cycle everything after reserving the IPs. It doesn't look like there are any IP conflicts.
The PLAYBAR changes its 5GHz channel dynamically to adapt to the environment. It rescans every hour when it's idle.

The simplest way to see what it's currently using is to visit http://x.x.x.x:1400/status/proc/ath_rincon/status where x.x.x.x is the PLAYBAR's IP. A few lines down you'll see 'HT Channel is xxxx". That's the frequency in MHz.
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Ok, got it, thank you. Here is the output:

contents of /proc/ath_rincon/status
Debug info for INFRA mode at 373191

Mode: INFRA (sonosnet)
Operating on channel 2462
Home channel is 2462
HT Channel is 5805
RF Chains: 3
RF Chainmask: 0x07
Noise Floor: -113 dBm (chain 0 ctl)
Noise Floor: -109 dBm (chain 1 ctl)
Noise Floor: -111 dBm (chain 2 ctl)
PHY errors since last reading/reset: 12197856
OFDM ANI level: 0
Ch11 Spur Immunity Level: 0
HAL Reset Failures: cnt: 0 last: 0

Node ZZZZ - FROM 00 00 : TO 00 : STP 00
00 00

Node ZZZZ - FROM 00 00 : TO 00 : STP 00
00 00

Node ZZZZ - FROM 43 : TO 45 : STP 03
43

Node ZZZZ - FROM 49 : TO 47 : STP 03
49

Node ZZZZ - FROM 00 00 : TO 00 : STP 00
00 00
HT Channel is 5805
Channel 161
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Sonos is using 161? The 2 x 5GHz SSIDs are using 48 and 161. Should I move the 2nd one off of 161?
Slightly strange that PLAYBAR chose 161 if that's your AC primary. I have two 5GHz AC operating in 36-48, one with primary on 36, the other on 48. (In EU the higher channels are problematic owing to Tx power restrictions.) Sonos tends to stay on 40 or 44.

It might be worth a try moving your primary to 149, but as I say the PLAYBAR should be smart enough to move itself out of the way.
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Ok, thanks, I'll try that. There are a couple of other settings I can choose for each of the 5 GHz --> 1) Wireless Mode: Auto, N Only or N/AC Mixed, 2) Bandwidth: 20/40/80 MHz, 20 MHz, 40 MHz, 80 MHz.
I assume that they're set to 'Auto' and '20/40/80 MHz'. Are your wireless devices AC or just N?
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I have some of both (AC and N).
Well leave it on 'Auto' and '20/40/80 MHz'.

N does not have per-frame bandwidth control so a 40MHz N channel could get a bit unruly. Certainly a 40MHz N with primary on 161 whilst Sonos was on the same channel could have made life awkward.

In that case it's still puzzling why Sonos stayed on 161.
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Ok - we'll give this a shot, thank you. Can I ask how you were able to determine that the Playbar was using 161 from the output above (HT Channel is 5805)?
Well, one can do the math (!) but I actually cheated: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WLAN_channels
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Ahhhh - ok, thank you. Interestingly, I just gathered stats again (using the Asus utility) and got the attached.

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I recycled the router (since I had redirected one of the 5 GHz's from 161 to 149), and now get this:

I'm not sure what that shows, other than the fact that in the first -- which was presumably an aggregate result -- the router had probably seen the PLAYBAR active on 161.

Since it's been restarted it perhaps has yet to detect anything on 161 from the PLAYBAR because that's not in use.
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Gotcha. The Playbar is in use now (I just re-gathered stats and they look the same as the 2nd screen shot). It's as if, when the Playbar and router were both using 161, they gobbled up the bandwidth. Now, with the router moved to 149, there is plenty of capacity in both 149 and 161. No idea why 165 is 'full' either, but that doesn't seem to be relevant.
Channel 165 isn't full at all. Quite the opposite: it shows 100% available at 20MHz width.

165 doesn't feature in either of the lower 2 charts because it's a channel which can't participate in a 40MHz or 80MHz bond.
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Ah, ok, I was looking at 40/80.
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No luck - they just dropped and re-joined again. I grabbed and submitted a diagnostic right away - 7535901.
Worth a try. Sonos Support had better look at the diag and see what's going on.
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Thank you for all the help. Do I need to do anything else in order to ask them to look into it?
Sonos staff should stop by in the next few hours.
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No luck - they just dropped and re-joined again. I grabbed and submitted a diagnostic right away - 7535901.

Hi ChadB,

It looks like there are some wireless communication errors between your PLAYBAR and the rest of your home theater units. This is usually caused by interference on the 5 ghz band. Do you have any third party wireless devices near or in between your PLAYBAR and the PLAY:3s and SUB? If so, try moving any such devices away or power them off temporarily and see if things improve.
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I have a laptop and my phone that connect to the router on 5 GHz in the same room, that's it. I can shut down the laptop and put the phone in another room for a bit, but it seems surprising that they'd cause the issue?