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Unstable Sonos - again !

  • 30 November 2018
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Hello,

For the thousand time I again suffer from unstable Sonos. 'The connection to Spotify was lost' is a quite common issue. The other problems is players falling in and out, music skipping songs etc.

I've tried my very best to buy quality products in all areas. I have a good stable 500 Mbps fiber connection to the internet. I have a Sonos Boost which is NOT placed next to any other wireless device. I've had a lot of help from Sonos support in the past but now the Sonos experience is again very unstable and frustrating.

None of my speakers should be connected via the regular Wifi but are using the Boost. The regular Wifi runs on channel 1 while the Sonos Boost runs on channel 11.

I use static DHCP in my Sophos XG Central Firewall so the Sonos should always have the same IP-address. All LAN-addresses have free access to WAN through the firewall.

I don't know what I can do to fix this. Right now both Play:5 and the SUB will not connect even though I've restarted them by pulling the power chord.
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Best answer by sdhweb 22 February 2019, 19:49

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34 replies

Sounds like you have WiFi interference on channel 11. SonosNet is rock solid without external interference.
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Channel 11 used to be quite OK, but I guess the surroundings change. I've tried to change to channel 6 but the two play 5s still refuse to connect back up.

Could you please elaborate a bit on SonosNet ?
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For more information on what chicks is alluding to, you might want to check out this helpful article about the different ways to configure Sonos. A Boost configuration uses SonosNet and does not require buying a Boost.

Let us know if you find it helpful!
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For more information on what chicks is alluding to, you might want to check out this helpful article about the different ways to configure Sonos. A Boost configuration uses SonosNet and does not require buying a Boost.

Let us know if you find it helpful!


Well, the reason I bought the Boost in the 1st place was because it promised to deliver, even in tricky network conditions. It has by no means lived up to its promises in my opinion. I've had it for a while so it's not a new purchase.

I'll read the article and get back to you, thanks.
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I've now read the article but I fail to understand the difference between SonosNet and using Sonos Boost. As you can see at what I've posted above, all my components identify as WM:0 even though I haven't taken any deliberate action to use SonosNet other than buying the Boost a good while ago.

On the mobile app under Advanced Settings --> Connect to SonosNet it says 'Don't allow connection'. I don't understand this. I guess the Sonos Boost already utilizes the SonosNet, in which case there are no improvements to implement.

As I wrote in my initial post I've already assigned static IP-addresses by using static DHCP in the firewall, so that should be ok.

I now tried to change the Boost Channel to #6 but it doesn't make things any better. Loudspeakers are falling in and out as I write this. 14 Sonos components for thousands of dollars, a complete waste.

PS: I am not frustrated with anyone that tries to help, only with Sonos itself.
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I too was having Stability issues........and I can appreciate what you are saying. I have 18 Sonos units and when I was using them all at once....... there would be cutting out etc..............just nonsense.

That is until this week. I leaned about the Sonos Matrix this week and that changed everything. My Connection is rock solid after making a few changes. I have 4 of the units connected via ethernet......but I think I could get away with two....... probably no less than that.

I would suggest you familiarize yourself with the matrix.........it's truly amazing.

https://freetime.mikeconnelly.com/archives/6050

If you want........ post your matrix here and you can probably get some great advice.
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the ability to plug a second speaker to ethernet would likely help you out. You don’t really need a boost at all to get on sonosnet.... you are on it once any one of your speakers is connected via ethernet.
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Hi Mike, and thanks for your reply!

You are obviously a very skilled and technical person, which is nice. I've read your article, but I have to read it again because it was a lot to take in.

But from my 1st read-through I have the following questions:

1. Do you suggest buying more Sonos Boosts?
2. I don't understand how connecting Ethernet to a couple of players will help. I have the possibility to do so, but those players are located in the same room as the Boost.

My Boost is connected via Ethernet. I do have three managed switches in my house of the following brand: Cisco SG 200-08 8-Port Gigabit Smart Switch. I do however not have any knowledge about STP.

If I go to for example http://192.168.55.101:1400/support/review which is the IP of the Boost I do get a link saying Network Matrix. When I click it nothing happens. I've tried with Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer but no matrix is displayed.

I will explain the setup of the players with words. I don't know if it helps, but I'll try anyway.

In my office I have the fiber connection (500 Mbps up and down) coming in. I'm using a PC with two network cards as a firewall running Sophos XG Firewall. I don't think this is relevant. I have a Zyxel P8702N router which I ONLY use to distribute regular Wifi on channel 1 (2.4 GHz).

Also in my office I have the following:
Sonos Boost (placed at the other end from the Zyxel, about 3 meters apart) running on channel 11,
4 Play:1 where two are two are paired with each other,
2 Play:5 paired in stereo
1 SUB

In my living room/kitchen which is an open solution I have:
2 Play:3 paired in stero
1 Play:1 in the kitchen.

Upstairs I have 1 Sonos One in the attic, 1 Play:1 in my bedroom and 1 Play:1 at my sons room. All these rooms are next to each other.
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the ability to plug a second speaker to ethernet would likely help you out. You don’t really need a boost at all to get on sonosnet.... you are on it once any one of your speakers is connected via ethernet.

Please see also my previous post.

So, connecting Ethernet to one of the 7 speakers I have in my office will likely help out the Boost? Let's say I connect Ethernet to one of the Play:1 speakers I have. It will then understand that an ethernet cable is connected and use this instead of the SonosNet, or it will help distribute the SonosNet in addition to the Boost?
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From one of the three switches:

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Clicking on Network Matrix on something other than the Boost I managed to get this matrix:

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Hey Sdhweb,

Unfortunately I am not a highly skilled individual in the area of networking. I actually don't have any idea about switches or things like that. I do not use switches at all in my network.

The most I have done is the static IP thing that you did..........

Nevertheless.......

1. I do not suggest buying more boosts. I had a boost as I thought it would solve my problems however I learned that just plugging any of the speakers into the router is the equivalent of having a boost. I sold the boost as my Router (Orbi Satellite) is just underneath my beam so I just plug it in there...... same thing.

2. I bought a mesh network (Orbi) for my home as I realized that if I am going to have this many Sonos devices I am going to need better coverage throughout the house. I set it up as an access point. This allows me to have a device I can plug a Sonos unit in on each floor sit came with two satellites. I would suggest maybe looking into this option as opposed to adding more boosts. If you could run an ethernet cable from your current modem to one of the devices upstairs that might be equally as good.........but I can understand that could be logistical issue.

3. To get into the matrix....... type in the IP address of any of your units EXCEPT the boost. pick another one......... it'll work.

If I were you........... check that........ I was you........... and getting mesh wifi system was a big help........... it however did not solve my issue totally until I understood how the devices speak to each other.........the matrix shows that.

I honestly didn't think I would ever get this thing to work perfectly.........I felt that I just had too many devices for it to work seamlessly. I was wrong.......... it can work perfectly........it just takes a little time to understand how it all works.

try a different IP address in the http://192.168.55.101:1400/support/review

Don't give up on it...........
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looking at your matrix it's clear that you are having a tough time getting a good connection to DAVID and BEDROOM S + C

Green is great, yellow is good, orange is poor, and red is terrible.

Don't worry too much about the column on the left......... it is not the source of your issues. The colors in the middle are the ones you need to worry about. That is the connection between the boost and the corresponding speaker. The orange ones in particular

Your boost in in charge of connecting to all of your devices and obviously the ones upstairs are just too far away.

I would suggest if you were to have a wireless access point upstairs........ it would make a BIG difference on your overall setup. that way the Boost (Root Bridge) would speak to the speakers on the main floor while the speaker you plug into the access point upstairs (will also be a root bridge) will speak to all of the speakers upstairs giving you a seamless experience.

I would bet dollars to donuts that if you just played music through the main floor speakers........ you probably have no issue whatsoever.

In a perfect world...... you would have a mesh wifi throughout your house. One In your office, one in your living room and one in an upstairs bedroom. You would likely get everything green.
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sdhweb, Sorry nobody told you that the Boost and Bridge don't have the NetworkMatrix active, at least you found it. Looking at yours I don't really see any big problem, the Orange spots in the center are no worse than a couple of mine and I have no issues with my setup. The Orange in the left column indicate a bit of electrical noise around the two. Possibly moving them or the device that is causing the issue might help but again Orange isn't usually a big problem.

A bit on the question of more Boost devices, with the changes Sonos has made any Sonos unit can now act as a Boost - Ethernet to SonosNet gateway, although the Boost does have a slightly better radio setup. I wouldn't buy another Boost in your situation.

Looking at the Office, L, R and Sub the matrix looks pretty good but it isn't a complete diagnostic tool. What you can do is submit a diagnostic to Sonos and record the number, then contact Sonos support with it and have them examine your system internals to see if they can see something. The twitter and facebook support sites are open 24x7, the phones vary by location but have the best techs and most tools, check the contact page for times or you can post here in the forums but responses may be slow as the forums are not staffed most of the time and when staffers are here they sometimes miss posts.

Now if you want to try a few things, just to be trying something you could try wiring one of the Orange units and see if that makes it happier. If when you wire a second Sonos your network starts acting up then worry about STP, if the network stays happy then you have no STP issue and can skip worrying about it. Plug and Try is the easy way to tell if STP is an issue or not, beats reading manuals and head scratching, plus it is more accurate too.

I don't think your switches are on the bad list: https://support.sonos.com/s/article/41?language=en_US

The reason plugging in more units helps is because Sonos uses a mesh network. So the direct connection removes the need for the connected unit to communicate over WiFi for the data it needs and adds the option of it being able to supply data to a unit it has a better quality link to than the Boost does. Here I have a wired Play 3 that is closer to the wireless Play 1 in the garage than my Boost is so the Play one ignores it and talks to the Play 3. So having multiple units wired removes the need to move data to the wired units over WiFi and gives the SonosNet a chance to pick a unit to talk to that is showing a better signal. I feel the more the merrier as far as wiring units and I have all the ones that were easy to wire wired. Probably more than really necessary but some folks in nasty WiFi environments just wire everything to bypass the problem.

If you do wire additional units I'd try to wire one on each floor before wiring multiple ones on each floor. I'd try to wire one closest to the Orange ones if not the Orange one.

Do the diagnostic and please let us know what Sonos says.
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looking at your matrix it's clear that you are having a tough time getting a good connection to DAVID and BEDROOM S + C

Green is great, yellow is good, orange is poor, and red is terrible.

Don't worry too much about the column on the left......... it is not the source of your issues. The colors in the middle are the ones you need to worry about. That is the connection between the boost and the corresponding speaker. The orange ones in particular

Your boost in in charge of connecting to all of your devices and obviously the ones upstairs are just too far away.

I would suggest if you were to have a wireless access point upstairs........ it would make a BIG difference on your overall setup. that way the Boost (Root Bridge) would speak to the speakers on the main floor while the speaker you plug into the access point upstairs (will also be a root bridge) will speak to all of the speakers upstairs giving you a seamless experience.

I would bet dollars to donuts that if you just played music through the main floor speakers........ you probably have no issue whatsoever.

In a perfect world...... you would have a mesh wifi throughout your house. One In your office, one in your living room and one in an upstairs bedroom. You would likely get everything green.


Dumarz: I thought you actually were Mike Connelly, the author of the article that you linked to :-)

I thought having a mesh network or an access point upstars would cause me to use the standard wifi along with all my other devices? As opposed to running SonosNet which is kinda in addition to (on the side) the standard wifi?

Also, the funny thing is that DAVID and BEDROOM S + C (Sven + Clare) does not have any issues playing! The most troublesome speakers are the ones in my office, which are closest to the Boost, and especially the right Play:5 (Office P5 & Sub (R)).
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sdhweb, Sorry nobody told you that the Boost and Bridge don't have the NetworkMatrix active, at least you found it. Looking at yours I don't really see any big problem, the Orange spots in the center are no worse than a couple of mine and I have no issues with my setup. The Orange in the left column indicate a bit of electrical noise around the two. Possibly moving them or the device that is causing the issue might help but again Orange isn't usually a big problem.

A bit on the question of more Boost devices, with the changes Sonos has made any Sonos unit can now act as a Boost - Ethernet to SonosNet gateway, although the Boost does have a slightly better radio setup. I wouldn't buy another Boost in your situation.

Looking at the Office, L, R and Sub the matrix looks pretty good but it isn't a complete diagnostic tool. What you can do is submit a diagnostic to Sonos and record the number, then contact Sonos support with it and have them examine your system internals to see if they can see something. The twitter and facebook support sites are open 24x7, the phones vary by location but have the best techs and most tools, check the contact page for times or you can post here in the forums but responses may be slow as the forums are not staffed most of the time and when staffers are here they sometimes miss posts.

Now if you want to try a few things, just to be trying something you could try wiring one of the Orange units and see if that makes it happier. If when you wire a second Sonos your network starts acting up then worry about STP, if the network stays happy then you have no STP issue and can skip worrying about it. Plug and Try is the easy way to tell if STP is an issue or not, beats reading manuals and head scratching, plus it is more accurate too.

I don't think your switches are on the bad list: https://support.sonos.com/s/article/41?language=en_US

The reason plugging in more units helps is because Sonos uses a mesh network. So the direct connection removes the need for the connected unit to communicate over WiFi for the data it needs and adds the option of it being able to supply data to a unit it has a better quality link to than the Boost does. Here I have a wired Play 3 that is closer to the wireless Play 1 in the garage than my Boost is so the Play one ignores it and talks to the Play 3. So having multiple units wired removes the need to move data to the wired units over WiFi and gives the SonosNet a chance to pick a unit to talk to that is showing a better signal. I feel the more the merrier as far as wiring units and I have all the ones that were easy to wire wired. Probably more than really necessary but some folks in nasty WiFi environments just wire everything to bypass the problem.

If you do wire additional units I'd try to wire one on each floor before wiring multiple ones on each floor. I'd try to wire one closest to the Orange ones if not the Orange one.

Do the diagnostic and please let us know what Sonos says.


Thanks a lot for a great answer Stanley_4 !

The funny thing is that the Play:5s are not placed closed to any electrical interference that I am aware of, which is kinda strange that they show up as orange. They should be close to optimal.

Unfortunately it's kinda difficult to wire speakers other than some of those in my office, and as you said, wiring multiple ones in my Office might not make such a big difference.

What about getting a Mesh network instead of the standard Wifi (Zyxel P8702N) (which I am not using for Sonos by the way) and for instance place an access point upstairs. Some access points have the possibility of ethernet ports, even though the signal to the AP itself is transferred wirelessly. Do you see what I mean?

I'll try to get a hold of Sonos and get them to help me. If I do I'll let you know the outcome. Thanks.
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So, this is the Network Matrix from this morning. Quite much worse than yesterday. This was AFTER I had unplugged all my Sonos devices and letting them be unplugged for a while. I then restarted the firewall before starting to plug power back into the players. Still my right Play:5 is the most troublesome.

Go figure...

PS: I of course waited until everything was running before I clicked the Network Matrix


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Needless to say my speakers at the Office, where the Boost is located, and where I now have one Play:1 wired the speakers drop in and out all the time 😠
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Hey Sdhweb,

Based on your new matrix........ it appears to me you brought the play 1 from the attic and plugged it into ethernet in the office? is that correct? It seems like Davids room is connecting to the Play 1 you just brought to the office.
I don't think plugging two devices in the same room to ethernet will help at all.

I can see that David's room is tertiary node now (it wasn't in your previous matrix) which means it's connecting to a secondary note......... and by the matrix it appears it's connecting to the attic.

I am much less concerned with he red on the left column then I ma with the lower numbers in the middle (which is how they connect with each other)

If you had a mesh network....... you would remain on Sonosnet..............your Sonos would not be running on regular wifi so that's not an issue.

I have my orbi connected to my router/modem from the cable company........ and then two satellites in different areas of the house......... with a Sonos device plugged into each of those satellites.

Put it this way......... I have a pretty small home............ but without having multiple units plugged into ethernet in different areas of the house, I don't believe I could achieve the same results as I have.

I do not have a switch at all......... but in my readings I have heard people saying to have the switch on Classic STP. it looks like on yours you have it set to Rapid STP. I don't know much about STP at all........... but something I stumbled across in my readings. You may want to give that a go as well.

Call Sonos......... there tech support is very good. They will spend oodles of time on the phone with you and can offer some great advice. In addition........... form all of my readings........ I would say that Stanley 4 really knows what he is talking about.

I will post my matrix to show you what it should look like. I do not have a "root" as my orbi acts as the "root". Everything I have plugged into my orbing is considered "secondary node." these secondary nodes are what send the signal to the tertiary nodes. I have it so the TV and the Living room sub are the only two devices sending signals to the other devices........ as that is what worked best for me.

Keep us posted.

Dumarz
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I actually have no idea what is happening. I do not understand why David is connecting with the Attic.............. I am coming to the conclusion you did not actually move the attic speaker at all..........

I would call Sonos at this point.............. something just does not make sense to me.

I also do not understand why the Office sub + play 5 Left is connecting to BOTH the Boost and the Office sub + Play 5 right......I do not have any of those type of duplicate connections and I have never seen that before on other peoples matrix's either.
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The red in the left column is from WiFi noise, may be a WiFi device, something with a radio in it or just poorly designed devices with no radio (like my WD external drive that kills my Play 3 if it is within a meter) pumping out noise

Might play with swapping SonosNet channels to see if any of the three are better, 1, 6 or 11 are available.

Going to a different vendor's mesh WiFi for Sonos use would require you to remove the Ethernet from all your Sonos components to take them out of Boost mode and return them to Standard mode. You also open a can of worms with Sonos and the mesh vendor's compatibility, something I've read about here but avoided like the plague myself. Trying to run Boost and Standard is an even bigger can of worms.

I'd get sonos involved.
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I actually have no idea what is happening. I do not understand why David is connecting with the Attic.............. I am coming to the conclusion you did not actually move the attic speaker at all..........

I would call Sonos at this point.............. something just does not make sense to me.

I also do not understand why the Office sub + play 5 Left is connecting to BOTH the Boost and the Office sub + Play 5 right......I do not have any of those type of duplicate connections and I have never seen that before on other peoples matrix's either.


You are right, I did not move any speakers :-)

Well, the matrix doesn't make any sense to me at all. Even though I work with IT, I have no special passion for wireless. And I've just come to realization that wireless is a very vivid and fluctuating thing. Your Matrix may be good at one moment and terrible the next.

This is the Matrix from Saturday afternoon. Suddenly it's all good again:



Then on Sunday morning it's all broken:



Between those two images I haven't made any physical changes or reconfigurations at all.

Even though the matrix looks bad right now, Sonos appears to be playing alright in my Office. It also played ok in the living room earlier this morning.

I have reached out to Sonos support and hope they will get in touch with me soon.
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The red in the left column is from WiFi noise, may be a WiFi device, something with a radio in it or just poorly designed devices with no radio (like my WD external drive that kills my Play 3 if it is within a meter) pumping out noise

Might play with swapping SonosNet channels to see if any of the three are better, 1, 6 or 11 are available.

Going to a different vendor's mesh WiFi for Sonos use would require you to remove the Ethernet from all your Sonos components to take them out of Boost mode and return them to Standard mode. You also open a can of worms with Sonos and the mesh vendor's compatibility, something I've read about here but avoided like the plague myself. Trying to run Boost and Standard is an even bigger can of worms.

I'd get sonos involved.


I figured I should post some images from Wifi Analyzer to show. Rembember, I have the standard Wifi (TSDHLAN) running on channel 1, and the Boost runs at channel 11.

The live situation changes all the time, but here are some examples (see attachments).

Also I figured I should post some photos of my office, just to get a better overview.

Please see attachments. It just struck my mind, and just as a theory. Maybe the Verisure alarm system can interfere with the Sonos system. I'm not sure what frequency it operates on.

I've reached out to Sonos support and asked for their assistance.
Your Sonos system is being hit by interference periodically. The colouring of the rooms in the left column may allow you to identify the direction from which it's coming. I note that the Boost is relatively unaffected.

The WiFiAnalyzer plots shows a neighbour periodically using channel 7. This will interfere with Sonos on ch 11 to a degree. Other possible interferers are basically anything in the 2.4GHz band using spread-spectrum techniques, such as proprietary wireless or even Bluetooth.
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Your Sonos system is being hit by interference periodically. The colouring of the rooms in the left column may allow you to identify the direction from which it's coming. I note that the Boost is relatively unaffected.

The WiFiAnalyzer plots shows a neighbour periodically using channel 7. This will interfere with Sonos on ch 11 to a degree. Other possible interferers are basically anything in the 2.4GHz band using spread-spectrum techniques, such as proprietary wireless or even Bluetooth.


I agree. It's periodically. Also the Verisure system gets hit once in a while saying it lost the communication to one of the smart plugs etc. But this is FAR more rare than the Sonos.

So, how to detect the culprit.... it's like looking for the famous needle in the haystack...