Question

Why does half my stereo pair keep dropping out?


but I can stil change the volume of the pair on the Silent speaker.

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Unfortunately sonos support always seem to hide behind wireless interference when people report this issue, which is definitely not the problem with my setup. To my mind this is plainly a bug which needs a software fix.
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My Play5 stereo pair is rock solid for music streamed from my media PC or Internet services. It's streaming a line-in source (my TV) connected to one of the play5s that gives me the speaker drop out issue.
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I have 2 x play 5's. the only time mine lose their stereo pair is when I plug something into the audio in. Which I use a lot. Turntable - loses pair, chromecast audio - loses pair, Airplay - loses pair, phone with cable. - loses pair. I've been onto support, changed all the channels etc. yet they come back with same wireless intereference nonsense. I know I have no intereference as I setup a new wireless lan with only the Sonos on it.

At this stage I've had enough, wasted too many hours. I'll be trading in my play 5s next week for a solid amp and speaker setup with a Bluetooth receiver. Sonos refuse to accept there is an issue. 3 updates later it's still not fixed.
Having persisted for several days the degree of reliability in stereo pairing has improved somewhat but not to any satisfactory extent. The frustrating part about this whole issue is that when the pairing works the results are sonically excellent. Nevertheless this is an issue that the Sonos boffins need to address.
I also have the same issue - BUT they cant blame it on wireless interfere as I have both speakers running on CAT6 ethernet cables. I have to unplug the errant unit and it work. I can send the log if someone from Sonus asks for it...
Further to my previous post - Sonos units all rock solid with NO dropouts. I spoke to a trained Sonos retailer yesterday and he confirmed that with every installation he has performed for customers he has restarted all components back to and including the router. He reports that this procedure produces the best outcomes although he has encountered a single issue over a DECT phone that was causing interference.
I have run two Play:1s as stereo for some months now. In the past two Play:3s, and (only briefly) two Play:5s, and not had any problems. So it's possible, even though that's not much comfort to the users having problems. Apart from wireless interference, the other standard Sonos problem is IP address conflicts. Intuitively, it seems to me this becomes more likely when you pair units, as you put together two things with different IP addresses. I think anyone having these problems should try the following, although I'm not saying it is always going to work. But as a Sonos reseller and long-time Sonos user I have found it sorts a lot of problems. 1. Turn off everything connected to your home network and all Sonos units. I mean everything that grabs an IP address, including modem, router or combined modem/router, computers, mobile devices. 2. Turn them on again one at a time, letting each one come up fully before turning on the next, in the following order (i) Modem, then router, or combined modem/router (ii) Any Sonos components wired to network, one at a time. (For most users, this will just be the Bridge) (iii) Sonos components that are connected wirelessly, one at a time. (iv) Other wired items, e.g. NAS drive, Etherneted computers (v) Other wireless items, e.g. wirelessly connected computers and mobile devices. 3. Pair the speakers you want as stereo pair. It is really essential to be patient and let each unit come up fully before switching on the next. I hope this helps you, and sorry if it doesn't. John, Canford Cliffs Audio
My strange and simple solution was to pair them (play:5) other way round, pressing volume + on the right, failing play:5. Works all evening without any problems. This hints a software bug? Will change speaker position if all keeps working well. Hope this helps any1.
Switch the order you set the two speakers up. So if left (Speaker A) works and the right (Speaker 😎 all of a sudden doesn't, start a new set-up where your Speaker B becomes the first you connect to the system and then pair up Speaker A. Seems to work.  
After several talks with Sonos support, we discovered the root of the problem - for me, anyway.

I had switched channels and everything, but that didn't make a difference - the right speaker kept dropping out intermittently.

Sonos support eventually asked what my PLAY:5s were standing on. If they are standing on metal (or even glass) shelves or wall mounts, there will be trouble! The transmitter/antenna/whatever that is used for stereo pairing is in the bottom of the PLAY:5, and a metal shelf will mess up the signal.
So, I simply put the speakers onto wooden shelves instead. I didn't change anything else, and it has worked perfectly ever since.

I asked the support guy why this isn't mentioned anywhere since it's apparently a well-known issue. He didn't know.
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After several talks with Sonos support, we discovered the root of the problem - for me, anyway.

I had switched channels and everything, but that didn't make a difference - the right speaker kept dropping out intermittently.

Sonos support eventually asked what my PLAY:5s were standing on. If they are standing on metal (or even glass) shelves or wall mounts, there will be trouble! The transmitter/antenna/whatever that is used for stereo pairing is in the bottom of the PLAY:5, and a metal shelf will mess up the signal.
So, I simply put the speakers onto wooden shelves instead. I didn't change anything else, and it has worked perfectly ever since.

I asked the support guy why this isn't mentioned anywhere since it's apparently a well-known issue. He didn't know.


Since I last posted saying that my Play 5's were behaving, I can report I have had no further dropouts. I solved my issue by plugging in the right speaker to an ethernet cable. Both my speakers on wooden shelves for what it's worth.
Armed with Svende's info, I seem to have solved the dropouts on my other speakers receiving the broadcast from the Play 5's aux input. I looked up a teardown of a Play 5 online that confirmed the location of the antenna as flat (horizontal) along the very bottom plastic panel of the device. Not surprising then that my heavy steel shelving causes problems. What a bummer!

My solution? Switching to wifi mode and letting my Airport Extreme handle communication for the four Sonos speakers in my small apartment. This seems to have done the trick. No dropouts for more than a week! Seems silly not to take advantage of SonosNet, but like I said my current apartment is very small.

Out of curiosity more than anything I also looked up a teardown of the playbar. Looks like that antenna is vertically mounted on one end of the device. Not sure if that would help in my case (logically it could), but I'm fairly pleased with my setup now so I'd rather avoid the hassle of switching.
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Hello Everyone, 

There have been a few people who have posted recently expressing continued problems with maintaining connection between their stereo pair units, specifically the PLAY:5s. While some have tried a few of the troubleshooting steps listed in this thread, others have yet to and are still having problems. It's good practice to go through all avenues to ensure that there is not a larger issue occurring I'll list possible steps to try to see if we can improve the connection between the bonded pairs. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind when one experiences connection or bonding issues. Keeping in mind that ideal setup for stereo pair units for sound and connection is between 8-12 feet.-  

Wireless interference can a play a big role in connection issues between bonded units and connection to other Sonos' units in general. Ways to combat this are: 
  • Set your home’s wireless network to a set channel opposite of your Sonos system. Traditionally wireless router's are set to “Auto channel" which means that they constantly be changing their wireless channels. By setting the channel (to: 1, 6 or 11), you'll ensure that your wireless units do not conflict.
Some third party devices cause conflict with Sonos such as DECT cordless phones. or 2.4 ghz units (baby monitors, cordless phones, and other streaming devices etc). The Sonos system works on a 2.4 ghz frequency and any device on this frequency has the potential to conflict. Making small changes can help ensure you do not run into issues.
  • 2.4ghz routers- most routers function on a 2.4ghz frequency. Ensuring that your wired unit is about 3-5 feet away from your router will help combat interference issues.  
  • 2.4 ghz cordless phones and DECT phones- 2.4ghz phones are usually the older frequency phones yet are still prevalent. Separating those phones and Sonos by at least 5 feet will help with interference issues. With DECT phones, creating a bit more of a distance between them (about 8-10 feet will ensure that these units do not conflict with one another).  
  • Other third party devices- sometimes creating a distance between Sonos and those units (baby monitors, wireless devices) is sufficient enough to maintain and stop interference. If there is a wireless device or third party device like this that is close to Sonos, try moving it or disabling power to test to see if it may be a culprit.
Home materials can potentially inhibit or interfere with the connection between units.  
  • Granite, Metal, or Glass- granite releases a small amount of radioactivity, that depending on the makeup of that particular piece of granite, can emit large amounts of interference.(NOTE: every piece of granite is different so this can vary.) Metal can deflect and inhibit connection to the system as well as to another bonded pair. The PLAY:5 antenna is located in the bottom of the base,. When placed on these surfaces can cause connection issues. If you are unsure of the surface make up, you can try placing a book between the unit and the surface as a test. Another test would be to move the units to another location in the room to see if you are able to maintain connection. If moved and the connection is maintained, there may be another factor at play. Potentially a third party device or something within the structural makeup that is interfering. Glass can also deflect and/or inhibit connection as well. Moving the device within line of site may help strengthen the connection to the next available unit. 
For those who have tried the above steps and are still having problems, please reply to this comment. Please list the steps you have gone through along with a diagnostic number after you experience the issue in your response. I’ll be happy to create a incident number for you so that one of our technicians can take a deeper look at your setup. You are also welcome to contact us directly by phone, here is our contact info[/url]

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Hi Dominique,

Thanks for your reply. 

Let me ask some follow up questions:
I thought that the idea behind the SONOS concept was to create a separate network especially for your audio streaming. Isn't that why I have a Boost and previously a Bridge ? So what 'disappoints' me is that we - your customers - invest in technology that should (according to your own website) do the following:

BOOSTUnparalleled wireless reliability or create a Home Theater setup
  • No skips, delays or drops – even in homes with wireless problems
  • Comparable broadcast strength to expensive enterprise-grade routers
  • Offers complete, 360-degree signals through walls and ceilings
  • Neutralises network interference from other wireless devices

It seems to me that these guarantees would ensure that if we use a boost, none of the problems we have should ever occur. Based on these claims on your own site, you can no longer point to wireless interference as an acceptable cause... Would you agree ?

I feel a bit cheated that last time the suggestion I got from your support department in NL was to invest in a boost, while in fact I don't need one at all (or a bridge), as my house is equipped with the newest routers and super-fast wireless internet.

Why provide a 'Line in' setting on the PLAY5s if they can't be used 'reliably' as you state ? Your suggestion to use compression for TV is not an option, because - as you know - it 'un-syncs' sound from movie. Again, SONOS should be great for use with the TV as per your website:
If you're looking for surround sound, you can use two PLAY:1s or two PLAY:3s as wireless rear surrounds.
Do I now feel safe to invest in a PLAYBAR ? Not really...

My current situation is that for a few days it worked and then dropouts started again intermittently and without any link to any other device or process that I activated. It remains limited to the Line-in usage. I experimented with the channels and the Line-in settings.

For the heck of it: 4637100 and 4637101

If you really want to experiment I can also unwire the two PLAY5s.... :-)

Cheers,
Henk

That's all I'm saying... Separating sales and delivery is not always a good thing. :-)

I am more than willing to help them in a well thought through end user test. However, what I expect from them is to contact some of the more advanced users (like you and I) with several test scenario's on which we will then report. A structured approach and not an individual one. 

I hope that by pointing out that they can't keep pointing to network interference as a cause (due to their own claims), I motivate them to go beyond the MS approach to solving your problems... 
I recently hung out with my neighbors for the first time who live directly above me, and realized that they also have a Sonos system. Made me curious about how well Sonos is handling potential interference from another very nearby Sonos network.
Same here, I have a pair of Sonos5 and a sub, worked fine for few days and then the right channel dropped out and also the sub. Really annoying, it costs a hell of money and doesn' t work properly.
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Some of the most common and easily fixable issues can be a simple wireless interference.

If you are using an all wireless setup (no devices wired into your router) then in most cases you can solve this issue by wiring at least one player into your router with Ethernet. This can be any of the speakers, or a BRIDGE/BOOST. By doing this SONOS will create it's own separate and stable wireless network exclusively for the players.

If you are using a SonosNet setup (one player or device wired into your router) then you can solve issues by either moving that wired player further from your router, or move any of your other players to a half way point between the wired player and the player that is dropping out. Each SONOS player acts as a booster and repeater for another. So the more spaced out they are the better your connection will be to all players.

Alternatively you can try rebooting your router, or rebooting all of your players individually. I would recommend rebooting your router first as sometimes there can be IP Address conflicts which arise if the router gets confused.

Personally, I have never encountered the issues that you are having but every household is different and there is always something that can resolve the issue right away.

The SonosNet setup is most recommended and I do not suggest running an all wireless setup if you have more than two to three players. Depending on the amount of devices connected wirelessly to your router the stability of SONOS can degrade. If you have many devices connected and you aren't using a BRIDGE/BOOST or a wired player then I definitely recommend you do so. Again, this puts all of your players onto a separate and stable network that takes advantage of the boosting technologies.

One more thing to mention, you can also plug the player that is dropping out into the player that is not dropping out (with an Ethernet cable). For example, if your SUB is dropping out and your left stereo pair, maybe a PLAY:1 isn't dropping out, then plug your SUB into that left speaker. This will not only give the SUB a stable connection to the network but it will also help the right speaker stay stable as the SUB can now use it's wireless cards to help other speakers on the network.

This can also work the other way around, and is also true for the PLAYBAR. If the speakers that are dropping out are close to your PLAYBAR plug them both into the PLAYBAR.

Try those things and see how it goes! If all fails then you may need to contact SONOS Support. You can contact them here: http://www.sonos.com/contact

Best regards!
Hello Kmjy, thank you for your answer and help. I 'm using a bridge, I will try to reboot all the plays and the router, maybe I will connect the sub by wire to one of the sonos 5 and see if it helps, but it was working fine, don't understand why now it started....
It works :)) thanks all for your help...Plays5 and sub paired !
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It works :)) thanks all for your help...Plays5 and sub paired !
That's great to hear! If you have any other issues or questions feel free to ask here, or PM me, or if you feel it is a more serious issue contact SONOS Support, they're really friendly! 🙂 - Glad to hear it's all working now though. What did you end up doing? Just rebooting or wiring the SUB into another player?

but it was working fine, don't understand why now it started....
Sometimes if you update your system through a software update it can sometimes, in rare cases cause this issue and all it takes is a router/system reboot and everything is usually solved. It's usually just IP Address conflicts.
Just clarify initial pair both speakers work in stereo, pause them and when I use them again only the left works but the right can still pause both and adjust the volume. I Un stereo pair them and re stereo pair them and they work again till paused.
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I've finally fixed my stereo pair drop out with line in source issue. I looked at the network matrix and spanning tree (STP) diags and noticed that the STP root bridge for my SonosNet was my broadband router. So traffic travelling from the right speaker (where the line in source connect) to the left speaker was having to flow to the bridge, then the broadband router, then back to the bridge before finally being sent to the left speaker. No wonder it was dropping out all of the time. So the fix is two steps a) reintroduce your bridge if you've removed it and gone to WIFI - SonosNet is way more stable than home WIFI and you need it to control STP forwarding. b) reconfigure your STP priorities to promote the speaker in the pair that doesn't have the line in source connected (left for me) to be the STP root bridge. Once this is done all traffic between speakers on the SonosNet will flow through that speaker, therefore the line-in feed from my right speaker is now sent directly to my left speaker. No more drop outs!! 🙂 There are loads of articles on how to access the network matrix/STP diags and how to promote a different speaker to be the STP root bridge, so google it and you should be good. It's a bit fiddly though, so I take no responsibility for anyone messing it up but it worked for me 🙂 Good luck!
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So you know what..... I bought a Sonos Boost and it's fixed it all up. Been swapping and changing the line in stream over 2 speakers all day. I guess Sonos should seriously consider advising customers to avoid wireless mode for play 5 stereo pairs.... or fix it.

All the same works now as it should be. I do still have a bee in my bonnet about the hours I've spent fucking around trying to get it work but i'm only $150 out of pocket. Could be worse if I'd followed my initial dummy spit,
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So you know what..... I bought a Sonos Boost and it's fixed it all up. Been swapping and changing the line in stream over 2 speakers all day. I guess Sonos should seriously consider advising customers to avoid wireless mode for play 5 stereo pairs.... or fix it.

All the same works now as it should be. I do still have a bee in my bonnet about the hours I've spent fucking around trying to get it work but i'm only $150 out of pocket. Could be worse if I'd followed my initial dummy spit,
Believe me, it's a lot more expensive than that to sort Sonos issues in the UK. I even bought an extra Play:1 to strengthen my Sonos network but it just requires a lot of trial, error and swearing!
I also have this problem and have sent diagnostics: 316 9328. Hope this can be looked at. 🙂 -Dom