Question

WIFI drops to SonoNet when connected to Ethernet cable to stream Radio and low latency operation

  • 25 February 2017
  • 12 replies
  • 482 views

So the problem is that to get sonos to operate at low latency or to stream Radio you need a high speed Ethernet link which is fine in a small property because Sonos units will form a sonosnet. However in a larger property where you need WIFI connection then the action of connecting one unit to a Ethernet connection stops the WIFI link and tries to form a sonosnet.

Is there a way to force all units to only use WIFI only even if connected to a Ethernet cable?

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12 replies

No. The two concepts are incompatible. Wiring a device invokes SonosNet operation.

If you have excessive latency on the local network (presumably as verified by repeated Ping tests?) then there are network problems that you need to root out. Wireless signal strength, interference and use of powerline connections are classic causes.

By the way you do not need to wire Sonos devices for low latency, or to stream anything. Ping times should be down in the low single figures (milliseconds) for wireless units. And the SonosNet bandwidth is perfectly adequate for streaming audio.

Submit a system diagnostic and post the reference number. Sonos Support can take a look at the condition of your SonosNet.
No. The two concepts are incompatible. Wiring a device invokes SonosNet operation.
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This is not incompatible because that is how my system is working right now. All units are connected to WIFI and the one sonos unit is connected to Ethernet and shows as using sonosnet.

The latency I am talking about is not network and has nothing to do with pining the sonos IP. This is about the 250mS sound latency that happens when sonos is connected to a TV.
If one unit is connected to Ethernet, then all are using Sonosnet, regardless of the WiFi credentials entered. An Ethernet connected unit is what initiates Sonosnet mode. Though there is the oft chance you could be in hybrid mode, this is very rare and due to reconfiguration errors. You can check the status by going to Settings->About My Sonos System. Sonosnet units will show WM:0. WiFi WM:1.

If the latency you speak of is from a line-in connection, it exists regardless of what mode you are operating in. It is due to the need to buffer a stream in order to sync it with others. You can reduce it to around 70 ms by switching the line in to uncompressed and adjusting the input type.
This mode happens when the units are too far apart than normal or have many obstructions between them like walls.

sonos 1 is hardwired via ethernet and has a WM:0 value so it thinks it is part of SonosNet
Sonos 2 is connected to WIFI and has a value WM:1
Sonos 3 is connected to WIFI and has a value WM:1
Sonos 4 is connected to WIFI and has a value WM:1

In my case the system will not work in Sonosnet and has to be connected via a separate WIFI network. Unfortunately some are just close enough to occasionally link to sonosNet and when they do the system fails.

This could a hard switch is the setup for each unit






If one unit is connected to Ethernet, then all are using Sonosnet, regardless of the WiFi credentials entered. An Ethernet connected unit is what initiates Sonosnet mode. Though there is the oft chance you could be in hybrid mode, this is very rare and due to reconfiguration errors. You can check the status by going to Settings->About My Sonos System. Sonosnet units will show WM:0. WiFi WM:1.

If the latency you speak of is from a line-in connection, it exists regardless of what mode you are operating in. It is due to the need to buffer a stream in order to sync it with others. You can reduce it to around 70 ms by switching the line in to uncompressed and adjusting the input type.
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Hi Keith...

Perhaps you misunderstand the intent of the comments above, but if you are not benefitting from SonosNet, you do not need to use it and Sonos Products will, generally, work fine operating over wifi. For many people with numerous units in a home, connecting any single unit to the router will allow that unit to attempt to create the SonosNet mesh network. That happens simply because you plug one in. Typically this allows people to let the Sonos products connect to each other through their own communication network and take a load of wifi communication off of the router and allows all internet communication to be passed through the one physically connected device.

Since you have one unit connected, but it appears according to your description that they cannot connect to each other because of distance and barriers, then there may be no need for you to have the one device physically connected and attempting top draw the other devices into their mesh network. You can likely simply unplug it as long as your controllers are on the same wifi network subnet as your players, everything should work.

To explore your latency question regarding TV... what Sonos products are your referring to? A Playbar, the device specifically intended by Sonos to be the centre control point for TV audio, receives a digital audio signal via optical cable from the TV and plays that audio directly with a latency typically referenced to be ~30ms. Generally a latency to not really be noticeable for video/audio sync. You are obviously experiencing something different, so perhaps more details on your layout, and products would be helpful.
The reason this has to be Hard wired is because when you play a number of tracks from Deezer for example and I presume it does this with other companies not that I have tried. The system will SKIP to the NEXT track. THIS is stopped if the connection is hardwired to Ethernet.

Latency is another issue but that is understandable in a system like this but using Ethernet and WIFI is the best way to get this to work.

Being able to force Sonos to use either SONOSNET or WIFI is the best answer because in a system like mine where the distance between the units is borderline sometimes they are able to form a local sonosnet is just annoying because those connections are not as good as the WIFI connection.

I think by now you should trust your customers to be able to understand the system and give them the option. I think the vanilla flavour should be as it is as the system will always try and work. But a the ability to do this is a no brainer.

Keith
You do not need to hardwire for perfect playback, whether it be from local sources on online (including lossless).

You evidently have a system where units are flipping between SonosNet operation and WiFi attachment. This is known to potentially cause issues.

I don't understand why you don't simply remove the WiFi credentials from the system and fix the SonosNet coverage. That's what the rest of us in similar circumstances do. Sonos Support could assist, yet you seem reluctant to go down that route. Probably all it needs is a BOOST (or two) strategically placed somewhere (with just power, no Ethernet) to extend SonosNet sufficiently to reach the outlying player(s).
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Keith

You clearly have network issues that need to be addressed. The advice to post a diagnostic is solid.
You may have your own opinions as to how Sonos should design their products to work and you are of course entitled to those opinions. However one thing is for sure your particular problems are NOT going to be solved by Sonos making a fundamental design change to their architecture.
So you might as well work with the community and Sonos to get your system up and running.
You do not need to hardwire for perfect playback, whether it be from local sources on online (including lossless).

You evidently have a system where units are flipping between SonosNet operation and WiFi attachment. This is known to potentially cause issues.

I don't understand why you don't simply remove the WiFi credentials from the system and fix the SonosNet coverage. That's what the rest of us in similar circumstances do. Sonos Support could assist, yet you seem reluctant to go down that route. Probably all it needs is a BOOST (or two) strategically placed somewhere (with just power, no Ethernet) to extend SonosNet sufficiently to reach the outlying player(s).


Because as I said Sonos skips tracks on Deezer when using WIFI only I have to connect via Ethernet. to stop this happening. My property is to large to use sonosnet alone and I do not want to add bridges as I have various outbuildings that also need connection and wifi is the answer. I do not see the problem just force it to do one or the other it is so simple.
Once again, you have network problems. Deezer (Elite I assume) does not inherently suffer when using wireless. I have a bonded set of 3 devices (PLAY:5 pair and SUB) which are all 2 wireless hops out from the root, and play FLAC impeccably.

No property (within reason) is too large to use SonosNet. The whole point is that it's a wirelessly self extending mesh.

Where you have Ethernet cables to supply outlier WAPs -- say in outbuildings -- you can simply attach a Sonos BOOST or BRIDGE (or wire a player if it's convenient).

Your mind appears closed. Why won't you file a diagnostic and consult Sonos Support? The chances of them providing under-the-hood tweaks to steer connections between SonosNet and WiFi are near zero. For the vast majority of users such matters would only confuse.
Once again, you have network problems. Deezer (Elite I assume) does not inherently suffer when using wireless. I have a bonded set of 3 devices (PLAY:5 pair and SUB) which are all 2 wireless hops out from the root, and play FLAC impeccably.

No property (within reason) is too large to use SonosNet. The whole point is that it's a wirelessly self extending mesh.

Where you have Ethernet cables to supply outlier WAPs -- say in outbuildings -- you can simply attach a Sonos BOOST or BRIDGE (or wire a player if it's convenient).

Your mind appears closed. Why won't you file a diagnostic and consult Sonos Support? The chances of them providing under-the-hood tweaks to steer connections between SonosNet and WiFi are near zero. For the vast majority of users such matters would only confuse.



Why don't you let someone else answer the question as you clearly have a tiny house and just would never understand why this does not work.

I have done diagnostic reports for various issues with sonos which is why I know what the problems are and why Sonosnet is not an option.

All I want is a simple switch its either Sonosnet or its WIFI and connected to Ethernet simple
Why don't you let someone else answer the question as you clearly have a tiny house and just would never understand why this does not work.
Tiny? Not so. And, yes, I've only been studying SonosNet's inner workings for 9 years so I guess I haven't yet made the grade.

I have done diagnostic reports for various issues with sonos which is why I know what the problems are and why Sonosnet is not an option.

You don't say what Sonos Support recommended.

I'm sorry, but I've seen enough of the (to paraphrase) "my network's not the problem, I know what's best" posts to give up at this point. Good luck.