I love my Sonos speakers. They sound great, are easy to use and almost always work. Reason I say almost, is that I do have the occasional issue with the sound cutting out.
I decided to work on resolving this issue once and for all. This article summarizes my research. I believe it captures most solutions to this problem and hope it helps you in solving this as well.
- Sonos One SL,
- Sonos Play 1,3,5,
- Sonos Beam,
- Sonos Arc,
- Sonos Move
- Sonos Roam
whether you own one of them, all of them, or some of them, if you are facing sound cutting out issues, this article is for you.
This article provides multiple solutions to this issue, with easy-to-follow instructions.
So, let’s get into it!
Check your wireless network
One of the most common causes of audio drop outs in a wireless system is interference from neighboring Wi-Fi networks.
Start by changing the channel for your 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network. Changing the channel to a quieter one will reduce this interference which in turn will fix the problem with intermittent cut outs.
Sonos recommended procedure to change the router’s channel. They suggest using 1, 6 or 11.
An alternative approach would be to use a Wi-Fi analyzer app for your phone to show what 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi channels are being used around you. Find a channel that’s used the least, and set your 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi to that. Don’t use the Auto setting on your router.
Free Up Your Wi-Fi
Let’s say you have multiple Sonos speakers paired with your Wi-Fi. You might also have other devices and appliances connected. For example, your phone, Sonos beam, PC, doorbell, etc.
We recommend removing unused devices from the Wi-Fi network.
Where possible, hard wire some of the devices in use into the network using an Ethernet cable. Doing this will free up some Wi-Fi, and dropout issues should be minimized.
Older Sonos products use only 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi while newer ones use the 5 GHz Wi-Fi network. Sonos performs best on 5 GHz as it is faster, has lower latency and has less congestion.
Reference: Troubleshooting Sonos on Wi-Fi
What is Sonosnet?
In a situation where you have multiple Sonos speakers connected in your audio setup. All of them have Wi-Fi enabled on them. If you hard wire one of the speakers to the router using an Ethernet cable. This speaker will create a proprietary network called SonosNet. Other speakers will join this ‘private’ network rather than your Wi-Fi.
Note: Sonos Roam, Era and Move are exceptions – they are not able to join SonosNet.
Put simply, SonosNet is a special network created by Sonos speakers when at least one of them is connected to your home router using an Ethernet cable. This network allows Sonos devices to communicate directly with each other without relying on your regular Wi-Fi network.
Change the Network
With that introduction to SonosNet, let’s try changing the network. By this, we mean check your network connections to determine whether any of the Sonos speakers are hardwired. If yes, Is Wi-Fi enabled on them? If that’s true then the other speakers are using SonosNet.
Sometimes if the speakers are far away, being on SonosNet causes audio dropouts so ensure that they are in close proximity to one another.
You can also experiment with moving all your speakers to regular Wi-Fi to see if dropout issues are eliminated. Do this by turning off the Wi-Fi on your hardwired Sonos speaker. The SonosNet will now be disabled, and all the speakers will connect to the regular Wi-Fi.
Alternatively you can create SonosNet if all speakers are nearby and on the regular Wi-Fi to see if it helps. Remember to hard wire just one or two speakers so that the network traffic doesn’t get confused.
Note: To check whether your speaker is on SonosNet or Wifi, go to ‘About my Sonos System’ from your phone. Select the device. If WM:1, it is on Wi-Fi, and if WM:0, the device is on SonosNet.
According to Sonos, if you’re using a mesh WiFi system to extend the range of your wireless network, and your original router is still present
- Configure your router to act as a modem only. On most routers you will need to disable the DHCP server.
- Configure your mesh system to be in ‘Bridge/AP mode’. Otherwise it will behave like a router. This will create two logical networks running on one hardware layer (commonly referred to as Dual DHCP).
Reference: Mesh Networks section on this page.
Did you just replace your Access Point?
Last year I replaced my D-Link Wi-Fi network with a Ubiquiti one. To make things easy I kept the same SSID name for the Ubiquiti network. However I forgot to unplug the D-Link network. As a result both networks were emitting the exact same SSID or name.
As well both of these networks had DHCP enabled, which meant that they could each hand out IP addresses and those IP addresses were also in different IP address ranges.
Now sometimes my phone connected to the old D-Link network and at other times the new Ubiquiti one – it really depended on where in the house I was.
When my phone connected to the network the Sonos was not on – it could not see the speakers. As a result, the system ran into issues.
The solution was to unplug the older D-Link AP. This solved the problem. If for any reason you want to run two networks, make sure they have different names (to avoid confusion) and also that the Sonos and your phone are on the same Wi-Fi network.
Change TV Settings
If your Sonos speakers are connected to the TV, try turning off the audio sync. Sometimes during media transmission, audio is fed at a different frame rate than images. In some cases, this difference in frame rates causes noticeable desync.
In this situation, the audio will start cutting out for half a second to resync the image and sound. Turning off the audio sync settings will resolve this problem, and no sound dropouts will occur. To turn off the audio sync:
- Go to Settings > Sound/Audio > Advanced/Expert Settings on your TV.
- Locate A/V Sync or Audio Delay.
- Turn it Off.
Reference: Reddit discussion thread