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Sonos system skipping!

Discussion in 'Audio Visual' started by Wordupdowg, 11 Sep 2019.

  1. Wordupdowg

    Wordupdowg

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    Hi,

    Hopefully someone can help here?

    I have a sonos playbase as home which is amazing!

    Although when I play music from my laptop on iTunes and airplay it to the speaker it stutters occasionally for a split second and keeps doing this every 5 - 6 minutes. It works fine through the sonos app, when I air play from phones or iPads but only when I use the laptop this happens.

    iTunes is fully upto date and works fine when I play it through the laptop speakers or even when I plug a speaker directly into the laptop.

    Has anyone got any advice that could help here??

    Much appreciated.
     
  2. Lucid

    Lucid

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    Sounds a bit like wireless interference. Sonos is pretty resilient. There's a buffer memory in the devices that will cope with a signal outage for 10 seconds or so, but even that has its limits.

    It's easy to think of wireless as just a thing, but it's more complex than that. It's layered; there's the B/G/N and AC variants, plus the two frequencies (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz). Sonos needs a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network to connect. It may be that your laptop is channel hopping and going in to 5 GHz for those times when you're losing connection.

    Have you had a look at the help from Sonos? There's a dedicated forum. There's also some specific help on skipping here

    If this or any other reply was helpful to you, then please do the decent thing and click the T-H-A-N-K-S button. It appears when you hover the mouse pointer near the Quote Multi-quote buttons. This is the proper way to show your thanks for the time and help someone gave you.
     
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  3. Wordupdowg

    Wordupdowg

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    I’ll give that a go and see how I get on. Thanks again
     
  4. Wordupdowg

    Wordupdowg

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    Hi Lucid,

    Followed the link and it looks like my router has set channels already and not on auto as the Sonos page recommends. Any ideas please?
    upload_2019-9-11_20-7-59.png
     
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  5. Lucid

    Lucid

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    Apple and BT are the two biggest causes of headaches for me and my customers who use Sonos and other wireless or networked devices.

    BT sell their SmartHub on the idea that you'll get great network and Wi-Fi performance. Whilst it is a better router than most ISP-provided boxes, it gets a bit too big for its boots sometimes.

    From what I know of the set-up, I think that the 'Smart' shown in your screen grab (thanks for that, BTW, very useful) is BT's smart channel setting feature. In other words, the router is scanning the 2.4GHz channels looking for the least congested area and then channel hopping. Some devices can cope with that, but others prefer a stable channel relationship.

    Have a look at this page which details making changes to the way the various generations of BTHubs handle 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi. Fix the channel to 1, 6 or 11. You might also want to play around with the wireless mode if you're still having connection issues. See here for details.

    Should you still be experiencing issues accessing music from the laptop then the next stage is a temporary test using an Ethernet connection between the laptop and the hub. This will eliminate the wireless connection from the laptop to the hub which will then tell you if it's a BT/Sonos wireless issue, or a BT/laptop wireless one.

    Let me know how you get on.


    If this or any other reply was helpful to you, then please do the decent thing and click the T-H-A-N-K-S button. It appears when you hover the mouse pointer near the Quote Multi-quote buttons. This is the proper way to show your thanks for the time and help someone gave you.
     
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  6. Wordupdowg

    Wordupdowg

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    I'm going to re-scan channels now and then if that doesn't work i'll hard wire the laptop to the router and try that. Don't fancy going to mode 2 as some of my devices struggle for signal already and it looks like they lower the signal strength!

    Thanks again and I'll keep you posted.
     
  7. Lucid

    Lucid

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    Thinking about it, all the issues point towards the stability of the connection between the laptop and the router.

    What wireless standards does your laptop support?
     
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  8. Wordupdowg

    Wordupdowg

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    I agree with it being the laptop side as I airplayed to the sky box which plays the sonos playbase and it’s skipped then, I AirPlayed the same track in the same way from the iPhone and it played flawless.

    Not sure what you mean with my wireless standards? I’ve used 2 different laptops and both stutter and skip.

    Thanks again
     
  9. Lucid

    Lucid

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    There's wireless a/b/g/n and ac. You'll also see them referred to individually as 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n and so on.

    If you're running Windows 10, right click on the Start button and then select Device Manager. Look down the list for Network Adapters. Click to expand the line to a list. You should see something listing 802.11 and then the various letters of the Wi-Fi standards. That's the list of Wi-Fi standards that your laptop's wireless card supports.

    Repeat the process for the other laptop.
     
    Last edited: 12 Sep 2019
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  10. Wordupdowg

    Wordupdowg

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    Found it. Hows this look??
    upload_2019-9-12_8-35-15.png
     
  11. Lucid

    Lucid

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    From your list then you have an Realtek Wi-Fi adapter that supports 802.11 b/g/n standards.

    What it doesn't support is 802.11 ac.

    Switching to Mode 2 on the router wouldn't make the Wi-Fi any worse for that laptop; and it may even improve the reliability of the connection.
     
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  12. Wordupdowg

    Wordupdowg

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    Connected the laptop via an Ethernet to the router and worked perfectly so it’s clearly the connection between the laptop to the router.

    I’ve set the router to mode 2 now and tried the laptop but it still stuttered!!!!

    Ahhhhhhhh
     
    Last edited: 12 Sep 2019
  13. Lucid

    Lucid

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    It doesn't work like that. The distance that wireless AC can reach is the same as wireless N. That's because they use the same 5 GHz channels range.

    A router running in b/g/n mode (Mode 2 in the case of your BT Hub) radiates signals out in all directions equally. Where the signal has clear line of sight to the thing it's talking to, then you'll get the most range. However, as the range increases then the signal strength falls off, and as it does then the amount of errors in the signal increase which means more error correction happening, and this reduces the signal speed. In practical terms, you can stream HD video when close to the router, but as you get further away then the signal starts to stutter and eventually stops.

    Things that affect signal strength (and hence speed) are solid walls, metal (think 'foil backed in-wall insulation'), metal framework used to make stud walls, water, and high density building materials such as concrete.

    When your router is running in Mode 1 (g/n/ac) then it's still radiating signals all round for g/n, but when it's talking to an ac device then the aerials are able to concentrate more signal power in that direction. Since signal power = data speed, then the effect is the ability to stream HD video at a distance that b/g/n can't manage.

    What ac can't do is give you a Wi-Fi signal say at the bottom end of the garden or in a room in the house that b/g/n alone couldn't reach.

    In summary, the range of your router won't change. Any ac devices might experience a drop in the data speed. You're just going to have to try it out to see if it fixes the laptop stutter issue without adversely affecting the speed to any ac devices in the house.


    Don't despair if one of the kids complains that they can't watch Youtube vids in bed any more. This isn't the final point in your journey. It's possible to upgrade a laptop to ac with either a plug-in USB Wi-Fi ac dongle, or even by changing the wireless card in the laptop itself on some models.

    Another alternative is to switch to a NAS drive for your home's music library.

    If you haven't come across NAS drives before, then NAS stands for Network Attached Storage. In essence, it's a hard drive in a box with a mains power supply, and it can be read from without the need to be attached to a PC. The boxes themselves are relatively small - typically about the size of two paperback novels back-to-back. They're virtually silent, and connect with an Ethernet cable to one of the spare ports on the house router.

    Set-up is fairly simple. Once up and running, you'll have what's called a shared folder which is where a copy of your music library will live. The Sonos can be instructed to look there in a similar way to how it looks for your laptop drives. The difference with a NAS is the music library is always available to the Sonos and any other devices you decide to set up to access it. This means no-one needs to fire up a laptop just to listen to the library. A side bonus is that NAS drives are a lot more economical on power.
     
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  14. Wordupdowg

    Wordupdowg

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    Once again many many thanks!

    I’ve looked at the network storage drives but have minimal music actually stored on a device and the majority is streamed so I haven’t bothered.

    The stored music is a few longer sets that I want to use for something so have uploaded them to a a site and are steaming them from my phone to the speakers and it’s working fine. Seems a bit of a stupid way to do it given I have the actually mp3 on my laptop but it’s solved the issue.

    I’m going to buy a USB ac dongle as well and hopefully overcome the issue that way as well.

    Once again many thanks for the help and I’ve learnt quite a few things about WiFi set up here!

    Top man!
     
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