Roon Remote on Laptop/Phone: Dropouts with Multiple Sonos Endpoints

Affected Product

Roon

Roon Issue Category

Performance

Description of Issue

I use Roon and I use Sonos throughout my house. This is my Sonos system….

Family room – Sonos Connect (main 2 channel nice system)
Kitchen – Sonos Port Amp (ceiling speakers)
Rec room – Sonos Port (main surround system)
Rec room – Sonos Port Amp (ceiling speakers)

• I use Qobuz for all of my music. Over time I found that I never used my own Apple Lossless files on my computer because Qobuz has virtually everything that I listen to, they have hi rez files, and it’s easier to manage.
• Therefore, I use my MacBook Air as my Roon Core.
• The only internet hookup in the house is under a desk that is not located near any of the stereo systems. The router/modem is wired to a Sonos Boost.

The problem is that Roon often cuts out when I run it on my laptop or phone, so I often use the Sonos app on my laptop or phone instead. I’m not sure why this happens, but the Sonos app doesn’t give me this problem.

I’m not sure if a Nucleus would solve this problem if I wired it to the router/modem under the desk directly. Our Wi-Fi signal is not the best so that could be the problem. If that’s the problem the Nucleus may not solve the problem.

I was considering replacing the Sonos Connect on my main system with a better streamer, but if I do, I don’t think I’d be able to play the music throughout the whole house because it would be in a different group from the Sonos network equipment.

Any help or suggestions you have would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Roon Core Platform

macOS

Roon Core Specifications

MacBook Air, macOS Monterey Version 12.6.6, 8 GB

Connected Audio Devices

Sonos Connect, Sonos Port, and Sonos Port Amp. The Sonos Connect on the main system is connected to a DAC then an integrated amp though a coaxial connection. The Sonos Port on the surround sound system is connected to a surround sound receiver that has an internal DAC, also through a coaxial connection.

Home Network Details

Roon Core is connected through Wi-Fi. I have a Netgear router/modem that is connected to a Sonos Boost. We also have a Luxul mesh system.

The RoonServer, imho, should be connected via Ethernet or you will get drops out. What is probably happening is that when playing music, the music is streamed to the Server first, then processed into PCM and then sent back out. WiFi does not go both ways like Ethernet, it flips back and forth, so a single hop can get overloaded when trying to do both input and output; especially since the output is real time.

As a test, try plugging your RoonServer into ethernet directly connected to your router, nothing in between. See if that is the issue.

2 Likes

Thanks for the reply. I’m not able to connect my router to my Apple laptop with an ethernet cable. It sounds like the Nucleus might be the way to go.

I would try a Ethernet to usb adapter for your Mac Air first, quite inexpensive.

USB C to Ethernet Adapter, uni Driver Free RJ45 to USB C [Thunderbolt 3/4 Compatible], 1Gbps Type-C Gigabit Ethernet LAN Network Adapter for MacBook Pro/Air, iPhone 15 Pro/Max, Dell XPS, Galaxy S8-S23 https://a.co/d/hGh4bF

I have this one working well.

Hi. I did try hooking up the ethernet adapter to my laptop. I had to connect the ethernet directly from the Sonos Boost to my laptop because it didn’t work through the router. Is that okay? It worked better than wi fi but the music still cut out at the start of some songs. Separately, I still wasn’t able to access ARC in my car even though the internet was wired to my laptop through the ethernet cable.

I puzzled why you would not be able to connect directly to your router, you have a interesting setup going on there.

I have used that usb to Ethernet adapter very successfully by connecting to an unmanaged switch (Trendnet) that connects to an apple AirPort Extreme at one home. At my other home I have connected to a remote node of a TP-LINK deco mesh system. I’m wondering if you have somehow split your network, maybe a rearrangement to simplify your network is in order.
Now ARC is a whole different story, many Roon users (myself included) have many issues trying to achieve consistently usable results. I’ve kicked ARC to the curb personally.

1 Like

Even if the server is wired, if the phone is the endpoint and the wifi is insufficient it will also drop out. It’s the nature of RAAT

I say let’s back burner ARC and try to get his laptop to connect directly to the main router. Having to use a Sonos device is not right I’m thinking? What’s the story with the mesh device, can he connect directly to the mesh device?

ARC is a crap shoot at best, let’s get Roon working well first.

I wasn’t under the impression the OP was using ARC, seemed to me like the regular remote on the phone while at home. The OP only mentioned ARC as a separate issue when using it in the car.

If the wifi can’t maintain a steady sufficient bandwidth to the phone, the regular app with RAAT just drops out as RAAT does, wired core or not.

I had exactly this with a wired core and an older phone with a not-so-great wifi chip. Worked inside the house, but had frequent dropouts as soon as I walked out the terrace door. (The intent was to sit outside with headphones connected to the phone, but still on wifi).

A better wifi router and a better phone fixed that, but ARC on wifi is not a bad choice either in such a home wifi scenario. (The many people’s current ARC problems outside the home notwithstanding)

Could you please study op’s first post and try to understand his system, he’s been trying to use his laptop via WiFi and his playback devices are all Sonos.
Thanks for jumping in to help out here, I don’t have any experience with such a convoluted system though I do have two Sonos in a stereo pair that works well with WiFi via Roon.

I have no experience with Sonos but the OP seems to be saying that they are usually using the Sonos because Roon has dropouts:

And the Roon system has a MacBook as the Core on wifi. It’s not clear to me whether the phone & laptop are just used as remotes or also as endpoints.

A core on wifi does not help matters, but I am just saying that if the wifi is not great and endpoints are on wifi, there may still be dropouts even if the Core were wired. (Whether the phone is an endpoint or if there are Roon Ready streamers on wifi as endpoints.)

1 Like

Completely agree with all that, I was thinking that getting a Ethernet connection was the easiest least expensive thing to start out with. Certainly before springing for a nucleus. I have seen quite a few users having issues with Sonos and Roon marriages, I can only speak to my simple Sonos usage and it’s been good.
Still would want to find out why the computer doesn’t like a direct connection to the router?

This stuff ^

Absolutely, before buying a Nucleus it is certainly advisable to wire the MacBook Core properly to Ethernet and see if that helps. Because it would be a shame to pay for a Nucleus and then find out that the wifi is also insufficient for any Roon RAAT endpoints on wifi, which can happen because …

Right, this stuff should probably be figured out as well because it doesn’t seem normal either

1 Like

Yes I see how this puts you in a tough spot, I see that some of the Sonos equipment is not in current production, maybe others that have experience with the older Sonos models would be kind enough to chime in.

Thanks for all of the responses. I have a Netgear router/modem and a Luxul mesh system. For some reason the router has two IP address (one that starts with 100 and one that starts with 192). I have to use the one that starts with 100 because that’s the one that’s linked to my Sonos system. When I tried hooking up the router to my MacBook directly with the ethernet cable, it used the 192 IP address so the Sonos system didn’t work. When I hooked up the Sonos Boost to the MacBook with the ethernet it defaulted to the 100 IP address and that solved the Sonos problem. I am using the MacBook as my Core and I’m using the same MacBook and my iPhone as remotes. Thanks again for the help.

Hi @brianmr200,

Thank you for your patience in awaiting a staff response.

First off, it sounds like it’s worth verifying in your Netgear router settings whether the DHCP server is set to the router itself or something else, and whether your router has a second band (2.4 vs 5.0) active with a separate subnet. I’d also check if any prioritization rules are in place (quality of service, bandwidth throttling, or similar).

SonosNET functions on top of the existing WiFi network, and the network behavior of your Sonos devices will vary between Sonos S1 and S2 firmware and depending on whether they are wired or wireless in this particular setup. These devices will require stable two network features to operate smoothly to avoid dropouts: 1) multicast and 2) UPnP Discovery, a protocol built into your router and, if it’s managed in any way, your mesh setup.

Mesh networks often interrupt the flow of multicast traffic because they will fail to properly forward packets. One test would be to deactivate your mesh network entirely and play to a Sonos Zone that is visible to the upstream router. Do you experience any dropouts under these conditions?

The UPnP settings in your router will sometimes offer a timer to renew device certification that can interrupt playback with Sonos devices. Do you see any settings related to UPnP timers in your router web administration?

Since Roon behaves differently than the Sonos app under similar conditions, we can likely pinpoint the failure here to a specific request within your network or upstream to the internet that is logged by RoonServer. However, our attempts to pull these diagnostics from your account have so far failed due to your main RoonServer machine being offline (I assume it’s a laptop).

At your convenience, please use the directions found here and send over a set of logs to our File Uploader. If you are able to provide the name of a track/album that was playing when you experienced a Sonos-device dropout in Roon, or an approximate timestamp of the event, that will be especially helpful.

Thank you!

This topic was automatically closed 45 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.