Roon + Sonos Play:1 audio stutters

Roon Core Machine

Roon Core running in Docker container on Unraid server.
Unraid server has
Intel® Core™ i5-2500K CPU @ 3.30GHz and 16GB or RAM

Networking Gear & Setup Details

Netgear Orbi WiFi + Ethernet
Core is connected to router via Ethernet

Connected Audio Devices

Sonos Play:1

Number of Tracks in Library

18k tracks

Description of Issue

I have a number of devices that are able to play my Roon library.
I can play through my local Macbook Pro, Mac Mini, Chromecast TV and Google Home devices.

I used to be able to play through my Sonos speakers.

However, recently (maybe 2.0) when I start to play through Sonos, a track will play for a few seconds then pause, then resume. It will stutter a few times. Then, it will just stop playing.

While playing via Roon, I have the Sonos app open on my iPhone. After a few seconds I see a message

Unable to play ‘Roon4.flac’ - network connection speed insufficient to maintain playback buffer.

This is odd because I haven’t changed anything in my network setup that I am aware of.

Also, if I play back audio (non Roon) via the Sonos app things work fine.

Hi @Joe_Cotellese ,

Apologies for the delayed response here, we are working through a backlog of cases since our 2.0 release and appreciate your patience.

Can you please confirm if you’re still seeing the issue at the present moment? We made some Sonos-related changes in a recent Roon release.

If you’re still seeing this issue, have you tried rebooting your Roon Core, Networking Gear, and Sonos device yet? Does the same issue appear when playing via Sonos Airplay?

@Joe_Cotellese what do you have set for the “Max bits per sample (PCM)” under Device settings for your Play:1? The Roon default is 24, and although I’ve seen conflicting info on this over the years, I’m pretty sure the max bit depth supported by a Play:1 is 16 (with a max sample rate of 44.1 kHz).

I have 9 Sonos speakers I’ve had since 2014, including a Playbar, Sub, Play:3 x 4, Play:1 x 3. When I first started using Roon a few weeks ago I thought that it wasn’t going to be able to reliably control my Sonos system. But after setting the max bit depth to 16 for all my Sonos devices, I believe my Sonos system is more stable using Roon than it is running it standalone.

The difference in size between 16-bit and 24-bit files is pretty significant, so having your Roon Core first down-convert a 24-bit stream to 16-bit before sending it to your Sonos devices should help minimize dropouts and stuttering.

Weird, I don’t seem to have that option.

Interesting. Can you see it if you access Device Setup by going through the gear icon on the Volume control popup?

What happens if you click on Load Defaults at the top right of the Device setup window? Does that cause the Max bits per sample option to appear?

It does not.

It turns out that part of the problem might be that the Sonos was connecting to the wrong Orbi satellite. I forced it to reconnect to the local one and that seems to fix my problem.

However, it would still be nice to be able to get access to that Max bits config option.


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