Sonos not working? How to fix the most common Sonos problems

Sonos is behind some of the best multi-room speakers on the market, but that doesn’t mean you won’t encounter any problems using them. Here’s a guide to some of the most common Sonos problems and how to fix them.

How do I set my Sonos up with a new router?

There’s a handful of ways to set your Sonos up, including using an Ethernet cable and using a Sonos Boost. If you’re looking to set your speaker up using Wi-Fi, you’ll want to use Standard Setup.

These steps will work whether you are hooking your Sonos up to the internet for the first time, replacing your router with a new one or have fiddled with your network settings and need help reconnecting to the speaker.

To use Standard Setup:

  • Plug your Sonos in at the wall within range of your Wi-Fi router
  • Download the Sonos app on PC/Mac, iOS or Android
  • Open the app and select ‘Set up a new Sonos system’
  • Select ‘Standard Setup’
  • Select the speaker you want to set up
  • The app will tell you either to hold the Play/Pause and Volume Up buttons at the same time or to hold the dedicated Join button
  • Name your Sonos speaker
  • Select ‘Add Another Player’ and repeat the process if you have more speakers to add

For a more in-depth guide to opening up your brand new Sonos, check out our Sonos Setup Guide.

I’m having issues connecting my Sonos with my Wi-Fi router

Unlike most traditional Bluetooth-connecting speakers, Sonos operates over your home internet network. There are a lot of easy fixes to ensure your speaker and router stay working harmoniously.

Before you go any further, make sure the device you want to stream music from is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your speaker. If you’ve connected to a different network, you’ll need to go back and set your speaker up again.

If you’d rather not deal with Wi-Fi at all, you can always connect the speaker to your router using an Ethernet cable. This isn’t an ideal solution but it’s a decent quick fix if you’re throwing a party and don’t have time to work on the issue right now.

What if my Wi-Fi connection just isn’t strong enough?

If you’re looking to plant Sonos speakers in the furthest reaches of your home but you aren’t sure your Wi-Fi is up to scratch, you’ll probably want to pick up a Sonos Boost.

When you connect a Sonos Boost to your router, all of the other devices in your house will continue to connect to your router as usual except for your Sonos products which will be redirected to the Boost on a dedicated wireless network. If you’ve splashed out for more than one speaker, your Boost will actually daisy chain the wireless signal from one device to the next. This can significantly improve the signal quality – especially in larger homes.

Read our review of the Sonos Play 1

My Wi-Fi still isn’t working (and I don’t mind getting technical)

When you set up a Sonos speaker in your home, it should automatically receive an IP address from your router. However, some routers have an advanced setting that stops the router from giving your Sonos an IP address until it has been manually approved.

To fix this issue, you’ll need to add your speaker’s MAC address to the list in your router’s settings. You can find the MAC address on the bottom of your speaker listed as the serial number. The method to add a new MAC address can differ depending on your router so you may need to check with your internet provider for instructions on how to add an IP address to your list.

Why does my audio keep skipping/stopping?

If your audio keeps skipping, stopping or generally playing up, you could have an issue with wireless interference from other devices in your home. One way to reduce this interference is to switch the wireless channel that your Sonos system is using.

How to change the wireless channel in your Sonos setup:

  • Enter your router’s IP address into a web browser or load the software that came with your router on a computer connected to your Wi-Fi network
  • Find the wireless settings page
  • Adjust the wireless channel the router is using (If ‘Auto’ is enabled, disable it and use channel 1, 6 or 11)
  • Save the settings and restart your router if necessary

Credit: Sonos

Read our review of the Sonos Beam

My two Sonos speakers aren’t playing in stereo

One great thing about Sonos speakers is that if you buy two you can set them up to blast your favourite tunes in stereo. But what do you do if your speakers refuse to work together?

How to configure your speakers to act as your left and right ears:

  • Take two identical speakers – the Sonos One, Play:1, Play:3 and both generations of Play:5 are all stereo compatible
  • Position them roughly eight to 10 feet apart from each other and yourself between eight and 12 feet away from both devices

The Play:3 and Play:5 can be positioned horizontally and vertically so you’ll want to make sure they’re in the same orientation if you plan on pairing them.

Then, if you’re using an iOS or Android device:

  • Open the Sonos Controller app
  • Head into ‘Settings’
  • Tap ‘Room Settings’
  • Select the two speakers you’re looking to pair
  • Hit ‘Create Stereo Pair’ and the app will guide you through the rest of the process

If you’re using the Sonos App on PC:

  • Choose ‘Manage’
  • Choose ‘Settings’
  • Head into the drop down menu at the top of the screen labelled ‘Room Settings for’ and choose the speakers you’d like to pair
  • Hit ‘Create Stereo Pair’ and follow the instructions on screen

If you’re using the Sonos App on Mac:

  • Choose ‘Sonos’
  • Choose ‘Preferences’
  • Choose ‘Room Settings’
  • Head into the dropdown menu at the top of the screen labelled ‘Room Settings for’ and choose the speakers you’d like to pair
  • Hit ‘Create Stereo Pair’ and follow the instructions on screen

Credit: Sonos

Read our review of the Sonos One

How do I set my Sonos speaker up with Trueplay?

The layout of your room and the positioning of your speaker can have a surprisingly big impact on the way you hear music.

Trueplay is Sonos answer to this tricky issue. Trueplay tunes your Sonos to fit the room you’re in. It works by using the mic in your iOS or Android device to measure how sound reflects off all of the surfaces and objects in your room. It will then tune your Sonos to match the environment, optimising the sound coming from the speaker.

To activate Trueplay:

  • Open up the Sonos music menu on your iOS or Android device
  • Tap ‘Settings’
  • Tap ‘Room Settings’
  • Make sure you’re in the room you want to tune – a red dot should appear next to the room name if it hasn’t been tuned yet
  • Tap ‘Trueplay Tuning’ and follow the instructions on your screen

Be sure to move around as much of the room as possible during the tuning process to cover the whole space. You’ll need to grant Sonos permission to use the microphone on your device for Trueplay to work so make sure you’ve agreed to that in your settings.

It is also a good idea to minimise background noise during the tuning process. Turn off any noisy appliances and try not to have a conversation while Trueplay does its thing. You might also want to remove the phone case from your handset if you’re worried about it getting in the way of your microphone and having an effect on the results.

My device isn’t responding when I try to play music

If your computer or smartphone won’t allow you to play music files on your speaker, you may need to configure your firewall.

Sonos has made a handy list of firewalls, so choose yours and follow the instructions provided to configure your firewall to work with your speaker.

Credit: Sonos

Related: Best multi-room speakers

How do I get Alexa working with my Sonos?

If you have a Sonos One or a Beam, you can use Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant to control your tunes hands-free.

How to set Alexa up on your Sonos One or Beam:

  • Open the Sonos app
  • Open the ‘Browse’ tab
  • Tap ‘Add Amazon Alexa’
  • Tap ‘Connect your Amazon account’ and log in to Amazon
  • Download and install the Alexa app
  • Tap ‘Verify music services on Alexa’

Check out our guide for more info on how to set Alexa up on your Sonos.

Music services such as Amazon Music, Spotify, TuneIn Radio, Deezer, Audible and Apple Music are all supported by Sonos and Alexa in the UK. This means you can use Alexa’s voice commands to make basic playback commands including play, pause, volume, skip and mute without even opening the app.

How to add new a music service to your Sonos:

  • Open the Sonos app or the Sonos desktop controller
  • Choose ‘Add Music Services’
  • Choose the service you wish to add from the list
  • Follow the instructions on-screen to add your account

How to enable Alexa voice commands for a new music services:

  • Open the Amazon Alexa app
  • Select ‘Settings’
  • Select ‘Music’
  • Select ‘Link New Service’
  • Choose the music service you want to add
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to add your account

Alexa is playing music but the sound isn’t coming from my speaker

Make sure you’re being specific enough with your commands. If you leave it at “Alexa, turn the volume up”, Alexa will only raise the volume on your Alexa device. If you say “Alexa, turn the volume up in the kitchen”, you’ll hear your music blasting from the Sonos speaker in your kitchen.

Credit: Sonos

Related: Amazon Prime Day Sonos and soundbar deals

I want to sell my Sonos speaker – where can I find the factory reset option?

If you plan to sell your Sonos speaker, you’ll probably want to know how to reset it to factory settings. Resetting your Sonos will delete all of the data stored on the speaker and allow your Sonos system to be registered to a different email address so its the final step to take before shipping your speaker off to a new home.

To factory reset your Play:1, Play:3, Play:5 (gen 1), Connect, Connect:Amp or Playbar:

  • Unplug the power cord from the wall
  • Press and hold the Play/Pause button while plugging the power cord back into the wall
  • Hold the button until the light flashes amber and white
  • Once the factory reset is complete, the light will flash green

To factory reset your Sonos One, Play:5 (gen 2), Boost, Bridge, Sub, Playbase, Amp or Beam:

  • Unplug the power cord from the wall
  • Press and hold the Connect button while plugging the power cord back into the wall
  • Hold the button until the light flashes amber and white
  • Once the factory reset is complete, the light will flash green

These are just some of the most common troubleshooting steps for Sonos speakers.

If you’re still having trouble with your speaker, it might be worth checking the status of the streaming service you use to see if its down for anyone else. Sonos also has its own support site where you can learn about other common issues and share tips and tricks for the popular sound system with the rest of the Sonos community.

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