How to Fix Basic Issues with a Sonos PLAY:3 Speaker

Introduction

Sonos is a home sound system of Wi-Fi connected speakers, that lets you listen to anything you want, wherever you want.

This guide will assist you troubleshoot and repair basic issues with the Sonos wireless speakers.

Sonos lineup

? What kind of issue are you having with the speaker?

  1. Sound issues
  2. Lost Wi-Fi connection
  3. Speaker not found
  4. Sonos system not found

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Sonos is a home sound system of Wi-Fi connected speakers, that lets you listen to anything you want, wherever you want.

This guide will assist you troubleshoot and repair basic issues with the Sonos wireless speakers.

Sonos lineup

Repair Common Sonos PLAY:3 Speaker Sound Issues

If you're getting a message that says We can't connect to Sonos on your Sonos Controller app, this guide will assist you with common steps you can take to resolve the issue.
Can't connect error

Make sure that the device that you're using the Sonos Controller app on is connected to the same Wi-Fi network you connected the Sonos system to.
  1. On the device that you're using the Sonos Controller app on go into the Settings.
    Settings and Sonos icons on phone screen

  2. Then go to Wi-Fi.
    Settings screen on phone

  3. And make sure you are connected to the correct Wi-Fi network.
    Wi-Fi network list screen on phone
  1. Unplug the power cord from your router.
    Router with unplugged power cable
  2. Ensure that all the lights went off.
  3. Wait ten seconds.
    Wait 10 seconds
  4. Plug the power cord back into your router.
  5. Wait up to a minute for the connections to be re-established.
    Wait 60 Seconds

Check power to the Sonos device:

  1. Make sure the power cord is plugged in firmly and connected to a working power outlet. Some power outlets are turned on and off by a light switch. Ensure the switch is on, or better yet, use an outlet that is not controlled by a switch.
    Speaker power cord being plugged into power outlet
  2. If you’ve adjusted the power to the device, allow up to two minutes for it to boot up and connect to the network.
  3. You can also tell if a device is receiving power by looking to see if the light is on. Try repeatedly pressing the volume down button on the player. The light should eventually turn green when the player is muted.
    Placement of status light and controls on speaker

If you've replaced your router or changed the Wi-Fi settings on your existing router, this guide will show you how to change the Wi-Fi settings on your Sonos system. If you have multiple Sonos devices, you only have to do this on one of them.

  1. Wire the Sonos device directly to the router using the provided Ethernet cable.
    Ethernet cable being plugged into router
  2. On your smartphone, go into Settings.
    Settings icon highlighted on phone screen

  3. Then go to Wi-Fi.
    Settings screen on phone

  4. Make sure your smartphone is connected to the Wi-Fi network that is set up on the router. This is the same Wi-Fi network that your Sonos device will connect to.
    Wi-Fi networks list on phone

  5. After that, launch the Sonos app on your smartphone.
    Sonos icon highlighted on phone screen

  6. And tap on the Menu symbol on the top left corner.
    Placement of menu symbol pointed out in mobile app

  7. Then select Settings from the menu.
    Settings option highlighted in mobile app menu

  8. Go into Advanced Settings.
    Advanced Settings highlighted in mobile app Settings screen

  9. Then tap on Wireless Setup.
    Wireless Setup highlighted on mobile app Advanced Settings screen

  10. Read the instructions on the screen and tap on Next.
    Wireless Setup initialization screen

  11. The Wi-Fi network and password should be populated automatically. Tap on Show to see the password. Confirm they are both correct then tap on Continue. If they aren't tap on Use another network and put in the correct information.
    Wireless Setup credentials entry screen

  12. Your Sonos device should now be connected to the preferred Wi-Fi network. You can unplug the Ethernet cable from the device and router.
    Wireless Setup completion confirmation screen

Check power to the Sonos device:

  1. Make sure the power cord is plugged in firmly and connected to a working power outlet. Some power outlets are turned on and off by a light switch. Ensure the switch is on, or better yet, use an outlet that is not controlled by a switch.
    Speaker power cord being plugged into power outlet
  2. If you’ve adjusted the power to the device, allow up to two minutes for it to boot up and connect to the network.
  3. You can also tell if a device is receiving power by looking to see if the light is on. Try repeatedly pressing the volume down button on the player. The light should eventually turn green when the player is muted.
    Placement of status light and controls on speaker
  1. Unplug the power cord from your router.
    Router with unplugged power cable
  2. Ensure that all the lights went off.
  3. Wait ten seconds.
    Wait 10 seconds
  4. Plug the power cord back into your router.
  5. Wait up to a minute for the connections to be re-established.
    Wait 60 Seconds

The device needs to be within a reasonable range of the router in order to connect and have the best connection speeds.

  • In general, in most homes, you can be up to 30 feet from your router for a decent connection.
  • From 30' to 50' away, the speeds will be slower, and may drop occasionally, but it should be usable.
  • Greater than 50' away, and the signal will most likely be too weak to overcome interference. The speeds will be slow, and the connection may be sporadic.

The above numbers are approximates only. Optimal range may vary based on router make and model.

Wireless signal interference can cause performance issues such as slow or intermittent connections and even complete disconnects. This type of interference can be caused by the presence of:

  • Electromagnetic fields created by other electronic devices such as: Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capable devices, cordless phones, baby monitors, remote controlled toys, microwave ovens, seasonal lighting, or even garage door openers.
  • Structural materials in walls, floors, furnishings or other large objects. The potential for structural materials in your home to absorb wireless signal and cause signal loss or undesirable behavior is as follows:

    Interference Potential Type of Material
    Low Synthetic material, wood, glass
    Medium Brick, marble, water
    High Concrete, plaster
    Very High Metal

To reduce wireless signal interference caused by other electronic devices:

  1. Turn off temporarily any of the above devices and check if the issue persists.
  2. If it does, consider moving the affected device or any of the other devices further from the affected device.
  3. Alternately, if possible, you can select different wireless channels in the devices' configuration. Consult the devices' manufacturers documentation for details on how to make those changes.

To reduce wireless signal interference caused by other objects or structures:

  1. Move the affected device or any obstacles if possible and check if the issue persists.
  2. If the device is in a cabinet or closet, consider taking it out.
Adding speakers to the Sonos system is similar across all devices. This guide will show you how to do it on smartphones:
  1. Open the Sonos Controller app on your mobile device.
    Mobile app icon

  2. Open the Menu from the top left corner.
    Placement of menu symbol pointed out on mobile app screen

  3. Then go into Settings.
    Menu showing in mobile app

  4. And select Add a Player or SUB.
    Settings screen in mobile app

  5. You will be asked to power up your speaker with the provided cord. Once you've done that tap on Next.
    Speaker setup showing speaker being connected to power

  6. Then look at the light color and pattern. If it matches what it says on the screen tap on Next otherwise tap on I'm unsure about the light.
    Speaker setup showing status indicator color and behavior meanings

  7. Select your speaker type from the drop down menu and tap on Set up this player.
    Speaker selection screen in speaker setup

  8. Based on your selection, you will be shown what button or combination of buttons to press on the speaker. Once you've done that tap on Next.
    Speaker setup showing which buttons need to be pressed to continue

  9. When the speaker is recognized it will be added to the system. Tap on Next to continue.
    Speaker added confirmation screen

  10. Choose the location of the speaker then tap on Next.
    Speaker location selection screen

  11. And you will get a final confirmation that it was added to the room you selected.
    Finishing up speaker setup or adding another

  12. If you want to add another speaker tap on Add another player otherwise tap on Not now to finish.

If you're getting a message that says Your Sonos system was not found on your Sonos Controller app, this guide will assist you with common steps you can take to resolve the issue.

System not found error

Check power to the Sonos device:

  1. Make sure the power cord is plugged in firmly and connected to a working power outlet. Some power outlets are turned on and off by a light switch. Ensure the switch is on, or better yet, use an outlet that is not controlled by a switch.
    Speaker power cord being plugged into power outlet
  2. If you’ve adjusted the power to the device, allow up to two minutes for it to boot up and connect to the network.
  3. You can also tell if a device is receiving power by looking to see if the light is on. Try repeatedly pressing the volume down button on the player. The light should eventually turn green when the player is muted.
    Placement of status light and controls on speaker
Make sure that the device that you're using the Sonos Controller app on is connected to the same Wi-Fi network you connected the Sonos system to.
  1. On the device that you're using the Sonos Controller app on go into the Settings.
    Settings and Sonos icons on phone screen

  2. Then go to Wi-Fi.
    Settings screen on phone

  3. And make sure you are connected to the correct Wi-Fi network.
    Wi-Fi network list screen on phone
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