How to Fix Sound Issues on a Sonos PLAY:3 Speaker

Introduction

This guide will show you how to repair basic sound issues with your wireless Sonos system.

? What kind of sound issue are you having?

  1. Audio playback stops or skips
  2. Low volume or no sound
  3. Sound comes from wrong speaker
  4. Stereo not working
  5. Speaker audio is distorted

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This guide will show you how to repair basic sound issues with your wireless Sonos system.

The Sonos sound system plays audio from a multitude of sources. They are grouped in the following kinds:

  • Radio stations and on demand music or podcasts from online music services
  • Audio files from computers, mobile devices or other networked storage
  • Any audio device connected to Sonos through the Line-In interface

If you're having trouble listening to a music service there are a couple things for you to try:

  • Check if an outage has been reported for the music service you're using.
    To check for outages, visit:
    https://status.sonos.com/
  • Attempt playing music from another online music service and compare how the music services are performing.
Try again later when the services are back up.
PlayStation Network showing online

Check if other devices on the same network are having the same connectivity issue. This applies to situations when:

  • You are unable to connect to a Wi-Fi network:
    • Try connecting to the same Wi-Fi network with other devices.
  • You have no internet access or you have slow or intermittent connectivity:
    • Try loading webpages, watching online videos, listening to online music or playing an online game with other devices connected to the same network, preferably through an Ethernet connection.
  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
  1. Unplug the power cable from your Sonos device and wait 30 seconds.
    Unplugging power cord from speaker
  2. Plug the power cable back into your Sonos device. Allow up to two minutes for it to boot up and connect to the network.
    Plugging power cord back into speaker
  3. Once connected to the network, the light on the top of your Sonos device should light up a solid white color.
    Indicator light on top of 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.
Ensure the computer, phone, tablet or network attached storage (NAS) device that contains the music tracks is powered on and connected to your Wi-Fi network.

If you haven't already, please try power cycling the device you're working with.

  1. Turn off your device.
    Power
  2. Wait ten seconds.
    Wait 10 seconds
  3. Turn your device on again.
    Power
  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.

Changing the audio compression setting to Compressed will be less taxing on the wireless network and may alleviate audio stops or skips. Here's how to do it on mobile devices:

  1. Open the Sonos Controller app.
    Mobile app icon
  2. Open the Menu then select Settings.
    Menu in mobile app
  3. Go to Advanced Settings.
    Settings screen in mobile app
  4. Then to Audio Compression, set the settings to Compressed and tap on Done.
    Advanced Settings screen in mobile app

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.
If you have multiple speakers you have to choose which one you want to use. Tap on the room (speaker) name at the top of the screen then select the one you want to use from the drop down menu. This method works for both smartphones and tablets.
Speaker selection in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
On a computer just click on the speaker on the left side of the screen.
Speaker selection in Sonos Controller for computers

You can control the music volume for each speaker you select from the speaker selector at the top. When you have grouped speakers, you can raise or lower the sound volume to all of them at once by moving the volume control slider. All volume controls will pop up for the speakers in the same group which lets you control them separately as well. Tap on the speaker symbol to mute and unmute.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Tap on the Now Playing bar at the bottom of the screen, from anywhere within the Sonos app
    Bottom bar highlighted in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
  2. Then move the volume control slider at the bottom of the screen to adjust the sound volume.
    Placement of volume control slider pointed out on mobile screen
  3. If you have multiple speakers selected, all of their volume control sliders will show up.
    Volume control sliders for grouped speakers in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
  4. On a computer you would see something like this when controlling the sound volume for grouped speakers.
    Volume control sliders for grouped speakers in Sonos Controller for computers
If you have multiple speakers you have to choose which one you want to use. Tap on the room (speaker) name at the top of the screen then select the one you want to use from the drop down menu. This method works for both smartphones and tablets.
Speaker selection in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
On a computer just click on the speaker on the left side of the screen.
Speaker selection in Sonos Controller for computers

To listen to music in stereo with Sonos you need to:

  • Have a speaker that can play stereo on its own
  • Pair a couple of speakers to act as left and right channels and play in stereo

Sonos speakers that play stereo on their own are:

  • Play:3
  • Play:5 (gen2)
  • Playbase
  • Playbar

Play:3 and Play:5 (gen2) can only play in stereo on their own if they are positioned horizontally. Stereo playback is disabled if they are positioned vertically.
Possible position orientations for Sonos Play:3 speakers
Possible position orientations for Sonos Play:5 speakers

Sonos speakers that can be paired to play in stereo are:

  • Sonos One
  • Play:1
  • Play:3
  • Play:5 (gen1)
  • Play:5 (gen2)

To pair speakers to play in stereo you need to make sure that:

  • Both speakers are of the same type
  • Both speakers are positioned in the same orientation
  • They are positioned between 8 to 10 feet apart and you are listening from 8 to 12 feet from the pair

Here's how to pair a couple of speakers to play in stereo:

  1. Open the Sonos Controller app on your mobile device.
    Mobile app icon
  2. From the Menu tap on Settings.
    Menu screen in mobile app
  3. Go to Room Settings.
    Settings screen in mobile app
  4. Select one of the speakers you wish to create a stereo pair with.
    Room Settings with speaker selection screen in mobile app
  5. Select Create Stereo Pair and follow the in-app instructions.
    Speaker settings screen in mobile app
  6. Once paired they will show up as one speaker in the Sonos Controller app and will only play the same audio source.

The layout of a room and where a speaker is placed, can have a significant impact on the sound that you hear. Trueplay uses the microphone in your iOS device to measure how sound reflects off walls, furnishings and other surfaces in a room, and fine tunes your Sonos speaker to make sure it sounds great no matter where you've placed it.

Due to the wide variety of devices on the Android platform using different software versions, microphones and ways to process audio, Trueplay Tuning is only available on iOS devices.

  1. Open the Sonos Controller app on your mobile device.
    Mobile app icon
  2. From the Menu tap on Settings.
    Menu screen in mobile app
  3. Go to Room Settings.
    Settings screen in mobile app
  4. Select the speaker that you want to tune with Trueplay. Speakers that require tuning will show a red dot next to their name.
    Room Settings with speaker selection screen in mobile app
  5. Then tap on Trueplay Tuning.
    Speaker settings screen in mobile app
  6. Tap on Next on the introductory screen.
    Trueplay introductory screen
  7. When ready, tap on Begin Tuning.
    Trueplay tunning start screen
  8. You will be shown how to hold your mobile device. You may be asked to rotate it upside down to not cover the microphone with your hand.
    Proper way of holding the mobile device while tunning speaker
  9. Remain quiet to test the background noise then tap on Continue to proceed.
    Background noise test screen
  10. You will be shown a demo video on how to perform the technique. Tap on Start when you're ready to being the tuning process.
    Tunning process demo and start screen
  11. After you've performed the technique the app will make the necessary adjustments. Tap on Finish to complete the tuning process.
    Tunning completion screen
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