Open letter to Mr. Spence @sonos to address several issues related to multiroom speakers and @arubanetworks Instant WiFi AP’s / cc. @RF_Chuck

Hello Mr. Spence,

This is my second message to you, the first one two years ago has been ignored. On SONOS Support someone wrote that you can be contacted directly (Link). So I am keeping a copy of this message on my website and – if OK on your side – will post your reply also here.

Here is my message, request for support and my request to get you in contact with the lovely people at Aruba to finally improve the situation.

SONOS speakers are the premier brand when it comes to multiroom setups. For some time now, SONOS has been used not only in consumer, but also in professional / commercial environments.

SONOS speakers do not behave in WiFi like any other device. When using SONOS with cheap so-ho network hardware, this is not noticeable. However, if you use SONOS with professional network equipment, such as „Aruba Instant“, you will run into various problems. „Aruba Instant“ (not „Aruba Instant On“ – This is another brand by HPE for soho not adressed here) is the most commonly used brand in bars, hotels, fitness rooms, campus networks and cafes.

SONOS support is completely overstrained with this topic. They come up with completely wrong tips, like for example changing multicast filter settings – that is disastrous for RF behavior / airtime usage. Your support is not prepared for such incidents at all, as you focus on consumer network hardware only.

Aruba for example detects arp-poisoning, ad-hoc-network-connection or dhcp-spoofing caused by SONOS. Grouped speakers or stereo grouped speakers or speakers connecting to a Playbar via ad-hoc will be blocked or certain SONOS features will work at first and will not work any other day. For such behaviours with professional network equipment you do need people that understand ssdp/dlna/multicast, as well as all those security features any aruba instant AP provides.

Furthermore, SONOS does not work with roaming features, such as aruba Client-Match or even aruba ARM when doing channel-fly. It would be nice your speakers would be more resilent in those environments.

Also Aruba Airgroup (multicast dns optimization) is the most used and very most important feature to optimize mdns in WiFi. Your support or folks at your forums will get his completely wrong. Your last recommendation was to disable M2U features as well.

To solve the problem, please proceed kind of / as following:

Please purchase at least two Aruba Instant 505 or 515 (not Aruba Instant ON – that’s a different brand by HPE Aruba). Use these AP’s permanently for a setup to mimic the behavior of all your speakers / rincon protocol in such an environment.

Use at least a conservative 8.6 firmware that is the most used one in the wild.

Use the commands „sh log security“ and „sh log system“ to see the behavior of your speakers, then correct – in detail – the security features within Aruba Instant SONOS is incompatible with or correct the behavior of your speakers in your firmware.

Further, check rincon protocol for Aruba Airgroup service so that Airgroup can detect all SONOS services, including Spotify Connect as it is intended. If you do not succeed, please talk to the people at Aruba! They are friendly people and they will help!

Then please create a complete whitepaper for network administrators on how to resolve all those issues – that is the main target of my letter.

Thank you!

John Lose