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Airplay problems

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MWJ
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MWJ posted on Sat, Apr 4 2020 6:50 AM

Hi all,

 

I have some very weird issues with airplay playback on my speakers. I currently have an A9 MkII, an M5 and an M3 connected to my wifi.

Sometimes I can stream via airplay to the speakers, sometimes not. In all instances, if I power cycle the speakers, they show up on airplay after reboot.

Usually the M5 and A9 show up in Spotify under Spotify connect which always works, but the same speaker might not show up on airplay, even though it is available for Spotify connect.

When I log in to my router, I can see that all the speakers are connected to the network (as the speakers' diodes indicate), but to no avail. Whether they are available on airplay is completely random, but most often not.

Obviously this is an issue, since airplay is the only way I can use multi-room streaming. 

I have contacted B&O support, and they offered several fixes, but nothing helps.

(And by the way: my Apple TV ALWAYS shows up in the airplay menu....)

Anybody with a solution ?

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trackbeo
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I had this problem with an A6.  I believed, but could not prove, that my Apple AirPort responded for the A6 if it felt the A6 had gone to sleep but was still active ("Bonjour Proxy"), and this confused the source device.  I believed, but never knew for sure, that giving the A6 a static IP address assignment, and, IIRC, preventing it from going to sleep, helped.  Given that my experience is so sketchy and so long ago, hopefully someone else can advise you!

(Note you did not say what your source device was.  My source was an older (10.6.8) Mac, which may have had mDNSresponder bugs, who knows...  The situation was complicated by having a DSL modem DHCP the IP address assignments, the A6 was connected to the Airport as wireless access point only, and both went through an Ethernet switch to which the Mac was hard-wired.  Who dropped or failed to respond to the Bonjour discovery packets, or maybe didn't wait long enough to receive replies?  I'll never know.)

MWJ
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MWJ replied on Sat, Apr 4 2020 7:47 AM

Hi

My source device is an iPhone 8. My router is a Sagemcom 3890V2. All devices are wirelessly connected.

It definitely seems like the devices are in "sleep" mode, and do not wake up unless power cycled (or connected with Spotify connect). Maybe it is a router issue. Maybe it is a B&O software issue...?

matador43
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Hi,

Not a solution but some details more.

I've a little experience with wide Airplay networks and what I can say is that anything which is not Apple branded will result in random Airplay results.

My setup has several Airport express scattered around the house and is pretty reliable. But it also includes standalone airplay speakers which regularly behave weirdly. Disconnections, disappearances, dropouts… Turning then off/on or de/selecting them, solves the problem and makes them appears again.
Sometimes they can work as expected for weeks and start again to fail without obvious reason.

I've tried several brands of speakers, from cheap to well know brands, with the same result. 

I even installed a wifi repeater with a dedicated network for each speaker only, works better but not 100% reliable.
Also tried 2,4 and 5 Ghz networks without obvious results. 

Dry walls have internal metallic structure who could maybe act has a Faraday cage, but speakers are less than 3 meters from the router/repeater through one wall max, and Apple Base Stations doesn't suffer any perturbations.

All this to say that I've come to the conclusion the wifi hardware from third party devices may not be perfectly adapted to Airplay protocol, thus creating the problems you mentioned.

MWJ
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MWJ replied on Sat, Apr 4 2020 8:10 AM

Thanks,

 

Just to elaborate:

It is actually not just an airplay issue.

Even the B&O app is not consistent in connecting to the speakers. If I open the app, often times it will say "product not available on the network" and this being while I can see they are connected, when logged in to my router.

Right now as I type this, my A9 is not available in the app. The M3 and M5 are. But only the M3 is available on airplay. The A9 could however be connected to via Spotify connect, which in my experience has worked most consistently. (but it cannot function as multi room, sadly). So now I am streaming via Spotify connect to my A9 only - while the B&O app states that "the product is not on the network"

It is a tad frustrating...:-)

trackbeo
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matador43:
Sometimes they can work as expected for weeks and start again to fail without obvious reason.  I've tried several brands of speakers, from cheap to well know brands, with the same result.
Interesting.  I have some Sonos One-SL's, not for very long yet -- but they have not (yet) disappeared from my network.  Did you try with any new-ish, i.e. AirPlay2-supporting, speakers, or were your tests all more than two years ago?  It may very well be that AirPlay is unreliable, and AirPlay2 is less problematic?  That would jibe with, e.g. the AppleTV, always being visible.

matador43
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trackbeo:
It may very well be that AirPlay is unreliable, and AirPlay2 is less problematic?

Maybe you're right. I dont have or didn't try Airplay 2 standalone speakers. The ones I have are AP1, not even 5ghz compatible so yes thats old hardware. But they also sound well and I might end up just wiring them to the wall or to an AE base for them to work better. So far, having to make them reappear from time to time is not too much work.

Don't know if it can answer to your question but in my Airplay Network I have olds (AP1) and new (AP2) Airport bases mixed. All working flawlessly appart from a new model base sometimes not visible from Airport Utility Software but still working and visible as an Airplay speaker. 

I believe like you that the problem is related to the non Apple devices going to sleep and a "handshake" problem when they need to wake up. But its really an ignorant guess.

Two observations thought:
- When I start music and the TP speakers don't wake up, then end up connecting after a while by themselves. Sometimes long seconds, sometimes minutes, often never.
- Depending on how I start music (Remote software on mac, old iOS or recent iOS) the speakers are more likely to start or not. Older iOS (up to 6.X) work almost everytime.

mbolo01
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MWJ:
It is actually not just an airplay issue.

It looks like a local area network issue.

In order to discover Airplay receivers such as B&O products, an Airplay sender such as a Mac or an iPhone sends Multicast Domain Name System QUERY packet on the network, Airplay receiver(s) respond(s) to this query with their network information and capabilities using the same multicast protocol. The sender caches the information and refreshes it when needed. B&O App has the same approach to discover the B&O products on the network, as well as Google cast. (I don't know about Spotify).

If these packets are lost then the devices appear unreachable for the respective service, while the router/switch will show them stil connected to the network.

If you have a computer on your network, I would start using the ping command against each device to see if you have packet loss, abnormal latency variation. It is not the most scientist way, but unless you know how to drive packet analyzer tools like Wireshark, it is a good start to diagnose network issue imo.

I would also temporarily wire the computer as well as one of the B&O products to identify if the problem is with the Wifi or the router/switch itself, e.g you could wire the M5, if the M5 is always present as AP receiver for the wired computer vs. A9 and M3 which are not always reachable via AP, it could then indicate a wifi issue. If the problem persist for all devices, wired included, then it is surely a router/switch issue.

BS Moment, BS Core, BG 4002, BC 4500, BS1, BL18, BL19, BL8000 + RCV1, A6, M5, M3, A1, P6 (tks Botty), H5, TR1

MWJ
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MWJ replied on Sat, Apr 4 2020 2:15 PM

Thanks! I will try to see if I can isolate the problem. 

But then: what will be the fix? Another router? 

mbolo01
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MWJ:

But then: what will be the fix

To soon to tell

BS Moment, BS Core, BG 4002, BC 4500, BS1, BL18, BL19, BL8000 + RCV1, A6, M5, M3, A1, P6 (tks Botty), H5, TR1

henrik
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henrik replied on Sat, Apr 4 2020 11:16 PM

I agree. To me it sounds like an mDNS issue, if the multicast handling of the router (especially over wi-fi) is a bit shaky it may result in the behaviour you experience.

Solution? Probably a firmware upgrade from Sagemcom (or Broadcom, who is responsible for the chipset of your cable modem). Maybe you should contact your ISP (or whoever it was who supplied the 3890). Apart from this, it's a really good unit.

I use a 3890v3 (same SoC, slightly different wi-fi chipsets) and I have similar experiences, btw.

matador43
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henrik:
To me it sounds like an mDNS issue, if the multicast handling of the router (especially over wi-fi) is a bit shaky it may result in the behaviour you experience.

mbolo01:
If these packets are lost then the devices appear unreachable for the respective service, while the router/switch will show them stil connected to the network.

If you have a computer on your network, I would start using the ping command against each device to see if you have packet loss, abnormal latency variation

Thank you Henrik and Mbolo for your leads.
Mbolo could you please elaborate on the Ping test? How to read the results and what to look for? 
How could this be related to some of my devices waking up speakers and other not? Or may this just be a random behavior based on current parameters like wifi strength and perturbations?
steve1977
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Did you hardwire the A9?

My BS1 and M3 work rock solid with AP2 and the B&O app. The A9 is very unreliable with wifi and requires regular restarts to work.
Jaffrey2230
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This is very likely some sort of a network issue with other wifi router. In my case, I am using Google Wifi Mesh and both Core and A9 show up every time with my HomePods and other gear. My assumption of why your Apple TV is showing up but not the A9 is perhaps because your Apple TV is wired.  Also, if my A9 does not show up for AirPlay on my iPad or iPhone, I can recycle my iPad or iPhone rather than the A9 or Core to see it. The current firmware on the A9 is rock solid in my experience, but it needs a stable wifi connection.

B&O in my life 😊: 

 

  • Beolab 8002 + Beolab 2 + Beosound Core with Essence Remote (Office)
  • Beolab 6000 + Beolab 11 + Beosound Core with Essence Remote (Bedroom)
  • Beoplay A9 Mk2 (Living Room)
  • Beosound 1 with wireless dock (Portable)
  • Beosound Balance (Dining)
  • Beoplay H95 (Focused listening, travel)
  • Beoplay H9 (3rd gen) (retired)
  • Beoplay P6 (Portable)
  • Beotime wall clock (hallway entrance)
  • BMW X5 50i with B&O Audio Package (Commute/drive)

 

 

 

trackbeo
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He means "restart" of course.  "Recycle" is what one does with one's old, bricked, Sonos CR100's!:-)

Restarting the iDevice is easier than the A9, because it's in your lap rather than across the room.  But it still doesn't say where the bug lies.  Does waiting -- for minutes -- at the selection pop-up on the iDevice finally show the A9, accomplishing the same thing as restarting the iDevice?  If not, then that's a bug in the iDevice's mDNS "gathering" algorithm/cache. (Because the iDevice is *supposed* to rebroadcast the query and rebuild the list periodically.)

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