All wireless communication is sensitive to signal strength and interference. If the speaker doesn’t receive enough stable input, audio dropouts will occur. It is rarely an issue when browsing the web, but weak signal strength and interference can easily ruin the experience of using a wireless speaker.
If you experience audio dropouts when streaming to your speaker, it is probably because of one of the following problems:
- Poor signal strength
- Router settings
- An insufficient router
Note: Before you begin an in-depth investigation of the issue, please make sure that you have already rebooted your speaker, your router and your phone/tablet/computer. In many cases, this is a reliable way to resolve network-related problems.
Poor signal strength
Wi-Fi communication between the playing device and speaker is a 2-link process. Music is transmitted from device to router (link 1) and then from router to speaker (link 2). Wi-Fi stability is dependent upon both links being stable.
Wi-Fi link 1
It is important that the audio source has a reliable connection to your router. Unless you have a strong Wi-Fi network, carrying your phone around the house can decrease stability. Stability is affected by distance from the phone to your router as well as by walls and other large, solid objects between the audio source and the router. Maximize your performance by placing the audio source near the router.
Wi-Fi link 2
Use the Libratone App to check the signal strength between router and speaker. As a rule of thumb, the signal strength should be above 60%.
If decreasing the distance between the speaker and your router does not make a difference, try relocating the speaker within the same room.
Best router range performance is reached when your router is configured for 2.4 GHz.
If your home is simply too big to rely on a single router, a Wi-Fi extender could be an option. Read more about extending your network here.
WMM (Wi-Fi Multimedia)
When looking at router settings, it's important to enable WMM/QoS (if your router supports this feature). With WMM/QoS enabled, your router will prioritize media content over other network traffic.
Radio mode - 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz?
Most routers support 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Use 2.4 GHz if range is important. Use 5 GHz if your home is exposed to heavy Wi-Fi traffic. Note: Libratone speakers released before October 2015 does not support 5 GHz.
This setting controls which channel your Wi-Fi router will use to communicate. Avoid using the same router channel as your neighbour. Use "Auto" to let your router select the best channel available, or configure your router manually to use a lessor used channel. If you are tech-savvy, initiate a systematic approach using a wireless discovery tool like iStumbler. Use iStumbler to analyse Wi-Fi traffic and channels in use. Consult your router's manual (or do a Google search) for information on how to change channel on your particular router.
Libratone speakers support the 802.11 b/g/n standard. Note: 802.11ac standard is not supported.
Libratone recommends security settings WPA2 Personal (AES).
Please ensure that your router is using the latest available firmware. Some routers include a built-in "Check for Update" feature, while others require that you manually download the firmware file from the vendor's website, and then upload it to the router.
Find Apple's "Recommended settings for Wi-Fi routers and access points" here.
Interference does not only arise from other Wi-Fi networks, but from household appliances as well. Baby monitors, microwave ovens, wireless burglar alarms, home automation systems (like the Nest thermostat), cordless phones, etc. all broadcast their radio waves on the same frequency as most Wi-Fi networks (2.4 GHz).
If you use any of these devices, try switching them off to see if you notice any improvement in stability. When searching for sources of interference, pay attention to any device in your home that is wireless, even though it is not connected to your Wi-Fi network.
An insufficient router
All modern routers are perfectly capable of handling an AirPlay or DLNA data stream. However, if you are using an old router, it is likely that audio dropouts are caused by insufficient bandwidth or processing power in your router. In that case, the only solution is to buy a new router. Before you do, however, please make sure to read through the sections above.