AirPlay Music From AirPort Express Dropping Out

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by ryansebiz, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. ryansebiz macrumors member


    Apr 7, 2008
    My AirPlay music keeps disconnecting. Here's my gear:

    - AirPort Extreme 2013
    - AirPort Express 2012
    - MacBook Air 2013
    - iPhone 4S

    And my setup:

    - Extreme is in the living room
    - Express is in the adjacent kids bedroom
    - Express connected to Extreme over WiFi - it does not extend the Extreme's WiFi network

    My problems are:

    - The Express' AirPlay icon occassionally disappears from my iPhone
    - When the icon does appear, and I start streaming music to it, the music will stop playing anywhere from 15-30 minutes later. This happens if I stream from my iPhone or MacBook

    What can I try to prevent the AirPlay music from dropping out?
  2. meffakid macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2013
    It's a bandwidth/wifi issue. I have a similar setup, an extreme, express, and an iPhone and this happened quite often.
    It's either (A) the signal strength between your iPhone and the extreme or (B) the signal strength between your extreme and the express.

    You can test which it is by connecting your computer to the extreme via Ethernet cable, launching iTunes, and airplaying. If there is no drop out, then the issue is (A) otherwise it's (B).

    If it's B, make sure the express is connected wirelessly via the 5Ghz wifi. If that doesn't work. You'll need to run a long Ethernet cable, use MOCA or power line Ethernet.
  3. MUrhino macrumors regular


    Jan 6, 2003
    Similar problems

    I have similar problems every now and then streaming from my iPad and iPhone to my ATV. I've got my time capsule upstairs connected to my router, and an AirPort Extreme downstairs by my receiver that extends my network. I had the extreme before I had an ATV, so that was my way of streaming over my home speakers.

    I've got a 5GHz network running as well from both airports, but believe my iPad can't use that one. Now I stream to my 3rd Gen ATV but dropouts still occur, especially when walking around the house with my phone or when it goes to sleep...weird considering I have full wifi on my phone. Here's my networking setup:

    Time Capsule 2009 (abgn)
    AirPort Extreme 2010 maybe? (Used to extend network)
    3rd Gen ATV (living room)
    2nd Gen ATV (workout area)...not used that much
    iPhone 5s
    IPad w/ original Retina (3rd gen)
    MacBook Pro....currently without but in the market for a refurb June 2012 or Oct 13 retina.

    Along with streaming audio dropping out, mirroring from the iPad is horrible...hardly ever works.
  4. twintin macrumors 6502

    Aug 10, 2012
    Seems you msy suffer from interference. Have you checked how many others run a WiFi network in your surrounding ? Have you tried to turn off BT on your devices ?

    Sometimes, just changing router channel manually can resolv lot of issues.
  5. MUrhino macrumors regular


    Jan 6, 2003
    I haven't tried turning off the BT And yes, there are a lot of other networks within range. I'll play around with the channels and see if that helps.

    Using an AirPort Extreme to extend the network with both stations using 5GHz isn't an issue is it? Not as smart with the advanced features as I should be, but at least it's secure and hidden (although hidden isn't that great against someone who knows what they're doing). Might add MAC access control but I thought that could slow data rates.

    Thanks for the input!
  6. teknikal90 macrumors 68030


    Jan 28, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    I'm having this issue - weird as I'm using apple everything and using ethernet to connect the apple tv to the router (time capsule).

    Did you manage to find a solution to this?

    How do I go about changing the 'channel'?

  7. Frankied22 macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2010
    Has anyone who manually changed their wifi channel had this fix airplay dropping out?
  8. ajohansson macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2011
    Im in the same boat.

    Just got a Sonos play 5 and bought an Airport Express so I could have Airplay access.

    Set up the AE as a client wirelessly . I can see the AE as an airplay device but it is not very stable.

    It will stutter, stop etc. Sometimes it will play for 20 mins then stop, other times just stutters constantly.

    My set up is a AEBS as my router.

    Other devices besides the Airport Express for the Sonos are 3 ATVs which never ever have issues streaming movies wirelessly from itunes.

    Could it be interference from neighboring wifi? I can see about 7 networks at my house. Some folks have said lock it down to a particular channel, others say that has not helped.

    If i just use the sonos app and not airplay its flawless. I do use the Sonos boost for that and its located in the same area as my router.
  9. Uofmtiger, Dec 13, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014

    Uofmtiger macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    I would look into a wifi booster/extender or home plug Ethernet ( would most likely fix the issue). Once you have an Express connected to Ethernet, you can use it to extend your network, which would also boost your signal.
  10. ajohansson macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2011
    What I have been told (From Sonos) that the AE needs to be in client mode with wifi turned off. I would prefer not to have to go POE but I could certainly try. I may get another AEBS and extend the network on this side of the house near the AE/Sonos. I dont have Cat5 in there so I need to get a moca adapter for an existing RG6 run thats near my router.

    I just learned about the Wifi scanner on OSX so I will try that when I get home and see what channels are less congested. I have a school by me and I can see their wifi plus all the neighbors.

    I am with you though on potential wifi strength I think that coupled with a new channel may solve my woes. I dont want to be a pessimist but I have read of others who have the same issue with audio airplay on the AE.

    The Sonos boost is supposed to be a killer wifi signal but I would think it was as good as AEBS but it works on a totally different frequency and I cant find any literature on what it is exactly but it does work flawlessly.

    I will report back on my findings on Monday.

  11. hvfsl macrumors 68000


    Jul 9, 2001
    London, UK
    I agree, I initially set mine up by connecting them to the main access point wirelessly, but streaming audio needs a stable connection to work effectively. So just got some home plug adapters which solved all my problems.
  12. ajohansson macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2011
    ordered another AEBS today. Going to hardwire this one to my AEBS thats in the garage to hopefully increase the reception in the house some and hopefully stabilize my AE. Will report back.
  13. ajohansson, Dec 15, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2014

    ajohansson macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2011
    So got home and did the wireless scanner on OSX.

    had 4 wifi's on channel 11 in 2.4 ghz. Now I assume the others all use smart multi channel routers that seek the free channels but I notice the school that is close uses channel 11 a lot. I went to channel 2 and reset router.

    At first things looked good. But then started to get drop outs. I moved my phone that im airplaying from closer to the router and so far so good. I also had the phone originally in the same cabinet as the AE. Wondering if the close proximity was the deal too. Im thinking the AE has a much stronger antennae then my iphone which requires my iphone to be closer to router.

    I have some DECA adapters (im on directv) so I can get an AEBS downstairs and upstairs. My current router is in the garage. There is only two walls between the router and the iphone near the AE but as everyone has pointed out wireless is funny. So im hoping my new roaming system will improve coverage and stability so i dont have to put my iphone in the garage!
  14. ajohansson macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2011
    So I added two more AEBS hardwired to the main AEBS in the garage at the Verizon ONT. The airport express is extending the network but has the wireless turned off so its in client mode. Essentially it is just a destination for airplay. Its still spotty. Sometimes will play for an hour fine then will drop for 30 seconds then come back on. now I have repurposed an iphone 4 to do the streaming. I do notice when I do other things with my iphone while streaming on airplay I run into issues. Wonder if the iphone 4 just cant handle it.

    The most stable thing is the actual SONOS independent wifi using the BOOST device. The only reason I added the airport is to be able to airplay into the SONOS system.

    I will keep playing with it. maybe get a Ethernet power adapter to hardwire it to the network.

    Is there a way to see which base station my airport express is actually connecting with? I suppose it would choose the one with the best signal as they al have the same SSID and are broadcasting both 2.4 and 2.5

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