Airplay sound stuttering when using 5ghz

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by stellahell, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. stellahell macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2012
    So I bought the new Airport Express for AirPlay use.

    I've set up a 2.4 ghz and 5 ghz network. I use the 2.4 ghz for iPhones and such and the 5 ghz for my MBP. Only problem is that the sound is stuttering and sometimes freezing when I use Airplay through iTunes on my MBP over the 5 ghz network. However, when I switch to the 2.4 ghz network there's no lag...

    Anyone else experiencing this and have any idea why it's stuttering when using the 5 ghz network - which should be much faster than the 2.4 ghz?

    I occasionally have similar stuttering issues with my iPhone 4 and 4S when using airplay even though the iphone is about 2 feet away from my airport express.

    It's starting to bug me that I can't use Airplay in a sensible way...:(

    Btw, it's a MBPr with Mountain Lion up to date.
  2. ThisOneHere, Feb 1, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013

    ThisOneHere macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2008
    Upstate, NY
    I always had my iPhone on 5GHz (I have the latest gen Airport Extreme) and I noticed the same issue once I got my new Harman/Kardon AVR 1700 with AirPlay. I thought it was a problem with the receiver itself, but my buddy has the same setup and same receiver and was problem-free. It wasn't very obvious to me at first since I even had the receiver connected via Cat6 Gigabit Ethernet to my router, so only the iPhone was on Wi-Fi. We determined that the only variable between my buddy's setup and mine was that I was on 5GHz and he wasn't. I switched to the 2.4GHz network and haven't had any issues since with either AirPlay skipping or another problem I was seeing with the Harman/Kardon iOS remote control app "losing" sight of my receiver.

    I can only speculate as to why 2.4Ghz works better, but I assume it's related to a multicasting setting, using "wide-channels" with 5Ghz, or perhaps the channel being auto-selected by the 5Ghz band is conflicting with something else. Considering I really don't "need" 5Ghz on the iPhone, simply switching to 2.4Ghz wasn't too upsetting. I don't AirPlay much from my MBPr but I fully understand why this would be more annoying for you, as I wouldn't want my MacBook on 2.4Ghz or to have to switch back and forth.
  3. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    5GHz doesn't go through things as well as 2.4, so put a couple walls between you and the router, and you may have a better signal on 2.4.

    wifi can have problems if things are too close.

    wifi isn't an exact science, there are a lot of outside influences that come into play. construction of your building, furniture, other electronics, other wifi networks.
    i try to hardwire as much of my gear as i can for this very reason
  4. bohbot16 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2009
    This. I've found that if you're using all Apple gear that setting the 2.4 and 5GHz networks to the same name and letting the devices sort it out works surprisingly well. I have had to manually select a 2.4GHz channel with this configuration, though, to reduce interference with neighboring apartments.
  5. stellahell thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2012
    Thanks for the replies, guys! I guess we won't come any closer to an actual solution, but I did learn a little regarding wifi :) But like waw74 said, it's not an exact science.
  6. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    One thing you could try is changing the channel setting from "Auto" to one of the other options there 40,41 etc. I have both my ATV's running on 5GHZ and they don't miss a beat.
  7. stellahell thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2012
  8. Darf Nader macrumors newbie

    Darf Nader

    Aug 25, 2015
    Funny, it's March of 2017 and I still have this very problem. If I attempt to use AirPlay from any Apple device (whether it be my MacBook Pro running MacOS 10.12.4 or my iPhone 6S running IOS 10.2.1) and it is using 5 GHz wifi, it will consistently stutter after a few minutes and eventually just fail completely within 10 minutes. The remote AirPlay device (A Pioneer SC-99 that is on ethernet) usually still is in the list of available AirPlay devices when this happens, however play simply stops. However, sometimes the device simply disappears and requires a manual reconnection within iTunes (MacOs) / Music (IOS) which requires a force refresh of sound devices in order for the remote AirPlay device to reappear in the list. Of course, if I use 2.4 GHz or ethernet (MBP only, obviously), AirPlay works flawlessly.

    I should point out that I am using a high end ASUS RT-AC87R multiband router and my MBP is located about 5 feet away with nothing physically in between the antenna and the computer. Behavior with with iPhone is the same if I am right next to the router or in the next room, so proximity doesn't seem to matter. I really have a hard time accepting that this is some sort of interference or some failure with 802.11ac that is causing this problem, considering (a) that no other traffic seems affected, as my normal data transfer speed over 5 GHz approaches the theoretical limit of the technology when copying files if I monitor throughput on my router and (b) that the problem happens consistently, day or night, winter, spring, summer, or fall.

    It's fairly appalling that this problem is still very much an issue 4 1/2 years after people first started reporting the problem in the summer of 2012. I am pretty disgusted with Apple over this one.
  9. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Then send feedback to Apple Feedback. A little birdie told me a while ago Apple Support still read these reports!
  10. atmenterprises macrumors 6502

    Jan 28, 2006
  11. JeffH13, Apr 10, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017

    JeffH13 macrumors newbie


    Dec 23, 2016
    AirPlay is hopelessly broken now. Way back in 2003 I could stream from a G4 iMac all day over a wireless 'B' router to first-gen Airport Express and still surf the net over a DSL connection. Now with FIOS and wireless 'N' plus i5 Macbook Pro I have the same 10-minute skip/timeout problem. Interestingly, Pandora streaming to this network from my iPhone never has a problem.
    I have submitted feedback but like this msg says, no progress in the last five years.

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