Airplay sound stuttering when using 5ghz

stellahell

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 28, 2012
8
0
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.
 

ThisOneHere

macrumors newbie
Feb 12, 2008
25
1
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.
 
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waw74

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2008
3,157
189
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
 

bohbot16

macrumors 6502a
Mar 22, 2009
674
10
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.
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.
 

stellahell

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 28, 2012
8
0
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.
 

Macman45

macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
13,196
133
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
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.
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.
 

Darf Nader

macrumors newbie
Aug 25, 2015
14
1
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
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.
 

satcomer

macrumors 603
Feb 19, 2008
6,304
931
The Finger Lakes Region
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.
Then send feedback to Apple Feedback. A little birdie told me a while ago Apple Support still read these reports!
 

JeffH13

macrumors newbie
Dec 23, 2016
1
0
SoCal
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.

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.
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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