Denon and Spotify Connect woes...

mattlach

mattlach

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
21
#1
Hey all,

So I am at my wits end regarding this, and I'd appreciate any suggestions.

I have a HTPC setup in my livingroom. It is used for both TV and music. I have it configured as the center of a multi-room system via the analogue Zone2 outputs on the back of the receiver. A cable run goes to the basement where I have a distribution amp, and from there I have RCA cables run all over the house: Kitchen, office, master bedroom, back porch, etc.

My most common source for music is Spotify, as it is just too damned convenient.

The problem: Denon lists most of their receivers as having Spotify connect, but the function is spotty at best.

Sometimes you pull out your phone, and it connects to the receiver and just works. Sometimes no matter what you do it refuses to connect. Sometimes you see the receiver detected in the list of available playback devices, and it just refuses to connect, and sometimes it doesn't even show up in the list of available devices. I have googled the issue and the internet is full of others with the same problem, and while there are often many suggested solutions, but never a silver bullet.

Based on these searches, i have tried:
- Switching from wired Ethernet to WiFi
- Switching from WiFi back to wired Ethernet
- Switching from static IP to DHCP and back again
- Soft Power Cycle (power off/on using remote)
- Hard Power Cycle (power off using power button on front of unit, unplug power, wait 30 seconds, reconnect)
- Trying different Spotify machines as sources (desktops, tablets, laptops & phones)

Nothing seems to work. If at the given time the Denon receiver has decided it doesn't want to work today, it's just not going to work no matter what you do. Then another day it may start randomly working again.

The only thing that seems to reliably get me back and running again after this has happened is to do a reset to factory defaults on the unit. The thing is, a home theater setup is highly complex, and restoring all the sound settings and room corrections after a reset is at least a half an hour process, requiring a quiet house. This is not something I can do every couple of weeks when the unit starts acting up again.

This has often resulted in us just giving up and listening to music over our phone speakers, which is INCREDIBLY frustrating given the expense and time I have put into this multiroom sound system. The Spotify Connect feature on Denon receivers simply is so unreliable it is completely useless.

The thing is, it's not just my unit, or my model. I have tried it on both the AVR-x3300W I have now, AND the previous unit I had, the AVR-x1300W, with exactly the same results.

My network is fairly decent (Procurve gigabit switch in the basement, with cat 5e cables in the walls to all major devices and Unifi Wireless Access points) and connected to the outside world via Fios gigabit service which has been damned near flawless, so I doubt either of those are the problem.

I do have the whole house on a VPN service (PIA) and while that sometimes causes problems with certain services, I doubt that is the case here, as I had these problems

So, I have started thinking about alternatives I can do to fix this, and have come up with the following list:

1.) Buy a Spotify Connect compatible device and plug it into the one of the many either analogue RCA, HDMI or optical inputs on the back of the unit, thus bypassing the internal disaster of a feature

2.) Running another length of wire from my main PC and playing analogue audio from there into the back of the Receiver as a music source.

3.) Using DLNA audio output from my PC to the receiver. (I've tried this, but found that there is an unacceptable time lag, and it too is very unreliable, but maybe I just need to set it up better)

4.) Something else?

I'm at my wits end here, and would appreciate some input and suggestions. At this point I want to stab everyone over at Denon....

Moreover, I'd like to understand if there is anyone out there with a Denon receiver who DOESN'T have these issues. Anyone for whom it just works as intended. This problem seems so common on the internet, that I assumed this feature is just broken across all Denon (And possibly Marantz?) units.
 
S

ScottAllenLogan

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
3
#2
I’m having similar problems with a couple of my Denon receivers, which I now just use Sonos as my Spotify source and that has solved it for me. Also, I have many different units that have Spotify connections, including DVD players, streamers, and the TV’s themselves. Curious... do you have any trouble connecting to your Denon receivers with the Denon app? I have three networked Denon receivers and this used to be a total joy to operate them all from an iPad, but I think it was a firmware update a few months ago that caused them all to only respond via Ethernet for maybe an hour or two (always varies.. sometimes only a few minutes) before it requires an unplugging from power and a good thirty seconds to a few minutes without power before plugging back in again and it’s visible through the network. I have to believe that these issues are interrelated. Are you experiencing anything similar?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
mattlach

mattlach

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
21
#3
I’m having similar problems with a couple of my Denon receivers, which I now just use Sonos as my Spotify source and that has solved it for me. Also, I have many different units that have Spotify connections, including DVD players, streamers, and the TV’s themselves. Curious... do you have any trouble connecting to your Denon receivers with the Denon app? I have three networked Denon receivers and this used to be a total joy to operate them all from an iPad, but I think it was a firmware update a few months ago that caused them all to only respond via Ethernet for maybe an hour or two (always varies.. sometimes only a few minutes) before it requires an unplugging from power and a good thirty seconds to a few minutes without power before plugging back in again and it’s visible through the network. I have to believe that these issues are interrelated. Are you experiencing anything similar?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I will have to check when I get home from work.

I haven't used the Demon app in a couple of years. I found it so buggy it was next to useless so I uninstalled it ages ago.

I'll experiment and report back here.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,887 16 36
#4
Since my 4520 got updated from an on-board Spotify app to Spotify Connect a few months back I've had no issues connecting to the Denon and it is far better than the clunky Spotify app it had on board before that. I have crappy internet which is my bigger issue (old DSL service that gets interrupted by the ISP a lot). I also use Spotify to a Chromecast Audio in my older non wifi setups with no particular issues (at least those not due to my internet/modem/router, a single box and there's little choice in those). I also stream various sources other than Spotify via DLNA to my various devices with little issue, either my android phone or pc....and pretty sure my issues are still generally with my ISP/router/modem for the most part. I don't use Spotify nearly as much as my own content, tho so may not be relying on it as much as it sounds like you are. Hope you find a solution!
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
313 1
#5
I really like the Yamaha controller app and musiccast app. I also like airplay from my iPhone. Not sure if you have an iPhone or iPad and can try airplay to your Denon without using the Denon app? Or does that also use the app?
 
mattlach

mattlach

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
21
#6
I’m having similar problems with a couple of my Denon receivers, which I now just use Sonos as my Spotify source and that has solved it for me. Also, I have many different units that have Spotify connections, including DVD players, streamers, and the TV’s themselves. Curious... do you have any trouble connecting to your Denon receivers with the Denon app? I have three networked Denon receivers and this used to be a total joy to operate them all from an iPad, but I think it was a firmware update a few months ago that caused them all to only respond via Ethernet for maybe an hour or two (always varies.. sometimes only a few minutes) before it requires an unplugging from power and a good thirty seconds to a few minutes without power before plugging back in again and it’s visible through the network. I have to believe that these issues are interrelated. Are you experiencing anything similar?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I went back and installed the Denon app, and at first I couldn't even get it to start. It was just freezing during the launch sequence with the spinning progress indicator.

When I finally got it to start up, it would not detect my receiver at all.

That said, the app warned me that it was released for an old version of Android and may not work properly. Apparently Denon has not been keeping up with their Android app.

This whole thing is really leaving bad taste in my mouth. Oft complained about Spotify bugs go unaddressed for years, and completely outdated apps in the app store.

These people need to get their poop together, or I'll probably never buy another product from Denon & Marantz.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,887 16 36
#7
FWIW this week my Denon seems to have lost contact with Pandora. It will take my signin info and just sit there....have tried several times now. Figure Pandora has updated something and Denon isn't on top of it....
 
Last edited:
mattlach

mattlach

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
21
#8
Makes me wonder if the expensive high end Marantz Preamp Processors are just as bad.

Do people who spend thousands on a unit really put up with this kind of stuff?
 
Q

Quest4GoodEnough

Audiophyte
Ratings
2
#9
I hate to say it but it works quite well for me as I use it everyday. I have an X4400 on Wi-Fi with a 5GHz connection from a Netgear AC1750. Speed is a solid 220+ Mbps down here. It plays every time I choose it. I also have a Chromecast Ultra and would definitely use it if the Denon Spotify app was annoying me but never find myself needing it for Spotify duties.

For my very first connection though, I had to use my PC which saw the Denon but my phone didn't. After that, it's been on my phone as an option consistently including while I'm away.

My only issue is sometimes Spotify on my phone will act as if the Denon is playing when it isn't but I just tap "listen on this phone" and it's fine.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
2,607 9 4
#10
Hey all,

So I am at my wits end regarding this, and I'd appreciate any suggestions.

I have a HTPC setup in my livingroom. It is used for both TV and music. I have it configured as the center of a multi-room system via the analogue Zone2 outputs on the back of the receiver. A cable run goes to the basement where I have a distribution amp, and from there I have RCA cables run all over the house: Kitchen, office, master bedroom, back porch, etc.

My most common source for music is Spotify, as it is just too damned convenient.

The problem: Denon lists most of their receivers as having Spotify connect, but the function is spotty at best.

Sometimes you pull out your phone, and it connects to the receiver and just works. Sometimes no matter what you do it refuses to connect. Sometimes you see the receiver detected in the list of available playback devices, and it just refuses to connect, and sometimes it doesn't even show up in the list of available devices. I have googled the issue and the internet is full of others with the same problem, and while there are often many suggested solutions, but never a silver bullet.

Based on these searches, i have tried:
- Switching from wired Ethernet to WiFi
- Switching from WiFi back to wired Ethernet
- Switching from static IP to DHCP and back again
- Soft Power Cycle (power off/on using remote)
- Hard Power Cycle (power off using power button on front of unit, unplug power, wait 30 seconds, reconnect)
- Trying different Spotify machines as sources (desktops, tablets, laptops & phones)

Nothing seems to work. If at the given time the Denon receiver has decided it doesn't want to work today, it's just not going to work no matter what you do. Then another day it may start randomly working again.

The only thing that seems to reliably get me back and running again after this has happened is to do a reset to factory defaults on the unit. The thing is, a home theater setup is highly complex, and restoring all the sound settings and room corrections after a reset is at least a half an hour process, requiring a quiet house. This is not something I can do every couple of weeks when the unit starts acting up again.

This has often resulted in us just giving up and listening to music over our phone speakers, which is INCREDIBLY frustrating given the expense and time I have put into this multiroom sound system. The Spotify Connect feature on Denon receivers simply is so unreliable it is completely useless.

The thing is, it's not just my unit, or my model. I have tried it on both the AVR-x3300W I have now, AND the previous unit I had, the AVR-x1300W, with exactly the same results.

My network is fairly decent (Procurve gigabit switch in the basement, with cat 5e cables in the walls to all major devices and Unifi Wireless Access points) and connected to the outside world via Fios gigabit service which has been damned near flawless, so I doubt either of those are the problem.

I do have the whole house on a VPN service (PIA) and while that sometimes causes problems with certain services, I doubt that is the case here, as I had these problems

So, I have started thinking about alternatives I can do to fix this, and have come up with the following list:

1.) Buy a Spotify Connect compatible device and plug it into the one of the many either analogue RCA, HDMI or optical inputs on the back of the unit, thus bypassing the internal disaster of a feature

2.) Running another length of wire from my main PC and playing analogue audio from there into the back of the Receiver as a music source.

3.) Using DLNA audio output from my PC to the receiver. (I've tried this, but found that there is an unacceptable time lag, and it too is very unreliable, but maybe I just need to set it up better)

4.) Something else?

I'm at my wits end here, and would appreciate some input and suggestions. At this point I want to stab everyone over at Denon....

Moreover, I'd like to understand if there is anyone out there with a Denon receiver who DOESN'T have these issues. Anyone for whom it just works as intended. This problem seems so common on the internet, that I assumed this feature is just broken across all Denon (And possibly Marantz?) units.
You mention switches, your Fios service and your access points, but not the router, which is what's handing out IP addresses. What are you using?

Download the FING app to your phone and look for all of the devices on your network- if you see the Denon at times and not at other times, do a network reset (this isn't a hard reset for the AVR) and see if it helps. Don't believe the BS about WiFi being better- it isn't.

Are you using the router for WiFi as well as the access points? Do all of the access points and router's WiFi use the same SSID? If the Denon is in the switch and the router's WiFi is active, you won't always see the Denon if you happen to connect to the router's WiFi. Turn off WiFi in the router and see if this helps.

If you're using an Apple phone, this can be part of (or all of) the problem- the comment I heard that describes this best is: "When an Apple device lets go of a connection, it leaves claw marks". They like to return to a previous connection regularly, even if it's too weak to do any good.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Ratings
7,140 14 24
#11
The real route cause is that streaming apps don't belong in a receiver. Unlike you I would expect it not to work and not give it the time of day.

You have an HTPC. I don't understand why you don't use the HTPC to stream everything like I do.

Another option surely is Chromecast. That streams an awful lot of options to an HDMI input.

Receiver companies just need to get rid of any streaming option.
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
313 1
#12
I’ve had good luck with my Yamaha pandora in all 3 rooms. 2016 and 2017 models I just have the pandora plus for $5 a month. I have an iPhone I have Comcast internet of 60Mbps. My router is a netgear dual band from 2016. I think it was about $140. It has a decent range. YMMV.
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
1,227 7 34
#13
The real route cause is that streaming apps don't belong in a receiver. Unlike you I would expect it not to work and not give it the time of day.

You have an HTPC. I don't understand why you don't use the HTPC to stream everything like I do.

Another option surely is Chromecast. That streams an awful lot of options to an HDMI input.

Receiver companies just need to get rid of any streaming option.
TLS Guy
I'm glad you wrote your reply, it pretty much sums up my position.
My HTPC will connect and do Spotify without incident, or any music steaming service.
I simply take advantage of the HDMI connection to the Denon and I'm done. Works every time.
Spotify works, Spotify sounds pretty darned good, and Spotify runs in a browser without effort.

When I bought my new Denon I did experiment with the app. The experiment was a failure in my eyes for lots of reasons. The HTPC that runs my music collection saves the day with music streaming. Ez Peazy.
 

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