I thought I’d share my insight into the Alexa/VA volume issue on Beam – at least for me.
Today I noticed the volume on Alexa was disproportionately LOW to the volume output for TV/Music sources. It was so low it was unusable without setting the TV audio so loud it was blasting out.
Since last week, I’ve been using the included HDMI → optical adapter from Sonos which I plug into a 2013 Samsung TV. It’s the only way I can get 5.1 in the form of DTS.
As using optical removes my volume controls and flashes up an annoying prompt on the TV to control the device directly, I’ve gone into the Samsung TV settings to activate Samsung’s IR blaster (which I haven’t actually got), so that the TV ‘thinks’ to output volume commands received to the IR cable output –– and then I’ve gotten the Beam to learn the TV remote control IR to control the volume –– less than ideal.
I thought the issue might be related to the Alexa Assistant volume being directly linked to the Sonos output volume – 10% output means 10% Alexa output.
I also thought the TV volume might be being over-amplified making the volume sound at a normal level when it wasn’t. I also suspect that somewhere in the mess of the TV receiving IR commands, the Apple TV receiving commands and the Sonos beam receiving commands they’ve all fallen out of sync and/or either the Beam is double or triple receiving commands and the TV is now maxed out and the Beam is relatively low volume. This doesn’t totally make sense however, as optical shouldn’t be relaying the volume commands *but maybe the converter has something to do with it*.
This sort of confirms the strange volume control behaviour where a single remote press seems to jump too far at once (up and down).
Anyway, the solution for me appears to be to disconnect from the optical connector and then directly connect into the HDMI ARC. This might on its own reset the volume, however, to be safe, I adjusted the TV volume on its own. I did this by holding the remote directly over the IR receiver on the TV and adjusted the Beam volume directly for a bit as well, saying “Alexa, what time is it” until I got a comfortable volume from the voice assistant.
I then plugged the the optical connector back in, and the voice assistant volume, as well as the volume increments appeared to be closer to ‘back to normal’.
We’ll see how long it lasts.
TLDR: if you’re using Sonos’ included optical to HDMI connector, unplug it, reset your TV and Beam audio volumes and then reconnect both cables.