Question

Sonos Beam can't control volume

  • 26 July 2018
  • 9 replies
  • 8405 views

After a day or so, my Sonos Beam stopped letting me control the volume. When I use "Alexa volume 5", I just get the "nuh uh" sound, the volume slider in the Sonos app doesn't actually change the volume, and the TV remote doesn't either. This is whether or not the TV is on, and no matter which audio service I'm using.

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9 replies

Just to confirm, other Alexa commands are working without issue? Amazon Alexa will be unavailable on rare occasions, or with an internet outage, so just making sure that's not the problem. Check that first. If that's not the issue then I'd submit a diagnostic and post the number here (or call tech support)

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/141?language=en_US

Regarding the remote control, are you using an HDMI-ARC connection or optical. If using ARC, it may be that you haven't completed the remote control setup. With ARC, when the TV is on, the volume command goes to the TV, and then passed to the Beam. In other words, when the TV is on and the Beam is playing TV audio, the volume control by remote works. If the TV is off or the Beam is set to a different source, the Beam isn't getting the signal from the TV. At least, that's what I'm seeing on my TV (Samsung UN58MU6100).

You can do a separate setup for the remote control though. In the Sonos app, go to More -> Settings ->Room Settings -> The name of the room your Beam is in -> Remote. Then turn on Use IR and do the Remote Control Setup. However, I just tried this myself and it didn't work. The Beam wasn't picking up the IR signals even though the TV clearly was. Your experience could be different, so you try the setup if you're using an ARC connection.
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I think the first step here will be to submit a diagnostic. I would try changing the volume multiple ways - Alexa, Sonos Controller, etc. - then submit a diagnostic from your Sonos controller. Make sure to post the confirmation number here so a Sonos employee can easily find it and see what might be going on.

In regards to the TV remote functionality... how is your Beam connected to your TV? If HDMI, then TV remote control will only work when listening to TV audio... but if you're using optical and have programmed your Beam to adjust volume from your TV's remote, then that should work whether listening to TV or music, if I remember correctly.
With Alexa devices and attached smart-home speakers setup by the Sonos Skill, there can sometimes be two distinct volumes controls that a user can refer to with voice commands.

So let’s take an echo dot linked to a Play-1 speaker called 'Dining Room' using the sonos skill, for example.

If I say 'Alexa, set your volume to 5' the echo dot returns the 'notification' sound bleep and sets the dots own volume to 5.

If I then say 'Alexa, set the volume in the dining room to 30' .. Alexa responds differently and says 'Okay' and adjusts the volume of the Play-1 speaker. The Alexa Dots's own volume stays the same at volume 5.

In the case of the Sonos Beam or a Sonos One, the two types of volume controls, mentioned above merge and become 'aligned' together because the built-in Alexa volume output is directly linked to the speaker volume output.

So let’s look at another example of a Sonos Beam linked to an LG TV

The Sonos Beam's Alexa hardware has a volume control with values between 1 and 10 and in this example the LG TV has a volume control between 1 and 100, obviously that TV volume transposes across to the actual speaker on the Beam.

If I therefore say 'Alexa, set your volume to 5’. The Beam will give the 'nuh uh' notification sound and set the Alexa hardware to 5, but because the built in speaker is aligned the TV volume will also jump to a value of 50... in my own experience nothing is displayed on the TV screen when this takes place.

Next we can give the other type of volume command to Alexa like this...

'Alexa, set the volume of the Dining Room TV to 20' Alexa will now reply differently and say 'Okay'.
This time users may see the volume control display on the LG TV and its volume will reduce to 20... behind the scenes the built-in Alexa device will also reduce her own volume to 2.

This is, I believe how it all currently works and why the OP is seeing the things they are seeing/not seeing on their TV screen. I don’t think this is a bug... I think this is how Sonos MAY have designed their devices with built in Alexa hardware to work.

I hope the above makes some sense and please bear in mind this is just my own opinion of what I 'think' maybe happening in this situation.
Fixed it by factory reset.
As I said, it STOPPED working, after about a day, so you guys didn't really have very good suggestions ;)

I might submit a diagnostic if it happens again, though. It's been like four hours now, and everything seems good, but as I said it was a day last time, so...
Glad you got it working. So you can control volume by voice and by remote control, even with the TV is turned off? Out of curiouslty, is the TV connected to the Beam by oprtical or by hdmi-arc?
Glad you got it working. So you can control volume by voice and by remote control, even with the TV is turned off? Out of curiouslty, is the TV connected to the Beam by oprtical or by hdmi-arc?

Good question. Let me try.
(pause)
No, when the TV is off and I'm playing music from Spotify or another service, the TV remote doesn't control the volume.
Glad you got it working. So you can control volume by voice and by remote control, even with the TV is turned off? Out of curiouslty, is the TV connected to the Beam by oprtical or by hdmi-arc?

Good question. Let me try.
(pause)
No, when the TV is off and I'm playing music from Spotify or another service, the TV remote doesn't control the volume.

The remote should work over HDMI ARC (or Optical, I think) even with the the TV off... have you setup your remote in the Beam Room Settings, under 'Remote/Remote Control Setup'?
Glad you got it working. So you can control volume by voice and by remote control, even with the TV is turned off? Out of curiouslty, is the TV connected to the Beam by oprtical or by hdmi-arc?

Good question. Let me try.
(pause)
No, when the TV is off and I'm playing music from Spotify or another service, the TV remote doesn't control the volume.

The remote should work over HDMI ARC (or Optical, I think) even with the the TV off... have you setup your remote in the Beam Room Settings, under 'Remote/Remote Control Setup'?


No, didn't even know it was possible. Works now! Thanks, that's gonna come in handy when I don't want to shout at Alexa like an abusive husband 😉
Shruggle,

Yes. the 'mist' is beginning to clear for many of us... I’m still learning about the new Beam too. The more I discover, the more I like it. It’s a great 'smart' speaker, I think !