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Volume fluctuation with streaming music

  • 13 August 2022
  • 24 replies
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I have the Sonos Arc and have my Amazon Music (Unlimited) and Pandora accounts connected. In my Amazon Music app settings, I am using the default Loudness Normalization. That’s supposed to “play all songs at the same loudness level.” However, that is not at all happening. One song will play at a good volume, then the next song will be extremely loud. It doesn’t seem to matter whether the song is HD, Ultra HD or Atmos. How to remedy this so that they play at one level on the Arc?

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Best answer by ratty 13 August 2022, 17:17

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The normalisation setting only applies to play through the Amazon native app. It has nothing to do with Sonos. 

Thanks Ratty. Why wouldn’t the setting be passed through to the Sonos app? And I don’t see a way to play directly to the Arc from Amazon Music. I tried to use Cast from Amazon Music, but it doesn’t show up as an available device.

The Arc should show up as a target device. Ask Alexa to rediscover all your devices. If that doesn’t work try powering off and on again.

The Sonos app is not involved in any media handling at all. It’s a remote control for the Sonos players.

When casting using the Amazon app the Sonos player is pointed directly at the Amazon servers. Sonos has no support for loudness normalisation on the online services, and I’m not even sure the track loudness information is available in the metadata.

Thanks. Got the Arc added via Alexa. Had to do an update to the Alexa app first.

Still playing Amazon Music via the Sonos app, now the problem has mysteriously gone away. The same playlist is running every song at the same volume. Earlier this morning, there were wild differences from track to track. No idea what happened, but anyway…. 

I’ve had the same issue for about 2 weeks now after 2 years of no problems (at least not with this issue). I stream Amazon through the Sonos Arc and other speakers. The volume will spontaneously increase to a shocking level. I have to quickly turn the volume down to 1 (normally I play music at around 12). It will stay that loud for a few songs and then go quiet again. This problem has not occurred so far with other streaming music or my own music.

I have spoken with Sonos support 4 times and have submitted 6 diagnostics. Support personnel are nice but seemingly very limited in expertise or actions. They had me do a factory reset but that didn’t work. Now they’ve suggested that I replace the Arc. However, if I send my old Arc back to Sonos for a replacement, pay for a new one (it’s out of warranty), and the same problem persists - Sonos will only offer to “investigate further”. I could be stuck with having paid for a new Arc for no reason and have no recourse for their misdiagnosis.

My question: Is the problem really with the Arc or with Amazon streaming?

The problem also reappeared for me after I sent the message above. It is only with Amazon Prime, Unlimited (with Dolby Atmos and Ultra HD). And yes, shockingly loud is right. I have to also turn those random songs all the way down to 1.

In all instances of this kind of thing in the past, there’s been 2 potential issues. One is that it is the source that is changing the volume, and there’s not much that Sonos can do.

The second is an event caused by a button press internal to your system. This could be a broken piece of hardware, the button sending an errant message to the system, or it could be an external force. In my world, the external force was a cat sitting on top of a speaker for warmth. My solution to that one was to turn off the buttons in the Sonos controller for that “room”. There have been other cases where the buttons on a mobile controller have been pressed without specific knowledge, like while a phone is in a pocket. 

I’d assume that the Sonos folks would have identified the second of those two in a diagnostic, to my knowledge (scant that it is) the device sending the “increase volume” is logged. Which leaves the first option, the volume being different from the streaming source. To date, Sonos has never “leveled” input data. 

I honestly don’t know what’s causing your issue. I don’t frequently use my Arc for music, I have a pair of Fives (or PLAY:3s, depending on the room) that I use for music playback. 

 

Sorry I’m not more help than this. 

I am having the same problem with the ARC in our guest bonus room. When someone is visiting it freaks them out and they don’t know what to do except turn it off and never turn it back on. It does seems to be related to Amazon unlimited. Seems Sonos has a bit more pull with Amazon to address it than I do. 

I’d doubt that. There is no financial relationship between the two companies. It feels like Amazon might be more willing to listen to someone who is paying them, than not. 

I’m having the exact same issue as you guys are describing. And for around the same time now. I don’t use the description “unusable” lightly - but I can’t use my system like this. It’s ridiculous to not be able to simply play a playlist of music without completely unpredictably blasting my house when I’ve got very young children. I’ve been searching and was really glad in a way to see it’s not just me. Really hoping Sonos notices and responds. It seems to be only with Amazon music? Definitely no button presses. For me a song will randomly begin playing at full volume at the change over of the tracks.

I'm experiencing this issue too and I use Amazon Music as my music provider. I've noticed that the loudness usually occurs when the song changes from playing in Dolby Atmos to Ultra HD. 

 

For example, I've been streaming music by Bonobo (most of my playlist in Dolby Atmos) and when a different song came on in Ultra HD the audio went WAY UP. I had to grab my phone and pause the song. It's an annoying issue. 

 

I have an Arc in my living room and a Sonos One in my office. I've only encountered this issue in my living room. 

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I'm experiencing this issue too and I use Amazon Music as my music provider. I've noticed that the loudness usually occurs when the song changes from playing in Dolby Atmos to Ultra HD. 

For example, I've been streaming music by Bonobo (most of my playlist in Dolby Atmos) and when a different song came on in Ultra HD the audio went WAY UP. I had to grab my phone and pause the song. It's an annoying issue. 

I have an Arc in my living room and a Sonos One in my office. I've only encountered this issue in my living room. 

The Sonos One is not capable of playing Atmos on it’s own, so that explains why you have have not encountered the issue in the office.

If you grouped the living room with office, the Amazon Music stream would be limited to Ultra HD (at the expense of Atmos)

Other solutions would be to only play playlists solely of Dolby Atmos music, or set a volume limit so the max volume was still listenable.

There is another thread where this is being discussed.

 

Sonos arc and Amazon music.  Wild fluctuations in volume.  This is ridiculous.  I've been a huge sonos fan but something is definitely not right. 

Submit diagnostics within 10 minutes of experiencing this, and call Sonos Support directly to discuss it.

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I'm having this issue. Prime Unlimited Music with Arc 5.1

Had a song playing at around level 30, next song required me to turn it down to 5! It was so loud I thought the speakers were going to blow. This is only using Prime Unlimited through the Sonos App and playlists. What is the fix for this?

I'm having this issue. Prime Unlimited Music with Arc 5.1

Had a song playing at around level 30, next song required me to turn it down to 5! It was so loud I thought the speakers were going to blow. This is only using Prime Unlimited through the Sonos App and playlists. What is the fix for this?

See @Airgetlam’s post just above yours and speak with Sonos Support and be sure to give them your diagnostic report reference, which ideally should be submitted within 20 minutes of you hearing the issue.

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Thanks, I totally scrolled past that one. Will do going forward. 

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So just wanted to let everyone know what Sonos told me yesterday after calling and submitting a diagnostic report. Listening to Amazon Music Unlimited, had a playlist I created going, and had to lower one song’s volume from a 12 down to a 1 and it was still audible enough for most people. 

On the phone with Sonos and after looking into reports, community forums etc...he finally said they are reviewing and documenting it. Said that we should contact Amazon about it to let them know since it seems to be on their side. 

He also said to use a different music services if possible. I will try to contact Amazon today and see what they have to say. I doubt it will go far with them...

So just wanted to let everyone know what Sonos told me yesterday after calling and submitting a diagnostic report. Listening to Amazon Music Unlimited, had a playlist I created going, and had to lower one song’s volume from a 12 down to a 1 and it was still audible enough for most people. 

On the phone with Sonos and after looking into reports, community forums etc...he finally said they are reviewing and documenting it. Said that we should contact Amazon about it to let them know since it seems to be on their side. 

He also said to use a different music services if possible. I will try to contact Amazon today and see what they have to say. I doubt it will go far with them...

What few Amazon tracks cause the issue you’re seeing and is it only when you are playing to an Atmos capable speaker, like the Arc HT setup, or do you see it when playing to other Sonos speakers aswell, like a Sonos One, Roam etc? Does the issue go away if you group the Arc setup with another Sonos Room?

One more question, do you have crossfade enabled, or disabled. and does that make any difference to the volume fluctuations you’re hearing?

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I am only noticing it when playing on my Arc system which is paired with 2 Plays and Sub, “Living Room”. 

I do not notice it doing it when I group the “Living Room” with “Roam” or other rooms. 

What I noticed yesterday is when playing a Playlist; I had a song that was HD then Ultra HD. Both songs were fine...Then the next song was Ultra HD and even at Volume level 1 it was fairly loud. But at our normal level of 9-12 it was deafening. I will say one song for sure that always blasts loud is Ice Cube, “It was a Good Day”. 

I do not have Crossfade on.

This also seems to only happen with Playlists. So if I am listening to an artist’s album, no issue. I guess because they are all HD or Ultra or Atmos. 

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What I noticed yesterday is when playing a Playlist; I had a song that was HD then Ultra HD. Both songs were fine...Then the next song was Ultra HD and even at Volume level 1 it was fairly loud. But at our normal level of 9-12 it was deafening. I will say one song for sure that always blasts loud is Ice Cube, “It was a Good Day”.

@asuirish - What happens if you set a volume limit for the Arc? If 9-12 is your normal listening level, you could easily set the volume limit at 20%. 

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Well I thought about that. But we do like to jam out on a regular as well. Which can be in the 30 range. But even if the level is set, that wouldn’t fix it being extremely loud at those levels when they are generally normal. 

I can listen to Sirius XM, watch TV all day and never experience an issue.

Volume fluctuation with apple streaming music.

 

Have a beam second gen along with two Sonos ones as surrounds and a Sonos subs.

 

The volume keeps fluctuating with Apple Music. It is extremely annoying. So much so I might ditch Sonos and move onto something else.

at wits end with this issue and frankly a simply two channel stereo amp would not have this problem. What are you doing with your firmware ? 

Volume fluctuation with apple streaming music.

 

Have a beam second gen along with two Sonos ones as surrounds and a Sonos subs.

 

The volume keeps fluctuating with Apple Music. It is extremely annoying. So much so I might ditch Sonos and move onto something else.

at wits end with this issue and frankly a simply two channel stereo amp would not have this problem. What are you doing with your firmware ? 

Can you perhaps provide one, or two, examples of the tracks/playlists used when you see this issue, then perhaps other users who use that service (not me) might be able to say if they see the same issue.

Only your issue is a different matter to the one being discussed here, which relates to the playing of Atmos and HD/UltraHD Amazon Music mixed playlist audio, which is not applicable to the Apple Music service in the ‘Sonos App’.

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