Android and Trueplay



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Calibration of the mics is done with a file that's loaded to the measurement software. Just like in any professional case it would be done. No mic is "calibrated" from factory, there's always manufacturing tolerances. The whole idea of calibration is measuring the deviation of the microphone once it's ready and adjusting the measurements to that unit's deviation. This might come as a surprise to some iDevice fans, but their device's microphones are not calibrated. Sonos has probably measured a few samples and created an average "calibration" for said devices but in reality they're just as useful as any random microphone off the shelf (or in any Android device). No two microphones will give the same measurement if they're not uniquely calibrated after manufacturing. So if it's too bold to say assume everyone's got a calibrated mic I'd say assume no one's got a calibrated mic and throw one in the box with the speakers.

 

And yeah the microphones I mentioned do work on android devices. I've tested. And I can use the supplied calibration files too so I can make reliable and repeatable measurements with either one. But you do need a 3,5 mm connector for the Dayton or USB OTG for Umik so I guess iDevices are out of luck?

I would think all of the software would be on the speakers. 

Actually all the heavy processing for the Trueplay tuning is carried out on the iDevice. The filters are then uploaded to the speakers.

https://tech-blog.sonos.com/posts/trueplay-spectral-correction/

Scroll down to the section headed “Trueplay can help!”

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At this point I am almost positive I will be returning my Sonos Arc and never looking at Sonos again, while I still have that option.

If they listed TruePlay for iOS only on their website I would have seriously reconsidered, but nowhere on the Arc page does it denote a limitation.  Every other product I have ever purchased has a notation on a feature with a footnote to call out limitations and I feel this is Sonos being deceptive.

Their excuses for not supporting Android because there is too much variation in microphones, as per the forums, is not valid.  Even within the iPhone 12 line each model has different variations.
https://www.dxomark.com/apple-iphone-12-pro-max-audio-review-a-reliable-and-consistent-audio-performer/
https://www.dxomark.com/apple-iphone-12-audio-review-subtle-improvements-to-sound/
https://www.dxomark.com/apple-iphone-12-mini-audio-review-big-sound-in-a-small-package/
 

This is an intentional choice by Sonos to ignore Android which as of Jan 2021 has a 71.93% market share worldwide and a 45% market share in the US.  

If they want to choose to only support iOS call it out and prevent customers being frustrated and/or returning their purchase.

Would really like an official answer from Sonos on the forums, but I assume I will have to open a support ticket to get one. 


 


 

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Hi @Xander P ,

I appreciate the response.   The issue with it not being noted on the Arc page is that it didn’t signal to me that I needed to look elsewhere.  If there is no exception noted I am just going to assume it works without limitation, this is standard practice on any feature listed on companies website.

I understand that with Android there are many models, however you could support the flagship models from the top companies like the Samsung Galaxy line and the Google Pixel line.  This would drastically reduce that amount of devices you would need to support. However, the better option as many have stated is an approved external mic or an external mic purchased from Sonos. A simple solution Sonos has ignored for years 

As I see this complaint has been on going for several years I cannot comfortably keep a very expensive soundbar on the hopes that maybe sometime in the future this could possibly be supported. Any confirmation that this is on the roadmap would be helpful.

I do like the Sonos feature set otherwise but to me this is a huge omission of getting the best from my investment.  As a company that prides themselves on superior sound quality I am very disappointed you have chosen a single vendor solution to optimize the sound quality of your devices. 

 

 It's very basic and convenient software that's been available on most home receivers for the past decade. 

 

Software is not the issue. These receivers are using a microphone of known characteristics. With Android devices, each model phone will have different microphone characteristics and these characteristics change during production. In order to achieve reliable results, SONOS would need to test each production run of Android phones and develop a database of microphone characteristics by phone serial number. Given the number of Android production runs, past and present, this is not a practical project.

Would you be willing to submit your Android to a service facility and have it’s microphone calibrated?

...and yet they have have no problems buying and testing certain Apple devices, eh? There are far more numerous Android users and devices that Apple. It's not difficult to develop software profiles for the top 5 best selling Android phones each year. Sonos are just plain lazy.

 

Edit: A quick search informed me that Apple use 3 different suppliers for their microphones. I'm sure it would be very straight forward to profile the latest Samsung phones' microphones, at the very least.

Being an Android only household I was infuriated with Sonos that after spending several thousands with them, that this basic optimisation software isn't available to me. To then suggest that I ‘borrow an Apple device from a friend'... Really?

So, I borrow an iPad from a friend. Only then discovered that the app wasn't supported by his older iPad. Grrrr. Today I had delivered a new iPad 9th Generation with iOS 15...aaaaannd…computer says no. Sonos don't support new ipads, or old. So I borrowed another iPad, this time the 8th generation. And guess what? It's NOT SUPPORTED either! Aghhhh.

Seriously, Sonos…. customer feedback, pull your thumbs out of your backsides and include Android support and the latest Apple products as soon as possible. You've got more that enough money, especially after the recent price hikes.

Why not check the Sonos website (https://support.sonos.com/s/article/3222) before wildly borrowing and ordering iOS devices?

True. Would help if Sonos would listwhat's s working within the app instead of: ‘just borrow an iOS device from a friend' - no mention of specifics. You would also expect that the 8th gen iPads available for over a year, to be currently supported.  There's just no justification from a technical point of view to not already support these items, including Android devices. They just can't be bothered. It's very basic and convenient software that's been available on most home receivers for the past decade. Sonos make TruePlay a big point in their marketing material and should have this software available for most platforms and hardware configurations by now. But yes, next time I'll check on their website! (I didn't buy the 9th Gen iPad specifically for this! Rather I hoped that I would finally be able to use this function)

 

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I picked up an apple device from ebay fairly cheap. I went with the newest available used to avoid having it age out on me any earlier than necessary.

Apple iPod touch 6th Generation Space Gray (16 GB). Model A1574.

Works fine, lives in a box, gets put on the charger every-other month unless I decide to reset my TruePlay config.

Rather have bought a plug-in mike for my Android gear.
 

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It's interesting how Sonos seem to be giving a bit of a cold shoulder to 75% of the global device market. I think that might be justified from their perspective as:

  1. People buying Apple are more willing to buy a matching Sonos system.  
  2. Sonos is a more attractive partner/target for Apple this way, and last year we had some persistent rumours that an acquisition was in the cards. 
  3. People buying Android devices are less likely to accept being locked into a walled garden, and are more likely to want to bring other devices into the mix (and ask pesky questions about interoperability).  Apple users, however, are happy with this situation, they already live and die by the curated Apple app store, and are used to being locked into Apple approved accessories only.

Would be nice if they could instead have let me use a microphone in my Sonos Move or in a spare Sonos One. But maybe Sonos microphones just aren't good enough… who knows….

I think I might go and get myself an old iOS device for the purpose of tuning Trueplay capable devices and occasionally using Airplay. 

But should I really have to do that in 2021? 

 

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@Thorium Prime Or you could just borrow an iOS device from a friend or relative for 10 minutes. You only need to perform Trueplay tuning once.

 

  1. People buying Apple are more willing to buy a matching Sonos system.  

 

I was one of these back in 2011, because both fell in the category of “they just work”. Now, there are a lot more than Sonos that do just that.

But funnily enough, on this forum, there are more Apple haters than the other kind; and ironically because they see Apple as a closed universe.

Just a small digression; I never used the horrendously expensive iPhones and Android serves me fine. I have an old handed down iPhone that works fine for Trueplay retuning on the rare occasions it is needed.

My bet is that is has nothing to do with technology, Apple are not using magical mystery microphones and software from a special wormhole that no-one else can access. Anyone would think from this 5 year old excuse that only Apple cares everything about audio and no other phone manufacturer could care less about what mic is thrown in.

The mic packages (for Apple and Pixel/Galaxy) are made in China to strict specifications. DXOMark has scored Android audio performance higher than Apple for a quite a while (in particular the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro).

More likely reason is the court case between them for the past couple of years regarding patent infringement. Send the engineers into an anechoic chamber with a Pixel, Galaxy and Xiaomi and they would be profiled/audio modelled very quickly.

More likely reason is the court case between them for the past couple of years regarding patent infringement. 

Check your facts. Trueplay was introduced back in November 2015. The legal action started several years later.

It’s already been stated, multiple times, that even within one premium line of Android phone there were found to be umpteen variations of mic supply and hence audio characteristics. If Sonos could support Trueplay reliably on Android I’m sure they’d have done so years ago. And I for one would have welcomed it. 

As it is, I just keep an old iPod Touch (6th gen) aside for Trueplay tuning.

I call BS on the “variability/variation argument”, especially with modern mems microphone packages.

An assertion that could be just as accurate as the earlier theory that the issue was related to legal cases.

Just ask yourself this: why would Sonos not implement Trueplay on Android if it was as straightforward as with (approved) iDevices? 

I call BS on the “variability/variation argument”, especially with modern mems microphone packages.

An assertion that could be just as accurate as the earlier theory that the issue was related to legal cases.

Just ask yourself this: why would Sonos not implement Trueplay on Android if it was as straightforward as with (approved) iDevices? 

Well that’s an easy one, bad blood between them, potential $50M USD in yearly royalties, moving engineering teams to support Alexa instead instead of Google, not wanting to set a legal precedent of supporting Google products during a case (and appeals).

You have made an assumption that the exact same reason has held true since 2015 as to why they haven’t released it.

Could have been (and quite possible) microphone variability in 2013/14 Android devices, but unlikely to be the exact same reason 7-8 years later with the technical progress of handsets and wafer fab manufacturing. (however the excuse still holds and sounds reasonable, so they keep quoting it).

The answer won’t be straight forward, but I don’t think it has anything to do with the reasons when they first announced it won’t support Android.

I call BS on the “variability/variation argument”, especially with modern mems microphone packages.

An assertion that could be just as accurate as the earlier theory that the issue was related to legal cases.

Just ask yourself this: why would Sonos not implement Trueplay on Android if it was as straightforward as with (approved) iDevices? 

Well that’s an easy one, bad blood between them, potential $50M USD in yearly royalties, moving engineering teams to support Alexa instead instead of Google, not wanting to set a legal precedent of supporting Google products during a case (and appeals).

 

 

Sonos has publicly stated that they believe Amazon has violated  their intellectual property rights, same as Google did.  They had also recently stated that Apple’s plan of allowing Siri on non-Apple devices, as long as you have a homepod in the house, is disingenuous.  Sonos does business with all these companies.  The idea that Sonos is holding grudges against Google over other big tech players, thinks that withholding trueplay from android devices will hurt Google more than it hurts their own business, and that Sonos would sacrafice profits for bad blood….just doesn’t make a lot of sense.

 

You have made an assumption that the exact same reason has held true since 2015 as to why they haven’t released it.

Could have been (and quite possible) microphone variability in 2013/14 Android devices, but unlikely to be the exact same reason 7-8 years later with the technical progress of handsets and wafer fab manufacturing. (however the excuse still holds and sounds reasonable, so they keep quoting it).

 

 

I think you’re correct that the consistency of microphones in android devices could very well have become more consistent since 2015.  However, that doesn’t mean that Sonos still thinks implementing trueplay in all devices was a good decision.  It’s entirely possible they continue the process because they know they will lose customers if they drop support.  So it makes sense that they don’t want to exacerbate the problem by supporting trueplay on additional devices.

But say that’s not the case, and trueplay in Apple was a good decision 7 years later.  Which android brands do they support?  Probably Samsung, or certain models of Samsung, since they have the most sales and likely market share.  Do they have consistent mics?  And when they do this, will Pixel and other android brand owners have no reaction to that?  If you and others don’t accept that statement that mics are consistent now, why would they if Sonos expands supported device a little bit?

 

The answer won’t be straight forward, but I don’t think it has anything to do with the reasons when they first announced it won’t support Android.

 

No, it isn’t straight forward.  We don’t if conditions have changed or what they have changed to.  We don’t what the level of effort is for enabling trueplay on a particular phone model.  We don’t know how much that effort would take away from other development efforts.  We don’t know if Sonos is working on alternatives. 

I just don’t see the point of assuming Sonos is lying just because you don’t like answer. If you have actual data on the mic parts in all the major brands and models of android to show that the volume of variations is on par with Apple products, than you’d have a point. Part of the reason Sonos often doesn’t provide explanations for their decisions is because they know that a certain segment of their customers will never accept the reason no matter what it is. 

Loss of customers? I believe the Sonos results showed they had gained 1.8 million households worldwide in the last year. Sonos are taking legal action for patent infringement against certain companies,  as they have done successfully in the past with others. Of course they would protect their intellectual property.

When you say that Sonos doesn't listen to their customers, what you really mean is that your pet feature has not been their top priority. 

You are of course free to think what you like and buy what you like. I wish you well.

 

Why wouldn’t SONOS check Android microphone variability from time to time, and enable Trueplay if SONOS found a model that uses consistent microphones? Even if a model ‘A’ was found that is consistent enough, owners of other models would pummel SONOS for not including model ‘B’.

This would be expensive and troublesome because Android models tend to turnover more frequently than Apple models. SONOS would need to regularly sample each Android model.

 

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I’m ‘fortunate’ in this scenario to be an Apple user. I’ve never gotten on with Android, despite working in IT and easily able to see some of the benefits. I’m also heavily invested in Apple/sonos ecosystems so have absolutely no interest in Android. 

 

But I can also totally see why those who favour Android would be disgruntled and especially so when there’s a perfectly adequate solution in the form of an add on microphone. Sonos really should be investing in such a feature to treat their large customer base with equal respect. Surely the investment would more than pay for itself. 
 

hopefully the increased sales and the IPO cash will give Sonos the scope to grow and develop their strategy and capability as they still seem to have a bit of a ‘mom and pop’ approach of customer service and product development. 


complacency for a one trick pony is never a good thing. 


 

 

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Just one microphone and individuals get their own adaptor if needed?

They could have just have let me used the mic in my Sonos Move or Sonos One to tune the speakers int he other rooms. It's not like this should be a problem. The Move is already using it's microphone for Trueplay.

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My goal is to enjoy my Sonos as much as possible with minimal aggravation, not to get Sonos to do stuff.


I don’t think these should be mutually exclusive. Not everyone is capable of self sufficiency and expecting such as the default approach without addressing the root cause is a slippery slope to letting Sonos off the hook. On that basis we should not ask for any new features and start writing the code ourselves!!! 

Rather have bought a plug-in mike for my Android gear.
 

Absolutely…. 

Trueplay on Android being microphone dependant is just a stupid excuse not to implement it. A calibrated microphone costs nothing compared to Sonos or iOs products. On Android devices we are able to use external mics. A Dayton Audio iMM-6 costs 40$ and MiniDSP UMIK-1 costs 80$ and both work perfectly on any Android device. Why not just assume that everyone has a calibrated mic and enable Trueplay on Android? Then if the user is using an Android device’s internal microphone and the result is crappy he can disable Trueplay. This is not rocket science.

My goal is to enjoy my Sonos as much as possible with minimal aggravation, not to get Sonos to do stuff.


I don’t think these should be mutually exclusive. Not everyone is capable of self sufficiency and expecting such as the default approach without addressing the root cause is a slippery slope to letting Sonos off the hook. On that basis we should not ask for any new features and start writing the code ourselves!!! 

I couldn’t agree more… We see far too much of an apologist approach in these forums, which effectively means that Sonos never has to engage with their customers in any meaningful way - they just come out with the bland line of passing the message on to the appropriate department - and nothing ever…. ever….. changes….. How long have we been waiting for an android Trueplay solution now? IIRC. since 5.x or 6.x was released. It really isn’t good enough.

There are people here who jump in on any criticism as if they are the voice of Sonos, and it constantly downgrades the need for Sonos to engage constructively - or at all. They have enthusiasts doing their damage limitation for them, to the detriment of those making perfectly valid complaints.

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I do agree that android trueplay needs to come. The difference to how the Arc sounds with and without it is absolutely massive. Can’t expect everyone to have Apple products and Sonos shouldn’t be selling a product that requires something else to make it sound better anyway. Fair enough if it was minimal difference, but for me it makes it sound a good 70% better have trueplay. Hopefully with the new roam technology using the inbuilt mic to tune, maybe it will come to the other speakers soon with inbuilt mics.

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