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Arc microphone constantly turns off and off by itself

  • 15 August 2023
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97 replies

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I’ve just tried the switching process with Alexa…

"Alexa, play some music” - music plays and the mic stays on.

“Alexa, switch to TV mode on Living Room” - Arc switches to TV audio and mic stays on.

I repeated the above steps and the mic never goes off, stays on all the time.

 

Next I repeated the above with SVC

“Hey Sonos, play some music” - SVC responded “As you like…” (or ding earcon tone) and music plays and the mic stays on.

“Hey Sonos, switch to TV mode on Living Room” - Arc switches to TV audio and mic stays on.

The mic never goes off in my case.

So I was unable to reproduce the issue described.

Thanks for doing this. Since I have two Sonos-direct Arcs as does Hogan, and all four have this issue, it's pretty clear they have a QC issue. It's pretty damning that the Best Buy one I bought today cannot recreate the mic issue, nor can the one you own. I'm not even sure what to ask Sonos to do about it. If I ask for another replacement, I'll likely get another one from the same batch.

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Just to add as far as these Support articles (below) are concerned there is no voice instruction to switch off a microphone on any Sonos product…

Here are the available SVC instructions…

https://support.sonos.com/en-us/article/list-of-voice-requests-for-sonos-voice-control

Here is some further information about Alexa and the basic instructions you can use with that assistant…

https://www.amazon.com/Sonos-Inc/dp/B072ML3N6K

And just for completion, here are the Google assistant basic instructions… 

https://support.google.com/assistant/answer/7539710

No signs of anything that switches off a Sonos microphone and I’ve never seen it happen here. Maybe best to video the issue and pass that onto Sonos Support Staff next week and perhaps accompany things with a diagnostic report too. 

Hope you can get the issues resolved. 👍

I have lots of video and diagnostics, but this has to be a hardware issue if Hogan and I got ours at the same time and all four have the same issue. 

Yes, it does rather sound like a faulty batch as @ratty mentioned earlier - but perhaps see what the Support Staff may say when you provide them with the data next week. I guess they’ll need to investigate the matter and come back to yourselves.

The first four digits of the serial number indicates the month of manufacture. This can be a good indicator, unfortunately not proof, of units being from the same batch. Another indicator is given in Settings —> System —> About My System. Each unit indicates its version and modification level with the Series ID and Hardware Version fields. This is still not absolute proof of same batch because the units could be built on different days or assembly lines. It’s possible that a single assembly line staffer was not following procedures for a few days and all of the units processed by Jack or Jill, will malfunction at some point.

For this particular failure I suspect that there is a leakage path created by surface contamination resulting in a phantom “touch”. While it’s possible that this is external and potentially could be detected and eliminated at home, it’s more likely that this would be an internal issue. And, relative humidity could trigger the issue. Some years ago there was a very vexing issue with a product manufactured by an excellent European company. Samples intermittently experienced issues, but only when operated in very dry Arizona. Any misbehaving sample brought back to the lab performed normally.

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johnnydrama32

what’s the serial numbers of the 2 microphone challenged arcs that you got from sonos?

mine r:

 

Moderator edit: removed serial numbers - it’s best not to share these.

 

I suggest obscuring the full serial number from public posts. For this discussion only the prefixes are relevant.

We had the same issue with our brand new ARC. If you delete Alexa from the speaker, it stops. At least mine did.  Tv 83” Sony Bravia OLED.   

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where did you buy your arc?  

how long ago?

my issue happens with and without any voice control

 

We had the same issue with our brand new ARC. If you delete Alexa from the speaker, it stops. 

Well, assuming that was the only voice assistant it would. The mic would be deactivated.

Badge +4

johnnydrama32

what’s the serial numbers of the 2 microphone challenged arcs that you got from sonos?

mine r:

The ones I got from Sonos are from 6/23 and 7/23. 

The Best Buy one is from 6/22. And I'm guessing the guy who just posted is going to say his is from 6/23 or 7/23 when he looks at the serial.

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We had the same issue with our brand new ARC. If you delete Alexa from the speaker, it stops. At least mine did.  Tv 83” Sony Bravia OLED.   

Deleting the voice control is a little ridiculous since you're paying extra for that. They were selling Arc Shadows at Costco for $400. Only difference between them and ours is voice control. Unfortunately, only certain Costcos have stock.

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johnnydrama32

just wanted to confirm that the arc from best buy is from 6/22 (last year) and sonos are 6/23 and 7/23 (this year)

 

 

 

 

 

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johnnydrama32

just wanted to confirm that the arc from best buy is from 6/22 (last year) and sonos are 6/23 and 7/23 (this year)

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, exactly. Best Buy has the older one that works correctly. Let me know if you also get one outside of Sonos and it fixes the issue.

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Update: I spent three hours on the phone with Sonos CS today. What an awful experience. One department doesn't do everything, so I was constantly put on hold or transferred.

 

 I started with T2 support, explained the QC problem, sent this thread, and laid out that it's a hardware issue. They agreed to let me return the original Arc and the replacement, but said I'd need two new return labels since I was initially only returning the first Arc I two labels. But getting them to provide these two new return labels has been akin to scaling Everest. I still don't have them.

I also asked that they let me keep the Best Buy Arc but give me the same 15% discount I received on the Sonos-direct Arcs. The T2 CSA said that would be fine, but then he transferred me to sales, who told me I must've misunderstood. At this point I was determined because I had no return labels or discounts, but had already spent hours of my time. I waited out three hours and finally got a supervisor who said that she would try to coordinate with both the returns dept and sales dept, but it'd take a few days because the depts are separate and don't always communicate.

In short, the CS was horrible. I don't have a way of returning my two Sonos-direct Arcs. I didn't get a discount on the Best Buy Arc. And I wasted 3 hours of my time. But the good news is they are now aware of the mic on/off issue and have sent my diagnostics up to T3 along with my video evidence.

I'm on the verge of returning everything given the horrible support. They're so thankless. We diagnosed a problem that could cost them millions if they keep producing Arcs that need to be recalled. I am so sick of these companies with overseas CS with overseas supervisors. Even the T2 tech support was a call center. For a luxury product, Sonos has been anything but a luxury experience.

 

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johnnydrama32

i also submitted your diagnostics w/ mine to t3 guy. his team is looking at that?

asked if he thought it was strange that your 2022 best buy arc had no muting problem.  no answer yet

it’s a slow, slow process for them.  other people must have the same problem.  we all paid for the voice controls.

costco is selling the arc for $899 and giving a $60 apple or sirius card. 

might be worth just doing  that if sonos won’t give you the 15% and just leave the problem to them?  we are all just doing our due diligence…

will keep u updated

Badge +4

johnnydrama32

i also submitted your diagnostics w/ mine to t3 guy. his team is looking at that?

asked if he thought it was strange that your 2022 best buy arc had no muting problem.  no answer yet

it’s a slow, slow process for them.  other people must have the same problem.  we all paid for the voice controls.

costco is selling the arc for $899 and giving a $60 apple or sirius card. 

might be worth just doing  that if sonos won’t give you the 15% and just leave the problem to them?  we are all just doing our due diligence…

will keep u updated

The problem is Costco’s may also be produced in June or July. You just have no idea. Part of me just wants to suck it up and take the 15% loss. My time is worth more than a $135.

I've been having the same issue for the past month or so on the Arc only (have a Beam in another room). Purchased over a year ago and no issues until recently. Just found this thread last night so will try disabling the Alexa voice assistant to see if that works. I have an older Panasonic TV with the Arc connected via HDMI Arc. 

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Interesting that your mic problem just recently started w/ a year old arc system

just shared your comment w/ the sonos L3 tech person working on the arc mic muting issue 

 

I turned off the voice assistant in the app and hasn't happened in 2 hrs. Agree this isn't the answer but at least the annoying chiming is gone for the time being. Sounds like a software update of some kind is in order.

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I turned off the voice assistant in the app and hasn't happened in 2 hrs. Agree this isn't the answer but at least the annoying chiming is gone for the time being. Sounds like a software update of some kind is in order.

I don't see how it can be software when two of mine do it and one doesn't but they're all on the same software.

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johnnydrama32 et al

try this w/ both sonos voice control and alexa  loaded

go to system, hardware and turn off “touch controls”

give that a stress test…

 

 

I have the same issue on the Arc.  I ordered the Arc/Sub/2xEra300 set 08/19/2023 direct from Sonos, and have it hooked up to Alexa voice control.  Mic toggle goes on and off on its own making a chime sound each time.  I have it hooked up to Home Assistant and I can see it happening between 2 to 10 times per minute.  I think it only happens while the Arc is playing something.  As @hogan1 suggested, I turned off touch controls for the room and it immediately stopped toggling.

Will be sending the system back on Tuesday - not my job to beta test for Sonos.

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since last night when i turned off the “touch control”, the arc muting problem stopped and the alexa and svc  worked perfectly - no issues

  

‘sparring - what about your alexa and svc?

 

 

Nice! That works and can still use Alexa. 

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johnnydrama32 et al

try this w/ both sonos voice control and alexa  loaded

go to system, hardware and turn off “touch controls”

give that a stress test…

 

 

I have my broken ones boxed up, but I spoke to someone at Sonos yesterday who's based in the US. He felt it was likely a hardware defect in our units. I'm sure that fix works but then you can't use touch controls. I don't want a device that I can't resell down the road because it's defective.