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Beam IR sensor stopped recognizing remotes


I have a beam connected to optical on TV. Remote was paired and everything was working fine. One day remote volume control stopped working. I tried to set up the remote again but the IR sensor did not recognize when buttons were pushed. Tried a different remote and it didn't recognize that either. I can still control volume with the app but IR sensor does not seem to receive any signal. Any suggestions?
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Best answer by Airgetlam 4 February 2020, 03:30

There are some cases where an IR remote sensor gets overwhelmed by the light coming from the TV. You may want to try putting a 3x5 card tenting the location of the sensor, to ‘shade’ it from the TV’s light, and see if that makes a difference. If it does, then you can experiment further to find a solution. If it doesn’t work, then you’ve at least tried. 

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My Sonos beam hast started doing this now. It has been fine for a couple of years but now it won’t respond to volume over IR. I’ve tried with the Sony TV remote and the Apple TV one. Both used to work perfectly with it.

A power cycle has fixed it for now but I really think Sonos need to fix the bug.

It has been like a year and the issue was not fixed - for my case the IR used to work perfectly for a few year before the last fw update. I am sure it would not be an isolated case as you see a lot of us file the same report on the issue.

 

To my disappointment neither the official support nor this forum can really listen to us and give us a solution. I think it would be my last sonos and you messed up a brand which was once great.

The three more common reasons in the past for this have been either

  1. weak IR signals, where the remote just needs fresh batteries
  2. a Plasma TV casting enough interfering light to block the IR signal getting to the sensor in the Sonos
  3.  physical blockage of the IR sensor on the Sonos that is keeping the signal from reaching its intended target.

However, ‘more common’ does not preclude the potential failure of the IR sensor, something which I wouldn’t expect to show up on a diagnostic. Your best bet would be to call Sonos Support directly to discuss it.

When you speak directly to the phone folks, there are more options available for them to assist you.

I have noticed that if I try to set up the same remote again, the Sonos app will often either:

(a) immediately go from “Point your TV remote at Beam and press Volume+” to “We didn’t detect a signal from the remote...” before I’ve even had a chance to press the volume button on the remote, or

 

Yes, I have noticed that same thing too with the app when trying to set up the remote again.

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I too have had this maddening issue on and off for months.

Response of the Beam to the volume and mute buttons on my remote is highly erratic.  Sometimes I can press mute ten times in a short space of time and it recognises every press.  Sometimes it won’t recognise any of them.  More often than not it will recognise 2-4 of the ten presses.

I have eliminated all of the possible causes suggested here (https://support.sonos.com/s/article/3404?language=en_US) by using brand new batteries, while standing six inches from the Beam in a pitch black room.  The issue persists.

I have noticed that if I try to set up the same remote again, the Sonos app will often either:

(a) immediately go from “Point your TV remote at Beam and press Volume+” to “We didn’t detect a signal from the remote...” before I’ve even had a chance to press the volume button on the remote, or

(b) the white status light will flicker or flash sporadically while the app is telling me to “Point your TV remote at Beam and press Volume+”, when I’m not pressing any buttons

This suggests to me that the Beam sometimes thinks it is receiving an IR signal when it isn’t, and that this issue which many of us are seeing is caused by the Beam being confused between these “ghost” signals, and the signal it is actually receiving from the remote.

Long story short, I think there is a bug somewhere in the Beam firmware.

I am having this same problem. Bought a Beam (my first Sonos product) just before Christmas - it’s been fine for the first three weeks with both my Sky Q remote and OneForAll remote controlling the volume on it without issue, but the other day suddenly stopped being responsive to either device. I can see that both remotes are working, but the Beam doesn’t pick them up (no flashing lights on the top). As with others a hard reset sorts it out temporarily. I’ve never paid so much for a sound bar so to say this is disappointing is an understatement. Clearly the issue has been know about for a long time and obviously nothing has been done to fix it. If there is no long term fix then I’m guessing the best option is to send it back and get a refund.

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Brief update. The same issue with the IR and inability of changing volume occurred again today. I noticed that when this happened, the status led on the Beam does not flash when pressing the volume up/down on the remote. I rebooted the Beam and it started working again: this time you can see the Led flashing on Beam when pressing the volume buttons on the remote. 

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[..]

The Beam has been replaced and like others say the symptoms are the same. Its IR sensor goes ‘blind’ after a period of time. Resolved by unplugging and plugging back in again. This is ridiculous for a £400 speaker!

Product support are now outright refusing to do anything about it and still maintain that there is no product or firmware issue. Life is way too short for this!

Support reference 01979926

I do have the very same issue. Sonos connected to Sky Q black set top box via the optical to HDMI connector. I opted for this setup because unfortunately my TV does not support dolby pass through from HDMI to ARC nor optical. Thus, the only way to get Dolby 5.1 was to connect Sonos directly to the Sky Q set top box. After initial setup the volume via IR works fine with either the TV IR remote or the Sky Q remote (which is a combo Bluetooth/IR, but volumes gets controlled via IR). However after some days the IR on Beam just stops working without any environmental change (position of the Beam, light etc). In fact the issue is solved by power cycling the Beam. The problem is very much reproducible, and happens every few days. So it definitively seems like a SW / firmware issue that stuck the IR sensor.

Is Sonos listening to this and providing any fix? 

 

Thanks 

My Sonos Beam has the same symptoms it works sometimes after a reset. After reading all post in this thread seems like calling support is a waste of time, has been more than a year and still not a firmware update that fixes the problem. Waste $400 on a “good” soundbar that can’t control with a remote, Sonos I thought you were a better brand, I guess I was wrong. We will have to continue with Bose or something else.

Yes. I even had mine replaced and the replacement has the same issue. It seems to have some link to asking Alexa to do something. If you don’y use Alexa it’s fine for week. @Sonos just ignored my support requests thereafter. Utter rubbish… Still!

In my case is even worse since I’m outside US I can’t return it, shipping it back will be super expensive. I guess it was my first and last Sonos product. At least they should acknowledge the issue or even compensate us with something. 

My Sonos Beam has the same symptoms it works sometimes after a reset. After reading all post in this thread seems like calling support is a waste of time, has been more than a year and still not a firmware update that fixes the problem. Waste $400 on a “good” soundbar that can’t control with a remote, Sonos I thought you were a better brand, I guess I was wrong. We will have to continue with Bose or something else.

Yes. I even had mine replaced and the replacement has the same issue. It seems to have some link to asking Alexa to do something. If you don’y use Alexa it’s fine for week. @Sonos just ignored my support requests thereafter. Utter rubbish… Still!

My Sonos Beam has the same symptoms it works sometimes after a reset. After reading all post in this thread seems like calling support is a waste of time, has been more than a year and still not a firmware update that fixes the problem. Waste $400 on a “good” soundbar that can’t control with a remote, Sonos I thought you were a better brand, I guess I was wrong. We will have to continue with Bose or something else.

No problem at all James. We are very aware of this issue and I will certainly take your feedback into consideration. 

Sonos are not taking this seriously. My previous post was ignored. I suspect this one will be too.

I have wasted hours of my time backwards and forwards, calls, emails, submitting diagnostics for this problem that everybody in Sonos pretends does not exist:

  • Connect the cables and power on in xyzzy order
  • Is there IR interference
  • Swap the Beam for the one in another room
  • Connect it with optical rather than HDMI

The Beam has been replaced and like others say the symptoms are the same. Its IR sensor goes ‘blind’ after a period of time. Resolved by unplugging and plugging back in again. This is ridiculous for a £400 speaker!

Product support are now outright refusing to do anything about it and still maintain that there is no product or firmware issue. Life is way too short for this!

Support reference 01979926

I just bought a beam and installed it and the volume will no work with my remote at all.  When it was hooked up to the HDMI it would, but I had to change it to the optical because I was told that is the only way to play the other video and gaming components I have running through the TV.  Now the only way we can control the volume is through the ap on my phone. So my kids can’t change the volume unless my husband or I am around - which is frustrating. I also don’t like that I have to do that. I’ve created a case, but have been told it will take 7 days before I hear back from someone. After reading all these posts, it seems like this has been an issue for a while.  Has there been a resolution? 

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No problem at all James. We are very aware of this issue and I will certainly take your feedback into consideration. 

Understood, It’s possible it could be a bad IR sensor on the Beam. At this point,  I'd suggest that you give us a call on our support line and a technician can help out. 

Sure, I’ll call them, but please do try and escalate the fact that many people are saying it’s clearly not a hardware fault as it’s fine every time you reset the device. It’s a firmware issue, and it doesn’t get fixed by replacing the device. I believe it occurs when you switch inputs from TV to Spotify that it stops working. I guess the reason it’s not coming up so much is that most people have an HDMI-arc port. But it’s so frustrating for those of us who do because the sound and is great, as is the rest of the functionality :-(

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Understood, It’s possible it could be a bad IR sensor on the Beam. At this point,  I'd suggest that you give us a call on our support line and a technician can help out. 

Hi,

I appreciate that you've gone through those steps previously, now what I need to establish is whether or not your remote is sending IR commands. 
1. Open the camera app on your phone
2. Point the IR sensor into the camera lens while pressing the volume up button.
3. If your remote is sending IR commands then you should see a purple flicker.

This step is important as it determines whether the issue is the remote not sending IR commands or the Sonos Beam not receiving/recognizing these commands.

Please also note that the IR sensor on your Beam is at the very bottom on the front of the Beam. Please make sure nothing is obscuring this sensor.

p.s. here’s a photo… it’s mounted so it’s not obstructed 

 

Hi,

 

I assume in step 2 you mean ‘transmitter’ on the remote not sensor? And yes there’s a purple flicker. Also, the remote’s clearly working as it also controls the TV and satellite box. Actually, pressing ‘up’ means a message comes up on TV which says ‘not available’ since the TV’s own speakers aren’t being used.

 

:-(

 

James

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Hi,

I appreciate that you've gone through those steps previously, now what I need to establish is whether or not your remote is sending IR commands. 
1. Open the camera app on your phone
2. Point the IR sensor into the camera lens while pressing the volume up button.
3. If your remote is sending IR commands then you should see a purple flicker.

This step is important as it determines whether the issue is the remote not sending IR commands or the Sonos Beam not receiving/recognizing these commands.

Please also note that the IR sensor on your Beam is at the very bottom on the front of the Beam. Please make sure nothing is obscuring this sensor.

Hi @jamesandjaque ,

For testing purposes, can you try using another TV remote to your Beam temporarily? If the issue occurs using another TV remote, try factory resetting the Beam to default and set it up again as new product. Let me know if the issue still continues after trying these steps.

@Sebastien D. 
 

Sorry I didn’t respond sooner. We have done a factory reset and as per usual it works for a bit and then stops. 

Exactly the same issue. When will Sonos actually do something about this? As others have said, the IR receiver is ‘choosing’ to ignore instructions. Nothing do do with interference or batteries. Reboot and it works. 

Expensive bag of spanners! @Sonos When are you going to sort this out???

For all practical purposes, a 3x5 card will block any IR radiation as well. IR is effectively light, albeit it at an extreme end of the visible spectrum,  and not what could be considered electro-magnetic enough to pass through normal card stock. 

Thanks!

This is what I suspected, however visible light was not my issue.

https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Ruled-Lined-Index-Cards/dp/B00V5DQJWY


Any basic paper should block the visible emissions, even cardboard. As a temporary solution/test case. Once it’s proven that it’s the issue, a more attractive effort could be made. 

@Airgetlam - Sorry I’m not sure what you mean by 3x5 card, could you perhaps send a link?

I’m guessing you’d need something to attenuate IR radiation, for that you could use aluminum, glass (depending on the frequency emitted)...

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