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?

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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This is definitely a Sonos issue and only Sonos will be able to fix it with an update.   Judging by this thread along with a dozen or so other forums I have come across regarding this issue, this is by no means isolated or rare.   I love my Sonos system! I hope they move quickly on this or the Beam’s reputation may be put on the line

@Sebastien D. 

Just wanted to update - I was able to identify the problem in my case.

My Sonos Beam was placed right in front of my plasma Samsung TV. It seems that the IR radiation from the plasma, blinds the IR sensor of the Beam. Nothing to do about it. If the TV is off, everything works fine.


I would suggest for people who still struggle with these issues, to place the Beam in another room, just to make sure it is not an issue similar to mine.

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.

Just wanted to report I have the same issue, only a hard reboot fixes.


very frustrating 

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.

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. 

Any luck. I just bought a beam this weekend and I’m having a similar problem. Worked previously but I had to unplug and move it. Since restarting, no remote control via ir.
Yeh that’s what I’m finding too. I’ll try it again tonight now that I’ve got it in a good spot and wasn’t planning on moving it anymore.

I really like the beam (and sonos) so this is a bit frustrating.
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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.

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.

I have done 8 installs with this product and prefer the Sonos Bar. This one is troublesome and I got a response that they haven't had reports of this with any other Beams. So It would be advisable to collect as much information about the system and beam location and submit it for a ticket for them to have visibility to this issue. I am testing the first unit and trying to replicate it and even have moved the beam to the exterior window to see if it will lock up.



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.






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 bought a beam couple of days ago. Set up the beam to connect to my sony tv with optical. TV remote only worked for the first day then the next day no response. Reboot the beam by switching off power socket turned back on it works again. This is frustrating. Has anyone have a solution this yet? Thanks.

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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. 

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Hi folks,

It’s frustrating and I understand that. Information is collected through the troubleshooting process can help us target and resolve the issue since there is not yet a resolution.

The IR sensor on the Beam is pretty low on the product, so if there's something that could be blocking the bottom part of the Beam, make sure to move that. If you'd tried out a few locations and still have trouble with the IR range, I'd suggest that you give us a call on our support line and a technician can help out. Though it's possible an individual unit could have a bad sensor, it's always best not to make that assumption right away as it could be a number of other environmental concerns.

@Sebastien D. 


Thank you for your reply, however you seem to be missing the point where we all point out that without changing anything (location, ambient light, temperature etc.) - the issue is resolved by a simple reset.


After discussing this issue with your technical support again and again over phone, I don’t feel like doing that any more. We all share the same problem here, which is most likely due to a FW issue.

What’s the problem of looking into a returned unit ( I will be shipping mine in the next couple of days ) and witnessing the problem by Sonos people?

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???

@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)...


I am having the same problem where the Beam works fine and then stops responding to the volume buttons on my remote.  If I reboot the Beam then it will work again for a couple of days and then stop.  This is very frustrating.  My remote is new, my batteries are new, the sensor is not blocked so it must be a Sonos issue as rebooting resolves the problem for awhile.  Sonos, Please help as I have many of your products and this is the first one that has not functioned properly.

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Reports of weak IR are a real thing. But we don’t know prevalence or what the root cause is (mfg defect, software issue, etc.)

You may want to contact Sonos Support directly to discuss it.

I suggest the phone folks, they have more tools available because they're on the phone with you, but they are only available Monday through Friday during business hours. Both the Twitter and Facebook support folks are available 24/7.

Try replacing the batteries in your remote. If it isn’t normally an IR remote, but a Bluetooth one, make sure to reset it to send IR, it’s possible a firmware update to the TV turned that option off. Double check to be sure the line of sight between the remote and the Beam’s IR sensor isn’t obstructed, or the sensor isn’t dirty.
Oh, and try a simple power cycle on the Beam itself, to force a reboot of the device.

I also have this problem. I’ve never been able to get my Beam to acknowledge my TV remote, and now it won’t register any button presses from my Apple TV remote as well. I know the IR on the Apple TV remote is working, because it turns up the volume on my TV without issue.