Dolby Atmos causing audio on Arc to "pop" then cuts out

  • 8 November 2021
  • 55 replies
  • 2731 views

I purchased a Sony KD85X91J in July equipped with eARC so I could listen to content from my Apple TV 4K in Dolby Atmos. The problem I have is whenever I play Atmos content (and ONLY Atmos content). Every so often the Arc has a quick popping sound followed by the Arc losing audio until I back out of the Atmos content I was watching. When I back out I can start the content again in Atmos and it will work for a while until the pop and audio cut out happens again. 

I have a 5.1 setup with the Arc, 2 One SL’s and a Gen 3 sub. The bass and surrounds still play audio after the cut out. Only the Arc is affected. 

The HDMI cables i am using are both rated to handle Atmos content. Link to the cables being used is below. 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07S1CGQ9Z/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Is there a fix for this issue? It’s very frustrating investing into a system that cannot deliver what it advertises and I’m hoping theres something I’m missing that will easily solve the issue. 

 


55 replies

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New tvOS beta and a Sonos system update. Wonder if the issue will still occur later on.

Worth a try.

Spoke to Apple yesterday, explained I only experience this issue with Atmos content on Apple TV; mentioned they didn't have a record of similar issues in their bug tracker but are going to escalate to engineering to get started.

Seemed to acknowledge that the Apple TV seems the, if not if, a contributing factor given the circumstances.

Will keep pulling this thread and see where it leads.

Might not hurt opening your own support cases to light a bit of a fire…

 

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Just tried this morning — left Shang-Chi on Disney+ running, and then moved onto Snowpiercer on Netflix.  No issues at all.  Both had dropouts in under 10 minutes previously.

The only changes I made in the last few days was upgrading Arc to 13.4, and rebooting everything.

My Apple TV is an awkward place to do a complete power down from the mains (as the initial troubleshooting step by the Apple CS rep), so I powerered everything off, and flicked the power switch at the wall that has the extension for all my AV devices in the Living Room.  Left it for 30 seconds, and powered everything back on.  Following the update to 13.4, I tried the “TV Setup” again option, incase it needed to announce it now supports DTS or something daft (Whatever this button actually does… 😅)

So maybe it was the Arc’s software after all…  Looking at the release notes, the Arc has had some minor revisions (13.3.x) over the last few week or so, and I have automatic updates turn on.  Maybe one of these introduced a bug for the Apple TV’s particular encoding of Atmos?

That said, I’m not actually in the room with the Arc at present, just keep popping in to see if the Arc has crapped out.  Might be that it’s cutting and fixing itself, and still an issue, but doesn’t feel that way…

Will have to check against actual Atmos content in situ.  Definitely worth a retest on your own devices though.

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Just to expand further on the above; I’ve noticed differences between my three test sources of Atmos content: Sony Bravia XH92, Apple TV 4K (2nd Gen), and PlayStation 5.

When viewing Atmos content on the Bravia, the “About my System” screen shows the encoding as Atmos (DD+).  (For reference; my settings on the TV are to use “Audio mode 1” and output as DD+).

The PlayStation 5, which is not a Atmos device, but can output the audio bitstream when watching Blu-Ray media shows (at least for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) as Atmos (True HD).

The Apple TV, however, is just “Dolby Atmos”, no brackets, no DD+ or True HD.

Not sure if that’s a contributing factor here — just something I noticed.

---

EDIT: Digging a little deeper, it seems that no brackets is Dolby MAT encoding, which appears to be LPCM with some Dolby metadata sprinkled on top.  Interestingly, it seems that Xbox Series X (which seems prevalent when searching for “Arc popping”) also uses Dolby MAT. 🤔 

Just to add to this. 

I’ve experienced the audio issue with multiple apps (Netflix, HBO Max, Paramount+) only when Atmos is playing. 

TVOS: 15.1 Has happened with all TVOS 15 updates but even happened when i was running 14. 

Arc Software is the most recent 13.4

When watching through the TV apps no popping issues are present but I CAN notice a faint decrease in volume very quickly then it regains normal volume levels. It’s so faint that you can barley notice. Not sure if thats an issue with the TV or Arc but I eliminated the ATV all together so it seems there still an audio issue present. 

I also realized (as someone else mentioned) ATV only pushes Multichannel PCM instead of DD+. I’ve noticed that DD+ sounds better so I’ve been playing my content through the TV apps when available. Sucks that apple doesn't support DD+ (but thats another topic i guess).

 

Hello,

I have got a same issue. Even after update tvOS 15.3 first beta and Sonos to 13.4.1. Problem is still there.

Hello,

I have got a same issue. Even after update tvOS 15.3 first beta and Sonos to 13.4.1. Problem is still there.

Maybe try switching off the multi-channel LPCM option on ATV and just use the DD+ (Atmos) codec on the device instead - it should hopefully prevent the popping that you’re perhaps encountering occasionally from time to time. Not entirely sure if this is a Sonos/Apple issue, but maybe switch back to LPCM after each device firmware update, to see if the issue is resolved/eventually goes away.

 

I apologize for the inaccuracy.

I don't have a problem with the sound popping, but only with sound interruptions/outage. On Apple TV, you can only select the option "change format" to dolby digital 5.1 or stereo. If you change to DD 5.1, everything is fine. The problem is only with Atmos sound! I have to say that this problem started to show up only after updating tvOS 15.0 or 15.1 and for Sonos probably 13.3.2. Before that, everything worked without a problem.

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I’m not sure if there have been mitigations from Apple/Sonos on the issue but I’ve not had anymore dropouts recently, that said, there are still “pops” (more like cracks) in the audio tracks of Atmos content, but it no longer seems to drop the audio entirely.

Not a complete fix, but in the right direction…

I will try to play some movies from native netflix app on my panasonic TV and I will see if the problem is on ATV or Sonos. 

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I will try to play some movies from native netflix app on my panasonic TV and I will see if the problem is on ATV or Sonos. 

I definitely think it’s more Sonos — as I’ve said previously, it seems that the main culprits here are Apple TV and Xbox Series X — both of which use Dolby MAT as their audio format/container.

I just experienced this issue!  That pop was a shock!

Apple TV 4K, 65” Sony X85J, Sonos Arc, Ones, Sub (Gen 3). 8k rated HDMI cables.  8k rated two in / one out HDMI switch.

loud pop and audio cut out on Arc while watching the Witcher on Netflix in Atmos.

switched back to the TV’s Netflix app and have no problems with Atmos.

I comfirm that!! TV´s netflix app have no problem with Atmos! So I think Apple TV is a winner. I will test netflix tv app with more movies and tv shows, but I think there will be no problem.

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I too confirm this – but it’s a different format. Bravia TVs output Atmos as Dolby Digital Plus.

I've not had any issue with Atmos Blu-Rays playing through PS5 and passthrough (Dolby TrueHD)

My Panasonic HZ1000 output Atmos and Dolby Digital Plus.  As far as I know Apple, Apple will fix the mistake maybe in a year :D  I play movies mainly from Plex, so my ATV is set to DD 5.1 anyway. Mutichannel PCM 5.1 or 7.1 is uncompressed, but converting to DD5.1 will produce better sound quality results.

Just had the issue watching Netflix on through a Roku Ultra on a LG CX TV.  Scared the hell out of me.  

I’ve had this same issue with the Nvidia Shield Pro 2019 and my LG C8 off and on since 2020. Tried different cables, reboots, etc. nothing ever fixes it.

Always works well when using TV apps.

There’s clearly some issue with sending external source atmos (roku, shield, Apple TV, Xbox, etc.) to the Arc through the TV. Sounds like it happens with many different TV models and many different external sources.

I have a Sonos arc and sub setup with a Sony X90H tv and cannot believe that Sonos still haven’t fixed the popping issue. Only ever happens when watching Dolby atmos content. Have had the issue for over a year now. 
 

You can’t market yourself as a premium product and have poor after sales support. Listen to the community Sonos. There’s a serious issue….fix it! 

Yes, mine popping too. Disney+ Atmos content. Happened 8 times in moon knight. A loud pop and the sounds cuts. Pausing and then playing content returns the sound. Scares me every time.

Xbox Series X user here. Popping only occurs when using “Atmos enabled audio” coming from the Xbox, and never from the Atmos enabled audio of my Sony TV. 

I have the same issue with my Sonos Arc / Shield TV 2019 (non pro)

optimistically waiting for a fix

This issue appears to be resolved for me with firmware 14.6.2.

I have the Xbox series X and Atmos content would cause this pop every few minutes. It was pretty awful and definitely unusable in that state. I had to change the Xbox to play 5.1 instead to avoid the issue. 

After 14.6.2 I changed the Xbox back to Atmos and I have played hours of Atmos content via the Xbox through my Sony A80J to the Arc with zero issues.

Nothing else has changed in my setup.

And now on 14.8 the issue is back.

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Could be the same issue as this, as it’s not just related to surrounds dropping out, but also reverb and distortions with the Arc/Surrounds/Subs;

https://en.community.sonos.com/home%2Dtheater%2D228993/lost%2Dsurround%2Dand%2Dsub%2Dafter%2Dupdate%2D6868561?postid=16594281#post16594281

I’ve just stated having this issue. Any progress on a fix?

Hi, same problem here. My config :

  • TV Sony (no arc used, only HDMI display)
  • HD Fury Arcana for eArc compatibility 
  • hdmi Hue Sync (for Light sync and HDMI switch
  • apple TV 4K (gen1)
  • xbox series X
  • sonos ARC+SUB(gen2)+2xONE

My arc is New out of the box this week, and I have only Scary POP with XBOX when I come back on the Dashboard after a Game and when I shutdown my headset, always the night to be sure to wake up affraid my children and wife…

no issue for the moment with my Apple TV 4K, but, I have not a lot of content with atmos because I leave un France and Atmos is not used much.

but games on Xbox use it.

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