Multichannel PCM 5.1 dropping out since 14.10 update



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Possibly, sure, but you’d think an issue with a six page thread might get more attention than being lumped in with that generic of a statement. 

Six pages doesn't seem to be enough to get Sonos to escalate the issue to level 2...

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Possibly, sure, but you’d think an issue with a six page thread might get more attention than being lumped in with that generic of a statement. 

Six pages doesn't seem to be enough to get Sonos to escalate the issue to level 2...

Well it’s 7 now :(

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It’s not just this thread either. There are numerous other threads here with the same issue that have simply been redirected to this “mother thread”. There are also posts on reddit and such.

Some may want to point their fingers at LG, but honestly this looks to be a Sonos issue. The Arc is fine and only the Beam is bugged so Sonos could use that as a starting point if they wanted to. Also, OP claims that the issue only started after doing the Sonos 14.10 update. I did some reading and saw that it was a major update which supposedly fixed audio delays and dropouts. So Sonos likely borked something on the Beam with that big update. There are also comments indicating that Sonos didn’t recognize those delays and dropouts as well before they magically decided to fix them so… yeah…

Overall, this just reeks of laziness and poor customer service. This may be a community forum but when something has drawn this much attention, one would think it would be enough for them to address it. Specially when the community has pretty much handed everything to them on a silver platter. Users have already isolated the issue, provided clear steps on how to reproduce them, and filed reports. Yet 8 months later, still no word on the matter. Even the Sonos staff in here has gone silent. They may simply be a forum mod, but now that the issue has gotten big couldn’t they have at least escalated the issue to their heads or engineering contacts? Indifferent because “simply a forum mod” and “not my job”? Again, poor customer service.

If you can still apply for a refund, then good for you. Unfortunately, I was past the return period when I discovered the issue. Initially planned on building a proper 5.1 setup and eventually upgrade to an Arc Gen 2. But for now, this issue makes this my first and last Sonos product. Shame as I really really loved the software (when it works, at least...)

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This 

It’s not just this thread either. There are numerous other threads here with the same issue that have simply been redirected to this “mother thread”. There are also posts on reddit and such.

Some may want to point their fingers at LG, but honestly this looks to be a Sonos issue. The Arc is fine and only the Beam is bugged so Sonos could use that as a starting point if they wanted to. Also, OP claims that the issue only started after doing the Sonos 14.10 update. I did some reading and saw that it was a major update which supposedly fixed audio delays and dropouts. So Sonos likely borked something on the Beam with that big update. There are also comments indicating that Sonos didn’t recognize those delays and dropouts as well before they magically decided to fix them so… yeah…

Overall, this just reeks of laziness and poor customer service. This may be a community forum but when something has drawn this much attention, one would think it would be enough for them to address it. Specially when the community has pretty much handed everything to them on a silver platter. Users have already isolated the issue, provided clear steps on how to reproduce them, and filed reports. Yet 8 months later, still no word on the matter. Even the Sonos staff in here has gone silent. They may simply be a forum mod, but now that the issue has gotten big couldn’t they have at least escalated the issue to their heads or engineering contacts? Indifferent because “simply a forum mod” and “not my job”? Again, poor customer service.

If you can still apply for a refund, then good for you. Unfortunately, I was past the return period when I discovered the issue. Initially planned on building a proper 5.1 setup and eventually upgrade to an Arc Gen 2. But for now, this issue makes this my first and last Sonos product. Shame as I really really loved the software (when it works, at least...)

This is also probably one of the easiest issues to reproduce, all it requires is having the right equipment which is an extremely common setup and it happens immediately. For the so called “it just works” approach Sonos is famous for I’ve had to mess way too much with fixing random bugs and faults.

And this is still not fixed, nor even addressed anymore.

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They may simply be a forum mod, but now that the issue has gotten big couldn’t they have at least escalated the issue to their heads or engineering contacts?

 

To be fair, @Corry P has already stated earlier in this thread that cases cannot be publicly commented on. It would be difficult to provide any general update here without breaking that rule.

That being said, I've received no update on my case since I raised it and I'm not desperate enough to run through the L1 script again on chat/phone in an attempt to get a status update.

I hope that someone is collating case numbers behind the scenes for prioritisation in their backlog, but I've no idea if it's possible for Sonos mods/support to link posts in this thread to individual case numbers, or whether they set aside time to do so.

Okay so month-in update since my last post. The issue came back like most people have reported. It's annoying for sure but instead of constantly surfing the internet about this, I just want to ask one more thing before finally putting this to rest.

I only play games on my PS5, nothing else. Instead of using this AV Amplifier 5.1 in the PS5 settings, can I just set it to Soundbar and leave it at that? I've read on other forums that the misreporting of the Multichannel 7.1 to the Sonos App when using it is simply because that's what's being sent to the bar or TV and is down sampled to the correct channels despite the report on the app saying otherwise. Personally I don't see any difference in either if that's true and just want to set it and leave it so if someone can give me confirmation I can just select Soundbar that'd be much appreciated!

However that being said, I do hope this gets fixed as it's evidently a problem.

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To be fair, @Corry P has already stated earlier in this thread that cases cannot be publicly commented on. It would be difficult to provide any general update here without breaking that rule.

That being said, I've received no update on my case since I raised it and I'm not desperate enough to run through the L1 script again on chat/phone in an attempt to get a status update.

Not holding my breath. 8 months in, they could have at least acknowledged it. Pretty simple: If it’s an LG issue, shouldn’t all eARC Sonos products be affected? Not to mention the issue doesn’t seem to exist with other audio manufacturers. Sonos could easily check why it works with Arc and not with the Beam. Shouldn’t take this long to review and they could easily declare in case it’s not a Sonos issue.

Unless… I actually have a conspiracy theory lol. Maybe it’s a hardware issue that can’t be fixed with software updates so they’ve just kept quiet about it. Due to hardware differences, that’s why it’s only on the Beam and not on the Arc.

OP claims that it started with update 14.10 but maybe it has always been there, just didn’t trigger yet. Several users have reported that the issue randomly comes and goes. Perhaps pre-14.10 the issue just didn’t occur yet for OP and it just took effect after he updated.

So with that, I’ve also just learned to live with it. It’s annoying but for some use cases I just do various workarounds. For others with no seeming workaround, I guess just endure until I upgrade my audio equipment or when Sonos decides to fix this. Certainly a disappointing first impression.

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I think there is a good chance that there is a hardware problem somewhere - there are just far too many reports of dropouts and other issues associated with eArc and it happens across the CX, C1, AND C2 which all run different processors, firmware versions, and WebOS versions.

At this point I don’t think it can be fixed and am now in the process of trying to arrange a refund even though I’m out of warranty period as under the UK sale of goods act a speaker that cannot play audio reliably in the manner that it was marketed to do is not fit for purpose.  

I think there is a good chance that there is a hardware problem somewhere - there are just far too many reports of dropouts and other issues associated with eArc and it happens across the CX, C1, AND C2 which all run different processors, firmware versions, and WebOS versions.

At this point I don’t think it can be fixed and am now in the process of trying to arrange a refund even though I’m out of warranty period as under the UK sale of goods act a speaker that cannot play audio reliably in the manner that it was marketed to do is not fit for purpose.  

Shouldn’t you be returning the TV in this instance? As an example, I have the LG C9 OLED and not seeing this issue. It’s not like this applies to other TV models, or brands, outside of those you mention.

It could well be that Sonos are aware where the issue lies and if that is with LG, you cannot expect Sonos to publicly announce that. All they can do is fire off an internal ticket to LG to highlight the issue and ‘hope’ that LG go onto fix the matter for their customer.

My thoughts are if you’re going to return anything, then take into consideration where the evidence points and in my humble opinion, that seems to lean a little more towards certain LG TV models, rather than Sonos. Presumably LG support have been contacted by folk here and are currently looking into the matter from their end too on behalf of their own customers?

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I think there is a good chance that there is a hardware problem somewhere - there are just far too many reports of dropouts and other issues associated with eArc and it happens across the CX, C1, AND C2 which all run different processors, firmware versions, and WebOS versions.

At this point I don’t think it can be fixed and am now in the process of trying to arrange a refund even though I’m out of warranty period as under the UK sale of goods act a speaker that cannot play audio reliably in the manner that it was marketed to do is not fit for purpose.  

Shouldn’t you be returning the TV in this instance? As an example, I have the LG C9 OLED and not seeing this issue. It’s not like this applies to other TV models, or brands, outside of those you mention.

It could well be that Sonos are aware where the issue lies and if that is with LG, you cannot expect Sonos to publicly announce that. All they can do is fire off an internal ticket to LG to highlight the issue and ‘hope’ that LG go onto fix the matter for their customer.

My thoughts are if you’re going to return anything, then take into consideration where the evidence points and in my humble opinion, that seems to lean a little more towards certain LG TV models, rather than Sonos. Presumably LG support have been contacted by folk here and are currently looking into the matter from their end too on behalf of their own customers?

The CX models onward all use the same family of chipsets that differs from the C9, hence what you’re seeing and why all the models from CX onwards are similarly affected.

Fundamentally it is the Sonos product that isn’t working i.e. reliably playing audio as it is marketed to do - it is designed to connect to TVs over eARC and play audio and LG are one of, if not the biggest manufacturer in the world of TVs. If Sonos can’t make that work then it is their problem, regardless of the underlying root cause.

The CX works flawlessly with everything else plugged into it, including apparently the Sonos Arc and other sound bars so again why would I return the TV?

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My thoughts are if you’re going to return anything, then take into consideration where the evidence points and in my humble opinion, that seems to lean a little more towards certain LG TV models, rather than Sonos.

Disagree on the basis that my LG TV with an alternative brand eARC amplifier, and it was stated earlier that a Sonos ARC replacement also resolved the issue. Also, the logistics of returning a soundbar are less of a drag than a large, configured TV.

@yofalat611 raises an excellent point though - I've been assuming a firmware issue to date. A hardware problem, or even a hardware revision problem, opens up some more tests:

  1. Test my Beam2 against another CX-C2 TV. @kikeminchas has shown how to get the drop outs to appear on demand, so this seems more feasible during a family visit. (I have an A1 but I'll have to take it off the wall again to access the rear facing eARC port which needs a family member to visit me)
  2. Test a replacement Beam2 against my C1. I guess I'm out of warranty now, but has anyone else returned their Beam2 for a replacement and resolved/retained the drop outs?

@ste_ms,

Just being devils advocate… I’m just wondering where a manufacturer stands then, like Sonos, if at the time of releasing their Beam soundbar it works with all major brands of TV (available at that point in time) and then after it’s launch, a manufacturer like LG, launch a new TV model with a different chipset that is not supported/compatible with the Beam.

I don’t see how anyone could return a Beam (outside of its warranty), if those were the circumstances and the sequence of events - so that’s why my thoughts would be to return the TV, that’s if it’s launch perhaps occurred afterwards and the LG device that was not compatible - but I appreciate returning the TV is not the easiest option to do, but seems a little unfair if I look at it from Sonos’ point of view.

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@ste_ms,

Just being devils advocate… I’m just wondering where a manufacturer stands then, like Sonos, if at the time of releasing their Beam soundbar it works with all major brands of TV (available at that point in time) and then after it’s launch, a manufacturer like LG, launch a new TV model with a different chipset that is not supported/compatible with the Beam.

I don’t see how anyone could return a Beam (outside of its warranty), if those were the circumstances and the sequence of events - so that’s why my thoughts would be to return the TV, that’s if it’s launch perhaps occurred afterwards and the LG device that was not compatible - but I appreciate returning the TV is not the easiest option to do, but seems a little unfair if I look at it from Sonos’ point of view.

Of course it’s incredibly difficult but that is the arena in which Sonos have chosen to develop their products and therefore they need to have deep relationships with the TV manufacturers and constantly update their software to manage this risk.

It’s the same as Apple and Samsung - their phones have to work with the cellular networks and I’m sure that is a constant process with the network operators to maintain that functionality over time. 

Personally I would be more than happy with confirmation either way that either Sonos is looking into it, or that they have and it can’t be fixed so I could make an informed choice on what to do next. But instead we are left in limbo for months on end with no communication or acknowledgement whatsoever which is the absolute worst part of all this.

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@ste_ms,

Just being devils advocate… I’m just wondering where a manufacturer stands then, like Sonos, if at the time of releasing their Beam soundbar it works with all major brands of TV (available at that point in time) and then after it’s launch, a manufacturer like LG, launch a new TV model with a different chipset that is not supported/compatible with the Beam.

I don’t see how anyone could return a Beam (outside of its warranty), if those were the circumstances and the sequence of events - so that’s why my thoughts would be to return the TV, that’s if it’s launch perhaps occurred afterwards and the LG device that was not compatible - but I appreciate returning the TV is not the easiest option to do, but seems a little unfair if I look at it from Sonos’ point of view.

Of course it’s incredibly difficult but that is the arena in which Sonos have chosen to develop their products and therefore they need to have deep relationships with the TV manufacturers and constantly update their software to manage this risk.

It’s the same as Apple and Samsung - their phones have to work with the cellular networks and I’m sure that is a constant process with the network operators to maintain that functionality over time. 

Personally I would be more than happy with confirmation either way that either Sonos is looking into it, or that they have and it can’t be fixed so I could make an informed choice on what to do next. But instead we are left in limbo for months on end with no communication or acknowledgement whatsoever which is the absolute worst part of all this.

Only applies to the C2 in this case if I’ve got the dates correct (Beam 2 was available from Oct ‘21). Of course, h/w revisions and firmware updates do make the situation more complex, and what’s to stop the TV manufacturer using the same argument with newer sound bars?

Sonos UK EULA states under “10. Warranty and Disclaimer”:

SONOS DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE PRODUCT(S) WILL OPERATE WITHOUT INTERRUPTION OR WILL BE ERROR-FREE, OR THAT ALL ERRORS AND/OR DEFECTS MAY BE CORRECTED

If any of this was actually how things worked, no-one would be able to return anything...

 

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Unless… I actually have a conspiracy theory lol. Maybe it’s a hardware issue that can’t be fixed with software updates so they’ve just kept quiet about it. Due to hardware differences, that’s why it’s only on the Beam and not on the Arc.

For what it’s worth, my hardware versions of the Beam 2 are as follows:

Hardware Version: 1.35.1.6-22

Series ID: A200

Manufacture date code: 2107

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I was looking for a potential Beam replacement and came across the new-ish Bose Soundbar 600. Checking for feedback, I saw that they had an issue with LG OLEDs where it did not produce any sound at all. However, unlike Sonos, Bose was quick to acknowledge the issue and eventually released a firmware update to fix it. You can do a search on the Bose subreddit if interested.

Bose’s was a major issue, sure, but Sonos should also show accountability. I sound like a broken record but if it works on the Arc, why is it busted on the Beam? Pretty sure this is a Sonos issue.

I finally returned my Beam and One SL and got a refund. No more issue with a new Samsung Q930b.

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I finally returned my Beam and One SL and got a refund. No more issue with a new Samsung Q930b.

Good for you! I myself am thinking of selling my Beam and moving on to another brand. Just waiting for a good deal.

So Samsung works… Bose works (and when it didn’t, Bose admitted it was their bad)… Sony works (we have a Sony eArc soundbar and it works perfectly)… Unless someone says otherwise, I would assume LG works since it’s their own TV and soundbar lol… Sonos Arc works…

At this point, if anyone is still convinced that this is an LG TV issue and not a Sonos Beam issue, I don’t really know what else to tell you. We may not have all the facts but with what we do have, this is undeniably the most logical conclusion.

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Sonos plays whatever it’s handed. 

Found a Lattice Semiconductor white paper that explains eARC why it’s not that simple. I learned a few new things today:

  • eARC uses the HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC) pins in a “with Ethernet” cable, I’m assuming this means that HEC and eARC are exclusive (which is no big deal since apparently HEC implementations are extremely rare) rather than eARC runs over HEC
  • eARC operates independently from the video pin TMDS/FRL groups, hence any HDMI speed cable would be eARC compatible so long as it is wired for “with Ethernet”
  • eARC does not require CEC to transmit the audio signal. This includes the device discovery during initial handshaking for which ARC does seem to rely on CEC. However eARC does not provide volume/power control capabilities which typically will be provided by CEC, or simply the remote control on the audio device
  • eARC audio signal is “similar” to SPDIF but offers a maximum of 8 channels, 24-bit, 192KHz
  • To achieve the above, a 1 Mb/s bi-directional data signal is overlaid onto the audio signal which provides (and this is the crucial bit):
    • discovery of supported audio formats
    • lip sync control
    • heartbeat
  • discrete eARC to I2S bridge ICs are available which use only the eARC pins

Whilst ingesting a SPDIF-like signal should be bread and butter work for a Sonos device:

  • what does the lip sync protocol look like?
  • what happens if a heart beat is missed?

How much of the protocol is implemented in the ICs and what remains for the SONOS s/w to fulfil? If there is a bug in such an IC (TV or soundbar side) what are the chances of a fix?

This may not actually be a SONOS vs LG thing, but a Lattice vs ITE thing (I’ve no idea what, if any, manufacturers eARC ICs might be in these devices)

 

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Sony works (we have a Sony eArc soundbar and it works perfectly)… 

I managed to uncover an entirely different eARC problem with a Sony soundbar connected to a C1 whilst investigating got Beam 2 drop outs, so I’m not about to jump ship just yet...

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Sony works (we have a Sony eArc soundbar and it works perfectly)… 

I managed to uncover an entirely different eARC problem with a Sony soundbar connected to a C1 whilst investigating got Beam 2 drop outs, so I’m not about to jump ship just yet...

Oh. Too bad then. Our older Sony soundbar has since been paired with our older Sony TV and now enjoys simpler use cases. But when we used it with our LG for a number of months, had no issue with Stereo, PCM 5.1, PCM 7.1, DD, DD+, TrueHD, Atmos, Dolby MAT, volume control, and power sync.

For more general eARC issues, I would be willing to do a coinflip on who to blame. But for this very very specific situation where only PCM 5.1 is affected and the Sonos Arc works fine, I am still inclined to believe it’s a Beam issue.

I’m done researching and testing for this issue myself though. Already did everything everyone posted awhile back to no avail. Figured why waste more of my time and provide free labor when Sonos has done jack squat. Still would be nice if it get fixed though as I’d be doing more of a sidegrade than an upgrade at this point if I’m forced to buy a new soundbar.

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But for this very very specific situation where only PCM 5.1 is affected and the Sonos Arc works fine, I am still inclined to believe it’s a Beam issue.

Does feel that way, although I’ve failed to reproduce the behaviour on my A1 so far (I guess that’s a different HDMI chipset to the C1 given the lack of 2.1 features). Could be one of those cases where there’s a bug on both sides.

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Could be one of those cases where there’s a bug on both sides.

It is possible that LG TVs are quirky, considering that the Bose 600 only had the no sound issue with them. However, we’ve also seen that these issues can be addressed from the soundbar end as Bose did. Heck, Sonos Arc already works so why can’t they check and do the same with the Beam? This apparent laziness 8 months in is my main problem with Sonos.

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I should add that this bug completely nullifies the possibility of playing Nintendo switch with surround sound sound together with the beam 2 and an LG tv because unlike the PS5 the switch has no option to change the surround sound output to anything that’s not 5.1 Multichannel PCM.

The fact that such a long time has passed without any update from Sonos with regards to whether they’re even looking into it is infuriating.

LG is one of the most popular TVs out there, and the first choice for many people who want OLED TV. Odds are high that people who use Sonos also use LG OLED since they’re both premium products.

How come the priority of this isn’t high?

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I should add that this bug completely nullifies the possibility of playing Nintendo switch with surround sound

Sharing borked scenarios that I am aware of as well as possible workarounds if any. If any prospective buyer comes across this and has a similar use case, just turn around and run:

Switch - You’re stuck with Stereo as PCM 5.1 surround is borked

PS5 - You are forced to set it to PCM 7.1

Bluray - For DTS, you’re stuck with Stereo if your player only converts DTS to PCM 5.1 (are there even bluray players who can convert DTS to Dolby?)

Apple TV - The ATV doesn’t do DD/DD+ passthrough and outputs them as PCM 5.1. So non-atmos and non-stereo contents are borked. Workaround is either force the ATV to output as DD (DD only, not DD+) which is a downgrade or use the LG webOS app

PC - Using Dolby Atmos for Home Theatre is sometimes bugged esp for non-Atmos content (I think it’s an nVidia/Microsoft issue) so in those cases you’re forced to set it to PCM 7.1

With the popularity of LG OLEDs, there is something for everyone lol.

 

I finally returned my Beam and One SL and got a refund.

What’s funny about this issue is Sonos completely screws over customers who actually spent on building a 5.0/5.1 system. If I had used all this money for an actual surround system, I sure as hell would want to set my devices exactly to PCM 5.1 and avoid downmixing from 7.1.

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