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PS5/SONOS ARC/X900. lpcm not loud enough


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Lpcm sound is considerably quieter than Dolby Digital plus 5.1 or other modes, annoying

 Is that normal or not?

Or maybe work in progress?

Is lpcm the best option for my setup , gaming on ps5?

Thanks everyone for helping in advance

Peace 

Dawid

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Best answer by Rowena B. 8 December 2020, 21:03

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@JiminLondon 

I don’t have that information.

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@JiminLondon

I don’t have that information.

@Corry P That’s fine, but not really a productive answer for a premium product. Are you able to please pass on to the devs that this is indeed still an issue? Some kind of road map to the end of this issue, at least at a high level doesn’t seem like an unreasonable ask, does it folks? Let me know and I’ll set up a post to gain support/traction here.

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 @JiminLondon 

It’s a work in progress. Unlike most, this feature was announced before work was finished. However, we purposely have not mentioned a time-scale as that induces more complaints if it’s not met. If I did have the information, it’s very likely that I would not be allowed to share it beforehand for this reason.

7.1 downmixing is currently being worked on, so there is no need for passing anything on, nor for starting new topics on the subject - we can already see the interest, in figures, and are already working to meet it. 

As soon as we are allowed to share the information, I will do so here - most likely when the update that contains the support for 7.1 downmixing is already out.

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I got both xbsx and ps5 , tried that same games , streaming services etc,xbox is much much much louder when passing thru to sonos arc and also dolby atmos as well, the best i can get is dd plus 5.1 on ps5 which sound just fine -LPCM is a no no at the moment -they have to work on this sonos or sony , or both

peace 

DT

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I got both xbsx and ps5 , tried that same games , streaming services etc,xbox is much much much louder when passing thru to sonos arc and also dolby atmos as well, the best i can get is dd plus 5.1 on ps5 which sound just fine -LPCM is a no no at the moment -they have to work on this sonos or sony , or both

peace 

DT

@Flaku Yes, my source is the Apple TV 4K (2021). I guess it doesn’t matter which source it is, the Sonos needs to know how to handle LPCM and downmix to 5.1 for 5.1 setups (which I suspect are most of them are). Some kind of compression or normalisation could be good if possible, so it can carry a bit more punch… but there could be technical limitations here.

 

It’s good to see from @Corry P that the issue is in hand and is being addressed. I also note that on the Apple side, there was actually a case logged to try and get DD 5.1 plus supported so that if people have their ATV’s hard coded to 5.1 (to avoid the current crappy LPCM sound on the Arc), at least they will also get Atmos … but I don’t think this really went anywhere with Apple. Maybe Sonos can raise it to them? If the downmixing thing is fixed by Sonos and LPCM sounds better, there won’t really need to be a need for Apple to fix that….but you would think they would want to pass the best possible DD 5.1 for that setting.

 

Anyway, I’ll patiently wait and hopefully not for too many months more!

I have the PS5, ARC, and 900H as well. After reading the thread I still can’t tell the best setting to use at the current moment (until more updates hit). Beside lcpm needing higher volumes is it still the best sound?  For 4K blu rays with dtsx tracks does anyone have the current optimal setting?  I only get 5.1 DD+ if I turn OFF my eArc and just use ARC pass through which I find odd. 

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I have the PS5, ARC, and 900H as well. After reading the thread I still can’t tell the best setting to use at the current moment (until more updates hit). Beside lcpm needing higher volumes is it still the best sound?  For 4K blu rays with dtsx tracks does anyone have the current optimal setting?  I only get 5.1 DD+ if I turn OFF my eArc and just use ARC pass through which I find odd. 

For DTS-encoded Blu-rays, turn eARC on and set the PS5 audio format to Linear PCM so the Arc will play DTS audio as multichannel PCM 5.1/7.1.

I have the PS5, ARC, and 900H as well. After reading the thread I still can’t tell the best setting to use at the current moment (until more updates hit). Beside lcpm needing higher volumes is it still the best sound?  For 4K blu rays with dtsx tracks does anyone have the current optimal setting?  I only get 5.1 DD+ if I turn OFF my eArc and just use ARC pass through which I find odd. 

For DTS-encoded Blu-rays, turn eARC on and set the PS5 audio format to Linear PCM so the Arc will play DTS audio as multichannel PCM 5.1/7.1.

Awesome. Thanks for the confirmation! That is what I have been doing. 

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For example if i want use DD 5.1 Plus on ps5 i have to switch off earc in tv settings , look strange for me 

Anyone else experience that ?

Thanks in Advance 

DT

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Lpcm sound is considerably quieter than Dolby Digital plus 5.1 or other modes, annoying

 Is that normal or not?

Or maybe work in progress?

Is lpcm the best option for my setup , gaming on ps5?

Thanks everyone for helping in advance

Peace 

Dawid

It looks like it is common question, can we get this fixed/adressed please 

My xbox series x , playbar play much much louder where there is no ps5 in the equation

Peace

DT 

Is there any update on the LPCM issue?

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Is there any update on the LPCM issue?

DTS sounds louder than LPCM

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Is there any update on the LPCM issue?

DTS sounds louder than LPCM

When watching DTS-encoded Blu-ray discs, which sounds better to your ears? DTS Digital Surround or multichannel PCM?

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Is there any update on the LPCM issue?

DTS sounds louder than LPCM

When watching DTS-encoded Blu-ray discs, which sounds better to your ears? DTS Digital Surround or multichannel PCM?

DTS sounds more better than LPCM , LPCM sound more subdued on the arc.

@Corry P Any update here? I notice that Multichannel PCM 5.1 sounds very low compared to Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 on my Sonos Arc.
 

I have to raise the volume to about 60% on Multichannel PCM 5.1 to get it to equate to 45% on Dolby Digital Plus 5.1

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Hi @bignicknicknick 

The topic of this thread was never going to be “fixed” because nothing is broken. LCPM is expected to be quieter than some other formats.

When DD+ is decompressed, we use that opportunity to boost the volume of the output. LPCM cannot be decompressed because it isn’t a compressed format - it’s passed straight to the amplifier without being altered. In a sense, it remains “faithful” to the original audio track.

Besides, even when using the same format, each movie is levelled differently because it’s a different engineer doing the audio mix. Then another engineer - one who hasn’t necessarily ever spoken to the director of the movie - comes along and remixes the compressed audio formats from the master track for the home market.

I usually find myself adjusting the volume for nearly ever piece of content I watch - especially when it comes to movies, but also each YouTube video or TV program.

I hope this helps.

Hi @bignicknicknick 

The topic of this thread was never going to be “fixed” because nothing is broken. LCPM is expected to be quieter than some other formats.

When DD+ is decompressed, we use that opportunity to boost the volume of the output. LPCM cannot be decompressed because it isn’t a compressed format - it’s passed straight to the amplifier without being altered. In a sense, it remains “faithful” to the original audio track.

Besides, even when using the same format, each movie is levelled differently because it’s a different engineer doing the audio mix. Then another engineer - one who hasn’t necessarily ever spoken to the director of the movie - comes along and remixes the compressed audio formats from the master track for the home market.

I usually find myself adjusting the volume for nearly ever piece of content I watch - especially when it comes to movies, but also each YouTube video or TV program.

I hope this helps.

I’ve done a bunch of research over the last week or so and it seems like many people are having issues with LPCM sounding very low on the Arc (compared to DD+) and the issue keeps being ignored as normal.  
 

The same people that had issues eventually got another soundbar and the LPCM didn’t sound low - this has to be something related to how the Arc handles it LPCM. 
 

With that being said, I do all my watching on an Apple TV 4K. I notice with eARC set to Auto it shows Atmos and with eARC set to Off it shows Atmos (DD+).
 

1. Is it true that all the Atmos content through the Apple TV 4K only plays in Atmos (DD+)? If true, I may just leave eARC off since I get Atmos (DD+) and for all non Atmos content I get DD+ (which sounds better than LPCM). 
 

2. Is it possible to get Atmos from the Apple TV 4K? Or only when streaming from a 4KUHD player?

 

Thanks again for your assistance. 

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Hi @bignicknicknick 

I’ve done a bunch of research over the last week or so and it seems like many people are having issues with LPCM sounding very low on the Arc (compared to DD+) and the issue keeps being ignored as normal.  
The same people that had issues eventually got another soundbar and the LPCM didn’t sound low - this has to be something related to how the Arc handles it LPCM.

Then they should get in touch with our technical support team, because unless we receive word of exactly that, our team members are going to assume - when they receive reports that a high-dynamic-range format that we don’t decode sounds quiet compared to Dolby Digital - that things are completely normal, for the reasons I have already stated.

With that being said, I do all my watching on an Apple TV 4K. I notice with eARC set to Auto it shows Atmos and with eARC set to Off it shows Atmos (DD+).

I’m not sure which, but either your Apple TV or your TV is converting to Dolby Digital+ (Atmos) when eARC is disabled.

1. Is it true that all the Atmos content through the Apple TV 4K only plays in Atmos (DD+)? If true, I may just leave eARC off since I get Atmos (DD+) and for all non Atmos content I get DD+ (which sounds better than LPCM). 
 

2. Is it possible to get Atmos from the Apple TV 4K? Or only when streaming from a 4KUHD player?

  1. I don’t own any Apple products and I’m not personally familiar with Apple TV so please ask Apple for a definitive answer, but, as I understand it, no. Apple TV tends to... - or at least, Sonos Arc owners who post here on the community tend to have their Apple TV... - output uncompressed MAT Atmos (I think there is an option to enable/force this, but I don’t know what the other choices are) which would require eARC functionality from the TV to be passed to a Sonos Arc.
  2. I think Apple TVs are happy to provide the audio as MAT Atmos, but for that to actually sound better than DD+ Atmos, the source would have to be 4KUHD - otherwise, it’s lossy DD+ (from Netflix or Disney+, for example) decompressed and repackaged. Having the DD+ stream fed to the Arc in the first place would produce the same result.

In short, if you are streaming movies from the internet, it doesn’t matter which version Atmos you see reported in the Sonos app - the result is the same.

If you are watching 4KUHD with MAT Atmos (which is possible with Apple TV if you rip your Blu-Rays to .MKV or similar on hard-drive and watch with Plex), there is a difference, but you’d be hard-pressed to identify it without switching back and forth for a comparison, and even then you might need superior ear genes.

I hope this helps.

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Hi @bignicknicknick 

The topic of this thread was never going to be “fixed” because nothing is broken. LCPM is expected to be quieter than some other formats.

When DD+ is decompressed, we use that opportunity to boost the volume of the output. LPCM cannot be decompressed because it isn’t a compressed format - it’s passed straight to the amplifier without being altered. In a sense, it remains “faithful” to the original audio track.

Besides, even when using the same format, each movie is levelled differently because it’s a different engineer doing the audio mix. Then another engineer - one who hasn’t necessarily ever spoken to the director of the movie - comes along and remixes the compressed audio formats from the master track for the home market.

I usually find myself adjusting the volume for nearly ever piece of content I watch - especially when it comes to movies, but also each YouTube video or TV program.

I hope this helps.

 

Hi Cory,

This topic has been a hot one for a long time now, and although I was never really aware of the massive volume/dynamic difference between for example Dolby TrueHD and LPCM until i recently purchased a Zidoo mediaplayer to get the full Atmos experience for my new Era 300's coming from an Apple TV 4K. I also feel this difference is being ignored or regarded as normal while so many others feel it is anything but. So I'd like to zoom in on some of your comments. 

  1. First, why is LPCM expected to be quieter than the same source in Dolby TrueHD? Dolby TrueHD is nothing more than compressed LPCM to save space on a disk. So no matter who decodes the source, the volume levels should remain the same. If you mean it is suppose the be quieter because Sonos boosts the gain on all compressed formats, than it is not so much a LPCM problem, but a artificial enhancement done by Sonos on anything but LPCM.
  2. Why is Sonos boosting gain on compressed formats? Doe “Sonos” feel these formats don't sound good enough after they are decompressed into LPCM. Why is the boost in gain nessecary?
  3. Your argument about different movies and different mixes is of course comparing apples to oranges. I think most if not all (At least I am) talking about a difference in perceived loudness and dynamic for the exact same source. In my case a blu-ray rip with Dolby TrueHD. Just played through different devices that output LPCM or Dolby TrueHD (pass through) respectively.

In conclusion I think I am looking for a definitive answers as to WHY Sonos keeps saying it's totally normal while most users feel it's not. Is it as simple as just increasing volume to get the EXACT same quality, volume gain and dynamic as letting the Sonos handle things?

 

 

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Hi @Whistler 

  1. Dolby TrueHD can include volume normalisation levels in it’s metadata. LPCM does not. [citation]
  2. I think it’s to make them more in-line with stereo PCM volume levels - those typically found on TV programs and therefore those most likely to be switched between. If we did not do this, you’d be adjusting the volume control even more often than you are now.
  3. See points 1 & 2. It seems likely you experience a different level on LPCM because it is not receiving a gain boost on decompression.

In conclusion I think I am looking for a definitive answers as to WHY Sonos keeps saying it's totally normal while most users feel it's not. Is it as simple as just increasing volume to get the EXACT same quality, volume gain and dynamic as letting the Sonos handle things?

I don’t know what to say here other than what I have stated here extensively on this thread already.

I hope this helps.

 

 

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As of today the ps5 supports native Dolby atmos

 

i just tested it with the Arc, it works great and it's about 3 times louder than lpcm so if you have a ps5 make sure to use Atmos not lpcm anymore 

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Hi @bignicknicknick 

The topic of this thread was never going to be “fixed” because nothing is broken. LCPM is expected to be quieter than some other formats.

When DD+ is decompressed, we use that opportunity to boost the volume of the output. LPCM cannot be decompressed because it isn’t a compressed format - it’s passed straight to the amplifier without being altered. In a sense, it remains “faithful” to the original audio track.

Besides, even when using the same format, each movie is levelled differently because it’s a different engineer doing the audio mix. Then another engineer - one who hasn’t necessarily ever spoken to the director of the movie - comes along and remixes the compressed audio formats from the master track for the home market.

I usually find myself adjusting the volume for nearly ever piece of content I watch - especially when it comes to movies, but also each YouTube video or TV program.

I hope this helps.

 

Hi Cory,

This topic has been a hot one for a long time now, and although I was never really aware of the massive volume/dynamic difference between for example Dolby TrueHD and LPCM until i recently purchased a Zidoo mediaplayer to get the full Atmos experience for my new Era 300's coming from an Apple TV 4K. I also feel this difference is being ignored or regarded as normal while so many others feel it is anything but. So I'd like to zoom in on some of your comments. 

  1. First, why is LPCM expected to be quieter than the same source in Dolby TrueHD? Dolby TrueHD is nothing more than compressed LPCM to save space on a disk. So no matter who decodes the source, the volume levels should remain the same. If you mean it is suppose the be quieter because Sonos boosts the gain on all compressed formats, than it is not so much a LPCM problem, but a artificial enhancement done by Sonos on anything but LPCM.
  2. Why is Sonos boosting gain on compressed formats? Doe “Sonos” feel these formats don't sound good enough after they are decompressed into LPCM. Why is the boost in gain nessecary?
  3. Your argument about different movies and different mixes is of course comparing apples to oranges. I think most if not all (At least I am) talking about a difference in perceived loudness and dynamic for the exact same source. In my case a blu-ray rip with Dolby TrueHD. Just played through different devices that output LPCM or Dolby TrueHD (pass through) respectively.

In conclusion I think I am looking for a definitive answers as to WHY Sonos keeps saying it's totally normal while most users feel it's not. Is it as simple as just increasing volume to get the EXACT same quality, volume gain and dynamic as letting the Sonos handle things?

 

 

Lol. I was wondering the same thing. Why boost the volume on uncompressed and not the compressed? 

Hi @Whistler 

  1. Dolby TrueHD can include volume normalisation levels in it’s metadata. LPCM does not. [citation]
  2. I think it’s to make them more in-line with stereo PCM volume levels - those typically found on TV programs and therefore those most likely to be switched between. If we did not do this, you’d be adjusting the volume control even more often than you are now.
  3. See points 1 & 2. It seems likely you experience a different level on LPCM because it is not receiving a gain boost on decompression.

In conclusion I think I am looking for a definitive answers as to WHY Sonos keeps saying it's totally normal while most users feel it's not. Is it as simple as just increasing volume to get the EXACT same quality, volume gain and dynamic as letting the Sonos handle things?

I don’t know what to say here other than what I have stated here extensively on this thread already.

I hope this helps.

 

 

Can you bring this issue up to the engineers? Or does it take an article from The Verge to get attention from Sonos?

Here’s the simplest way to explain it…on my Sonos Arc I was watching The Big Short which is either Dolby Digital or LPCM. When the volume is at 20 on DD it sounds fine…I have to raise the volume near 30 on LPCM to get it to sound the same. 

Using another sound bar, the volume (20) sounds the same on Dolby Digital and LPCM. 

For 2 years this has been brought up and it gets brushed off as normal. I don’t have professional equipment to test decimals and other sound levels, but I’m pretty sure Sonos does and could test this in house and confirm.

It definitely happens on the Apple TV and someone else mentions it also happens on the PS5. Is there anyway you can please have someone look into this? We appreciate everything you’re doing for the community and we feel like more will be accomplished going directly to you vs calling customer support. 

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Hi @bignicknicknick 

I appreciate the sentiment, and I will try, but please don’t expect much - this has been requested many times, and the answer is the same each time.

Please also note that it is considered normal, which is why it gets “brushed off” as such.

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A lot of this is because everyone wants to handle differenr formats in a different way. So many of us use Apple TV. If Apple TV would stop insisting on turning off Dolby Digital if you turn on Dolby Atmos, then half of us wouldn't be talking about this anyhow.

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