Sonos Amp and 3rd party subwoofer issue



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Userlevel 7
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Why the Y cable?

A simple male-male RCA is all that should be needed.

If you connect another audio source to the external amp’s input using your cable can you hear anything?

I got a sub working with my system.

I did not make any changes in my Sonos app and system settings except in the EQ to get the amount of low end I wanted. It kicks whether it’s flat or with the EQ boosted five points, which is my preference.   

The one I tried initially, the Sonos Connect Amp was either not pushing enough gain to trip the amp on or the sub was defective. So since my Martin Logan wireless transmitter has a Left and Right input for my Home Theater sub, I pulled out the right that connected to my Sony amp and used that channel for my Sonos Connect amp (subs are mono anyway so left and right in is pointless), and now I use the same sub for both my Sony entertainment system and for my Sonos zone in the kitchen (it’s one big room anyway). Problem solved for me! The ML wireless transmitter is its own preamp anyway so I don’t have to send a stronger signal to kick on the speaker since it’s wireless. 

Thx! 😊

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Your mileage may vary but the bug seems fixed on the latest firmware 11.1.

 

I had to turn the in-app sub level down from +14 to +2 :heart_eyes:

I have the same issue. Sub turned on in app set to maximum output level and it is barely audible. My sub only has an LFE input and no level adjustment, it is line level and relies on the source. The Amp sub output is way to low and does match the L and R line level, not even close. This is manufacturing defect and will hopefully be acknowledged and fixed in a firmware update very soon. I am shocked that the Amp has been out for months already and this has not been addressed.
This is an obvious known issue that is being widely reported here and really, all over the Internet, just search Sonos. Trying to troubleshoot and fix one customer at a time is not the right approach.
My return window just started, but I hope you take this seriously and get the engineers involved right away. Not sure how this ever made it out if the factory, let alone not already rectified after being widely reported.
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Your mileage may vary but the bug seems fixed on the latest firmware 11.1.

 

I had to turn the in-app sub level down from +14 to +2 :heart_eyes:

Me too!
 

I'm not sure yet if it has fixed the “auto-sleep” issue with my sub. But it's definitely fixed the gain issue! It's very loud now!! I've got from +15 to +3, and may go down further yet!

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2 hours of TV later - no turn off!

 

I've halved the gain on the sub, and increased back to about +8 on the app. Keeps the sub alive. 

 

 

Puuurfect. 

 

Means I can now spend money on some new KEF LS50s to go with my Amp!

I am having the same issue with a Sonos Amp and a third party sub. I have started the tech support route, but am not encouraged.

Has anyone made headway on this issue? Or does anyone know the target specs on the LFE output signal amplitude? For most amplifiers this number can be dug up, but I can’t find it anywhere online. All I find is “Auto-detecting RCA type, adjustable crossover” which isn’t helpful.

This seems to be a problem affecting many users. I’d like to know if there is a batch of faulty amps, or their target spec for this output is way too low.

If the target spec is low, this would violate the spirit of their manual, which states, “Connect a powered subwoofer to this output using a standard RCA cable. The system will detect when a cable is connected to the subwoofer output and adjust the crossover frequency automatically.” as RCAs typically carry line-level signals, which have a fairly agreed-upon amplitude.

Userlevel 7
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In your own thread the explanation for this is given by Melvimbe:

“I believe he wants the sub port on the amp enabled while the amp is in surround mode, so that he can use a 3rd party sub.

I don’t think you can conclude it’s an easy change, only disabled for marketing reasons though.  As it stands now the Arc/Beam is currently configured with or without a Sonos sub.  If no sub, then it plays the bass frequencies itself.  With sub, it sends bass to the sub and adjust it’s own speakers to no longer play those frequencies.  Now you’re talking about a 3rd scenario where the Arc/Beam needs to be told that the amp for surrounds has a sub attached to it, so it should adjust it’s on playback accordingly and send the L/R surround channels AND sub channel to the amp wirelessly.  Not sure that the amp is built to handle 3 channels of audio like that over wireless, and process it accordingly.  Maybe, but I certainly couldn’t conclude that it’s a trivial matter. 

Note, this is not the same as when a amp w/sub attached is playing music in a group situation.  The amp would receive the 2 stereo channels and extract the bass from that.  It can’t do that when it’s doing surround duty as the bass is a part of the front channels, not rear surround channels.”

 

Sonos Amp Feature Request | Sonos Community

 

 

I had the same problem as everyone else her.
I had to set the settings in the sonos app all the way up, and use the "force on" setting on the subwoofer.

Works nicely now. 🙂👌

I have the same issue and reported it to Sonos. My setup includes two Q Acoustics 3020 bookshelf speakers, a Pioneer SW-8MK2, and an HDMI connection to my TV. I got the following troubleshooting steps from a Sonos engineer:
 

1) Connect your Subwoofer to the Sonos Amp.
2) Disconnect your bookshelf speakers from the Amp (please disconnect the speakers from the Amp side by removing the speaker wire adapter).
3) Now test playback with only the Subwoofer. Does this work properly?
4) Regardless of the result, please submit a diagnostics while it is playing in this mode.
5) Next, re-attach only the speaker adapters to the Amp but without the speaker wires. You should effectively only have the Sub and adapters plugged.
6) Once again, please test playback and provide a second diagnostics.
7) Lastly, re-attach the speaker wires to the adapters and test one more time along with submitting a diagnostics after completing the test

 


Unfortunately, I received these tips after I returned my subwoofer (Sonos was taking a while to get back to me, and this thread didn't leave me with much hope that this issue would be resolved). The bookshelf speakers are serving me fine for the time being, but here's to hoping that the steps above will help someone else with this issue.

 


Hi Kalorama,

The wonderful Sonos engineers have decided that you do no need the sub out when setting up your AMP as surrounds. In other words, they have purposefully disabled the subwoofer signal instead of giving you the option to turn it on/off as you like.

I can only speculate why they did this, but hopefully this will save someone else the many lost hours of troubleshooting why your 3rd party sub wont work with the AMP.

Details here: https://support.sonos.com/s/article/2237?language=en_US

Anyone else reading this needs to email Sonos and request a new feature to toggle the AMP’s sub on/off from the app.

Thank you for that info.  It seems I am not alone in this and as long as I want to use my own subwoofer I won't be able to in surround config.

 Another possible option the Sonos tech brought up was not to use the surround but rather group the rear speakers and subwoofer and use it this way, but once the surround is implemented the sub”out “ will be automatically disabled.  I don't know if the “grouping” option would work or not, and if would be able to tell the difference but I imagine if it is not in surround set up I am just getting left and right channels split between the Sonos Arc and rear speaker.   What is your view on this?

Thanks.

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What is the status of this? I am looking at using the Sonos Amp with either a Rythmik or SVS subwoofer. Does the subwoofer out provide a high enough signal level to drive subwoofers like these?

I’m not sure what you mean by ‘group the rear speakers and subwoofer’. In the Sonos ecosystem, there is a single ‘room’ which contains the front and rear speakers, so there is no way to add a sub to the rears.

Grouping an additional Amp driving an extra subwoofer would be challenging, due to the addition of the 75 ms delay between the Arc’s room and any grouped room.

Essentially, using a third party sub in a sound bar driven room in the Sonos ecosystem is a non starter. In order to use a third party sub, you have to be using the Amp with two third party speakers up front, which allows the sub port to be active, but forces you into a ‘faux’ center channel. 

Thanks.

So if I want to use a sub with this set up(arc in front, third party speakers in rear) I would need to get a Sonos sub? 

Sonos arc may have enough base for movies and I may not need an additional sub, but I also like to listen to music and my REL sub helps.

If you want a sub in a Sonos ‘room’ with an Arc, then the Sonos Sub is the only option. 

Beyond the extra cost, it’s a good performing sub, imho. I’ve got two of them. I’ve considered a third, bonded with a pair of Sonos PLAY:5s, but haven’t pulled that particular trigger yet. 

I am having the same issue with my infinity subwoofer.

Me too.. with Polk Audio Outdoor Subwoofer :(

Is there going to be any valid responses from SONOS in regards to this? I find this type of customer service to be deceptive from a technology company.

I've read that the sub out is only 2 volts (personally I feel it's outdated voltage coming from a car audio guy) , but I would think that is plenty for 90% of the powered subs on the market.

I am looking at purchasing the Sonos Outdoor set with Sonos Amp to start my Sonos journey, but this doesn't appear to be a positive start. I would go to Best Buy and have them connect it all in store, but with Covid closures, that cannot happen anytime soon.

No worries, I just returned the AMP. It’s false advertising or at least lack of full disclosure on how it operates.

I will be happy to repurchase it when Sonos makes the sub out available during surround setup.

Otherwise some customers might think this is a ploy to get you to purchase the Sonos sub. I think it’s just a feature overlooked by Sonos engineers.

No worries, I just returned the AMP. It’s false advertising or at least lack of full disclosure on how it operates.

I will be happy to repurchase it when Sonos makes the sub out available during surround setup.

Otherwise some customers might think this is a ploy to get you to purchase the Sonos sub. I think it’s just a feature overlooked by Sonos engineers.

 

 

No it is not “just a feature overlooked by Sonos engineers” or a ploy to sell you a Sonos Sub.  It was explained quite plainly why it isn’t possible, it’s because the surrounds only get a surrounds signal from the HT decoding unit.  Otherwise, why would they take the time to make it possible when the Amp is used as front speakers, and not possible when used as surrounds (or even give you a sub output at all)?  

Userlevel 2

I am having the exact same issue as others have reported with a REL T/7i sub. No output at all from sub out on AMP. This sub works perfectly on another system. Diagnostic code is 1376304507. I took advantage of your upgrade offer and will have to return the AMP if it does not work with my third party sub. This seems like a serious design flaw. 

My issue is that the amp sometimes takes a bit to triggger my sub after my sub goes into standby.  Unfortunately my Kef sub doesn’t have a force on feature.  I’m not sure if this is related to the low levels everyone’s talking about.  For instance my children watched a show today and sub wouldn’t kick on.  I switched to Amazon music played a song, finally my sub turned on.  Then I went back and watched the show.  I just increased the sub levels to see if that helps with the triggering.  

Hey guys … Im starting to have the exact same issue described here w/  my Sonos Amp.  my Sonos amp w/ 3rd party sub was working perfectly up until a few weeks ago.  All of a sudden, I can’t hear anything.  My sub just won’t output anything unless I jack the sub volume all the way up and and increase the sub level to +15 in the sonos app.. and even then, its muffled and not impressive at all.  Sub is good … wires are good.  Everyone says update 11.1 fixed the issue, but I’m running 11.2.6 (S1) and having the issue.  Tested another sonos amp I have, same deal.  

For those that now have the issue resolved, are you using the S2 platform or S1?  

Doing research on Sonos Arc with non Sonos rear surrounds and 3rd party sub and came across this thread. So just to clarify, if I have 2 rear surrounds that are non Sonos along with a 3rd party sub connected to the amp, the sub will not work? Does anyone have 2 speakers and a sub connected to the amp to get a surround sound setup with the arc? If I can keep my sub and rear speakers, I’d consider the amp since my current HT setup is decent. 

Userlevel 6
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I am having the exact same issue as others have reported with a REL T/7i sub. No output at all from sub out on AMP. This sub works perfectly on another system. Diagnostic code is 1376304507. I took advantage of your upgrade offer and will have to return the AMP if it does not work with my third party sub. This seems like a serious design flaw. 

Hey, in order to get sound I need to turn the volume control on my sub way up, as well as turn the sub volume on the amp settings page in the Sonos app to +13. Just thought I would mention this in case you haven't tried both of these.  

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