Sonos Arc and Samsung - eARC compatibility issues


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Hi All

I wanted to make you aware of an experience I am having with both Sonos and Samsung. I am on my second Samsung tv (replacement q95t) and the following letter to CEO’s of both companies should explain. Be interesting to know if any members of this community are aware or have experienced these issues.

Dear Patrick/Sang Ho Jo gwi-ha

 

Apologies for the direct approach, however I must make you aware of a situation with regards to two of your companies top consumer products.   I have been a loyal purchaser of both Samsung and Sonos products for a number of years now, and most recently have purchased your Sonos Arc Soundbar and Samsung Q95T television products.   On receipt of these products, I have noticed a compatibility issue between the two aforementioned products around the eARC connectivity. Simply put, once eARC is enabled on the Samsung device, no sound is transmitted via the Sonos Arc. Once Disabled however, sound is apparent.   From a samsung perspective, I have been issued a second device which has had the same issue, and no further known resolution to fix has been offered with technical advising its not a Samsung issue. From a Sonos Perspective, the response from technical has been to "confirm that the issue you are experiencing has been raised with the right teams who are looking into it, regarding e-ARC needing to be off to get audio from this TV. We don't have a timescale on a resolution at this time".   From a loyal user, this is far from perfect with no eta to fix, or even a guarantee that it will be fixed and no clear view on where the issue resides, with Samsung or Sonos?   On looking at the Samsung forums, this appears to be an issue not just for myself but for many other users now. The following is one example of feedback from Sonos on the Samsung Forums:  

"It does look like there may be some issues arising when the eARC function on the TV is enabled. DD+ is capable of carrying a compressed ATMOS signal, so you should still be able to experience ATMOS from your Arc. In the mean time however there's no fix for this.

 

I'm not able to give you a solid answer right now unfortunately, however the Arc is known to work with other TVs so my inclination would be that this is a Samsung issue. We are certainly aware of this however and we are reaching out to Samsung in order to get this resolved.

 

I would expect this to be fixable via a Firmware update, however I can't guarantee this unfortunately.

 

We are reaching out to Samsung in order to get this issue resolved. Due to the huge number of TV models and manufacturers, issues such as this do sometimes arise - in any case we are looking in to getting it resolved and we are happy to assist any customers which are affected by this issue.

 

So basically SONOS are blaming Samsung because the ARC works with other TV's. No firm promise of a fix, not very impressed with SONOS at this point as Samsung could be classed as a major supplier of global premium TV's, you would have thought that they would have ensured their premium soundbar would work with the new Samsung Flagship range, but apparently not."   So my ask is simple - please can your organisations work together to resolve this issue as opposed to the blame culture that has been our experience - Many users have purchased both devices on the strength of this eARC capability, and this is clearly advertised as a function of your devices.  My retailer in the UK is on standby to take these products back if we can't get to a resolution which would be a major disappointment so I hope you can find a solution to this issue for me.   Kind Regards   Mike


95 replies

 Can you clarify a couple things regarding your post?  What sources are you using for your test cases?  You mentioned DD+, so I assume streaming sources.  Are those internal smart apps or an external source?  Are you able to get audio from TrueHD sources?

 

You mentioned enabling/disabling eARC.  On my tv, ARC is called AnyNet.  Does your TV have a different naming convention.  Are ARC and eARC turned on separately?  I ask because I’m not exactly sure how you would get audio with eARC disabled at all, unless you could enable ARC without enabling eARC.  I assumed it was all one configuration, but perhaps I am wrong on that.

 

As far as the issue of blame, there is standards involved here.  TV manufacturers and audio companies claim they are ARC, eARC, DD+, TrueHD, CEC, Atmos, etc by following those established standards.  The point of the standards is that TV and soundbar should work if they follow the standard without having to test specifically with every possible combination of TV and soundbar.  In this case, although it’s possible that both Samsung and Sonos did not properly follow the standard, the most likely case is that one is following the standard and the other is not. Given what I’ve seen with ARC and CEC related issues on TVs when the Beam and Amp came out, and that Sonos works on with other TVs, I suspect the issue lies with Samsung.   Perhaps Sonos can help Samsung fix the issue in some way, but hard for them to take responsibility for it.

 

As far as taking back the products, not really necessary to take back both.  You could switch out the TV with something that doesn’t have the eARC issue, or you could you could switch out the Arc for something that doesn’t rely on eARC.

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Hi Danny

In response:

Can you clarify a couple things regarding your post?  What sources are you using for your test cases?  You mentioned DD+, so I assume streaming sources.  Are those internal smart apps or an external source?  Are you able to get audio from TrueHD sources?

This is via multiple sources, so standard tv signal, streaming services built into the TV (Apple TV, Disney +, Netflix and Amazon Prime), External Amazon Firestick, and also 4K UHD player. No sound is emitted from any source when eARC is enabled.

You mentioned enabling/disabling eARC.  On my tv, ARC is called AnyNet.  Does your TV have a different naming convention.  Are ARC and eARC turned on separately?  I ask because I’m not exactly sure how you would get audio with eARC disabled at all, unless you could enable ARC without enabling eARC.  I assumed it was all one configuration, but perhaps I am wrong on that.

On the Samsung Q95T, in sound on expert settings, there is an option to enable eARC mode to Auto. eARC is on HDMI port 3. When you enable there is no sound, and when you disable you get sound in its native format. So Dolby 2.0, 5.1 and on some content Atmos 5.1 DD+ so compressed. eARC should be the same and also be able to play uncompressed when available. Right now no output is happening and originally Samsung though this was an issue with HDMI port 3.

As far as the issue of blame, there is standards involved here.  TV manufacturers and audio companies claim they are ARC, eARC, DD+, TrueHD, CEC, Atmos, etc by following those established standards.  The point of the standards is that TV and soundbar should work if they follow the standard without having to test specifically with every possible combination of TV and soundbar.  In this case, although it’s possible that both Samsung and Sonos did not properly follow the standard, the most likely case is that one is following the standard and the other is not. Given what I’ve seen with ARC and CEC related issues on TVs when the Beam and Amp came out, and that Sonos works on with other TVs, I suspect the issue lies with Samsung.   Perhaps Sonos can help Samsung fix the issue in some way, but hard for them to take responsibility for it.

Noted - hence my mail to both CEO’s and posting on both Sonos and Samsung forums. Because the only way this will be fixed for the multiple users affected is for both parties to work this through. 

As far as taking back the products, not really necessary to take back both.  You could switch out the TV with something that doesn’t have the eARC issue, or you could you could switch out the Arc for something that doesn’t rely on eARC.

Agree however the principle is what matters here, if you advertise a product as eARC compatible, then you expect your purchases to have this functionality. Hence the investment in the technology. If neither party want to take any form of ownership and effectively state the fault is with the other party, then this leaves a very poor customer and brand experience and it may be wise to move away completely. Wanting to future proof to eARC was the reason for investing so downgrading to arc is not really an option. Changing the tv is possible but limited as cable management on a wall mounted tv is a no go due to location (solid stone), and the Samsung one connect box is a big selling point in that regard. Hopefully this can be resolved as both products do have some major plus points, the picture on the Q95T is amazing, and the Sonos ARC is part of a bigger ecosystem including 2*play 5, 2*One and Sub3. Also have a move on order.

So its unlikely to shift but again the pure principle on this one is making this hard not to change if not resolved. You would think that both manufacturers would have tested prior to launch. Samsung being arguably in the top two of TV producers now, and Sonos being a major player in high end wireless speaker technology.

Hope this helps and thanks for your note.

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bump

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Same issue with the Samsung FRAME TV (2020 version). Turning on eARC results in no sound…..

 

Personally more inclined to believe it’s a Samsung issue - Good TV’s but they always seem to have some firmware quirks...

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I have reported the audio lag video problems on my 2019 Samsung 75” Q80R.  Internal apps work, but anything passing through the inbound HDMI has the problem with an audio lag using the HDMI-ARC port.  This is not Atmos, but frustrating.  I have since connected to the Optical port and use the Optical/HDMI adapter.  I am currently pursuing a refund from Samsung since the set is under warranty and not fixable.

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All - reponse from the CEO’s office of Samsung as follows:

“I am contacting in response to your recent communication received to the CEO of Samsung UK. I am sorry to learn of the challenges you have faced with connection of your Samsung television and Sonos sound bar.

 

While our department is not technically trained, following receipt of your email I have reached out to our AV head technicians to request their comment. They have reviewed your concerns and note that the response you have received from Sonos appears to be that they are aware of this issue and are investigating, while regrettably not having a timescale for solution. Our AV department has given assurance that this issue has not been reported by customers using Samsung sound bars with this television, and so trust that Sonos will continue to investigate and take steps to improve their product compatibility.

 

We appreciate you taking the time to raise this with us, and while our AV department have taken your comments under review, as above this does not appear to be an issue affecting compatibility through Samsung devices. “

 

So the ball is with Sonos - can someone from Sonos acknowledge this please as an issue?

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I have a 2020 Q80T, Arc, Sub Gen 2 and a pair of One SL’s. I have the Arc plugged into eArc, Atmos enabled in the TV and the TV set to eArc. No lip sync issues at all. The Sonos app indicates Atmos when playing Atmos content. If I turn off eArc in my sound settings the app indicates Atmos Dolby Digital+. 
my set up sounds great and has worked flawlessly so far. The TV is 10 days old. 

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I have a 2020 Q80T, Arc, Sub Gen 2 and a pair of One SL’s. I have the Arc plugged into eArc, Atmos enabled in the TV and the TV set to eArc. No lip sync issues at all. The Sonos app indicates Atmos when playing Atmos content. If I turn off eArc in my sound settings the app indicates Atmos Dolby Digital+. 
my set up sounds great and has worked flawlessly so far. The TV is 10 days old. 

Thanks for your feedback Alberta, Can you confirm please that the eARC setiing is on AUTO. So Sound > Expert Setting > eARC enabled option is Auto. And then confirm you have sound. Can you confirm the source of Atmos please and also can you confirm when eARC is enabled if you get any sound on normal channels such as terrestrial broadcasting/in built apps such as Netflix?

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I can confirm eArc is set to Auto. I have sound and plays regular and Atmos content. I am using Netflix app on the Samsung Q80T. 

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Bit strange it’s working for Alberta but not us. 
 

Could it be we’re uk based and have different software versions? 

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I think that Samsung has different firmware for UK/US. The plot thickens..

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I was thinking the same thing. Perhaps we have different software configurations. I feel fortunate having read the issues many have had with Samsung and Arc functionality. I bought the TV knowing there were people having issues but I’ve always been a Samsung fan. This is my first Sonos experience. Started with Arc and quickly added the Sub and Ones. Not because the Arc wasn’t getting the job done but after listening to the Arc in a full 5.1.2 set up I just felt I would take the plunge for max enjoyment. 

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I think that Samsung has different firmware for UK/US. The plot thickens..

 

One to go back to Samsung?!
 

I hope Sonos are reading these threads !

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All - reponse from the CEO’s office of Samsung as follows:

“I am contacting in response to your recent communication received to the CEO of Samsung UK. I am sorry to learn of the challenges you have faced with connection of your Samsung television and Sonos sound bar.

 

While our department is not technically trained, following receipt of your email I have reached out to our AV head technicians to request their comment. They have reviewed your concerns and note that the response you have received from Sonos appears to be that they are aware of this issue and are investigating, while regrettably not having a timescale for solution. Our AV department has given assurance that this issue has not been reported by customers using Samsung sound bars with this television, and so trust that Sonos will continue to investigate and take steps to improve their product compatibility.

 

We appreciate you taking the time to raise this with us, and while our AV department have taken your comments under review, as above this does not appear to be an issue affecting compatibility through Samsung devices. “

 

So the ball is with Sonos - can someone from Sonos acknowledge this please as an issue?

“....Our AV department has given assurance that this issue has not been reported by customers using Samsung sound bars with this television...”

The reply is telling you that Samsung TV and Samsung sound bar = no problem. 

Indirectly telling you to buy Samsung products. 

I would suggest you change out of Samsung TV.  

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Here are my sound settings on my Q80T 2020 Samsung. 

 

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To my understanding, the Q80T model does not have an one connect box. Please confirm. If so, the above would indicate that the problem lies with the one connect box. TVs without the box works with eArc, TV with the box does not. This has also been suggested by other users.

I have the Frame (which has an one connect box) and cannot pass sound through eArc.

“....Our AV department has given assurance that this issue has not been reported by customers using Samsung sound bars with this television...”

The reply is telling you that Samsung TV and Samsung sound bar = no problem. 

Indirectly telling you to buy Samsung products. 

I would suggest you change out of Samsung TV.  

 

I don’t care for that answer either.  The eARC standard means that it should work with any eARC capable audio equipment, not other Samsung products.  I would want Samsung to confirm that their products are following the standard correctly.  

I am more inclined to believe that Sonos is using the standard correctly, because it has shown to work with other eARC capable TVs, and because they don’t sell a video display they would prefer you use.

Honestly though, based on the very mixed results with TVs processing ARC and eARC correctly, I’m not inclined to think trusting TVs to process audio correctly is a good idea.  Although AVRs, who’s main job is audio, do seem to have a better track record with processing video, you still are allowing your audio equipment to limit your video capabilities.

I like the idea of using HD Fury’s Arcana or other options for HDMI switching as well as sending video to display devices and audio to audio devices with no pass through functionality required.   You can buy a display device solely based on it’s display capabilities and an  audio device solely based on it’s audio capabilities.

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I am on chat with Samsung now, and also raised via Samsung community as a potential major issue and they are looking into this

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Got to laugh at the following conversation with Samsung support:

Just to let you know that eARC is supporting 8k content.

‎4‎:‎39‎ ‎PM

Sent Message

no its not

Sent Message

its for uncompressed sound

‎4‎:‎39‎ ‎PM

Recieved Message

That might be the reason why you are not getting sounds because you don't have eARC content.

‎4‎:‎39‎ ‎PM

Sent Message

hdmi 2.1 is for 8 k

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and high bandwidths

‎4‎:‎39‎ ‎PM

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no, that is not correct

Sent Message

it does not recognise the eARC device

‎4‎:‎40‎ ‎PM

Recieved Message

eARC and HDMI 2.1 is just the same.

‎4‎:‎40‎ ‎PM

Sent Message

ok, well if you check the tv specs, eARC is on port 3

Sent Message

HDMI 2.1 is on port 4

‎4‎:‎41‎ ‎PM

Recieved Message

It is recognizin your device, it's just that you don't have an eARC content that is why it is not working.

‎4‎:‎41‎ ‎PM

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no its not

‎4‎:‎41‎ ‎PM

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I have photos from a user that shows what happens when you have a device that is earc

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if eARC is enabled, it displays the device as eARC connected

‎4‎:‎42‎ ‎PM

Recieved Message

I understand, but we need to check that out from your TV.

‎4‎:‎42‎ ‎PM

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even with no sound

Sent Message

I am playing uncompressed 4k blu rays and there is no sound

‎4‎:‎43‎ ‎PM

Recieved Message

I already confirmed this from our product specialist and was advised that this is normal with the TV if you are not using an eARC content.

‎4‎:‎43‎ ‎PM

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that is earc contene!!!!

‎4‎:‎43‎ ‎PM

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no, that is wromg

‎4‎:‎44‎ ‎PM

Recieved Message

As I've mentioned to you the eARC supports 8k, not the normal 4k.

‎4‎:‎44‎ ‎PM

Recieved Message

It will only work if you have eARC content.

‎4‎:‎45‎ ‎PM

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wrong again, it supports both 4k and 8k, its not a video issue its audio. Do you know what eARC stands for?Enhanced Audio Return Channel.

Sent Message

and eARC content is DOLBY TRU HD etc

‎4‎:‎46‎ ‎PM

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Can't believe you don't know this?

‎4‎:‎47‎ ‎PM

Recieved Message

I already coordinated with our product specialist about this, and I was advised that this is supporting 8k.

‎4‎:‎49‎ ‎PM

Sent Message

HDMI 2.1 supports 8k and 4k at high frame rates. eARC supports uncompressed audio. Hope this clarifies.

‎4‎:‎50‎ ‎PM

Recieved Message

Let me coordinate with this again, please hold on.

‎4‎:‎52‎ ‎PM

Recieved Message

I already checked this again and as I've mentioned to you the content that you are using is not eARC content. That is why it is not working.

‎4‎:‎56‎ ‎PM

Recieved Message

I haven't heard from you for a couple of minutes, I just want to check if you're still there?

‎4‎:‎59‎ ‎PM

Sent Message

sorry, I know this is wrong. The soundbar should emit sound either compressed or uncompressed when eARC is set to auto. If standard tv is played, you will receive sound, it sound from an uncompressed source is played it will also be passed through. As I have explained, I have played sound form all sources including Dolby Tru HD which is uncompressed sound that eARC can handle and no sound. I am afraid you are wrong in your statement. In your view then, what is eARC content?

‎5‎:‎00‎ ‎PM

Sent Message

Can a product specialist contact me?

‎5‎:‎01‎ ‎PM

Recieved Message

We cannot be able to do that because we are not allowed to transfer customers to another representative including our product specialist.

‎5‎:‎02‎ ‎PM

 

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That is so frustrating! I am reporting the issue now to Samsung in the Netherlands as well. Hoping to see if they are able to do anything with it…. will keep you all posted if anything new comes up

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I have reported the audio lag video problems on my 2019 Samsung 75” Q80R.  Internal apps work, but anything passing through the inbound HDMI has the problem with an audio lag using the HDMI-ARC port.  This is not Atmos, but frustrating.  I have since connected to the Optical port and use the Optical/HDMI adapter.  I am currently pursuing a refund from Samsung since the set is under warranty and not fixable.

Curious if you have any luck with the refund. 

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Samsung Q95T here with Sonos Arc. Turning on eARC results in no sound. Sigh. 

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Update from Sonos:

Hi Mike,   Thanks for the information.

The behavior you have reported and have experienced has already been notified directly to Samsung developers for further investigation. 

Sonos and Samsung engineers are working together to get this issue resolved as soon as possible.

- Once there is an update, we will make sure to notify the affected customers.

Thanks again.   With best regards,    Olivier H. Sonos | Customer Care | Contact Us
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Mike - Thank you!

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It appears to me the issue is twofold. Actually, one issue that has two origins. The Firmware for US/UK is different and that problem manifests itself through use of the One Connect Box. 

 

I am US based with a new Samsung Q8DT and am waiting a Sonos Arc. I anticipate no problems as I am “US” based and do not have the One-Connect box. I will keep the Community informed when I receive my back ordered ARC.

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