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


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Hi Everyone, hope you get the Samsung fix, I swapped out the Q95T for an LG GX and its better in every way and eARC works with the ARC. Movies on Apple TV are now streaming in Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos and TRU Hd Blu Ray is uncompressed.

This sounds like an issue with one connect, and again hope this is rectified.

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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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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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@waclark57 Thanks for sharing. Unfortunately it’s what we’re all facing as well. It will come back. It happens every time I turn on my TV now. I have to turn off and turn on my Arc at the main power switch. 

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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

I have spoken to Samsung, Sonos and Best Buy this morning! Samsung said they have no current complaints on this issue. Sonos has said there is a known issue and their engineering teams are working on a fix but eta on update is unknown. They also said Samsung is the only brand which has a known issue to the HDMI ARC compatibility. Who knows if this will take another few months or weeks but I have a difficult decision to make either to return this Q80T and go with Sony Or take a leap of faith! 
 

any advice? 

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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 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.  

Hello,

I am planning to upgrade to either a Q80T or a Q95T. Am I right in thinking the Q80T (without the external box) now works with the Sonos Arc? Or are there still compatibility issues with both products?

Thanks in advance,

Mark.

Hi Mark,

 

I received my Sonos Arc, Sub gen3, and two Sonos one SL’s yesterday - everything updated via the app. 

My TV is af QE65Q80T and it is updated to newest software 1460.9.

I watched a movie with dolby atmos (“Greenland” to be specific) and in the 1 hour and 50 minuttes the movie played - i experienced four or five 1-2 seconds audio dropouts.

 

The system is amazing - i’m really impressed. So i hope and trust SONOS/Samsung to get this thing fixed as soon as possible.

New Updates seem to have fixed the issue!!

 

Hello,

I am planning to upgrade to either a Q80T or a Q95T. Am I right in thinking the Q80T (without the external box) now works with the Sonos Arc? Or are there still compatibility issues with both products?

Thanks in advance,

Mark.

Hi Mark,

 

I received my Sonos Arc, Sub gen3, and two Sonos one SL’s yesterday - everything updated via the app. 

My TV is af QE65Q80T and it is updated to newest software 1460.9.

I watched a movie with dolby atmos (“Greenland” to be specific) and in the 1 hour and 50 minuttes the movie played - i experienced four or five 1-2 seconds audio dropouts.

 

The system is amazing - i’m really impressed. So i hope and trust SONOS/Samsung to get this thing fixed as soon as possible.

Hi Daniel,

Thank you for the swift response, I was planning to get that exact model, the 65” Q80T, so your post is very helpful. I have been a Sonos customer for well over a decade and I have no doubt they will help Samsung address the issue. They had similar audio dropout problems when I bought my 55” JS9000 / Sonos Playbar and they were resolved with subsequent software updates.

I think I will go for the TV now and upgrade to the Arc in 3 to 6 months… :-)

Mark.

 

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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

I am seeing the same - have Samsung Q950TS - and Arc - and we get audio drops out every time we turn on TV

They can be reset either by toggling the cable on the Arc or by toggling the Dolby Atmos in Sound Expert Settings on TV

Hugely frustrating!!!

Been waiting eagerly for a driver update. This is 100% a Samsung issue.

Same issue, the sound just drop every few seconds. My jaw dropped when I noticed it, such a disappointment (understatement) to get this result. Its not usable for me, not sure atm if it is Sonos or Samsung fault. 

 

Gonna read up the issue, seems a lot info about,  if only I googled it before buying this combination :(

Hi, I experience the same issue with my 2020 75” The Frame. Whenever I switch TV on, I experience the intermittent sound issue. I have found setting e-arc to auto and disabling Dolby Atmos Compatibility, and then getting back to the previous configuration fixes the issue without having to unplug Sonos Arc.

I hope this is fixed soon since it is annoying having to be changing config so frequently

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I just received my SONOS ARC and set it up with my SAMSUNG Q8DT. No issues with the set up. The TV recognized the ARC and turned on all the appropriate settings, e.g., ATMOS to AUTO, etc. When playing ATMOS content, the S2 app shows Dolby ATMOS. My AppleTV 4K also recognized the ARC and   configured itself for ATMOS content.

One minor complaint, hugely reported, is that the ARC does not have Volume Level numbers, only a + at the top and a - at the bottom of the field when you raise or lower volume. Most think it is a pure lazy, minimal effort, setup by the SONOS people.

I do still have a minimal lip-sync issue. I have Comcast Cable and someone on that forum, I believe, posted this advice:

 

The lip sync issue is there...just enough to notice it. I stumbled across a post somewhere, possibly the Comcast Xfinity forum, where a poster had traced his sync issue to the Dolby implementation. He suggested that setting the Xfinity Cable box to “Stereo” (which I believe is PCM) instead of DD 5.1 fixes the sync on cable programming. Viola ! It does. Since most of my watching is cable fare, this is a decent solution for me until someone engineers a Dolby fix.

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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.

  

I have the Q8DT (Costco (big box store) version of the Q80T) and confirm it does NOT use the One Connect box. I am waiting for my back ordered Sonos Arc. I will report my experience back to the Community when I receive it.

Hello,

I too have the same TV just purchased a few days ago.  I watched several movies over the weekend and noticed sound occasionally cutting it (maybe just once or twice) during each film.  Today, however, the sound cut out after a few seconds, and remained off for several more before kicking back on.  I looked on this forum and proceeded advice on doing a power cycle, unplugging and replugging HDMI cords, and so far that has temporarily fixed the issue.  
 

I chose this TV because of its high ratings, and the performance so far is great.  I chose the Sonos ARC and Gen 3 Sub because of its design, up and coming reputation, and great sound (when working properly).  It was a pain wall mounting the TV (not really but I wouldn’t want to do it over again), so I do not want to be forced to return either products.  I really hope Sonos can find a solution soon.  I am seeing LG and Sony TVs having the same issue too, so I don’t think it is a Samsung problem.

 

that being said, however, I’ve read somewhere that Samsung’s eARC isn’t fully capable of delivering loseless sound data...Maybe that’s the issue?  Yet, people who have high end LGs are reporting Same lose of sound, so this pushes back onto Sonos.  
 

Sonos, fix this quick please.  I am starting to assume that the ARC is currently back ordered due to this defect and the company trying to buy time to resolve it.  If that’s the case, that’s fine, but I expect all current ARC owners to be shipped a new unit to replace this recallable product.  
 

Sorry for the redundancy…. but we are all in this crappy situation, just like the COVID!  We need a vaccine for our speaker now!

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Just to let you all know that Sonos Arc is also having eARC issues with the LG CX TV.  It’s not just a Sonos / Samsung issue.  I think the eARC specification is still new and all these manufacturers are still learning how to make it work.  Not sure how much incentive the TV manufacturers have to make their stuff work with Sonos as I am sure they would prefer you buy a Samsung or LG sound bar.

Also having this same problem with Sonos Arc and the Samsung Frame 55. eArc will not work, no sound when enabled.

 

Leaving this comment here to add my voice and follow up on a solution.

I am seeing the same - have Samsung Q950TS - and Arc - and we get audio drops out every time we turn on TV

They can be reset either by toggling the cable on the Arc or by toggling the Dolby Atmos in Sound Expert Settings on TV

Hugely frustrating!!!

Been waiting eagerly for a driver update. This is 100% a Samsung issue.

The new firmware issued yesterday by Samsung has fixed this issue! There’s also a Sonos upgrade. 

Download both and install - eARC (auto) now works. Dolby Atmos content is playing as expected without any issues.

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I have read this thread on the Samsung TV and I am in the same situation. The Sonos Tech after several jours of trouble shooting said and I quote” upon checking both diags, the TV logs are still showing something that is not normal in the TV processor, here is the message: Input Format change Dolby MAT (2.0.0) --> Dolby MAT
(5.1.0) so basically the TV processor is constantly changing the audio format and it can cause some issues with the audio.”

 

I purchased it at  Best Buy and I am replacing the  TV with an LG OLED.   I have no reason to not believe the Sonos Rep

 

 

I have received an e-mail from Samsung to advise Sonos and Samsung are working on this issue and should have an update mid September. 

@CvH7 im not sure about your research, but if I go into expert audio settings on the TV it has the option to turn eArc to auto 🤣🤷‍♂️.    Let’s hope the new arcs shipping in November have fixed the issue once and for all! 

I’m sorry to report I don’t think it’s completely fixed. I have a 65 inch The Frame and a new ARC. It did work out of the box for a few days but then suddenly I had the intermittent audio. To make a long story short I turned off e-Arc and that worked for a day. The following day the problem was back so I reset and reconfigured the ARC and now everything is working again. Not sure what cause the system to become intermittent. One thing I noticed is the Samsung would show HDMI e-Arc, then  just HDMI when the problem was occurring. 

Hopefully this was a transient issue. I’ll report back if it comes back.

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