Sonos Arc & Samsung TV eARC connection issues - fixed?

  • 16 April 2021
  • 14 replies
  • 1965 views

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TV: 2020 model Samsung UE50TU8500UXXU 

Just spent the morning on support calls to both Sonos and Samsung trying to get the Arc to connect with the telly through eARC. I think we might finally have made some progress.

In short, the problem was that the TV wasn’t seeing the Arc so it didn’t appear in the list of sound output options. Instead, all I could choose from was ‘TV speakers’, ‘Optical’ or ‘Bluetooth speakers’. I should’ve had the option to choose ‘Receiver (HDMI-eARC)’ too.

My first call to Samsung didn’t go well (I had to explain what a Sonos Arc was) and ended up no further on. The person referred the issue to a product expert who basically said ‘There’s a compatibility issue between the Arc and some Samsung TVs’. Like, tell me something I don’t know.

Their advice was to call Sonos and see what they had to say. I did, and we ran various diagnostics that all showed hardware was good and everything should be working fine. In fact, it sort of was at that point because the Arc suddenly started making noise. Problem was, it was only Dolby Digital 5.1 when it should’ve been Dolby Atmos. Checking the TV settings again confirmed the Arc still wasn’t being ‘seen’ through the HDMI eArc port. 

So, Sonos batted it back to Samsung. And my second call was more successful. I got to speak to a product expert who remoted to the telly and did various tests/resets etc. Eventually, bingo, we have the TV picking up the Arc through the HDMI eArc port, and sending a Dolby Atmos signal (according to the Sonos app anyway). Great.

Except not. Because there are two issues still outstanding:

  1. The ‘pass-through’ functionality on the TV is still greyed out so I can’t select it (although the Samsung guy couldn’t work out why that wasn’t making a difference to the Atmos signal) 
  2. Plugging in anything else to either of the two remaining HDMI ports on the TV means the Arc loses connection. So I can’t plug in my DVD player because if I do the TV doesn’t recognise the Arc anymore. Bonkers, I know. I mention this because if you’re having problems with your Samsung/Arc connection, try disconnecting everything else HDMI and seeing if that makes a difference.

An engineer is calling me in the next couple of days to try to fix these things and I’ll post an update if there is one.

An absurd situation all told, of course, but hopefully we’ll get there.

 


14 replies

Userlevel 7
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Hi @User103258 

Thanks for sharing your experience!

With regards to point 2, this sounds like a CEC conflict. If you can’t disable CEC on those other HDMI devices, you can instead get a CEC-less adaptor that strips the CEC channel from the HDMI connection. You’d need one for each device that causes a problem and that can’t disable CEC in it’s settings (don’t use one with a Sonos device as that will result in no audio).

@User103258, Any update on your Arc Issue?  Did the engineer ever call you back?   Any sign that Samsung is working on a firmware update?

 

Thanks

 

Hi, I just purchased the Samsung Neo QLED 4K 55QN95A with Sonos Arc. After reading all the compatibility issues between Samsung and Sonos I was surprised that I didn’t have the sound issue...at first. Now I seem to have intermittent drop outs in the sound. Power cycling the Arc doesn’t work. Only power cycling the Samsung TV. Furthermore, I see that the Samsung TV is continually swapping between the HDMI eARC (Sonos) and the TV sound output. It seems that the TV is trying to play through the Arc but no sound is playing so it swaps back to the TV speakers for a few seconds and then tries again. This issue has been going for a few years according to the forum posts and there is still no fix.

seems like this is still a total s***show.

 

I have a brand new QN95DA from Samsung (2021 model) and an Arc and can get audio out but it’s not connecting via eARC no matter what. Plus I got sound cutouts that require me to fiddle with settings to get it going again.

Userlevel 7
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Hi @MilesAB & @jwick 

I recommend you both get in touch with our technical support team, who have tools at their disposal that will allow them to give you advice specific to your Sonos system and what it reports.

Hi @MilesAB & @jwick 

I recommend you both get in touch with our technical support team, who have tools at their disposal that will allow them to give you advice specific to your Sonos system and what it reports.

I’m on the phone with Samsung support now. I believe it is related to the Samsung TV unless you tell me it is the Sonos Arc which has the issue?

Userlevel 7
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Hi @MilesAB 

It does sound like the TV - or another device connected to it - is the cause of the problem. Calling Sonos technical support would likely (but not necessarily) confirm this and you’d be advised to contact Samsung. Without the tools, I can only make an educated guess.

I contacted Samsung (after the line dropping 5 times) I finally managed to speak to a technical support representative who investigated and then asked me if I’m using an HDMI 2.5 cable. Then I was kicked off the line again before  the line dropped again.

Checking online it seems that the latest standard is HDMI 2.1. It did make me wonder if the cable supplied with the Sonos Arc is HDMI 2.1? So I decided to purchase a couple of HDMI 2.1 cables to try to see if that would fix the issue.

Userlevel 7
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Hi @MilesAB 

HDMI 2.1 is only required to carry 4K+ pictures. Audio, even at the highest quality, is not nearly so demanding and only requires HDMI 1.4 or better. The cable that comes with the Arc is recommended.

Although eARC is new, it just repurposes a wire already on the cable and needs no as-recently-made-as-possible cable to function.

The fact that power-cycling the TV fixes it suggests to me that either the TV or an HDMI device connected to the TV is the source of the problem.

Update: I spoke to a Samsung technician and they logged into the TV. He did an HDMI reset which fixed the problem at the time. Next he gave me a 10 minute lecture on how I shouldn't trust the information on the issue from forums. That they never have any fixes. He also said it isn't a big issue as he has people reporting this issue 2 or 3 times a week. So not a big deal to Samsung. They also don't acknowledge that it is the TV that is the issue. They say they don't support 3rd party devices.

 

The sound issue came back as expected so I tried a certified 2.1 HDMI cable between the TV and Arc. It still has the sound issue. Only power cycling the TV works.

So I can only wait for Samsung to recognise the issue and provide a firmware update.

Userlevel 7
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What’s the sense of industry standards when you “don’t support 3rd party devices”?

I was thinking I was going crazy fighting the issue of theArc cutting out. I hope Samsung or Sonos figure it out. It’s a let down when you think you buy the best of the best and it doesn’t work correctly.

Userlevel 7
Badge +17

@97zmego Have you contacted Sonos?

Not yet just haven’t had time. 

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