Sonos Beam DD5.1 problem


Userlevel 3
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Have just the beam, no other speakers butwatching 5.1 sources isn’t so good. Stereo is great. But 5.1 seems to have ridiculously low volume for some frequencies or channels.

The example I give is watching Dunkirk in 4K HDR via Rakuten. In 5.1 the start of the movie is silent until you put your ear right next to the beam. You can’t hear the paper rustling in the wind at all. Or the background music a bit later. It’s in the mix but so low you can’t hear without turning the volume way too high.

Same with amazing Spider-Man via UHD player and some films on sky hd. Some parts of the mix are so loud but others so quiet they essentially aren’t even there.

Stereo seems ok generally. But obviously I’d far prefer DD 5.1 even though it is downmixed. My old soundbar had no issue with dd5.1 from these sources.

By the way I should add that the sound is awesome when the loud channels kick in but too quiet the rest of the time. General TV and music both superb, so I think this is a software issue more than anything, but I’m no expert.

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25 replies

Userlevel 7
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Have just the beam, no other speakers butwatching 5.1 sources isn’t so good. Stereo is great. But 5.1 seems to have ridiculously low volume for some frequencies or channels.

The example I give is watching Dunkirk in 4K HDR via Rakuten. In 5.1 the start of the movie is silent until you put your ear right next to the beam. You can’t hear the paper rustling in the wind at all. Or the background music a bit later. It’s in the mix but so low you can’t hear without turning the volume way too high.

Same with amazing Spider-Man via UHD player and some films on sky hd. Some parts of the mix are so loud but others so quiet they essentially aren’t even there.

Stereo seems ok generally. But obviously I’d far prefer DD 5.1 even though it is downmixed. My old soundbar had no issue with dd5.1 from these sources.

By the way I should add that the sound is awesome when the loud channels kick in but too quiet the rest of the time. General TV and music both superb, so I think this is a software issue more than anything, but I’m no expert.


Hi iwb100,

That is strange. Can you reproduce the issue then send in a diagnostic report? Reply with the confirmation number and I'll take a look.
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i have the same behaviour for beam and bar, for some playback with DD i have volume issue, not in general but since Version 9.
For me Version 9 is causing it:

Fact one:
If I only choose stereo sound format for my TV, the sound is balanced. Same result as when switching to the TV speakers.
When Dolby is activated, the problem is back.
diagnosis, maybe the problem is now visible?
899874408

Fact two:
Sonos and Beam are connected to different TVs and both have the same sporadic problem

Fact three:
Without output to the playbar / beam the sound is balanced

Fact four:
The same problem exists when connecting the Playbar to a media player.

Fact five:
Sonos, Bar, Controller have been reset and all components have been de-energized, problem persists.

Fact six:
Up to version 9 I had no volume problems or other phenomena for 1 year

Cheers,
Tom
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in addition, movies sonos could check if volume is balanced or same issue:

music/action extreme loud
kings man 2
Tomb Raider 2018

music/action loud
westworld season 2
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
i have the same behaviour for beam and bar, for some playback with DD i have volume issue, not in general but since Version 9.
For me Version 9 is causing it:

Fact one:
If I only choose stereo sound format for my TV, the sound is balanced. Same result as when switching to the TV speakers.
When Dolby is activated, the problem is back.
diagnosis, maybe the problem is now visible?
899874408

Fact two:
Sonos and Beam are connected to different TVs and both have the same sporadic problem

Fact three:
Without output to the playbar / beam the sound is balanced

Fact four:
The same problem exists when connecting the Playbar to a media player.

Fact five:
Sonos, Bar, Controller have been reset and all components have been de-energized, problem persists.

Fact six:
Up to version 9 I had no volume problems or other phenomena for 1 year

Cheers,
Tom


Hi Tom,

It's not clear from your report why this is happening. It would be best to have our phone team check things out from here. You can find our phone number and hours here.
Userlevel 3
Badge +1
Have just the beam, no other speakers butwatching 5.1 sources isn’t so good. Stereo is great. But 5.1 seems to have ridiculously low volume for some frequencies or channels.

The example I give is watching Dunkirk in 4K HDR via Rakuten. In 5.1 the start of the movie is silent until you put your ear right next to the beam. You can’t hear the paper rustling in the wind at all. Or the background music a bit later. It’s in the mix but so low you can’t hear without turning the volume way too high.

Same with amazing Spider-Man via UHD player and some films on sky hd. Some parts of the mix are so loud but others so quiet they essentially aren’t even there.

Stereo seems ok generally. But obviously I’d far prefer DD 5.1 even though it is downmixed. My old soundbar had no issue with dd5.1 from these sources.

By the way I should add that the sound is awesome when the loud channels kick in but too quiet the rest of the time. General TV and music both superb, so I think this is a software issue more than anything, but I’m no expert.


Hi iwb100,

That is strange. Can you reproduce the issue then send in a diagnostic report? Reply with the confirmation number and I'll take a look.


Thanks for this.

Diagnostic here. 542009490

Beam sees a dd 5.1 signal.
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
Have just the beam, no other speakers butwatching 5.1 sources isn’t so good. Stereo is great. But 5.1 seems to have ridiculously low volume for some frequencies or channels.

The example I give is watching Dunkirk in 4K HDR via Rakuten. In 5.1 the start of the movie is silent until you put your ear right next to the beam. You can’t hear the paper rustling in the wind at all. Or the background music a bit later. It’s in the mix but so low you can’t hear without turning the volume way too high.

Same with amazing Spider-Man via UHD player and some films on sky hd. Some parts of the mix are so loud but others so quiet they essentially aren’t even there.

Stereo seems ok generally. But obviously I’d far prefer DD 5.1 even though it is downmixed. My old soundbar had no issue with dd5.1 from these sources.

By the way I should add that the sound is awesome when the loud channels kick in but too quiet the rest of the time. General TV and music both superb, so I think this is a software issue more than anything, but I’m no expert.


Hi iwb100,

That is strange. Can you reproduce the issue then send in a diagnostic report? Reply with the confirmation number and I'll take a look.


Thanks for this.

Diagnostic here. 542009490

Beam sees a dd 5.1 signal.


The codec information looks to be correct. The issue is likely between the source, player, or TV. Can you try bypassing the TV and connecting your Beam directly to your player? Does this fix the issue?
Userlevel 3
Badge +1
Have just the beam, no other speakers butwatching 5.1 sources isn’t so good. Stereo is great. But 5.1 seems to have ridiculously low volume for some frequencies or channels.

The example I give is watching Dunkirk in 4K HDR via Rakuten. In 5.1 the start of the movie is silent until you put your ear right next to the beam. You can’t hear the paper rustling in the wind at all. Or the background music a bit later. It’s in the mix but so low you can’t hear without turning the volume way too high.

Same with amazing Spider-Man via UHD player and some films on sky hd. Some parts of the mix are so loud but others so quiet they essentially aren’t even there.

Stereo seems ok generally. But obviously I’d far prefer DD 5.1 even though it is downmixed. My old soundbar had no issue with dd5.1 from these sources.

By the way I should add that the sound is awesome when the loud channels kick in but too quiet the rest of the time. General TV and music both superb, so I think this is a software issue more than anything, but I’m no expert.


Hi iwb100,

That is strange. Can you reproduce the issue then send in a diagnostic report? Reply with the confirmation number and I'll take a look.


Thanks for this.

Diagnostic here. 542009490

Beam sees a dd 5.1 signal.


The codec information looks to be correct. The issue is likely between the source, player, or TV. Can you try bypassing the TV and connecting your Beam directly to your player? Does this fix the issue?


The source is the TV....
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
Have just the beam, no other speakers butwatching 5.1 sources isn’t so good. Stereo is great. But 5.1 seems to have ridiculously low volume for some frequencies or channels.

The example I give is watching Dunkirk in 4K HDR via Rakuten. In 5.1 the start of the movie is silent until you put your ear right next to the beam. You can’t hear the paper rustling in the wind at all. Or the background music a bit later. It’s in the mix but so low you can’t hear without turning the volume way too high.

Same with amazing Spider-Man via UHD player and some films on sky hd. Some parts of the mix are so loud but others so quiet they essentially aren’t even there.

Stereo seems ok generally. But obviously I’d far prefer DD 5.1 even though it is downmixed. My old soundbar had no issue with dd5.1 from these sources.

By the way I should add that the sound is awesome when the loud channels kick in but too quiet the rest of the time. General TV and music both superb, so I think this is a software issue more than anything, but I’m no expert.


Hi iwb100,

That is strange. Can you reproduce the issue then send in a diagnostic report? Reply with the confirmation number and I'll take a look.


Thanks for this.

Diagnostic here. 542009490

Beam sees a dd 5.1 signal.


The codec information looks to be correct. The issue is likely between the source, player, or TV. Can you try bypassing the TV and connecting your Beam directly to your player? Does this fix the issue?


The source is the TV....


Are you using a smart TV app? What make and model TV are you using? What is the UHD player and what's Rakuten?
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My final conclusion and troubleshooting, so Sonos should be able to reproduce the broken DD playback:

1. watch Kings Man 2 / Tomb Raider 2018 on beam/bar with Software Version 9:
volume until minute 11 is very loud and after minute 11 its lower

2.watch Kings Man 2 on beam/bar with Software Version 8.6 :
volume until minute 11 and after minute 11 has the same balance

For some videos the balance is not as extreme like for Kings Man 2 and Tomb Raider
Troubleshooting:

Sources: MKV, Netflix, Amazon, Mediaplayer Box

Fact one:
If I only choose stereo sound format for my TV, the sound is balanced. Same result as when switching to the TV speakers.
When Dolby is activated, the problem is back.
diagnostic created
899874408

Fact two:
Sonos and Beam are connected to different TVs and both have the same problem (MKV, Netflix, Amazon, Mediaplayer Box)

Fact three:
Using TV Speakers, Volume is balanced

Fact four:
Playbar connected to Media Player box has the same Volume issue.

Fact five:
Until Version 9 no Volume issues


Please check, reproduce the issue and fix it, its very annyoing.
A better troubeshooting cant be expected, so its Sonos turn now.

Thank you.

Tom.
Userlevel 3
Badge +1


Are you using a smart TV app? What make and model TV are you using? What is the UHD player and what's Rakuten?


I'm using the LG C6 OLED TV and yes the smart apps on it. I have this issue with Amazon video/Netflix and Rakuten (Rakuten is a movie streaming app).

When you select DD 5.1 in these apps the dialogue is so quiet and the action noises so loud it is impossible. So have to switch to stereo. It isn't equal across all content within the apps either. Some are fine at 5.1. However, dunkirk via Rakuten sounded fine on my old soundbar in 5.1. So the only change is the Sonos it seems.

I find that using the apps via my Xbox improves things somewhat. The dialogue is louder but still there is an issue of balance between the centre channel and everything else.

The UHD player is my Xbox One X and again I find some movies have the issue of very quiet dialogue in DD5.1 but incredibly loud effects. Its so off that it simply cannot be right. On Xbox I can mitigate this slightly by using the dynamic range control on the Xbox One itself however.

I realise you will say this isn't a Sonos issue - its clearly not a faulty product. But I'm confused why this happens with the Beam and not my old sound bar. Given in both cases I was using ARC to pass sound.

Probably nothing can be done, other than maybe Sonos investigating if there is some sort of issue their end, given many on these forums are also having similar complaints.
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is the old sound a sonos? which?
did you trie optical? with ARC i have no good experience.

i recommend you to get in touch with sonos support by phone / mail as i did.
its very hard with sonos support to show the proof, since Version 9 i have this volume issue.
last comment, its normal that action movies have this balance fo volume in action / music scene, yes but not this extreme it is now with version 9. and maybe its wanted...

to be honest, i give up for an solution and it was my last product, will sell it.
its also a shame there is no fallback to older version in case new version causes such a big issue.

my ticket will be forwared to devs with a movie where you can hear the volume fluctuation and also the audio source so they can compare in the lab between version 8.6 and 9.

but i have no good feeling for the feedback, but lets see.
Userlevel 3
Badge +1
is the old sound a sonos? which?
did you trie optical? with ARC i have no good experience.

i recommend you to get in touch with sonos support by phone / mail as i did.
its very hard with sonos support to show the proof, since Version 9 i have this volume issue.
last comment, its normal that action movies have this balance fo volume in action / music scene, yes but not this extreme it is now with version 9. and maybe its wanted...

to be honest, i give up for an solution and it was my last product, will sell it.
its also a shame there is no fallback to older version in case new version causes such a big issue.

my ticket will be forwared to devs with a movie where you can hear the volume fluctuation and also the audio source so they can compare in the lab between version 8.6 and 9.

but i have no good feeling for the feedback, but lets see.


My old soundbar was a Samsung. I guess it hard processing options on it like DRC that I used that perhaps mitigated the issue. But like you say we know that producers nowadays deliberately mix movies to have loud sound effects. It is a common complaint. BUT the Beam is in a new league in this regard, the difference is so crazy. I can't but help feel it is something the beam is doing itself.

My reason is that some stuff sounds fine on it in DD5.1. Other content however, parts of the sound are virtually inaudible and parts are so loud it hurts. I don't know a lot about it and did wonder if my TV was somehow sending a stereo signal even though it passes DD 5.1 via ARC, but seems that isn't the case.

I'm happy with my beam, I love it and using stereo isn't a huge issue, however, I would like Sonos just to look at it, as it seems many people have the same issue. I have a 2 year old so I cannot risk the volume being too loud when she is asleep. Night mode is fine for casual viewing but for movies it is no good. And I'd be happy listening at low volume if only that meant I could still hear dialogue!
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Hi iwb100 - I'm unsure if you continued to diagnose you're issue, but I seem to have the same one. I have been documenting my investigations in a separate thread here:

https://en.community.sonos.com/troubleshooting-228999/quiet-muddy-sound-dd5-1-through-beam-6813950/index1.html#post16275356

It's possible I'm just going to switch the TV output to PCM and live with it, but that just doesn't seem 'right'. I am getting close to declaring it a TV issue, but we have different TV's, which points me back at Sonos and the Beam processing the DD5.1 signal. Would love to know your thoughts
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Hi iwb100 - I'm unsure if you continued to diagnose you're issue, but I seem to have the same one. I have been documenting my investigations in a separate thread here:

https://en.community.sonos.com/troubleshooting-228999/quiet-muddy-sound-dd5-1-through-beam-6813950/index1.html#post16275356

It's possible I'm just going to switch the TV output to PCM and live with it, but that just doesn't seem 'right'. I am getting close to declaring it a TV issue, but we have different TV's, which points me back at Sonos and the Beam processing the DD5.1 signal. Would love to know your thoughts


Hi Benjmang - I've not got any further other than being 100% sure it is my TV and not the sonos. I can easily confirm this as if I watch the same content using apps through my xbox as opposed to the internal apps, the sound is absolutely fine in 5.1.

It is only DD5.1 signals from TV internal apps that are the issue - and not always. And the issue is that the voices are too quiet - way too quiet in fact the centre channel is impossible to hear at normal volume. And everything else like the bass and effects are too loud. Nothing is distorted it is just the volumes are awful. Not sure if our issues are exactly the same or not but they sound at least similar.

We both have OLED TV's so I'm wondering if there is a chip in the sets in common that encodes the DD5.1. But given they are using different OS' (LG/Panasonic) I find it hard to believe. Sure the screens themselves are both manufactured by LG but presumably everything else is separate.If there is a link I'm at a loss. Unless of course it is to do with the Beam itself but then given I can get perfect 5.1 sound simply by changing the encoding source I very much doubt that is the case.

My workaround btw is to select dolby digitial 2.0 for the apps internal to the TV (though Amazon video doesn't let you do this) and that produces perfect sound.
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Has anyone managed to sort this? Everything sounds great expect voice volume level in dolby digital 5.1. It's very poor. So much so I'm thinking of returning.
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You have the same issue andrew89? What TV do you have? I simply haven’t been able to find time to call SONOS during office hours, or run a last test. I was thinking of grabbing an optical cable and connecting it to an Apple TV, then watch exactly the same show from Netflix through Apple TV as I have from Netflix straight from the TV. This will properly rule out the actual TV being the source of the problem.... then I’ll still have to contact SONOS during office hours somehow 😞
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You have the same issue andrew89? What TV do you have? I simply haven’t been able to find time to call SONOS during office hours, or run a last test. I was thinking of grabbing an optical cable and connecting it to an Apple TV, then watch exactly the same show from Netflix through Apple TV as I have from Netflix straight from the TV. This will properly rule out the actual TV being the source of the problem.... then I’ll still have to contact SONOS during office hours somehow :(

Hi yes I am I'm in contact with them now. More people who speak to them about it they may do something. Its only low dialogue in dolby digital 5.1. It's definitely not the TV. It's the Sonos and how they are doing 5.1. Certain of it. I have a Panasonic TX55FZ802B
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I have the same TV (I think, but Australian model). I am still suspicious that some shows are streaming with a DD+ signal, which the Beam doesn’t support, so the TV actually downsamples to DD5.1 through HDMI ARC and might not be doing a great job. I have no idea how to know what audio format shows are on Netflix though...

Check out this thread:
https://en.community.sonos.com/home-theater-228993/sonos-beam-how-to-get-netflix-5-1-6809086
Hi, I've just bought a beam, 2xplay 1's and a sub. Watching a movie and have the same issue with dialogue being so low then action loud as hell !! I dont have a tv so im using a projector with the optical straight from sky Q box. I read some of the threads so don't think its your tv's !! Has anyone found out an answer ?? Also cant even tune speakers with trueplay, downloaded app to ipod, both updates are the latest. Any ideas ?? So disappointed with my sonos purchase !! Any help would be much appreciated, cheers !
Also not using Arc as no tv
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What is the best way to contact SONOS directly outside of office hours? I have submitted a diagnostic, but I’m not sure what that does
Ive emailed them about trueplay not available and they've replied back asking for a diagnostic number, so pretty quick response
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What is the best way to contact SONOS directly outside of office hours? I have submitted a diagnostic, but I’m not sure what that does

I've been speaking to them a lot about this issue. Just seem to ask same questions over and over again without admitting its a big issue. The beam sounds rubbish when playing 5.1 with DD. The voices have no depth to them then the music and loud action scenes are too loud. This was an issue with soundbars and cheap 5.1 back in the mid 2000s don't expect expensive speakers to have this issue.
Userlevel 1
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What is the best way to contact SONOS directly outside of office hours? I have submitted a diagnostic, but I’m not sure what that does

I've been speaking to them a lot about this issue. Just seem to ask same questions over and over again without admitting its a big issue. The beam sounds rubbish when playing 5.1 with DD. The voices have no depth to them then the music and loud action scenes are too loud. This was an issue with soundbars and cheap 5.1 back in the mid 2000s don't expect expensive speakers to have this issue.

However, it does seem to be only movies. Series seems to be much better balanced.
Userlevel 1
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What is the best way to contact SONOS directly outside of office hours? I have submitted a diagnostic, but I’m not sure what that does

I've been speaking to them a lot about this issue. Just seem to ask same questions over and over again without admitting its a big issue. The beam sounds rubbish when playing 5.1 with DD. The voices have no depth to them then the music and loud action scenes are too loud. This was an issue with soundbars and cheap 5.1 back in the mid 2000s don't expect expensive speakers to have this issue.

However, things like planet earth in dolby 5.1 are fine. Its how the guys have made the movies etc. Which is stupid. But sonos should have ways round that.