Sonos Playbar sound issue? Dialogues in movies/shows are not easy to understand fully.

  • 25 October 2015
  • 92 replies
  • 28335 views


Show first post

92 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Please help resolve this as I am really ready to sell my 2 playbars and 5 other sonos speakers in the house. I am so frustrated with this. I ran a diagnostics report just now while watching transformers. Same frustration but here is the number. 2087474887

Hi Asaweli

Sorry to hear that you are having issues with your Playbar or Playbars; as you say you have two. Typically I don’t mention an ISP but since you seem to be streaming a lot of your video I have a couple of questions:

Is streaming over Wi-Fi or via Ethernet to your Roku?

If over Wi-Fi you could be experiencing interference internally and/or externally. The primary Wi-Fi channels are 1, 6, and 11. You can download a Wi-Fi analyzer to see if the channel you are currently using (which is probably 6) has a lot of traffic and select one of the others.

Also, if using Wi-Fi Direct for your Playbar be sure you are using the 2.4Ghz frequency

Last if you haven’t done so already I suggest a Dual Band router (2.4 Ghz and 5Ghz). It will allow you to move traffic to the 5Ghz frequency such as cell phones, baby monitors, security cameras, and products like Amazon Echo or Google Home which can improve Wi-Fi throughput on the 2.4 Ghz frequency

If streaming via Ethernet to your Roku here are some tips:

Obviously, make sure you have sufficient band width provided by your ISP which means being on a suitable tier.
If you have a lot of products connected via Ethernet (typically 4 or 5 if using all LAN ports) to your router you may have a prioritization issue. Most of today’s routers will allow you to prioritize LAN ports to give priority to game consoles and streaming devices this is known as QoS (Quality of Service).

If your router does not provide that level of tweaking you can connect a Managed Switch (with 5 or more ports) to a LAN port (via Ethernet) on your router. Doing so will give you the same flexibility to prioritize ports for gaming and streaming devices.

As Final suggestion…I suggest setting your Sonos in Boost mode via a speaker or the Sonos dedicated Boost component. Actually, Boost mode is my first suggestion as it is the recommended setup by Sonos. Click the link: https://www.sonos.com/en-us/support/setting-up-sonos

Hopefully, you get relief via the diagnostic you submitted…however the above is worth considering.

Cheers!
Badge
Hi AJtrek1 Thanks for getting back to me. The streaming should not be the issue in my case as everything i stream whether plex from my home Nas or Netflix via the internet is through ethernet and a switch. I have a fiber connection to my home so blazing fast internet. With well meant respect and a degree of humility I want to point out that in a thread of 2 years. Sonos representatives (which I presume you are one?) should no longer primarily point to external factors here. The setup is fine. The speaker sounds terrible with movies. It seems it's really great for music but less suited to produce high quality sound with great variances between speech and action sounds. I will try that boost mode once i find it. I just want some recognition in this thread for me and others who posted that this is an issue and most possibly with the speaker settings. If it is not. It is evidently an easy to recreate issue out of the box for many users. Don't get me wrong I am a fan of your brand but would be disappointed if sonos playbars only work well in a very specific setup. How will I actually hear back from that diagnostics report. It seemed a one sided action. I sent it from the app and got a number but did not get an email confirmation or something like that.? Who will get back to me?
Badge
Hi just wanted to get back on that boost setting. I already have that setting but didn't realize that it is called that. Actually that playbar is directly connected via ethernet so not via wifi. Please as said help me resolve this as currently I am lost and frustrated. It's just not working for me as a TV speaker when watching movies. Thanks.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Hi just wanted to get back on that boost setting. I already have that setting but didn't realize that it is called that. Actually that playbar is directly connected via ethernet so not via wifi. Please as said help me resolve this as currently I am lost and frustrated. It's just not working for me as a TV speaker when watching movies. Thanks.

Hi Asaweli

First, I'm not employed by Sonos. I'm just a user of the Sonos product just as you. As you have most likely surmised from my signature tag I own several pieces of Sonos equipment. I have no problem with audio on either of my Playbars one of which is in a HT setup with sub and surrounds.

Reference a reply from Sonos….It’s not uncommon that you may have to call Sonos and provide the reference number you posted. The reference number tells the Sonos engineers where to look for the information specific to your system in order to facilitate trouble shooting and advice.

As a suggestion…before you call verify that on your LG the Simplink is set to ON and Digital Out is set to Auto. You can also check the audio settings for your Roku by following the instructions in the link below:

https://support.roku.com/article/208755518-what-to-do-if-you-do-not-hear-the-audio-from-your-roku-streaming-player

Having said the above is not to say that your Playbar isn’t defective. However, it would be unusual that both would behave in the same manner. Not impossible…just unusual.

Full disclosure….I work in the IT industry. It’s been my experience that when dealing with networking issues the root cause of the problem(s) can typically be traced back to a configuration error. That’s not to say that the hardware isn’t faulty on occasion. Therefore, as a user/participant in this forum my advice is always going to start with trouble shooting the network setup (i.e. configuration) and other user oriented settings. As I’m not a Sonos representative/engineer I don’t have the benefit of viewing a diagnostic to determine if the issue is actually hardware related as opposed to being network and/or product configuration caused.

Also, on issues such as the one you and others have been experiencing…the end-user (i.e. the person having the issue) doesn’t always post back to say that a particular suggestion resolved the issue. Therefore, the thread remains open.

One last piece of advice…make sure that the firmware on all devices related to your issue is up-to-date. The same applies to any Apps that may be involved.

I truly, hope you can resolve your issues and not be forced to return your Sonos.

Cheers!
Badge
Hi just wanted to get back on that boost setting. I already have that setting but didn't realize that it is called that. Actually that playbar is directly connected via ethernet so not via wifi. Please as said help me resolve this as currently I am lost and frustrated. It's just not working for me as a TV speaker when watching movies. Thanks.

Hi Asaweli

First, I'm not employed by Sonos. I'm just a user of the Sonos product just as you. As you have most likely surmised from my signature tag I own several pieces of Sonos equipment. I have no problem with audio on either of my Playbars one of which is in a HT setup with sub and surrounds.

Reference a reply from Sonos….It’s not uncommon that you may have to call Sonos and provide the reference number you posted. The reference number tells the Sonos engineers where to look for the information specific to your system in order to facilitate trouble shooting and advice.


Cheers!


thanks for your reply and I stand corrected.. thought you worked for sonos. in both cases thank you for your patience and detailed replies.

I did look at some of your tips and although the optical output was set as auto the simplink function is off on my lg so turned that on. Not sure if that would help though.. not sure what the effect would be but will report back.

Als have been playing around more with night mode on an off to see whether that helps .. it did not in the past but willing to try again.

Agree with you that most people don't report back. I will break that trend once this is resolved :-)

Not sure what you mean though with reference a reply from sonos. And that I need to mention the reference number .. How do I get them to get in touch with me then? It seems I need to call them?
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Hi just wanted to get back on that boost setting. I already have that setting but didn't realize that it is called that. Actually that playbar is directly connected via ethernet so not via wifi. Please as said help me resolve this as currently I am lost and frustrated. It's just not working for me as a TV speaker when watching movies. Thanks.

Hi Asaweli

First, I'm not employed by Sonos. I'm just a user of the Sonos product just as you. As you have most likely surmised from my signature tag I own several pieces of Sonos equipment. I have no problem with audio on either of my Playbars one of which is in a HT setup with sub and surrounds.

Reference a reply from Sonos….It’s not uncommon that you may have to call Sonos and provide the reference number you posted. The reference number tells the Sonos engineers where to look for the information specific to your system in order to facilitate trouble shooting and advice.


Cheers!


thanks for your reply and I stand corrected.. thought you worked for sonos. in both cases thank you for your patience and detailed replies.

I did look at some of your tips and although the optical output was set as auto the simplink function is off on my lg so turned that on. Not sure if that would help though.. not sure what the effect would be but will report back.

Als have been playing around more with night mode on an off to see whether that helps .. it did not in the past but willing to try again.

Agree with you that most people don't report back. I will break that trend once this is resolved :-)

Not sure what you mean though with reference a reply from sonos. And that I need to mention the reference number .. How do I get them to get in touch with me then? It seems I need to call them?


Call 1-800-680-2345 and provide the reference ID you posted. Note: supported will not be avalable on 4/18/18 due to maintenance. Good luck!

Cheers!
Badge
OK will try to find an international number on their website as I am not based in the US right now. Thanks again
Badge
AJTREK1

I have one more question for you out of sheer curiosity. You seem to have no issues what is your setup and which sonos settings are you using?
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
AJTREK1

I have one more question for you out of sheer curiosity. You seem to have no issues what is your setup and which sonos settings are you using?


Hi Asaweli

My HT setup is consists of a Samsung Plama TV, Playbar with Sub using Play 3's as surrounds. FYI, I use an Asus RT AC5300 router.

Samsung Inputs:
_HDMI 1 connects: Cable, Xbox, PS4 and Apple TV switched via the controller in the link: http://www.octavainc.com/HDMI%20switch%204x1%20ARC%20port_pro.html
_HDMI 2 connects: Amazon
_HDMI 3 connects: Roku

Honestly, there isn't a trick (if you will) to my setup versus any in Boost mode. The only difference that may have an impact is that I use the Sonos dedicated Boost component. I'd say with conviction that barring a defective speaker issues with Sonos are always going to have a root cause in one or more of the following:

_Out of date Sonos controller
_Out of date firmware and/or updates for the device on which the Sonos controller is loaded
_Out of date firmware for the TV
_Improper setting for Audio out on TV
_Inability of the TV to pass DD5.1 over optical
_Out of date firmware for the App (i.e. Roku, Netflix , Amazon, music streaming service etc)
_Out of date firmware for the router and/or modem
_Changes made firewall in the router or software based if on a computer
_IP Address conflicts especially when using Wi-Fi direct (i.e. Standard setup) *
_Employment/incompatibility of range extenders and AP's in conjunction with main router **
_Interference caused by other products
_General IT issues_most can be diagnosed by Sonos with a submitted Reference ID

* Typical remedy is to take down the network and setup each component one-by-one and/or assign Static IP Addresses
** If those devices are employed strictly for Sonos_removing them and using boost mode (setup properly) can often resolve the issues (dedicated boost component provides the best signal strength).

All said your best option is mostly like contacting Sonos by phone. You can get an international number at the website indicated and select Change Country: https://www.sonos.com/en-us/contact/contact-options

I hope this helps and feel free to post back. Maybe some others will join in with a suggestion as well. Cheers!

Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Hi Asaweli

As a suggestion due to the fact that this thread is two + years old (84 replies and 18,633 views) and the last response prior to your original post was a month prior to that you may want to consider starting your own thread. In that manner it will be under your name and move to the front as a new question. I'd also re-submitt the diagnostic and post the updated Reference ID. I'm just saying...:8

Cheers!
I’ve read this entire thread since I am experiencing the same issue with voice / center channel being much quieter than left/right channels.

I have no problem opening a new thread once I’ve tried everything in this thread , but I have a question.

Earlier in the thread references were made to “voice boost” and “night mode” settings with no indication of where those settings were. I scoured the ios Sonos app for those settings and don’t see them for my playbar or for the app in general.

Are they talking about settings in another device or app beside the playbar and Sonos app?
Completely understand.

Open up the app, and use the "rooms" menu at the bottom of the app, and select the room that your PLAYBAR is in. If you end up still on the white screen, click on the carat (^) on the left side of the black bar, just above the words My Sonos.

At this point, you should be on the black screen which shows a stylized TV in the center, and a bunch of buttons below. The button on the left, which looks like a moon, is the night more button. The button on the right is the voice boost mode. Both of these buttons can be toggled on or off while the TV is playing. When "On", the majority of the button is white, with black icons, when "Off", it is the opposite. I tend to run with speech enhancement on, and night mode off, but it's entirely a personal decision, there's no right or wrong way,. Do what works for you.

Hope that helps.
Completely understand.

Open up the app, and use the "rooms" menu at the bottom of the app, and select the room that your PLAYBAR is in. If you end up still on the white screen, click on the carat (^) on the left side of the black bar, just above the words My Sonos.

At this point, you should be on the black screen which shows a stylized TV in the center, and a bunch of buttons below. The button on the left, which looks like a moon, is the night more button. The button on the right is the voice boost mode. Both of these buttons can be toggled on or off while the TV is playing. When "On", the majority of the button is white, with black icons, when "Off", it is the opposite. I tend to run with speech enhancement on, and night mode off, but it's entirely a personal decision, there's no right or wrong way,. Do what works for you.

Hope that helps.


That helped! I rarely use the Sonos app , since the TV controls the volume and the playbar plays whatever is sent to it.

I opened up the Sonos app for the first time while watching an movie and saw the controls that you described . I turned speech enhancement and night mode on and will test it out .

most recently I was playing Skyrim and could not hear what anyone was saying since turning the volume up made the effects volume too loud.

thanks again.
There is no “right” way. Set it up the way it works for your ears 😉
Badge +2
When my wife and I are watching TV, we are noticing that we are having some difficulty fully understanding what the people in the show are saying. It's as if it's not fully clear or as my wife would describe it, it's a volume issue where the dialogue is being overwhelmed by other sounds perhaps.

It's gotten to the point that we need to turn on sub-titles at times. We don't notice this issue with other TV's/watching TV on a computer, so I think this is isolated to the Sonos playbar.

Also, I've noticed when watching movies that the sound fluctuates a lot, in which in an entire movie I have to hold the remote to adjust the sound up and down. It's like the explosion scenes are way too loud but the speaking scenes are not loud enough so we turn it up to try to hear what they are saying and then something loud happens and it's somewhat jarring to us when we are watching the show.

Is this an acoustics issue? Calibration issue?

We have 1 Playbar, 2 Play 1's as surrounds, the Playbar is wall mounted right beneath our Samsung 55" LED Smart TV.

Badge +2
I had this issue as well. But I did this:
1st - I turned on night mode and the dialog mode.
2nd - I ran the speaker calibration for distance of the surround sound speakers.
3rd - I ran the True Play program (this helped tremedously and I recommend you do it to all of your Sonos speakers thru out the house), this is how Sonos lets you calibrate for the size and shape of the room ceilings and compensation of objects that are in "the way" of the sound being transmitted.

Once all of those are completed i put on an Avengers movie with the rears turned down. During an action sequence i slowly turned the rears up till i could hear stuff in the back. Now its fine. But this is all dependent on the user and how loud you like your movies and the rear speakers. I do find I have to turn the rears down in the begining of a movie and slowly turn them up till I hear them. This is because it depends on what you are watching and where your source is coming from. I find Netflix always needs an adjustment in the begining of the movie...hulu I dont really adjust. Amazon depends on the movie too.

Reply