Sonos Arc loud pop then audio loss



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Userlevel 6
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I just tried disabling eARC and I can no longer reliably reproduce the audio pop. Re-enabling eARC hasn’t reproduced the issue either. Can anyone here who is able to reliably reproduce see if disabling and re-enabling eARC clears something? It might still come back, but it’s interesting that I can no longer reliably reproduce!

I’ve tried this on a Sony 900H. Disabling eARC allowed Atmos to still function, but if you go into Sonos App → System → About My System, it will now show Atmos (Dolby Digital) instead of just Atmos. In this state, there will be no pop. The pop seems tied to Dolby MAT encoding.

I had some audio sync issues on some content without eARC, so I turned it back on. The pop came back.

Please note that different users have had success eliminating the pop by disabling various features. But there is no universal fix. I can get rid of it by disabling CEC, which is my current solution. Others can get rid of it by disabling Dolby Vision, which doesn’t work as a fix for me. For yet others, nothing works. :(

It would be nice if Sonos shared a little bit about what their testing shows. You can try pinging @Corry P in this thread and see if you get some info.

Userlevel 7
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Hi @Pahakissa 

We’re not aware of this issue happening on Beam, though it is related to Atmos. Therefore, we would appreciate it - if it ever happens again - if you could immediately submit a support diagnostic and later get in touch with our technical support team so we can document the occurrence. We’re also not aware of this issue causing any actual damage to the units it happens on.

Userlevel 4
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Just a thought, has anyone tried to get any of the tech sites to cover this?  I’m thinking like Ars Technica or the like.  Some additional pressure and eyes on the issue might help get the ball rolling on this.

I have not. 
 

I was contacted by Sonos Level 2 Support regarding this. 
 

“Hello Stephen,

This is Bryan from Sonos Level 2 Support. I received your case. This case will be escalated to our Engineering team for further investigation, but I need to ask you a question first: What audio format are you playing when you experience these screeching sounds in your Sonos Arc (PCM, Dolby Digital, Dolby Atmos...)?

I will be eagerly awaiting your answer.”

 

I let them know that it’s only when Atmos is in use and even linked them to this ongoing discussion. I also sent them the video one user posted above showing the issue at hand. 

Basic Questions like this two years in is pretty darn comical at this point.  Right hand isn’t talking to the left.  Makes you wonder if engineering are even spending time on a fix.  None of Sonos blanket silence passes the smell test here

Userlevel 4
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I just tried disabling eARC and I can no longer reliably reproduce the audio pop. Re-enabling eARC hasn’t reproduced the issue either. Can anyone here who is able to reliably reproduce see if disabling and re-enabling eARC clears something? It might still come back, but it’s interesting that I can no longer reliably reproduce!

I’ve tried this on a Sony 900H. Disabling eARC allowed Atmos to still function, but if you go into Sonos App → System → About My System, it will now show Atmos (Dolby Digital) instead of just Atmos. In this state, there will be no pop. The pop seems tied to Dolby MAT encoding.

I had some audio sync issues on some content without eARC, so I turned it back on. The pop came back.

Please note that different users have had success eliminating the pop by disabling various features. But there is no universal fix. I can get rid of it by disabling CEC, which is my current solution. Others can get rid of it by disabling Dolby Vision, which doesn’t work as a fix for me. For yet others, nothing works. :(

It would be nice if Sonos shared a little bit about what their testing shows. You can try pinging @Corry P in this thread and see if you get some info.

Yeah I noticed that, and that there’s a slight latency. Le sigh. Hopefully Sonos just starts sharing more info with us. 

Userlevel 3
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Moderator edit: removed case number from picture

Side note, anyone else find it frustrating that mods are clearly looking at this thread and taking the time to do things like manually blur out case numbers in screenshots and censor naughty words but they’ve basically gone radio silent otherwise?

Like, look at the beginning of the thread and we have responses from @Corry P on every page and now?  It’s been like two months since we’ve gotten a response.

In light of the articles that have come out it sure would be nice to know if Sonos has anything to say to us, the customers affected by the issue.

Userlevel 4
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Luckily I have a work around in using the native TV apps, but they are not as intuitive as the Apple TV and don’t get updated as often.

 

I would also urge caution because DD+ and Dolby MAT are not the same thing even though they both deliver Atmos.  DD+ is designed to be compressed for Streaming services, so quality in theory takes a hit.  How much a user can hear the difference is very subjective of course

Userlevel 4
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It totally ruined the whole experience . It’s basically buying an Atmos product but then it’s not . It’s so ridiculous . Someone should provide us an update . It should just be a clear message , able to fix or not ? If not then I’m selling all my equipments . @Corry P  , please provide update report from engineer , thanks 

Userlevel 2
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So we have Corry P employed at SONOS who likes the post above.
Are these the answers we will get from SONOS?

Corry P has been very active today on the community. With lots of written responses to other threads. But we get the thumbs up on a post.

Incidentally, I was at 9 dealers today. No one absolutely no one mentioned that there might be problems with Apple TV or Xbox if you want Dolby Atmos.

Sonos it's time to give us an answer. 

Userlevel 3
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I see Ars Technica has picked up on the Verges article and posted the story too. I’m glad to see it’s spreading. 
 

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2023/08/sonos-has-been-unable-to-fix-arc-soundbars-pop-of-death-for-over-2-years/

Might see a few more, as well.

A week ago someone mentioned the lack of coverage of the issue. I started hitting up the tip emails of every mainstream tech site I could find. 

Sonos needs to account for this and customers need to know what their $900 is buying.

 

Never thought I’d see an explanation of zeroith vs first indexing on an audio site, but there  you go. 😉

Yep, it’s been years looking at this thread. We did a video of it too. 
 

 

Userlevel 4
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For real… 

I am not expecting much but I am trying anyway. 

Userlevel 3
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Here is a chance for us to ask questions about this live. Today, 8/2 at 2pm Eastern, 11am Pacific. 
 

https://www.sonos.com/en-us/sonos-live?sms_click=2272277&sms_source=e8e12f83-b87b-473c-8e0d-bf1eb8781673&sms_uph=4e44b0251fe950c168ba54823efb7fd1e55c4c1a68a93b964138ae2104cd2ab0&utm_campaign=SMS_LiveEvent-Era-JoinNow2&utm_medium=text&utm_source=wunderkind&utm_term=ondemand

Userlevel 6
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@Corry P could we get an update? Does Sonos foresee that we will be able to reenable Atmos on Apple TV?

About a month ago I worked with you to get some devmode capture of the pop as produced with Apple Tv and Xbox. Both when playing sound and also when the Apple TV was just on screensaver.

After being without Atmos for more than a year, and with Apple releasing its new HomePods today, I have to figure out for myself if it’s time to go through the pain of selling my Sonos system and changing horses so that I can have Atmos back. No hard feelings, it is what it is.

Userlevel 7
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Hi Everyone

If any of you are able to reproduce one of these “popping” events more or less at will, please help us by getting in touch with our technical support team, as we’re looking for more information on this matter. It does seem to occur most often - but is definitely not limited to - when an audio stream starts/stops or changes from one to another or , e.g. going from a playing movie to a menu, rather than when something is playing uninterrupted. We need some additional testers to assist us in getting a direct recording of the feed from an affected unit, as it happens.

This is somewhat outside of our normal case handling procedures, so if/when you have a support case, please reference this thread to the agent you speak to, and ask the agent to message me, Corry P, the case details so I can get you in touch with an engineer directly.

Thank you.

 

Edit: We’re no longer looking for assistance with this. Thank you to all those who got in touch.

Userlevel 4
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Just ordered both beam and arc to see which is best. With all this going on, should I just return the arc and keep the beam?

I only have a gen 1 Beam myself (no Atmos) but my understanding is that both the current Beam and Arc are affected. 
So I think the real question is whether you’re cool with turning off Atmos. Hopefully we’ll get a fix and then we can turn it back on. 

Oh. Is it only with particular devices? Is the new apple 4k tv that just came out affected? Ps5? TIA

No I have a PS5, no issues. My 4K Apple TV is the previous version. And it only began to have issues, after my Xbox Series X started the problem in the first place. I’ve also read that the Gen 2 Beam also has sound popping issues on Reddit. I don’t know if it’s the same issue. The only thing I know in my case as well as others who have the same set up as me, the Sonos Arc has issues playing Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos content at the same time, after the Xbox Series X initially causes the popping sound. Look into the Sony HT-A9 sound system.

Or another soundbar. This issue is over a year old and unfortunately nothing has been done about it from the Sonos end of things.

Userlevel 4
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For those of us not really interested in combing through 35 pages of this, is there a solution or anything that needs to be done for anyone who experiences this issue?

I’ve had my Arc since launch with no issues ever, and just started seeing this issue relatively often

I’m sorry to hear you’ve been affected. Once the Sonos Pop has struck, there is no way to go back. 

Some of us have had success with keeping it from triggering by disabling certain features on our devices. Unfortunately there isn’t one approach of that that’s worked for everyone. We just know too little. 
 

What are all the devices you use?

That’s the strangest part. I was able to play Forza Horizon 5 for more than a year without a single pop. I was able to play any game for that matter but that was my most played. Now every single game creates a pop each time. 
 

My Apple TV even with Atmos still activated doesn’t yet. But once it starts to do so it’ll likely never stop. I disabled Atmos on my Xbox and it still sounds great but it’s not what I paid for!

Userlevel 7
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Hi @jamie_shaw 

Thanks for the update — that said, I’m not entirely sure about “audio stream starts/stops or changes from one to another”, as the pops that myself and others seem to endure are mid-stream.  And even then, it’s not part of the audio track that’s the trigger. Rewinding over the same spot will not induce the same issue.

I agree, and have edited my post a little to emphasise that point. Thanks!

 

Whilst there are crackles and pops that occur when changes sources, such as the Netflix auto-play of trailers when navigating the menu, that’s a different kettle of fish entirely. A small static pop compared to the “bang” followed by a full frontal audio dropout most of us are describing here.

I personally don’t know a lot about it, but I think one is causing the other - not that they are the same thing.

I’ve previously submit several audio captures to a Tier2 support engineer via the Sonos ARC’s “devmode” — hopefully these have made it up the chain…

They have indeed - thank you! 

 

Userlevel 4
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I had time for a small experiment today. I bought a fiber optic HDMI cable to connect the Arc to the TV. Fiber cables contain active chips at each end that convert between electrical and optical signals. 

I got the usual pop within half an hour. I believe this eliminates the physical layer of the connection as the problem since there is no electrical connection between the TV (and Apple TV) and the Arc anymore.

Not a huge surprise. I think we are all expecting this to come down to how Sonos decodes Dolby MAT. But there you have it. 

If this is indeed down to the Sonos’ decoding of MAT, this was introduced during 13.4 (The one bringing DTS support). Well, for me at least.

From Dec 2020-Oct 2021; I had no issues with the exact same setup that I had now. Both DA and DV enabled from the Apple TV.  🤷‍♂️

As I’ve said before, prior to connecting an Xbox Series X, I had zero issues playing DV and DA content simultaneously on my Apple TV for over a year. Then as soon as I plugged in the Xbox Series X, Pop error, and now my Sonos Arc has a permanent error playing any DV DA content from my Apple TV or any source with DV and DA content playing through the arc. And of course all of us (with Sonos Arcs) are connecting our Sonos Arc on the e-arc hdmi input on our TVs. 
 

This is now a 2 year old problem, and the entire point of “upgrading” to the Sonos Arc was to utilize Dolby Atmos, but now we can’t. 
 

Userlevel 4
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Just ordered both beam and arc to see which is best. With all this going on, should I just return the arc and keep the beam?

If you do end up going with Sonos, depending on your space and living situation, I would go with the Arc with two Sonos One Gen 2 for surround (and the subwoofer if you live in a house), for the living room and Beam Gen 2 for the bedroom.

Just don’t ever hook up an Xbox Series X to your Sonos. Ever! Lol. I wish I hadn’t. PS5 and Switch had no problems for 2 years. Until I bought an Xbox Series X. And Apple TV 4K is fine as long as you never ever hook up an Xbox Series X. I never tried the beam, the beam has their own issues apparently.

Had I known about all of this prior I would never have gotten the Xbox, this is a good time now to look into the Sony HT-A9 with the Black Friday sales.

Userlevel 6
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Seeing this thread resurrected, I want to express how important this fix was. This week, I bought two ERA 300 and Sonos stands to upgrade my surround. 
 

I 100% would not have done that if my home theater setup was still on 5.1 without Atmos because of the pop. I know it’s often more exciting for businesses to focus on new products. But fixing flaws in already sold goods directly impacts future sales. 

Userlevel 6
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Based on Sonos’ description, it sounds like a bug in Arc’s error handling was at the core of everything. While it handled some errors correctly, there was a subclass that it instead threw out as a max volume pop, followed by going into limp mode so to speak. 

Userlevel 1
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I turned off all CEC across both TV and Apple TV, power cycled but didn't turn CEC back on.

I’ve had over 2 weeks of seamless Atmos playback until last week when I got a pop in the first quiet moment of an episode of The Mandalorian.

Was *just* starting to relax and enjoy the Arc.

Come on Sonos, this is nowhere near good enough and an update is very much overdue!

Userlevel 7
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Hi @Sparks74 

It sounds like you have a different issue - especially since the issue this thread relates to is resolved. I recommend you open a new thread where you are more likely to receive help from the community.

I do, however, recommend that you first try rebooting your TV by unplugging it from power for at least a full minute.

I hope this helps.

Userlevel 6
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@ilh23mx and everyone: bad news, I have replicated the pop with all voice assistants removed and Compressed Audio set to Uncompressed (and also on auto). 

At first when I removed Alexa and set Compressed Audio to Uncompressed, it took hours of Atmos content for the pop to reappear. I thought we might have a solution! But now that it has happened once, it’s coming back in the usual less than 30 minutes under either setting. 

I completed all testing using Apple TV and did not use my Xbox in between. 

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