Sonos Arc loud pop then audio loss


Userlevel 3

I was playing on my Xbox when the arc suddenly made an extremely loud pop sound and then lost audio completely. The app wouldn’t let me adjust the volume and Alexa wake up didn’t emit its usual tone. I had to remove the power from the arc and reapply which resumed the audio. I’m concerned that one of the speakers in the arc may have been damaged when this happened. Has anyone had this issue?

We have had no issues with the arc since purchasing it earlier this year.

Corry P 7 months ago

Hi Everyone!

Good news! We are pleased to share that our team has identified a fix for the popping sound on Arc and it will be shipped to all customers as part of a software release today, Thursday Nov 16 at 09:30 ET, 14:30 GMT, 15:30 CET. Please note that some app stores may take an extra hour or two for it to become available.

During our investigation we uncovered a rare bug that impacts how Sonos Arc and Beam (Gen 2) in certain home theater configurations process Dolby MAT, a streaming technology which is used to deliver Dolby Atmos audio over HDMI. Occasionally a Sonos product will receive a corrupted audio segment from an external source and needs to filter out unwanted audio data. The bug we identified was allowing our Dolby decoder to play audible errors on certain home theater setups rather than concealing them. The solution we’ve built and tested improves our Dolby decoder so it better filters out corrupt audio data that can manifest as a popping sound. We’ll continue to monitor customer feedback closely after the fix has been released and ship additional updates if necessary.

We strive to deliver the best listening experience possible and work to address major issues that impact our customers. We apologize for the disruption this bug has caused and want to thank you for your patience while our team developed a fix.

We would also like to thank our community users for their detailed setup information and steps to reproduce the issue, which were helpful to us in uncovering the cause of the bug.

 

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Userlevel 3
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Still trying to judge if there are some commonalities across the issue here — for those with the X900H/XH90/XH92 — what HDMI port is your Apple TV connected to?  Mine’s on HDMI 2, and admittedly, this was fine Dec 2020 to Oct 2021. So I doubt it would make a difference, just trying to tally the variables.

Just wondering if the whole DV and DA enabled at the same time has something to do with bandwidth? 🤔 

Userlevel 6
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900H owner here. Apple TV is on HDMI 2, Xbox on HDMI 4 (in VRR mode for the HDMI port so no DV). 

Arc pops with both. 

Userlevel 4
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So I was very curious this weekend.  I was thinking  perhaps Xbox had fixed the issue and that my disabling Dolby vision and auto HDR wasn’t necessary, as I had been symptom free for over a month

 

So I deactivated both and within two days of light play I got the pop, and it was with a game that uses both natively (Forza Horizon 5).  There is definitely something behind this line of thinking that Dolby Vision is causing some of the issue

 

I have since deactivated both again and have been symptom free again

 

Stay Tuned

Userlevel 6
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Thanks for sharing the data point. I get the pop on Xbox even with DV turned off. For EDID reasons, I always have DV off on my Xbox. I also don’t use auto HDR.

Userlevel 3
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So I was very curious this weekend.  I was thinking  perhaps Xbox had fixed the issue and that my disabling Dolby vision and auto HDR wasn’t necessary, as I had been symptom free for over a month

 

So I deactivated both and within two days of light play I got the pop, and it was with a game that uses both natively (Forza Horizon 5).  There is definitely something behind this line of thinking that Dolby Vision is causing some of the issue

 

I have since deactivated both again and have been symptom free again

 

Stay Tuned

It wouldn’t surprise me — I’ve been saying for a good while now that the culprit is specifically the Dolby MAT container, and it’s usage with Atmos.  Definitely smells like there is a potential bandwidth issue, somewhere.

Userlevel 4
Badge +3

So I was very curious this weekend.  I was thinking  perhaps Xbox had fixed the issue and that my disabling Dolby vision and auto HDR wasn’t necessary, as I had been symptom free for over a month

 

So I deactivated both and within two days of light play I got the pop, and it was with a game that uses both natively (Forza Horizon 5).  There is definitely something behind this line of thinking that Dolby Vision is causing some of the issue

 

I have since deactivated both again and have been symptom free again

 

Stay Tuned

It wouldn’t surprise me — I’ve been saying for a good while now that the culprit is specifically the Dolby MAT container, and its usage with Atmos.  Definitely smells like there is a potential bandwidth issue, somewhere.

I only get the issue when returning to the Home Screen, never during gameplay.  I’m going to put my money on it being some HDMI handshake issue when returning from Dolby Atmos / Vision back to standard SDR

Does anybody know if Atmos leverages the Dolby MAT container when the two are used in parallel?  Or if the sound operates outside of it?

Also worth noting that if I mute the Sonos hardware itself before the potential of a pop, the pop still occurs, however if I mute the Xbox by turning on headphones, it never occurs.  More evidence that it’s a device issue opposed to a Sonos issue

Userlevel 6
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I got the pop during gameplay on the Xbox Series X just last month. I was excited about maybe being pop safe without DV based on the posts here, but there it was. Took maybe 20-30 minutes before it popped. 

Userlevel 3
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So I was very curious this weekend.  I was thinking  perhaps Xbox had fixed the issue and that my disabling Dolby vision and auto HDR wasn’t necessary, as I had been symptom free for over a month

 

So I deactivated both and within two days of light play I got the pop, and it was with a game that uses both natively (Forza Horizon 5).  There is definitely something behind this line of thinking that Dolby Vision is causing some of the issue

 

I have since deactivated both again and have been symptom free again

 

Stay Tuned

It wouldn’t surprise me — I’ve been saying for a good while now that the culprit is specifically the Dolby MAT container, and its usage with Atmos.  Definitely smells like there is a potential bandwidth issue, somewhere.

I only get the issue when returning to the Home Screen, never during gameplay.  I’m going to put my money on it being some HDMI handshake issue when returning from Dolby Atmos / Vision back to standard SDR

Does anybody know if Atmos leverages the Dolby MAT container when the two are used in parallel?  Or if the sound operates outside of it?

Also worth noting that if I mute the Sonos hardware itself before the potential of a pop, the pop still occurs, however if I mute the Xbox by turning on headphones, it never occurs.  More evidence that it’s a device issue opposed to a Sonos issue


I believe the issue is that the Sonos hardware detects a change in signal from Atmos to Silence, and fails to compensate, but the reason behind why the signal drops appears to be occurring upstream. (You can see this in the “About my System” information screen).

The MAT container is used for handling audio in an uncompressed LPCM format with Atmos metadata sprinkled no top, which the Apple TV uses (with no option to change otherwise, just “off”)—it makes little difference to Vision.  As it’s uncompressed, the bandwidth required will be, certainly, higher.

As a test, I stuck my Apple TV in 4K60 HDR rather than Vision, but left match source on. Played 3 Vision and Atmos across Netflix/Disney+ without issue.

That said, I believe the Apple TV also gives me issues with the XH92 (X900H in the UK) that I use in that I cannot load the “Live TV” apps built into the TV when swapping from HDMI 2 to the app. The TV just locks up.  When you finally get it to reboot, the Apple TV drops it’s DV (again, now changed to HDR) signal to SDR until you flick inputs and back again.

I believe the problem lies with the Apple TV, and maybe the notorious Bravia — and that between the two, some signal is plain and simply, getting f’ed.

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 3
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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 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.

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.

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’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…

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
Badge +3

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.

Corey, I have a video of it happening.  I can’t produce it at will as it’s still random.  But I know from a series x perspective how to set it up so it happens

let me know how I can get this to you 

 

Userlevel 7
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Hi @TheFlamesFan 

Thank you. We appreciate that, but at this point I don’t think a video will be of any help - nor will diagnostics, unusually. We’re seeking to be connected to an Arc in devmode and recording while one of these events happen (see it as telemetry for a race car) so we can analyse the incoming feed. This will involve having an engineer on the phone with you at the time (most probably), so it’s a difficult task if an event can’t be triggered within a few minutes.

Userlevel 3
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It’s a shame we don’t have a HDMI splitter-type device that can pass through the audio from an Apple TV to the Arc, and video to a TV.  Isolate the TV as not being part of the issue…

Userlevel 6
Badge +5

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.

I have followed your instructions and reached out to support. At first support told me the problem was specific to my TV and to turn off eARC. After some talking, I managed to convince him that I am supposed to reach out. I’m posting here just to make sure it really gets to you.

I can get a high confidence pop within 30 minutes. If I could have an hour of devmode, I would be willing to sit there and see how many pops/timestamps I can generate for you without an engineer on the phone.

Userlevel 7
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Hi @ProfessorFrag 

Thank you! I have found your related case number and passed it directly to an engineer. You should hear from them soon. 

Userlevel 2

I had the same issue last night, twice whilst mid stream on Netflix. I reported through support and was provided with a reference. I have got a new TV with Atmos/EARC capability.

I have been advised to turn off Atmos which defeats the point of paying a significant amount of money for this functionality and not being able to use it.

I was surprised reading the comments on here as to how long this had been going on for.

 

Userlevel 3
Badge +3

I had the same issue last night, twice whilst mid stream on Netflix. I reported through support and was provided with a reference. I have got a new TV with Atmos/EARC capability.

I have been advised to turn off Atmos which defeats the point of paying a significant amount of money for this functionality and not being able to use it.

I was surprised reading the comments on here as to how long this had been going on for.

 

What are the specifics of your setup? Which TV model are you using, and was it the native app within the TV or an external device, if so, which?

Userlevel 2

I had the same issue last night, twice whilst mid stream on Netflix. I reported through support and was provided with a reference. I have got a new TV with Atmos/EARC capability.

I have been advised to turn off Atmos which defeats the point of paying a significant amount of money for this functionality and not being able to use it.

I was surprised reading the comments on here as to how long this had been going on for.

 

What are the specifics of your setup? Which TV model are you using, and was it the native app within the TV or an external device, if so, which?

The TV was a Samsung 65QN90B and it was a native app on the TV

Userlevel 3
Badge +3

I had the same issue last night, twice whilst mid stream on Netflix. I reported through support and was provided with a reference. I have got a new TV with Atmos/EARC capability.

I have been advised to turn off Atmos which defeats the point of paying a significant amount of money for this functionality and not being able to use it.

I was surprised reading the comments on here as to how long this had been going on for.

 

What are the specifics of your setup? Which TV model are you using, and was it the native app within the TV or an external device, if so, which?

The TV was a Samsung 65QN90B and it was a native app on the TV

Thanks — could you humour me, if you play some Atmos content in the same way, and open the Sonos App and navigate to Settings > System > About my System, what do you get for “Audio In”? Atmos (DD+), Atmos (TrueHD), or just “Atmos”.  I’m guessing it’s the latter?

Userlevel 2

I had the same issue last night, twice whilst mid stream on Netflix. I reported through support and was provided with a reference. I have got a new TV with Atmos/EARC capability.

I have been advised to turn off Atmos which defeats the point of paying a significant amount of money for this functionality and not being able to use it.

I was surprised reading the comments on here as to how long this had been going on for.

 

What are the specifics of your setup? Which TV model are you using, and was it the native app within the TV or an external device, if so, which?

The TV was a Samsung 65QN90B and it was a native app on the TV

Thanks — could you humour me, if you play some Atmos content in the same way, and open the Sonos App and navigate to Settings > System > About my System, what do you get for “Audio In”? Atmos (DD+), Atmos (TrueHD), or just “Atmos”.  I’m guessing it’s the latter?

Yes it just says Dolby Atmos

Userlevel 3
Badge +3

I had the same issue last night, twice whilst mid stream on Netflix. I reported through support and was provided with a reference. I have got a new TV with Atmos/EARC capability.

I have been advised to turn off Atmos which defeats the point of paying a significant amount of money for this functionality and not being able to use it.

I was surprised reading the comments on here as to how long this had been going on for.

 

What are the specifics of your setup? Which TV model are you using, and was it the native app within the TV or an external device, if so, which?

The TV was a Samsung 65QN90B and it was a native app on the TV

Thanks — could you humour me, if you play some Atmos content in the same way, and open the Sonos App and navigate to Settings > System > About my System, what do you get for “Audio In”? Atmos (DD+), Atmos (TrueHD), or just “Atmos”.  I’m guessing it’s the latter?

Yes it just says Dolby Atmos

So another device pushing out the MAT container.  Interestingly, this is a direct TV to Sonos Arc connection via the native app, so the TV isn’t acting as the passthrough middle man or anything. 🤔 That would also, potentially, remove some theories about bandwidth being an issue, as surelyonly the audio would be routed to the Arc?

@Dirtynes — if your TV has the option to change the audio output format from Linear PCM to Dolby Digital Plus or TrueHD, that should alleviate the issue for yourself.

Userlevel 6
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Also note that Samsung doesn’t support DV, so this is another case of pop without DV running.

Userlevel 2

I had the same issue last night, twice whilst mid stream on Netflix. I reported through support and was provided with a reference. I have got a new TV with Atmos/EARC capability.

I have been advised to turn off Atmos which defeats the point of paying a significant amount of money for this functionality and not being able to use it.

I was surprised reading the comments on here as to how long this had been going on for.

 

What are the specifics of your setup? Which TV model are you using, and was it the native app within the TV or an external device, if so, which?

The TV was a Samsung 65QN90B and it was a native app on the TV

Thanks — could you humour me, if you play some Atmos content in the same way, and open the Sonos App and navigate to Settings > System > About my System, what do you get for “Audio In”? Atmos (DD+), Atmos (TrueHD), or just “Atmos”.  I’m guessing it’s the latter?

Yes it just says Dolby Atmos

So another device pushing out the MAT container.  Interestingly, this is a direct TV to Sonos Arc connection via the native app, so the TV isn’t acting as the passthrough middle man or anything. 🤔 That would also, potentially, remove some theories about bandwidth being an issue, as surelyonly the audio would be routed to the Arc?

@Dirtynes — if your TV has the option to change the audio output format from Linear PCM to Dolby Digital Plus or TrueHD, that should alleviate the issue for yourself.

I have done that already. Just a shame I cannot use the Atmos function until they fix the cause of the issue.

 

Userlevel 3
Badge +2

Hi @ProfessorFrag 

Thank you! I have found your related case number and passed it directly to an engineer. You should hear from them soon. 

Thank you @ProfessorFrag for stepping up to the plate and helping us all here. We look forward to any feedback from your experience and hope it helps Sonos come up with a solution. Good luck! 

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