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 4 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 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 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 2
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I’ve experienced this problem with LG C9 OLED and XSX, I’ve just recently upgraded to an LG G3 OLED, not experienced the problem as yet but I’ve only had the G3 a few days so will report back if the problem persists with the G3.

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’m going to try this tonight and report back . Disabling CEC on my Xbox series X did not fix the issue . Once outputting at 120hz with VRR then the pop occurs . Will try enable and disable eARC but it may just be a temporary fix . It may happen again after 15 mins to 30 mins after 

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!

There was a point somewhere in this thread that we discussed CEC state when turning off certain features.  It seems that when a change is made the TV holds on to certain setting which if you are lucky results in more stability and less pops.  I had this happen to me personally about 6 months back.  Things were incredibly stable for over a month and the the second I got one pop.  I got a bunch of them

Tom, I am in a rare group where I found disabling Dolby Vision for Gaming on the series X makes a difference.  I have been pop free since this change, and since Dolby Vision for gaming is a feature that offers only a small enhancement over HDR, it’s worth it to me to have this disabled in exchange for Atmos.  Whether disabling this changes this internal TV / CEC state or its some other technical explanation…all I know is it works for my setup

I have a C1 / Series X / Apple TV / and full Sonos 5.1.2

 

 

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.

I have eARC set to Off on my Sony A80J (it is plugged into the HDMI 3 / eARC port though) and when I play Atmos content from my Apple TV4K (2nd Gen) it says Atmos / Atmos (DD+) depending on what screen you look at. 
 

Is there any benefit to turning on eARC to Auto from within my Sony A80J TV settings? Just to clarify, I’ve never heard this bang noise in my 1 year of ownership but it’s been Off…honestly afraid to turn it on at this point haha. 
 


 

Userlevel 6
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Yes. eARC has major benefits over ARC. Better sound, better lip sync, the works. 
 

If you get the bang, you can always turn it back off. We haven’t had any reports of the bang happening with Dolby Digital Plus compressed Atmos. 

Yes. eARC has major benefits over ARC. Better sound, better lip sync, the works. 
 

If you get the bang, you can always turn it back off. We haven’t had any reports of the bang happening with Dolby Digital Plus compressed Atmos. 

I’ve been using eARC and Pass Through as “Off” for the last year. 
 

To confirm, here are the settings I’m going to choose in my Sony A80J - 

Digital Audio Out: Auto 1
Dolby Digital Plus Output: Dolby Digital Plus
Pass Through Mode: Auto
eARC Mode: Auto

Does that look correct? 
 

 

Userlevel 6
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Yup! You can also go into the Sonos App, System, About My System when listening to Atmos if you have a Dolby MAT source (Apple TV, Xbox, soon PS5). 
 

If it just says Atmos, you’re good. If it says Atmos (DD+), it’s being downgraded. 

Userlevel 4
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We have a response, but all it largely says is that they can’t reproduce the issue. I’m going to offer to ship my TV, Sonos Arc, and Xbox to Sonos.

 

https://www.theverge.com/2023/8/10/23824258/sonos-arc-dolby-atmos-problems-loud-audio-pop

It would be so much easier for them to fly one of their engineers out for a few days and pay you for using your home to test it. 🤣

Userlevel 4
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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/

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.

 

Yup! You can also go into the Sonos App, System, About My System when listening to Atmos if you have a Dolby MAT source (Apple TV, Xbox, soon PS5). 
 

If it just says Atmos, you’re good. If it says Atmos (DD+), it’s being downgraded. 

I notice with eARC set to Auto that anything non Atmos (aka LPCM) sounds very soft. I really have to raise the volume to get it to sound like DD+
 

I heard little tiny pops with eARC turned on as well…so I turned it off as I’d like to avoid hearing this huge popping noise which I wasn’t even aware of until I read this thread (but I’ve always had eARC off so maybe that’s why?)
 

With that being said, I do all my watching on an Apple TV 4K. I notice with eARC set to Auto it shows Atmos and with eARC set to Off it shows Atmos (DD+).
 

1. Is it true that all the Atmos content through the Apple TV 4K only plays in Atmos (DD+)? If true, I may just leave eARC off since I get Atmos (DD+) and for all non Atmos content I get DD+ (which sounds better than LPCM). 
 

2. Is it possible to get Atmos from the Apple TV 4K? Or only when streaming from a 4KUHD player?

 

Thanks again for your assistance. 

 

Moderator edit: sectioned questions already answered here:

 

Userlevel 1

Ran into the article talking about this. I thought I had some weird unique problem apparently not. Mine happens with a gaming pc w/3080 at atmos mode. 

Userlevel 4
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Hello all. I would like to take a second to thank @tomwarren for using his platform to bring attention to this issue - it’s long overdue. And to thank others on here who have continued to advocate for a solution. It’s frankly a shame that it has taken this much public pressure and complaining by a loyal customer base (myself included) to even get a public response from Sonos. I was even more dismayed by the generic and noncommittal response by Sonos to the article.

I will also share some information that *could* be helpful in the limited responses I have received from the Sonos technical team. In the diagnostic samples that I have provided, I have been told that the popping sound “doesn't happen when” the collected audio taps in the diagnostic are played back by the Sonos technical team. I don’t know enough about what specific details the diagnostics samples record or what is contained in these “audio taps.” I was also told that there are customers who have multiple Arcs that only have issues with one device, and when devices are swapped, the popping issue does not follow the Arc. I wonder if anyone here can confirm that. The implication would be that the etiology of the pop is an interoperability issue. More than anything, I think this just supports my argument: the pop isn’t following the device because it is being switched to a set-up that is no longer using a Dolby MAT format, thus alleviating this issue. This means that Arc is having issues with Dolby MAT, as I have explained previous.

Support did confirm that all of the pops and cracks “excite the Dolby Atmos (MAT) as the active format...but the decoded output is free of any objectionable artifact like a pop. It's possible that the pop - if it's indeed originating from the pipeline - to have occurred just prior to the MAT feed, in the form of PCM audio (even then, only in some and not all of the cases).” I personally do not see evidence that this is the case, as I have been watching my app data when a pop occurs, and the popping happens after Atmos content has already kicked in and is playing - I do not see any switching back to PCM audio.  

I was also told that “NSD on the TVP is not run on encoded content (we trust these signals to be kosher) and only offers audio Vs silence discrimination with PCM audio. i.e, if the audio signal itself contained an objectionable pop, we don't presently exercise the noise classification as an additional line of defense. The probability of such an event based on the many, many taps & diags, thus far, is evidently very low, though.” I honestly do not know enough to parse out what any of this means. As I have said before, despite my best efforts to self-educate (over many, many hours), I don’t think the end customer should have to be versed in these details - for $900, these devices should work out-of-the-box, and issues that arise should be fixed or advertising promptly changed. This also seems to suggest (as I have advocated previously) that Sonos *could* engineer a way to make these popping sounds FAR LESS damaging (ie gunshot scaring children, pets, and viewers) by enacting an additional line of defense if any of these issues are actually originating upstream (again, skeptical until proven otherwise that this is exclusively an upstream problem).

Of the four most recent diagnostics that I have submitted, I was told that “the taps are all 4 seconds long & barring [one sample] are entirely filled with silence. The sequence of events in these 4 diags are all very different, allowing for no common suspects to be easily revealed by the logs.” 

All of this leads me to wonder how helpful the diagnostics samples are in the first place. I don’t have enough technical-know-how to understand exactly what information is sent to Sonos what a diagnostic sample is submitted. I can’t square the fact that the Sonos support team hears “silence” in the audio tap when I feel like I’m gearing up for a home invasion. This makes me question whether the audio taps are truly providing robust information about the sounds being produced by the device. Honestly, to me, the popping sound is akin to an electrical surge. It’s like someone has shorted the speaker, blown a tweeter, and killed the power. Perhaps this isn’t being captured in the samples.

I share all this because Sonos has not provided much information from a technical side publicly. Perhaps someone more knowledgable than myself can use this to progress this issue. @tomwarren, I would encourage you and anyone else with a louder voice than the rest of us to keep the gas pedal on this issue - Sonos has demonstrated that the issue will die unless we continue to press for a solution. We have seen promised “work on a solution” for three years, always devoid of specifics or a timeline. At a minimum, they could commit to changing their product advertising until a solution is found. This would at least make me feel like they are not okay with continued false advertising and truly being upfront with new customers - until this is done, it’s hard to see any response from Sonos as being in good faith.

I see a number of comments on the articles written this week from potential customers that are now having second thoughts about purchasing an Arc - good, they should, until this issue is resolved. Sonos has demonstrated that they aren’t going to respond to this issue out of a commitment to customers alone - it’s going to have to start hurting sales and the bottom line, unfortunately. I hate that this has how the issue has evolved - I have invested substantively in the Sonos ecosystem and touted to so many family and friends. This used to be a brand that I believed in and supported, despite a premium price point. In order to build a brand for premium audio products, it seems like Business 101 is to provide reliable, meaningful customer service. 

Userlevel 6
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Thanks as always @rc12 for eloquently summarizing the state of the situation. Two items of information for you:

  1. When I worked with Sonos having my Arc in “dev mode”, which I assume is what you are describing when talking about an “audio tap”, the engineer told me that the file you generate from the local webpage on the Arc ([ArcIPaddress]:1400/snapshotspdiftap) records 60 seconds prior to the being triggered.
  2. One of the files I submitted was of the pop happening with Apple TV in screensaver mode, i.e. no audio playing. Therefore I am not surprised that the answer cannot be found in the audio information. However, surely there is data on what the Arc is outputting independently of the signal it is receiving.
Userlevel 3
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Sonos has demonstrated that the issue will die unless we continue to press for a solution. We have seen promised “work on a solution” for three years, always devoid of specifics or a timeline. At a minimum, they could commit to changing their product advertising until a solution is found. This would at least make me feel like they are not okay with continued false advertising and truly being upfront with new customers - until this is done, it’s hard to see any response from Sonos as being in good faith.

 

So….class action when?

Userlevel 1
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So glad to finally see this get some attention, can’t believe I’m going back 2 years to page 1 when it first happened to me and has done many times since (LG c9 & Xbox SX) 

Cannot be confident it hasn’t damaged the speakers in some way, let’s see how it progresses but really should not be something that takes this long to address, come on Sonos.

Userlevel 6
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for what it’s worth here are my set ups and I have never experienced this issue. Just putting it out there for more data

 

Living room:

sony A9g OLED

apple tv 4K 3rd gen

sonos arc, 2 subs, play:1 as rears

using eArc

 

game room:

LG CX OLED

Using eArc

sonos arc, 1 sub, 2 era 100 as rears 

xbox series x with atmos enabled

nintendo switch

PS5 using beta firmware with atmos enabled 

 

Hope Sonos can fix this soon for those affected 

Userlevel 4
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I was able to make the POP go away by unplugging the TV , XBOX and ARC for 60 secs then plug everything back in . CEC also disabled . This is a guarantee fix for me but it’s annoying every time I have to do that when I turn on my TV and XBOX 

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I was able to make the POP go away by unplugging the TV , XBOX and ARC for 60 secs then plug everything back in . CEC also disabled . This is a guarantee fix for me but it’s annoying every time I have to do that when I turn on my TV and XBOX 

How frequently it happens ?

Userlevel 1

Curious if anyone who has this issue has access to the PS5 beta which includes Atmos. 

Userlevel 4
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Curious if anyone who has this issue has access to the PS5 beta which includes Atmos. 

I do . And confirm still exist on PS5 atmos

Userlevel 4
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I was able to make the POP go away by unplugging the TV , XBOX and ARC for 60 secs then plug everything back in . CEC also disabled . This is a guarantee fix for me but it’s annoying every time I have to do that when I turn on my TV and XBOX 

Is it really a guaranteed fix if it happens again? 
 

I have been using my system without Atmos because I don’t want to hear those loud bangs. I’m not happy about this and Sonos needs a fix soon because I didn’t buy an Atmos system to not use it. Otherwise, I want a refund on my equipment so I can find something that works as advertised. 

Userlevel 4
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I was able to make the POP go away by unplugging the TV , XBOX and ARC for 60 secs then plug everything back in . CEC also disabled . This is a guarantee fix for me but it’s annoying every time I have to do that when I turn on my TV and XBOX 

Is it really a guaranteed fix if it happens again? 
 

I have been using my system without Atmos because I don’t want to hear those loud bangs. I’m not happy about this and Sonos needs a fix soon because I didn’t buy an Atmos system to not use it. Otherwise, I want a refund on my equipment so I can find something that works as advertised. 

Yup I have been testing it for couple of days and it works. Give it a try and let me know

 

cheers

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