Intermittent loss of bass (bbc radio 4 & 6 music)

  • 3 February 2013
  • 2 replies

Userlevel 1

On my play:5 I notice that the bass completely drops out fairly often when listening to radio. I mostly listen to BBC radio 6 music or radio 4, so have not really done troubleshooting on others. I did a comparison the other day by playing a song from my library after hearing the bass drop on the radio and from the local version all was fine.

Wondering if anyone else has experienced this? I don't know whether it's a problem of low bandwidth (bass drops first?), tunein general issue, or BBC stream issue.

Do the sonos diagnostics help in such a case?


2 replies


First post! Welcome to the forums.

Most likely, there is a hardware issue with your PLAY:5. Take this up with SONOS support.
Userlevel 4
Badge +2
You might want to read this thread on intermittent bass drop-out. There is a known hardware fault and you would be wise to read up on it before contacting Support.

Next time it happens, try turning the volume up and down quickly a few times. This often causes the lost bass to return, and would support a diagnosis of it being a hardware fault. (The thinking here is that the bass fault is due to a weak/dry joint in the circuit to the subwoofer, and increasing the volume and hence voltage causes some conductive material to bridge the microscopic gap in the circuit, for a while a least.)

If it is the hardware fault, and your unit is in warranty, then Support ought to offer you an RMA for a free replacement unit. That's what I've had for my faulty Play5's here in the UK at least. Note though that Support might first tell you to factory reset the Play5, but this makes no difference.

I can't really see any way that the loss of bass could be caused by a problem with the stream - that could only happen if the bass was stripped out by the radio station before encoding and streaming, which seems extremely unlikely.

However, it's worth mentioning that you might find that TuneIn will connect you to different bitrate streams for the same station at different times (apparently at random). The low bitrate streams can sound noticeably worse than the high rate streams, although I find it affects the treble far more than the bass. For example, I find that TuneIn often connects me to the 48kbps stream of Radio 1 instead of the 128kbps streams that are available. I have a hard-coded link to the high bitrate stream that I use instead on those occasions.