Playbar audio drops out


Userlevel 1
I experience intermittent audio dropouts with the Playbar on Dolby Digital 5.1 broadcasts. I do also have the Sub and two Play 1 speakers setup as surrounds. I have an LG 55LA7400 connected via an optical cable to the Playbar. The dropouts occur sporadically and last 1-2 seconds. You can watch a TV show for a 30 minutes or more with no dropouts and then randomly hear a few at random times for the rest of the show. Now, when I check the Sonos app using my iPad, iPhone, laptop etc., it does say that it's receiving DD 5.1 audio. Also, if I change the audio to stereo then I don't have this issue. I really love the TV and the soundbar so I'd like to get this resolved if possible.

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Userlevel 4
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Hello Tony,

In the case that this may be coming from interference, could you change the wireless channel your Sonos is operating on? The following Answers page describes how to do this:
https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1230/

If the issue persists you may want to try replacing the optical cable that connects the TV and your PLAYBAR.

Regards,
Gordon
Userlevel 3
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Gordon M
This issue is being reported in many threads. One that I have been following has been archived and is not visible to community members, even though the followers are still commenting on this issue. I have been suffering the same issue for several months and recently gave up trying to resolve it as the conclusion from Sonos support teams is that the issue is due to lots of HD broadcasts being in Dolby Digital Plus which is not fully supported by the playbar. The only way is to downgrade to stereo which defeats the point of investing in a high end surround system.
I am starting to think that there is a real problem here that SONOS are hiding by archiving threads. With the DTS problem from BluRay and the DD+ issue from Netflix and HD channels, there are not many sources left that the Playbar supports. 
What are SONOS going to do with all these problems from a complete lack of correct product development.
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The channel was 6 originally and I did try changing to channel 11 with no change. I'm pretty sure that has nothing to do with it at all. I have also tried multiple optical cables. I tend to agree with John for the most part.
I have the same problem as well - sound cuts out for half a second during movies when there is a particularly loud sound e.g. gunshot, explosion.

Have also tried changing channels and have bought a new optical cable, but it makes no difference. It's really frustrating - please help!
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I have the same issue. What is Sonos doing about this? Hopefully this is not permanent as i would return the whole system as i have the playbar, sub and play 1 for surround
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I play mostly digital files, movies and tv both. To be honest, it's been a lot better recently and I'm not quite sure why. Most of the time digital movies in DD 5.1 play without issue and tv is what sometimes has an issue in DD 5.1. Although, sometimes if there's a quiet scene with two people just having a conversation, the audio will cut out when there are gaps between the speech. So, if the people are pausing before speaking, the audio will cut out repeatedly like the Sonos stops transmitting audio when the source is not continuously outputting something.
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That is exactly what I get. When i play my digital files with DD 5.1, imget no drop outs, its only when I am watching cable TV with DD 5.1 and that may be HD broadcast with DD Plus because sound drops out every 2 to 5 minutes. I just hope that Sonos can at least make the soundbar compatible with the extended formats. I invested alot in Sonos hardware. And to be honest I am happy with the sound when it plays cotrectly. All i need is for the format cpmpatibility and of course would be awesome to be able to play DTS.
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That is exactly what I get. When i play my digital files with DD 5.1, imget no drop outs, its only when I am watching cable TV with DD 5.1 and that may be HD broadcast with DD Plus because sound drops out every 2 to 5 minutes. I just hope that Sonos can at least make the soundbar compatible with the extended formats. I invested alot in Sonos hardware. And to be honest I am happy with the sound when it plays cotrectly. All i need is for the format cpmpatibility and of course would be awesome to be able to play DTS.
This is what I was told by Customer Care to my ticket:

Thank you for this information. This provides us with good news. The behavior you are seeing is an issue we are already actively investigating. We know the cause and are working towards a resolution. I wanted to give you more background info now that I can be sure what the issue is. After researching we determined that the source audio device (whether that's the TV or some input on the TV) isn't sending audio data at a consistent rate. To deal with any delays in data it basically sends a "wait" message where it doesn't send data. When Sonos reads this signal it currently interprets this as a dropout and that's where you hear it cut out. Ideally we should be able to release a software change to correctly read this as a wait message and wait accordingly.

This process is ongoing and at present an update is not available. 

So basically, Sonos isn't correctly handling the Dolby Digital standard's wait command.  I'm giving them another month to get a fix for it, before I contact my consumer protection agency.
Userlevel 1
That is exactly what I get. When i play my digital files with DD 5.1, imget no drop outs, its only when I am watching cable TV with DD 5.1 and that may be HD broadcast with DD Plus because sound drops out every 2 to 5 minutes. I just hope that Sonos can at least make the soundbar compatible with the extended formats. I invested alot in Sonos hardware. And to be honest I am happy with the sound when it plays cotrectly. All i need is for the format cpmpatibility and of course would be awesome to be able to play DTS.
Now, to me that's an acceptable answer as long as they address the issue and fix it. Clearly it's not the optimal response of here's the problem and here's the patch to fix it but I just want to see effort and a response instead of silence or change your wireless channel. This gives me hope that a fix will come because what they describe sounds like exactly what's happening.
Userlevel 3
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That is exactly what I get. When i play my digital files with DD 5.1, imget no drop outs, its only when I am watching cable TV with DD 5.1 and that may be HD broadcast with DD Plus because sound drops out every 2 to 5 minutes. I just hope that Sonos can at least make the soundbar compatible with the extended formats. I invested alot in Sonos hardware. And to be honest I am happy with the sound when it plays cotrectly. All i need is for the format cpmpatibility and of course would be awesome to be able to play DTS.
I guess though that the problem with the many DD+ and DTS sources will continue though ?
I have the same issue. Have been waiting for a software update since mid-December. Love my system but this is getting ridiculous
Happens to me too. Interestingy, it sort of reproducible for me. When watching the 5PM news on WNBC New York via a TIVO Premier, it ALWAYS drops when they bring up the weather maps.
Userlevel 4
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Agree. I have contacted support re this issue as the Playbar cuts out intermittently. Netflix and others have been encoding with DD+ for some years now. Sonos appear way behind the times with their decoders. If they want to be in the business of Home Theatre then they need to support Home Theatre technologies. I'm aware that DD+ is an over-HDMI and not optical technology, but Sonos recommend that we link the Playbar via out tv's. Unfortunately, this rarely works (is the impression I get) as few tv's can pass 5.1 over optical, and those that can sometimes pass the signal straight through. The tv's support DD+, DTS etc. but Sonos can't so we end up with incompatibility and sound cut-outs. It's not what I expect when paying such a large some of money for a home theatre system. It's so close to working, and sounding great, but the cut-outs cause serious problems - including annoyed looks from the wife.

Downgrading to PCM stereo is not an option, for home theatre, and therefore not the solution.

I am sure that a software upgrade is appropriate and not beyond the realms of Sonos engineers, although DTS appears to be...

All this talk on forums about the use of optical switches, HDMI switches just defeats the object.

Please Sonos, live up to your marketing and deliver us Home Theatre that "is simple to set up", can "create your perfect home theatre system",  and that "easily connects to your TV to play everything".
Userlevel 1
I've been suffering this issue for quite a few months (since 11/13) and even recorded the dropouts ( using their diagnostics running on a laptop) for Sonos customer service which they identified as a problem with their softwares interpretation of the audio stream. The latest update is as follows:" there has been an update just recently. One of our developers appears to be working on how we read and process these audio streams. There are also a few customers who had hardware issues that caused the same behavior. The specific model # varied but the issue was a CI module (stands for common interface and is a digital processing module). But in all the cases I've seen so far, this was a module in the TV. Since the cable box has the same issue directly into the PLAYBAR the set top box would need to have this same type of module. From a search it doesn't appear that it does (though this is not conclusive)." Mine is caused by a Samsung cable box (Optimum cable) not the TV (tested both and all cables). I truly hope Sonos fix this soon with a software release, and let their loyal customers know the issue will be resolved soon. Julian
I'm still waiting on a solution.  It would be nice to get some kind of updates from Sonos on where they are at with the problem
First, I'd like to say I am a fan of Sonos but have been greatly disappointed with the Playbar/Sub and the responses from Sonos support about my problem. I was getting audio drops of 2-3 seconds about 4 times/hour when watching Netflix. Sonos support said something was wrong with my Samsung F8500 television and suggested I call Samsung. With some local help from an audio store, I learned that the playbar does not support Dolby Digital Plus which Netflix is now using to stream some of their titles. It also does not support the DTS format for my Blu-ray player. I directly asked Sonos support in two emails about this problem but they would not even acknowledge that I asked the question!! The audio/sound guy told me that the bandwidth for Dolby Plus and DTS are too large for the optical cable -- needs HDMI. So, he said the problem cannot be fixed with a software/firmware update -- only a redesign of the playbar to include HDMI ports. I returned the Playbar/Sub and now have a Bose Lifestyle system which supports both audio formats. No audio drop-outs, problem solved! In fairness to their customers, I think Sonos should be more forthcoming about these issues -- at least acknowledge the issues in response to a direct question.
+1 

I'm sending DD 5.1 to the Playbar via an HDMI/Tos switch and depending on the content I'm experiencing the same 2-3 second audio drop outs.

I have to agree with Paul above - I just bought the Playbar because I wanted an easy surround solution that could stream music - but it's starting to be more trouble than it's worth. The only thing is that when the playbar is receiving true DD 5.1 it sounds pretty awesome - way better than many other soundbars I've owned and heard. It just seems like a waste that Sonos has made it so difficult to get it since almost no TVs actually pass DD 5.1 through their optical out.
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Connected my UPC(cable)-box (5.1) through CYP AU-D41 into the Playbar and getting completely random fractional sound dropouts. When connected throught the TV first there are no dropouts but then I don't have real 5.1 sound. (no problems with my Bluray player btw)

It's not too big a problem but I just want to get the most out of the Sonos-system, so that means 5.1 sound when watching TV as well.

Looks like Sonos can't handle the input, but it might as well be a problem with the cablebox... (?)
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Connected my UPC(cable)-box (5.1) through CYP AU-D41 into the Playbar and getting completely random fractional sound dropouts. When connected throught the TV first there are no dropouts but then I don't have real 5.1 sound. (no problems with my Bluray player btw)

It's not too big a problem but I just want to get the most out of the Sonos-system, so that means 5.1 sound when watching TV as well.

Looks like Sonos can't handle the input, but it might as well be a problem with the cablebox... (?)


I've been told by Sonos support that the CYP box is the only officially supported switch so they should resolve the issue even when using it. I'm afraid I ran out of time and desire to resolve the issue when connecting to the tv direct and started to use my cheap and nasty manual switch. Seems to work ok. Good luck!
First, I'd like to say I am a fan of Sonos but have been greatly disappointed with the Playbar/Sub and the responses from Sonos support about my problem. I was getting audio drops of 2-3 seconds about 4 times/hour when watching Netflix. Sonos support said something was wrong with my Samsung F8500 television and suggested I call Samsung. With some local help from an audio store, I learned that the playbar does not support Dolby Digital Plus which Netflix is now using to stream some of their titles. It also does not support the DTS format for my Blu-ray player. I directly asked Sonos support in two emails about this problem but they would not even acknowledge that I asked the question!! The audio/sound guy told me that the bandwidth for Dolby Plus and DTS are too large for the optical cable -- needs HDMI. So, he said the problem cannot be fixed with a software/firmware update -- only a redesign of the playbar to include HDMI ports. I returned the Playbar/Sub and now have a Bose Lifestyle system which supports both audio formats. No audio drop-outs, problem solved! In fairness to their customers, I think Sonos should be more forthcoming about these issues -- at least acknowledge the issues in response to a direct question.

I agree with you!! At least acknowledge that there is a problem! I am personally sick and tired of the audio dropouts. This has been a problem for months... Fix it Sonos!!!
So I have a lg 60la7400 and concerned about compatibility with the playbar. Has anyone tried using a ps4 as a work around solution for blue ray ?
Have the same problem with LG 47LS5700 when source is 5.1. All is good for around 30 mins then the random drop outs begin. Agreed you can change the digital audio out to PCM but this is not a solution. I am currently waiting on a response from Sonos support regarding this but going by this thread it looks like there is no solution to this problem.

I know Sonos traditionally do not comment on any future releases but in this case I think there should be an exception. The support forums are full of people with the same problem, who are left in the dark wondering if the problems with their expensive home theater system they have invested in will actually function correctly.
Userlevel 1
Same thing here also. Samsung Smart TV. Works fine with music streaming, but when I try to watch a DTS movie sound cuts out for 1 sec every 1-5 minutes.
Diagnostic id:  3846754 
Userlevel 7
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Dolby Digital movie I assume you are saying.  Playbar does not decode DTS.
Userlevel 1
I meant Dolby Digital.

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