Playbar audio drops out



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I did what Ryan from Sonos suggested and connected my Arris Cable box's optical directly to the Playbar and it appears that the issue is resolved. I haven't heard any audio cutouts since making the change. Looks like the issue is being caused by the Sony XBR TV's handling of the audio - as Sonos was saying.

I've ordered this optical switch on Amazon - hopefully this will be the perfect solution (with my Harmony Elite remote to handle the source switching)!
https://www.amazon.com/ViewHD-TOSLINK-Digital-Optical-Switcher/dp/B00G188Z7A/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

Will report after everything is reconfigured later this week.

Thanks for the prompt response Sonos!
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Hi guys I've had the fob off by Sonos with this annoying thing naming my busy wifi,cables and the TV for the past few months. Just tried this in my sound settings on my Sony 4k tv and seems to have done the trick. Not sure how it will affect surround sound quality. Cheers

Thanks for the info! Does the PCM setting reduce the "surround" effect at all that the Playbar is capable of? I thought that PCM is just stereo?

I spoke to Ryan at Sonos support and he mentioned an issue with the TV's optical out. I am going to try connecting my sources directly to the Playbar tonight to see if that fixes the issue. If so, I was thinking of just buying an optical switch and taking the TV's audio processing out of the equation.


I read that might be the case too but tried it anyway and i cant tell the difference so have kept it, let me know how you get on

Hi Daviper, I have the same TV as you and had exactly the same issue, i have managed to fix it but I'm not 100% sure how i did it, it is something to do with the audio settings on the TV, i think it might be changing the "Digital Audio output" to Always output in PCM. By the way I'm connected via an optical cable direct to the TV and have Sky Q connected via an HDMI cable and also watch Netflix and Amazon Prime via the TV apps and they all work seamlessly with the the Sonos setup. Let me know if you want me to check any settings.

Thanks for the info! Does the PCM setting reduce the "surround" effect at all that the Playbar is capable of? I thought that PCM is just stereo?

I spoke to Ryan at Sonos support and he mentioned an issue with the TV's optical out. I am going to try connecting my sources directly to the Playbar tonight to see if that fixes the issue. If so, I was thinking of just buying an optical switch and taking the TV's audio processing out of the equation.
This is crazy that this issue has existed for so long and has not been fixed! I just bought a Playbar + SUB for my new Sony XBR75X850D TV and the audio cutout on the playbar is terrible! It happens every 5-10 mins - enough that my wife wants me to return the Sonos system. I can't believe I spent so much on a product that has this common of an issue. Is there ever going to be a fix for this?

And to clarify - I have already tried a new optical cable, removed wireless phones from the house, and connected both devices to my network via wired ethernet connections.


Hi Daviper, I have the same TV as you and had exactly the same issue, i have managed to fix it but I'm not 100% sure how i did it, it is something to do with the audio settings on the TV, i think it might be changing the "Digital Audio output" to Always output in PCM. By the way I'm connected via an optical cable direct to the TV and have Sky Q connected via an HDMI cable and also watch Netflix and Amazon Prime via the TV apps and they all work seamlessly with the the Sonos setup. Let me know if you want me to check any settings.
Daviper it is not designed for television such as cable tv, direct tv, dish network it will never play any of these without dropouts in 5,1 mode, you will have to put your television in pcm 2 channel mode on your optical out selection, I have tried 2 new dish receivers makes no difference, I have bought the very best HDMI cables and digital cables. No help were just stuck with a worthless soundbar. Sonos doesn't care they just keep selling them and 99% of the people selling them have no knowledge of all the problems. Even if your optical out supports 5.1 dolby digital it still won't play without drop outs. No fix not now, not ever. If its not to late take it back for refund I learned the hard way, it was to late for me.
Does the Bose Soundbar system have the same issues? I'm thinking about returning for a Soundtouch 300.
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Daviper it is not designed for television such as cable tv, direct tv, dish network it will never play any of these without dropouts in 5,1 mode, you will have to put your television in pcm 2 channel mode on your optical out selection, I have tried 2 new dish receivers makes no difference, I have bought the very best HDMI cables and digital cables. No help were just stuck with a worthless soundbar. Sonos doesn't care they just keep selling them and 99% of the people selling them have no knowledge of all the problems. Even if your optical out supports 5.1 dolby digital it still won't play without drop outs. No fix not now, not ever. If its not to late take it back for refund I learned the hard way, it was to late for me.
This is crazy that this issue has existed for so long and has not been fixed! I just bought a Playbar + SUB for my new Sony XBR75X850D TV and the audio cutout on the playbar is terrible! It happens every 5-10 mins - enough that my wife wants me to return the Sonos system. I can't believe I spent so much on a product that has this common of an issue. Is there ever going to be a fix for this?

And to clarify - I have already tried a new optical cable, removed wireless phones from the house, and connected both devices to my network via wired ethernet connections.
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Sonos soundbar still junk for 5.1 applications even when optical out on television sends 5.1 signal on all cable companies, dish network, direct tv and over the air broadcasts, will not play without constant drop outs. Buyer Beware before you purchase there is no fix and never will be. Its been years and yes I'm mad. Sonos keeps promoting this piece of crap with no remorse. Crime.
What a big shock for me that this issue has been persisted for more than two years! I got exactly the same problem with my sonos 5.1 system I bought one months ago on my Samsung KS8000 TV, a desperate finding here that Sonos may be not able to solve this problem.
Yes, for me this issue is only for audio directly from the Samsung TV smart apps while using Dolby Digital. All other sources seem fine.
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Makes sense, but I would note that the same cable from the same TV connected to my previous soundbar never skipped a beat. Only the playbar seems to have an issue.
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It is definitely the TV (Samsung in my case). I use an optical switch with bluray, TV and Sky Box connected to it.
The sky box was connected directly to the TV and I get drop outs. I then connected the Sky box via the switch directly into the Playbar and no drop outs.
There are still dropouts direct from the TV.
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I'm on the 2nd week of Sonos ownership, having just spent about £2k and sold all my previous kit, only to find I'm having this problem as well. Raised an issue with Sonos but haven't even had a response as yet 4 days later. I've been looking closely today, and it does appear to be indicating DD2.0 audio input when the issue occurs. This is from a Sky Q box, via a 2016 Samsung TV (ks9000).
I am extremely annoyed with this issue. I cannot get the audio to work consistently across my devices. Even the apps on the smart tv seem to behave differently. Netflix will output dd5.1 and sound great, but then YouTube will output dd2.0 and have audio drops. If I switch to stereo, YouTube will stop dropping audio but Netflix sounds hollow and tinny. I have tried everything in this thread, including buying ARC adapters, and nothing has helped. And I'm sorry, but telling customers to set their 5.1 system to stereo only mode is NOT a solution.
My playbar and sub has constant intermittent audio dropouts. Only happening whilst livestreaming radio and only affecting the sub and bar but not the play 1s or 3s that are streaming the same audio stream. Have tried re-pairing sub and bar and still happening. Any suggestions
Sonos! Have you got a fix for this issue yet? I've just purchased a Sonos system to replace my 10 year old Sony system that packed up, i have a brand new 4K Sony XD93 tv and hooked up the playbar, sub and 2 play 1's and am experiencing the same issue as everyone above, a sporadic short 1 second audio drop out. I have a basic knowledge of tech but certainly not a wizard and have to confess a lot of what people have posted above I don't really understand and to be honest why should i!?! What most people tend to suggesting is that the fix is to change the audio output on the tv and satellite receiver (in my case Sky Q) to an old outdated inferior setting in order for the soundbar to successfully play it which considering how much this system costs is totally unacceptable if i wanted that I'd of paid £1200 less and got one that did that! Can we please have an official word on this and some advise on what we can do to resolve it or if you are doing something in the form of an update to resolve it, Thanks Pete
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Any TV setting and /or cable box surround sound setting interrupts the Sonos system to produce accurate sound which results in audio skipping. Disable this on your TV and cable box. Sonos will continue to decode the audio the way it's intended too. The sound is still surround and Dolby Digital. My TV and other software still recognized it as SD even with the settings disabled and no audio hiccups!!!!
I've experienced audio drops since buying a Playbar 5 months ago - I would get intermittent drops of between half to two seconds when watching TV on my Samsung UHD Large screen telly. It was driving me round the bend. My initial foray into Sonos Tech Support revolved around cables, possible wifi interference and the dreaded conversation about DD+ compatibility, i.e. Samsung outputs DD+ and Sonos does not support it. I was advised to set the TV output to PCM (stereo), which I did. Although Apple TV content played OK, I was still getting intermittent sub-second drops when watching Freeview via the BT (Humax) TV box. I then tried the solution suggested by ramsay1873 (HDMI ARC adapter), but alas for me it was no better, so I had another go with Sonos support. This time, I was advised to set HD audio to off on the TV (under advanced sound settings) and the agent was able to confirm immediately through analysis of diagnostic files that errors from Apple TV had stopped. There were still errors from the BT TV STB, which was set to 'surround' output. I changed that to 'stereo' and those errors also stopped. I've been watching TV this evening with no sound drops! Hallelujah! I'm not too fussed about surround from the BT TV box because a) most of what's watched is not surround dependent, e.g. Coronation Street and b) there's not much on Freeview broadcast in DD. The agent looked up my STB model and said its a DD+ issue. So I now have the TV set to Bitstream/DD, which plays DD without problems from Apple TV and the BT TV set to stereo, which also plays without issue. I will continue to monitor, but early indications are problem solved 🙂 Hope this helps for anyone else being driven round the bend due to Samsung and Sonos not playing nicely together.
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I have finally fixed my issue with sound drop outs. this is with a Samsung UE55JU7000, so will probably will work with similar Samsung TVs.

I bought a HDMI ARC extractor from amazon for £12, pretty cheap if you ask me! The device basically extracts the HDMI ARC feed from the ARC port (HDMI4 in my case) and feeds it to an optical cable linked to the Playbar. For configuring the correct TV setup, select PCM for "HDMI audio format" and Dolby Digital for "audio format", this works well for me and maintains a Dolby Digital 5.1 feed when available.

hopefully this helps...

Amazon link:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B018QKOFD8/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_3?pf_rd_p=569136327&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B0153JMN3E&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_r=YD5B790VAJ91GWX6E1RC


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My SONOS PLAYBAR had audio drop outs as wel, especially while streaming online radio.
Sometimes it picked up the signal after about 10 seconds, sometimes it took minutes and manual retries before the radio stream would come back. 
I was able to exclude connection drops from the router to be root cause as the logs didn't show any relevant disconnects.
I was also able to exclude DHCP client lease time to be the issue because a larger nor a shorter lease time had positive effect on the audio dropouts.
I then read this FAQ on the SONOS support site:

Use of a 2.4Ghz or DECT wireless phone. 
  • In order to determine if a 2.4GHz phone is causing interference with your Sonos Wireless HiFi System, try unplugging the base station to see if it resolves the problems with audio dropouts. If so,try relocating the base stationfurther away from your Sonos Components. If this fails to resolve your dropouts, consider replaceing the 2.4Ghz models with 5.8Ghz phones.
  • Make sure that all DECT phone base stations are located a minimum of 1 meter away from any ZonePlayer. Please also note that the BT Home Hub router supplied by BT Internet contains a DECT phone base station and should be located as far away from any wired SONOS Components as allowed.
After moving my DECT phone away from the PLAYBAR no more audio drops appeared.

If you tried everything to no avail, and you own a phoneset described as above, give this a go and move your device(s) away from any SONOS devices.

Since this concerns mainly the same logic about interference of signals, I would also like to mention that other cabling or (magnetic) devices can interfere and interrupt each others signals. Putting your Subwoofer on top of an ethernet cable for example is really not the way to go...
Using shielded twisted pair ethernet cables is also advised when you want optimal protection against EM-interference.
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I'm shocked at how this has been a known issue for over 2 years and Sonos keeps acting like people are doing something wrong or using bad settings or source devices. The issue is that Dolby Digital Plus is now a common audio standard in cable boxes, apps, and other hardware. Sonos has a fatal design flaw by only having an optical audio input. The Dolby Digital Plus stream won't fit down an optical audio pipe, only HDMI, so there will be no fix for this issue on current Sonos hardware. Sonos refuses to acknowledge this officially as it would drastically affect sales.
With my 2011 Samsung TV it NEVER happened.Playbar worked perfectly. Just upgraded to the new SUHD 65" and dropouts are CONSTANT. So incredibly annoying. Not sure why they can't just fix it rather than just pointing fingers at everyone else. Sonos...we love your stuff, but come on...work with us.

This is exactly the same as us, did you sort it.

I have just changed the tv to PCM as it's driving us nuts tonight.
We have the same problem. We upgraded to the new quantum dot Samsung tv when it started. Since then we upgraded to Sky Q. Regardless if I connect the sound bar to the tv or the Sky Q box it still does it. I wonder if it's on recorded downloaded programs. On sky films it doesn't seem to happen, but game of thrones which is downloaded it happens every 15 min or so. Very frustrating.
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Ignore that, it's still doing it!!