Playbar audio drops out



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Hi Everybody,

We are almost three years into this now, isn't it time to be honest about this is not going to be solved in my opinion so I'm letting it go and selling my gear, going back to some traditional high end audio very disappointing I have to say.
Userlevel 1
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.
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 ?
CYP AU-D41 is the answer is that what Sonos is Saying????
I am new owner of flashy new TV and Sonos; 2 x play 1s, playbar and sub.

I been having problem with DD 5.1 drop outs too but then no problems with DD2.0 format or similar. I was in the middle split whether it is sonos fault or my new LG 55UB850.

I tested sonos system with ps3; rather than let sound pass through the TV which can output 5.1 via optical (tested), i connected ps3 sound to the sonos direct using same optical cable and only had ps3 hdmi video signal on the TV. Guess what? I had no issues playing DD 5.1 content direct to sonos. 

Despite above, i still gone through helpful sonos 1st line support, submitted diagnostics log and then it got escalated to 2nd line. Here is what their engineer told me:

".....I'm one of the Senior tech engineers here at Sonos and my colleague has asked me to have a look at your incident. The rootcause of the issue you're experiencing is that the signal that the Playbar receives is not 100% compliant with the specifications set by the Dolby (tm) group. The Playbar expects to receive a fully standard Dolby (tm) signal (which it is not receiving) and therefore drops audio frames during playback resulting into audio dropouts. Internally we are looking into this issue as this can most likely be resolved by adding code to the decoding mechanism on the Playbar itself to support a non standard Dolby (tm) signal. Unfortunately I can't provide you with a timeframe on when this exactly will be implemented but when I have more news about this topic I'll make sure to provide you with more information."

The problem is not with Sonos, it is with manufacturers taking shortcuts in hardware development to probably save on processing power to output proper DD 5.1. Sonos is playing by the rules by abiding to the standards when it comes to DD signal and TVs are not.

I also had a chat with retail manager where i purchased TV from, he also greed with me on this and said that he is sceptical if he can find me alternative model/make that can handle DD 5.1 properly.

Lastly you have to consider a lot of TVs will have sound out set to PCM by default and TVs typically only handle this in 2 channels only which means that Sonos will receive a stereo sound that it will emulate as 5.1. This practise is common and provides no drop outs (i tested it) and most people wont realise that.

Stop ranting and take steps to logically solve the problem or at least identify what is causing it 

True DD 5.1 uses channel separation where emulated is not, it just distributes sound across speakers

1. firstly make sure the content you play has DD 5.1 track before testing!
2. then check if your TV does support DD 5.1, it might do but in setting its set to PCM stereo
3. best is eliminate any 3rd party devices in between TV and your source, such as AV amp

Examples:
1. your TV set and capable to output DD 5.1 and connected to sonos but if you play content with say DD 2.0 sound track then sonos will only emulate it to give you best possible experience
2. considering 1st example but if you play content with DD 5.1 then sonos will output DD 5.1

Sonos app wont lie, its your friend in finding whats comming out of your TV, it will tell you real audio in; stereo or DD 5.1 or DD 2.0

You need to find out where the problem is, it can be an amp issue or limited format support

ps: even after i found the cause of the issue (TV) my hands are tied > LG wont output proper DD 5.1 compliant signal and sonos havent yet developed technique to deal with such problem.

Good luck
Userlevel 1
I am new owner of flashy new TV and Sonos; 2 x play 1s, playbar and sub.

I been having problem with DD 5.1 drop outs too but then no problems with DD2.0 format or similar. I was in the middle split whether it is sonos fault or my new LG 55UB850.

I tested sonos system with ps3; rather than let sound pass through the TV which can output 5.1 via optical (tested), i connected ps3 sound to the sonos direct using same optical cable and only had ps3 hdmi video signal on the TV. Guess what? I had no issues playing DD 5.1 content direct to sonos. 

Despite above, i still gone through helpful sonos 1st line support, submitted diagnostics log and then it got escalated to 2nd line. Here is what their engineer told me:

".....I'm one of the Senior tech engineers here at Sonos and my colleague has asked me to have a look at your incident. The rootcause of the issue you're experiencing is that the signal that the Playbar receives is not 100% compliant with the specifications set by the Dolby (tm) group. The Playbar expects to receive a fully standard Dolby (tm) signal (which it is not receiving) and therefore drops audio frames during playback resulting into audio dropouts. Internally we are looking into this issue as this can most likely be resolved by adding code to the decoding mechanism on the Playbar itself to support a non standard Dolby (tm) signal. Unfortunately I can't provide you with a timeframe on when this exactly will be implemented but when I have more news about this topic I'll make sure to provide you with more information."

The problem is not with Sonos, it is with manufacturers taking shortcuts in hardware development to probably save on processing power to output proper DD 5.1. Sonos is playing by the rules by abiding to the standards when it comes to DD signal and TVs are not.

I also had a chat with retail manager where i purchased TV from, he also greed with me on this and said that he is sceptical if he can find me alternative model/make that can handle DD 5.1 properly.

Lastly you have to consider a lot of TVs will have sound out set to PCM by default and TVs typically only handle this in 2 channels only which means that Sonos will receive a stereo sound that it will emulate as 5.1. This practise is common and provides no drop outs (i tested it) and most people wont realise that.

Stop ranting and take steps to logically solve the problem or at least identify what is causing it 

"Sonos app wont lie, its your friend in finding whats comming out of your TV, it will tell you real audio in; stereo or DD 5.1 or DD 2.0."

This is what you just ended your last comment with, that's an exact quote. The app tells me an probably plenty of other people that their audio is DD 5.1. The app won't lie is what you said.

Now, here's the thing there might not even be one TV on the market that actually outputs DD 5.1 over optical by default so let's assume that's the issue. Sonos created a product for surround sound that doesn't work for surround sound. (This is assuming what they told you is true about the TV's being the issue). You're telling me that isn't a problem?
I am new owner of flashy new TV and Sonos; 2 x play 1s, playbar and sub.

I been having problem with DD 5.1 drop outs too but then no problems with DD2.0 format or similar. I was in the middle split whether it is sonos fault or my new LG 55UB850.

I tested sonos system with ps3; rather than let sound pass through the TV which can output 5.1 via optical (tested), i connected ps3 sound to the sonos direct using same optical cable and only had ps3 hdmi video signal on the TV. Guess what? I had no issues playing DD 5.1 content direct to sonos. 

Despite above, i still gone through helpful sonos 1st line support, submitted diagnostics log and then it got escalated to 2nd line. Here is what their engineer told me:

".....I'm one of the Senior tech engineers here at Sonos and my colleague has asked me to have a look at your incident. The rootcause of the issue you're experiencing is that the signal that the Playbar receives is not 100% compliant with the specifications set by the Dolby (tm) group. The Playbar expects to receive a fully standard Dolby (tm) signal (which it is not receiving) and therefore drops audio frames during playback resulting into audio dropouts. Internally we are looking into this issue as this can most likely be resolved by adding code to the decoding mechanism on the Playbar itself to support a non standard Dolby (tm) signal. Unfortunately I can't provide you with a timeframe on when this exactly will be implemented but when I have more news about this topic I'll make sure to provide you with more information."

The problem is not with Sonos, it is with manufacturers taking shortcuts in hardware development to probably save on processing power to output proper DD 5.1. Sonos is playing by the rules by abiding to the standards when it comes to DD signal and TVs are not.

I also had a chat with retail manager where i purchased TV from, he also greed with me on this and said that he is sceptical if he can find me alternative model/make that can handle DD 5.1 properly.

Lastly you have to consider a lot of TVs will have sound out set to PCM by default and TVs typically only handle this in 2 channels only which means that Sonos will receive a stereo sound that it will emulate as 5.1. This practise is common and provides no drop outs (i tested it) and most people wont realise that.

Stop ranting and take steps to logically solve the problem or at least identify what is causing it 

i am not arguing that you dont get DD 5.1, i believe you! I have same results.

But IT IS DD NON-COMPLIANT signal as stated by sonos support hence the drop outs.

Yes i believe them because i logically tested the issue with sound going direct from ps3 to sonos (not via TV) and DD 5.1 didnt drop

Its logic
My specific scenario is as follows:

Charter Cable Box (HDMI) -> Xbox One (HDMI) -> LG 60" TV -> Optical Audio Out -> Playbar

I am going to get the specific TV model when I get home and look at the configuration settings of all devices along the path and look at the SONOS app for the audio being received.

I have read that PCM is a better quality format. I would assume I would want to use this if possible.

Right now, I have audio going through the TV because my family was frustrated by the audio drops.
I am new owner of flashy new TV and Sonos; 2 x play 1s, playbar and sub.

I been having problem with DD 5.1 drop outs too but then no problems with DD2.0 format or similar. I was in the middle split whether it is sonos fault or my new LG 55UB850.

I tested sonos system with ps3; rather than let sound pass through the TV which can output 5.1 via optical (tested), i connected ps3 sound to the sonos direct using same optical cable and only had ps3 hdmi video signal on the TV. Guess what? I had no issues playing DD 5.1 content direct to sonos. 

Despite above, i still gone through helpful sonos 1st line support, submitted diagnostics log and then it got escalated to 2nd line. Here is what their engineer told me:

".....I'm one of the Senior tech engineers here at Sonos and my colleague has asked me to have a look at your incident. The rootcause of the issue you're experiencing is that the signal that the Playbar receives is not 100% compliant with the specifications set by the Dolby (tm) group. The Playbar expects to receive a fully standard Dolby (tm) signal (which it is not receiving) and therefore drops audio frames during playback resulting into audio dropouts. Internally we are looking into this issue as this can most likely be resolved by adding code to the decoding mechanism on the Playbar itself to support a non standard Dolby (tm) signal. Unfortunately I can't provide you with a timeframe on when this exactly will be implemented but when I have more news about this topic I'll make sure to provide you with more information."

The problem is not with Sonos, it is with manufacturers taking shortcuts in hardware development to probably save on processing power to output proper DD 5.1. Sonos is playing by the rules by abiding to the standards when it comes to DD signal and TVs are not.

I also had a chat with retail manager where i purchased TV from, he also greed with me on this and said that he is sceptical if he can find me alternative model/make that can handle DD 5.1 properly.

Lastly you have to consider a lot of TVs will have sound out set to PCM by default and TVs typically only handle this in 2 channels only which means that Sonos will receive a stereo sound that it will emulate as 5.1. This practise is common and provides no drop outs (i tested it) and most people wont realise that.

Stop ranting and take steps to logically solve the problem or at least identify what is causing it 

I am not making an excuses and dont want to argue.... my understanding would be they are young company and perhaps before smart TV taken off on the market the TVs were outputting compliant DD.

I think these days smart TVs are doing a lot more, this requires more processing power and manufacturers found a shortcut to modify and transmit DD in a different manner to conserve processing.

Sonos are admitting whats happening and are planning to get a workaround, currently they have beta thats aimed at DD development and i was offered this if i sign non-disclosure agreement.

Good luck
Userlevel 3
i replaced my TV and it still didnt fix problem, on Tuesday there has been Sonos 5.2 Beta release, i run the update and now for last 3 days i dont get a single drop out.

I cant believe it, so got in touch with sonos support and they confirmed that its possible since the beta does contain some DD fixes.

Would be interesting if people here try it

Still working? You are really getting my hopes up.
Userlevel 3
I also tried the new Sonos 5.2 beta and get audio drops every hour using an DD 5.1 audio source.

This sound like a HUGE improvment, even though you made me plunge in dispair again after having read the post above. How does it compare to before the update?
i replaced my TV and it still didnt fix problem, on Tuesday there has been Sonos 5.2 Beta release, i run the update and now for last 3 days i dont get a single drop out.

I cant believe it, so got in touch with sonos support and they confirmed that its possible since the beta does contain some DD fixes.

Would be interesting if people here try it

yeah no sound drops anymore, been monitoring/testing it every day, its really great that the problem is solved
Userlevel 2
Also have a 5.1 setup, and the version 5.2 Beta. When using the Netflix app (on Samsung BDH-5900), I get audio dropouts, (every half an hour, I will get dropouts every 3 seconds for ~3-4 minutes straight) but not when playing from a DVD. I never had experienced this error until adding 2xPlay 1s two weeks ago.

Sounds like the Netflix app is to blame, though seeing as Bose seems to paint over Netflix's inoptimal output, would be great if Sonos could too.
I also have the same problem. I have a Sony KDL40EX600 tv. When I watch certain movies and series that have DD5.1, the sound regularly suddenly stops for about 1 to 2 seconds. When I connect my Mede8er directly to the soundbar, I do not have this problem. 
I just submitted diagnostic RIGHT after audio drop out while it was set to bitstream. Audio In said Dolby 5.1. Then I changed to PCM (is the only other option) and submitted diagnosis again. Audio In says Stereo now.
Userlevel 5
Badge +2
Sonos playbar will not decode dolby 5.1 from dish network receiver without constant drop outs vip722 and their is no fix per sonos rep switch to pcm 60 year old stereo and be happy and I have new 3000 dollar sony television that does output dolby digital 5.1 per optical output on all channels sonos mis leading thousands of customers they blame dish network so pay attention all new customers do not buy sonos playbar!!!
Userlevel 6
Badge +3
I just submitted diagnostic RIGHT after audio drop out while it was set to bitstream. Audio In said Dolby 5.1. Then I changed to PCM (is the only other option) and submitted diagnosis again. Audio In says Stereo now.
Can you reply with the diagnostic confirmation number? We will be able to check and see what our next steps will be.

Sonos playbar will not decode dolby 5.1 from dish network receiver without constant drop outs vip722 and their is no fix per sonos rep switch to pcm 60 year old stereo and be happy and I have new 3000 dollar sony television that does output dolby digital 5.1 per optical output on all channels sonos mis leading thousands of customers they blame dish network so pay attention all new customers do not buy sonos playbar!!!

Hi Beetle777, we'd be happy to help and find the source of the issue. Would it be able just for a test to put the Dish receiver to the side and wire the PLAYBAR to the TV and try with a DVD/Blu-Ray movie?
Let us know if your PLAYBAR is still experiencing audio drops. Also, submit a diagnostic and reply with the confirmation number. Here's an article explaining how: How to Submit Diagnostic
Userlevel 5
Badge +2
Hello Max P just talked to sonos rep again can't be fixed they blame dish and told me to ask for a new dish receiver I fill this won't solve the problem as what you said I have tried that LG 3D bluray plays perfect through soundbar in 5.1 also netflix plays great all in 5.1 sony bravia 850C outputs all 5.1 channels that are available perfect just with drop outs every so often when dish receiver set in PCM mode everything is fine the other choice on sat receiver is PCM/Dolby the rep said since these to two are together they are switching back and forth he said ask for one with dolby 5.1 only I don't think this is possible but I guess I'll ask thank you for your concern.
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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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!!!!
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
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
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.
Userlevel 3
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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).
Userlevel 5
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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.