Playbar audio drops out



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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.

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
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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
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 I have same drop out issues but slight differences mine does it at set time around 8-9 pm very odd then it's ok and ok before still annoying me as all have said it costs a fortune.

Daviper I have not a bad ear for sound and to answer your question about sound quality with pcm setting I think it's inferior when changed from bitstream.

My set up is Samsung tv ue49ks7000 and this does pass through dd

Sky q

Sonos play bar sub and two play 3

Sky q to TVs via hdmi and TV to play bar via optical.

Find it odd that mine only does it for a short time every night.
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This issue is so bizarre it's at it again tonight but not started till 9pm again, been watching sky q all night and no drop out till now crazy also doing it when changed to pcm on tv.
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What number are you guys using for customer support in the U.K. Not that it will get me anywhere judging by this thread.?
Update - The optical switch works perfectly - I no longer have audio cutout issues.
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I was able to get the audio dropout issue resolved through a firmware up date from my cable company. I was experiencing the 1 to 2 second audio dropouts described at random times during both broadcast television and on demand programing. After a series of diagnostics from Sonos, I learned that my Sonos gear was working perfectly. The problem creating the audio dropouts was with the firmware version my STB (set top box) was running. I have Comcast xfinity X1 with an Arris STB. I was only getting the audio dropouts when the STB was set to surround as opposed to stereo (PCM). This issue apparently affects a small number of xfinity customers. If you are a Comcast x1 subscriber/ Sonos customer experiencing audio dropouts, you might want to try contacting Comcast tier 3 support to get the firmware update. As I understand it, there are different firmware updates for the different STB's that Comcast has out in the field. The firmware fix I received was specific to my Arris STB... I think. After I had the firmware updated, the dropouts stopped. It took three separate visits from Comcast tech's to get this resolved. My STB was initially not receiving the update for whatever reason, which necessitated the STB being switched out. I would encourage you to stay on the line with the cable company as they push the firmware out. The letters DL should appear on the STB if the firmware update is going through, at least in my case. It's been one full week since I've had an audio dropout. I am cautiously optimistic my problem is solved. I have a playbar, sub, 2 play 1's and a boost. My LG 55OLEDB6 passes 5.1 perfectly direct from the television to my Sonos stuff since receiving the firmware update from Comcast. I have very limited technical knowledge, so my explanation my not be entirely precise. The take away for me was that a firmware update solved my dropout issue and that the root cause of the audio dropouts was with the cable service, not the Sonos gear in my particular instance. I hope this helps someone.
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I tried the direct connect of digital audio to Arris box. It did not help. I am still getting the sound drop outs on a frequent basis.


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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Seeing this 3 year old topic about the issue I'm having worries me.

I have a Samsung UE49KS8000 tv attached to my Sonos playbar (+sub).

The audio sometimes cuts out for 1 second, with different input sources:
* With Live TV (via the internal tuner) it occassionally happens
* When playing a movie on my computer display (attached via hdmi + audio passthrough), it almost always happens within 10 seconds after starting/seeking
* When using the TV's YouTube app, it also almost always happens just after starting the video

However, it only seems to happen with Dolby Digital audio streams.

I have a set of headphones that also connect via an optical input, so I'll try to figure out whether the headphones are also affected by these audio interruptions, especially since it's so easily reproducible with the YouTube app.
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Hi s.v.groeneveld, welcome to the community. It sounds like there may be an issue with that TV, or a setting we need to adjust on it. Although, can you clarify what you mean with the computer display connection? Is this HDMI from the TV to the computer display just for the picture, with the sound still from your Samsung TV's optical port, or do you have the PLAYBAR connected to your computer?

Can you check out your TV's audio format settings? On the KS8000 you should be able to reach this by going to Settings > Sound > Expert . For the 'Audio Format' and 'HDMI Audio Format' you want this to be 'PCM' unless you have surround rear speakers in use, in which case you would want 'Dolby Digital'. If you don't have these as options, can you let us know what you do see?

Can you also submit a diagnostic while the PLAYBAR is in use and having some drops? Please tell us the confirmation number you get.
There is an easy solution to Sonos archiving posts that deal with this problem - which I'm having too. Go to Amazon.com, Crutchfield.com or any site where you can review the product and put them on blast for this issue. I installed the Playbar/sub yesterday and gave them a glowing review on Amazon today. Incidentally, I bought the package at Best Buy. I'll be updating my review tomorrow. Every time I pause my Tivo and return to PLAY, the audio drops out twice. This is indeed a real problem. Sonos has $1400 of my hard earned money and an archive of this problem isn't a solution.
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Hi Dapdrums, I believe I just replied to another thread you're in, so please feel free to reply back there instead. Audio issues with Dolby Digital on the PLAYBAR has a lot that goes into making it play seamlessly, and we find that often times those issues are caused by something before that signal gets to the PLAYBAR. We're constantly looking to improve performance and get the best possible audio we can out of your home theater. If you're still having trouble, we would love to work with you live. Have you had a chance to give us a call on our support line?
Hi Dapdrums, I believe I just replied to another thread you're in, so please feel free to reply back there instead. Audio issues with Dolby Digital on the PLAYBAR has a lot that goes into making it play seamlessly, and we find that often times those issues are caused by something before that signal gets to the PLAYBAR. We're constantly looking to improve performance and get the best possible audio we can out of your home theater. If you're still having trouble, we would love to work with you live. Have you had a chance to give us a call on our support line?

Thank you Ryan, you should have the answers to the questions you sent me and the diagnostic report requested. Let me know what you find. PCM removes the 1-2 second drop outs, but isn't an option as I want the better digital sound. I tried PCM last night and A-B it to the digital and it just wasn't the same. On my Sony TV I have three audio choices "Auto 1: Output compressed audio w/o change," "Auto 2: Output only compressed audio for multi-channel content without change.," and "PCM: Always output in PCM." Then on my TIVO Cable DVR I have Dolby Digital and PCM. Auto 1 or Auto 2 on the TV keep the dropout. It seems like when I hit "GUIDE" on the Tivo, and the picture goes in the upper corner, the sound disappears. It doesn't didn't do this before the Sonos. I could live with no-sound when I'm on GUIDE, I only mention it b/c it may be useful.
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Thanks for the details, I'll take a look at that diagnostic on that other thread, but I just wanted to ask a couple quick questions and add some more details. When you had the TV playing from the TIVO box without the PLAYBAR, was it playing Dolby Digital or PCM? Often times, the TV is just going to play stereo since it is a stereo speaker.

Is the TIVO box you're using wired directly to the cable that's providing the source of the content you're playing or is this one wirelessly connected or streaming off of another one somewhere in the house?

Generally speaking from my experience, if you have Dolby Digital audio stuttering, it can be caused by the bandwidth or stream to it being weak or having issues. A Dolby Digital stream takes a lot of bandwidth and processor power, compared to a PCM stream. A wireless connection might be able to send the video, but lose out on the audio from time to time. I've also seen some 4k TV's for example, have the Dolby cut out on the optical because the processor couldn't handle pushing the audio and displaying the video at the same time, and the picture was given priority.
Thanks for the details, I'll take a look at that diagnostic on that other thread, but I just wanted to ask a couple quick questions and add some more details. When you had the TV playing from the TIVO box without the PLAYBAR, was it playing Dolby Digital or PCM? Often times, the TV is just going to play stereo since it is a stereo speaker.

Is the TIVO box you're using wired directly to the cable that's providing the source of the content you're playing or is this one wirelessly connected or streaming off of another one somewhere in the house?

Generally speaking from my experience, if you have Dolby Digital audio stuttering, it can be caused by the bandwidth or stream to it being weak or having issues. A Dolby Digital stream takes a lot of bandwidth and processor power, compared to a PCM stream. A wireless connection might be able to send the video, but lose out on the audio from time to time. I've also seen some 4k TV's for example, have the Dolby cut out on the optical because the processor couldn't handle pushing the audio and displaying the video at the same time, and the picture was given priority.


Q1 answer: Prior to the Sonos I had a Bose unit that connected identically via Optical cable from the Sony to the Bose. This was my setup for about a year. TV and Tivo were both set to Dolby. The Bose unit was a little underpowered - more for a bedroom - which is why I got the Sonos. But the Bose had not drop outs of audio.

Q2 answer: Tivo is the main "brain" unit. I got CABLE Coax to TIVO and HDMI from TIVO to Sony.

Also, the Sony isn't 4k... just HD. I currently don't have any 4k content/equipment.

thank you.
I've been suffering through an audio dropout issue with my Playbar for years as well. I have a Tivo Premier connected to a Monoprice 4x1 switch box with outputs to a Samsung Plasma and the Sonos Playbar. The issue typically occurs when I change channels, FF and or rewind,etc... You often get 2-3 second audio drop outs shortly after.
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Thanks for the details guys. We'll take a closer look here and if you haven't spoken with our support team it'd be great to give us a call on our support line. A technician will want to dig into the system and likely get some audio taps to see what's happening. I suspect (unconfirmed for the record) that there's an issue with the Tivo stream coming in, that it's sending a weird burst of data to the PLAYBAR causing an issue here. We'll need a much closer look though.
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I get dropouts all the time when on 5.1. Nightmare with no fix
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I get dropouts all the time when on 5.1. Nightmare with no fix

Hi Chris, I saw you were working in a different thread and were looking into a HDMI switch to get around the TVs processing. Sometimes that's the best way to go when the TV can't handle the signal correctly. Let me know if you have any questions.
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I get dropouts all the time when on 5.1. Nightmare with no fix

Hi Chris, I saw you were working in a different thread and were looking into a HDMI switch to get around the TVs processing. Sometimes that's the best way to go when the TV can't handle the signal correctly. Let me know if you have any questions.


Hi Ryan,

How would this work? What exactly do i need to get my Sonos 5.1 playing 5.1 without drop outs?

Cheers
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It certainly could. It really depends on where the audio cutouts are coming from. Usually the cause is missed data that's sent at some point along the line. So the best thing to start with it to start narrowing down potential causes. For example, if you only have cutouts playing Cable TV, try wiring from your Sonos PLAYBAR into that Cable box to see if you get cutouts directly off that. If you do, than an HDMI switch isn't likely to solve the issue because the cutouts are happening at the source.

If you only have cutouts when a source goes through the TV, it's likely a probably at the TV level, so firmware updates are a great starting point, and after that, you may need to bypass the TV.

Also, make sure you've updated Sonos to the latest version, that's always a good place to start, if nothing else because it restarts the players. The latest version is 7.2 as of this week.
i just purchased a Sony XBR75x940D and have a playbar and 2 play1's connected to it. I am experiencing a cut out of sound whenever i change the volume on the tv and when i hit a menu button. The tv is set to the Auto 2 setting in output menu. I submitted a diagnostic: 7260668. Any thoughts?
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Hi gpaulnelson, does that happen from any source you're watching on the TV? Is it the TV's menu you're going to or another device?