Playbar keeps switching to TV.


Approx once per day (not yet investigated if this is at a constant time), the Playbar, which I invariably keep tuned to TuneIn Classic FM when switched off, unilaterally switches to select TV Audio. It started doing this about a week ago having steadfastly stayed on Classic FM for many months beforehand barring the occasional power cut or network reset when it reverted to “No music selected”. I am on auto-update, so assume this “feature” coincided with a firmware update. Two reasons this should not happen.  1) there is no optical feed to the playbar, 2) The App switch “TV Autoplay” is off.

A different Room (comprising a pair of Play 1 and a Sub) has a similar set-up, and steadfastly remains on Classic FM.

This playbar in years gone by featured in a full surround system, but now stands alone as a simple radio - turn it on with the power button and up pipes classic FM. Having to dive into the App for this every time now is infuriating. Is this a known bug - and/or is there a workaround, please?


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This happened sometime within the last couple of hours - submitting a diag in case I was fortunate enough to catch it.- 1317513510 


Anyone from Sonos TS looking in?


Experimentally, if you have TV Autoplay enabled on the Playbar, disable it and see if this behaviour stops. 


Experimentally, if you have TV Autoplay enabled, disable it and see if this behaviour stops. 

TV Autoplay not been on for months. I tried - for experiment - turning it on for 5 mins and back off again a few days ago to no avail. Thanks for your thought.


Just reread your post a bit more carefully! So this Playbar is not even connected to a TV?

If so, maybe that is the problem - it is being used in an 'unnatural' way. I accept there is no reason I can think of why that should be a problem, especially when it is a recent change.


Just reread your post a bit more carefully! So this Playbar is not even connected to a TV?

If so, maybe that is the problem - it is being used in an 'unnatural' way. I accept there is no reason I can think of why that should be a problem, especially when it is a recent change.

It has been working as a Classic FM radio not connected to a TV for about 8 months. This phenomenon started about 10 days ago. I do not know if this coincided with a firmware upgrade but as I am on auto-update that is my current theory. Nothing else has changed.

The TV connection - when it existed - was of course optical - galvanically isolated, so I really can’t see the lack of connection having any bearing.

Have you tried just powering it off for 30 seconds and on again, since this problem arose?

Although it makes little sense, could you put an optical cord in the Playbar?

Otherwise it will be interesting if the diagnostic throws up something.


Good idea on the power cycle - will go and do that now and reset to Classic.


Edited to add done. Came back to life “no music selected” - so I tuned it in to Classic FM - now a waiting game.


And at some stager it flipped in the last couple of hours back to TV - so I changed it back again to Classic FM - will try to catch it when it next flips - I have an “always on top” mini controller on the PC open - but not easy.


I wonder if it will flip if the radio is actually on (rather than standing by) - let’s try that.


Right - I’ve diagnosed it.

If set as a radio and playing, all is well. The side buttons work correctly on thr playbar, and the volume can also be raised and lowered and muted using the TV remote control that has been programmed to the bar.

If set to a radio station but stopped, it is vulnerable to reverting to TV sound. The precipitant is… the infra red remote control. Pressing the volume down button on the remote dutifully turns the volume down on the play bar (despite the radio being stopped). However, pressing either Volume Up or Mute on the infra red remote reliably sets the playbar to be in TV mode.

A diagnostic that captures this anomaly has been submitted - 1972503313

It has only occurred since mid/late April. I will try reprogramming the remote to the bar if I can remember how to do it, in case there has been a memory location shift in a recent update that requires it to be rewritten.

Edit: Reprogrammed the remote - made no difference. Since Sonos TS don’t sem to be frequenting this thread, I’ll send an email their way with a summary.


An update for those following this thread: Just had a convivial chat with a chap from Tech Support (which followed a few red herring email exchanges with their front line) - and the query has been flagged into the deeper bowels of tech support.

As part of this interaction I did a factory reset of the play bar, all to no avail.


And I now get an email with platitudes acknowledging the issue and that others have reported it too.

I have responded with a request to rewind the firmware in my system.

Well, thank you for your perseverance and supplying enough hard data to Sonos to allow them to track this down.

I’m not sure I understand what a ‘rewind’ of firmware is, though.


Well, thank you for your perseverance and supplying enough hard data to Sonos to allow them to track this down.

I’m not sure I understand what a ‘rewind’ of firmware is, though.

The firmware is periodically updated - either on acceptance of their prompt when you open the app or, if you have so allowed, on auto update. I want to go back one issue (as the problem I have was introduced at the last update).

To the best of my knowledge, there is no ‘rewind’ of the Sonos OS available. Let us know if you find out something different. 


There is no way of doing it myself unilaterally - but I am certain Sonos has the power to offer it to me.- or a patch.


A disappointing exchange with Sonos tech support.. For completeness and to keep this all together, 

On 11th May following the admission of the bug, I responded by return: “Would it be possible to wind the firmware back to the previous version in my system, please, pending resolution of this recently introduced bug? This bug is a show-stopper for our system – my non-technical wife wants to be able to switch on the radio simply and reliably – this is causing friction!”

This morning this was rebutted: “Unfortunately it is not possible to downgrade software version installed on the speakers. Your reference number for this inquiry is *****. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions. With best regards,”

Not an acceptable response IMHO. I responded immediately. “

Of course it is. You just raise a later issue matching the previous one and selectively roll it out to affected customers. What you mean is that I as a long standing loyal customer who has been and remains willing to help out with beta diagnostics am not worthy of the time such an exercise would take. I was not involved in testing the current release. Had I been there is no doubt this would have been spotted.

I wouldn't ask if it was causing me minor grief and have never asked before. But when it affects my family use with no workaround I expect a bit of heel-clicking return help.

Please reconsider this request to patch urgently. As it stands you have rendered a product not fit for purpose here”

I do wish someone from Sonos management looked in here occasionally - they certainly used to.


More platitudes including promise of expedition by email today. However, one misunderstanding of the summary (which was arguably not needed, but the fact that it had an error it was appropriate to reply to avoid the next layer up chasing red herrings).


A further email came in last Friday oozing with empathy and raising a feature request on my behalf, but not solving the problem they have perversely presented me with. I wonder what feature that would be? I was happy with the status quo before the latest “feature” was introduced. I have been too wound up to respond until now.

Given that there is a TV optical audio detector in the bar - has to be for Auto Play TV to work, and it does - I can see absolutely no benefit of unilaterally switching to TV sound source when the remote volume up or Mute are pressed when there is no TV audio present and TV select is not set to Auto. Perversely remote audio down works conventionally still.

For completeness I shall repeat the last email received, with my emboldened observations interspersed. Yes I am livid still - but now hopefully regaining composure.

Hey Roger,

Is this an appropriate way to respond to a customer who has brought attention to a bug and been rebutted (now twice)?  Dear Roger perhaps would be better at this juncture.

My name is Paul, I'm part of the escalation team here at Sonos Customer Care and will be taking care of your case. 

Read for “taking care” attempting to shut me up. Taking care would include abating the problem.

I've reviewed the email communications and do understand the reason for reaching out. I've added further to the feedback which will be shared with our development team. 

I wonder why he never cared to share it with me...

I've reached into the changes further for some clarification. The experience today is expected and correct. As of our 11.1 software update which released on the 21st of April, any interaction with a bonded Tv remotes Volume + or - along with a mute button will switch the source to that of the Tv. 

...reached in to… How pretentious! Setting that aside for the moment, Paul suggests Volume - would do this switching to TV. It doesn’t. Never has. So this new feature, perverse as it is without a means to prevent it (and detection of the presence of a TV signal would be as good a qualifier as any) was not even tested for correct performance before release - and the test is very basic.

While I do understand in your use case this experience is not ideal. The design decision was taken for the benefit of the majority of Sonos users. 

...not ideal? He should work for the government with such spin. It is an unmitigated disaster for my use case and renders a product used as I have for years no longer fit for purpose. How can it possibly benefit ANY user to switch from a dormant source to another dormant source? I could perhaps understand if the switch-over was qualified with presence of a TV signal at the optical cable, but it isn’t.

As mentioned, I've already added to the shared feedback. I'll also raise a Feature Request for you. 

What shared feedback? Not been shared with me...

Finally, I can confirm it would not be possible to roll back the installed software update. I did triple check for you. 

I am on the berta programme which is now selective, so taking out this mod and presenting it as a beta release just for me would be straightforward. Not possible? Wrong. Can’t be bothered is more accurate.

Moving forward, feel free to reply to this email with any further queries or questions you may have.

Any further questions… ie don’t revisit this one. Yes he should work for the government.

Kind Regards,


I guess I’ll have to elevate as a formal complaint. Short up I have switched off remote control functionality. Although this makes volume control more of a fag, at least the prospect of switching the sound bar on and receiving Classic FM has been restored - and save me from the jibes..


I empathize with your pain and give you a lot of credit for putting yourself through this.    I have been building my Sonos system over the past 3 years and love everything this company has done.   Although i will say I have been challenged with some of their latest offerings, both equipment and software.  Seems they are doing a lot, in a short time span...which is lowering their quality (just a stitch)  Anyway, I have been experiencing a very similar situation with my Playbar.  It just randomly switches my current music to the TV.  Yes, I have the Playbar set to automatically switch.  However, I am not actively switching audio sources.  TV is off, cable box is off.   When it does this switching to TV, no more audio comes out of the playbar.  Even turning the volume up yields no audio.  So, I know the TV audio is not active.  And this issue is happening randomly.  Has happened approximately 10 times over the past month.  Today it happened 4 times in one hour.   Hence how I got here.  I searched the internet to see if I am only one.  I now know I am not.    So I am sorry I have no suggestion.  But you have my support.  I certainly hope a fix comes soon.  As a Sonos community member, thanks for your efforts.


Thanks for your empathy, Gus. The random occurrence you experience is almost certainly the result of one or other family member pressing the volume up button or mute button on the TV remote control without actually turning the TV on.

The chap who reached out (!) to me claims to have put in a feature request to have this feature removed. However, that won’t win as they’ve put it in for a reason.

What should work - and you/anyone seeing this who agrees can do to help - is to independently request of Customer Services that the feature of setting to TV when the remote control buttons are pressed be qualified by presence of TV Audio. Doing this won’t spoil the fun of the few who have benefited from this seemingly bizarre request. However, it will remove the infuriatingly unwelcome effect from the larger number who have disbenefited from this feature.


Here’s the thing.  I work from home alone during the day.  It’s just me.  Remotes are in a small storage box when not used.  So I am certain that something else is the cause.    Sonos is sensing something else to make that switch automatically.   The fact that it happens when I am not moving about and working at my desk, the issue is not me or my TV.   This issue is “new”-ish, was not always there.   My first two years with Sonos had been pure joy.  I told everyone how amazing the product and app worked together.   As of late it is still joy… but joy with some acceptable annoyances.  Too many product and feature introductions in a single year.   Another observation is that the Sonos app (Mac, iPhone and iPad) response time has slowed down since they have added new hardware (and corresponding software updates) over the past few months.     As for the TV switching issue, I can deal with it for now.  Not sure I want to go through my whole Sonos life story when contacting customer service.   Like you experienced, I expect they will tell me to check all the default reasons it could be before they acknowledge it as a legitimate anomaly.   So we shall see.   With all that said, let it be known, I am still a huge Sonos fan, maybe just not their number one anymore.  Good luck!

Hey Guys, I’m in the same boat and it does my head in. I had the Playbar connected to the TV with optical but have unplugged it for the very same reason of the Playbar switching back to TV mode even when not wanted. I am sensing that it is from the older Sonos bars as ours is several years old now.

The software should never have been upgraded…. if it aint broke don’t fix it.


They could roll back the firmware … not easy but possible. They would have to uninstall it and re install the older version.


I don’t know what Sonos is doing even there new App sucks. There was nothing wrong with it 6 months ago.


Come on SONOS look after your customers and fix this shit !!!!


Naively I assumed that they would fix the bug in the next release. I eagerly waited while V12 sprung to life.

No such luck.

The plodding dinosaurs are no longer picked for Beta testing. I wonder cynically ifthis is so old dinosaurs’ systems do not perpetuate such idiosyncratic arrangements of a radio over playbar..

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Just curious here, I checked it on my own system and it only happens when you press the volume + button when the radio is not playing, so my question is why would you press the volume + button when nothing is playing?

Damon, the Playbar is designed to be a sound bar for your TV as well as all other sonos abilities, so you would as a standard have your TV remote (volume) also controlling your Playbar. So whenever you increase the volume on your TV you are pressing the volume + button on the Playbar which then switches the Playbar from radio/music to TV. This used to never happen. The Playbar required a signal from the TV audio to switch to TV mode hence the option in setting for “TV Auto Play” and “Ungroup on Auto Play”.