Question

Single sonos one working as stereo?

  • 5 December 2019
  • 41 replies
  • 373 views

Im with a problem with my Sonos one. 
 

Turns out I discovered a tune at work the other day and when I arrived home I wanted to listen to it on my Sonos. 
 

the song is wastelands-Bedouin. 

On minute 3:00 there’s an arpeggiator (it’s an electronic sound that gives the song a lot of character, and It’s the reason it caught my attention and made me want it to listen at home). 
Turns out when I played it on the Sonos that sound doesn’t come out! I didn’t understand why so I asked a friend. He tried it on his speakers and made me realize that the song is recorded in stereo and that sound comes out from the left speaker. 
is it possible that my Sonos is working as a right stereo speaker only? I’ve read it works as mono on its own, but I can’t find another explanation, the sound does not come out at all. It’s not that I hear it a little bit low, it’s not there. It sound ok on my phone, my computer, my headphones, but not no Sonos. 
this means that I might be losing music because of this. 
 

Helppp!


41 replies

It shouldn’t be. But having said that, I recently added a PLAY:1 to a friend’s system temporarily, and thought perhaps I was experiencing a similar issue…although I passed it off as my imagination. I’d recommend that you play the track, and then submit a system diagnostic within 10 minutes, and either post the number here, or contact Sonos Support to discuss it.

I usually suggest the phone folks, they have more tools available, but are only available Monday through Friday during business hours. Both the Twitter and Facebook support folks are available 24/7.

There may be information included in the diagnostic that will help Sonos pinpoint the issue and help you find a solution.

I have to wonder if it’s an issue with speakers added under a more recent software update? For instance, I have just returned home, and am not noticing the issue with a previously set up “single” speaker. How long ago did you set up your speaker? I could be shooting in the dark here, and completely wrong...and not actually experiencing the same issue that you are. And that speaker I *think* I was experiencing the potential issue on is being shipped to me soon, so I can’t actually do any testing myself with that particular speaker.

I’ll follow this thread to see what you find out. I’d be fascinated to hear if you’re confirming what I thought was completely my imagination / bad ears.

 

Hi Bruce, I set up my speaker again an hour ago just to try something and it didn’t fix the problem. Before that the speaker had been set up aprox 3 months ago. 
What happening is really weird. 
I registered just today so I don’t really know how everything works, diagnoses and all that. I’ll try to do it and leave the number here. 
 

the number of the diagnosis is 1161483853

Hopefully, one of the community moderators will have time to look at it in the next 24 hours, and respond here. If you’d prefer, you could contact Sonos Support directly to discuss it.

I usually suggest the phone folks, they have more tools available because they're on the phone with you, but they are only available Monday through Friday during business hours. Both the Twitter and Facebook support folks are available 24/7.

if you do contact Sonos support directly, with that diagnostic number, I’d certainly would appreciate it if you’d come back and post what you find out. It’s likely to be another week or two before I get that PLAY;1 back, and it will have to be reset before I can add it to my own system, which might “fix” the problem, or not…

Good luck!

Now this is seriously weird.  I have just done a few experiments.  Here are the results:

  1. The ‘arpeggiator’ is audible on my stereo pair of Play:5s and my single Play:5 (which of course is a stereo speaker)
  2. It has, as the OP suggests, completely disappeared when the track is played on my Play:1 (mono)
  3. But I don’t believe it has anything to do with left and right stereo channels, because that arpeggiator is on both L and R channels (established this using the stereo pair of P:5s - seems to contradict OP’s experiment) 
  4. I also established that the P:1 is generally playing both channels.  The opening of ‘Beautiful Girl’ by INXS is a good test here - guitar on R channel, piano on L.

I must admit I wasn’t expecting this.  So what is going on?  My best guess is a frequency ‘hole’ on the Play:1 that this part of the music is dropping into - but that would be rather disturbing.

Further experiments.  Arpeggiator also audible on the Playbar, Beam…..and the Play:1 surround speakers bonded to the Beam.  It is just my single Play:1 that it completely vanishes on.  (And note that the OP’s problem was on a Sonos One)

Curiouser and curiouser……...

Now this is seriously weird.  I have just done a few experiments.  Here are the results:

  1. The ‘arpeggiator’ is audible on my stereo pair of Play:5s and my single Play:5 (which of course is a stereo speaker)
  2. It has, as the OP suggests, completely disappeared when the track is played on my Play:1 (mono)
  3. But I don’t believe it has anything to do with left and right stereo channels, because that arpeggiator is on both L and R channels (established this using the stereo pair of P:5s - seems to contradict OP’s experiment) 
  4. I also established that the P:1 is generally playing both channels.  The opening of ‘Beautiful Girl’ by INXS is a good test here - guitar on R channel, piano on L.

I must admit I wasn’t expecting this.  So what is going on?  My best guess is a frequency ‘hole’ on the Play:1 that this part of the music is dropping into - but that would be rather disturbing.

 

you’re right about INXS-beautiful girl. Works fine on my Sonos one. 
This just makes it even weirder. 
 

I don’t think that makes it weirder - I don’t think this is a L/R channel thing.

It’s plenty weird enough already though.

I grouped a Connect Amp and a Play 1 in two different rooms. For the first time ever, I find they play different music when grouped - very weird indeed. And not subtly so. One instrument, and just that, is missing in the play 1.

The first anomaly I have come across in all my Sonos experience that isn't related to Wifi issues and similar.

And easy to locate because it starts almost exactly at 3 minutes.

Yes I did the tests with speakers grouped too, to ensure the source was identical.  

that arpeggiator is on both L and R channels (established this using the stereo pair of P:5s - seems to contradict OP’s experiment) 

Ditto with Connect Amp, it is on both channels there as well.

More: plays on 1 pair, does not play on single 1 + Sub. 

More: plays on 1 pair, does not play on single 1 + Sub. 

I guess that is consistent with it playing on my P:1 surround speakers.  Unfortunately still inconsistent with sanity.

More weird stuff or insight to be found perhaps? An Echo also does not play the instrument, while the bluetooth source iPhone plays it when not paired to the Echo.

So best guess would be that something in the processing of a stereo signal into a mono loses a bit of frequency range.

More weird stuff or insight to be found perhaps? An Echo also does not play the instrument, while the bluetooth source iPhone plays it when not paired to the Echo.

I think that might blow a hole in my theory, which I would have attributed to Sonos software until this discovery!

Maybe this suggests some weird feature in the encoding of this one track.  Maybe the conclusion is: this track is not suitable for mono listening!

More: iPhones have a mono mode, meant for hearing impaired. The instrument vanishes in that mode. But mono modes, as far as I know, are summed up left and right, so this is still not fully explained.

At least we can be assured that this isn't a Sonos defect. 

On iPhone heard via earphones, the music changes how it sounds from stereo to mono mode much more than it ought to. Or heard direct from the phone speaker also, for that matter.

More: iPhones have a mono mode, meant for hearing impaired. The instrument vanishes in that mode. But mono modes, as far as I know, are summed up left and right, so this is still not fully explained.

Possibly it isn’t a simple sum.  I know nothing about this.  But it looks like 1 + 1 does not equal 2 after all. 

Nice work, Kumar.

Thank you, John. It was bugging me to see how a single instrument, no matter what it was playing, disappeared on Sonos on changing rooms. I simply had to do more exploring to rule out Sonos at least. Now hopefully someone else will take over and enlighten us on what may be happening that is affecting all makes in mono mode.

It’s strange how the arpeggiator’s output seems to completely disappear on a single speaker .. not seen/heard anything this apparent before.. really weird isn’t it?🤔

I think the answer must lie in something in the encoding of this track falling foul of the algorithms that combine L & R streams into a single mono stream.  Well, I say ‘must’, but I’m not that confident…..

What we can be sure of is that it isn’t a Sonos fault and that this isn't caused by playing only one of the channels.

Likely the instrument in question is out of phase on the two channels. When summed for mono, the result is zero. If you place the two stereo configured speakers close to each other, there will be a partial cancellation and a “comb filter” effect.

You can experiment with this stereo cancellation if you place two full range speakers face to face and touching or nearly touching. The bass will be partially cancelled. If you have a “single point” ceiling or wall mounted speaker (one hole, both channels connected), wire the channels out of phase. Here you will have full or partial cancellation.

Edit: In my single point experiment above this out of phase instrument will increase in level while the normal music will decrease or disappear.

Thanks buzz.

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