Sonos Arc loud pop then audio loss



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Well I am deeply disappointed in Sonos at this point.  The reply I got was simply that they know of the issue and it is not their fault so I should just disable Atmos.  If that's the case then I want them to update their Arc product page to say NOT COMPATIBLE WITH XBOX/APPLETV/ROKU.  I feel cheated right now and even though I know it most likely isn't ALL Sonos fault here, other manufacturers have seemed to push out firmware updates that fix Atmos issues with these devices. If nothing else it seems only the Sonos gives the loud BANG whereas other manufacturers just have crackles.

Totally agree. Sonos needs to publish a disclaimer that these devices are not reliably compatible with Arc and could produce very loud popping noises and audio loss.
 

At the very least Sonos should offer those who are having this issue an opportunity to return their Arc. It’s false advertising to say Dolby Atmos content is available using these devices. 

The problem is that they were compatible, and it's not all Atmos sources that are affected.

I bought my Arc in December 2020 and had absolutely no issues until I updated the OS of the Arc, Apple TV, and/or my Bravia XH92 in September 2021. They were all updated around the same time, with seemingly no downgrade path, so it's impossible to deduce which.

 

Well I am deeply disappointed in Sonos at this point.  The reply I got was simply that they know of the issue and it is not their fault so I should just disable Atmos.  If that's the case then I want them to update their Arc product page to say NOT COMPATIBLE WITH XBOX/APPLETV/ROKU.  I feel cheated right now and even though I know it most likely isn't ALL Sonos fault here, other manufacturers have seemed to push out firmware updates that fix Atmos issues with these devices. If nothing else it seems only the Sonos gives the loud BANG whereas other manufacturers just have crackles.

If Sonos are saying it’s not their fault - I can’t ever see them going onto make an announcement that it’s some other companies fault - that’s certainly not the way to build on a relationship between partner companies.

Sonos are doing the correct thing and saying nothing about whoever is responsible here, they’re simply just saying it’s not their issue. If changing the ‘other’ connected hardware solves the issue then maybe that helps to go some way to maybe confirm what Sonos says.

I can perhaps partly help on that point, as I don’t have an Xbox nor an Apple TV 4K, but I do have an Arc connected to an LG C9 TV together with a FireTV 4K and a Nvidia Shield (amongst other things) and I’ve not once experienced the popping or crackling issues mentioned in this thread. So maybe some inferences can be drawn from that fact 🤔?

Well I am deeply disappointed in Sonos at this point.  The reply I got was simply that they know of the issue and it is not their fault so I should just disable Atmos.  If that's the case then I want them to update their Arc product page to say NOT COMPATIBLE WITH XBOX/APPLETV/ROKU.  I feel cheated right now and even though I know it most likely isn't ALL Sonos fault here, other manufacturers have seemed to push out firmware updates that fix Atmos issues with these devices. If nothing else it seems only the Sonos gives the loud BANG whereas other manufacturers just have crackles.

If Sonos are saying it’s not their fault - I can’t ever see them going onto make an announcement that it’s some other companies fault - that’s certainly not the way to build on a relationship between partner companies.

Sonos are doing the correct thing and saying nothing about whoever is responsible here, they’re simply just saying it’s not their issue. If changing the ‘other’ connected hardware solves the issue then maybe that helps to go some way to maybe confirm what Sonos says.

I can perhaps partly help on that point, as I don’t have an Xbox nor an Apple TV 4K, but I do have an Arc connected to an LG C9 TV together with a FireTV 4K and a Nvidia Shield (amongst other things) and I’ve not once experienced the popping or crackling issues mentioned in this thread. So maybe some inferences can be drawn from that fact 🤔?

They don’t have to say it is someone else’s fault, but just like when buying computer parts, there is a compatibility list as to what motherboard works with what processors.  AppleTV/Xbox etc are NOT some random Chinese “media box”, they are top tier mainstream products from the highest grossing companies in the world.  If the Arc doesn’t work with them, customers should be notified.  The fact that other companies that are “cheaper” had no issues pushing out a firmware fix to work around the issue tells me that Sonos is simply not trying to deal with the issue.

As a customer that spent thousands on this equipment, it is a slap in the face to be told that your main reason for buying an expensive new product needs to be disabled because they can’t fix it.

They don’t have to say it is someone else’s fault, but just like when buying computer parts, there is a compatibility list as to what motherboard works with what processors.  AppleTV/Xbox etc are NOT some random Chinese “media box”, they are top tier mainstream products from the highest grossing companies in the world.  If the Arc doesn’t work with them, customers should be notified.  The fact that other companies that are “cheaper” had no issues pushing out a firmware fix to work around the issue tells me that Sonos is simply not trying to deal with the issue.

As a customer that spent thousands on this equipment, it is a slap in the face to be told that your main reason for buying an expensive new product needs to be disabled because they can’t fix it.

Perhaps the partner(s) too, have acknowledged that they plan to investigate/fix the issue with an update from their side, but just haven’t got around to doing that yet?

We can only guess at such issues. I’m pretty sure these big companies do not ever like to wash their dirty-linen in public, plus they likely have their own chosen list of priorities.

Meanwhile Sonos has tried to assist you by suggesting a workaround, for now, at least. Any work/update to be done by a partner is clearly outside of their control.

It’s difficult, as we do not know the full facts here, but as I’ve mentioned before in posts on the forum, this issue appears to happen mostly with Xbox and Apple TV 4K and there are reports online of it happening with other branded soundbars aswell.

I don’t have either of those peripheral products attached to my TV/Arc and have never (ever) experienced the popping or crackling sounds mentioned in this thread.

Maybe the Arc is just playing what it is being sent and that ‘approaches’ perhaps should be being made to those that manufacture the source device instead. If that manufacturer is not being notified of the problem by their own customers, then they are not going to be in any hurry to fix the issue.

Xbox Series S connected to LG C1 connected to Arc. I guess I am not alone in this. Had this happen months ago, I thought one of my kids smashed the wall with something. I forgot about it, and just as I was watching a show on the Xbox Series S, heard the pop. Looking through all the posts, looks like a lot of people are having this issue with a Xbox connected. I don’t think the quality degraded or any damage to speakers. Of course it will be in my head that they are damaged now. Hoping someone comes with a solution someday!

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I still get the loud pop (“pop” is really underselling it) multiple times a week when listening to Atmos content. I get it both on Apple TV and Xbox One Series X. I’ve even gotten it on the Apple TV screensaver. Even though it doesn’t have sound, I guess it counts as Atmos.

Sonos has not been helpful in the matter. I didn’t keep up with this thread enough to be in the know, but do I understand it correctly that they are acknowledging the problem now but pointing the finger at other vendors?

Because this has to stop. I can’t even relax during Atmos anymore because in the back of my mind I’m just waiting for the pop! Are there other forums tracking this? YouTube videos? Is there collective action about this anywhere? 

I’ve not seen any official position in it, either recognizing, or deflecting it.

I’m personally of the opinion that the “pop” is being generated up stream, as is the stopping of further signal , and the Sonos is merely playing what it is receiving from the TV. 

But then again, I’ve not had this experience, so my opinion is not very valuable. 

In all honesty, I’ve not seen a lot of data being passed to Sonos after such an event, so I wonder if they’re having difficulty reproducing the issue, so that they can ‘fix’ it at all. If they can. 

I’ve not seen any official position in it, either recognizing, or deflecting it.

I’m personally of the opinion that the “pop” is being generated up stream, as is the stopping of further signal , and the Sonos is merely playing what it is receiving from the TV. 

But then again, I’ve not had this experience, so my opinion is not very valuable. 

In all honesty, I’ve not seen a lot of data being passed to Sonos after such an event, so I wonder if they’re having difficulty reproducing the issue, so that they can ‘fix’ it at all. If they can. 

I just have a hard time believing this, because if it WAS truly the AppleTV generating the POP, then ALL vendors that have ATMOS setups would also play the loud pop, however if that were the case it would be all over news media outlets everywhere.  The fact that this seems isolated to Sonos products tells me its on Sonos to fix, which it doesn’t seem they are likely to do at this point.

Certainly possible, although most of the posts I’ve seen have been from XBoxes, not from Apple TV’s. I’ve got two Arcs connected to Apple TV’s and haven’t experienced this issue.

At the end of the day. the Arc is a relatively “dumb” device, at the end of a chain. 

But I surely would love to see more folks presenting Sonos with data about this via diagnostics, so that there could be an official announcement one way or the other. 

Right now, it’s 80% in my mind that it’s an issue upstream from Sonos. But that does leave 20% that it’s a Sonos issue. The proof would be in the diagnostics (hopefully) and a statement from Sonos that they’ve been able to track it down and are working on it.

My experience in working with software engineers is they don’t really react all that well to “me too” posts, and are much more interested in having hard data from a diagnostic, so that they have something to look at. 

Note that I’m absolutely not saying this isn’t an issue, clearly it is. The question is, at least in my mind, as to where the issue is.  

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I’ve submitted diagnostics multiple times immediately after the pop. Tech support took down the numbers but didn’t seem that interested.

 

They asked me to videotape it happening but I don’t know of a way to make it happen on command. 

I hope they’ve passed that data on to the engineers. Thank you for trying to be part of a solution!

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I’ve submitted diagnostics 6-7 times on here, the phone & chat. Each time every support ‘tech’ is completely clueless and this has severely lowered my faith in Sonos. Quit frankly, I’m disgusted. 
 

I’ve had to direct all of these support people to this thread just to prove that I’m not crazy and not alone. They all try and send me down the same rabbit holes, wanting me to go through their stock instructions on cable replacement, player rebooting and factory resetting. Which by the way, I had done all of them many months ago. 
 

I agree with previous comments that if this was an AppleTV & XBox issue we’d be hearing about it effecting other sound bars. If anyone from Sonos is reading this, please comment on this thread to at least ease the minds of all of your great customers who are feeling abandoned on this issue. An issue that involves your most premium product purchased by your most premium customers. 

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Hi @William_61 et al

We are aware of this behaviour and are investigating it, but we do not have any additional information to share on a resolution at this time. 

We are also aware of other manufacturer brands experiencing the same problem. Some users have reported it with in-built TV apps, so it is not limited to X-Box and Apple TV owners.

The issue only happens when playing Atmos content, so in the meantime, you can prevent this from happening by disabling Atmos audio on the TV or source device - not ideal, I know, but if it has happened to you before and you are concerned about it happening again, this step would prevent it.

I hope this helps.

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Thank you @Corry P for your reply. It helps a lot knowing this issue is being investigated.
 

I had been told by Sonos Support that the latest update 14.12 was set to address the issue. After the update I re-enabled the Atmos audio on my ATV4K only to have the pop 30 minutes into my Atmos show. I’ve dis-engaged it since. 
 

One request I have is that you or someone else from Sonos could post here on occasion to update us on any progress or if a solution had been found. That would be great. Thanks again. 

Hi @William_61 et al

We are aware of this behaviour and are investigating it, but we do not have any additional information to share on a resolution at this time. 

We are also aware of other manufacturer brands experiencing the same problem. Some users have reported it with in-built TV apps, so it is not limited to X-Box and Apple TV owners.

The issue only happens when playing Atmos content, so in the meantime, you can prevent this from happening by disabling Atmos audio on the TV or source device - not ideal, I know, but if it has happened to you before and you are concerned about it happening again, this step would prevent it.

I hope this helps.

First of all, THANK YOU for at least acknowledging the issue, that is a first major step to put consumer minds at ease a little.  I perfectly understand things taking time (software developer here) but just want to know that the issue is at least being worked on, and if Sonos is sure it is not their issue, then we need to be able to know what to tell other manufacturers (i.e. Apple/Microsoft) so that we can get a resolution at some point.  As many have reported, $800 is no small chunk of change to spend on something that has a glaring issue, so we want to at least know that things are being looked into so we can expect some sort of resolution at some point.

 

Now for others, I have done some more troubleshooting on my side and noticed after a factory reset of my TV (Sony XBR75X90CH) the issue hasn’t YET repeated.  Now, a setting IS different this time in that when I enabled eARC, it didn’t automatically change the HDMI3 channel to “Enhanced Format”, and it is still in “Standard Format”, which according to Sony means it is running in HDMI 2.0 mode instead of HDMI 2.1 for backwards compatibility.  Now, the strange thing is, the Sonos app is still reporting “Dolby Atmos” when playing content from my Apple TV, but from what I have read it is a compressed version of Atmos instead of uncompressed if HDMI is running in 2.0 mode instead of 2.1.  Long story short, this might be a “better” compromise in the meantime if your TV allows running the ARC port in backwards compatibility mode.  I will report here immediately the first POP that I get, but I went from seemingly every 10 minutes to watching a couple hours without issue so far.  Also for reference AppleTV was on 15.5 when I disabled Atmos, and is now on 15.6 as well.  I’ll take compressed Atmos for the time being over no Atmos if this truly is what is preventing the POP.

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@Corry P THANK YOU for acknowledging the issue. That step alone make me feel a lot better. The runaround from Sonos support (go change the cable) had been disheartening.

 

@bromos I have the exact same model TV and my Apple TV is hooked up to one of the physical HDMI 2.0 ports (XBOX is on HDMI 2.1, Arc is on the shared HDMI 2.1/eARC port). I’m afraid I get the pops all the same.

However, I believe having the port set to “Standard” takes you all the way down to HDMI 1.4, as in you can’t even get 4K60 or HDR on “Standard”. I recommend checking into that on your Apple TV.

@Corry P THANK YOU for acknowledging the issue. That step alone make me feel a lot better. The runaround from Sonos support (go change the cable) had been disheartening.

 

@bromos I have the exact same model TV and my Apple TV is hooked up to one of the physical HDMI 2.0 ports (XBOX is on HDMI 2.1, Arc is on the shared HDMI 2.1/eARC port). I’m afraid I get the pops all the same.

However, I believe having the port set to “Standard” takes you all the way down to HDMI 1.4, as in you can’t even get 4K60 or HDR on “Standard”. I recommend checking into that on your Apple TV.

I’m not exactly sure what the limitations are of “Standard” but I ONLY use HDMI3 for the ARC, and from what I’ve read the worst case scenario is that I’m getting compressed Atmos instead of uncompressed when doing so.  The weird thing to me is that I would expect if you enable eARC that it would force HDMI3 to Enhanced, as they SHOULD go hand in hand, but that doesn’t seem to be the case, as I have eARC enabled with HDMI3 set to “Standard”.  I wish they wouldn’t dumb this stuff down so much that we have no idea what’s going on so it could help with troubleshooting some.  Technically speaking, Atmos shouldn’t work at all unless using HDMI2.1/eARC, so maybe eARC enabled “overrides” the Standard/Enhanced setting somehow?  There are some on other forums (AVS) that have this same combo without issues and I wonder if its this setting (leaving it as standard) as the reason why?  I’m really hoping this “fixed” it for me, but I’m sure I’ll be proven wrong at some point in the next day or 2.

 

I have AppleTV 4K gen2 on HDMI1 set to Enhanced Format running at 4k60 DV and Xbox Series X/PS5 on a 2.1 switch on HDMI4 set to Enhanced as well (for the awesome crappy fake 4K120)

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(for the awesome crappy fake 4K120)

Lol! I feel your pain. Sony conned us good with the 900H. Advertise as 4K120, actually deliver 3840x1080p.

 

I misunderstood your earlier statement. I thought you had your source device port set to HDMI “standard”. I didn’t realize you were talking about your ARC port.

I have replicated your setup and can confirm that I get the Atmos symbol in the Sonos app after setting the HDMI3/ARC port to “standard” with eARC still set to “Auto” (AKA on). Of course, there’s no telling if it’s compressed from the app. I will report back if I get a bang.

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@bromos

It’s Friday night and I figured I would test with an Atmos music playlist. HDMI3/ARC set to “Standard” and eARC “on” streaming from an Apple TV on HDMI2/HDMI2.0. 

I triggered the pop in fewer than ten minutes. :(

@bromos

It’s Friday night and I figured I would test with an Atmos music playlist. HDMI3/ARC set to “Standard” and eARC “on” streaming from an Apple TV. 

I triggered the pop in fewer than ten minutes. :(

Was that whilst using the default uncompressed LPCM codec? If so, then maybe try the ATV audio settings set to compressed DD+ (Atmos) audio-output instead and then try DD5.1 and perhaps try to establish if it’s down to a particular audio codec from the Apple TV. 

If a particular codec can be identified as the culprit, you can at least set it aside and never have to hear the popping sound ever again.

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Apple TV decodes all audio to uncompressed multichannel LPCM before sending it on. Technically it’s pretty cool because it means system audio, including Siri, are seamlessly integrated even when listening to Atmos content.

The only option is to change everything to DD5.1 (no DD5.1+). That means no Atmos. And without Atmos, no pop. 

@ProfessorFrag 

I should just add that with Linear PCM switched off, that whilst using DD+ or DD 5.1 codecs, you don’t need to have eARC enabled on the TV either, so you may want to try that both enabled & disabled with those codecs too, just to perhaps see what difference that may make (if any)? 

Our two posts crossed - it makes me think perhaps there is an issue with the LPCM format with Atmos, but obviously that’s just a guess on my part, but it seems to be one of the common denominators whenever people report this popping sound. 

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Did some replication testing this morning with the same playlist (Dance in Spatial Audio) on Apple TV/Apple Music. 
 

First attempt, pop in two minutes on the first song. 
Second attempt, 45 minutes of playing with no pop. 
 

So this remains as difficult to replicate as ever. 

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Our two posts crossed - it makes me think perhaps there is an issue with the LPCM format with Atmos, but obviously that’s just a guess on my part, but it seems to be one of the common denominators whenever people report this popping sound. 

This has been my theory for a long time — between Apple TV, Xbox and Roku — it’s the common denominator: Dolby MAT.

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