Sonos Sub Gen 3 crackling/static sound


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Hi guys,

 

I just bought the Sonos Arc and the new Sub Gen 3 and I paired them with 2 Sonos One (Gen 1) speakers for the surround setup.

Yesterday I noticed that while idling and playing, there are some tiny constant crackling/static/electric current sounds coming from the brand new Sub and I found it quite irritating. So what I did first was to make sure that the connection with the power cord is secure, which it was. Then I tried to remove the Sub from the group, factory reset it and added it back to the system. But the same issue persists.

I don’t suppose this is normal, right? Does anyone has a similar issue with the new Sub?

I’ve checked my Sonos Arc, One and Beam and none of them has this issue.

Since I just bought it from Best Buy last week, should I return it and get a new one to see if it’s something wrong with the one I’ve got? 

It’s not a cheap device and I don’t want to compromise on its quality.

 

Thank you all!


159 replies

I too have this problem with my new Gen 3 sub, connected to my Arc and a couple of Play:1s. 

Seems inconsistent, sometimes audible, sometimes not. But increasingly more frequent, and today sounds like a bunch of crickets chirping on a loop. Actually audible above the level of the 3 x speakers in the room.

Like static electricity, but varying frequencies over time.

Can’t find room much information on this issue, guessing because the product has only been out for a week or two.

diagnostic# 139703712

Anyone else?

 

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@Dropper 

 

I contacted Sonos support, showed them the diagnostic and they’ve decided to send me a new Sonos Sub, which arrived today. Unfortunately the problem still persists.

I’ve tried the same things again: un-grouping the sub, different power outlets, factory reset and made sure that the cable is securely connected at the bottom and none of that worked.

In the end, I noticed that as long as the Sub is connected to the power, you can hear the static electricity sound. It happens to both Subs Gen 3 that I have right now. Is that the same for you?

Not sure what I should do now, at this price point I don’t want to compromise on this issue.

 

@andrewchiu1st today i have moved the sub to a different room + connected with 1 Sonos One. In this room there is no router / anything that could be seen as electromagnetic interference so I can test.

I have found that the noise on “standby”, e.g. power on, but no audio playing, there is an audible electro-static hum when close to the unit. But not noticeable from from than 1m away.

As soon as music plays, there is now a new audible ‘pop’ as if the Sub is waking up, then the electro-static noise becomes more audible from 1m away. However, the noice doesn’t increase / decrease depending on music volume, which suggests its not related to audio, but to electricity?

I’d say that the noise today connected to the 1 Sonos One is less irksome than when connected to the ARC, however, at this price point, I’d expect no noise. So I am very disappointed and will contact SONOS (though not sure who I am meant to do this, they don’t seem to make it obvious).

Latest Diagnostic # 1840729044

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@Dropper 

I do think that noise is related to electricity or something from the chip set inside the sub.

I have doubts whether this can be fixed by any firmware update because the moment that I connected the new Sub out of the box to the electrical outlet, I could hear the static noise immediately, and this is before I pair it to other speakers.

Honestly speaking, the noise situation is a bit better with the new Sub I received, you have to literally move your ears right next to the speaker to hear it. But I’m not sure if the situation will get worse over time, I guess I will have to find out.

Not sure if this may help, the serial number of the 2 Subs that I received are quite similar, wonder if they were manufactured in the same batch:

  • The first Sub: 542A1B103E223
  • The replacement Sub: 542A1B1056109

If the issue is related to the build quality and not the software/firmware problem, maybe I’ll have to return the Sub and wait for them to solve the problem but that’d be a shame since I really want to add that bass to the setup.

@andrewchiu1st how did you get in touch with Sonos? The only way I can see to do it is to call them (UK), rather than log a ticket. 

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@Dropper 

Yes, I called them on the phone (in Canada), and they will try to troubleshoot the issue on the phone with you. You just need to let them know what you’ve done before and they will likely ask you to send a video to prove it and then issue you a replacement.

 

Let me know how you get on!

@andrewchiu1st Thanks man. Will update with what happens.

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Would appreciate hearing from @Ryan S on this issue, I’ve seen quite a few reports of this in the forums and on reddit. My Gen 3 sub makes the same noise consistently although it is incredibly faint and only noticeable for me when I stick my head right down by the unit itself. Still, it unnerves me that it could be symptomatic of a larger issue. And I’m not sure the Sub should be making any noise at all if sound is not being played and yet it is definitely there, very similar to a spinning hard drive or a PS4 running idle in the background. All my other Sonos products are dead silent if music/movies are not being played. I don’t remember my Gen 2 Sub doing this, but I also easily could have never noticed as I wasn’t looking for it.

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@TapDatApp

Exactly, that’s exactly what the issue is and at this price point, I’d expect the build quality to be perfect. And I have the same worry that it could be a larger issue and would get worse over time.

I went to 2 Best Buy last week to see if their display Sub Gen 2 have the same issue. I put my ear right next to the sub and I couldn’t hear anything at all. I did it a couple more times just to make sure that there is absolutely no faint crackling noise coming from the unit.

I’m just contact the support (case number: 018*****) and let them know that this is still an issue so more people are aware of that.

My guess is that this is a power supply issue. Some power supplies will emit mechanical noises. In some cases a high frequency noise will be emitted and the description of the noise can vary -- possibly based on the age of the observer. (young ears are more sensitive to very high frequency sounds) 

You may be able to locate a “spot” where the noise seems to be concentrated. It is also possible that the surface under the unit will effect the noise level. Carpet might be quieter than hardwood floor.

Mine is also having the same irritating ratling noise. It is faint but for an overpriced product, I was expecting it to be dead silent.

I’m curious. For some esoteric reasons that I don’t think that I could explain, it is possible that this noise will change from time to time, possibly correlated with time of day and/or with large appliance and air conditioning use. Is anyone observing this sort of correlation? Are you in a 120V or 220V area?

@buzz Im in the UK, so on a 240v system.

 

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@buzz 

I’m not observing this correlation personally, the noise sounds like the same any time, even when large appliances are not in use and I don’t have a air con either.

Canada is 120V.

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Reached out to Sonos support again and they’ve escalated the case to their Tier 2 support team. Scheduled a time on Thursday to go through the setup with them and I will keep you guys posted.

Also updated the system this morning as soon as I got the app update but it didn’t seem to resolve the issue.

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Just spoke to the escalation support team over the phone.

They think the fact that the crackling noise appears the moment it’s connected to the power outlet is something to do with electricity and not the software/firmware. Ran through the diagnostic and everything appeared to normal, but he said that the problem with electricity won’t show up in the diagnostic, however. 

So, what they will do is to send me a power strip with electric stabilizer for me to test again and see if that can eliminate the possibility that the noise is caused by unstable electricity current coming out of the outlet. They will also taken into consideration that my other 5 Sonos speakers don’t have the same problem. If that still doesn’t solve the problem, I’d imagine they will examine the unit further in their lab and see if there is something out of the ordinary with the new Sub. They don’t want to send me another replacement that will have the same problem, which I appreciate actually.

Will update more later!

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Just spoke to the escalation support team over the phone.

They think the fact that the crackling noise appears the moment it’s connected to the power outlet is something to do with electricity and not the software/firmware. Ran through the diagnostic and everything appeared to normal, but he said that the problem with electricity won’t show up in the diagnostic, however. 

So, what they will do is to send me a power strip with electric stabilizer for me to test again and see if that can eliminate the possibility that the noise is caused by unstable electricity current coming out of the outlet. They will also taken into consideration that my other 5 Sonos speakers don’t have the same problem. If that still doesn’t solve the problem, I’d imagine they will examine the unit further in their lab and see if there is something out of the ordinary with the new Sub. They don’t want to send me another replacement that will have the same problem, which I appreciate actually.

Will update more later!

Really appreciate the updates, thanks for keeping us posted. Glad they’re not just sending you a new unit as that doesn’t appear to be the fix. However, if this is a hardware issue, I’m skeptical they’d issue a recall. Very uncertain if an electrical issue like this could be at all resolved via a software patch. Luckily, the noise mine emits is truly impossible to detect unless my head is right up to the sub itself, but still uneasy about it being an issue in the first place considering the price of the unit.

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Just got an email from the escalation support team, it seems that they are able to reproduce the issue on their end as well.

 

“Thank you for going over the details with me today.

As this is an unexpected reproducible issue, I have met with few of our hardware and electrical engineers to review the diagnostics and videos gathered from your case. We have so far determined the issue to not be with your home electrical wiring based on the specific tickling/hissing noise level, and currently we are waiting for the one that you have already shipped back to confirm if the issue is at the hardware or software(drivers) level. 

Having stated the above, a power conditioner/filter device will not help with this issue. Please bear with us as we are currently working on investigating this abnormality. 

I will notify you via this email as soon as any updates become available in the following couple weeks.”

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Just got an email from the escalation support team, it seems that they are able to reproduce the issue on their end as well.

 

“Thank you for going over the details with me today.

As this is an unexpected reproducible issue, I have met with few of our hardware and electrical engineers to review the diagnostics and videos gathered from your case. We have so far determined the issue to not be with your home electrical wiring based on the specific tickling/hissing noise level, and currently we are waiting for the one that you have already shipped back to confirm if the issue is at the hardware or software(drivers) level. 

Having stated the above, a power conditioner/filter device will not help with this issue. Please bear with us as we are currently working on investigating this abnormality. 

I will notify you via this email as soon as any updates become available in the following couple weeks.”

This is a significant update! My thanks again for keeping the rest of the community posted. Hopefully it’s on the software level somehow. But interested to see what they will tell you next regardless. Glad to hear it’s been officially acknowledged. 

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Just got an email from the escalation support team, it seems that they are able to reproduce the issue on their end as well.

 

“Thank you for going over the details with me today.

As this is an unexpected reproducible issue, I have met with few of our hardware and electrical engineers to review the diagnostics and videos gathered from your case. We have so far determined the issue to not be with your home electrical wiring based on the specific tickling/hissing noise level, and currently we are waiting for the one that you have already shipped back to confirm if the issue is at the hardware or software(drivers) level. 

Having stated the above, a power conditioner/filter device will not help with this issue. Please bear with us as we are currently working on investigating this abnormality. 

I will notify you via this email as soon as any updates become available in the following couple weeks.”

Excellent work from andrewchiu1st and SONOS support team.

I am holding back my purchases until we get more update from the support team. But alas, I already sold my Sub gen 2… :joy:

Andrewchiu1st, can you provide your sonos sub gen 3 hardware / version / build number so that we know which batch to avoid when buying again.  

Its great to see the support team still working hard after the 12% culled.  

I have an update on my case.

I spoke to a very helpful Scottish man @ Sonos, who took me through as much as he could in terms of diagnostics on my Sub Gen 3 issue (as stated above).

TLDR: he got as far as he could on the phone, and asked me to upload a video recording to their support link, which you can all see here: 

Within 24hrs they had agreed to replace the unit for me, and DHL had supplied a free returns label. All very slick customer service. However, at this price point, and with so many other people experiencing this issue on this thread + others, I can’t help but think this is a fundamental design flaw.

I’m a huge Sonos product fan, so comes as a big disappointment. Will update when I get my replacement unit.

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Accidentally “best answered” the thread and can’t seem to undo that… :confused:

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@Dropper 

Thanks for the update, I myself am a big Sonos fan, too and I didn’t think that we are going to get all these issues with the new Sub and Arc when I placed the order. It’s a hassle to go back and forth with the support and arranging returns as well.

Having said that, I’m happy with the customer service I received so far, it’s nice to see that they acknowledge that this is abnormal and are looking into it. But I’m also considering returning the Arc and Sub until they can fix the problems properly. I’d hate to think that I just got the first bad batch and will have to live with that.

It seems like what you are experiencing is a bit different than mine but I’m just a bit disappointed with the quality, surely they have to QA the product before they are shipped to the customers?

I have recorded the video for the support as well, you can see that the sound is a different kind of static noise, faint but definitely there - https://photos.app.goo.gl/FHABPMUpG9WMkDiP9

Please do let us know when you get your replacement, I’m curious to see if that can solve your issue and whether it will have the static noise that I’m having.

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Just got an email from the escalation support team, it seems that they are able to reproduce the issue on their end as well.

 

“Thank you for going over the details with me today.

As this is an unexpected reproducible issue, I have met with few of our hardware and electrical engineers to review the diagnostics and videos gathered from your case. We have so far determined the issue to not be with your home electrical wiring based on the specific tickling/hissing noise level, and currently we are waiting for the one that you have already shipped back to confirm if the issue is at the hardware or software(drivers) level. 

Having stated the above, a power conditioner/filter device will not help with this issue. Please bear with us as we are currently working on investigating this abnormality. 

I will notify you via this email as soon as any updates become available in the following couple weeks.”

Excellent work from andrewchiu1st and SONOS support team.

I am holding back my purchases until we get more update from the support team. But alas, I already sold my Sub gen 2… :joy:

Andrewchiu1st, can you provide your sonos sub gen 3 hardware / version / build number so that we know which batch to avoid when buying again.  

Its great to see the support team still working hard after the 12% culled.  

@brolin

Man, that’s brutal, 12%, it’s definitely a trying time now!

I have the information copied here:

Sub: Living Room
Serial Number: 54-2A-**-**-**-**:*
Sonos OS: S2
Version: 12.0.1 (build 58178090)
Hardware Version: 1.32.1.4-1.2
Series ID: A200

 

**Moderator Note: Please censor personal information when posting.**

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Just got an email from the escalation support team, it seems that they are able to reproduce the issue on their end as well.

 

“Thank you for going over the details with me today.

As this is an unexpected reproducible issue, I have met with few of our hardware and electrical engineers to review the diagnostics and videos gathered from your case. We have so far determined the issue to not be with your home electrical wiring based on the specific tickling/hissing noise level, and currently we are waiting for the one that you have already shipped back to confirm if the issue is at the hardware or software(drivers) level. 

Having stated the above, a power conditioner/filter device will not help with this issue. Please bear with us as we are currently working on investigating this abnormality. 

I will notify you via this email as soon as any updates become available in the following couple weeks.”

Excellent work from andrewchiu1st and SONOS support team.

I am holding back my purchases until we get more update from the support team. But alas, I already sold my Sub gen 2… :joy:

Andrewchiu1st, can you provide your sonos sub gen 3 hardware / version / build number so that we know which batch to avoid when buying again.  

Its great to see the support team still working hard after the 12% culled.  

@brolin

Man, that’s brutal, 12%, it’s definitely a trying time now!

I have the information copied here:

Sub: Living Room
Serial Number: 54-2A-**-**-**-**:*
Sonos OS: S2
Version: 12.0.1 (build 58178090)
Hardware Version: 1.32.1.4-1.2
Series ID: A200


Same specs as you. Any chance you could share your case number with support? I have a call scheduled with them for later this week and would like to reference yours. I’m afraid they’re going to give me the runaround and try to replace it, etc. when you’ve already made actual progress into clarifying the issue. Just scheduled the call to provide more documented examples of this occurring for the team. 

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