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

There’s only one reason to upgrade, as near as I can tell, which is to allow the use of two Subs in a home theater Sonos ‘room’. Beyond that, they have the same functionality. 

Glad I found this today as I am in the process of selling my Sonos Sub Gen2 to purchase a Sub Gen 3 using my 30% off coupon.

I’m thinking I should hold tight and keep the Gen 2 sub since it is working perfectly?

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@giovannichiappetto Thanks for sharing your results.

Seems like at this point there is not going to be an official fix for the sub g3 issues we are all experiencing. I am gonna roll the dice and ask for a replacement since it seems more recent replacements have the issues ironed out.

Hi guys,

I received a new sub g3 today (just sent old one just two days ago!!!) and it is just pristine. No issues at all. Zero cracking / noises whatsoever. Double checked with multiples sources, like tv, AirPlay, streaming via sonos app and everything’s fine.

 

thanks Sonos support team!

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I’ve been following this thread and was decided to buy the sub from Sonos directly and it just arrived yesterday. Here is my setup and initial observations with the sub so far:

Setup

  • Beam
  • two Play:1s
  • Sub gen 3
  • Sony 950G TV connected via HDMI/ARC
  • all speakers, TV and Apple 4K TV are wirelessly connected to the network

Sonos OS: S2

Sub version: 12.2 (build 61183251)

Sub hardware version: 1.32.1.5-1.1

Standby mode (nothing playing): Slight hum but I need to put my area right up to the sub to hear it and it’s not bothersome. It sounds like the hum my old passive speakers would have when my amplifier was powered on.

Music playback via Apple Music (not Airplay): Same subtle hum as in standby mode.

TV audio: I can hear a faint ticking noise when < 2 feet away. I definitely cannot hear it from my normal TV viewing position that is ~10 feet away.

 

At this point I’m pretty satisfied with the sub and don’t have any strong concerns with the humming and ticking noise. I do find it curious that I can only hear the ticking while watching things on TV and not with music playback, and it makes me think that there is a chance that the ticking noise could be software related but this is pure speculation on my part.


whilst we have different hardware versions - of the sub gen 3 - though can’t be sure there’s any material difference in components or build practise/quality. Your experience when the TV is powered on is similar to mine. There is something about the frequencies emitted from the TV when not in standby more that the Sub is picking up and not shielded from. 

I’ve been following this thread and was decided to buy the sub from Sonos directly and it just arrived yesterday. Here is my setup and initial observations with the sub so far:

Setup

  • Beam
  • two Play:1s
  • Sub gen 3
  • Sony 950G TV connected via HDMI/ARC
  • all speakers, TV and Apple 4K TV are wirelessly connected to the network

Sonos OS: S2

Sub version: 12.2 (build 61183251)

Sub hardware version: 1.32.1.5-1.1

Standby mode (nothing playing): Slight hum but I need to put my area right up to the sub to hear it and it’s not bothersome. It sounds like the hum my old passive speakers would have when my amplifier was powered on.

Music playback via Apple Music (not Airplay): Same subtle hum as in standby mode.

TV audio: I can hear a faint ticking noise when < 2 feet away. I definitely cannot hear it from my normal TV viewing position that is ~10 feet away.

 

At this point I’m pretty satisfied with the sub and don’t have any strong concerns with the humming and ticking noise. I do find it curious that I can only hear the ticking while watching things on TV and not with music playback, and it makes me think that there is a chance that the ticking noise could be software related but this is pure speculation on my part.

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Just received my new SUB Gen3 from Sonos. Checked the Hardware Version and it is 1.32.1.5-2.2 which appears to be newer than people are reporting earlier in this thread.

I’m pleased with the SUB, no issues at all, could the hardware update have solved the previous problems people were having or am I just lucky?

Ended up going for the replacement. Few hours in, no issues so far.

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Gen 3 arrived today. 
 

The good news: it sounds great. 2 sub setup is not quite night and day difference, but ao far on limited testing the experience is more ‘cinematic’. (Shame they don’t allow toggle of either sub off on to aid comparison). 

The not so good news: there is most certainly a difference in the ‘silence’ of the Gen 3 vs Gen 2.  
 

Both do have a small degree of electrical buzz type noise if you put your ear next to the speaker port. But the Gen 3 is noticeably louder and has that little tiny cricket type noise - which to my ears sounds like some sort of resonance or secondary noise from the PSU in addition to the electrical hum. 
 

With the Gen 2 I have to practically put my ear in the speaker port to hear it. With the Gen 3 i can hear it about 0.5m away. Only just, but it is there.

Just thought of a test as I was typing this…. 

The tiny crickets go quiet as soon as I put the TV in Standby!!!! 
 

With the TV off the difference between the two subs is even more marginal. I think that the Gen 3 sounds ‘louder’ as the pitch off the electrical hum is higher than the Gen2. But I can’t hear either from my seating position 4.5m away from the TV…. so not sure if it is a show stopper - and when the TV is on I don’t plan to spend much time on my knees with an ear to the sub port. 
 

i’ll try some additional positional and environmental tests - placement and see what other kit interferes over the weekend and report back. 

I’ve no idea if Sonos had made any changes on the more recent builds compared to the early adopters. But to me it sounds like a shielding issue. It could be that the assembly quality control is hit and miss and that some suffer more than others. 
 

2x subs and play 5 rears does make for a very full surround sound though. The battle scenes in Fury which I used ad a quick test have a fair bit more ‘umpf’. Arc arrives in 2 weeks so will complete the ‘upgrade’ - assuming the damn thing works with the LG lol. 

 

My replacement Gen 3 sub has also been without issue. Good luck.

My Gen3 Sub has just shipped. fingers crossed the issue is resolved! Will know soon enough I guess. 

Good luck. My replacement unit hasn’t given me any issues so far.

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My Gen3 Sub has just shipped. fingers crossed the issue is resolved! Will know soon enough I guess. 

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Received my replacement Sub3 from Sonos today. So far so good. 👍


that encouraging. Hope it lasts. Keep us posted.  

Received my replacement Sub3 from Sonos today. So far so good. 👍

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I ordered mine a few days ago as I was waiting for the Gen 3 to get back in stock. Seems that most places sold out over the holidays and both the Arc and Sub gen3 are in backorder with Sonos UK. 
 

i’m hoping they have sorted the issue. Sonos website says it won’t ship until the end of the month. I’ll report back on whether it still has this issue. I have a couple of Gen2 subs to compare it too. Not noticed any noise from any Sonos speaker in the past and I have over 20! 
 

At rhis price point there really should not be this kind of issue - and since the audio internals are largely unchanged the should be no excuse for this not to have been picked up in QA. 
 

Fingers crossed! 
 

as the only reason I’m getting it is to try out the ‘2 sub’ feature. If the fault is still there then it’ll be sent back in the returns period. 
 

PS: excellent work by the early adopters to demonstrate the issue! Thanks. 

Received mine today. Same issue with a hissing/electric sound, mostly can be heard when you have music playing and turn volume to zero, but also audible when you sit close to the sub and volume is lower.

Will need to replace if there’s no other way to fix it. Following to see how Sonos handles this and if it makes sense to replace now or later.

 

Version: 12.2.2

HW version: 1.32.1.4-2.1

Series: A200

 

Sounds good otherwise, but this is unacceptable.

System: Arc + 2 x One SL + Sub.

I too have the same issue - I bought my Beam, Sub and 2 x One SLs for a home theatre set up in November. The original sub had this humming issue in which a replacement was sent out to me very quickly. The new sub which I have received still has the same issue but only when I put my ear in between the gap on the sub, and even then it is a faint hum, where as before it was that loud I could hear it 2 metres away.

 

One thing I have noticed is that it stops when streaming music from Apple Music, but happens when audio is received from the HDMI connection...

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Update: This was only a temporary “fix” of the noise issue. The noise is back - so the trick with wired connection did not help :-(

I really look forward to a real fix.

Agree, Sonos need to respond to this problem. Even if wiring sub solves the issue it does not feel ok to me. If users cannot use Sonos’ speakers wirelessly they cannot market their products as wireless speaker systems.

Update: This was only a temporary “fix” of the noise issue. The noise is back - so the trick with wired connection did not help :-(

I really look forward to a real fix.

Received my Sonos Sub 3 Gen yesterday. I can confirm the cracking noise as well. Very disappointing.

In case that only music is played you can hear a constant sum noise like a harddrive. If sound is coming from TV over the Sonos ARC you can hear a cracking noise in regular intervals that is louder.

i will get in base touch with the Support on Monday.

At the moment I am not sure how to proceed. It seems that replacements do have the same error. 

Did some more tests. Connected all speakers (ARC, Sub, 2x One SL) using Ethernet to a switch. Disabled WiFI on each speaker.

The cracking noise is gone! In a LAN-Setup the system works as expected.

I am using a FrithBox 7590 as Router in the basement. In the ground floor and upper floor there is a FRITZ!WLAN Repeater 1750E each. The FritzBox 7590 and both FRITZ!WLAN Repeater 1750E build a Fritz Mesh. WiFi is repeated WiFi-to-WiFi on the FRITZ!WLAN Repeaters. At the moment I assume that the annoying noise at the Sonos Sub is caused by this WiFi-Mesh configuration.

Has anyone had this experience too?

What can I change on the Fritz Mesh so that it works with the Sonos system without background noise?

When the going gets tough I replace the Fritz Mesh.But what would you recommend? The WiFi must work on three floors. Preferably with just one WiFi SSID.

I have the same issue with a noise like a harddrive. I switched my Beam and the Sub to wired and disabled the wireless on the sub. It did the trick - now the noice is gone. 

@TapDatApp

Of course, my case number is Case #: 018*****

It’s great that you also arranged a call with them so that we can put this under their radar!

 

Moderator note: Censored for privacy reasons.

Since it is censored, I can’t refer to your case number for my problem...

I had one without the sound issue and I asked for a replacement (Original had white scratches on the piano black 5-6 cm long).

Any update on the sound? I've had my sub since Christmas and no idea why, I never noticed it before. 4-5 loud cracks happened tonight and now I can only hear this cracking/hissing sound.

I’ll try to plug it over ethernet tomorrow to diagnose the problem. But my router is in another room (40ft away), so it can’t stay wired.

Received my first gen 3 sub today and I can confirm I have all the above issues. Probably not to the same level as some said but I can hear the creaking, crackling, as well as hard drive / fireplace flame flickering type of sounds and issues.

I’m planning on sitting with it for a few days and see how it goes before reaching out to Sonos.

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I have requested 4 replacements and finally received one with only minor issues (very faint clicking noise). I can live with it since who knows if the next replacement will better or worse. I am not going to request more replacements until Sonos finish the so-called investigation with the gen3 sub. What annoys me the most is that sonos never made a statement recognizing the problem, which is clearly very wide-spread from a lot of people’s experiences. The customer service people are pretty helpful, but sonos really should take up some responsibility and admit they have either developed/produced a faulty product and provide a true solution to the users.

My first replacement is a little quieter, but the noise is still there. It’s bearable as you have to be pretty close to the sub to hear it but there shouldn’t be any noise in my opinion. At this point in time I’m hesitant to try another replacement in case it’s worse than the one I have now! 

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