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!


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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 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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@TapDatApp 

Thanks for the update! 

I’m glad that they are making progress with the hardware issue. It’s interesting to see that this is an issue with WiFi traffic, since the issue started the moment I plugged in the power cable. The WiFi router I’m using is the Google Nest WiFi with 1 satellite router and I don’t have any kind of issues with my other devices.

I did ask them what is the best thing for me to do as tomorrow will be the last day for me to return the Sub, they reassured me that they will eventually give me a SUB with perfect condition. I still definitely want to have the SUB in my setup so I guess I will keep it for the time being and wait for them to resolve the issue.


Thank you for letting me know. Our Sonos hardware team is diligently working on investigating this issue; however, we have no estimated time on the fix.

As for a possible return, if you are still within Best Buy's return policy and would like to proceed in such way, you may do so; however, I will guarantee you that once the fix is in place, if it takes to send you a new one as replacement, we will be happy to do so to ensure that you have a perfectly working Sonos SUB. 

Having stated the above, let me know how you would like to move forward.

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Hi Everyone and @andrewchiu1st ,

 

Just got back from the call with Sonos Netherlands, a 50 minute long one… The lady of the support team checked out my problem and asked me to send several diagnostics and audio recordings with the problem. I sent one recording and diagnostic report with the sub in standby mode and one with the sub in use. 

 

Now the next thing is new: Sonos is going to setup a research in the Netherlands as well, so there’s another team looking into this problem. Team Canada and Holland are now working together as “The A-Team” haha!

For now there’s no solution, it’s stil in research as we await the outcome. For everyone with a Gen 3 Sub, check if you have these issues too! The more people who get involved, the quicker this issue gets solved. For everyone with this problem ask Andrew and me for the Sonos support ticket numbers so you can be added to the list of people who are experiencing these troubles. 

 

For now I’m feeling a bit down by this, as this is not the experience I would like to have when spending hundred of euros on top of the line home cinema speakers. But then again, it’s good that Sonos is looking into it and I hope to hear from them soon. 

 

Cheers!

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Update on my end. I have reached out to Sonos multiple times and it seems like they aren’t able to offer a replacement once the hardware issues have been worked out. I have referenced case numbers and the situation of others on this thread, but it doesn’t seem to make any difference. I will need to go with a replacement that will be sent out as soon as I accept it. I was assured by the agent that the sub is tested and verified to be free of defects prior to being shipping out. I feel like doing this is a little risky as I don’t want to keep sending subs back and forth with Sonos with the same issue, and I really doubt Sonos wants to waste time and money doing this as well. I’m thinking if I receive a replacement that has the same issue then that’s when my situation would be elevated to a higher tier and the engineers would be involved. What a hassle this has become!

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I have the sub gen 3 as well and notice this sound, it’s like a buzz or cracking electrical type sound, although I must say for me I can’t hear it unless I put my ear as near to the opening as possible, so not really been an issue for me.

In any case whatever the issue hopefully its not a hardware fault.

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For anyone curious, the new 12.1 system update that just came out today does nothing to address the issues on the G3 sub. Still have the audible hum and ticking post update.

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Hi guys,

I just followed up with Sonos Escalation team and hopefully they will come back with some concrete updates since it has been almost 4 months and I expect them to give a bit more context rather than just “we are working on it, no ETA at this time.”

Will keep everyone posted!

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

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.

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

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

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. 

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.

 

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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.

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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!

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.

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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@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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@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.

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Just had my call with the Sonos folks regarding this. It sounds like they’ve done quite a bit of work on identifying the issue based on Andrew’s case and from what I was told, it sounds like they did identify a hardware issue that is causing this and confirmed the effect can vary based on WiFi traffic. 
 

We discussed how the solution is still up in the air and how like others have already experienced, a replacement unit currently wouldn’t solve the issue as this is affecting the product as a whole. Will they recall it? Will they push a silent production update to the next batch and then swap units out for customers on a case-by-case basis? None of this has been decided yet. But the issue has been recognized, investigated, and confirmed.

 

Now we wait...

Hi guys, I have some terrible news.

I received my replacement from Sonos yesterday. Excellent customer service, quick turnaround with the replacement, but all the great service doesn't change the fact that the new unit is the same as before. Which leads me to conclude that it’s a design flaw.

Now why is this apparent flaw not bigger news online that it currently is? Because not everyone will be capable of hearing the noise. I wouldn't call myself an audiophile in any way, but the noise is obvious to me, making it irksome, my partner says he can’t hear it unless she’s 1 foot away.

I assume that many people will be blissfully unaware of this flaw, until someone with more attuned hearing points it out the them, and then it becomes something you can’t un-hear.

The bass that comes out of the Gen 3 sub is rich, deep and everything you’d want it to be. Unfortunately for me, the electro-static ticking noise, ruins the enjoyment I should be getting out of this £699 premium product.

Am still a Sonos fan, just a little less than I was before.

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