Question

Sonos Beam - Microphone deactivation - Which level of deactivation: Software, hardware, remote activation?

  • 10 December 2019
  • 3 replies
  • 818 views

Hey all,

Thinking about getting a Sonos Beam as TV Soundbar, but somehow concerned about the level of data privacy/security when bringing in another microphone in my home. 

Can you please explain how the Sonos Beam is designed once it comes to deactivating the Microphone when pressing the button on top of the device? E.g. is the light part of the electric circuit of the microphones or is it only a software-wise deactivation of the device? Is it possible to remotely activate the microphone e.g.? Is the microphone still listening/recording even if deactivated? Is the microphone listening/recording if Alexa/Google Assistant aren’t setup?

I would really appreciate some input as it helps me to take a decision on which soundbar to buy.

Thank you and best regards,

Kai


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3 replies

From what I have read...

On the Sonos Beam, the microphone only shows as being activated (mic LED light on) when a voice assistant is installed onto the device, so presumably no assistant means no mic, so it’s not listening. Importantly however, the mic-light is hardwired to the mic circuit itself and software apparently cannot alter that circuit, so if mic-light is off, then so is the mic.

You cannot disable the mic using the Sonos App, you have to physically do that via the 'touch control’ on the device itself or by removing the assistant software. If someone did activate the mic somehow, you would know because the mic-light would be visible.

Thd PlayBar/Playbase/Amp, as alternatives, apparently do not have microphones built in.

Hope that assists.

Yes, it does! Thanks, Ken! 

‘Importantly however, the mic-light is hardwired to the mic circuit itself and software apparently cannot alter that circuit, so if mic-light is off, then so is the mic.’

 

Can somebody from Sonos please confirm this statement? I’ve read it in several forums, but never seen it in any official product documentation or statements. 

 

Update:

Just found this in the Beam documentation

(Source: https://gzhls.at/blob/ldb/0/b/a/b/a6e66ac2627da7b26aa1b7fa5d534023546d.pdf)

 

Seems like it is confirmed. 

The_real_Kai_H,

See also this post in the community some months back from Ryan S Community Manager and Sonos Staff. I understand this is how  the microphones work on all Sonos products…

https://en.community.sonos.com/amazon-alexa-and-sonos-229102/sonos-app-can-turn-a-disabled-sonos-one-microphone-back-on-privacy-issue-6797686#post16239800