Sonos play:1 low bass popping


Badge +1
  • Contributor III
  • 11 replies
Hi- I've been using my sonos play:1 for a month. I've noticed a low bass popping sound intermittently. I've used the trueplay calibration twice to no avail. I've also sent off a diagnostic. Is anyone else having the same problem?

An example track where this occurs is Coldplays track "magic".

Any tips would be most appreciated.

44 replies

I had the same problem with my Play1 in my Kitchen with Trueplay on. I moved it into my living room where my stereo pair is and re-tuned it. Brought it back to the Kitchen and the popping is gone. I’m convinced it’s a problem with the Trueplay calibration.

Hi- I've been using my sonos play:1 for a month. I've noticed a low bass popping sound intermittently. I've used the trueplay calibration twice to no avail. I've also sent off a diagnostic. Is anyone else having the same problem?

An example track where this occurs is Coldplays track "magic".

Any tips would be most appreciated.



Hi. I have experinced the same issue on my Play1. it is caused by Trueplay. I use my speaker in a small room approx. 7 m2.  I move my speaker to a large room, and run Trueplay caibration again, and the problem is solved.  I beleave Trueplay calibration is not working properly in small rooms.  

I also have had this issue for a year or so now 2 x Play 1's in the kitchen playing from Spotify.. popping is not always present but I guess on around 20-30% of tracks we listen to. When it happens it ruins the experience, Trueplay seems to be the issue with it off the problem almost goes away but the sound is dull and flat when off.
I also have other sonos speakers (4 x play 5's gen 1 & 2 & a play 3) never had an issue. I guess I will log a diagnostic etc. etc. as I have in the past but still no change.


Unfortunately this is indeed the case in my experience. Enabling Trueplay makes the bass popping / distortion worse on the Play 1 / Sonos One. It does not occur on every song but it is especially prominent with bass heavy tracks and from a volume level of 50-55% and above. Having gone through multiple Play 1 / One units (purchased, sold on, etc.), it appears the issue stems from a speaker design limitation. The default Sonos sound 'flavour' is very bass heavy and this becomes even more pronounced with Trueplay enabled. In my view, the Sonos One simply cannot cope with this amount of bass which results to the bass 'popping' distortion we experience. I have gone through the diagnostic / troubleshooting process and it does not resolve this. Reducing the bass (by a lot) seems to help but this exposes harshness in the upper midrange which quickly turns into listening fatigue (for my ears). I have found a setting that helps a bit: Deactivate Trueplay, set bass at -4 clicks, set treble at -2 clicks, set volume limiter at 75%.
I also have had this issue for a year or so now 2 x Play 1's in the kitchen playing from Spotify.. popping is not always present but I guess on around 20-30% of tracks we listen to. When it happens it ruins the experience, Trueplay seems to be the issue with it off the problem almost goes away but the sound is dull and flat when off.
I also have other sonos speakers (4 x play 5's gen 1 & 2 & a play 3) never had an issue. I guess I will log a diagnostic etc. etc. as I have in the past but still no change.
Great to hear you have managed to correct it in your setup, unfortunately it did not work in my case. I have 4 play one speakers and I have tried running true play numerous times, in different rooms and using different devices (iPad, iPhone etc.). In all cases, true play makes the bass popping problem worse (and also makes the upper midrange unbearably harsh). Reducing bass via the eq helps and it is a good thing to do anyway as Sonos default sound is super boomy with exaggerated bass. However there seems to be a limit to what the speaker can do. I ended up accepting this limitation and set the volume limit to 75%. The bass popping starts just before this volume limit in most cases.
I had this problem.....I only had the problem in my bathroom speaker. I fixed by taking my ONE to my living room and retuning trueplay.....took it back in the bathroom, and no more issue.
I tried various placements over time:
- Mid wall on a kitchen shelf. Kitchen is 3m x 2m
- Bedside table (so bed height) and near wall. Bedroom size is 3m x 3m
- Free standing on a Dynaudio speaker stand (1m away from back wall) in the living room (4m x 5m)
- In stereo pair mode (2 x Sonos One) 1m away from back wall on a tv cabinet


Did any of the results sound better then the other? Did you try them on the floor?


The bass popping was not affected at all by placement. No matter where I placed the Play 1 (or Sonos One), bass popping occurred with some bass heavy tracks at around 50% volume, Trueplay off, Loudness off and bass reduced by 4 clicks. No issues with other less bass heavy tracks. Trueplay on made it worse.

I found that a solid surface and space from back wall helped with the bass boom (not the bass popping though). I did not try the floor placement but found that the solid dynaudio stand plus space from back wall helped with bass. I still had to keep the bass at -4 clicks though. Please take my opinion as purely subjective as I get the impression that a majority of people prefer a more bass prominent sound.

Cheers
Badge
I tried various placements over time:
- Mid wall on a kitchen shelf. Kitchen is 3m x 2m
- Bedside table (so bed height) and near wall. Bedroom size is 3m x 3m
- Free standing on a Dynaudio speaker stand (1m away from back wall) in the living room (4m x 5m)
- In stereo pair mode (2 x Sonos One) 1m away from back wall on a tv cabinet


Did any of the results sound better then the other? Did you try them on the floor?
I tried various placements over time:
- Mid wall on a kitchen shelf. Kitchen is 3m x 2m
- Bedside table (so bed height) and near wall. Bedroom size is 3m x 3m
- Free standing on a Dynaudio speaker stand (1m away from back wall) in the living room (4m x 5m)
- In stereo pair mode (2 x Sonos One) 1m away from back wall on a tv cabinet
Badge
Dear friends


I have been testing this issue with Sonos over the phone for over a month and this is whats happening:

The Play: 1 and Sonos One are limited to the amount of bass they can produce due to their compact size. Sonos has added a limiter inside these speakers to prevent them from breaking. This popping/distortion is actually the limiter doing its job when it detects a bass tone to high for the speaker to produce. It's always been there. The reason we are all noticing it more now is that with Trueplay enabled the levels become different causing the limiter to usually trigger between 25% - 50% volume levels on these certain bass tones, anything over 50% the limiter is changing the bass tones altogether so you don't hear it just trying to stop a single bass tone.

So what now? I have just turned off Trueplay and I'm enjoying the way they sound without it. as for a fix, I have been told that a feature request for the way the limiter responses to bass tones have been written up, there was only one downside... I was told that it probably wouldn't happen right away unless a lot more customers were experiencing this issue. So If you experience this call it in and let them know you don't like the way the limiter is causing a popping/distortion sound in the Play: 1 and Sonos One.

I just got myself a new Play: 3 and it does not have this issue. This seems to be strictly a Play: 1 and Sonos One issue due to its size.

If anyone has any questions for me feel free to ask.

P.S. I still love these speakers by the way. Hopefully, Sonos will hear us and figure something out



Thank you for sharing this and very useful indeed. I have not found a solution so far unfortunately. I experienced the bass popping with 3 different Sonos One speakers as well as an older Play 1. Trueplay tunning seems to make it worse but I have also experienced the bass popping with Trueplay turned off. It happens with certain bass heavy tracks at a volume of around 50% (with trueplay off). If I enable trueplay the bass popping happens at about 40% or 45% volume level. This occurs even with EQ settings to reduce bass (-5 clicks) and loudness turned off. The bass on the One and Play 1 is very pronounced by default so maybe that is the cause. Sonos customer support have been amazing as always but replacing with a different unit did not solve the issue for me. Even with trueplay turned off.


Out of curiousity what level do you have the speaker placed in your room? Mid wall? What's the room like? And where abouts in the room?
Dear friends


I have been testing this issue with Sonos over the phone for over a month and this is whats happening:

The Play: 1 and Sonos One are limited to the amount of bass they can produce due to their compact size. Sonos has added a limiter inside these speakers to prevent them from breaking. This popping/distortion is actually the limiter doing its job when it detects a bass tone to high for the speaker to produce. It's always been there. The reason we are all noticing it more now is that with Trueplay enabled the levels become different causing the limiter to usually trigger between 25% - 50% volume levels on these certain bass tones, anything over 50% the limiter is changing the bass tones altogether so you don't hear it just trying to stop a single bass tone.

So what now? I have just turned off Trueplay and I'm enjoying the way they sound without it. as for a fix, I have been told that a feature request for the way the limiter responses to bass tones have been written up, there was only one downside... I was told that it probably wouldn't happen right away unless a lot more customers were experiencing this issue. So If you experience this call it in and let them know you don't like the way the limiter is causing a popping/distortion sound in the Play: 1 and Sonos One.

I just got myself a new Play: 3 and it does not have this issue. This seems to be strictly a Play: 1 and Sonos One issue due to its size.

If anyone has any questions for me feel free to ask.

P.S. I still love these speakers by the way. Hopefully, Sonos will hear us and figure something out



Thank you for sharing this and very useful indeed. I have not found a solution so far unfortunately. I experienced the bass popping with 3 different Sonos One speakers as well as an older Play 1. Trueplay tunning seems to make it worse but I have also experienced the bass popping with Trueplay turned off. It happens with certain bass heavy tracks at a volume of around 50% (with trueplay off). If I enable trueplay the bass popping happens at about 40% or 45% volume level. This occurs even with EQ settings to reduce bass (-5 clicks) and loudness turned off. The bass on the One and Play 1 is very pronounced by default so maybe that is the cause. Sonos customer support have been amazing as always but replacing with a different unit did not solve the issue for me. Even with trueplay turned off.
Badge
Just purchased two Sonos Ones. I have this problem with one of the two. They aren't paired though, in two different rooms. The bass issue is on the speaker in the smaller room. One song is a good example: "The Feeling" by The Knocks. The problem is weird in this song because with consecutive drum beats, not every one triggers the noise. Many times it's every other beat. It's horrendous at low volumes. At louder volumes the problem melts into the background. If you didn't know the song, you would overlook it. You turn off Trueplay and the problem goes away. But then you are left with a poor sounding speaker and that just makes me want to return them. :@

https://en.community.sonos.com/wireless-speakers-228992/sonos-play-1-low-bass-popping-6787879/index2.html#post16207649

I made a post on the issue. It appears that placement of the units will make a difference in how you hear this popping distortion but from all the testing I have done that popping distortion is in every unit due to the limiter going off to prevent damaging the speakers. I’ve even been able to replicate the distortion with Trueplay off. Just out of curiosity, the unit that you notice it happing the most on what type of room is it, where do you have it placed and where abouts do you have it between the floor and the ceiling? If you can I would get your money back and pick up a Play: 3, no limiter issues on these units. I’ve tested
Just purchased two Sonos Ones. I have this problem with one of the two. They aren't paired though, in two different rooms. The bass issue is on the speaker in the smaller room. One song is a good example: "The Feeling" by The Knocks. The problem is weird in this song because with consecutive drum beats, not every one triggers the noise. Many times it's every other beat. It's horrendous at low volumes. At louder volumes the problem melts into the background. If you didn't know the song, you would overlook it. You turn off Trueplay and the problem goes away. But then you are left with a poor sounding speaker and that just makes me want to return them. :@

Diagnostic: 1346187291
Badge
Dear friends


I have been testing this issue with Sonos over the phone for over a month and this is whats happening:

The Play: 1 and Sonos One are limited to the amount of bass they can produce due to their compact size. Sonos has added a limiter inside these speakers to prevent them from breaking. This popping/distortion is actually the limiter doing its job when it detects a bass tone to high for the speaker to produce. It's always been there. The reason we are all noticing it more now is that with Trueplay enabled the levels become different causing the limiter to usually trigger between 25% - 50% volume levels on these certain bass tones, anything over 50% the limiter is changing the bass tones altogether so you don't hear it just trying to stop a single bass tone.

So what now? I have just turned off Trueplay and I'm enjoying the way they sound without it. as for a fix, I have been told that a feature request for the way the limiter responses to bass tones have been written up, there was only one downside... I was told that it probably wouldn't happen right away unless a lot more customers were experiencing this issue. So If you experience this call it in and let them know you don't like the way the limiter is causing a popping/distortion sound in the Play: 1 and Sonos One.

I just got myself a new Play: 3 and it does not have this issue. This seems to be strictly a Play: 1 and Sonos One issue due to its size.

If anyone has any questions for me feel free to ask.

P.S. I still love these speakers by the way. Hopefully, Sonos will hear us and figure something out
Same issues here on multiple Sonos: One speakers - iPhone 7, mostly use Spotify but present in other streaming services as well. I need to go through the diagnostic and other steps mentioned here when I find the time but it has been very frustrating. Same range as a few others have mentioned past 25-30% - seems like it just can’t handle the bass.
Badge
Hi there. I've been noticing the low bass popping too, while streaming through Spotify. Although recently the poppings' pretty much stopped when using SoundCloud. I only recently got a pair of Play:1's running and I can tell the bass is fairly dominating my cave of a bedroom. Think it's a tweaking problem with some of the services, haven't been into podcasts/radio yet though. I guess a little update wouldn't harm:?
Badge
I'm another +1 for the extended EQ options. Can you imagine being the OP...the time and effort it has taken to contact Sonos support, return 2 speakers, and still have the same issue? To think it could be fixed by a simple tweaking on the EQ is/would be extremely frustrating. It's fine to bury it deep in the OS so that most layman don't need to deal with it, but at least have it in there.

I have one set of stereo Play:1s in my bedroom, and one set in my kitchen. My kitchen pair have an unbearable popping with Trueplay turned on (the only solution is to turn it off), while my bedroom pair have never had any issues whatsoever. This seems to be an problem going on for years, and until Sonos can 100% correct it, they really should be offering other options.
Not particularly. I find that I prefer the music as the artist intended, and I assume they had a hand in the mastering of the tracks. But that's my taste, not everyones. I'm sure there are lots of people who would love a comprehensive EQ in the software.

But my impression is that Sonos' target market isn't the high end audiophile. From what I've seen, they prefer the whole "it just works" kind of market, so that the typical Mom and Pop can pick one up at the local store, and make it work without a lot of effort. This strategy certainly frustrates those who want to do more with the system.

I've had a hand in product design before, and the inclusion of multiple "options" for additional features tends to confuse and frustrate the average user. I extrapolate from my prior experience that this is what keeps Sonos from offering many of these features that some of us have requested as things that "are simple to add".

I'll admit to reading pretty much every post on these boards for the last year and a half, or more. Not really keeping track, so, unsurprisingly, I don't recall seeing you post that video and the diagnostic number. But I may have missed it, as I often dismiss things that I know I don't have enough knowledge about to help, and particularly those who have included a diagnostic. But if you haven't posted the number of that diagnostic here, I'd encourage you to do so. I imagine they get enough random submissions that if they don't know what they're looking for by posting the data in a thread with a explanation, it tends to get ignored. However, if you've done so, my apologies.

Finally, there are other ways that are much more immediate to get in contact with the folks at Sonos than these forums. I believe they support Twitter and Facebook Messenger, in addition to their phone line support. You can find all of these at www.sonos.com/contact

I hope you're able to resolve your issues with the system soon. There is no doubt that if I were experiencing the same thing, I'd be extremely frustrated as well.
Might be worth posting a diagnostic, along with information about the source of music and which song you're playing, to help them try to reproduce the issue.
Yes I submitted diagnostic and a video with song name. I have turned off trueplay and this bass pop has stopped. I have cranked the treble and reduced the bass. Now it just sounds flat. We need an advanced EQ to address these issues. I am shocked that Sonos just have treble and bass. Clearly trueplay doesn’t always work correctly. Wouldn’t you like a comprehensive EQ Bruce ?
Might be worth posting a diagnostic, along with information about the source of music and which song you're playing, to help them try to reproduce the issue.
Noticed this bass popping on my play 1. Got a replacement as advised by support. The new play 1 is doing exactly the same bass pop/ distortion. Trueplay is on. Turning off trueplay helps but then the speaker sounds terrible. This is why we need a comprehensive EQ function not just a lame treble and bass EQ. Hopefully new updates can fix this issue with Trueplay and Play 1’s.
I've had the same problem with one of my 4 Play 1's. I followed the advice in the thread, turned off TruePlay and adjusted my bass. Seems to have gone away.
Userlevel 2
Badge +5
Hello! I have two Play 1 in a room (stereo) and one in another room. With the Play 1 in stereo there is absolutely no popping. But with the another Play 1 AND ONLY WITH THUE TRUEPLAY there is horrible popping...
Userlevel 3
Badge +2
Hello Jitp, it sounds like it may be best to troubleshoot in real-time for this issue. We can't see any indication of this in the diagnostic report. It looks like you may have had a support case open previously however, is this related to reference 170717-00137?
Badge +1
I've found a track that it distorts on throughout the track. George Ezra- don't matter now through Apple Music. Diagnostic sent 7661785

Reply