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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Sonos’ $900 Dolby Atmos soundbar has a loud pop subject that’s taking years to repair

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I purchased a Sonos Arc soundbar and an LG OLED G2 six months in the past to make use of with my Xbox Series X pondering it might be essentially the most handy strategy to develop my current Sonos setup to deal with Dolby Atmos audio from apps like Netflix, Apple TV Plus, and Disney Plus. Now, nonetheless, my Sonos Arc soundbar sounds prefer it’s exploding with a startling loud bang and a sequence of audio pops when I attempt to use Dolby Atmos content material. I’m not alone, both. I used to be shocked to be taught that tons of of Sonos Arc homeowners have skilled these extraordinarily loud audio pops for almost three years with no repair.

Sonos markets its Arc soundbar as having the ability to “deliver all of your leisure to life and expertise breathtakingly reasonable spatial audio powered by Dolby Atmos.” The fact for a lot of is that it’s a Dolby Atmos soundbar that may’t deal with Atmos correctly. I’ve been experiencing these loud audio pops over the previous few weeks, with no adjustments to my setup. Others have been struggling with them for years with no repair in sight, with a single thread on Sonos’ forum stuffed with almost 1,000 responses from upset Arc homeowners.

After contacting Sonos assist so as to add my voice to the rising variety of affected customers, I used to be met with two official workarounds: disable CEC on units or disable Dolby Atmos and use Dolby Digital 5.1 as an alternative. Considered one of these workarounds means I lose the flexibility for my TV to regulate different units over HDMI-CEC, and the opposite means disabling Dolby Atmos on a soundbar that’s purported to be designed for it!

The one workaround that has labored for me is disabling Dolby Atmos, and it’s the identical for a lot of different homeowners caught with a $900 Dolby Atmos soundbar that may’t deal with Atmos.

Not each Sonos Arc proprietor will expertise the problem, although. It’s notably prevalent with individuals who use an Xbox Collection X or Apple TV 4K to push Dolby Atmos content material to their TV, and it looks as if this mixture is inflicting points. One detailed post within the ongoing Sonos assist thread means that the issue may very well be associated to how the Xbox Collection X and Apple TV 4K use a Dolby MAT 2.0 encoder to output sound.

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However after almost three years with no repair, Sonos doesn’t appear to be any nearer to resolving issues as the corporate is struggling to breed the problems clients are experiencing. Right here’s what Sonos product supervisor Scott Fink needed to say in an announcement to The Verge:

We’re conscious {that a} small proportion of shoppers have skilled an interoperability subject which is inflicting a popping sound on Arc. What we all know now could be that this subject happens on some Dolby Atmos enabled audio merchandise, together with Arc, when linked to sure mixtures of streaming units and TVs whereas enjoying Dolby Atmos content material.

We’re dedicated to discovering the basis trigger and we’re persevering with to check for a dependable replica of what clients are describing on-line and in conversations with our assist workforce. We’re additionally participating our contacts at third celebration producers to additional discover potential options. As this is a matter stemming from the way in which varied units are working collectively, there are a selection of checks our workforce must conduct to grasp the scope and develop a focused resolution for every setup. We’ll let you understand as quickly as we’ve an replace to share.

Sonos says it will possibly’t reliably reproduce the problem, however that’s weird since many shoppers can. I’m additionally in a position to make the audio pop just by navigating across the Xbox dashboard after which transferring to content material that isn’t Dolby Atmos and again once more. The audio pop is extremely loud and startling, and the primary time I skilled it, I assumed the soundbar had exploded and died because the gentle flashed purple and it seemed prefer it briefly turned off.

I’ve needed to disable Dolby Atmos to keep away from this audio pop, because it has been genuinely making my coronary heart skip a number of beats. Whereas it’s potential to go on to observe Dolby Atmos content material after the large bang, I’ve to take action with my miniature dachshund hiding in worry for the remainder of the night.

The “resolution” to disable Dolby Atmos “doesn’t really feel good,” according to KeithFromSonos, a Sonos worker who usually posts on Reddit answering group issues. “I hesitate to say a ‘repair’ is within the works. Solely as a result of I don’t need anybody to get tied to the concept that one thing is coming ‘quickly’. The workforce has been and is actively working in the direction of an answer, the most important subject we’ve is reproducing the loud pop.”

No matter how sophisticated this subject could be, it’s ridiculous that it has been ongoing for almost three years with no repair. Maybe I’ll supply to ship my 65-inch TV, Xbox Collection X, and Sonos Arc to Sonos so it will possibly reproduce the problem and work out a repair.

When you’re even contemplating a Sonos Arc soundbar to make use of with an Xbox Collection X or Apple TV 4K, keep away from this $900 soundbar till Sonos has mounted this drawback or can provide us a extra detailed response. In any other case, you’ll most likely be left like tons of or hundreds of different Sonos clients with a Dolby Atmos soundbar that may’t deal with Dolby Atmos correctly.

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