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Sonos has finally fixed the Dolby Atmos “pop of death” in its Arc soundbars

Enlarge / Sonos notes that its Arc soundbar pairs “Dolby Atmos and the upward-firing drivers,” which some customers haven’t loved throughout cacophonous pops.


A bang, a gunshot, a “pop of loss of life”: Some homeowners of Sonos’ Arc and second-gen Beam soundbars have been coping with a putting audio disruption with their audio methods since a minimum of December 2020.

The difficulty now has a repair, and it ought to already be accessible to customers. Updating a Sonos cell or desktop app after which checking for system updates ought to push the adjustments to Sonos audio system.

A Sonos workers member writes that the Arc and Beam soundbars “in sure dwelling theater configurations course of Dolby MAT,” which delivers Atmos audio over HDMI connections. Sonos merchandise might obtain corrupted audio from that connection however had been failing to filter out these bits, taking part in them as a substitute. The corrupted audio “can manifest as a popping sound.” The Sonos gadgets’ improved Dolby decoder ought to not drive listeners to listen to what it feels like when digital audio transmissions go awry.

As famous by The Verge, threads on Sonos’ boards, and author Tom Warren’s experiences, recommend that the issue appeared notably prevalent when an Xbox Sequence X or Apple TV 4K mannequin was concerned. These gadgets use Dolby MAT 2.0 to situation Dolby Atmos audio to a TV related to a Beam.

The Sonos staffer stated the corporate apologized “for the disruption this bug has prompted and wish to thanks in your persistence whereas our crew developed a repair.” Additionally they thanked the neighborhood for “detailed setup info and steps to breed the problem, which had been useful to us in uncovering the reason for the bug.”

The Arc is a soundbar that prices $900 (up $100 from its 2020 launch worth) and which prominently advertises “breathtakingly lifelike spatial audio powered by Dolby Atmos.” The also-Atmos-ready Beam is $500. Given this, the size of the disruption, and the beforehand beneficial repair to both disable CEC or use Dolby Digital 5.1 as a substitute, many purchasers expressed disappointment. A Sonos worker, “Keith,” serving as a “Sonos emissary” on Reddit, acknowledged this downside however famous that the problem was tough to persistently reproduce in Sonos’ labs, given the character of it coming from interactions with third-party gadgets.

Scott Fink, product supervisor for dwelling theater at Sonos, expanded on that issue in a response emailed to Ars Technica. “The bug was extraordinarily tough to breed, even once we replicated actual dwelling theater setups of shoppers who reported the problem,” Fink wrote. “We additionally examined a variety of options primarily based on the early reviews we acquired, starting from TV setting changes to {hardware} replacements. As we acquired further knowledge we gained a a lot better understanding of the problem and had been in a position to accumulate priceless perception and data that knowledgeable the place we wanted to focus our efforts.”

Responses at Sonos’ neighborhood boards up to now have been usually optimistic, if crucial of the delay. One famous that that they had bought their Sonos tools for the reason that situation began. One other famous the repair was “Simply in time for Black Friday too,” and wrote they had been “Hoping to finish my setup with a sub gen 3 tomorrow too.”

This publish was up to date at 5:35 p.m. with remark from Sonos.



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