Sonos has lastly fastened the Dolby Atmos “pop of demise” in its Arc soundbars

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By Calvin S. Nelson

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 demise”: Some house owners of Sonos’ Arc and second-gen Beam soundbars have been coping with a putting audio disruption with their audio methods since no less than December 2020.

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

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

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

The Sonos staffer stated the corporate apologized “for the disruption this bug has induced and need to thanks on your persistence whereas our staff developed a repair.” Additionally they thanked the group for “detailed setup data 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 value) and which prominently advertises “breathtakingly real looking spatial audio powered by Dolby Atmos.” The also-Atmos-ready Beam is $500. Given this, the size of the disruption, and the beforehand really helpful repair to both disable CEC or use Dolby Digital 5.1 as a substitute, many shoppers expressed disappointment. A Sonos worker, “Keith,” serving as a “Sonos emissary” on Reddit, acknowledged this drawback however famous that the problem was troublesome to constantly reproduce in Sonos’ labs, given the character of it coming from interactions with third-party gadgets.

Scott Fink, product supervisor for house theater at Sonos, expanded on that issue in a response emailed to Ars Technica. “The bug was extraordinarily troublesome to breed, even after we replicated precise house theater setups of shoppers who reported the problem,” Fink wrote. “We additionally examined a variety of options based mostly on the early studies we acquired, starting from TV setting changes to {hardware} replacements. As we acquired extra knowledge we gained a a lot better understanding of the problem and had been capable of accumulate invaluable perception and data that knowledgeable the place we would have liked to focus our efforts.”

Responses at Sonos’ group boards up to now have been usually constructive, if essential of the delay. One famous that they’d bought their Sonos gear because the challenge 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 submit was up to date at 5:35 p.m. with remark from Sonos.

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