Sonos Arc gets the free update that's vital for Apple TV and Xbox Series X owners

A fix has been found to get rid of the Dolby Atmos "pop of death"

Sonos Arc
(Image credit: Sonos)

Those who own a Sonos Arc and either an Xbox Series X or Apple TV 4K box will be all too aware that there has been a Dolby Atmos issue for years – they haven't always played nice together.

Sometimes, when playing non-decoded Dolby Atmos audio over the HDMI eARC connection the soundbar suddenly gives out a loud pop or bang, then silence. Not only does it make you wonder if the bar has been damaged, it's enough to scare the willies out of you (especially while watching the Yorkshire Ripper drama, The Long Shadow, as it did me).

It also seems random – not occurring for months and then happening three or four times in a row during one stream.

However, Sonos believes it has finally found a fix and encourages all Sonos Arc owners to upgrade their systems with new firmware.

"Good news! We are pleased to share that our team has identified a fix for the popping sound on Arc and it will be shipped to all customers as part of a software release," it says on the Sonos community pages.

According to the posting, the issue was caused by a "rare bug" that affected how the Arc (and the Sonos Beam) processes Dolby MAT – the streaming technology used to deliver Dolby Atmos audio over HDMI.

Once isolated, Sonos could improve the Arc's built-in Dolby decoder to better filter out corrupt audio data (as delivered by some source material over devices like the Xbox and Apple TV) and not play it as an audible error, as before.

"We strive to deliver the best listening experience possible and work to address major issues that impact our customers," the post continues.

"We apologise for the disruption this bug has caused and want to thank you for your patience while our team developed a fix."

The update is available to owners now and is delivered through the Sonos app. You will need to manually start the latest update if it's not already downloaded and installed.

I'll be doing so myself as soon as possible. And then I'll no longer have to get the dog back down from the ceiling when listening to Dolby Atmos soundtracks no more.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.