NEWSFLASH @ Ars Technica: Sonos has been unable to fix Arc soundbars’ “pop of death” for over 2 years.
Ever since the technology became available for home theaters, I've wanted Dolby Atmos, the specialized sound system which adds a "height" channel to your surround sound setup. So that when you are watching John Wick and it's raining overhead... or a bullet goes flying above you... you hear it happening. It's a very cool effect (when done properly) that adds to the experience of watching movies and television... or listening to Atmos music.
I have been investing in a Sonos speak setup, which has been a pretty good solution for home audio. It's wireless so you don't have to run speaker cables, and you can group some (or all) of your speakers so that your audio is playing everywhere you have a Sonos speaker.
At first I had a Sonos PlayBar. It was an amazing soundbar for under your television. Sure, the separation between Left/Center/Right channels wasn't the best, but it was a darn good effort that I enjoyed for years.
Then Sonos released their Arc soundbar which added the afore-mentioned Dolby Atmos.
I waited for the reviews, heard good things, and bought one.
It was okay. The Dolby Atmos height channel was incredibly weak (even when set at full volume) and I don't think the quality was quite up to the standards of the PlayBar, but I was pretty happy with it overall.
Then Sonos released the Era 300, which also had the Dolby Atmos height channel for your rear speakers. This was a far, far better implementation of the Atmos effect, and I was very happy to have purchased them.
Until I wasn't.
One day while watching a movie I heard a massive POP sound and my Arc soundbar went dead. I thought it had died a horrible death... but unplugging it and plugging it back in did the trick. Until I experienced the POP again. And again. And again. And again! Apparently once it happens, it will continue to happen forever.
Sonos's solution is to turn off CRC (which turns on your television when your AppleTV turns on), which didn't work for me. Their next "solution?" Turn off Dolby Atmos. Yes, you read that right, turn off Dolby Atmos.
Now, If Sonos gave any shits at all, they would simply have one of their many users who are experiencing this POP OF DEATH problem send in their AppleTV 4K Gen 3 and Xbox, their television, their cables, and their Arc soundbar (after sending them replacement shit). Then they would have a complete system where they could CONSISTENTLY REPRODUCE THIS PROBLEM. But nope. They'd rather say "Oooh... we can't reproduce the problem!" and do NOTHING. — Every fucking time I've contacted Sonos support, they just tell me to turn off Dolby Atmos, WHICH IS THE ENTIRE FUCKING REASON I BOUGHT THE ARC IN THE FIRST PLACE! More and more I regret getting in bed with a company that doesn't give a shit about shipping a faulty product, and has been promising a fix for OVER TWO YEARS that never comes. Get a system that doesn't work.
I don't care if Sonos comes up with a special cable that filters out the problem... or sends out a firmware update... or offers to replace whatever component they can't work out with something that does... or whatever... so long as they actually come up with a fucking solution that doesn't involve turning off Atmos!
This is not fucking rocket science.
NASA could build a rocket in this amount of time.