Fix: Sonos Subwoofer Won’t Connect to ARC

Sonos is a popular brand that deals with home and music systems including products like Sonos Sub, Sonos Gen 3 Sub among others. The Sonos subwoofers are equipped with ARC or Audio Return Channel which basically routes the audio coming from the TV (when connected to it) with the bass that will make you fall in love with it.

Sonos Subwoofer

How to Fix Sonos Subwoofer Not Connecting to ARC

However, over a few weeks, we intercepted some issues with the Sonos subwoofer systems including the one where the Sonos subwoofer won’t connect to ARC. It goes without saying, this is a problem since many people want to access ARC but can’t due to some reasons. Here are some methods you can deploy to try and fix Sonos Subwoofer that won’t connect to ARC issues.

Sonos Sub won’t pair with Arc from sonos

Reboot the TV and Sonos system

Somehow you can’t get the Sonos subwoofers up and running on ARC. In that case, I would advise you to reboot the entire system which includes both the TV and the Sonos home theatre system. It is possible that a temporary glitch caused the issue, throwing you off the rails. Rebooting can help so do try it out.

Reconfigure the system

If you can’t get the system upon any Sonos playbar paired with surround and subs with ARC, it’s time to reconfigure the connections. Remove all the cables across both master and slave units as well as the TV. Now, plug in the playbar with the TV using an Ultra HDMI cable (if applicable) to the ARC port on the playbar to the ARC port on the TV. Use the Sonos S1 or S2 app to configure the playbar to the app and then, configure the same with the TV using WiFi. Pair the sub and then the surround (or vice versa) but in a one-by-one manner ensuring the slaves that you connect are working.

Do you have ARC enabled?

ARC or Audio Return Channel must be turned ON in order to get the Sonos subwoofers up and running. Assuming that you are a newbie who forgot to turn on ARC on his/her TV, here’s how you can do it.

  • After connecting the bar with the TV using HDMI ARC ports with an ultra HDMI cable, turn on the TV and proceed to Settings >> Display & Sound.
  • Navigate yourself to “Audio output” and scroll down.
  • Turn on both “eARC mode” and toggle ‘Dolby Digital Plus out’ to “Dolby Digital Plus” and you should be able to enjoy Sonos on
  • ARC with ease. Note that this is basically what you would do when setting up the bar and slaves for the first time.

Update the software

Depending upon when you are searching for a Sonos subwoofer won’t connect to ARC issue, it could be because of a software issue that Sonos will look after. If you are facing difficulty working around ARC on your Sonos subs, it’s time to check for any pending update that could fix the problem. You’ll need S1 or S2 controller apps installed on your phone (based on which sub you are using).

  • Open the app, head over to Settings >> Software Updates, and check whether you have an update or not.
  • If yes, it will redirect you to the App Store where you can follow the usual procedure of updating an app.
  • Once the update is over, open the Sonos app and proceed to Settings >> Software Updates.
  • Check for updates again and now, it will open a window to update the app when inside the app. Leave it idle for a few minutes.
  • All the Sonos devices that you have installed at your home will be updated automatically after this procedure.
  • Move over to the next method in case this one doesn’t work.

Hardwire the playbar to the router

This particular method worked for a few users and that is why I have listed it here. A Sonos user posted on a Reddit post that he tried setting up a Sonos Arc with a subwoofer and two surround sounds, however, the Sonos app wasn’t able to detect the other slaves except for the Arc. Turns out connecting the Arc to a router via an Ethernet cable does the trick. Note that this might work for some but not all so keep that in mind.

Try switching between WiFi channels

You basically have two WiFi channels i.e. 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Since your Sonos system requires WiFi, you can set it up on either of the channels assuming that they work properly. If not, try connecting the systems including your phone (with the S1/S2 app) to other channels. If you were connected to different channels, to begin with, you can try connecting to the same channel. If the problem is related to WiFi issues, switching channels might be able to save the day.

Reach out for help

If you can’t get the problem fixed anyways, you can try reaching out to a technician for help. Sonos support or a technician at an authorized service center will be able to fix the problem for you.

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