Unlike the $399 Beam–which was aimed squarely at TV sound upgrade enthusiasts–the $799 Arc represents the pinnacle of Sonos’s technology in big living room spaces. While it is possible for some people to get good quality audio from a soundbar alone, the Dolby Atmos technology will most likely be the introduction of many households for better home theater sound. 4K TVs are starting to become more popular, but not all families want to drop $2,000 on their first one when they don’t Sonos still knows how to make damn fine speakers. The Arc is the best soundbar their brand has released yet, and a reminder of why you want this speaker company in your life.
Get Huge Discount on Sonos 5.1 Speaker in Amazon (Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sales + Deals)
Black Friday is a great time to stock up on tech.
Sonos In-Ceiling Speaker pr Sonos by Sonance speakers
In addition, you’ll need to note that the Arc is best for modern TVs. It only has one HDMI input located at the back of it and will not work with any TV without an ARC port. Should you have an older TV (made before 2017), it probably won’t be capable of sending Atmos out through HDMI, and you can’t plug in a new Atmos device to the Sonos as an Apple TV that way. This is a limitation within our testing: even though Nilay had a 2016 LG B6 OLED TV on hand,
Using a soundbar with 4K TVs provides more features then its predecessors, including the ability to access Atmos audio that is not available in earlier versions of high-definition audios. Even if you own both the Sonos Beam and a Vizio soundbar, intelligent Audio Return Channel can help streamline your setup so that lip-sync problems are avoided. Sonos includes an HDMI-to-optical adapter in the box, nevertheless, if you are using optical audio then it isn’t worth bothering with movie sound.
The Sonos Arc is a soundbar designed for in-home entertainment enthusiasts that wants to enhance their setup with the best surround sound. This product does not replace full speakers, but enhances it instead. If you’re among them, the Arc is a phenomenal audio experience and it’s reasonable to anticipate an HDMI passthrough for Atmos.
The Arc is a wide, heavy speaker that was designed to be mounted at the back of large TV screens. At 45 inches long (10 inches longer than the Playbar), it requires most of your stand space and nearly as much width as your 55-inch screen. The Beam is a better choice if you live in a small apartment. It can fit on even the smallest of bookshelves or bedside tables and still provide amazing sound. The Arc is best for anyone who needs to mount their speaker, such as renters with no wall space at home. If mounted, it will adjust its frequencies automatically so that your The outer shell is all matte-finish plastic, and while it might not be the premium material you’d expect at first glance, nothing about any of it felt cheap. The clean, perforated design Sonos drilled 76,000 holes in to the speakers refocuses your attention on style rather than materials. I purchased the black version of this speaker for my TV, because it would look better below it than the white one. I prefer having a less distracting paint job on an object that will be as close to the television screen as possible.
There are Sonos’ usual capacitive touch controls at the top of the Arc. It has a status light that automatically reduces its brightness as needed, and you can turn it off altogether, too. Around back, there is a HDMI port and an Ethernet jack in case your Wi-Fi connection drops.
The about my system section on the Sonos app can be used to verify what type of audio tracks your Arc speaker is playing. If you’re listening to Atmos content, you’ll also see an indicator on the Now Playing screen.
We tested the two ways: alone in an apartment and paired with a Sonos Sub in a small basement media room that also offers a normal 5.1.2 Atmos surround system with speakers in the ceiling.
The Arc soundbar paired with the Sub sounds as immersive as a multi-speaker system. When compared to traditional Atmos system, the Arc sounded different. It is tuned to provide very loud dialogue and it still a soundbar; therefore, the overall left/right soundstage isn’t as wide nonetheless it delivered a surround effect that was just as convincing The opening scene in Baby Driver shows a soundscope that seems like you could feel the cars as they flew over your head, helicopters hovering overhead and sirens whizzing by. Mission: Impossible Fallout had equally immersive soundscapes. When considering the cost and complexity of a typical receiver, plus installing at least seven speakers with two installed in the ceiling, the case for an Arc with Sub becomes clear.
When used in a room with no designated “sweet spot,” the audio quality suffered greatly. It’s not really a knock against the speaker, but it doesn’t excel in home theater use cases.
The Arc sounds best when tuned with the company’s Trueplay options, but this process can only be done on iPhone or iPad. I wish there were a way to use the built-in microphones to make some computerized sound profile adjustments—maybe like the Sonos Move—but that is not an option with the ARC. Sonos 5 1 Speaker Review
I also tested the Arc in my Brooklyn apartment without a subwoofer. Like Nilay’s LG, my TCL P-Series TV is just a couple of years old and thus struggles to pass Dolby Atmos over its HDMI ARC port, so the best the Arc could give me was simply Dolby Digital Plus. The sound improves from the previous Sonos product and is even more noticeable than the Beam. With eight woofers and three tweeters, it provides a deep, rich soundstage no matter where you are in the room. Since there are low ceilings and walls surrounding my home theater system, I found myself to be surprised with how convincing the surround effect Counterproductively, the Arc does not have a subwoofer. I did find that sound emitted from the speakers was still rich and rumbly despite this lack; more should be on offer for theater experience enthusiasts. There’s a Night Sound mode to stabilize volume levels if you don’t want your neighbors to get annoyed with anything you do. The I never found the latter necessary – voices come through the guts channel very clearly.
The Arc doesn t retain many features from the Beam and is more expensive at $399. However, it does have built-in Amazon Alexa support and AirPlay 2. I prefer listening to my TV audio on the Sonos, but there is nothing stopping me from using different devices if I want to listen via voice assistant.
This month, Sonos is rolling out S2 updates to its speakers. The Arc, together with the new Five and refreshed Sub, will be the first products compatible with this update. Sonos released their second generation of Super speakers with new features and great-sounding sound. Check the company’s FAQ for more information about upgrading to newer versions of the app. Unless you have very old Sonos products, your current speakers will get the S2 upgrade.
The Arc is a successful soundbar from a performance standpoint. However, you will need to spend time tweaking your TV settings in order to get the best sound and music quality that this $800 device has to offer. If you have a traditional flat panel television with an HDMI ARC connection, the Sonos Beam is perfect. The new Sonos 5.1 covers all bases.