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Sonos Arc Review — An Atmos Soundbar for Your Home Theater (2021)

Sonos Arc Review

The all-new Sonos Arc is a soundbar with a beautiful luxe design that is equipped with the best audio technologies. It’s a cinephile and audiophile’s dream come true, but does it justify the high price tag? To save you from potential disappointment and a lengthy return process, our experts have conducted an extensive and informative Sonos Arc review.

Pros

Cons

Sonos Arc Design

The gorgeous, high end Sonos Arc soundbar takes elegance to a whole new level. It features relevant connections such as the HDMI ports and digital connections on the back, much like other soundbars, that can also improve your experience. 

The design of the new Sonos allows for a multi-room system when you add the surround speaker and external subwoofer. The choices of black or white will allow the speaker to blend in seamlessly with your interior design theme.

The much longer profile of the Sonos Arc speaker makes it the perfect choice for bigger flatscreen TVs. The finish is plastic, but it has a high-quality feel to it. The internal speakers are encased in a plastic grille and the entire soundbar can be wall-mounted.

The soundbar adopts a minimalist approach that doesn’t have an LED screen but it does have some subtle touch controls that allow you to input basic settings such as the volume and power. The shape and overall architecture of the Sonos Arc playbar are great wall-mounted or placed on your entertainment unit.

An exciting thing is the ARC’s ability to connect and be paired with other Sonos products to either enhance the bass or to create a more in-depth soundstage. The components you can look into to pair include the external sub and the rear Sonos speakers. You can add center channel speakers, as well, including  the best center channel speakers under 500 we picked for your home theater system.  

Sonos Arc Features

Sound Quality

With the Arc, Sonos Trueplay technology proves to be an excellent feature for exceptional surround sound. One downside of the Trueplay tech would have to be the compatibility. Trueplay tuning can only be tuned with an iOS device, which cuts out a large portion of the demographic.

The Sonos Arc soundbar like the new Vizio Elevate can support Dolby Atmos, which can process Blu Ray discs and other content, Dolby TrueHD, among others. The Arc speaker can provide a very wide soundstage and multi-dimensional sound that spans around the room. For cinephiles and audiophiles who have great expectations, the speaker will definitely produce immersive stereo sounds, and give your TV speakers a run for its money.

The amazing Sonos Arc soundbar can deliver true surround sound with the help of Dolby Atmos even when not being a surround system itself. But if you would like a more immersive audio experience with your sound bar, Dolby Atmos can work better with external components like an added Sonos sub, or a Sonos One SL or rear speakers, or high-quality floor standing speakers below 2000which can also create multi-room audio. We would advice using Sonos speakers together.

There are a total of a whopping eight elliptical woofers with three tweeters; silk dome tweeters, and upward-firing speakers. When combined together, the Sonos Arc speaker delivers crystal clear and balanced sound for your TV shows and movies. 

Aside from Dolby Atmos, the soundbar also supports Dolby Digital with a very accessible one HDMI port on the back. This form of connection can support the best audio output and high quality relays such as Blu Ray.

Performance

The soundbar is definitely worth your consideration in terms of sound with precise highs, mids, lows and surround sound. If you have an iOS device, Trueplay really comes in handy. 

Sonos has one of the multi-room systems to deliver amazing surround sound through your music services or streaming services. Just easily connect surround speakers or external subs like PSW108 or PSW10 as part of your sound bar system to enjoy amazing audio.

It doesn’t matter if you have a first-rate Apple TV 4K, Samsung TV or a regular flatscreen with less quality imaging, the Arc will not disappoint. The direction of the speakers will be aimed at your couch, to successfully produce that “sweet listening spot”.

The biggest attraction of this Sonos’ speaker would be how it supports the Dolby Atmos audio format. However, this can be complicated to process if your TV doesn’t have an eARC port. Your can use your TV’s HDMI cable connection to process Dolby Digital and other 5.1 content.

The Sonos Arc speaker also only gives you one HDMI port, which is quite a hassle if you need Sony TrueHD, Dolby Digital HD or Dolby Atmos processed.

There are also adjustments to the audio levels that are permitted within the speaker. Like setting up the 5.1 Sonos home theater systemthe room correction feature in the Sonos Arc will take into account the setup of your room and optimize its settings accordingly.

The Arc can also optimize speech with a dialogue enhancement feature that will bring the dialogue to the forefront. You will never miss a conversation again with this turned on. This is done via the dedicated center channel.

There is also auto-volume or night mode available with the Arc that can tone down the Atmos and Dolby Digital Plus. Night Mode will allow the Arc to eliminate loud noises from your TVs and suppress them in the dead of night to not disturb others in your household.

There are also other adjustments to the sound levels that are permitted within the speaker. Aside from this, it also allows for bass and treble adjustment to enhance the signals from your TV. 

Another aspect to boast about in the reviews is the fact that each and every bar was specially tuned by Oscar-winning sound engineers to deliver the best quality any sound bar can offer.

Connections

The connections included on the Sonos Arc are wired and wireless plus an ethernet port. It’s easy to keep the Sonos connected to your TV with many connection inputs. For easier processing of advanced sound technologies such as Dolby Atmos surround sound, HDMI connects are our experts’ top recommendation. 

HDMI can process the highest quality content and come with different forms such as CEC, HDMI ARC and eARC, to name a few. Each of these options is created to deliver a superior sound profile and great definition for all users. 

For example, the main difference between the HDMI Arc or audio return channel and eARC is that the latter significantly optimizes the bandwidth and speed at which the audio transmissions are relayed. The eARC is more efficient than just a regular HDMI connection. The HDMI Arc port is found on the back of the device.

It doesn’t matter if you have an Apple TV, LG, Sony, or Samsung Smart TV, the Arc was designed to be compatible. Other than HDMI, digital optical is another form of connection that can process high quality frequencies such as Blu Ray. You can easily connect to the TV via the optical port.

Then there are the wireless forms of connection via Alexa or Google Assistant. While the ARC has both built in, you can only choose to use Amazon Alexa or Google at a single time. These smart voice assistants can carry out basic voice commands in lieu of a TV remote control. These simplistic tasks include the play, pause of your music or show, setting alarms, and checking the weather.

The voice assistant you use on your Arc soundbars can be chosen through the Sonos S2 App. Just determine which is more compatible with your devices and select the option. The app can also be used to integrate or pair with other products and function as a command center. The app can be downloaded in any app store.

Then the speaker also offers wireless connections. These connections are useful to play music or streaming movies from external devices wirelessly to enhance the sounds or for a cable-free setup. You can find both Wi Fi available for a multiroom setup but unfortunately, it does not support streaming via Bluetooth.

However, quality content can still be relayed through Wi-Fi if both your devices support this form of connection.

Bass

The Arc does not come with its own subwoofer [1] for added bass but it does well on its own to emulate the deep tones. If you do want to add more low tones to the output of the Arc, you can look into adding an external budget subwoofer. The Dolby Atmos technology can be better felt through the TV with the addition of a sub.

Keep in mind that adding components into your theater setup will require more space and calibration.

Price & Availability

Our experts admit that the Arc is not classified as an affordable soundbar for your TV. However, it has its reasons for being more expensive than other models. 

For one, it will enhance your TV loudspeakers to an impressive level with the help of Dolby Atmos. Dolby Atmos and DTS technologies are among the most coveted in the sound industry for clear, accurate and expansive sound.

FAQ

Is the Sonos arc worth it?

Yes, the Sonos Arc is worth it. It can enhance the audio emitted from your TV with the help of Dolby Atmos to create a full surround sound experience regardless of having the whole package.

Is Sonos arc the best soundbar?

Yes, the Sonos Arc is the best soundbar. The Sonos Arc is an excellent option for enhanced audio that surpasses your TV speakers with Dolby Atmos and other advanced technologies to help create a unique listening experience.

Is Sonos arc worth it without Atmos?

Yes, the Sonos Arc is worth it without Atmos. It is capable of supporting Dolby Atmos but it can perform just as well without it. Your TV shows and movies will be elevated due to the featured advanced technologies.

Should I upgrade to Sonos arc?

Yes, you should upgrade to the Sonos Arc if you do not have audio enhancement for your TV. The Arc will produce heavily optimized sound compared to other soundbars and deliver a unique and multi-layered acoustic output.

Does Sonos arc need eARC?

No, the Sonos ARC does not need eARC but the presence of the latter will greatly enhance your experience. It optimizes the bandwidth and speed at which the audio transmissions are relayed and is more efficient than regular HDMI ARC.

Sonos Arc Review Conclusion

After a thorough examination, our experts have found that this soundbar has incredible performance and does wonders to your TV content. Equipped with Dolby Atmos, the Arc can deliver expansive room-filling sound even without the need for a full surround sound system.

The soundbar also features both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to assist you in your bar control needs. The Arc is tuned to perfection, thanks to the careful curation of Oscar-winning sound engineers. The Arc sounding bar from Sonos will create a balanced and realistic sound stage that can be adjusted with the remote control or the Sonos app.

Looking for soundbars that offer versatility? Why not try the top-performing soundbars with FM radio and enjoy an enhanced sound for your frequented radio stations. 

Willie Greer

Willie Greer is the founder of The Product Analyst. A cinephile, he has made it a personal quest to achieve the awesomest home theater possible. He now shares what he has learned through the years on the site, and has enlisted the help of tech-savvy colleagues in providing more insight about today’s most sought-after gadgets.
Willie Greer

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Sonos Arc Review — An Atmos Soundbar for Your Home Theater (2021)
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