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Sonos Arc Review: The Best Soundbar For Audiophiles

There are a lot of competitors for the Sonos Arc. This system is hell-bent on short-circuiting the surround sound game regardless of whether its name derives from the curved sound it pitches, the HDMI interface it uses, or because it represents a vessel in which impressive, surround sound can be delivered to the modern minimalist home. You can enjoy the best audio quality with the Sonos Arc on Blu-ray discs and streaming services today. Utilizing Dolby Atmos object tracks, certain sounds are bounced off the walls around you, making them appear to come from all directions.

The Sonos Arc setup isn’t as complicated as it sounds, and it only involves a couple of steps on the smartphone app. Its sleek design is enhanced by the lack of clutter and no-fuss cable connections. The Dolby Atmos soundbar is all you need if you have a media room with four walls and a roof. From both a literal and figurative standpoint, this is a spacious soundbar: its C-shaped grille provides 270 degrees of sound quality for Dolby Atmos formats, as well as premium home entertainment.

Quick Pros And Cons

Pros

  • An attractive, curved design
  • Strong, Sonos-quality bass
  • Clear vocals and focused sound

Cons

  • Expensive

Price And Availability

sonos review

The Sonos Arc costs $899 and is currently available. The cost of many of Sonos’ speakers has recently increased. There are no longer any Sonos Playbases or Playbars.

It is unknown whether or when older Sonos soundbars will qualify for its trade-up program.

Design

It is a very competitive market for the Sonos Arc. Despite its enormous dimensions, it weighs just 13.78 pounds. Although it looks large, it is light enough that you can transport it and set it up with just one person. The Arc, however, might seem disproportionately large on smaller screen sizes – we tested it with a 65-inch 2020 Sony A8H OLED and it was still unnecessarily large by comparison. The best place to install the soundbar would be in the entertainment center or underneath the mounted TV. The Sonos Arc won’t fit under most sets that stand on their own.

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Designed to move away from the company’s common rounded rectangular design, the Arc’s elliptical grille and curved shape complement the company’s new look. Both the matte black and white soundbars have a subtle Sonos logo in the center and a small LED showing the microphone’s status. The LED adjusts its brightness according to the ambient light in the room. ARC’s topside is equipped with capacitive volume and play/pause controls, while the back of the device includes Ethernet as well as HDMI ARC/eARC connections.

New Sonos App And Set Up

You will need the new Sonos S2 app to set up the Sonos Arc. Sonos S2 is a redesigned version of the existing Sonos app that supports the 2020 Arc hardware. You can either continue using your existing Sonos app or transfer to the new one for a refreshed interface.

There are two software-based tuning features on the Sonos Arc: Phasing Rays and Time Alignment TruePlay. Using phasing rays, noise can be reduced on a room scale. Even with high ceilings or a system that is not centered, Arc automatically aligns sound waves to reach all walls at the same time. Manual tuning tests will need to be conducted using the Arc’s four far-field microphones via the S2. Using a TV and remote, you can control the Arc once you have tuned it. You will need an ARC or eARC-enabled set or streaming device to enjoy Dolby Atmos.

Performance

The Arc’s eleven high-performance drivers are perfect for powering an at-home cinema or playing music at a gathering. Arc also has eight custom elliptical woofers, of which four forward-firing, two reflecting upwards on the ceilings, and one shooting out in each direction. Playbase only had six midrange drivers, three tweeters, and one woofer.

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Compared to the Arc, it’s a beast, and its sound proves it. Besides the speech enhancement feature, the Arc gives greater clarity to dialogue, creating an ethereal effect. There’s a reason why Sonos is known for its impeccable bass balance, and the Arc is no exception. Despite being a smart speaker, the Sonos Arc is not affected by TV when it is off. It allows you to stream audio from all your favorite services through the S2 App or AirPlay 2.

Smart Home Features

Built-in microphones enable the Arc to summon Alexa and Google Assistant. It is capable of offering a weather report and controlling smart home devices, such as lights and locks, like any Alexa speaker or Google Home. The soundbar is unable to make calls.

Despite this, the Arc certainly proves itself to be a top smart home device for home entertainment. The Sonos One, our top pick, competes even within its brand. The Arc works similarly to the One so you can use your voice to start your TV, adjust the volume, and start listening to your favorite tunes – perfect for when you don’t want to dig around for your remote.

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The Verdict

It’s hard to find a more satisfying soundbar than the Arc if you’re a Sonos fan with some money to spend. Its Dolby Atmos support and speech enhancing features make the movie theatre experience accessible to your living room, and its sleek design gives it an edge over its competitors. You need a proper setting to accommodate its massive frame, that is. This model is designed for rooms with larger TVs.

If you want a premium smart soundbar for a small or midsize room, you should consider the Bose Soundbar 500. However, if you have a whole-home system with Sonos, the Arc can make a lot of sense.

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