Question

Poor music quality Arc

  • 21 November 2020
  • 8 replies
  • 151 views

Hi, I just bought an Arc and a Sub3, but to be honest the sound quality of the Arc is really poor! 
When performing the Trueplay settings, the ‘beeps’ sound great and they fill the entire room. 
But as soon I play music (or tv audio) through the Arc, it sounds flat and lifeless. When I place a JBL Flip4 (€75!) next to it, it fills the room with a more pleasant sound. 

Dolby Atmos content (Netflix) sounds a lot better, although it still doesn’t feel like sitting in a ‘sound bubbel’  
I can’t believe that the Arc isn’t capable to create a way better sound than it does now. 
Is this a software issue? I really consider (with reluctance) to return this set and move to another brand.

 

 


 


8 replies

Userlevel 4
Badge +13

Hi @WernerK, thank you for reaching out to us and welcome to the Sonos community. I appreciate your detailed post describing the issue as well as the steps that you have performed. I understand that you’re having an issue with the sound quality of your Sonos Arc. I’d be happy to help you out here. Is TV Autoplay disabled in the Sonos app? What happens when you enable it or vice versa - Settings > System > [Home Theater Room] > TV Autoplay?

Let me suggest the next troubleshooting and see if it works for you.

1. Unplug the HDMI cable from the Sonos Arc and the TV. 
2. Unplug the power cable from your TV, the Sonos Arc, and any connected audio source (such as a cable box or video game console). Wait 30 seconds before you plug them back in.
2. Reconnect the HDMI cable to your TV and the Sonos Arc. Inspect the HDMI cable to ensure it’s not bent or kinked and check to see that it’s fully inserted into both devices.
3. Update the TV’s software (if available).
4. Disable eARC on the TV.
5. Adjust the group audio delay - Settings > System > Tap your Sonos Beam > Group Audio Delay and then choose a delay option.
6. Check for Sonos update - Settings > System > Check for updates.

Let us know how you get on with the advice above and run a diagnostic report and include the confirmation number in your response for us to check. Also, let us know the make and model of your TV and the other devices connected to it. 

If you have any questions about this, please let us know. We will wait for your reply.

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

Unfortunately this is just how the Arc sounds, it has a very different sound signature to other Sonos products which have always been very musical with a full sound.

Not so the Arc which has been tuned to be impactful for movie watching at the expense of anything else in my opinion. I wouldn’t spend too much time trouble-shooting, there’s nothing wrong with your HDMI so don’t let that be a distraction. There’s really no point trying to retune or adjust EQ as I doubt it’ll change enough to your taste, people either really like it or don’t (I really don’t).

The smaller and considerably cheaper Beam performs much better for music playback (especially when paired with surround Ones) albeit with a more limited soundstage due to it’s reduced size.

I fully intended to upgrade my Beam to the Arc but after hearing decided not to and have kept the Beam for TV use. I’ve sadly now bought into another brand due to this which may eventually replace my Sonos gear as I expand it.

Hi @WernerK, thank you for reaching out to us and welcome to the Sonos community. I appreciate your detailed post describing the issue as well as the steps that you have performed. I understand that you’re having an issue with the sound quality of your Sonos Arc. I’d be happy to help you out here. Is TV Autoplay disabled in the Sonos app? What happens when you enable it or vice versa - Settings > System > [Home Theater Room] > TV Autoplay?

Let me suggest the next troubleshooting and see if it works for you.

1. Unplug the HDMI cable from the Sonos Arc and the TV. 
2. Unplug the power cable from your TV, the Sonos Arc, and any connected audio source (such as a cable box or video game console). Wait 30 seconds before you plug them back in.
2. Reconnect the HDMI cable to your TV and the Sonos Arc. Inspect the HDMI cable to ensure it’s not bent or kinked and check to see that it’s fully inserted into both devices.
3. Update the TV’s software (if available).
4. Disable eARC on the TV.
5. Adjust the group audio delay - Settings > System > Tap your Sonos Beam > Group Audio Delay and then choose a delay option.
6. Check for Sonos update - Settings > System > Check for updates.

Let us know how you get on with the advice above and run a diagnostic report and include the confirmation number in your response for us to check. Also, let us know the make and model of your TV and the other devices connected to it. 

If you have any questions about this, please let us know. We will wait for your reply.

Hi @Rowena B. thank you for your response, but I don’t think the TV or connection is the problem. 
I am talking about music played / streamed through the arc. In my case it’s streamed via AirPlay. 
Does the Arc ‘know’ that it’s getting a stereo input? It sounds like he wants to multichannel the stereo input. 
I will try your proposals but as said, the Tv doesn’t seem to be the problem. 

Unfortunately this is just how the Arc sounds, it has a very different sound signature to other Sonos products which have always been very musical with a full sound.

Not so the Arc which has been tuned to be impactful for movie watching at the expense of anything else in my opinion. I wouldn’t spend too much time trouble-shooting, there’s nothing wrong with your HDMI so don’t let that be a distraction. There’s really no point trying to retune or adjust EQ as I doubt it’ll change enough to your taste, people either really like it or don’t (I really don’t).

The smaller and considerably cheaper Beam performs much better for music playback (especially when paired with surround Ones) albeit with a more limited soundstage due to it’s reduced size.

I fully intended to upgrade my Beam to the Arc but after hearing decided not to and have kept the Beam for TV use. I’ve sadly now bought into another brand due to this which may eventually replace my Sonos gear as I expand it.

Hi @Bernado,

thanks for your reply. That would really be a bummer! I bought this set for two purposes. Home cinema and music playback. I can’t believe the system itself isn’t capable of producing great stereo output. So then it must be software related in my opinion. 
Hope Sonos can change this in an update. 
 

Userlevel 6
Badge +13

Our Playbar 5.1 is excellent for music playback.

There's many posts on here about Playbar/ Beam users being disappointed with the ARC music wise.

I'm in no hurry to "upgrade" my Playbar tbh.

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

Hi @Bernado,

thanks for your reply. That would really be a bummer! I bought this set for two purposes. Home cinema and music playback. I can’t believe the system itself isn’t capable of producing great stereo output. So then it must be software related in my opinion. 
Hope Sonos can change this in an update. 
 

 

I’m pretty sure it won’t change other than perhaps some updates for stability issues, there was an active thread here on release of this product with people unhappy with the thin sound - https://en.community.sonos.com/home-theater-228993/sonos-arc-metallic-sound-6843110

There’s various comments about using different generation Apple devices for Truplay in that thread leading to differing results and also staying put in one place during the Truplay process. Whilst there may be some changes to be had with tinkering around with those things it’ll never change the general sound signature I’m afraid to the extent you (and I) will be happy with.

I think people have made their own minds up now and either have moved on or just got used to how the Arc sounds, the main focus of ongoing problems with this device on this forum now seems to be based around sound dropouts.

 

Hi @WernerK, thank you for reaching out to us and welcome to the Sonos community. I appreciate your detailed post describing the issue as well as the steps that you have performed. I understand that you’re having an issue with the sound quality of your Sonos Arc. I’d be happy to help you out here. Is TV Autoplay disabled in the Sonos app? What happens when you enable it or vice versa - Settings > System > [Home Theater Room] > TV Autoplay?

Let me suggest the next troubleshooting and see if it works for you.

1. Unplug the HDMI cable from the Sonos Arc and the TV. 
2. Unplug the power cable from your TV, the Sonos Arc, and any connected audio source (such as a cable box or video game console). Wait 30 seconds before you plug them back in.
2. Reconnect the HDMI cable to your TV and the Sonos Arc. Inspect the HDMI cable to ensure it’s not bent or kinked and check to see that it’s fully inserted into both devices.
3. Update the TV’s software (if available).
4. Disable eARC on the TV.
5. Adjust the group audio delay - Settings > System > Tap your Sonos Beam > Group Audio Delay and then choose a delay option.
6. Check for Sonos update - Settings > System > Check for updates.

Let us know how you get on with the advice above and run a diagnostic report and include the confirmation number in your response for us to check. Also, let us know the make and model of your TV and the other devices connected to it. 

If you have any questions about this, please let us know. We will wait for your reply.

Hi @Rowena B. I did the above recommend steps and still streaming music sounds very bad. IT sounds if all the music is put through the center speaker only (no stereo effect at all) 

I ran a diagnostic report (182522425) while streaming music from apple music via the Sonos app. 
Please help because I really like the looks of the Arc but I hate how it sounds now. 
Thanks, Werner

Userlevel 4
Badge +13

Hi @WernerK, thank you for your response and for submitting the diagnostic. I’m sorry to hear that there’s no improvement with the sound. Upon checking the report, I don’t see any issues in your Sonos system that might be causing the audio problem. 

We really appreciate the time and effort you've spent in resolving this issue, it would be best for you to continue working with us over the phone to expedite the process. I recommend contacting our Sonos Customer Care support to perform further troubleshooting and to do some tests on the Sonos app to isolate the issue to provide the best option for you. If you have any questions about this, If you need help with any other information, feel free to reach out. We and the community are always here to help.

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