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Arc Mids and Highs Poor and low volume


I have Sonos Arc and Sub Gen 3. The firmware is updated to the latest release. True play done and EQ set. Despite everything, the mids and highs on Arc sound very feeble. The fidelity on Arc feels underwhelming especially considering it’s a very expensive Soundbar so sound quality should be of paramount importance. Sonos doesn’t seem to be addressing a very major issue with Arc and I have seen multiple forums with lack of clarity around mid-high range. This affects dialogue, speech and loudness of the system. Coming from Bose 700 Soundbar, ARC is no match for Bose”s handling of mid and high frequencies. The subwoofer however is the best and beats the Bose Bass Module 700 easily. Can we please expect Sonos to give an ETA to provide a software update to fix this or should this product be returned? 

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Best answer by GuitarSuperstar 22 July 2021, 07:03

I suggest redoing Trueplay tuning with a different iOS device to see if you get a different result.

Most Arc owners, including myself, are very pleased with the audio we get from the Arc. My Arc setup can get extremely loud in my living room, and Dolby Atmos films and music sound incredible IMO, especially from a Blu-ray disc. So don’t expect a “software fix” from Sonos that addresses a problem that most Arc owners aren’t experiencing. 

It may just be that the sound profile of the Arc is just not suited for your taste.

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Userlevel 7

What audio are you getting from the Arc? Stereo PCM? Dolby Digital Plus? Dolby Atmos? What content are you testing and from what source?

@GuitarSuperstar , I have tried with the following formats:

Dolby Atmos

Dolby Multichannel - PCM

Apple Music (Spatial too)

Content is from my Samsung TU8000 equipped with an Earc port. All applications are installed in the TV and its a simple connection from TV to Soundbar via EARC using HDMI Cable provided with Arc(Apps like Netflix, Youtube, Disney and Prime). I have tested with Music Airplay as well, however, I do see the Arc lacking in mids and highs. Dialogues are not as crisp, turning on speech enhancement makes a difference but when doing Airplay, you cannot turn that on too. The volume on the Arc is Feeble/weak as compared to Bose Soundbar 700 which has a very good high frequency profile. 

Userlevel 7

I suggest redoing Trueplay tuning with a different iOS device to see if you get a different result.

Most Arc owners, including myself, are very pleased with the audio we get from the Arc. My Arc setup can get extremely loud in my living room, and Dolby Atmos films and music sound incredible IMO, especially from a Blu-ray disc. So don’t expect a “software fix” from Sonos that addresses a problem that most Arc owners aren’t experiencing. 

It may just be that the sound profile of the Arc is just not suited for your taste.

I have tried to do Trueplay with 2 different devices:

Iphone 12 ProMax - Tested by Peter Pee to have the best Trueplay capabilites

Can I ask how big is your room? My living area is decent big. But IMO, the dialogues and Treble sound off. There are a lot of customers reporting similar issues, you might wanna have a look at this:

 

 

So, definitely, I am not the only one complaining. I might wanna say that you are fortunate to have this equipment sounding good but can I ask if you have demoed a Senhiesser Ambeo or Bose 700 soundbar? I used Bose 700 soundbar and boy, it does sound crisp obviously with less bass. So, the low volume and crispness definitely needs to be improved as you have to make the volume quite high to get just about average decibels of loudness. I have heard from a few that this happened after the last update, so may be it is something that @Sonos would want to fix in a future update. This article is to add traction to customers like us who are unfortunately facing this issue. 

Same problem on AMP: 


On the amp it seems to mostly affect music and stereo sources. I notice a huge difference in volume and frequency response between Apple Music on AirPlay/Sonos app vs on an Apple TV connected via HDMI. It’s like they’ve tweaked music/stereo sources and introduced some sort of normalisation/compression that ruins treble, dynamic range and separation.

 

 My floor standing Wharfdale speakers now sound much worse than my rear Symfonisk speakers!

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