Disappointing dialog on the Arc

  • 17 December 2020
  • 8 replies
  • 361 views

I have a lot of sonos products.  I've been using the play bar, sub, and play 1 surrounds for many years.  I upgraded the play bar for the arc.  I find that the dialog is harder to hear.  I tried every sound setting combination the app has to no avail.  I kept turning the volume up to hear speech,  and down when the other sounds got too loud.  I hated the volume up and down game so I went back to my play bar and the dialog is so much better.  Also, I don't own any apple products so don't recommend calibration., not going to happen.   Sonos please fix this in a firmware update. If not I'll going to have to get a different soundbar with HDMI connections that has good dialog performance. I researched best dialog bars on rtings and the sonos arc is very low on the list, the play bar is much higher.  Why does the dialog suffer on the arc??


8 replies

Userlevel 5
Badge +16

Hi @Solider

Thanks for reaching out to the Sonos community and for letting us know about your concern.  I appreciate all your effort and the steps you have performed to resolve the issue. Let me share this with you. 

When playing TV audio with a Sonos home theater speaker, you can turn on Speech Enhancement to boost the audio frequencies associated with the human voice. Turning this feature on will make dialogue easier to hear.

Toggle Speech Enhancement using iOS or Android

  1. Turn on your TV and make sure TV audio is playing through your Sonos home theater speaker.
  2. Open the Sonos app.
  3. In the  System tab (Rooms tab if using the S1 Controller app), select your home theater speaker.
  4. Tap the Now Playing bar at the bottom to open the Now Playing screen.
  5. Tap the SpeechEnhanceBlack-24px.png Speech Enhancement icon to toggle Speech Enhancement on or off.

If you still find the dialog harder to hear, I'll be requesting a diagnostic report submitted from your Sonos system. Please don't forget to include the confirmation number in your response to look into your system and find out the cause. We'll wait for your reply.

Userlevel 6
Badge +17

I have a lot of sonos products.  I've been using the play bar, sub, and play 1 surrounds for many years.  I upgraded the play bar for the arc.  I find that the dialog is harder to hear.  I tried every sound setting combination the app has to no avail.  I kept turning the volume up to hear speech,  and down when the other sounds got too loud.  I hated the volume up and down game so I went back to my play bar and the dialog is so much better.  Also, I don't own any apple products so don't recommend calibration., not going to happen.   Sonos please fix this in a firmware update. If not I'll going to have to get a different soundbar with HDMI connections that has good dialog performance. I researched best dialog bars on rtings and the sonos arc is very low on the list, the play bar is much higher.  Why does the dialog suffer on the arc??

Can you borrow a friend’s iPhone and do Trueplay tuning? It only needs to be done once.

Turning Night Sound on should also help because it lowers the dynamic range.

Userlevel 2
Badge +2

I highly suggest borrowing an apple device (even an ipad) to truplay. Then stay mostly around the main listening position during the calibration.

  The Arc and it's dialogue is not one of it's best features.  Though it's not so bad to return it, IMO.  Also see if moving the bar closer to the edge of the tv stand, then push it back to a wall for a midbass boost that some vocal ranges are in. See which sounds better for vocals.   

I do not run speech enhancement or night mode. Back when the Arc first released it's sound was all over the place due to bad software tuning(mostly). Just incase your model missed the newest updates try a manual firmware update. Check by going into system updates and hitting check for update.  

I though the dialog was better before. I remember the dialog enhancement was sharp at first.  Must have been a firmware change that hurt the dialog now.  I have used all modes in combination speach, night,  treble and bass.  No use.  I was about to get rid of it i hope they fix this. 

Do you think tuning it with an apple device will help dialog??

Userlevel 6
Badge +17

Do you think tuning it with an apple device will help dialog??

Trueplay tuning with an Apple device improves the overall sound of the Arc in your room so it could very well improve the dialog.

Hi 

 

I just bought the Sonos ARC and Sub Gen 3 and went through the set up process and tuning with my iPhone.  The bass sounds great but the dialogue is very weak.   Will be there an upcoming software fix for this?  I’m debating whether to return before the 15 days…  your guidance will help with my decision 

Userlevel 6
Badge +17

@SKV Have you adjusted the EQ settings? Have you tried turning on Night Sound or Speech Enhancement? If you have made these adjustments and are still not happy with the dialogue, then there isn’t much more you can do. Sonos won’t be releasing a “fix” because there isn’t anything to fix. Most users are very happy with the way the Arc sounds including the dialogue.

Reply