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Sonos Arc extremely poor dialogue levels VS Music and Action

  • 6 November 2020
  • 48 replies
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Hi - other SONOS ARC owners have posted this issue previously but it did not reach a resolution so I am reposting.  

I’ve just purchased a Sonos ARC and I’m having to constantly adjust the volume level up and down to compensate for the extremely low levels for dialogue vs action / music.  The dialogue levels are extremely low in any movie compared to action and music.  

I am using the ARC with a Samsung 55 inch 2019 model.

I have set night mode and speech enhancement on.  Still getting the same issue.  

There appears to be no further adjustment / modes in the SONOS app to adjust dialogue to music / action balance other than reducing SubWoofer level.  

DEAR SONOS team - surely this is a software setup issue which is resolvable?  Please let me know - really don’t want to send it back!! 

Quite bummed!  Love my Sub, Play 5 Gen 2 and Gen 1 and Play 3.  

Thanks in advance for your timely solution to this issue.  

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Best answer by wilc50 17 December 2020, 20:42

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@Ryan A @Ryan S 

 

Hi Guys do you know if the above issue is still being looked into on the Sonos ARC please?

thanks

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Hi all - for what it’s worth… I had a brand new Arc about a week ago… music and effects sounded excellent in stereo, 5.1 or Atmos. Dialogue was generally “fine” in stereo… but as soon as I tried 5.1 or Atmos it was a muddy, mumbly, tinny mess. Certainly nowhere near the sound I paid that sort of price for. 

 

I spent 90 minutes on a call to Sonos support and tried every setting and little bit of trouble shooting going - I didn’t get anywhere.

 

I returned the Arc for a Beam Gen 2 and the difference was night and day - dialogue in 5.1 and Atmos was now clear and crisp. 
 

So, for anyone not getting what they want from the Arc, I highly recommend trying a Beam! Sometimes more expensive doesn’t equal a better experience. 

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Still have this issue with my ARC and not improved with any of the updates

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Still have this issue with my ARC and not improved with any of the updates

Have you tried another Arc or a Beam Gen 2 instead? Switching to a Beam resolved all my issues. 

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Still have this issue with my ARC and not improved with any of the updates

Have you tried another Arc or a Beam Gen 2 instead? Switching to a Beam resolved all my issues. 

Well I have Beam gen 2 upstairs and yes its much better on this compared to the ARC, but I wouldn't want to lose the wider sound stage as my living room is quite large. 

I just purchased Sonos Arc and Sonus Sub. Look like I have make the biggest regret purchasing these. Dialogue sound is so so so poor. I have tried changing so many combinations of settings and the dialogue is still extremely poor!

My denon and polk audio combo is much much better in sound at 1/3 of the cost of Sonos.

 

I just purchased Sonos Arc and Sonus Sub. Look like I have make the biggest regret purchasing these. Dialogue sound is so so so poor. I have tried changing so many combinations of settings and the dialogue is still extremely poor!

My denon and polk audio combo is much much better in sound at 1/3 of the cost of Sonos.
 

Which settings/combinations have you tried?

Same problem.

I am very unhappy with the dialogue performance.

I wish there was a solution.

Same problem.

I am very unhappy with the dialogue performance.

I wish there was a solution.

I appreciate we may each hear some things ‘differently’, there may already be a solution to this, but that depends on what is/isn’t being heard and the troubleshooting that has actually been undertaken so far with the various options currently available in the App and the local environment🤔?

Hi Ken

I appreciate your support. Unfortunatly I am pretty certain I tried all possible solutions already.

I own a Arc, Sub and 2 Ones SL. Driven from TV with eArc.

Did TruePlay with Iphone 12 Pro.

Mids are generally washed out. Not present. Like there is a frequency hump in the 300-600 Hz range.

 

It seams the only solution is to move from Arc to the Beam Gen 2 as others have done and reported a significant imporvement.

The current EQ options in the App cannot fix this and the speach improvment is already on.

To really fix this, there would be a mids EQ option required in the 300-600 Hz range.

It also does not help that there is a True-Play lottery with different IOS devices giving clearly audible different results. It seems that Iphone SE 2020 give the best results.

This can only be fixed with further Software control.

Regards, Michael

Hi Ken

I appreciate your support. Unfortunatly I am pretty certain I tried all possible solutions already.

I own a Arc, Sub and 2 Ones SL. Driven from TV with eArc.

Did TruePlay with Iphone 12 Pro.

Mids are generally washed out. Not present. Like there is a frequency hump in the 300-600 Hz range.

 

It seams the only solution is to move from Arc to the Beam Gen 2 as others have done and reported a significant imporvement.

The current EQ options in the App cannot fix this and the speach improvment is already on.

To really fix this, there would be a mids EQ option required in the 300-600 Hz range.

It also does not help that there is a True-Play lottery with different IOS devices giving clearly audible different results. It seems that Iphone SE 2020 give the best results.

This can only be fixed with further Software control.

Regards, Michael

It’s not currently clear which TV (make/model) it is that you’re using with the Arc, so that the Sonos Staff can perhaps better understand the issue. They could then maybe go onto test the issue for themselves aswell?

It’s perhaps also worth submitting a Diagnostic Report I think, and making a note of its reference back here and maybe speak direct with the Support desk, via this LINKto make them fully aware of your concerns and to hopefully get the matter resolved. 

Hello

My TV is the Sony 80J Series OLED 2021 (77 Inch).

I will submit a diagnostic report, considering even doing a few.

What really is strange is that I get different results in True Play process:

I have used:

  • Iphone 8 Plus
  • Iphone SE
  • Iphone 12 max

Although I would assume that Sonos has calibrated the microphones of each (microphone profiling), the results are indeed different. How can that be?

I paid close attention to how I walked the room. That’s what I referred to above as “True Play Lottery”.

Is the recommendation such that I do many True Play runs until I like the result?

Very strange.

 

If it was an Apple TV 4K, it might have been this issue: 

 

Brought an ARC and sub. Not at all impressed with the voice clarity. Performed the trueplay tuning but nothing improved. Everyone in our household complain about the same thing. I listened to the bose 900 and voice quality is crisp and music has more details. I am planning to return this.

I'm getting the same problem, constantly changing the volume to suit quiet dialogue and very loud music/effects. I'm using a new Samsung qe55q95t TV along with arc, sub and surround play 1's. TV is fine and iplayer but amazon prime and Netflix really suffer from this quiet dialogue. Nothing constructive suggested by Sonos help as of yet. I have a playbar and sub in another room and that is fine. Someone at Sonos needs to look into this problem urgently!

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I'm beginning to think that I am the problem. A lifetime of loud music and noise, so I usually have to crank things up to louder than others in the family. Also likely my ability to differentiate at the margins doesn't work too well. I am sure everyone else has perfect hearing.

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I'm beginning to think that I am the problem. A lifetime of loud music and noise, so I usually have to crank things up to louder than others in the family. Also likely my ability to differentiate at the margins doesn't work too well. I am sure everyone else has perfect hearing.

My ears are horrible, severe hearing loss.

With or without my hearing aids I have issues with the low voice volume on my Arc center channel.

Any Sonos Bar set up is a compromise for convenience over a AVR based HT wired speaker set up with a dedicated centre channel/speaker and this is one of the prices paid for the compromise.

One workable solution is to use subtitles for dialogue. It does not take long to get used to it.

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Subtitles aren’t a good option if you don’t constantly look at the TV. A lot of my watching time I am not looking at the screen as I’m also doing something else. You can also get some spousal grumpiness when they cover up parts of the screen they want to see. 

I passed on the Sonos Amp for the single reason that it had no dedicated center channel. 

 

 

I’ve just installed the Arc with a sub and I was just saying how much better it is than the Playbar, which I used to really struggle with in respect of hearing the dialogue.

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I’ve just installed the Arc with a sub and I was just saying how much better it is than the Playbar, which I used to really struggle with in respect of hearing the dialogue.

Are you now happy with the dialogues?

What did you change when you reinstalled the Arc with the Sub?

I am having dialogue issues as well but I wonder if it’s due to using the Apple TV 4K. My arc was working fine for sounds and dialogue when I was using Firestick 4K. My current set up is Sony a90j oled  with eArc hdmi connection to arc with Sonos sub and two play 1’s.  When I leave the Appletv audio set to auto/Dolby atmos the Sonos system showed multichannel PCM 5.1 but the sound especially dialogue was very low. I had to increase volume from 40 to 50-60. When I changed the Apple TV audio to Dolby digital 5.1 the sound and dialogue was back to being good and I was back to setting volume to 40. I hate to change the Appletv audio settings based on Dolby atmos vs Dolby digital for different movies. I didn’t have these sound issues with the Firestick. It didn’t send out any multichannel PCM signal. Is everyone else having these sound issues with other streaming devices?  I am considering returning the Appletv and buying a new Firestick   Any response would be appreciated 

Yes same problem spent alot of money and surrounds and bass are awesome but dialogue from the Arc is horrible keeps changing from channel to channel and movies especially Netflix can't hear unless volume is way up high then the effects blow your head off 

Regretful purchase and will be recommending another brand to all my friends and clients as Sonos don't care about there members 

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