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Sonos Arc- Metallic Sound


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Hi All.

It’s a relief that Sonos has identified the bug that’s causing the bass distortion in Sonos Arc. Thank you @Ryan S for working with the Sonos Communty to identify the problem quickly.

Having said this, I believe that Sonos still needs more work to make the Arc sound as it was advertised. Currently, multiple people on Reddit including myself are reporting the highs being too high which sort of feels “harsh”. This improve the speech clarity and brings out details in the movies, but the warmth in speech is lost because the voices sound thin and metallic (for eg. actors I know having heavy voices don’t sound heavy). I was expecting the mid-range to be a lot better considering the Arc has 8 woofers. 

I have tried TruPlaying twice without success (Turning TruPlay off produces muffled sound). Adjusting the treble also did not help much. Loudness turned on and off does not make a big difference either. May be, this is how the Arc is tuned?!

 Anyone else feels that Arc is over-emphasizing the highs with compromised mids?

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Best answer by Scott - Sonos 3 July 2020, 00:56

Hello everyone. I’m a product manager at Sonos. Thank you for sharing your experiences with Arc. The development team is monitoring this community and listening to your feedback. 

As we do with all Sonos products, we’ll continue to improve the experience for Arc through numerous software updates into the future. Last week we issued our first update (12.0.1) to fix a bug some customers were experiencing with low-frequency distortion at higher volumes. 

If you have specific music tracks or timestamps for TV shows and movies that you want to bring to our attention, please use this form. It is helpful if you can submit a diagnostic when you’re listening to the content. Instructions for doing so can be found here.

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For some reason my ARC sounds EXTREMELY thin and tinny sounding. Very metallic sounding. Vocals are really awful right now and really hurt my ears. I really have no idea what is going on. It’s like the sound bar has 0 mid bass and has maxed out treble. I have the Sonos Sub as well and it is very good but the sound bar really sounds awful right now with music. I have tuned my room and kept settings at flat. Has anyone else ran into this?

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I am also hearing this.

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Same issue here. I will copy what I posted on Reddit. 

My ARC sounds EXTREMELY thin and tinny sounding. Very metallic sounding. Vocals are really awful right now and really hurt my ears. I really have no idea what is going on. It’s like the soundbar has 0 mid-bass and has maxed out the treble. I have the Sonos Sub as well and it is very good but the soundbar really sounds awful right now with music. I have tuned my room and kept settings at flat.

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Recently set up a brand new Arc and Sub 3.0 and something is not sounding right.  Coming from a Playbase, Play 5, and several Play 1s around the house, the sound is metallic, tinny, unbalanced, lacking any midrange or full sound that I’ve come to love from Sonos.

I’m aware of the current issue with standalone Arc bass response but there is an issue with Arc + Sub as well that needs to be resolved.  Hoping the Arc bug fix will remedy how Arc performs with the Sub paired next week.

Is anyone else experiencing this same issue with Arc + Sub set up??

I agree. Mine just sounds off and not what I expected at all - especially after listening to so many other Sonos products over the years. Being that Sonos is reluctant to help with with an RMA at the moment I still have mine. I’m going to wait to see what happens with next week’s update for the bass issue and then make a final decision on a return. 

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I agree. Mine just sounds off and not what I expected at all - especially after listening to so many other Sonos products over the years. Being that Sonos is reluctant to help with with an RMA at the moment I still have mine. I’m going to wait to see what happens with next week’s update for the bass issue and then make a final decision on a return. 

Oops. I accidentally tagged your answer as the best. don't know how to fix it. @Ryan S

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I can confirmed this is the same case for me.

I spend most of the times using the Arc for watching films and TV shows. Dialogues are harsh/sharp and metallic sounding. At times it sounds like it’s coming from a laptop speaker. Music fares better, but still poses the same problem. 

Generally, the sound is uncomfortable to listen at mid to high volume, even causing discomfort to my ears sometimes. Hopefully the Sonos team can look into this.

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I haven’t had a chance to test this in my ARC, until they fix the bass issue. Until the software update, it’s staying turned off.

I agree. Mine just sounds off and not what I expected at all - especially after listening to so many other Sonos products over the years. Being that Sonos is reluctant to help with with an RMA at the moment I still have mine. I’m going to wait to see what happens with next week’s update for the bass issue and then make a final decision on a return. 

Oops. I accidentally tagged your answer as the best. don't know how to fix it. @Ryan S

Ohhh. I dunno either! 

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This is the same issue I have, it sounds like a badly EQ’d speakers.

 

the bass is overpowering (via Sub) with TruePlay off and nasally with TruePlay on.

 

i have retuned the Arc, assuming that I might have messed up TruePlay setup.

 

I replaced Beam with this Arc and used Playbar in this same location before that.

 

it does not sound like anything is broken in the speaker, more like something in the EQ has become messed up.

 

sounds way “thinner”.

 

like moving from a larger speaker to smaller speakers.

 

if this was moving From Arc to Beam I might have put it down to size of the unit… but seems odd to go the other way.

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Thank you for opening this thread, I wanted to open one but kept procrastinating. 

  1. Everybody talks about the bass issues ( alright yes that is an issue)
  2. My point is its not just the bass issue overall Sonos Arc and even the Sub does not sound right
    1. Arc has a very metallic tone, too crisp and harsh to the hears its like having 100% Treble and only the tweeters are working.
    2. Arc lower volume is really low and cannot hear any voice, with enhancing voice yes I do hear it better but why do I want to do that unless its night time and I am having a very low volume level
    3. Arc sound is not balanced and something is off, I am still wondering why no acknowledgement on this from Sonos
  3. Sonos Sub Gen 3 - No comments, personally previous Sub gen 2 performed better, but I am not able to tell what is the difference in this sub since low frequencies are always difficult to measure.

Yes, I have tried different EQ settins, trueplay, my living room is well laid out with carpet, paintings, couch etc so room acoustics are fine. I had LG SJ9 sold it just after getting the Sonos ARC and now regretting. The LG SJ9 for its cost sounded much better (of course the bass was thin in that)

I have 30 more days before I could return I think in the US the return period is only 45 days. So if Sonos does not comment back or reply to my emails. Both Arc + Sub goes back. I am totally disappointed.

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I agree. Mine just sounds off and not what I expected at all - especially after listening to so many other Sonos products over the years. Being that Sonos is reluctant to help with with an RMA at the moment I still have mine. I’m going to wait to see what happens with next week’s update for the bass issue and then make a final decision on a return. 

Oops. I accidentally tagged your answer as the best. don't know how to fix it. @Ryan S

Ohhh. I dunno either! 

I fixed it.

 

Thanks for the feedback everyone. The team is very focused on the bass issue right now, but I’ve flagged this with them too. I’ll let you know if there’s any news to share.

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I agree. Mine just sounds off and not what I expected at all - especially after listening to so many other Sonos products over the years. Being that Sonos is reluctant to help with with an RMA at the moment I still have mine. I’m going to wait to see what happens with next week’s update for the bass issue and then make a final decision on a return. 

Oops. I accidentally tagged your answer as the best. don't know how to fix it. @Ryan S

Ohhh. I dunno either! 

I fixed it.

 

Thanks for the feedback everyone. The team is very focused on the bass issue right now, but I’ve flagged this with them too. I’ll let you know if there’s any news to share.

Hey @Ryan S  . Thanks for the quick response. We totally understand that the bass issue takes priority right now. We will come back to this once that’s fixed.

the highs being too high which sort of feels “harsh”. 

 Anyone else feels that Arc is over-emphasizing the highs with compromised mids?

Yes same here,  I am glad I am not the only one.  This will be hard to fix as I am guessing the ARC is purposely “tuned” in this way.  Also I think a lot of ppl will not even notice this if they don’t have a reference point to compare with. (eg. stereo system or other soundbar).

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I could not agree with this more. I cannot believe that all the media fawned over the Arc given this very noticeable issue.  I will be saving the box and my old soundbar - if this is not fixed within the next 45 days, it will definitely be going back.

 

Can’t believe Sonos either did not notice this issue or thought that it sounded good.

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Here also flat metallic sound and missing mid range. Voices sound very low and ambient much louder.

 

i turned off Trueplay, this made the flat sound worse

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Honestly, my $120 Vizio sound bar beats the Arc in all respects, except when playing Dolby Atmos media.

 

This is not a preference issue - the sound coming out of the Arc is not correct. 

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Having the exact same issue. I believe there’s an issue with the Trueplay calibration when done via an iPhone (at least me and my husbands iPhone 11). Tries tuning with a first generation iPad Pro and the results were much better. That incredibly harsh, metallic trebly heavy sound is gone. Can anyone else see if this works better for them. 

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Having the exact same issue. I believe there’s an issue with the Trueplay calibration when done via an iPhone (at least me and my husband's iPhone 11). Tries tuning with a first-generation iPad Pro and the results were much better. That incredibly harsh, metallic trebly heavy sound is gone. Can anyone else see if this works better for them? 

@Heilo the Dog I noticed the exact same thing. TruPlay done with iPad Pro did bring down those harsh trebles, albiet with compromised details. Then I redid the TruPlay again with my iPhone XS, and no surprise - the harsh and metallic treble came back. I plan to repeat this process multiple times to validate our hypothesis.

 

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Interesting, performed the TruePlay with an 11 Pro Max, but have an iPad Pro, 1st generation I can try tomorrow.

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the issue is not solely related to trueplay as I did not use trueplay (do not have an iphone). but perhaps the Arc will not produce quality sound without a proper trueplay calibration

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the issue is not solely related to trueplay as I did not use trueplay (do not have an iphone). but perhaps the Arc will not produce quality sound without a proper trueplay calibration

You should grab an iPhone from somebody and do the TruPlay. Sound improves by a huge margin. TruPlay has its issues, but no TruPlay is worse IMO. 

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Agree on this one. Upgraded from beam to arc and the best way to describe it is thin… like laptop speakers that get irritating when turning up. Yes soundstage is wider and there is some vocal depth but it’s not warm and its tiny sounding. I know the bass issue which was one thing but eq on the mids is off. the beam when listening to Phil Collins is more warm with better vocal depth making you want to turn it up. Wife picks beam every time in blind music tests and that’s a problem.  I’m hoping this is just an eq issue but something is off here on the midrange. 

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I’d like to add that I’m also having this issue. Certain voices seem to emphasize the issue greater than others. John Oliver’s for example also makes it sound as if the tweeter is blown.  Glad this issue is flagged but currently I’m disappointed with the Arc. 

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Having the exact same issue. I believe there’s an issue with the Trueplay calibration when done via an iPhone (at least me and my husbands iPhone 11). Tries tuning with a first generation iPad Pro and the results were much better. That incredibly harsh, metallic trebly heavy sound is gone. Can anyone else see if this works better for them. 

I’m really starting to believe that the Sonos S2 app needs to be corrected. it seems that people are having issues since the Sonos app update.

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