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Sonos Arc - Metallic Sound



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Yeah. The audio on mine is very bright on most tv channels. It’s bright on my streaming device too.Not as bad on dvds.Music is very good.
lt is very disappointing considering what l paid for it. I have the subwoofer and a couple rear speakers too in my set up.

l don’t know what further testing we can do.l have only tuned mine with iPad.l will try with an iPhone.Tech support told me that it didn’t matter what device you used.

 

Tech support doesn’t know anything apart from fixing standard issues. Truplay on my setup with an iPad Pro 2017 is much better than Xs. If I add +6/+7 treble to my current sound profile, I get the same sound I had before with Xs Truplay. I am still struggling to like the dialogues. I really hope the fix is coming, but lack of clear communication from the Sonos team on top of asking for the same diagnostics and questions, again and again, is not helping.

I wonder what the last software update was about!!!!

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I was on the phone yesterday with tech support and he had me send in the diagnostics from the Sonos app. He said it came back with some bad “bashes”, he would not elaborate, but obviously it is not performing like it should, but I still have a feeling this has nothing to do with the tinny lack of bass. I am afraid this is a hardware and not a software problem :( I am so bummed, I was really looking forward to this being a great speaker, but when I go back to my Playbar, which I still have, I get more bass and a fuller sound. I was doing my best to sell my wife on the fact that it would be great to have this new speaker which costs a lot, but alas, playing the Arc is not helping. And music through it is just awful! The dialogue on movies with the Arc is a bit better, but to loose the lows is a non starter. My setup has the sub and to Sonos Ones as well. 

This is exactly my experience with the Arc.  I just regretfully sent it back to Sonos this morning.  My Playbar doesn't look as nice as the Arc but the sound is so much smoother and voices are way better too.  I just couldn't take the shrillness of the Arc any longer.  Of course I lost my discount code on the return….:tired_face:

 

My advice is to stay with the Playbar or Beam until this is sorted out. 

I have a Playbar and an Arc setup side by side connected to the same tv (as the same time) and on the same network. I keep switching the audio between the 2. I can say that the Arc is not perfect but it does sound way more immersive than the playbar The Playbar sounds great on its own but when comparing it  side by side with the Arc i can really see the benefits of the new soundbar. Still not sure which i will keep.

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I was on the phone yesterday with tech support and he had me send in the diagnostics from the Sonos app. He said it came back with some bad “bashes”, he would not elaborate, but obviously it is not performing like it should, but I still have a feeling this has nothing to do with the tinny lack of bass. I am afraid this is a hardware and not a software problem :( I am so bummed, I was really looking forward to this being a great speaker, but when I go back to my Playbar, which I still have, I get more bass and a fuller sound. I was doing my best to sell my wife on the fact that it would be great to have this new speaker which costs a lot, but alas, playing the Arc is not helping. And music through it is just awful! The dialogue on movies with the Arc is a bit better, but to loose the lows is a non starter. My setup has the sub and to Sonos Ones as well. 

This is exactly my experience with the Arc.  I just regretfully sent it back to Sonos this morning.  My Playbar doesn't look as nice as the Arc but the sound is so much smoother and voices are way better too.  I just couldn't take the shrillness of the Arc any longer.  Of course I lost my discount code on the return….:tired_face:

 

My advice is to stay with the Playbar or Beam until this is sorted out. 

I have a Playbar and an Arc setup side by side connected to the same tv (as the same time) and on the same network. I keep switching the audio between the 2. I can say that the Arc is not perfect but it does sound way more immersive than the playbar The Playbar sounds great on its own but when comparing it  side by side with the Arc i can really see the benefits of the new soundbar. Still not sure which i will keep.

Hi Reefy, just wondering if you have both set up and you think that the Arc is fuller and better what would make you still wonder whether you will keep it or not?

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I was on the phone yesterday with tech support and he had me send in the diagnostics from the Sonos app. He said it came back with some bad “bashes”, he would not elaborate, but obviously it is not performing like it should, but I still have a feeling this has nothing to do with the tinny lack of bass. I am afraid this is a hardware and not a software problem :( I am so bummed, I was really looking forward to this being a great speaker, but when I go back to my Playbar, which I still have, I get more bass and a fuller sound. I was doing my best to sell my wife on the fact that it would be great to have this new speaker which costs a lot, but alas, playing the Arc is not helping. And music through it is just awful! The dialogue on movies with the Arc is a bit better, but to loose the lows is a non starter. My setup has the sub and to Sonos Ones as well. 

This is exactly my experience with the Arc.  I just regretfully sent it back to Sonos this morning.  My Playbar doesn't look as nice as the Arc but the sound is so much smoother and voices are way better too.  I just couldn't take the shrillness of the Arc any longer.  Of course I lost my discount code on the return….:tired_face:

 

My advice is to stay with the Playbar or Beam until this is sorted out. 

I have a Playbar and an Arc setup side by side connected to the same tv (as the same time) and on the same network. I keep switching the audio between the 2. I can say that the Arc is not perfect but it does sound way more immersive than the playbar The Playbar sounds great on its own but when comparing it  side by side with the Arc i can really see the benefits of the new soundbar. Still not sure which i will keep.

Hi Reefy, just wondering if you have both set up and you think that the Arc is fuller and better what would make you still wonder whether you will keep it or not?

Ya that’s a good question. It was with limited testing. One thing I know for sure with the Arc is that I noticed the treble/bass is not right at times. I never had that impression with the playbar. I will keep testing them out with music and movies. I said I can see the benefits of the Arc but not sure if the sound profile is better than the playbar. The added speakers in the Arc do provide greater potential and that is apparent when hearing them side by side. But the Arc May require better tuning or software. The 250$ price difference might play a role but I plan on having the sound bar many years and 250$ in the long term won’t the deciding factor. 
I feel like I’m talking myself into the Arc. And if Sonos can adjust/fix sound profile it’s a slam dunk. Listening side by side provide a great perspective!

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Ya that’s a good question. It was with limited testing. One thing I know for sure with the Arc is that I noticed the treble/bass is not right at times. I never had that impression with the playbar. I will keep testing them out with music and movies. I said I can see the benefits of the Arc but not sure if the sound profile is better than the playbar. The added speakers in the Arc do provide greater potential and that is apparent when hearing them side by side. But the Arc May require better tuning or software. The 250$ price difference might play a role but I plan on having the sound bar many years and 250$ in the long term won’t the deciding factor. 
I feel like I’m talking myself into the Arc. And if Sonos can adjust/fix sound profile it’s a slam dunk. Listening side by side provide a great perspective!

Wow, you put this very well. Some times I think the Arc sounds great. Other times, I am unsure if the sound is correct. I, too, feel like I’m talking myself into the Arc. 
Sonos: please chime in and tell us a fix is coming!!!

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It’s remarkable that the Sonos staff is responding in other topics (so they are reading this) and not responding here. That does give me a bad feeling. 

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looking for some info about room accoustics, I found this article: Room acoustics for home audio

The result may be midrange and treble that's too bright and harsh or echoey, or bass notes that are boomy, with a muddy "one-note" quality that drowns out deep bass. Because these reflections arrive at your ears at different times than the sound from your speakers, the three-dimensional "soundstage" created by your speakers and the images of the instruments and singers may become vague or smeared.

 

I am no sound-engineer at all, but could it be due to the Arc speakerplacements, which sends sounds in multiple directions, not only front left-center-right, but also left- and rightside, and 2 on top, this phenomenon is more present than other speakers (like beam and playbar)??

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BTW: accoustics isn't the only possible problem. RTINGS just updated there review with the latest firmware and it is still not good….. 

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looking for some info about room accoustics, I found this article: Room acoustics for home audio

The result may be midrange and treble that's too bright and harsh or echoey, or bass notes that are boomy, with a muddy "one-note" quality that drowns out deep bass. Because these reflections arrive at your ears at different times than the sound from your speakers, the three-dimensional "soundstage" created by your speakers and the images of the instruments and singers may become vague or smeared.

 

I am no sound-engineer at all, but could it be due to the Arc speakerplacements, which sends sounds in multiple directions, not only front left-center-right, but also left- and rightside, and 2 on top, this phenomenon is more present than other speakers (like beam and playbar)??

The whole point of Truplay is to negate the effects you mentioned. But it looks like it’s not working as intended. I have found stereo 2.0 to be much fuller than DD5.1 content. So, the channel separation and sound reflections might be the culprit here as you said @knafets 

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Been reading this thread with interest. I have 2 Arc’s - 1 in an open plan Family Room and the other in a seperate Media Room. Both have Gen 3 Subs as well  

I don’t have any metallic/harsh sound that is talked about in this thread. Or if I do, then I’m blissfully unaware. Both were Trueplay’d using an iPhone 11 Pro Max  I don’t find the sound too bright  

Actually I was so paranoid after reading everyone’s comments about Trueplay using latest iPhones and the bright sound, that I re-did it using an iPhone 7 in the Family Room - and suddenly I was getting the harsh SSSSS in vocals! So I re-tuned it again using my 11 Pro Max and then it went back to normal and the harsh SSSSS’s went away

So it would appear I have the opposite experience to others. All good with the latest iPhone, but worse with an older iPhone. Very strange. 

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Reposting what i posted on the Muddy bass thread:

Here is a snippet of the Compression graph from RTINGS.com in red it shows the Arc at high volume and on green it shows the Beam at high volume. There is a noticeable dip there for red, this is not what is expected at that range. Note this only happens at high volume. The other green (mostly flat line) is the Arc at 80dB SPL level (not as loud) which is flat as it is ideal. It is normal for speakers to struggle at higher volumes but theres a clear issue for the bass response for the Arc at high volume.

 

Here is the summary with the score, pretty poor score even lower than Beam and Playbar.

 

 

Here is another score that is lower than expected, and it points to the metallic sound/ tinny sound some are experiencing 

 

Find it hard to believe SONOS didnt test these type of things before pushing the Arc out of the door. So it makes me wonder what is going on….

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Reposting what i posted on the Muddy bass thread:

Here is a snippet of the Compression graph from RTINGS.com in red it shows the Arc at high volume and on green it shows the Beam at high volume. There is a noticeable dip there for red, this is not what is expected at that range. Note this only happens at high volume. The other green (mostly flat line) is the Arc at 80dB SPL level (not as loud) which is flat as it is ideal. It is normal for speakers to struggle at higher volumes but theres a clear issue for the bass response for the Arc at high volume.

 

Here is the summary with the score, pretty poor score even lower than Beam and Playbar.

 

 

Here is another score that is lower than expected, and it points to the metallic sound/ tinny sound some are experiencing 

 

Find it hard to believe SONOS didnt test these type of things before pushing the Arc out of the door. So it makes me wonder what is going on….

@Paul A 

Hi Paul, seen you have been posting on the muddy bass thread, could you also look into this thread also please. 

 

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I couldn’t stick it any longer. I brought the arc back to the shop,and exchanged for a beam.I now find warmer audio,same quality in soundstage plus 430 Euro into my pocket as a refund. Unfortunately the Arc wasn’t for me and my Tv room. Good luck in getting a better Arc!

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Interesting video about treuplay on the Arc and boosting the higher frequencies causing “metallic sound”  

 

Could Sonos boost the higher frequencies on purpose, so the atmos en surround effects of the Arc work better? Since higher frequencies bounces better of walls and ceilings? If so, this explains why the are ignoring this topic as it is “By design” 

@Sonos if it is “by design”, please tell us, so each of us can decide if the Arc is the right product them. If not give of some info regarding a fix!

Interesting video about treuplay on the Arc and boosting the higher frequencies causing “metallic sound”  

 

Could Sonos boost the higher frequencies on purpose, so the atmos en surround effects of the Arc work better? Since higher frequencies bounces better of walls and ceilings? If so, this explains why the are ignoring this topic as it is “By design” 

@Sonos if it is “by design”, please tell us, so each of us can decide if the Arc is the right product them. If not give of some info regarding a fix!

Sounds like its 100% not a firmware issue which is reassuring. Those with the “tinny” sound, could be resolved by dialing back the treble.

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No. Dialing back the treble does not only turn down the higher frequencies but also the mids. Which result in a bad sounding speaker. 
 

if we had control over a full equalizer than we could do something. 

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I find that trueplay makes a HUGE difference. Today, after the 100th or so trueplay attempt, the Arc sounds much fuller and rounder to me. There still is a bit of a bright, sharp, edge I would be happy to get rid of. But, overall, this latest trueplay is a huge improvement.  

Having said the above, so far Arc hasn’t been a great experience. With the beam, everything worked perfectly off the bat, yet here, with Arc, I am struggling. I wanted Arc to be an immediate and obvious improvement over beam. Instead, I keep trying to convince myself that Arc is better. 

I am really starting to feel that this is a trueplay bug with S2. I wish Sonos would just acknowledge this, and tell us that they are actively working on improving this. 

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Reposting what i posted on the Muddy bass thread:

Here is a snippet of the Compression graph from RTINGS.com in red it shows the Arc at high volume and on green it shows the Beam at high volume. There is a noticeable dip there for red, this is not what is expected at that range. Note this only happens at high volume. The other green (mostly flat line) is the Arc at 80dB SPL level (not as loud) which is flat as it is ideal. It is normal for speakers to struggle at higher volumes but theres a clear issue for the bass response for the Arc at high volume.

 

Here is the summary with the score, pretty poor score even lower than Beam and Playbar.

 

 

Here is another score that is lower than expected, and it points to the metallic sound/ tinny sound some are experiencing 

 

Find it hard to believe SONOS didnt test these type of things before pushing the Arc out of the door. So it makes me wonder what is going on….

Of course they tested it. This is the sound signature they want (or the best they could come up with), and this is why they aren’t acknowledging any problem. If you do not like this sound, you are going to have to return it.

I agree with oriboaz.  After countless retuning attempts the past 2 weeks I got it sounding pretty good a couple of days ago. I am not sure where I read this suggestion when running trueplay but it seemed to help. Rather than walk around the room during the second part of the retune, I just remained in the same spot. I waved the iPad in the same general vertical motion but only in my main sitting location. Still not perfect but it is the best it has sounded. 

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 I am not sure where I read this suggestion when running trueplay but it seemed to help. Rather than walk around the room during the second part of the retune, I just remained in the same spot. I waved the iPad in the same general vertical motion but only in my main sitting location. Still not perfect but it is the best it has sounded. 

https://en.community.sonos.com/home-theater-228993/optimum-trueplay-6842990?postid=16447432#post16447432

 

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After reading all the info in this topic I think we can come to this conclusion:

  1. the high frequencies are indeed “boosted up” (we are not crazy)
  2. this can be corrected by updating the trueplay software

Two questions remain:

  1. is this the way Sonos want's it te be?
  2. will there be a software fix (treuplay-fix)?

Again; @sonos please respond to this subject!!

If you don’t respond we have to assume there will never be a fix (and have to send our Arc's back) and possible never buy a Sonos product again or advise Sonos to others.

(I'm getting frustated; not because of the Arc’s problems, but of the lack of communication from Sonos)

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While I’ve been waiting for something like the Arc for quite a while (product with earc, ability to use sonos sub and my existing ones as rears) the issues, lack of lpcm and non-communication regarding the issues is starting to push me in other directions.
 

Too bad the beam isn’t an option, but happily I’m not too deeply bought into the sonos ecosystem yet.

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While I’ve been waiting for something like the Arc for quite a while (product with earc, ability to use sonos sub and my existing ones as rears) the issues, lack of lpcm and non-communication regarding the issues is starting to push me in other directions.
 

Too bad the beam isn’t an option, but happily I’m not too deeply bought into the sonos ecosystem yet.

They committed to adding multi channel LPCM. In their defense sonos is usually much better at this but IDK what is going on with their restructuring and covid.. 

 

gswanso2 .. Look at the beam curve dude theres no way they get to design their own speakers pick components and they say YES this is what we want for the Flagship product to perform worse than the Beam! Yes this is our sound signature….. come on. I do not know if theres a hardware issue, but I think this is most likely a DSP issue. The weird thing is if a random small company can test this, and a youtuber can test this I cannot believe that SONOS wouldn't. So something weird went on.

 

Regarding the “metallic sound” that could be a different topic where they are purposedly emphasizing the highs for atmos and directional wider sound-stage presence. 

 

Regardless I dont really experience any of these issues anymore or at least cant tell since I dont push the volume too high.

 

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After reading all the info in this topic I think we can come to this conclusion:

  1. the high frequencies are indeed “boosted up” (we are not crazy)
  2. this can be corrected by updating the trueplay software

 

 

Disagree.  We cannot logically come to the conclusion that anything can be corrected by simply updating the Trueplay software.  The problem goes beyond fixing/tweaking the Trueplay software.  Yes, there MAY be some issues with Trueplay with the Arc and/or the Sonos v2 iOS app which would explain why people have gotten very different results when re-tuning using older iOS devices vs. newer iOS devices.  But that does not explain the terrible sound quality many are experiencing WITHOUT using Trueplay.  Rtings.com addresses the Arc’s issues in their review and they go beyond Trueplay.

 

Trueplay is Sonos’s version of room-correction equalization.  It is not mandatory, nor should it be.  This is conceptually the same as using something like Audyssey in an AVR (i.e. Denon) to tweak the EQ of your speakers for your specific room (which I have used many times over the years).  This tuning should result in minor improvements to account for the unique acoustics of one’s room - not be a requirement for a speaker to sound good.  In fact, many high-end speaker designers recommend NOT using room-correction EQ for various reasons.

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Packing everything- getting ready to return the Arc and 2 ones even after paying 30% off the price. Dealing with the quiet and thin dialogue by increasing the volume did not help much as the action scenes were getting too loud. Sonos is also silent about this issue and have not provided any assurances. I can’t just bet my money on HOPES that they will fix it. Lack of 4K pass-through ports, LPCM and DTS support were aleady a bummer, but I still accepted those flaws because of the price I paid, but I can not accept sound quality issues. Not everybody was privilged to get 30% off and at $799, Arc is just not worth it as it depends too much on the pricey sub and surrounds for good experience. 

 Overall, the experience is sub-par for a supposedly premium system. I will be going back to the HomePod and Airpods combination which are much more cost-effective with a fuller sound (I never thought I would be saying this after using the Arc).

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