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Sonos Arc - Metallic Sound



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Userlevel 3
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Understandable…

Here you have it Sonos, this is the result of you’re “radio silence strategy”; customers returning the Arc…

 

Userlevel 6
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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.

I accidentally marked your answer as the best. whew!

Anyway- I completely agree with you. Any “premium” speaker should sound good right out of the box without any room correction EQ. This is especially important considering how Truplay gives inconsistent results based on the device used, area covered etc. 

Userlevel 5
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Gonna exchange mine see if it’s any different.. just put my mind to ease that it’s not just the unit I have, then return if the same.. come Sonos give us some info on this issue

@John A @Chris - Sonos @Jean C. 

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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).

Planning the same…. 

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Want to make sure people saw Peter Pee’s latest video… does a great job looking at the frequency response of Arc, with and without Trueplay, and with and without the Sub. I think this illustrates the current issues with Arc, and I think it also shows that it could be easily remedied through software updates. I would argue that it’s likely to be.

TL;DR: there is indeed an obvious spike in the treble, there is indeed a bass issue, adding the sub does remedy the bass issue, and Trueplay (even performed with an iPhone 11) does make a big difference to flatten the frequency response of the speaker, so it would be silly not to use it.

 

Userlevel 1
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I’ve recalibrated using the iPhone X now and the treble is back to -1 from -8 previously but the overall sound has become too dull now no punch in bass it has become kind of muddy. I’ve got the full 5.1.2 setup. I think this could all be fixed with software updates but don’t want to wait for 6 months before I could actually stating enjoying the sound quality. I want to return it but I also got that 30% discount that I won’t be able to get next time so just u sure about what to do.

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where did you all get 30 percent off???

Userlevel 6
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where did you all get 30 percent off???

First responders and nurse discount early on.

Userlevel 6
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I’ve recalibrated using the iPhone X now and the treble is back to -1 from -8 previously but the overall sound has become too dull now no punch in bass it has become kind of muddy. I’ve got the full 5.1.2 setup. I think this could all be fixed with software updates but don’t want to wait for 6 months before I could actually stating enjoying the sound quality. I want to return it but I also got that 30% discount that I won’t be able to get next time so just u sure about what to do.

I was in the same dilemma with 30% off i got. It was just becoming stressful to daily tweak the settings, increase the volume constantly to hear the dialogues, and suddenly get a blast when any action happened. Not to mention the dialogues sounded thin. It’s up to you to decide whether it’s worth the stress and time. Sonos hasn’t been very responsive to the issues since the layoffs happened. That’s why I am returning mine.

Userlevel 3
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I’m waiting until the end of return window. Couple weeks

Userlevel 2
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I first reported mine as faulty/unsatisfactory at the end of June and I am still waiting for Sonos to resolve this. They offered to set up an exchange but requested some information from me. I have sent this twice and on both occasions, they have just sent me a generic email response asking if they have resolved my case to my satisfaction… no actual response for 3 days.

Unfortunately, I am highly invested into sonos so not as simple as just getting a refund.

Think they are going to lose customers over this and end up with lots of returns. 

Sort it out sonos. Not a happy customer!!!.

 

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The video is very interesting. It’s a bit frustrationg to spend $800 on a product that doesn’t work as advertised and the fix is to buy another another $700 product????

I don’t doubt the sub is a nice product but one reason I spent more on the Arc was to not have to buy a sub. 

Userlevel 2
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The video is very interesting. It’s a bit frustrationg to spend $800 on a product that doesn’t work as advertised and the fix is to buy another another $700 product????

I don’t doubt the sub is a nice product but one reason I spent more on the Arc was to not have to buy a sub. 

 

 

Don’t think the sub fixes it. I have a sub and my arc sounds terrible

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The video is very interesting. It’s a bit frustrationg to spend $800 on a product that doesn’t work as advertised and the fix is to buy another another $700 product????

I don’t doubt the sub is a nice product but one reason I spent more on the Arc was to not have to buy a sub. 

That wasn’t my takeaway from the video… my takeaway was to say that generally, for a soundbar, it seems handles bass well. That’s what my ears hear. It has some DSP issues at particular frequencies, but obviously software/Trueplay is CAPABLE of correcting them… just needs some software tweaks to do so. Same applies on the treble side.

Userlevel 3
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For testing purposes I just unplugged my arc and watch some tv using the (mediocre) built in tv speakers. I’m astonished what a relief this is for my ears. No more bright piercing voices. 
 

just stunned how bad the arc is.…

 

I wanted to wait for a software updated but right now I feel like I just want to get rid of this thing ASAP. 

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For testing purposes I just unplugged my arc and watch some tv using the (mediocre) built in tv speakers. I’m astonished what a relief this is for my ears. No more bright piercing voices. 
 

just stunned how bad the arc is....

Try retuning with a different device, preferably an older one, if you can. Having updated the Arc software and retuned with an older device, the harshness is pretty much gone. I mean there is still some favoring of treble frequencies in spots, but nothing like before. Generally it sounds good to an unpicky ear. If you are saying your TV speakers sound better, you might need to get your Arc replaced.

Userlevel 6
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For testing purposes I just unplugged my arc and watch some tv using the (mediocre) built in tv speakers. I’m astonished what a relief this is for my ears. No more bright piercing voices. 
 

just stunned how bad the arc is....

Try retuning with a different device, preferably an older one, if you can. Having updated the Arc software and retuned with an older device, the harshness is pretty much gone. I mean there is still some favoring of treble frequencies in spots, but nothing like before. Generally it sounds good to an unpicky ear. If you are saying your TV speakers sound better, you might need to get your Arc replaced.

I did all that you said. Treble did go way, but the dialogues were unchanged. My TV speakers have the same dialogue quality. can’t tell the difference. You would think a soundbar with a dedicated center channel would have much better vocals, but no. I don’t think the airplay functionality and lack of few wires is worth $799.Good luck.

Userlevel 3
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For testing purposes I just unplugged my arc and watch some tv using the (mediocre) built in tv speakers. I’m astonished what a relief this is for my ears. No more bright piercing voices. 
 

just stunned how bad the arc is....

Try retuning with a different device, preferably an older one, if you can. Having updated the Arc software and retuned with an older device, the harshness is pretty much gone. I mean there is still some favoring of treble frequencies in spots, but nothing like before. Generally it sounds good to an unpicky ear. If you are saying your TV speakers sound better, you might need to get your Arc replaced.

I did all that you said. Treble did go way, but the dialogues were unchanged. My TV speakers have the same dialogue quality. can’t tell the difference. You would think a soundbar with a dedicated center channel would have much better vocals, but no. I don’t think the airplay functionally and lack of few wires is worth $799.Good luck.


exactly this. I just wanted to reply with exactly the same story. 
 

ps I tuned with an iPhone 7

Userlevel 2
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For testing purposes I just unplugged my arc and watch some tv using the (mediocre) built in tv speakers. I’m astonished what a relief this is for my ears. No more bright piercing voices. 
 

just stunned how bad the arc is.…

 

I wanted to wait for a software updated but right now I feel like I just want to get rid of this thing ASAP. 

This is exactly my experience. It’s now been disconnected and I’ll sit patiently with my £800 ornament whilst I wait for Sonos to get back to me. What a mess!! 

Userlevel 3
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@arpatil1 What are you’re plans? I am looking at the Bose soundbar 700

Userlevel 2
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@arpatil1 What are you’re plans? I am looking at the Bose soundbar 700

I’m curious how that would work out? It actually has good reviews but the software is I guess horrendous 

Userlevel 6
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@arpatil1 What are you’re plans? I am looking at the Bose soundbar 700

@knafets I am going to reply on my HomePod and AirPods for now (No Arc-like struggle with them). I live in an apartment, but looking to buy my own house in the near future. So I will just switch to a proper 5.1 setup then. I can hide the wires the way I want. With the money bose and Sonos charges, you can get much better sound when you have a traditional system. No more soundbars for me.

Userlevel 2
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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.

 

I’m expecting this to be the new normal, based on the sacking of the community manager right after the biggest new product launch in years.

Userlevel 2

I don't know if this will help anyone, but I purchased the Arc from Amazon. I received it and was not happy with the sound at all. So I decided to buy another one from best buy. The 2nd one was a night and day experience. It sounds incredible. No sharp treble. I wondered if I was just imagining the bad audio from the first unit, so I reconnected it again and could tell the difference right away. I returned the original unit and kept the 2nd one. So I am not sure if this is really a software problem or if it's a defective unit. I think in my case it was defective. 

Userlevel 2

Just a follow-up to my last comment. I have noticed that the dialog sounds more metallic when playing a movie in Atmos. It's also more pronounced on certain apps. For instance. Disney + has a really big problem with low audio. It sounds like they are over compressing the audio. So I have to turn the volume up +10 more than on other apps. There is a big difference in the dialog with too much treble when playing a Disney + Marvel or Star Wars movie in Atmos. There is still a small treble problem when playing the same movie in Dolby Digital plus, without atmos. The metallic sound is reduced when not using Atmos. So far the majority of audio problems seem to be from certain apps, especially disney +.

I'm curious what streaming apps are people in this thread using to test the Arc? 

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