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Sonos Arc - Metallic Sound



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Userlevel 4
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Ok, so I updated and trueplayed several times. Using iphone 11 pro for trueplaying results in a tinny and hollow sound that sounds terrible. The iPhone 6s produces a better sound signature, but I am still not happy with Arc’s sound signature. There is still a significant difference between trueplay attempts, and I had to do multiple rounds before I got a sound that was passable. However, in all cases the high frequencies are still too sharp, and the SSS sounds are too pronounced. I know that the S sounds are there, but I expect a better balance. When I A/B test scenes between Arc and airpods, the airpods give a much more enjoyable sound signature (the high frequencies are softer and nicer to hear).  
 

As an example, take the opening minute of Hamilton on Disney plus. The way the narrator says “silence all cellphones” is very bothersome when listened to on Arc, whereas when I use airpods it is much nicer sounding. 

This is what I mean the mics have issues. I listened to hamilton on the arc was saying OMG this is the tinny issue with the Sss this is bad! and then turns out my brother who know has my playbar said the same hting he noticed the Ssss too much and was bad. And I had to turn the treble down for hamilton. I didntr see other content that had this issue. But that turned out to be related to the mics used for that performance recording. And not the Arcs fault

Nope. Listen to this using earphones, and hear the difference. It’s massive.

Will have to try it again but for sure some content is worse than others adn this is not specific to the arc. I think what happens is the arc extends to higher frequencies than other speakers (can be seen int he freq response graphs on rtings for example) so you are hearing this extra freq you dont hear on airpods. For example look at the comparison between Arc and Playbar. up until the playbar (green) drifts off they are very similar high freq

 

Userlevel 4
Badge +4

Ok, so I updated and trueplayed several times. Using iphone 11 pro for trueplaying results in a tinny and hollow sound that sounds terrible. The iPhone 6s produces a better sound signature, but I am still not happy with Arc’s sound signature. There is still a significant difference between trueplay attempts, and I had to do multiple rounds before I got a sound that was passable. However, in all cases the high frequencies are still too sharp, and the SSS sounds are too pronounced. I know that the S sounds are there, but I expect a better balance. When I A/B test scenes between Arc and airpods, the airpods give a much more enjoyable sound signature (the high frequencies are softer and nicer to hear).  
 

As an example, take the opening minute of Hamilton on Disney plus. The way the narrator says “silence all cellphones” is very bothersome when listened to on Arc, whereas when I use airpods it is much nicer sounding. 

This is what I mean the mics have issues. I listened to hamilton on the arc was saying OMG this is the tinny issue with the Sss this is bad! and then turns out my brother who know has my playbar said the same hting he noticed the Ssss too much and was bad. And I had to turn the treble down for hamilton. I didntr see other content that had this issue. But that turned out to be related to the mics used for that performance recording. And not the Arcs fault

Nope. Listen to this using earphones, and hear the difference. It’s massive.

Will have to try it again but for sure some content is worse than others adn this is not specific to the arc. I think what happens is the arc extends to higher frequencies than other speakers (can be seen int he freq response graphs on rtings for example) so you are hearing this extra freq you dont hear on airpods. For example look at the comparison between Arc and Playbar. up until the playbar (green) drifts off they are very similar high freq

 

Note: this can still be dialed down by sonos especially if it is causing discomfort or people dont like it! This can be tamed on DSP

Userlevel 4
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Yup- after the update still having the same issues with the muddy bass and treble …disappointing….

Yup- after the update still having the same issues with the muddy bass and treble …disappointing….

Did you do a trueplay? 

Userlevel 4
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Yup- after the update still having the same issues with the muddy bass and treble …disappointing….

Did you do a trueplay? 

Of course... 

Yup- after the update still having the same issues with the muddy bass and treble …disappointing….

Did you do a trueplay? 

Of course... 

:-( 

Userlevel 5
Badge +9

I have updated the app (both on my android phone and iPad Mini) to version 12.0.3, and then I've tried to have the system update by pressing "System Updates" as before... However, it showed "No update required, your Sonos system is up to date"…

Anyone else?

Userlevel 5
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Do you have automatic updates enabled? Maybe the system updated in the background?

 

what do the “Version” numbers say against the speakers in “About My System”?

Userlevel 5
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Do you have automatic updates enabled? Maybe the system updated in the background?

 

what do the “Version” numbers say against the speakers in “About My System”?

Oh yes... I've set automatic updates and all speakers version are 12.0.3 and build number are 58179200. Is that mean I have to retureplay all the speakers and not only the Arc?

Thanks again!

Userlevel 5
Badge +13

That’s the latest version, so you are all good for updates.

 

regarding having to retune with TruePlay, I doubt you have to, but not seen any release notes apart from “bug fixes and performance” statement.

 

I would have though IF you had to redo TruePlay it would be a .x release not a .x,x release.

 

some have said a retune helped, others have said it made no difference.

Userlevel 2
Badge +3

Do you have automatic updates enabled? Maybe the system updated in the background?

 

what do the “Version” numbers say against the speakers in “About My System”?

Oh yes... I've set automatic updates and all speakers version are 12.0.3 and build number are 58179200. Is that mean I have to retureplay all the speakers and not only the Arc?

Thanks again!

Yes you’re good, that’s the current release as of July 28.

You can try to redo the Trueplay but for me it made no difference. What does make a huge difference for me is which device I use to trueplay. On my iPhone X it sounds pretty bad. The treble is very overemphasized, and harsh. With my wife’s aging iPad mini 2 it sounds much better. I’ll probably just keep that iPad around for that purpose only even if my wife were to upgrade it (long overdue, the thing is basically unusable) unless Sonos manage to fix this wide variability in trueplay.

Userlevel 5
Badge +9

Do you have automatic updates enabled? Maybe the system updated in the background?

 

what do the “Version” numbers say against the speakers in “About My System”?

Oh yes... I've set automatic updates and all speakers version are 12.0.3 and build number are 58179200. Is that mean I have to retureplay all the speakers and not only the Arc?

Thanks again!

Yes you’re good, that’s the current release as of July 28.

You can try to redo the Trueplay but for me it made no difference. What does make a huge difference for me is which device I use to trueplay. On my iPhone X it sounds pretty bad. The treble is very overemphasized, and harsh. With my wife’s aging iPad mini 2 it sounds much better. I’ll probably just keep that iPad around for that purpose only even if my wife were to upgrade it (long overdue, the thing is basically unusable) unless Sonos manage to fix this wide variability in trueplay.

Thanks for your advice! My iPad Mini is the 2019 one... 

Or I may borrow an iPhone 8 plus from my nephew…

Just not sure which one would be better?

Userlevel 3
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Ok, so… I’ve been using the Arc for a month.  I received it within a week after release.  I have had NO problems…. zero.  I have an Arc + Sub + 2 SL.  I’ve been watching this thread since before I received them, and was worried - but after tuning it I couldn’t hear any over-exaggerated treble, no metallic sounds.  In fact, with treble set on 0 the speaker sounded very warm.  I used an iPhone X.  There was a few sound examples where I could hear exaggerated sibilance, however I chalked that up to poor audio.

Yesterday I updated the app and the firmware, and decided to re-tune it.

NOW I hear it!  With some content I can suddenly hear a ‘metallic’ quality to the sound.  In order to get the treble to behave I had to adjust the treble EQ down to -3.  Measuring with a spectrum analyzer on the phone I could clearly see a difference in the EQ.  There are some higher frequencies that are exaggerated after the tuning.

I’m pretty convinced this is not hardware.  I am also convinced this isn’t a ‘preference’.  People who think the Arc is simply a bit bright are probably not hearing the issue.  When you hear it… it’s jarring.  I had no idea what this thread was about until I tried retuning yesterday.

I’m also convinced that this isn’t related directly to the phone used to tune.  I’ve been using the iPhone X in all cases.

Anyway… I’m going to find some time today when the family is hopefully not around the living room to use Trueplay with slightly different ‘phone-waving’ behavior to see if I can hear a difference.  If I get it back to where it was before, I’m going to leave it. :D

Userlevel 2
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But doesn’t TruePlay let you know if there was a problem tuning?!!

Userlevel 7
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I find conversations regarding Trueplay and retuning etc. bizarre to be honest.  With it switched off (like it has to be for a huge amount of users who use Android), the Arc should not be exhibiting any of the issues being so widely reported.

Trueplay is to adjust the sound according to the room/environment it is in, not to fix fundamental problems.  There may be issues with tuning on specific devices’ microphones (quite ironic given the reasons for Trueplay only being supported on Apple devices) - but with it switched off these sorts of issues with bass etc. really shouldn't be there.

If you switch it off and have the problem then there is a huge issue.

Userlevel 2
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I find conversations regarding Trueplay and retuning etc. bizarre to be honest.  With it switched off (like it has to be for a huge amount of users who use Android), the Arc should not be exhibiting any of the issues being so widely reported.

Trueplay is to adjust the sound according to the room/environment it is in, not to fix fundamental problems.  There may be issues with tuning on specific devices’ microphones (quite ironic given the reasons for Trueplay only being supported on Apple devices) - but with it switched off these sorts of issues with bass etc. really shouldn't be there.

If you switch it off and have the problem then there is a huge issue.

And I am in this category of being an android user. I was disappointed from the very start with the sound of my Arc. I had tried adjusting the bass/treble with undesirable effects and then by borrowing my nephews iPhone to 'trueplay' the bar it did improve the sound quite dramatically. Unfortunately though it remains  hardly any better than my old 5 year old, £130, samsung 2.1 system it replaces, in fact for growling bass and loudness the Samsung was way better! 

This is my first dive in to the Sonos ocean and after glowing reviews I believed I was going to get a cinema experience and so I should at £800! All the Sonos fans seem to think it is okay to have a broken speaker, perhaps you may have a sub and play 1s and you believe, maybe because you have invested so much time and money in to their ecosystem, that Sonos will repair this broken soundbar. For me spending another £1000 to get that (and still some lambast the Arc with that setup) is crazy. It would be like buying a Ferrari with a 1.0 litre eco engine and saying but to get the best from it you need to upgrade and spend over double what you paid for it in the first place to make it what it should be (Actual costs exaggerated)! 

From what I'm reading everyone was happy with their previous Sonos products and I have heard some that sound great, that's what I was expecting (and more) from the Arc, how underwhelmed and disappointed I am. Yes I can send it back, but before I do I want to make sure the next £800 I spend on a soundbar isn't broken. 

 

Userlevel 4
Badge +4

I find conversations regarding Trueplay and retuning etc. bizarre to be honest.  With it switched off (like it has to be for a huge amount of users who use Android), the Arc should not be exhibiting any of the issues being so widely reported.

Trueplay is to adjust the sound according to the room/environment it is in, not to fix fundamental problems.  There may be issues with tuning on specific devices’ microphones (quite ironic given the reasons for Trueplay only being supported on Apple devices) - but with it switched off these sorts of issues with bass etc. really shouldn't be there.

If you switch it off and have the problem then there is a huge issue.

1- You can easily find someone with an iphone borrow their phone for 10 mins and trueplay. (now is more difficult due to covid I know)

2- You are confused by the “issue” at hand. It isn’t that theres an issue that trueplaying fix. It is quite the opposite. Some users are reporting that truplaying is incorrectly tuning the profile and making high pitch voices and sounds sound harsh and “tinny” and Ssssss to be quite annoying to the ear (siblance). 

Keeping truplay off means more muddled sounds and voices and no room correction so forego the “virtual surround” and atmos adjustment.

Room correction is a very good and high end feature for soundbars and systems. Even home theater receiver system use it and need it (they provide a mic you move around). Sonos system is easier and simpler **but** you need an iphone (refer to point 1) Theyd have to develop this to account for multiple mics used on multiple androids that release on multiple flagships cycles every year and dramatically change components in the process. Not saying it couldnt be done but it adds considerable complexity to keep truplay constat for all with tens of phone models (keep in mind this goes through the years) so every year it would be 3 or 4 samsungs, 2 or 3 pixel phones, 2 or 3 LGs, 3 or 4 iphones etc. Edit: and then you would probably complain your samsung A isnt supported but the S is or the S is but the note isnt. Or the note is but the galaxy fold isnt etc

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I find conversations regarding Trueplay and retuning etc. bizarre to be honest.  With it switched off (like it has to be for a huge amount of users who use Android), the Arc should not be exhibiting any of the issues being so widely reported.

Trueplay is to adjust the sound according to the room/environment it is in, not to fix fundamental problems.  There may be issues with tuning on specific devices’ microphones (quite ironic given the reasons for Trueplay only being supported on Apple devices) - but with it switched off these sorts of issues with bass etc. really shouldn't be there.

If you switch it off and have the problem then there is a huge issue.

And I am in this category of being an android user. I was disappointed from the very start with the sound of my Arc. I had tried adjusting the bass/treble with undesirable effects and then by borrowing my nephews iPhone to 'trueplay' the bar it did improve the sound quite dramatically. Unfortunately though it remains  hardly any better than my old 5 year old, £130, samsung 2.1 system it replaces, in fact for growling bass and loudness the Samsung was way better! 

This is my first dive in to the Sonos ocean and after glowing reviews I believed I was going to get a cinema experience and so I should at £800! All the Sonos fans seem to think it is okay to have a broken speaker, perhaps you may have a sub and play 1s and you believe, maybe because you have invested so much time and money in to their ecosystem, that Sonos will repair this broken soundbar. For me spending another £1000 to get that (and still some lambast the Arc with that setup) is crazy. It would be like buying a Ferrari with a 1.0 litre eco engine and saying but to get the best from it you need to upgrade and spend over double what you paid for it in the first place to make it what it should be (Actual costs exaggerated)! 

From what I'm reading everyone was happy with their previous Sonos products and I have heard some that sound great, that's what I was expecting (and more) from the Arc, how underwhelmed and disappointed I am. Yes I can send it back, but before I do I want to make sure the next £800 I spend on a soundbar isn't broken. 

 

This is where I was with the Arc.  Out of the box I expected more.  

I retuned it twice.  But I didn’t adjust the EQ. Because I instinctively felt that if I had to make adjustments to the sound just to make it comfortable to listen to, then maybe a lot needed fixing.

 

I was also of the opinion that only by shelling out for the sub and surrounds would I achieve the immersive effect I was looking for.

 

Userlevel 2
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This is where I was with the Arc.  Out of the box I expected more.  

I retuned it twice.  But I didn’t adjust the EQ. Because I instinctively felt that if I had to make adjustments to the sound just to make it comfortable to listen to, then maybe a lot needed fixing.

 

I was also of the opinion that only by shelling out for the sub and surrounds would I achieve the immersive effect I was looking for.

 

There must be a fair few of us in this boat. I've heard such good things about Sonos but I'm not sure what they have released here is fixable without spending money. I had so many hopes of not having a sub woofer on my floor anymore (and let's face it, nearly all reviews said I wouldn't)! 

Did you purchase a different brand in the end? 

Userlevel 4
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My two cents: 

  1. There are definitely problems with the Arc. I still have faith that Sonos will fix them. 
  2. Once fixed, I expect to run trueplay once, and not touch the EQ settings, as I have before with other Sonos products. 
  3. The sub is transformational. It completely transforms the listening experience from “good” (once the Arc problems are fixed) to “amazing”. I, too, balked at its cost, but once I heard it, I haven’t looked back.  
Userlevel 3
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BTW… this morning I did another Trueplay with my iPhone X.  I deliberately moved my arm all the way up and down and stayed a few feet from the Arc and moved back and forth around the room.  The results went back to sounding great again.  Metallic sound went away.  Midrange returned to a nice warm sound.

I probably will not touch it again.

 

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This is where I was with the Arc.  Out of the box I expected more.  

I retuned it twice.  But I didn’t adjust the EQ. Because I instinctively felt that if I had to make adjustments to the sound just to make it comfortable to listen to, then maybe a lot needed fixing.

 

I was also of the opinion that only by shelling out for the sub and surrounds would I achieve the immersive effect I was looking for.

 

There must be a fair few of us in this boat. I've heard such good things about Sonos but I'm not sure what they have released here is fixable without spending money. I had so many hopes of not having a sub woofer on my floor anymore (and let's face it, nearly all reviews said I wouldn't)! 

Did you purchase a different brand in the end? 

Well, after previously owning an LG SJ9Y I decided sound bars aren’t for me.  So I sacrificed the simplicity and minimalist style of the Arc in favour of a Marantz NR1710 amp and QAcoustic speakers.

Userlevel 7
Badge +15

I find conversations regarding Trueplay and retuning etc. bizarre to be honest.  With it switched off (like it has to be for a huge amount of users who use Android), the Arc should not be exhibiting any of the issues being so widely reported.

Trueplay is to adjust the sound according to the room/environment it is in, not to fix fundamental problems.  There may be issues with tuning on specific devices’ microphones (quite ironic given the reasons for Trueplay only being supported on Apple devices) - but with it switched off these sorts of issues with bass etc. really shouldn't be there.

If you switch it off and have the problem then there is a huge issue.

1- You can easily find someone with an iphone borrow their phone for 10 mins and trueplay. (now is more difficult due to covid I know)

2- You are confused by the “issue” at hand. It isn’t that theres an issue that trueplaying fix. It is quite the opposite. Some users are reporting that truplaying is incorrectly tuning the profile and making high pitch voices and sounds sound harsh and “tinny” and Ssssss to be quite annoying to the ear (siblance). 

Keeping truplay off means more muddled sounds and voices and no room correction so forego the “virtual surround” and atmos adjustment.

Room correction is a very good and high end feature for soundbars and systems. Even home theater receiver system use it and need it (they provide a mic you move around). Sonos system is easier and simpler **but** you need an iphone (refer to point 1) Theyd have to develop this to account for multiple mics used on multiple androids that release on multiple flagships cycles every year and dramatically change components in the process. Not saying it couldnt be done but it adds considerable complexity to keep truplay constat for all with tens of phone models (keep in mind this goes through the years) so every year it would be 3 or 4 samsungs, 2 or 3 pixel phones, 2 or 3 LGs, 3 or 4 iphones etc. Edit: and then you would probably complain your samsung A isnt supported but the S is or the S is but the note isnt. Or the note is but the galaxy fold isnt etc

Presumably this is replying to me - but I am well aware of the reasons for Android not having Trueplay (hence my comment on the irony on seemingly different results from the iOS devices that do use a ‘known’ mic standard - that also get tested before being included in the Sonos software (it’s often added some time after the devices’ release.))

Regarding confusing the issue, I’m really not.  You don’t think there are users with issues that they should not have that are being improved by Trueplay?  As I say, this option that is not a realistic option for all should not be viewed as a solution.

I’m really starting to think there is either something wrong with the Arc design or a huge batch of them.  If it was something more basic like the DSP part of the software was changed between all of the reviews and the final public release then Sonos could have restored that profile much quicker, even as an interim….

Userlevel 2
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I read this forum since the arc premiere because I have the same problem. With no warmth in the sound, unbearable highs not to mention the sssss. After the update the problem is still there. This update has not fixed anything in my case. I'm going to exchange my arc for another one, I'm still on time. But if this is not fixed I return everything. By the way I have arc, sub and two sonos 1 rear and it still sounds just as bad. I come from the playbar, with sub and 2 one, no point of comparison.

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