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Sonos Arc - Metallic Sound



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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.

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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 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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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 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. 

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!!!.

 

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

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

First responders and nurse discount early on.

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where did you all get 30 percent off???

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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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.

 

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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…. 

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. 

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 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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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).

Userlevel 4
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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.

Userlevel 4
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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.

 

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.

Userlevel 3
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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)

Userlevel 6
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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

 

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. 

Userlevel 2
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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.

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