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Sonos Arc - Metallic Sound



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I am lending my voice to this too. I have a return expiring January 16. I am lending my voice to this issue too. I am experiencing some Sibilance or harsh timbre is speech with “S”, “Sh”, “t” etc. This is further ear-piercing at loud volumes. I am hoping a software update will fix this otherwise I’d look elsewhere. My Sonos arc is a week old.

How has Sonos not resolved this issue yet!?

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Unfortunately this topic is "answered" as far as the Sonos team is concerned.

I didn't like the sound also. I prefer sound that is more warm and engaging. The Arc sound signature just isn't to my preference.

End of the day, preference is subjective. Some do love their Arc. For those deciding to get the Arc, I would recommend a demo hearing to decide for yourself. 

 

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(cross posting from another thread out of frustration)
Adding a vote. Been following these threads for months (this community, reddit, and others) and have tried it all, including doubling down and adding the sub and ones to my arc, but still not satisfied with the dialogue quality at all. 
 

There’s obviously something wrong and I’m finding it hard to believe Sonos has still not resolved the issue or provided much of an update. (Maybe it’s something they can’t fix??)
 

I’m seriously regretting the purchase and cannot recommend Sonos at this point. 
 

im sure there’s many more people that are not posting as so many others (thousands) are already writing about the same - if that’s you, I encourage you to post. Again, hard to believe that Sonos doesn’t understand the severity of the issue at this point, but let’s at least make sure they understand the scale of dissatisfied customers. 

This thread is a year old and nothing's changed, if I were you I'd move it on.

For what it's worth I didn't like the sound of the Arc either.

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(cross posting from another thread out of frustration)
Adding a vote. Been following these threads for months (this community, reddit, and others) and have tried it all, including doubling down and adding the sub and ones to my arc, but still not satisfied with the dialogue quality at all. 
 

There’s obviously something wrong and I’m finding it hard to believe Sonos has still not resolved the issue or provided much of an update. (Maybe it’s something they can’t fix??)
 

I’m seriously regretting the purchase and cannot recommend Sonos at this point. 
 

im sure there’s many more people that are not posting as so many others (thousands) are already writing about the same - if that’s you, I encourage you to post. Again, hard to believe that Sonos doesn’t understand the severity of the issue at this point, but let’s at least make sure they understand the scale of dissatisfied customers. 

Mitchell’s,

As well as the thin sound do you experience a harsh sibilance on certain female voices?  

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Just purchased the ARC. Using it primarily for movies or shows.   Dialogue seems thin or without midrange.  Basically like there is no warmth to the voice.  And perhaps an even bigger issue is the soundstage sounds “weak”.   Most voices seem contained like in a little box and trapped in the speaker.  Every now and again the soundstage improves in a scene or two but kinda few and far between.   Have messed witht the treble and bass controls and they don’t seem to do too much.  

Looks like this is similar to some others.  Has Sonos come up with a fix??

I have found the Sonos ARC can be hit and miss with different content, some dialogue does sound very thin.. I have a Beam upstairs and find that better at times with dialogue.

Indykid,

 I have suggested that, if at all possible, SONOS add a parametric eq in their app. That would be handy for Android users. 

Indykid,

There are MANY folks who have this same issue and NO “Trueplay” will NOT fix the issue.  As you have noticed the thin sound can be “somewhat” program dependent. That is not the case with the Beam which is consistently excellent. (I have both.)  In the long term don’t expect your ears to adjust to this substandard sound quality. The Arc does do a fair job of simulating ATMOS but the shrill timbre quickly causes ear fatigue. 

Appreciate the feedback.  And I’m an Android user so no Trueplay anyways.   Didn’t learn that until I hit these forums.  Salesman definitely sold me on being able to room adjust the ARC.  I do wonder if I could be happy with the beam and the sub.   Or there are some killer reviews on other sound bar brands.   I’ll mess with the settings for a little bit longer but will probably be returning it.  

Indykid,

There are MANY folks who have this same issue and NO “Trueplay” will NOT fix the issue.  As you have noticed the thin sound can be “somewhat” program dependent. That is not the case with the Beam which is consistently excellent. (I have both.)  In the long term don’t expect your ears to adjust to this substandard sound quality. The Arc does do a fair job of simulating ATMOS but the shrill timbre quickly causes ear fatigue. 

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What sound format are you playing? Did you do a Trueplay?

Just purchased the ARC. Using it primarily for movies or shows.   Dialogue seems thin or without midrange.  Basically like there is no warmth to the voice.  And perhaps an even bigger issue is the soundstage sounds “weak”.   Most voices seem contained like in a little box and trapped in the speaker.  Every now and again the soundstage improves in a scene or two but kinda few and far between.   Have messed witht the treble and bass controls and they don’t seem to do too much.  

Looks like this is similar to some others.  Has Sonos come up with a fix??

Trust your ears and return it before the option expires.  I totally regret not returning mine.  Never been dissatisfied with a SONOS product but the Arc is a glorified boat anchor. 

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I am still messing with it before having to return. last night turned off Trueplay and it got better but still not right. Still metallic on voices and am hearing a very narrow front presentation. No real width to the sound. Not even up to my old cheap Vizio as far as sound stage.

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Based on my experience Trueplay makes a huge difference to the sound profile for good or bad. It took multiple Trueplay attempts (trying different ways) but eventually I got the sound I'm happy with.

There are multiple variables for doing Trueplay so my advice would be to try it few times. Searching this forum would get you few advices.

My suggestion to Sonos for simplifying Trueplay and making it more seamless is- include/sell a mic like few other companies do to use for Trueplay tuning. And put up a separate guide to Trueplay the soundbars as the standard way of roaming around the whole room didn't give me the best results for Arc.

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@GuitarSuperstar … Thanks for the reply. Yes it is connected via eARC. I bought a new OLED TV just for this system. It is set up exactly as it should be. There is NO reason that this dialogue issue should be present. From reading the forum its been a year and still no real response or fix from Sonos. This is not inexpensive gear and we should be getting more help from the makers than I am seeing here. Mine is going back.

I’ve owned over 6 bars and never experienced anything like this nonsense.

So, what type of audio am I getting from the Arc….lousy audio, that type ;-)

Just as an aside...I have noticed that rather than dealing with this issue Sonos just keep closing the many discussion threads concerning the subject. This thread is the exception seemingly. 

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@mauiartist Is your TV equipped with eARC? What type of audio are you getting from the Arc? 

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I just purchased my first Sonos products. Arc and 2 One SL’s. I was very excited unboxing these lovely speakers. Such attention to detail in all regards. Very Apple! Set up was fairly straightforward. Used Trueplay. I am a HiFi nut and have a good idea about sound and relevant gear so it was a good experience so far. Watched a couple of TV shows and was a little disappointed with the tinny speech. Then I turned to some movies and series on Netflix and it all went pear shaped. The dialog was so soft I had to increase the volume ...but then the music or special effects came on and i was blasted out of my seat by the extreme volume. Movie after movie (and shows) all do the same thing.

I recalibrated the system. Moved speakers. Changed settings on my Apple TV 4K. No difference. Tinny and super quiet dialog. 

Looks like I am not alone with this. Complaints are all over the internet. So what’s with the overwhelming positive reviews by the press and review sites with not a single one picking up on the issues???

I will give it one more try but if it does not improve greatly its all going back. I am stunned that with this many complaints Sonos is not commenting or coming out with any fixes. Looks like no more Sonos for me.

Okay so I just tried a few things that really helped with the trueplay experience. YOU MUST take your case off and make sure all windows are closed and only go from head height to waist height not to the roof and to your feet and try and limit the area you walk around to a smaller space around your sitting area. This made it sound soooo much better!

Hope any of this helps you guys ✌❤

I’ve been a huge Sonos fan and finally figured out how to get Atmos hooked up to my older TV using an aftermarket device. With that said I am also extremely disappointed with the tinny sound produced by the ARC. I have the sub along with ones for the surround. I also added fives in the front left and right that I group when listening to music. That sounds amazing… but as I said earlier watching normal TV is horrible. My TV speakers sound better than that. I am seriously consider returning everything and going back to an old fashion amp and wired speakers. Sonos you have a huge fan that’s extremely disappointed!!!!!

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?

I’ve been a huge Sonos fan and finally figured out how to get Atmos hooked up to my older TV using an aftermarket device. With that said I am also extremely disappointed with the tinny sound produced by the ARC. I have the sub along with ones for the surround. I also added fives in the front left and right that I group when listening to music. That sounds amazing… but as I said earlier watching normal TV is horrible. My TV speakers sound better than that. I am seriously consider returning everything and going back to an old fashion amp and wired speakers. Sonos you have a huge fan that’s extremely disappointed!!!!!

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@tgx how has the bar done with normal cable tv viewing after your new true play tuning? If not Have you tried anything like YouTube TV or Hulu? 
 

I suppose the soundbar works best with dolby encoded sources. With pure stereo sources the performance is good but not exceptional.

I think a proper trueplay calibration is crucial for the Arc to sound good. 

A proper Equalization feature is however sorely needed so that you could shape the sound according to your own personal testes. I’m speaking of multiple eq bands or parametric eq. Bass and treble controls  are not enough.

Tgx

Hi tgx (and all),

I recently got the Arc and was at first in love with it which running through the normal test stuff - gaming, 4K movies etc. it was great. Got the sub to go with it the next day. Awesome. 
 

Then i started watching normal stuff like cable TV and other stuff like Netflix at regular volume and the sound stage completely fell apart like the folks here are complaining about. Metallic, hollow, tinny etc. I tried night mode, voice enhancer, adjusting treble and bass, and truplay. 

While it was good at the higher “demoing my new system” volume it was actually shockingly bad at anything else. I own several Sonos speakers - i love they sound the produce even straight out the box before even touching the EQ and at all volumes. 

One major issue i see is not having any sound modes to choose from. I feel like a standard forced “Stereo” or “Stereo 2X” would really help for just watching standard tv. TV typically has horrible results with any soundbars that lack a simple forced stereo mode. There was way too much sound coming out of the center channel only and silly stuff like commercials bouncing sound all over the room - like fake 5.1 simulation. Constantly adjusting the volume even with night mode enabled.
 

@tgx how has the bar done with normal cable tv viewing after your new true play tuning? If not Have you tried anything like YouTube TV or Hulu? 

In the end I returned mine ( and sub)with a very heavy heart as i what wanted a Sonos soundbar for years, then waited a good 2 years after that for the enviable upgrade (the Arc) to launch. 

couldn’t have been more disappointed…
 

 


 

 

 

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Just wanted to briefly add my experience with my new Arc.

After the first calibrations with my iphone 11 pro max I got the hollow metallic sound everyone is complaining of. I was thinking of returning it.

Next, after reading this thread, I tried to calibrate the Arc in a different way. 
Instead of walking around the whole room with my iphone, I tried to focus only in the immediate vicinity of the listening seated position, walking away from it only for more or less of one meter and rotating my iphone in a path like the 8 number. 
The sound improved a lot with trueplay enabled. I added 3 notches to bass and removed 2 notches from treble. 

Now I’m happy with my Arc. Full and warm sound ;-)

Tgx

 

Is there no answer to the Arc sound quality from Sonos? I received my Arc 7 days ago and am very disappointed with the harsh, tinny sound especially noticeable on TV speech. Some things actually sound better on the internal speakers of the LG TV. The only real improvement is in the bass which works well on music and Netflix films. For this amount of money I expected a lot more and its going to be returned to Sonos next week if I don’t find an answer.

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