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Sonos Arc - Metallic Sound



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My wife and I agree on this issue, I came from a Bose Soundbar 700. While I could notice more details in the movies, our first impression was that the sound is too thin and metallic like described in the post. I purchased 2x One SL and a Sub (gen 2) and I’m still debating if I should keep this system. I like the immersion it offers. I suspect based on the hardware available in the Sonos Arc a lot can be improved with software. Hopefully, we can get a more fuller sound. But I would definitely like to see  are settings available in Bose where the CENTER CHANNEL can be adjusted just like the Bose SB 700.  I think this could help with this issue by making speech more fuller. This is only for Movies and TV , not so much for music. 

Agreed. Control over the center channel to make the speech fuller would be great if Sonos doesn’t want to fix the issue themselves. This way, we can increase the treble a bit to bring details out of the ambient sound without making the vocals thin and tinny.

I have been a Sonos fan for years, own all there products. Always bragged to all my friends and family how it just works and sounds good consistently. However, the arc is the first time I have been let down. I have the arc hooked up to a new Sony a9g through earc, with a sub and two s1 speakers. While the arc has plenty of volume, it’s harsh not typical traditional good sounding Sonos. I will be returning tomorrow.

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on the muddied bass thread they have just said its all fixed with the update...its not!

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Still having this problem after the 12.0.1 update, speaker still find my Beam sound better!

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why has this thread been marked as “Answered” when the problem still very much exists?

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Just set up my gen 3 sub and surrounds to my arc i got yesterday. I haven't had too much time to play around but i find when watching the football, the commentary seems a bit flat, no depth to it is the only way i can describe it, my old sk9y LG soundbar sounded better on the football. Any ideas? Will probably say on general TV it may be slightly worse as well, but 5.1 content and atmos content sounds very good. I have trueplayed the system, i have an LG B8 Oled TV, other content on sky seems okay but like i say haven't had too much time to listen to it properly yet.
Also another problem i seem to have is one minute it will be at an okay sound and then something will happen action wise and the sound seems to impact massively before going back down when the scene ends, any ideas on how to keep sound at the same level?
If i change EQ settings etc. will that mess up the trueplay i have done?

Thanks.

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Just updated app and Arc/sub to 12.0.5, reran Truplay and no change. Trusting in Sonos to address this as I purposely passed the return window and am getting anxious. Not an exaggeration, I have to run at -10 treble just to not be uncomfortable listening to this thing. So disappointing to be nearly 3 months in on something I preordered and still experiencing awful sound. 
 

As an aside, I was at my friend’s again this weekend and envying the warm, rich sound from his Playbar. Even without a sub. I’d take that over this Arc/sub setup hands-down right now. It’s that much of a difference. 

I suspect that if you’re having to run treble that low, something else might be at play in your case. I’m not aware of the problem being quite that severe in most cases. 

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Hi all

Haven’t got my Arc yet as it’s on backorder. 
But I have been keenly following this and other threads with interest. 
Thought I’d share these videos by Peter Pee on YouTube. They may already be posted on here. 
He measures the frequency response of the Arc using different devices to show the effects. 
The video also discusses the issues people are experiencing with metallic sound, due to boosted treble after a truplay. 
Appreciate this will be very subjective to the individual listener and their surroundings. 
But thought it may help to show why they think it’s happening, and some of the things that can be tried to improve it. 
Im certainly not suggesting there is no underlying issue or potential faulty units in circulation. 
This is just something I’ll be using as a guide on setup, that may help someone out now.  🙂

Ultimately, if I experience similar listening discomfort after attempting to resolve through settings or Truplay device. It’ll be going back before the returns window expires.   😂

Good Luck
 


 

 

Yeah I watched all of his videos yesterday. 
 

it also depends of the individual phone too! 
 

I tuned mine with an iPhone XS and mine is perfect now. I think it has more to do with the position in the room which you tune than the phone model. 

I actually disabled TruePlay entirely and that 

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 also am having a huge issue with the highs being too emphasized. I have been measuring the performance of my Sonos Arc and am seeing a huge flat response in the range from about 375hz to 1khz. There is just nothing really there. No movement on a spectrum analyzer, and the sound lacks any warmth to it. I fiddled with the EQ settings and managed to get a slight gain in that range by turning down the Treble and turning up the Bass, but it overall is very, very cold-sounding. To listen to this for long periods of time is actually quite irritating. Podcasts and other streamed audio dialogue is painful. Sonos, can we get a fix for this ASAP? 

Thanks!

Follow up: I disabled Trueplay entirely and manually adjusted the EQ and the sound is far, far better. The mids are there again. The only issue is that the crossover is not as robust without Trueplay, so there is muddiness in that mid-range and a loss of clarity on the high end. 

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What’s eARC got to do with metallic/harsh sounds.

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Im surprised that there's still no official response from Sonos. If I knew this was the sound quality I am getting, I probably go with a beam & sub combo instead of the Arc.

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Watched Lord of the Rings (Fellowship) last night and it was horrible. Piercing. Couldn’t hear voices. 
 

Haven’t returned my quite yet. Waiting on the update.

Return it. It’s crap. Will never work for you. 
Mine, on the other hand has been fantastic and it’s no issues with connectivity or Atmos content. 
You’re a very small minority of unhappy buyers. The Arc continues to be sold out everywhere with few complaints. Not sure exactly what the expectation was but if you want it to sound like a $40,000 home theatre set up then start saving your money to buy a $40,000 home theatre. 

No we don’t we want something that sound as good as the playbar which is 7years old! This fails that in every way except Atmos. Do you ever run yours with bass at 50% plus? Or do you just have a sub? 

Most Arc owners will disagree with you. As stated there are very few owners who aren’t satisfied. Sound being highly subjective I won’t argue that yours sounds horrible to “you”. If it does do yourself and the rest of us a favour and sell it or return it. You’ll feels so much better with something else. 

Should I cancel my Arc order and still go with my Beam? Can there be some hardware problems that can not be fixed? Waiting for an explanation from Sonos!

I submitted a diag while watching a movie on amazon prime called “For Love or Money”. It was one of the worst offenders so far. Even after turning down the treble it’s too harsh. My setup is a Apple TV > LG C7 >  Sonos. 
 

the diag confirmation is 625831310

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I realize this is for a different problem but if Sonos looks at arc muddy/bottoming out bass related topic as well as post build 58178180 there are multiple examples of arc owners experiences.

There answer to me for both issues was rma I said it hardware they ignored my question and proceeded to start the process.

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Just received a reply from Sonos after a bit more back and forth about the issue. I sent them a link to this thread as well, and this was their reply: 

“Thank you for getting back to us. I will be happy to assist you.

I've taken a look into the Community thread that you shared with us and what you're experiencing seems to be a known issue that we are currently working on. At the moment there aren't any fixes or workarounds but it is being worked on. 

In the mean time I'd like to ask a few questions just to be sure this is in fact the known issue that you're dealing with.

What volume are they experiencing the issue at?

Is the Arc wall-mounted?

If wall-mounted, does removing the speaker from the wall bracket and setting it on a credenza or table improve the issue?

Is Trueplay configured on the Arc?

Is the Bass EQ setting flat or adjusted in some way”

 

So, I’ve replied back with those answers but I’ve adjusted every setting available in seemingly every way possible and my Arc is still a constant SSSSSSSSS fest. Hopefully they really are working on a solution here and will have an update for us all soon. 

This is the generic response they are sending out. However they have been consistent saying they are working on this issue through responses to support and Scott commented a while back. I do find frustrating the lack of updates. But no need to hope they are working on this, because that has been confirmed multiple times.

I think this is just trickier than people think. They cant just adjust the high frequency peak without considerable testing because they: 

  • dont want to introduce any other issues
  • need to make sure the solution is now consistent for trueplay variations and true play and true play off
  • most solutions in processing might affect other frequencies as well ( even if slightly) so they need to check that is not being compromised as a result

I also speculate they are just fixing the general DSP because some people said they still heard bass issues. I think those of us who decide to wait will need to be a bit patient to make sure they get it all right and make us happier. The last thing we want is a rushed update and other complaints.

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So I finally received a replacement arc today. I’ve set up and tested and the verdict is in….. it’s exactly the same as the old one!!!
 

Same tinny, hallow sound, annoying dynamic range (loud one minute, inaudible the next), different volumes on different channels, doesn’t push out sound to fill entire open plan room, sounds odd and artificial… can clearly tell it’s coming from sound bar which is separate from tv. Basically it’s a bit of a mess. 
 

It’s even more noticeable as I have been using a beam for last week which is a much nicer sound (but smaller soundstage). 
 

ive got a sub + ones as a rears. Squarish room. True play with iPhone 6s and iPad. updated with today’s update. All in all bit of a disappointing saga. 

I want to repeat the great majority of users and Sonos have stated this is not a hardware issue. Replacement doesn't solve the problem ( many reported so) I have seen one user saying it did, and i attribute that to something else (not sure what).

Please @phollin2 check the new updated issued this morning (not that loing ago) you must update the app then the firmware within the app. After that you need to re-truplay! I noticed an improvemen in music. After this I am not sure what was changed or if it is a case of a truplay incosistency fix. But my bar sounds better I can say I am happy with it. If you think it still sound harsh turning down the treble one or two notches can help. 

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@Jean C. My TV has eARC and my Arc still a hash tinny/metallic sound when playing through my AppleTV 4k, Xbox one S or though the TVs built in apps.  
 

I’ve tried trueplay with an older iPhone 6, iPhone 11 Pro and a 2018 iPad Pro.  Nothing helps.  I also still have the bass issue of I disconnect my Sub. 
 

Very disappointed 

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So after reading about others having success with Trueplaying older devices, I got a hold of my co-worker’s old iPhone 6 he had sitting in a drawer. All I can say is: wow, the difference is night and day.

 

My 5.1.2 sounds so much more like I was expecting to now with a more balanced, warmer sound similar to the Playbase set-up I had before. The highs aren’t anywhere near as harsh, although I would argue they’re not perfect either. Still a bit sharp and a noticeable lack of mids. Still, I 100% believe the issue is mostly related to Trueplay on newer devices now. Should be pretty easily replicable for the Sonos team.

Decided to return the Arc and keep my Beam for now. At least until Sonos sort out the Arc sound or I decide to get a Bose or similar. Such a shame …..

This review may have already been posted here but one more but honest.  I'm surprised by the early reviews that did not notice anything, probably paid by sonos and I will always be critical in the future.  Check out this video.  
 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4VZxAC4BdTE&feature=youtu.be

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I’ve used an older iPad Air and iPhone 11 and noticed no difference

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All these magazines that gave this product a great review should be boycotted!!!!! 

Come on, everyone, let’s keep our heads and our cool. This isn’t some conspiracy and lots of people, myself included, quite like our Arc setups. Which explains the website reviews and the overall quite glowing consumer reviews on Amazon and Best Buy.  

The Arc is not a bad product despite the experiences some people have had / are having and we don’t need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. If you’re having issues with the Arc for whatever reason, I strongly recommend returning it and getting something you’ll be happy with. Life’s too short to live with bad sound. Or if you really, really want the Arc, then hold on to it and wait for Sonos to issue updates that may “fix” the issue or, better yet, return it, watch the boards, and re-buy it once things seem corrected to your satisfaction. 

But all of this “these reviews must be paid,” “worst soundbar ever,” “let’s boycott magazines”…. this is all just bordering on silliness. We’ve all paid a lot for this gear and if you’re unhappy I get that. If I didn’t like my Arc or was experiencing terrible issues I would have already boxed mine up, sent it back, and been on the hunt for something else. 

There are bigger problems in the world than this - and this is fixable one way or the other. 

I tried saying something like this but have been singled out by some who claim Im a SONOS Defender ( is that a job, if so do I get paid..?? Waiting for my paycheck ) anyways, I totally agree with you and this is the reason I pitched in to comment on to someones post asking what to do or how to summarize this thread because they were interested.

 

There is some people that are very happy with their arcs, some others have some issues but think it is a matter of tweaks and some group that vocally says its trash and the worst soundbar ever!!! (not making it up look up WORST in this community forums and you’ll find some posts. Strangely theres a wide standard deviation here. But my advice is if you are excited for the Arc no need to wait a year or read 1001194 posts here. Try to get one and try it out! If you dont love it return and look for something else.

 

For those of you worried your return hasn't gone smoothly I understand the frustration witht the state of SONOS support right now, and shame on you SONOS for cutting support now, but at the same time the current state of the world is crazy and most companies have very long wait times ( my friend waited 3 hours tot alk to an airline the other day) but I seriously doubt sonos is gonna deny your return because you waited for them to get back to you. Open a support ticket before your return period ends, so you can reference this ansd say you tried to return. 

Definitely not the worst and trash soundbar like people have claimed. Arc has its issues that can be unacceptable to some people depending on their taste. Personally, I like fuller dialogues as opposed to treble boosted clear and forward. As Sonos is not communicating clearly, there was no way for me to know whether it’s a software issue or just the way it is meant to be. Dialogues also tended to be much quieter where I had to raise the volume constantly, but it made the action scenes very loud which was unacceptable. Bass was plenty but wasn’t clean at all (Maybe my HomePod has spoiled me). I accepted the lack of pass-through ports and LPCM/DTS support, but I could not compromise the sound quality. Overall, my $199 HomePod was performing better than Arc for me in my room setting. Clear and fuller dialogues, cleaner bass, and consistent volume. Arc’s L/R separation was not noticeable for me and my TV also did not support Atmos. Hence, I did not feel it was worth my money. Let’s see if that changes in the future. In the near term, I don’t think it will.

Mine is trash. Maybe yours is better. Everyone who has listened to it says it’s very bad so it’s not subjective. My standard tv sound is better quality. It’s actually offensive!!!  I guess some might be defective. But when Sonos won’t engage it’s hard to comment. 

Don’t know what else to say but I think you have a defective unit. I legit turned off my sub and rears watched a movie, then turned off the arc and used my TV speakers ( mind it I have an OLED, not the latest and greatest, but the flagship of that year) and I have no idea how anyone caan say the TV speakers are better. I understand the comment about voices being forward and that not being his preference, that I can understand. For me I do prefer that because it is much more intelligible, and clear. I have experienced a couple of movies where the mixing wasnt ideal and sounds like shooting were too loud compared to other things. But I do not think this is Arc related.

Regardless I want to reiterate! SONOS needs to look into this either give users more control about the center channel and highs, fix the Trueplay were some phones are making the issue worse instead of correcting for it. And additionally step up their support immeditely. Not fair some people want to return and are unable to. 

To the person that said SONOS is not an airline, I am aware. But they have indeed being hit hard by covid. They laid off like 10 percent of the workforce and support centers are reduced due to covid regulations etc. You cant have an office full of callers at the moment!! I’ve seen this across different companies as well. Not defending them more like trying to understand what is going on. I understand it is frustrating and they have to step their game up ASAP. I must say this is not representative of how the company is (in general before these moments). 

 

To the Homepod situation, homepods are $300 if you stereo pair them they are quite capable especially for music. And I think theyd sound better than the arc. I know there is discounts to $200 now since theyre older. Homepods also sound better than sonos ones. So I don’t find it hard to believe you say they sound better than the Arc especially for music I’d assume so. For movies of course you wont get surround sound, you wont get atmos, you wont get speech enhancement and for many I think they’d prefer a sonos system!

Bought the Arc, but the thin metallic sound from vocals ruined normal tv shows with mostly talking. It was tireing on my ears. As if it was heavily compressed but still very thin sounding. Concerts, singing contests and parts of movies with heavy effects and score sounded great, but 80 percent of the time there is just talking on my TV, so I sold it and got a beam instead. Very happy with that choice. Warm and pleasant vocals.

...but I miss the wide soundstage in music from the Arc sometimes. Hope they make an upgraded Arc with the best from both worlds. 

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Should I cancel my Arc order and still go with my Beam? Can there be some hardware problems that can not be fixed? Waiting for an explanation from Sonos!

Still waiting for mine and will just leave my BEAM sitting in the living room, so I can group them when listen to the music..

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