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Sonos Arc - Metallic Sound



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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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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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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.

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. 

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??

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

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. 

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,

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

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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.

Mitchell’s,

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

(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. 

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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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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. 

 

How has Sonos not resolved this issue yet!?

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.

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. 

Yes since the Dts update my arc is atrocious when using it for speech ie tv. It sounds like people are shouting into there mics and the sound is distorting. Music and background is fine but audio is definitely clipping. I have stopped using it until a software patch fixes it. I liked the sound before the Dts update.

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@virgiltracy123 I have not read anywhere this update has doen anything to the sound of a Sonos device. I’d contact Sonos about this instead of waiting for an update that might not fix anything……

I also have an issue with the dialogues in movies, ARC sounds great playing music, but as soon as you add vocals or you watch a movie/show the vocals sound very compressed and as if the sounds are coming from a closed box! I bought 2 Sonos Ones too to see if that maybe helps with the quality but still no luck, I then went ahead and purchased a Samsung HW-Q950A, I like how the conversation sound on Q950A, very clear and front, but the music sounds shallow and without character. Since I am also reaching my return deadline, I wanted to see if there are any fixes/workarounds for the conversation sounding like this? Any suggestion helps.

I also have an issue with the dialogues in movies, ARC sounds great playing music, but as soon as you add vocals or you watch a movie/show the vocals sound very compressed and as if the sounds are coming from a closed box! I bought 2 Sonos Ones too to see if that maybe helps with the quality but still no luck, I then went ahead and purchased a Samsung HW-Q950A, I like how the conversation sound on Q950A, very clear and front, but the music sounds shallow and without character. Since I am also reaching my return deadline, I wanted to see if there are any fixes/workarounds for the conversation sounding like this? Any suggestion helps.

Some suggestions that initially spring to mind from myself are…

  • I also have an issue with the dialogues in movies, ARC sounds great playing music, but as soon as you add vocals or you watch a movie/show the vocals sound very compressed and as if the sounds are coming from a closed box! I bought 2 Sonos Ones too to see if that maybe helps with the quality but still no luck, I then went ahead and purchased a Samsung HW-Q950A, I like how the conversation sound on Q950A, very clear and front, but the music sounds shallow and without character. Since I am also reaching my return deadline, I wanted to see if there are any fixes/workarounds for the conversation sounding like this? Any suggestion helps.

    Some suggestions that initially spring to mind from myself are…

     

  • I’m an Android user, so no Trueplay
  • Playing with the EQs affect the sounds more than the vocals. very minimal effect I’d say
  • Speech Enhancer was on by default, turning it off makes the conversation sounds much dimmer, same as turning Night Sound on
  • I have not, I just signed up here today to see if I can check with other users first
  • same as above. Mostly bc the music itself sounds amazing, it’s just the vocals and conversations that sound like “coming out of a closed box” that bothers me 

unfortunately Sonos app doesn’t provide a more advanced EQ to play around. I bought 2 Sonos Ones over the weekend and even adding those in doesn’t help much with the conversations, if I take them out of “Ambient” mode and put them on “Full” it help, but then you lose the surround effects

I’m confused. Full and Ambient only change the sound when playing a music stream, and have no impact when playing the TV input, which is why it’s under the heading ‘Music Playback’. 

 

@hooman64,

There are still some things worth trying before contacting Sonos Support with your issue. I would first try to borrow an iOS device and see if TruePlay tuning the HT to the room helps to resolve your matter. Also as Bruce mentions, switching the sound option between Ambient & Full only applies to music audio, it has no effect on the audio out from your TV. 

If problems persist, then submitting a diagnostic report and contacting Sonos Support are probably the next best steps.

I’m confused. Full and Ambient only change the sound when playing a music stream, and have no impact when playing the TV input, which is why it’s under the heading ‘Music Playback’. 

 

@hooman64,

There are still some things worth trying before contacting Sonos Support with your issue. I would first try to borrow an iOS device and see if TruePlay tuning the HT to the room helps to resolve your matter. Also as Bruce mentions, switching the sound option between Ambient & Full only applies to music audio, it has no effect on the audio out from your TV. 

If problems persist, then submitting a diagnostic report and contacting Sonos Support are probably the next best steps.

Correct, ambient and full only affect music, as I mentioned, part of my problem is also vocals in songs. I do change that to see if it affects the vocals, however, with all my testing I realized “talking” is the weak point here, whether in songs or movies. 

@Ken_Griffiths, you might find it funny, I definitely don’t have any iphones in my immediate friend/family circle. I can for sure find one and try what you suggest to, but if that’s the case, it sucks that the product is configured in a way to only cater to a certain group of users.  

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