Sonos Arc - Metallic Sound

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has anyone like myself who is also having a major issue with this ‘metallic sound’ maybe been to a shop or round a friends or even had a replacement arc and found another arc not to have this issue?


Or the reverse? ie someone that doesn’t have the issue, been to a friends that does.

This as well, will be very interesting to see any peoples feedback here. If i didnt live darn an hour and a half away from my nearest richersounds store, which seems to be the only stores with these on demo, at least anywhere around where i live anyway, i would take my arc to the store and compare against there demo. Anyone feel free on my behalf to do this 😂

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I had taken my Arc to richersounds to compare against there Arc in the demo room, they both sounded the same to me and they guy in richersounds agreed with me that they did, he thought they both sounded very good. My advice is with anyone with this issue who is thinking about swapping for another, do not bother as i promise it will be exactly the same. I know content of certain things is worse than others and only got to test out for a couple of minutes in store. The tech guy in store said to me it was not tinny but just a bright sound profile and a lot of people prefer the bright sound profile and this is maybe why sonos has gone this way with this bar. To me it still sounds tinny however i do get what he means when comparing it to the LG SN11RG in store which sounded very warm and to my ears a lot better, however he said the Arc sounded a lot better than the LG & for this reason i am convinced Sonos WILL NOT rectify this issue as most think it sounds better like this. Obviously its annoying for us who are having this issue, i know room acoustics and different peoples ears will have a lot to play in just to what extreme we are having this issue, but i am just going to live with it for now, i have added x2 surround one SL’s and they seem to help slightly, but on standard content it is still really annoying, i do believe the issue may have gotten slightly better however over the past couple of months with the firmware updates but nothing to write home about, the issue is still there.

To summarise believe it or not this issue we are having, most people PREFER this sound profile and for this reason there will not be an update to FIX this issue, i do however believe in future updates that they will improve on this issue we are having to give a bit more of a neutral sound to make everyone happy, but due to probably 90% or over of people that are happy with this, not much is going to change. Of course this is just my opinion, but an opinion that makes sense in Sonos’s case anyway. My advice is if your un-happy with the sound profile of the arc, return it if you cant live with it because there will be no FIX for this issue.

Just to clarify i have this tinnyness issue and its really annoying but i think i am happy to live with it for now as it is not hurendous and who knows i might get used to it and like it (unlikely) but you never know. I have tried other soundbars and none on the market work quite as flawlessly as this ARC minus the tinniness.

  • What is the source of the media that is being played (TV app, external streaming device, cable, broadcast, DVD/DVR)?  

         - TV app Netflix, Amazon Prime, Tidal,   



  • What volume lever do you experience the issue?

          Above 40%. Testet it at 80% got even worse


  • 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?

          No it has the same problems


  • Is Trueplay configured on the Arc?




          Diagnostic number : 1453398813


Userlevel 1
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I bought the arc two days,and l have tried everything to get rid of this harshness and tinny sound in the audio.I am very disappointed at the 

moment with the product,and l hope Sonos will address this problem. I wonder does the soundbar need a “running in” 

Do we wait for a fix or send it back???

I m thinking about sending it back just can’t wait for 6 months for a fix lol

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Mine is updated and I still get a popping sound.  While watching interstellar, a minute and 30 seconds in when they show the ship re-entering earth, it starts popping and crackling.  Atmos generally sounds great, but that popping sound is annoying and ridiculous for an 800 speaker.

Just curious… what source are you watching Interstellar from? What do the popping noises sound like?


I just listened to this on Netflix (via Apple TV 4k, outputting Dolby Digital 5.1). It sounds great. Whatever cracking there is actually sounds like it should be there (it’s only on the surrounds, and to me sounds like objects breaking or falling. Adds to the surround experience beautifully). Having said that, the woman at the 1:10-1:25 mark sounds overly sibilant and bright. She sounds very hissy to me. The word “else” is especially harsh and whistley, for lack of a better term. 

As a test, I turned off the sub and surrounds, and listened to the 1:30 scene again. I can understand why you may think there is some cracking, because the sounds come from the front. However, I think it’s just that the Arc can’t throw around the surrounds too well. 

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I must admit in most viewing I have not heard this tinniness, I have had some tinny sound in some content but Im unsure if it was just the content.

The content I have have had this tinny sound is-

Point Break 4k, a scene when they was talking in the back of the van, sounds very tinny.

Netflix Dirty John, the woman's voices at times sound really tinny also, both these examples could be the content though.


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I just assumed it was a hardware problem as I didn’t expect the ‘upgrade’ from the beam to lead to a significantly worse sound. I really wanted it to be better as well as the beam is lacking a little bit, but the playbar seems a bit dated. I’m kind of invested in Sonos as the Surrounds are hardwired into the wall. If I was starting from scratch I’d look elsewhere. 

I find it difficult to believe it is a hardware problem. I really think it is a sound signature problem, and I am very hopeful it will be solved. I am very much invested in Sonos, and I love my speakers. I hope that within a few weeks the engineers will sort things out. I would be lying if I said that I haven’t considered switching to a different sound system. However, on the whole I still have very positive feelings towards Sonos, and I have trust that they will be able to improve and fix these problems. 

What would really help is for Sonos to be more vocal about this. We shouldn’t be left guessing if this issue was addressed in the latest update or not. Sonos should come forward and say if they are tweaking the sound signature, or the way that trueplay is performed. Some more communication with us, preferably from the product guys/engineers in California, would be very very very much appreciated. This will instill a great deal of confidence about Sonos in me. 

Additionally, I really hope that Sonos add an option for multiple trueplay settings. This shouldn’t be required normally, but with the current problems with trueplay, I want to be able to A/B test different trueplay settings, without having to worry that I’ll manage to “ruin” a satisfactory trueplay setting. 

(My neighbors must think that running trueplay is my new hobby, with the number of times I’ve found myself tuning via trueplay). 

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sebas1509 - I didn't realise you had a sub probably made makes all the difference

I turned it off for the test also I believe I had trueplay off as well

Userlevel 6
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I have the same issue, and the harshness gives me a buzz. As much I want to keep the ARC these issues are not helping. Its too bright,metallic sounding. 

For now, I have applied the band-aid called truplaying with iPad. Vocals still sound tinny to me. This is bad especially when Sonos said - “Arc was carefully tuned with the help of Oscar-winning sound engineers to emphasize the human voice so you never miss a word.” and “Featuring eleven high-performance drivers for crisp highs, dynamic midranges, and surprising bass.”

Userlevel 3

I am praying the beta update fixes the sound or I will just end up packing up the ARC and the Sub and sending them back next week.

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Hi @Jean C. 

Thanks for continuing to listen.
I am one of those who moved from the beam to the arc and my setup is in a relatively large room (kitchen/living/dining combined). The beam, when paired with the sub and play1s, always sounded decent, but i was also aware that the beam was not intended for a space this large. That said, I generally thought the sound signature was fine, it was mostly just lacking in soundstage and maybe detail at higher volumes playing complex audio.
The arc can clearly address those issues, but has its own issue that has been described well in this thread, and really *seems* like a processing/eq issue to me, because the drivers and power don’t seem lacking, but it’s hard to tell without more control over the eq. That theory is certainly bolstered by how different the truplay tuning results can be. The last time I tuned with an older iPad, the overall balance of frequencies seems to have improved, but it’s hard to be certain without a more scientific approach. It went from really bothering me, to something I can tolerate, but still feel is not representative of what the hardware can do.

I still have my beam and have not spent the time to reconnect and do a/b testing yet. I would be willing to go through this exercise, especially if we could decide on a repeatable testing approach that maybe others could also follow. 

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Beagle  de alberta, If it bothers you so much that this person tries to fix your problem, please do not enter this forum, live their life and do not bother. I don't know what you're doing even here ... are you still here? You do not contribute anything friend.

I don’t have an issue with my Arc. Like 99% of owners mine is spectacular. 
if mine wasn’t performing to my liking I would change it. I wouldn’t go on a forum and complain about it constantly. 
Yes, I’m still here and not going anywhere. 
The solution is if you’re unhappy with the product then replace it. Why punish yourself?


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@arpatil1 On your suggestion I tried the tuning with iPhone 7 and honestly I do feel that the sound is thin or metallic anymore. I have tried both movies and music. I generally listen at level 40-50 that may be one of the reason. I havent found a reason to complain after my new trueplay settings. May be I am not able to hear the issues. I have the complete system with Arc, Surrounds and Sub. I had the surrounds, added Sub and Arc after selling my Bose Bundle. I have found the sound better than the Bose for sure. Could it be possible that you may have some hardware issues missed by Sonos QC. However, the one thing that I agree upon is the silence of Sonos team on this issue. This makes me feel nervous about the money I spent on Sonos. 

Userlevel 6
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Ok, third post on this thread. I finally sat down and re-tuned with an iPhone 6 running 12.0.2 (previously ipad pro 11” and iPad Air 2). I also decided to just sit on the couch and wave the phone around a bit rather than walk around. 

This is the first time I feel like the life wasn’t sucked out of the sound, and there is now some ok midrange. I can actually listen to music without it being distracting. I’ve only been through a few songs, but I’m more and more convinced that the right EQ can produce a good sound from the arc.

That doesn’t mean I’m ready to say I’m totally happy with it, and I’m still mulling over a return. I don’t like the lack of communication from Sonos. A few simple thing would go a long way:

  1. At least acknowledge how the arc sounds very different from other sonos speakers, that this is very disappointing to many customers, and open a dialogue about what can be done. 
  2. Talk about what, if any, investigation is going into why trueplay seems to be producing wildly different results. 
  3. Talk about providing more control over the system. Trueplay + Bass/Treble is fine for a default mode, but why not have an advanced mode with a proper manual EQ? Even if that would take a while to build, just say it’s coming. 

Totally agree, the sonos manager introduced himself however long ago and then never came back with anything since, more indication of what is going on in the background would put a lot of people at ease. @Scott - Sonos (11 days to be exact)

This. I could have given them one more month if it wasn’t for the lack of communication. Support staff (whatever that’s left) has been active on other threads, but they are not responding to two main threads- bass and metallic sound issue. 

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“The problem is with this, a lot of people need the update yesterday as people will be running to the end of there return windows and what do people do, hope that the update fixes it 100% and are happy with it or return it as its too much of a risk with how much it costs, and even if the update does help it, people may not be happy with it & it will be too late to return.”

That is a big part of the reason I returned mine, not knowing when or if Sonos will correct the problem.  I couldn't take the chance and just went back to my playbar which still sounds fantastic.

Yeah good decision as there is some risk in keeping it as there is no guarantee they will fix the sound to

your liking. 

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I use trueplay. To my ears, brightness and harshness is there even without trueplay. It’s more pronounced with trueplay. I have Arc + sub + 2 sonos ones. 
I tried trueplay with various devices: iphone 11 pro, ipad air latest gen, iphone 6s. The latter was the best, but still too harsh.

Exactly same setup and experience as me