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Sonos Arc- Metallic Sound


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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?

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Best answer by Scott - Sonos 3 July 2020, 00:56

Hello everyone. I’m a product manager at Sonos. Thank you for sharing your experiences with Arc. The development team is monitoring this community and listening to your feedback. 

As we do with all Sonos products, we’ll continue to improve the experience for Arc through numerous software updates into the future. Last week we issued our first update (12.0.1) to fix a bug some customers were experiencing with low-frequency distortion at higher volumes. 

If you have specific music tracks or timestamps for TV shows and movies that you want to bring to our attention, please use this form. It is helpful if you can submit a diagnostic when you’re listening to the content. Instructions for doing so can be found here.

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4 digits before the serial no

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I also have an LG C9. That’s like four people on this thread. Anyone else have an LG tv?

I have a B7, and overall sound is sublime. Definitely seems like a faulty batch of hardware 

Did you have a Beam or playbar etc before? I really noticed the difference when comparing to my Beam.

 

Just looked don’t know why I didn’t earlier at the build date of my arc- March 2020 - I can’t imagine the reviewers had earlier builds than 3 months prior? It hadn’t even been announced at that point.

Where abouts did you find your build number? 

I am also coming from the beam, and the arc is a substantial improvement, but I will say it’s certainly a ‘brighter’ presentation, but I see this as aiding overall clarity, not a reduction in richness at all

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I am also coming from the beam, and the arc is a substantial improvement, but I will say it’s certainly a ‘brighter’ presentation, but I see this as aiding overall clarity, not a reduction in richness at all

This is what the rtings graphs show. The high frequency cut off for Playbar and Beam shows a score of 7.5, where as the Arc shows a score of 9.8. So this means you are hearing high treble frequencies on the Arc that you may not have heard on the Beam/Playbar, depending on how good (old?) your ears are at this frequency?

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I am also coming from the beam, and the arc is a substantial improvement, but I will say it’s certainly a ‘brighter’ presentation, but I see this as aiding overall clarity, not a reduction in richness at all

This is what the rtings graphs show. The high frequency cut off for Playbar and Beam shows a score of 7.5, where as the Arc shows a score of 9.8. So this means you are hearing high treble frequencies on the Arc that you may not have heard on the Beam/Playbar, depending on how good (old?) your ears are at this frequency?

Well my 36 year old ears may have deteriorated slightly!, but for anyone to experience the beam sounding in any way ‘better’, there’s something seriously wrong with those units

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I am also coming from the beam, and the arc is a substantial improvement, but I will say it’s certainly a ‘brighter’ presentation, but I see this as aiding overall clarity, not a reduction in richness at all

This is what the rtings graphs show. The high frequency cut off for Playbar and Beam shows a score of 7.5, where as the Arc shows a score of 9.8. So this means you are hearing high treble frequencies on the Arc that you may not have heard on the Beam/Playbar, depending on how good (old?) your ears are at this frequency?

Well my 36 year old ears may have deteriorated slightly!, but for anyone to experience the beam sounding in any way ‘better’, there’s something seriously wrong with those units

yea I upgraded from the beam myself, granted my Arc came after the bass fix so I can’t speak to that but this thing sounds amazing. I was worried seeing all these negatives, im glad for me it was not an issue. It does make me wonder though if some of them are just defective and maybe need replaced?

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I am also coming from the beam, and the arc is a substantial improvement, but I will say it’s certainly a ‘brighter’ presentation, but I see this as aiding overall clarity, not a reduction in richness at all

This is what the rtings graphs show. The high frequency cut off for Playbar and Beam shows a score of 7.5, where as the Arc shows a score of 9.8. So this means you are hearing high treble frequencies on the Arc that you may not have heard on the Beam/Playbar, depending on how good (old?) your ears are at this frequency?

Well my 36 year old ears may have deteriorated slightly!, but for anyone to experience the beam sounding in any way ‘better’, there’s something seriously wrong with those units

yea I upgraded from the beam myself, granted my Arc came after the bass fix so I can’t speak to that but this thing sounds amazing. I was worried seeing all these negatives, im glad for me it was not an issue. It does make me wonder though if some of them are just defective and maybe need replaced?

What is the build number of your device? I’ve only heard March so far. 

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I am also coming from the beam, and the arc is a substantial improvement, but I will say it’s certainly a ‘brighter’ presentation, but I see this as aiding overall clarity, not a reduction in richness at all

This is what the rtings graphs show. The high frequency cut off for Playbar and Beam shows a score of 7.5, where as the Arc shows a score of 9.8. So this means you are hearing high treble frequencies on the Arc that you may not have heard on the Beam/Playbar, depending on how good (old?) your ears are at this frequency?

Well my 36 year old ears may have deteriorated slightly!, but for anyone to experience the beam sounding in any way ‘better’, there’s something seriously wrong with those units

yea I upgraded from the beam myself, granted my Arc came after the bass fix so I can’t speak to that but this thing sounds amazing. I was worried seeing all these negatives, im glad for me it was not an issue. It does make me wonder though if some of them are just defective and maybe need replaced?

What is the build number of your device? I’ve only heard March so far. 

Can’t see how the build number correlated to date? Mine is 58177280 for ref

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Hello all, 

Thank you for clarifying that the issue is both from music services and from connected home theater sources, sometimes one does get tunnel-vision in looking into an issue this large.

For those of you that have moved from a Beam to an Arc, how large is the room that you are set up in with the Arc?

The Beam is designed to deliver optimal sound in more modest or compact space where the Arc is quite the opposite. I can see from some of the photographs that have been included in this thread that quite a few of your set-ups are in larger open spaces.

In the interest in trying to take all factors into account I’d be interested in more information from those of you who have moved from our smallest  to largest home theater products and if possible, provide comparative diagnostic reports from your system.  

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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. 

Hello everyone. I’m a product manager at Sonos. Thank you for sharing your experiences with Arc. The development team is monitoring this community and listening to your feedback. 

As we do with all Sonos products, we’ll continue to improve the experience for Arc through numerous software updates into the future. Last week we issued our first update (12.0.1) to fix a bug some customers were experiencing with low-frequency distortion at higher volumes. 

If you have specific music tracks or timestamps for TV shows and movies that you want to bring to our attention, please use this form. It is helpful if you can submit a diagnostic when you’re listening to the content. Instructions for doing so can be found here.

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Hello everyone. I’m a product manager at Sonos. Thank you for sharing your experiences with Arc. The development team is monitoring this community and listening to your feedback. 

As we do with all Sonos products, we’ll continue to improve the experience for Arc through numerous software updates into the future. Last week we issued our first update (12.0.1) to fix a bug some customers were experiencing with low-frequency distortion at higher volumes. 

If you have specific music tracks or timestamps for TV shows and movies that you want to bring to our attention, please use this form. It is helpful if you can submit a diagnostic when you’re listening to the content. Instructions for doing so can be found here.

I can say that my beam and arc setups are in identical positions, and can attest to the arc’s superior soundstage; however when asked to remove sub and surrounds, I did experience much of what has been discussed. I don’t see this as being a room/size/source issue( but note an intrinsic problem with tuning), I’m happy with my setup but can imagine many having an issue with arc as a standalone device

Sonos.  Is there a fix for the arc not filling the room with music?  Too much treble not enough bass. Even with the sub.  I have had my arc for three weeks now and was told there would be an update that would fix this over a week ago.  So far no fix.  Should I return my arc or will this be fixed?

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Sonos.  Is there a fix for the arc not filling the room with music?  Too much treble not enough bass. Even with the sub.  I have had my arc for three weeks now and was told there would be an update that would fix this over a week ago.  So far no fix.  Should I return my arc or will this be fixed?

I appreciate Sonos effort to try to fix this.  But they seem to be out of ideas. It’s nice that they have a form where ppl input the song they have trouble with.  The support guy yesterday pretty much told maybe the Arc just isn’t for me and I should go back to the playbar. He said it may just be how the arc is made. We are now all going through this beta testing on a released product. 

I want to hear another Arc. Cause I can’t believe some of the great reviews can be based on the same unit I have. I just want find a single Arc in a store on demo. 
 

But I have pretty much decided to return the arc and use the playbar. 
I really hope the S2 app isn’t the source of the issue. So I’ll be using the S1. Hopefully they didn’t mess that up too

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All it takes is  a more robust  EQ settings, I’m confident the hardware with 11 speakers, each amplified independently it’s a lot of future proof. A lot can be done with that hardware. For now EQ setting would make most people satisfied for sound signatures. But in the future Sonos can come up with new ideas about the use of this hardware.

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Hello all, 

Thank you for clarifying that the issue is both from music services and from connected home theater sources, sometimes one does get tunnel-vision in looking into an issue this large.

For those of you that have moved from a Beam to an Arc, how large is the room that you are set up in with the Arc?

The Beam is designed to deliver optimal sound in more modest or compact space where the Arc is quite the opposite. I can see from some of the photographs that have been included in this thread that quite a few of your set-ups are in larger open spaces.

In the interest in trying to take all factors into account I’d be interested in more information from those of you who have moved from our smallest  to largest home theater products and if possible, provide comparative diagnostic reports from your system.  

@Jean C. @Scott - Sonos I also have a larger open space, roughly 25 x 15, and had a beam before this which had decent midrange. 

Interestingly, the Arc’s midrange and dialogue sounds a lot better if I sit very very close to it (within 3-5 feet) at volumes up to 50%. The bright, harsh treble in dialogue is still there but I can hear some of the warmness and bass from voices more clearly. As I move back, even when volumes are turned to around 40%-50%, only the harsh bright treble comes through much more and overtakes the warm midranges which seem to disappear. This is without any environmental background noise. 
 

The beam’s was definitely much boomier and not as tight when I was sitting around 10-12 feet away but it maintained its warmth. I’m sorry that this is not super scientific but I hope you guys can hear what we are experiencing!
 

Thanks again for all the hard work. 

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Hello everyone. I’m a product manager at Sonos. Thank you for sharing your experiences with Arc. The development team is monitoring this community and listening to your feedback. 

As we do with all Sonos products, we’ll continue to improve the experience for Arc through numerous software updates into the future. Last week we issued our first update (12.0.1) to fix a bug some customers were experiencing with low-frequency distortion at higher volumes. 

If you have specific music tracks or timestamps for TV shows and movies that you want to bring to our attention, please use this form. It is helpful if you can submit a diagnostic when you’re listening to the content. Instructions for doing so can be found here.

Hi Scott,

ive submitted some diagnosis forums even tho the issues are across all what I watch. Watching sky fall on Amazon prime last night, I just found there was no warmth or beef to the sound coming from the ARC. One thing I would like to see is the option to be able to manually adjust the centre speaker and the  overhead speakers, as even with speech enhancement I do find sometimes the dialogue needs adjusting. I think as other people have said the EQ needs adjusting on the soundbar, the mids are just not there.

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Yes I think we can all echo that statement, happy as I am with the arc performance, I have seriously high ceilings, and an ability to control my he upward firing drivers; independent of truplay would be great

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Can someone please test out The Office S4 Ep.19 at 30:30 when Michael sings Goodbye Toby. I am getting crackling/popping static sound pretty much through out the entire song. Is anyone else experiencing this?

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Having moved from the Playbar, that has a warmth, especially with the dialogue/centre, that the Arc just can’t be adjusted to reproduce at the moment and it seems to struggle even more as the volume increases.

No amount of playing with the EQ or Trueplay tuning with difference devices can sort this right now, even with a Sub in tow. 

I just hope that isn't a physical “limitation” of the Arc

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I would be interested in seeing comparative results from an audio spectrum analyzer taken from the listening position for the same music/movie.  There are some decent apps for iOS that do this. 

It seems many reviewers are blown away by this device, and some others are not impressed.  Many purchasers of this product love it (such as me), and others find it weak/harsh.

Maybe if some of us compared the frequency response in the listening position we could figure out why.  Is it just preference, or are the results we’re getting that much different based on room size, true play tuning results, speaker placement?

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Can someone please test out The Office S4 Ep.19 at 30:30 when Michael sings Goodbye Toby. I am getting crackling/popping static sound pretty much through out the entire song. Is anyone else experiencing this?

Yikes! I confirm. i get crackling sounds. sounds pretty bad. 

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Can someone please test out The Office S4 Ep.19 at 30:30 when Michael sings Goodbye Toby. I am getting crackling/popping static sound pretty much through out the entire song. Is anyone else experiencing this?

Yikes! I confirm. i get crackling sounds. sounds pretty bad. 

I submitted the form and diagnosis . It is terrible, Beam never did this. If bass and this doesn’t get straightened out by my return window this thing is going bye bye. Arc should cost $499 even that is pushing it. How can a product be released like this. Such a fail.

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Can someone please test out The Office S4 Ep.19 at 30:30 when Michael sings Goodbye Toby. I am getting crackling/popping static sound pretty much through out the entire song. Is anyone else experiencing this?

Yikes! I confirm. i get crackling sounds. sounds pretty bad. 

I submitted the form and diagnosis . It is terrible, Beam never did this. If bass and this doesn’t get straightened out by my return window this thing is going bye bye. Arc should cost $499 even that is pushing it. How can a product be released like this. Such a fail.

I just tried this…. I could hear it clearly at higher volume.  Then I lowered the volume quite a bit and got near the speaker… I could still hear some popping/crackling.

THEN I went in the bedroom and pulled up the Beam and tried it…. and I could still hear the crackling.  Granted, it was more difficult to hear because the Arc is producing a greater dynamic range, but it was clearly there.

THEN I pulled out my Bose headphones, plugged them into my iPad, and did the same thing… I could clearly hear the popping/crackling.

I think the popping and crackling to an extent is part of the original soundtrack.  The joke is that he’s screaming into the microphone enough the tax their PA equipment.

I’m thinking in this case maybe the arc is doing a terrific job reproducing popping and crackling of PA equipment in a soundtrack.

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Can someone please test out The Office S4 Ep.19 at 30:30 when Michael sings Goodbye Toby. I am getting crackling/popping static sound pretty much through out the entire song. Is anyone else experiencing this?

Yikes! I confirm. i get crackling sounds. sounds pretty bad. 

I submitted the form and diagnosis . It is terrible, Beam never did this. If bass and this doesn’t get straightened out by my return window this thing is going bye bye. Arc should cost $499 even that is pushing it. How can a product be released like this. Such a fail.

I just tried this…. I could hear it clearly at higher volume.  Then I lowered the volume quite a bit and got near the speaker… I could still hear some popping/crackling.

THEN I went in the bedroom and pulled up the Beam and tried it…. and I could still hear the crackling.  Granted, it was more difficult to hear because the Arc is producing a greater dynamic range, but it was clearly there.

THEN I pulled out my Bose headphones, plugged them into my iPad, and did the same thing… I could clearly hear the popping/crackling.

I think the popping and crackling to an extent is part of the original soundtrack.  The joke is that he’s screaming into the microphone enough the tax their PA equipment.

I’m thinking in this case maybe the arc is doing a terrific job reproducing popping and crackling of PA equipment in a soundtrack.

I will test this further but I hear this not just at that part, that is where it’s consistent and exaggerated. This happens all the time. Pop here pop there i feel like something is wrong always lol

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Reading the above, there is some irony here, we have a scene that is supposed to sound terrible, and the Arc reproduces these ‘terrible’ sounds and they sound ‘terrible’ ? I would argue that is not an ideal test.

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