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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

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Just a follow-up to my last comment. I have noticed that the dialog sounds more metallic when playing a movie in Atmos. It's also more pronounced on certain apps. For instance. Disney + has a really big problem with low audio. It sounds like they are over compressing the audio. So I have to turn the volume up +10 more than on other apps. There is a big difference in the dialog with too much treble when playing a Disney + Marvel or Star Wars movie in Atmos. There is still a small treble problem when playing the same movie in Dolby Digital plus, without atmos. The metallic sound is reduced when not using Atmos. So far the majority of audio problems seem to be from certain apps, especially disney +.

I'm curious what streaming apps are people in this thread using to test the Arc? 

Are there more who had the courage to send back and dare to buy a new Arc?  is that the way to solve it maybe I should look into it.

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I’m kinda getting tired of these but interested if this will help using his settings.

 

 

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@Danio1137 

I will certainly do not. If there isn’t an answer/ software fix from Sonos in the next week or so I am done with Sonos. 

The arc is my first sonos product. Was planning for more. But looks like Sonos is a no-go. 

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This is a personal experience and wanted to share here, I was as fed up as everyone here, and before returning, decided I will give one more try with Sonos tech support and managed to reach them through chat. I spoke about both the muddy bass issue and the harsh metallic tone (treble) issue. We did the usual diagnosis and then a few tweaks done from the support agent. I guess he did a resetting of my EQ, restarted my Sonos arc, and then we did the trueplay configuration again. 

There was not much difference and I was not happy. So the agent requested me to send 20 seconds of files with different sources. (I am yet to do this). All this happened on Friday

On Saturday, I do not know what miraculously happened since there was no software update or any other action taken but my Arc sounds different now for good. The music and sound are much better, nicer, and crisp. 

PS: I have not tested movie source/content from TV (ARC/eARC) since my TV stopped working. My experience is with Airplay/Youtube Premium is the music source. 

I am still wondering and thinking if it could be a placebo effect but then even my wife felt today the system sounded way better. 

If anyone else has a similar experience, pls do share. Cheers 

This is a personal experience and wanted to share here, I was as fed up as everyone here, and before returning, decided I will give one more try with Sonos tech support and managed to reach them through chat. I spoke about both the muddy bass issue and the harsh metallic tone (treble) issue. We did the usual diagnosis and then a few tweaks done from the support agent. I guess he did a resetting of my EQ, restarted my Sonos arc, and then we did the trueplay configuration again. 

There was not much difference and I was not happy. So the agent requested me to send 20 seconds of files with different sources. (I am yet to do this). All this happened on Friday

On Saturday, I do not know what miraculously happened since there was no software update or any other action taken but my Arc sounds different now for good. The music and sound are much better, nicer, and crisp. 

PS: I have not tested movie source/content from TV (ARC/eARC) since my TV stopped working. My experience is with Airplay/Youtube Premium is the music source. 

I am still wondering and thinking if it could be a placebo effect but then even my wife felt today the system sounded way better. 

If anyone else has a similar experience, pls do share. Cheers 

I had a similar one after turning off the electricity for the night and listening the next day.  It sounded better until I raised the volume really then the problems came back.

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This is a personal experience and wanted to share here, I was as fed up as everyone here, and before returning, decided I will give one more try with Sonos tech support and managed to reach them through chat. I spoke about both the muddy bass issue and the harsh metallic tone (treble) issue. We did the usual diagnosis and then a few tweaks done from the support agent. I guess he did a resetting of my EQ, restarted my Sonos arc, and then we did the trueplay configuration again. 

There was not much difference and I was not happy. So the agent requested me to send 20 seconds of files with different sources. (I am yet to do this). All this happened on Friday

On Saturday, I do not know what miraculously happened since there was no software update or any other action taken but my Arc sounds different now for good. The music and sound are much better, nicer, and crisp. 

PS: I have not tested movie source/content from TV (ARC/eARC) since my TV stopped working. My experience is with Airplay/Youtube Premium is the music source. 

I am still wondering and thinking if it could be a placebo effect but then even my wife felt today the system sounded way better. 

If anyone else has a similar experience, pls do share. Cheers 

I had a similar one after turning off the electricity for the night and listening the next day.  It sounded better until I raised the volume really then the problems came back.

Interesting will try to turn on the volume high in the morning and report back. This seems to be something to do with the hardware than the software issue. I guess Sonos just do not want to admit and recall at this moment with descending economy 

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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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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.

Clearly some are having an issue with the sound from the Arc…. some on this thread have found that retuning after the software fix solved their problem, others have found that they still were not happy and returned it.

rtings.com did an unfavorable review, however other review sites have tested the audio and given the sound top honors.

I was following this thread before my Arc arrived and I was worried, however I have had an almost completely good experience so far.  I don’t find it overly bright - I find that it has better treble response then the Beam (which I have in a separate room).  I am VERY sensitive to exaggerated sibilance, but I haven’t really noticed any personally (except in a single Atmos all-vocal video on the Xbox one).

I don’t know if there’s anything Sonos can say in response at this point.  I would hope they would visit rtings.com and work with them as a control to improve the experience.

My only advice is that you can give it a shot and purchase it.  If you’re unhappy you can return it and get a Beam, which is also a fantastic device…. or try another brand.

This is a personal experience and wanted to share here, I was as fed up as everyone here, and before returning, decided I will give one more try with Sonos tech support and managed to reach them through chat. I spoke about both the muddy bass issue and the harsh metallic tone (treble) issue. We did the usual diagnosis and then a few tweaks done from the support agent. I guess he did a resetting of my EQ, restarted my Sonos arc, and then we did the trueplay configuration again. 

There was not much difference and I was not happy. So the agent requested me to send 20 seconds of files with different sources. (I am yet to do this). All this happened on Friday

On Saturday, I do not know what miraculously happened since there was no software update or any other action taken but my Arc sounds different now for good. The music and sound are much better, nicer, and crisp. 

PS: I have not tested movie source/content from TV (ARC/eARC) since my TV stopped working. My experience is with Airplay/Youtube Premium is the music source. 

I am still wondering and thinking if it could be a placebo effect but then even my wife felt today the system sounded way better. 

If anyone else has a similar experience, pls do share. Cheers 

I had the same problem with the metallic sound. I did disable WIFI connection in the SONOS app. Ars restarted and the problem is solved. Sound is perfect. Of course solution is not to disable Wifi connectuion but the restart of ARC.

@TomasKV, Is the Arc your only Sonos device? If there are more Sonos devices I strongly advise you to re-enable the WiFi module on the Arc.

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  1. Best Buy Arc sounds better than Amazon Arc
  2. Called Sonos support- wasn’t happy and but, the Arc fixed itself the next morning.
  3. Electricity went off and Arc is fixed when it came back on.
  4. Disabled wifi and now, the Arc sounds good now.

Please tell me you people are joking, right? 

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  1. Best Buy Arc sounds better than Amazon Arc
  2. Called Sonos support- wasn’t happy and but, the Arc fixed itself the next morning.
  3. Electricity went off and Arc is fixed when it came back on.
  4. Disabled wifi and now, the Arc sounds good now.

Please tell me you people are joking, right? 


Haha…

 

Well, #1 can be explained by defective hardware at least.

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@Danio1137

I will certainly do not. If there isn’t an answer/ software fix from Sonos in the next week or so I am done with Sonos. 

The arc is my first sonos product. Was planning for more. But looks like Sonos is a no-go. 

@knafets I have decided to go with KEF Q150s and Q250C when they go on sale. I should able to grab a good receiver (with all codec support, AirPlay2, assistant goodies) from accesories4less. The only downside I see is running wires which is not hard to do and they are also easier to hide. You will be amazed at how many better options you will get with the money you pay Sonos or Bose.

DO NOT disable the WiFi module on the Arc. Has nothing to do with sound quality, but Sub and Rears will no longer work!

@TomasKV, Is the Arc your only Sonos device? If there are more Sonos devices I strongly advise you to re-enable the WiFi module on the Arc.

I did enable Wifi again and Arc sound still very good.

  1. Best Buy Arc sounds better than Amazon Arc
  2. Called Sonos support- wasn’t happy and but, the Arc fixed itself the next morning.
  3. Electricity went off and Arc is fixed when it came back on.
  4. Disabled wifi and now, the Arc sounds good now.

Please tell me you people are joking, right? 

Maybe you should read the whole text. Then you wouldn't write point number 4 :-)

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This is most probably a hardware design flaw which will be masked by future firmware/software updates. Compression at loud volume is pretty bad as well (rtings.com)

Having said that I will definitely be returning the Arc and will make a final decision on what to replace it with this week. Sonos will definitely not admit anything right now as that will mean disastrous financial consequences especially in Covid times… My first and last sonos product.

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Is it possible that the different size speakers are playing a roll in less bass and tinny highs? My Playbar has a much bigger enclosure and I would imagine bigger woofers, midrange  and tweeters, although just not as many as the Arc.

In any case, sadly, I am returning it and going back to the Playbar. ….

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  1. Best Buy Arc sounds better than Amazon Arc
  2. Called Sonos support- wasn’t happy and but, the Arc fixed itself the next morning.
  3. Electricity went off and Arc is fixed when it came back on.
  4. Disabled wifi and now, the Arc sounds good now.

Please tell me you people are joking, right? 

Maybe you should read the whole text. Then you wouldn't write point number 4 :-)

Nice use of the edit button right there, mate. Saved the day.

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Decision made: Arc will be returned. 

I was watching a movie last night. Halfway I turned off the Arc and watched further via the built TV-speakers. There was not a moment I was thinking off putting the Arc back on.. I think that says it all...

Someone on this forum nailed it:  “The Arc sounds like a built in TV-speaker with bass”. Utterly disappointed...

 

 

 

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@Simon B 

Hi can you find out what is going on regards to this issue, its all gone very quiet from Sonos on this thread, but other threads are being replied to even tho this and the bass issue thread are much bigger.

 

thank you

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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. 

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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. 

Out of curiosity which Bose bundle did you have? I sampled the bose 500 and 700 and thought playbar sounded better.

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@sebas1509 I had the Bose ST300 bundle. I auditioned both the playbar and Bose when I initially bought Bose. Wide Soundstage and vocals of Bose was not match for Playbar. I found playbar to be more musical than Bose, however for movies and TV, my ears found Bose to be much better. Additionally the Airplay, HDMI and a great price for Bose was icing on the cake.

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@sebas1509 I had the Bose ST300 bundle. I auditioned both the playbar and Bose when I initially bought Bose. Wide Soundstage and vocals of Bose was not match for Playbar. I found playbar to be more musical than Bose, however for movies and TV, my ears found Bose to be much better. Additionally the Airplay, HDMI and a great price for Bose was icing on the cake.

And if I understand your comment you say the Sonos Arc is superior than the Bose ST300 bundle you previously had? I think this is the predecessor to the Bose 700, correct me if I am wrong.

 

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