Answered

Sonos Arc - Metallic Sound


Userlevel 6
Badge +6

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?

icon

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

View original

985 replies

Same issue here as well.  ARC sounded great before update now actor’s voices distort and are shrill and sound is missing a lot of mid range.  I have the ARC, sub and architectural speakers in the ceiling.  Prior to the ARC I was using a Playbar and that sounded way better than the ARC does now.  They need to fix this ASAP.

Userlevel 4
Badge +6

I think there are several problems:

  1. Trueplay is buggy. Different devices give wildly different results. Older iPhones are generally better. However, even with an older iPhone, I need to do several rounds of Trueplay before I get something that doesn’t sound truly horrendous. 
  2. The Arc’s sound profile puts an emphasis on high frequencies, which makes some shows very harsh on S sounds. This is quite bothersome. 
  3. I suspect that the mid-range is somewhat de-emphasized, especially with the pronounced high frequencies. 
  4. EQ settings are very blunt; the treble adjustment mainly makes the sound muffled when set to a negative value.

Having said the above, well-mixed shows or movies can actually sound good. I watched Baby Driver and enjoyed the sound very much. However, many TV shows are not as well mixed, which causes problems. The worst offender, for me, was Locke & Key, episode 4, at the two minute mark. It's just an SSS fest. 
 

I must remark that Arc doesn’t create SSS sounds. They are audible on other speakers. It’s just that it exaggerates them. 
 

I am eagerly waiting for a fix. I firmly believe it’s a software issue, and I have faith it will be fixed.  I just hope it will be sooner rather than later. I, too, would like to have some updates from Sonos. For instance, someone like Scott could chime in again and let us know that Sonos is acknowledging there is an issue and that they are actively working on a fix. 

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

I’d agree with this. I’ve watched a few things and the arc was impressive (films with Atmos, dark on netflix). But I think truly horrendous and shrill were unfortunately much more common for general viewing. 

Userlevel 4
Badge +4

I think there are several problems:

  1. Trueplay is buggy. Different devices give wildly different results. Older iPhones are generally better. However, even with an older iPhone, I need to do several rounds of Trueplay before I get something that doesn’t sound truly horrendous. 
  2. The Arc’s sound profile puts an emphasis on high frequencies, which makes some shows very harsh on S sounds. This is quite bothersome. 
  3. I suspect that the mid-range is somewhat de-emphasized, especially with the pronounced high frequencies. 
  4. EQ settings are very blunt; the treble adjustment mainly makes the sound muffled when set to a negative value.

Having said the above, well-mixed shows or movies can actually sound good. I watched Baby Driver and enjoyed the sound very much. However, many TV shows are not as well mixed, which causes problems. The worst offender, for me, was Locke & Key, episode 4, at the two minute mark. It's just an SSS fest. 
 

I must remark that Arc doesn’t create SSS sounds. They are audible on other speakers. It’s just that it exaggerates them. 
 

I am eagerly waiting for a fix. I firmly believe it’s a software issue, and I have faith it will be fixed.  I just hope it will be sooner rather than later. I, too, would like to have some updates from Sonos. For instance, someone like Scott could chime in again and let us know that Sonos is acknowledging there is an issue and that they are actively working on a fix. 

I went to listen to this. While I do hear the Sss it doesn’t sound offensive to me at all. The thing is the Arc is able to go higher frequencies than Playbar or beam ( you can look at frequency response on RTINGS) so this might be a reason why. Also sometimes tuning makes a small “peak” at higher freq too which would worsen this issue. Then again not sure if some are less sensitive, or some Arcs are tuned for the worse due to a bug

Userlevel 1
Badge +2

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.

Userlevel 7

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?

Userlevel 4
Badge +6

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. 

Userlevel 1
Badge +2

How is everyone getting on with the metallic sound? Did it get better over time? Did people return there Arc’s or have people kept hold of there Arc’s in hope for a software update to resolve this?

Hi

If anyone here reads who sent back Arc and bought another brand, which one did you buy?

Userlevel 4
Badge +6

How is everyone getting on with the metallic sound? Did it get better over time? Did people return there Arc’s or have people kept hold of there Arc’s in hope for a software update to resolve this?

It doesn’t get better over time. Some shows are better than others. It’s not metallic per se, but that the highs are over pronounced while the mid-range a little thin. 
 

I am waiting for a fix. I still have faith in Sonos.  Personally, I find it difficult to believe that there is a wide-ranging hardware fault (Some people might disagree with this). Therefore, I have high hopes that a firmware fix will improve things. I just really want Sonos engineers to chime in on this and reassure us! 

Userlevel 1
Badge +2

How is everyone getting on with the metallic sound? Did it get better over time? Did people return there Arc’s or have people kept hold of there Arc’s in hope for a software update to resolve this?

It doesn’t get better over time. Some shows are better than others. It’s not metallic per se, but that the highs are over pronounced while the mid-range a little thin. 
 

I am waiting for a fix. I still have faith in Sonos.  Personally, I find it difficult to believe that there is a wide-ranging hardware fault (Some people might disagree with this). Therefore, I have high hopes that a firmware fix will improve things. I just really want Sonos engineers to chime in on this and reassure us! 

I keep testing between my 2 year old SK9Y LG dolby atmos soundbar and the arc and the LG sounds better. The arc almost sounds as if its coming from the TV speakers, there is no depth to the sound & does sound very tinny compared to the LG.

How is everyone getting on with the metallic sound? Did it get better over time? Did people return there Arc’s or have people kept hold of there Arc’s in hope for a software update to resolve this?

I have just set my Playbar back up which the Arc replaced and it sounds so much better during normal tv like news programmes and documentaries which is where the voices on my Arc sounds terrible.

I actually think I will return the Arc now

Userlevel 5
Badge +13

Interesting to see others observations regarding programme “type”.

 

I too watched “Dark” on Netflix in Atmos and it sounded fantastic…. but News programmes etc are where I have noticed the issue with very harsh sibilance.

Hi!
Then I have ordered a base, I really hope the noises disappear with the base taking over that assignment.  if the problem remains, I send back the base, arc and I throw a play1 on the garbage.  

The professional way from Sonos should now be to give a little feedback in all forums, otherwise they can shut this down, it is pointless to keep whining here if they do not even pay attention to it.

Userlevel 1
Badge +2

Anyone getting the ‘tinny’ audio from new LG oled TV’s B9,C9, BX or CX? Mine does and its a B8. Wondering if it effects the new TV’s too, although i suspect its nothing to do with that but still....

Userlevel 4
Badge +11

Anyone getting the ‘tinny’ audio from new LG oled TV’s B9,C9, BX or CX? Mine does and its a B8. Wondering if it effects the new TV’s too, although i suspect its nothing to do with that but still....

 

Had my ARC a week, and sound to me is fine on LG CX, none of this harsh brightness talked about on here. Only watched TV and movies though so far.

I used an iPhone SE (2016) to tune trueplay.

Whatever this issue is I hope Sonos can solve it for everyone, but for me I don't get this issue, unless my hearing is bad!

Certainly blows my Yamaha YSP2700 away in terms of sound quality. 

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

Interesting to see others observations regarding programme “type”.

 

I too watched “Dark” on Netflix in Atmos and it sounded fantastic…. but News programmes etc are where I have noticed the issue with very harsh sibilance.

 

especially as a lot of news nowadays seems to involve a lot of people Skyping which then isn’t recorded in good quality. Arc seems to magnify this in  a way that makes it hard to listen to.

I find it so odd how many people have reverted back to older (playbar) or cheaper (beam) devices (me included) and found the sound better compared to the arc. This can’t be right surely? 

 

Userlevel 4
Badge +6

Sonos: any updates on this issue?

Userlevel 1
Badge +2

Is anyone having the same issue with the sub connected as well? & if so does is it the same or does it help with the tinnyness? I have a sub connected and still experiencing exactly the same.

Userlevel 4
Badge +6

Is anyone having the same issue with the sub connected as well? & if so does is it the same or does it help with the tinnyness? I have a sub connected and still experiencing exactly the same.

I have the sub (gen 2) and two sonos ones connected. It does not help with the harsh sounds and over exaggerated SSSS sounds. I am hoping for a fix. For now, this is a big problem. 

It sounds disturbing, waiting for my sub to pair with my Arc.  At the same time I have read about so many who think it works when sub takes over the sub work.  How can it be so different!

Userlevel 4
Badge +6

It sounds disturbing, waiting for my sub to pair with my Arc.  At the same time I have read about so many who think it works when sub takes over the sub work.  How can it be so different!

There are two separate issues. The sub is fantastic with the low frequencies. I do not have any problems with muddy or problematic bass. This thread, and the problem I am experiencing is with overly exaggerated high frequencies, or lack of midrange. Many TV characters are constantly “shrieking” and “hissing”, for lack of a better term. 
(I find there is a difference between different shows or movies. Some shows are better mixed, in which case the problem is less bothersome. Perhaps this is related to how the AGC is configured on the Arc?)

Been following this topic for a while, as it took a couple of weeks before my Arc + Sub arrived.

 

The posts made me quite nervous, but now after 2-3 weeks of using the setup with my LG 55 C9 i can honestly say that i am extremely satisfied with the sound! There is no metallic sounds or harsh voices at all. Music is warm and clear, movies and series sound amazing, especially those with atmos.

 

My dad has a Playbar, and i currently feel that one is slightly warmer/nicer for music, but the Arc blows the playbar out of the water with movies and series.

 

Config details: Trueplayed with an Ipad Air (2019). EQ settings are -3 (Bass) and -3 (Treble) with Sub audio volume at -4 (yes i live in an appartment building)

 

Edit: I know this topic discusses a problem with the Arc, but i feel it is important to highlight that not all Arc’s have this issue, as this topic made me extremely nervous for no reason in the end.

Userlevel 4
Badge +4

Been following this topic for a while, as it took a couple of weeks before my Arc + Sub arrived.

 

The posts made me quite nervous, but now after 2-3 weeks of using the setup with my LG 55 C9 i can honestly say that i am extremely satisfied with the sound! There is no metallic sounds or harsh voices at all. Music is warm and clear, movies and series sound amazing, especially those with atmos.

 

My dad has a Playbar, and i currently feel that one is slightly warmer/nicer for music, but the Arc blows the playbar out of the water with movies and series.

 

Config details: Trueplayed with an Ipad Air (2019). EQ settings are -3 (Bass) and -3 (Treble) with Sub audio volume at -4 (yes i live in an appartment building)

 

Edit: I know this topic discusses a problem with the Arc, but i feel it is important to highlight that not all Arc’s have this issue, as this topic made me extremely nervous for no reason in the end.

I think this is a person to person problem. I used to say what are people talking about? But tried going to some content suggested and I hear the issue mentioend here the thing is it doesnt bother me much.  I also dont listen to a ton of music on my 5.1 system. But for example, yesterday listening to the new taylor swift songs I can tell how her voice sounds weird. Like a bit harsh. Honestly itdoesnt bother me and if you add the sonos ones in surround full mode they basically mask this.

 

But I can tell how some people would dislike the sound signature of the bar alone due to it being a bit harsh. I only tuned with iphone XR. Also, for movies or TV it really sounds good and I dont have complaints

Been following this topic for a while, as it took a couple of weeks before my Arc + Sub arrived.

 

The posts made me quite nervous, but now after 2-3 weeks of using the setup with my LG 55 C9 i can honestly say that i am extremely satisfied with the sound! There is no metallic sounds or harsh voices at all. Music is warm and clear, movies and series sound amazing, especially those with atmos.

 

My dad has a Playbar, and i currently feel that one is slightly warmer/nicer for music, but the Arc blows the playbar out of the water with movies and series.

 

Config details: Trueplayed with an Ipad Air (2019). EQ settings are -3 (Bass) and -3 (Treble) with Sub audio volume at -4 (yes i live in an appartment building)

 

Edit: I know this topic discusses a problem with the Arc, but i feel it is important to highlight that not all Arc’s have this issue, as this topic made me extremely nervous for no reason in the end.

I think this is a person to person problem. I used to say what are people talking about? But tried going to some content suggested and I hear the issue mentioend here the thing is it doesnt bother me much.  I also dont listen to a ton of music on my 5.1 system. But for example, yesterday listening to the new taylor swift songs I can tell how her voice sounds weird. Like a bit harsh. Honestly itdoesnt bother me and if you add the sonos ones in surround full mode they basically mask this.

 

But I can tell how some people would dislike the sound signature of the bar alone due to it being a bit harsh. I only tuned with iphone XR. Also, for movies or TV it really sounds good and I dont have complaints

Well i have also been listening to the new Taylor Swift album quite alot, and also here i do not find her voice weird or harsh at all. Maybe it's because my Treble is at -3? Or the combination with the Sub?

Reply