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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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For me, the problem is mostly sibilance. For example, “Filthy Rich” sounds very sibilant to me. 

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I think people past return period who hear issues shouldn’t despair…

 

Why? SONOS kept saying bass issue is fixed before. People kept complaining. They issued a new update a bit ago and after retuning and installing the update most poeple say it is fixed for real now including youtubers.. So I think SONOS will keep improving the sound signature to please most users.

 

That being said I dont hear any excessive tinniness and it is not “crazy” or “awful” to my ears. Yes it is brighter but that is done with the purpose of sound directional effects which are very nice on this soundbar. Anyways content really matters too.

Saw someone on here saying my goal is to make hamilton sound less SSSS well, let me tell you that is a content problem. I thought the same and my brother who has a playbar could hear the SSSS too and googling it it was easy to see many having the issue. So you might be driving yourself crazy thinking every bad content issue is an Arc issue.

Now I recognize some people say that it is all content etc. Our ears are all different so maybe this soundbar isnt for you.

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After owning both the playbar has way less irritating SSSS sound and is way better at full range voices than the Arc. 

Just wanted to add my experience here I believe I also have this issue, using an Arc/sub 3/symfonisks.

Sometimes during dialogue there is a metallic tinny sound, a bit like tin foil being scrunched up. It is not all the time and it is definitely not the source material as it doesn’t happen on other devices.

This seems to have been reported for some time now, is Sonos going to do anything about it?

Just wanted to add my experience here I believe I also have this issue, using an Arc/sub 3/symfonisks.

Sometimes during dialogue there is a metallic tinny sound, a bit like tin foil being scrunched up. It is not all the time and it is definitely not the source material as it doesn’t happen on other devices.

This seems to have been reported for some time now, is Sonos going to do anything about it?

I have the same problem, during certain dialogues, often the letter “a” or “o” the audio pops and crackles. It often occurs when someone raises the voice in a dialogue. Is there any fix for this? Have had this problem since day one. 

I’ve been reading this blog and wanted to add my experience in the hope Sonos release an update that fixes this problem. I have the 5.1.1 home cinema setup with the Sonos Arc (wall mounted), sub and surrounds. The sound on my Sonos Arc is really poor. It sounds like a small laptop speaker for speech.  I think it has become worse since Sonos released an update. I really would expect better sound quality form this system. It can’t just be the hardware.

I’m watching Netflix, watching White Collar S3 with the HDMI connected to the Arc with Dolby Digital + 5.1 input. However, the sound is terrible on most programmes.

Please Sonos fix it or provide more controls to manually adjust.

I have completed Truplay on the app with an iPhone 11 Pro.

Thanks 🙏😢

Given the disparity between owners about the sound quality was racking my brain for other variables and wondered about the wall mount. We know that the arc adjusts it's output/eq based on being wall mounted. Out of curiosity are any of the people struggling with this using their device freestanding? 

 

 

Yes, plenty of people reporting this issue are not using the wall mount, including myself. I think the disparity is more about personal taste, expectations, experience/knowledge, and environment. Trueplay is primarily meant for room correction, and it very well may be working better in some environments vs. others. It definitely does not seem to be striking a good balance. 

I continue to think the Arc has a naturally ‘bright’ sound signature, which can allow it to be more detailed and precise, but it should not need to come at the cost of midrange. Many people, especially as they age, are less sensitive to the higher frequency ranges that this thread is most concerned with, so that can account for some of the difference in opinions. That said, I think it’s less about overemphasised highs, and more about a lack of midrange that the eq isn’t helping with at all.  And some people just don’t know what they’re missing, imo.

 

After seeing some of Peter Pee's recent YT videos on the wall mount magnet I came back to this and decided to experiment a bit for myself.

 

Sure enough with content playing I lifted the right side of the arc out of the mount and after a couple of seconds much fuller and warmer dialogue was obvious. I then let the arc slide back into the mount, and as soon as the arc registered the magnet the eq went back to tinny. Checked with the wife (who is nowhere near as obsessive) and she agreed it was like a switch being turned on and off. 

 

I'm not saying this is the overall solution, as there are users without wall mount who are unhappy. But I would urge any wall mount users to experiment and report back. My feeling is that this EQ/magnet feature is a bit of a dud and hopefully Sonos will consider building an override into the app.

Having read through this entire thread, I think I am experiencing this exact problem. I normally don’t browse product forums for fear of technology hypochondria, but I came looking to see if anyone else was hearing things - turns out it isn’t just me! For me it is especially noticeable with speech and has a combination of the following qualities:

  • Overemphasised top end
  • Clipping in mid to top end
  • Lack of mid-tones
  • Speech is sometimes louder or quieter than expected (not well balanced) - a bit like a five year old has been given the dynamic range compression slider
  • “Crisp/chip packet scrunching”
  • More noticeable when at higher volume levels
  • I can hear a difference when TruePlay is turned off, but the Arc still experiences the above problems and I would describe the overall quality as worse without TruePlay.

I wondered if the Arc is enhancing any defects in the source material… as in any clipping or issues with the source is being enhanced by the overemphasised top end and not being masked due to the lack of mid-range.

Here is my setup:

  • Sonos Arc running version 12.1
  • Sonos rests on the glass “foot” of a desktop TV stand, and the TV stand rests on a heavy wooden media cabinet.
  • eARC over HDMI
  • LG C9
  • TruePlay with iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • Most content is played from Netflix and Amazon apps on the TV

Yesterday we watched “The Angriest Man In Brooklyn” and “Radioactive”, both of which exhibited the above issues. “The Angriest Man In Brooklyn” is not something I would recommend watching.

My initial setup was done very much as an inexperienced person would set it up - I plugged everything in, placed the Sonos where I wanted it, followed the TruePlay process like someone who hadn’t read 833 forum posts, and started watching TV.

Once the wife is awake and can tolerate loud noises, I will try a factory reset, TruePlay with an old iPhone 6s, and fiddling with the LG settings (I saw someone say Auto was better than Passthru).

This is a real shame - it took a while to convince my wife that upgrading from our Yamaha YSP-2200 was a good idea. I really wanted to love the Arc, it looks superb sitting in front of the TV. However I am finding listening to it a real embuggerance.

I am heartened that Sonos have been replying in this thread, I realise that software bugs do happen, I hope this can be fixed in software… but I bought my Arc from John Lewis and I will need to return it within a reasonable timeframe to be able to get a refund. I am concerned that that timeframe will be much shorter than the time available for Sonos to push a software fix.

 

 

I was watching Ready Player One on Amazon prime and the majority of the main guys dialogue has the metallic crispness to it. Come on Sonos sort it out.

 

Also just as an aside, I did trueplay with an old iPad as the end result was far superior than the trueplay with an iPhone 11. What is the future of trueplay if newer devices are just no good for it? I found the trueplay result with iPhone 11 sounded worse than with it turned off. 

I just got the Arc and sub and am pretty disappointed. Sound is tinny and can hear a buzz during highs. I have always been blown away by the sound after I unboxed - first with one, then 5s, and even the beam. This feels underwhelming - hopefully a defect and one that Sonos will fix. Doesn’t match the glowing reviews. I’ll likely return and go back to the Beam for now.

Is there any update on this? I just got the arc and sub gen3. I was watching pacific rim on my 2017 Samsung q7 through the arc with Dolby digital and Dolby digital plus sound and everything I tried was unbearable. Pacific rim in 4K and Mandalorian. It’s just extremely loud with anything outside dialogue. I had enhanced speech and night mode toggled on which made it a little better, but overall I’m extremely disappointed. I had the sub gen 3 at -2 and the eq on the arc bass at -7. I don’t understand why it gets ridiculously loud during scenes where my ears were fatigued. I thought my cousin and I were going to have a fun binged weekend with this thing but as of now I’m about to send this thing back. Anyone have recommendations?

Hi,

Glad it’s not just me.

Sold my previous full surround setup yesterday and was so excited.

Everything so far has tinny vocals, not sure what to do ☹️
 

Did truplay via iPhone 11 Pro, non wall mounted. 

Hi,

Glad it’s not just me.

Sold my previous full surround setup yesterday and was so excited.

Everything so far has tinny vocals, not sure what to do ☹️
 

Did truplay via iPhone 11 Pro, non wall mounted. 

Definitely not just you. I ended up watching a YouTube video that semi fixed the issue. Try these settings in eq I did -7 treble -6 bass and -5 sub bass if you have an additional sub. It’s still far from what I’m expecting. I’m still seeing if it’s worth keeping at this point

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Hi! 2 months ago, I bought Arc to replace Beam, and also noticed too unpleasant high frequencies. But overall, the sound was much richer than with Beam. Then, as I understood, the firmware update was released, and, in addition, I launched TruePlay several times through the iPhone 11 Pro Max. Then I didn't watch movies for a while, and I didn't track the moment when the sound was corrected. But now I can say for sure that the sound has become excellent. And it can't be addictive. All my guests say it's the most incredible sound they've ever heard. I use Arc + 2 One SL without SUB in combination with LG OLED B9 65". Now every time I watch a movie, I get great pleasure. I advise you to make TruePlay through another phone, or very carefully clean ALL the grids of microphones and speakers on your phone.

I have the same issue.  Been working with Sonos and they even replaced the device. As of today they are telling me to disable eARC to fix the problem.  Seems like they rushed this project out and can’t seem to fix it. 

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I have the same issue.  Been working with Sonos and they even replaced the device. As of today they are telling me to disable eARC to fix the problem.  Seems like they rushed this project out and can’t seem to fix it. 

Did turning off eARC fix the issue for you?

This is for sure a half assed release. 

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What’s eARC got to do with metallic/harsh sounds.

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Why is there no answer yet, there have been several updates last months, but the ARC still sounds metallic. 😔

Hi, I’ve just received my Sonos arc and Sub gen 3. I’m having the same issues as others here. Watching Tv news is unbearable with this thing, the highs are extremely high and voices sound extremely tinny with absolutely no depth. Dolby Atmos on Netflix and music is ok though. Having spent a lot for this setup in Argentina, I’m kind of disappointed. 

New to Sonos. Having the same problem. Will have to return at this rate. Is the beam much better? I’d try that with the sub and surrounds if so, otherwise it might need to be a different brand! It’s so tinny and harsh!

While searching the community posts for some indication of the angle of the upward firing speakers on the Arc (anybody know if it’s 15 or 20 degrees off the vertical?), I see people are complaining about tinny sound from their Arc. I found this on YouTube which suggests there is an issue using certain models of iPhone with Trueplay when calibrating your system...

 

Tried a different phone. Hasn’t worked for me. Think I’ll have to return. Such a shame. Maybe it’s just difference tastes 

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I had to join to comment in the hope that Sonos sort this out. I’ve got 2 Sonos 1’s and I was amazed when I first heard them, so I was excited to get the arc. After spending some time with it, It definitely lacks mid range depth for sure and is definitely too bright. Music can sound OK but movies lack that oomph that I’ve heard from other (much cheaper!!) soundbars. Hopefully an update will sort this - the thing has enough woofers and speakers to get a more full sound surely?!

I truetuned it, but I’ve turned that off now as that made it sound even worse. Please sort this Sonos!!!

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@Jack33 Same story here no reply from Sonos at all…. 

So, is there a fix?  There are multiple forums on this/similar sound concerns.  I want to love the ARC, but either can’t hear it or it becomes painful.  However, you can hear that the real sound is in there somewhere and at times, you get to hear some of it and then, ugh.

Need to know if I return.

 

Thank you.

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