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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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I got an arc recently I was not impressed with the high frequency, first thing I noticed out the box was how toppy and bright it was, listening to female newsreaders who are kind of whistling as they say any words with the letter “s” in it. I boxed it all up for a while and got it out again yesterday and upgraded the software so it’s now on 15.5 but still far too bright. I compared a music track between my  2 x Era 100’s and the Arc, the Era’s are not bright at all, but the Arc was much too toppy, like the treble is at maximum all the time.

I’ve turned the treble down to -3 but it’s not really improved.

I got it from John Lewis and as it’s been opened can’t really take it back very easily. Wish I got it from Sonos direct now.

  • Is the Arc wall-mounted, or not? If so, do you use the mount with the built in magnets?
  • Is the issue any better with Trueplay enabled/disabled?
  • Did you check with Sonos Support if the device was perhaps faulty?
  • What was wrong with using the manufacturers one year warranty, that’s if it is faulty?
  • John Lewis in the U.K. are unlikely to quibble if you return something within 12 weeks - I have returned a £400 food processor in the past in that kind of time period, because it would not fit beneath the Kitchen worktop and cupboards in our Kitchen.. we had to move to the next size down.

@corky123,

One further thing - did you try ‘bonding’ the two Era-100’s to the Arc as a Home Theatre - some users seem to say that makes the entire system sound better. It ought to be worth trying those things before putting the Arc back in its box.

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Hi Ken,

thanks for the quick response, no it’s not wall mounted just sitting on a low tv unit, although the tv is wall mounted so is sitting approx 1 foot below the tv.

I did try true play before and it made no difference, just tried it again but this time I did not walk around the room too much I kind of just rotated slowly in the middle of the living room as I read someone reported they cured the harshness by not moving around the room, but If you just sit on the sofa it knows you are not moving etc. so need to test some more.

no I did not check with Sonos support, I guess I can discuss with JL if I get no joy.

forgot to say it’s a complete setup, so Arc, Sub gen 3, 2 x One’s gen 2.

Before I got the arc and sub I just used the Ones for stereo music and have always been very impressed with them, so upgraded to the Era 100’s and these are even better, so I then added the Ones to the arc and sub.

I am having the same issue with a recently purchased Arc. Dialogue sounds extremely underwhelming and tinny. Have tried all available settings. 

Since you’ve tried everything, probably best if you were to call Sonos Support directly to discuss it.

When you speak directly to the phone folks, they have tools at their disposal that will allow them to give you advice specific to your Sonos system and network.

 

Same here. Watching movies and playing Xbox with the latest update. Hopefully they can update this issue. Probably should of got a Bose

What a disappointment.

Was upgrading my Play 1 to Era 100.

Found out they don’t work with the Playbar in setup. So got myself the Arc. (And the combination of my Sub).

Installed everything and turned the TV on. The sound from the Arc compared to the Playbar is just metallic mono like. Like TV speakers.

All setup with TreuPlay and tweaked some settings, but can’t get used to the sound of the Arc. It’s just flat. Considering returning it

Are you using S1 or S2? PLAYBAR is compatible with S1 and S2.

When you are playing TV, ARC will report the type of audio it is processing. What type of audio is your TV sending to ARC?

Be sure to check for silly things, such as the TV is still using its own speakers, not sending anything to ARC. Or both the TV’s speakers and ARC are active.

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I kinda have the same issue but with recently purchased single Five.

On a 75+ volume sound becomes very thin and harsh as if low end is completely gone. The difference is instant and so obvious that i can physically feel it no matter where i am in the living room. TP on/off, no difference. No issues with my HT Beam 2 + Ones + Sub 3 setup though.

What’s happening?

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You should maybe call Sonos.

Are you using S1 or S2? PLAYBAR is compatible with S1 and S2.

When you are playing TV, ARC will report the type of audio it is processing. What type of audio is your TV sending to ARC?

Be sure to check for silly things, such as the TV is still using its own speakers, not sending anything to ARC. Or both the TV’s speakers and ARC are active.

My bad. I was a bit short on the right info.

The setup in the living room is now a Sonos Arc, Sub Gen.1 and two Era100.
‘Old setup’ was Sonos Playbar, Sub Gen.1 and two Play 1’s.

Connected the Sonos Arc to my Samsung QE65Q90.
Set everything right to make use of eARC. Sound of the TV is off.
I’ve hit Treuplay with different devices on different spots (walking across the room and sitting a the spot in front of the tv for tuning.
Played with the EQ and different settings.
But can’t find a sweet spot or even the feeling(or a better feeling) of sound that my ‘old’ Playbar pushed around.
Voices are just in front of the TV instead of being in the conversation.
Arc is downgrading/tuning the experience of the bass of the Sub.
Music and TV experience with the Arc is just flat, thin, metallic, mono like.

Watching TV with a (T-Mobile/Odidio) TV app on Samsung sends Dolby Multichannel 2.0 PCM (over all speakers)
Watching Netflix (Standard) sound Dolby Multichannel PCM 5.1 on most series/movies 
Not played Dolby Atmos specific content, but my main problem is with the sound/experience the Arc is producing in this setup.

Also listening music is ‘just not great. (But the main reason in the living room, is using it for TV)

I moved my Sonos Play 1’s to the bedroom and installed a new Sonos Ray for the setup.
If you ask me even this setup sounds better and more warm than the setup with the Sonos Arc in my living room.

In my office room I’ve a set of Sonos One’s with a Sonos Sub Mini for listening music while I’m working.
Maybe the sub is overkill there, but also much better sounds experience.

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You should maybe call Sonos.

I did and they told there is an internal limiter to keep the speaker from damage.

I am very confused. What’s the point in powerful speaker if i can’t use its full power.

I mean it sounds very good on 70-75 volume and i would probably never go higher than that. Still this is all very strange to me.

You should maybe call Sonos.

I did and they told there is an internal limiter to keep the speaker from damage.

I am very confused. What’s the point in powerful speaker if i can’t use its full power.

I mean it sounds very good on 70-75 volume and i would probably never go higher than that. Still this is all very strange to me.

Maybe see what the volume dB level is, using a mobile App, at the point when the limiter kicks in and then see how it compares to the attached chart (as a rough guide). If it’s not that loud, then you might want to go back to Sonos Support and see what they say.

I would put your mobile, out it’s case/cover, say 6-8 feet away out in front (and level) with the speaker to take your readings, using a variety of different audio sources to the point where you notice the limiter.

I use an Arc with an LG C9 TV and in our lounge and I would probably not go too far above 65% volume for ‘loud’ listening, but I appreciate we each hear things differently in our different environments, but hope the suggestion here assists.

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You should maybe call Sonos.

I did and they told there is an internal limiter to keep the speaker from damage.

I am very confused. What’s the point in powerful speaker if i can’t use its full power.

I mean it sounds very good on 70-75 volume and i would probably never go higher than that. Still this is all very strange to me.

Maybe see what the volume dB level is, using a mobile App, at the point when the limiter kicks in and then see how it compares to the attached chart (as a rough guide). If it’s not that loud, then you might want to go back to Sonos Support and see what they say.

I would put your mobile, out it’s case/cover, say 6-8 feet away out in front (and level) with the speaker to take your readings, using a variety of different audio sources to the point where you notice the limiter.

I use an Arc with an LG C9 TV and in our lounge and I would probably not go too far above 65% volume for ‘loud’ listening, but I appreciate we each hear things differently in our different environments, but hope the suggestion here assists.

Thank you Ken, i will definitely try your suggestion.

The thing is that in my full HT setup in the other room i will not go past 50 for loud movies/games etc. I do also think that it is more than enough. Even when i go to, say, 95 the sound signature does not drastically change. It’s just the same but obviously louder.

However my single Five is in the living room, bigger space. And Five is not than punchy before 50 to be honest. It is a very capable speaker though, i instantly fell in love with it on my first listening. The only purpose of it is music. But when i go above 75 i can instantly feel like the low end and midrange is gone. Only harsh, almost metallic treble is left.

Maybe i should try different room and position to troubleshoot, still i didn’t expect this to happen.

 

UPD - so, yeah, 75 in my living room is around 85 dB. I guess i just shouldn’t go above that). Interesting, i have never experienced something like this with my other speakers before.

I would have thought that there’s perhaps a legal/moral responsibility these days to not be too far over the 85dB limit, but I’m certainly no expert in this area, but would say if the audio-output is not being ‘limited’ much below that level then the speaker is probably working as expected.

I was going to say if the limiter ‘clearly’ kicked-in earlier and noticeably below that volume-level to perhaps go back to Support and see what they may think about it.

Another thought occurred to me aswell…

Is the Arc in your case wall-mounted by any chance? If so, see this YT video…

 

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I would have thought that there’s perhaps a legal/moral responsibility these days to not be too far over the 85dB limit, but I’m certainly no expert in this area, but would say if the audio-output is not being ‘limited’ much below that level then the speaker is probably working as expected.

I was going to say if the limiter ‘clearly’ kicked-in earlier and noticeably below that volume-level to perhaps go back to Support and see what they may think about it.

Another thought occurred to me aswell…

Is the Arc in your case wall-mounted by any chance? If so, see this YT video…

 

Below that level it is absolutely marvelous, i am just stumped by drastic change in sound signature at higher volumes.

No Arc for me, i am talking about a recently purchased single Five for the living room. I do, however, have a full HT setup with Beam in the other room and didn’t experience something like since for years of having it.

Thank you very much for the tips!

Below that level it is absolutely marvelous, i am just stumped by drastic change in sound signature at higher volumes.

No Arc for me, i am talking about a recently purchased single Five for the living room. I do, however, have a full HT setup with Beam in the other room and didn’t experience something like since for years of having it.

Thank you very much for the tips!

Ah sorry I thought because of the thread title here, it was a Sonos Arc you were referring too - my bad.

I see now that you have another thread on the go with Sonos Staff, so hope you get the answers you’re looking for.🤞

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