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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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Decided to return the Arc and keep my Beam for now. At least until Sonos sort out the Arc sound or I decide to get a Bose or similar. Such a shame …..

I’ve submitted the diagnostic reference 1985465114. I’ll contact support tomorrow and see what they say.

I’ve sent the diagnostics. Here is the reference 1985465114.

I’ll contact support tomorrow 

I just bought an ARC as an upgrade from the Beam Gen 1 and seem to be having the same issues. Hopefully someone can give me a definitive answer.

regardless of trying to tune using Trueplay including sitting in the same place, not turning my iPhone upside down etc, I still can’t get a “warm” sound. The audio is very precise but seems to have a bright effect. Watching content with dialog from a man that I know has a deep warm voice, it sounds thin. It’s like using the tv speakers. Low bass noises are good but it just lacks mid range. I’ve changed the EQ bass and treble setting but nothing works.

What am I doing wrong ? My old Beam had more warmth to the sound than the new Arc. Does it have to be “run-in” for a while to get the mid range working?

It’s difficult to comment without being able to hear it… So you maybe best to submit a system diagnostic and note or post it’s reference back here and then contact/chat with the Sonos Support Staff via this LINK and see if they can see any issues with the device.

I just bought an ARC as an upgrade from the Beam Gen 1 and seem to be having the same issues. Hopefully someone can give me a definitive answer.

regardless of trying to tune using Trueplay including sitting in the same place, not turning my iPhone upside down etc, I still can’t get a “warm” sound. The audio is very precise but seems to have a bright effect. Watching content with dialog from a man that I know has a deep warm voice, it sounds thin. It’s like using the tv speakers. Low bass noises are good but it just lacks mid range. I’ve changed the EQ bass and treble setting but nothing works.

What am I doing wrong ? My old Beam had more warmth to the sound than the new Arc. Does it have to be “run-in” for a while to get the mid range working?

So, all the reviews of the ARC are generally exceptional - all praising rich warm sound.  So what are we doing wrong?

I don’t know what they are hearing, all I can think is places like what hifi are paid reviews… Ive never felt the ARC has a rich warming sound and ive had mine a year and half.

I assure you that I am a simpleton, wannabe HiFi enthusiast that saves up my money in order to afford my sonos speakers and I truly enjoy the sound from my Arc. True that the Playbar sounded warmer to my ears but by no means is the Arc lacking in warmth which is a signature sound to Sonos as compared to BlueSound speakers. It all comes down to preference and as far as wireless HiFi speakers go I choose Sonos. I am not denying that others are having issues with their Arc’s so maybe a quality control issue exists? Maybe some do not care for the sound signature that Sonos offers? Maybe some source material being listened to is of poor quality? My whole family appreciates the sound and when friends and neighbors have stopped by they are impressed with what the Arc can do.

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Is the Beam any better in this regard?  I’m thinking of changing.

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So, all the reviews of the ARC are generally exceptional - all praising rich warm sound.  So what are we doing wrong?

I don’t know what they are hearing, all I can think is places like what hifi are paid reviews… Ive never felt the ARC has a rich warming sound and ive had mine a year and half.

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So, all the reviews of the ARC are generally exceptional - all praising rich warm sound.  So what are we doing wrong?

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I wonder if using eARC versus the Optical converter has any impact on this?  I’m using the optical at the moment because I haven’t got a spare HDMI on the TV.

I'm so glad this thread exists. I thought I was going crazy. Just spent an hour with support, and they're going to send me a replacement. Has anyone actually had success with a replacement or is the product just bad?

I got 2 replacements from Sonos in last few months. All sounded same. Then bought newly built one(Feb-22) from Bestbuy to just test the new built. Same metallic sound and painful sssh sound with vocals from certain streaming content.

Crazy that this is still unresolved.. I have never been wowed by the ARCs sound.. always sounded tinny to me what ever settings I changed, truplayed etc. Hardly any warmth in the sound

Have you asked Sonos Support about your issue? - it maybe worth submitting a Diagnostic Report and perhaps a video too of your audio issue and ask Staff to see if there is anything they can do to assist.

You can contact them via this LINK

Hope you're able to get it sorted.

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Crazy that this is still unresolved.. I have never been wowed by the ARCs sound.. always sounded tinny to me what ever settings I changed, truplayed etc. Hardly any warmth in the sound

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I changed from Playbar to ARC in January and have often thought it was sounding distorted - I have just happened upon this thread - I thought it was just me and I was going mad.  During Four Weddings and a Funeral the other night, when Kristin Scott Thomas is proposing a toast ‘to Duckface’ outside the church, the distortion on her speech was excruciating.  I have tuned several times with iPhone 12, without a case and holding/moving as instructed.

I have turned Trueplay off and will see how it sounds for a few days.  It seems better on first listen.

 

iPhones for me always had issues. Found an old iPad and seems to sort it correctly. 

That’s very interesting - I’ll try with an ipad.

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I changed from Playbar to ARC in January and have often thought it was sounding distorted - I have just happened upon this thread - I thought it was just me and I was going mad.  During Four Weddings and a Funeral the other night, when Kristin Scott Thomas is proposing a toast ‘to Duckface’ outside the church, the distortion on her speech was excruciating.  I have tuned several times with iPhone 12, without a case and holding/moving as instructed.

I have turned Trueplay off and will see how it sounds for a few days.  It seems better on first listen.

 

iPhones for me always had issues. Found an old iPad and seems to sort it correctly. 

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I changed from Playbar to ARC in January and have often thought it was sounding distorted - I have just happened upon this thread - I thought it was just me and I was going mad.  During Four Weddings and a Funeral the other night, when Kristin Scott Thomas is proposing a toast ‘to Duckface’ outside the church, the distortion on her speech was excruciating.  I have tuned several times with iPhone 12, without a case and holding/moving as instructed.

I have turned Trueplay off and will see how it sounds for a few days.  It seems better on first listen.

I have had a Sonos Playbar for 8 years and the sound sold me on Sonos! Decided to upgrade to the Arc as I was so impressed with the Playbar that on paper the Arc was a no brainer. I had the privilege of having both sound bars hooked up and comparing the 2 almost side by side (Arc in my living room connected to TV and Playbar in kitchen used for music only now) the sound and feel of the two are very different. I cannot say one is better than the other only different. The Playbar to me had more feel to the bass and a warmer sound over all compared to the Arc. The Arc seems more defined and fared better at louder volumes especially with the bass which the Playbar’s bass had issues at volumes above 65 IMO.

 

Music was compared by setting the 2 speakers up as a system so I could play the same songs simultaneously from the same source (Qobuz Hi Res Audio 24bit 48kHz). My ears preferred the Playbar but the Arc sounded great! The Arc truly excels at Dolby Atmos content and I much preferred it over the Playbar for all TV related viewing. I do not seem to be having the issue of the “thin” “metallic” sound as others are describing. Only issue I had was an annoying popping/crackling sound that began midway through a movie which was resolved by unplugging the speaker and plugging it back in. No issues since.

I'm so glad this thread exists. I thought I was going crazy. Just spent an hour with support, and they're going to send me a replacement. Has anyone actually had success with a replacement or is the product just bad?

Just submitted my return request for my ARC and my SUB. I am so glad to read that so many people thought this system sounded terrible. I thought I was crazy after everyone on Youtube raving about it and RTINGS giving it a good rating. I felt like I was watching TV in a cave. It sounds so thin and hollow. I plugged my 4 years old Vizio in and immediately my room was filled with sound again. I can’t believe how disappointed I am in this product. I also had to fight with it constantly to actually work right because it didn’t like my Orbi. Just ordered a Samsung 950A off of greentoe for $1149.

After days of research on this. It’s Trueplay creating this issue. Turning off Trueplay made the harsh s, sh and t’s go away. I’ve tuned this five times and it’s still an issue. I’ll try using another device and tune Trueplay again.  

I bought the sonos Arc last week and was soo dissapointed. I added a Sub gen 3 because I tought that would give the sound of the arc more “body”. The bass is better now, but there are no mid tones. 

During tv shows, the vocal part drops in volume (probably because the voice goes into the midrange where there is almost no amplification)

I am really dissapointed, and would not recommend anyone buying this setup.

Yeah having had the ARC for well over a year, The midrange is not great on the ARC, ive truplayed and truplayed changed settings galore but never found I could get the midrange to sound great.

 

850 euros down the drain! This product is useless. My poor car speakers sound better. 
To everyone I know I will advice not to buy this soundbar! Complete rubbish. I made an amplifier at school that produced better sound … 

 

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I bought the sonos Arc last week and was soo dissapointed. I added a Sub gen 3 because I tought that would give the sound of the arc more “body”. The bass is better now, but there are no mid tones. 

During tv shows, the vocal part drops in volume (probably because the voice goes into the midrange where there is almost no amplification)

I am really dissapointed, and would not recommend anyone buying this setup.

Yeah having had the ARC for well over a year, The midrange is not great on the ARC, ive truplayed and truplayed changed settings galore but never found I could get the midrange to sound great.

I bought the sonos Arc last week and was soo dissapointed. I added a Sub gen 3 because I tought that would give the sound of the arc more “body”. The bass is better now, but there are no mid tones. 

During tv shows, the vocal part drops in volume (probably because the voice goes into the midrange where there is almost no amplification)

I am really dissapointed, and would not recommend anyone buying this setup.

@DavidKlein 

It’s difficult to know what you’re hearing, but when you encounter the described poor audio quality issues mentioned (assuming you have the App settings at their default), it maybe best to submit a system diagnostic report and note it’s reference back here and then contact/chat with the Sonos Support Staff via this LINK, (during the usual opening times stated) and maybe see what they suggest.

Sometimes a video recording can possibly assist the Staff too. At the very least, they should be able to identify if there is a hardware fault or not.

Hope that assists.

Hi there!

 

Can somebody please help..

 

I bought both the arc and sub (gen 3) this week. I am coming from a cheap logitech 5.1 system, but sadly this (as it sounds now) doesn’t seem like a worthy upgrade..

The lows are incredible (with the sub), but the mids are pretty absent and highs to present. This makes the total profile seem metallic/hollow, instead of warm.
 

Do I perhaps have a faulty arc??

What to do?

 

Kind regards,

David

 

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