Tried Arc vs Sony HT A9 And Have Questions

  • 25 August 2023
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I have an Arc+300s+Gen3 Sub.  I felt it was lacking in the full spacial immersion effect up front, so I purchased the Sony system to give it a try.  The surround effect and virtual center channel were very good, but to my ears, its sound quality was just not there and didn’t have the full, rich quality of the Arc system.  I don’t have extensive audio knowledge and was hoping that someone could explain to me why that’s so?  What am I not hearing in the Sony system?


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You’re unlikely to get a lot of feedback about the Sony system here in a Sonos forum. You may want to post your question on a generic home theater forum, instead of one specific to one manufacturer or another. 

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I have an Arc+300s+Gen3 Sub.  I felt it was lacking in the full spacial immersion effect up front, so I purchased the Sony system to give it a try.  The surround effect and virtual center channel were very good, but to my ears, its sound quality was just not there and didn’t have the full, rich quality of the Arc system.  I don’t have extensive audio knowledge and was hoping that someone could explain to me why that’s so?  What am I not hearing in the Sony system?

I did the same thing as you but my rears are the One SLs. I agree that the Sonos sound is of a higher quality. I ended up returning the Sony system after a couple of days. I had to play the Sony at very high volume levels and sounded very compressed at those levels. Don’t know why. i have to play the Sonos at high levels too but it doesn’t sound as compressed. My TV is a Sony 83A90J so I thought the HT-A9 would be a better fit and could use the TV as a center channel too but could never get the settings right for the Sony as much as I tried. The biggest difference for me was the center channel which the Sony couldn’t come close to the Sonos with or without the TV as center channel.

I have a few problems with the Sonos too which I hope to resolve with the addition of a second sub and Era 300s.

Userlevel 1
Badge +4

I have an Arc+300s+Gen3 Sub.  I felt it was lacking in the full spacial immersion effect up front, so I purchased the Sony system to give it a try.  The surround effect and virtual center channel were very good, but to my ears, its sound quality was just not there and didn’t have the full, rich quality of the Arc system.  I don’t have extensive audio knowledge and was hoping that someone could explain to me why that’s so?  What am I not hearing in the Sony system?

I did the same thing as you but my rears are the One SLs. I agree that the Sonos sound is of a higher quality. I ended up returning the Sony system after a couple of days. I had to play the Sony at very high volume levels and sounded very compressed at those levels. Don’t know why. i have to play the Sonos at high levels too but it doesn’t sound as compressed. My TV is a Sony 83A90J so I thought the HT-A9 would be a better fit and could use the TV as a center channel too but could never get the settings right for the Sony as much as I tried. The biggest difference for me was the center channel which the Sony couldn’t come close to the Sonos with or without the TV as center channel.

I have a few problems with the Sonos too which I hope to resolve with the addition of a second sub and Era 300s.

Thanks for the reply.  Since you’re not all in yet with your Sonos System, have you considered the Nakamichi Dragon?  Once you’re up there, there isn’t much difference between the cost of Sonos all in and the Dragon

Badge +4

I have an Arc+300s+Gen3 Sub.  I felt it was lacking in the full spacial immersion effect up front, so I purchased the Sony system to give it a try.  The surround effect and virtual center channel were very good, but to my ears, its sound quality was just not there and didn’t have the full, rich quality of the Arc system.  I don’t have extensive audio knowledge and was hoping that someone could explain to me why that’s so?  What am I not hearing in the Sony system?

I did the same thing as you but my rears are the One SLs. I agree that the Sonos sound is of a higher quality. I ended up returning the Sony system after a couple of days. I had to play the Sony at very high volume levels and sounded very compressed at those levels. Don’t know why. i have to play the Sonos at high levels too but it doesn’t sound as compressed. My TV is a Sony 83A90J so I thought the HT-A9 would be a better fit and could use the TV as a center channel too but could never get the settings right for the Sony as much as I tried. The biggest difference for me was the center channel which the Sony couldn’t come close to the Sonos with or without the TV as center channel.

I have a few problems with the Sonos too which I hope to resolve with the addition of a second sub and Era 300s.

Thanks for the reply.  Since you’re not all in yet with your Sonos System, have you considered the Nakamichi Dragon?  Once you’re up there, there isn’t much difference between the cost of Sonos all in and the Dragon

Yes I did but I don’t live in the USA so it’s impossible to get. As far as I know the Dragon is only available for US customers. The plan now is to try the ultimate Sonos setup and if that doesn’t work return them and try the Samsung 990C

Userlevel 1
Badge +4

I have an Arc+300s+Gen3 Sub.  I felt it was lacking in the full spacial immersion effect up front, so I purchased the Sony system to give it a try.  The surround effect and virtual center channel were very good, but to my ears, its sound quality was just not there and didn’t have the full, rich quality of the Arc system.  I don’t have extensive audio knowledge and was hoping that someone could explain to me why that’s so?  What am I not hearing in the Sony system?

I did the same thing as you but my rears are the One SLs. I agree that the Sonos sound is of a higher quality. I ended up returning the Sony system after a couple of days. I had to play the Sony at very high volume levels and sounded very compressed at those levels. Don’t know why. i have to play the Sonos at high levels too but it doesn’t sound as compressed. My TV is a Sony 83A90J so I thought the HT-A9 would be a better fit and could use the TV as a center channel too but could never get the settings right for the Sony as much as I tried. The biggest difference for me was the center channel which the Sony couldn’t come close to the Sonos with or without the TV as center channel.

I have a few problems with the Sonos too which I hope to resolve with the addition of a second sub and Era 300s.

Thanks for the reply.  Since you’re not all in yet with your Sonos System, have you considered the Nakamichi Dragon?  Once you’re up there, there isn’t much difference between the cost of Sonos all in and the Dragon

Yes I did but I don’t live in the USA so it’s impossible to get. As far as I know the Dragon is only available for US customers. The plan now is to try the ultimate Sonos setup and if that doesn’t work return them and try the Samsung 990C

Just let me add, with the 300s, just last night I raised the TV Level in the app under Surround Level and greatly increased the surround effect to my ears.  Sounds pretty obvious, but I was living with the app’s tuning until last night.  I’m glad I threw caution to the wind and manually increased the TV Level.