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Arc Placement

  • 10 December 2020
  • 22 replies
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Userlevel 7

Quite often questions arise as to the proper placement of the Sonos Arc (and/or what type of room design).

All Dolby Atmos speakers (as does the Arc) rely upon an optimum ceiling height to allow the upward firing speakers to reflect and bounce sound to the listening area. In traditional Dolby Atmos setups where all speakers are separate even the rears have an upward firing driver.

Soundbars such as the Sonos Arc require (as much as possible) a symmetry of placement distance to the side walls as well. That allows for side firing speakers (that lend support to the upward firing speakers) to project rearward sound reflections to simulate surround when no actual rear speakers are used. Adding Sonos rears relieves the Arc of some of the surround sound reflection duties.

My Arc resides in a room 12.5ft (width) x 19.5ft (length) x 8ft (height). All wall surfaces are smooth with a minimalist textured ceiling.  The complete setup consists of Arc / Sub x 2 / Sonos One x 2.

Questions have also risen about the distance of the Arc from the floor. Any front speaker used in a Home Theater environment should be at ear level to the listener when seated. My Arc is approximately 39 inches above floor and 3ft from front wall. Distance to seating/listener is 10ft.

It is expected that the room dimensions of width, length and height will vary by individual dwelling. The previous statement regarding the height of a front speaker above the floor should without a doubt negate the idea of mounting  any soundbar (especially the Arc) above a TV (which ironically is a question often asked).

However, I’m just another community member...so what the heck do I know...right? Therefore, I offer the excerpts below taken from the Dolby Atmos Installation Guidelines at this link. Although the guide focuses on multi-speaker installation versus a soundbar the general parameters are in parallel. 

 

Room treatment considerations for use of Dolby Atmos enabled speakers For optimal performance, the ceiling should be flat (not angled or vaulted), with a height between 7.5 and 14 feet (2.3 to 4.3 meters), and made of an acoustically reflective material (drywall, plaster, hardwood, or another rigid, non---sound-absorbing material).

The ideal ceiling height is between 7.5 and 12 feet (2.3 to 3.66 meters)

The speakers located in the front of the room shall be used as a reference point.

All listener speakers should be at the same height, typically 3.9 feet (1.2 meters), which is ear level for the average seated listener (as defined in ITU-R BS.1116-1).

 If possible, the height of the rear speakers should be the same as the height of the front speakers. If the room design makes this impractical or impossible, the rear speakers may be positioned higher than the front speakers.

However, we suggest that the height of the rear speakers not be more than 1.25 times the height of the front speakers.


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22 replies

I have some Sonos Ones and am thinking of an ARC to join them and my E8 (brand new 2018 model with glass base)

Because of the glass aesthetic I would like to mount the ARC above the tv. The room has a 10+ foot ceiling so there is about 5' above the tv up to the ceiling. Will this be good enough accoustically.

 

Also the Sonos mounting hardware is nice but expensive. Amazon sells hardware to dyi to wall or allow the bar to balance on top of the tv. Even an Ikea shelf. What is recommended?

Userlevel 7

@licro 

The Arc will recognize when it’s mounted to the Sonos branded wall mount and make adjustments for sound and low-end. Read the FAQ’s. My point being that maybe the Arc recognizes something in the mounting hardware of the Sonos Wall mount to trigger the adjustments. You might contact Sonos to verify. 

I actually just watched a tube review of the Sonos wall mount by a very knowledgeable guy in Singapore and you are right, there is a magnet in the Sonos wall mount that recognizes the unit and adjusts the sound according to a Sonos formula which he found muddied the sound too much. He recommended a simple and cheaper pair of brackets he found on Amazon.

 

HOWEVER my real question is: is there anything negative in mounting the ARC or any sound bar OVER the tv in a room with a 10+ foot flat ceiling so the bar would be above the screen but about 5' below the ceiling? Will the ARC's acoustic effects be the same? Will bass improve or degrade since I would rather not but a sub?

 

Thanks

Userlevel 7

Did you read the main information in this thread. There in is your answer.

Thanks. I have no idea how I missed seeing it in the first place but now I have unfortunately since it seems to be catagorical that top mounting is a no-no and I have no way of using an ARC or anything on my media stand in front of the E8 LG.

 

Defeats the floating purpose of the design

Is it form over function or function over form ???

You are not entirely wrong but Sonos went out of their way to make the Arc svelte and feature the form in all reviews and ads.

 

LG designed a floating glass tv which takes up a lot of eyeball so I am trying to maintain both the aesthetics.

 

Also since I have a 12' ceiling and the tv with stand is at about 4' I have difficulty understanding acoustically why hanging it above the monitor would create an acoustic issue since no one in any review of any sound bar talks about DOWN firing speakers only front,side and up.

 

Let’s see the flat panel, take a pic.  Would like to see what your referring to. 

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.lg.com/ae/tvs/lg-OLED65E8PVA&ved=2ahUKEwjd5M6Jl5zuAhVcKrkGHd9EBdcQFjAAegQIARAB&usg=AOvVaw3FvNoccKEcra_yMlcEby4k&cshid=1610653553032

 

I tried to attach a photo but it seems difficult. This links to LG's product pages for the E8 65" OLED

Interested in your feedback. It was a 2018 set that I bought for less than half msrp in Feb 2020. Tests with their C8/9 but with the more aesthetic look which was interesting because the dealer wanted to clear it out for about $500 less than the C series

Beautiful flat panel, I picked up a Arc and CX in December.  So this is what I did, I wanted to continue to use my entertainment console.  My old Samsung plasma also had a glass base and swivel. The stand that came with the CX was very weighted and sturdy, but didn’t work with the Arc, as the arc partially blocked the bottom of CX. I really didn’t want a wall mount, considering the BS, so I went with a Sanus table top mount.  It allowed me to elevate the flat panel just above the arc, it also allowed me to swivel the CX. I’m not sure if this will work for you and still display the glass aspect of your flat panel, but its food for thought. 

Thanks. I will check it out. Makes me think that I could put it on a piece of glass the size of my console which I could lift with some aluminum or stainless blanks to allow the Arc to slide under the glass.

 

You really think mounting the Arc above is a non starter?

Userlevel 7

Hi @licro 

Just my two cents…

IMO mounting the Arc above a TV is a non-starter for the reasons stated in the main article of this thread. Placing the Arc under a shelf is definitely a no no. You’d negate the top firing speakers.

Many have used an IKEA Lack Shelf to elevate their TV to allow placement of Sonos sound bars. Doing  so prevents obstructing the lower portion of  the TV screen or your case the glass frame. It’s worth a look.

Badge +1

Hi all,

I have currently placed my Arc on a low piece of solid furniture under the OLED TV:

 

Planning now to hide the HDMI cable in the wall (it’s a gypsum wall). Then I have two options:

  1. Leave the Arc where it is on the furniture
  2. Hang the Arc on the wall via the appropriate support mid way between the furniture and the bottom edge of the TV

 

What would be the best option from a sound perspective? I understand the Arc can recognise when placed hanging on the support and adapt itself accordingly. But what is really the best solution sound-wise? Laying on a shelf or hanging on the wall?

From an aesthetic viewpoint both options are nice… maybe slightly better the one on the wall IMHO.

 

Thanks,

C.

 

 

 

Userlevel 7

Hi @cfugge 

Sonos does not make a differentiation on either wall or surface mounting. They have already taken the acoustics into consideration as you indicated. Therefore it becomes a personal choice. Maybe someone who has tried both may leave a comment.

Userlevel 7

@cfugge How high are your ceilings and how close are you seated from the TV?

Badge +1

@cfugge How high are your ceilings and how close are you seated from the TV?

Ceiling is cm 260 high and I am seating at 310/320 cm distance from the Arc. The furniture is cm 42 high and in case of hanging support the arc would be at an height of about 55 cm from the ground.

Userlevel 7

If you want a better height effect from the two upward firing speakers when watching Dolby Atmos content, the Arc mounted on the wall would get it a little closer to the ceiling, but I’m not sure 13 cm would be that noticeable of a difference. The benefit of keeping the Arc on your media console would give you the option to move the Arc closer to the front edge of the console which would also improve the audio and height effect from your seating location. The further away you are seated from the Arc, the less noticeable the height effect will be. I keep my Arc near the back of the console with daily TV watching, but when I watch a movie (especially a Dolby Atmos movie), I move it to the front edge.

Badge +1

If you want a better height effect from the two upward firing speakers when watching Dolby Atmos content, the Arc mounted on the wall would get it a little closer to the ceiling, but I’m not sure 13 cm would be that noticeable of a difference. The benefit of keeping the Arc on your media console would give you the option to move the Arc closer to the front edge of the console which would also improve the audio and height effect from your seating location. The further away you are seated from the Arc, the less noticeable the height effect will be. I keep my Arc near the back of the console with daily TV watching, but when I watch a movie (especially a Dolby Atmos movie), I move it to the front edge.

Thanks, this is a nice tip. However don’t you have to rerun your trueplay optimization when moving the bar?

Userlevel 7

I don’t redo Trueplay since I am only moving the Arc about 20-25 cm closer to my seating position.

I don’t redo Trueplay since I am only moving the Arc about 20-25 cm closer to my seating position.

If moving the Arc is worthwhile to get a better sound then you’re changing the room effects, including the wall reinforcement. The previous Trueplay tuning is therefore invalid.

Badge +1

Ok, thanks everyone. So if soundwise does not matter whether the Arc is lying on the cabinet or hanging midway between the TV and the cabinet, which one would you prefer from an aesthetic viewpoint?

Userlevel 7

@cfugge 

Aesthetically, in your case I’d opt for the wall mount following Sonos recommended placement.

If you prefer the current position I’d look for a piece of art that would traverse the length of the TV to fill the void between it and the Arc. Said piece of art should not be such that it causes a distraction ( i.e. pulls the eye away from the view panel).