Need advice on choosing Sonos Arc or Beam

  • 9 March 2023
  • 7 replies

Hi all,

Sorry in advance for the long post.

I’m looking for advice on whether to get the Sonos Arc or the Beam, and this seemed like the best place.


My home theater currently consists of movies and TV coming off the internet, and I have music either coming off my phono and/or my other Sonos devices (one One, one One SL, and I have a Connect that I use for legacy stuff).

For the home theater (not for the two Sonos speakers), everything goes through a Yamaha receiver (roughly 10 years old) and goes to my “surround sound” setup.  Because of the room (we bought everything when we lived in another house) I don’t really use the subwoofer or the center channel speaker much anymore.

It’s in the living room (roughly 14 ft. x 16 ft), with a 10ft. flat ceiling.  The house is from the early 1900’s, so the walls are plaster.  Within the room are a couch, loveseat, upholstered wingback chair, two sets of large drapes, books, and a rug.

We’re getting a 55” inch Atmos-enabled TV (48” on the bottom) to replace our old 39” TV, getting rid of the entire entertainment center that takes up about 14 square feet in the corner of the room, and mounting the TV on the long wall.

My plan is to get a soundbar, mount it under the TV, and hook my phono up to the Connect, to get sound to the rest of the Sonos speakers.

Priorities for choosing (no particular order):

  1. TV sound.
  2. Dialogue.  I know why it’s harder to hear dialogue, but I’d like to stop doing the up/down dance with the volume control.
  3. Music (I’m replacing a rather expensive music setup).

I’m probably not going to buy extra speakers beyond the soundbar, at least not this year.

My question is whether to get the Beam or spend $400 more and get the Arc.

An additional question is to whether use a speaker mount for either one?
I can put either soundbar on a surface under the TV (or even slightly in front, without blocking the picture).

Please let me know your thoughts.



7 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +21

For me it came down to room size and what I needed from the speaker. Beams are good for me in a 10x10 room and in a 14x15 bedroom but were a bit weak in our large L shaped media room. The Arc and a Sub fill it nicely as do the Play 1 surrounds.

You won’t regret the Arc.

My question would be Sub or Mini-Sub to pair with either option, one really helps fill the room.

Userlevel 7


I agree with @Stanley_4.

However, I do have a concern given the construction of your home..mainly the plaster walls which generally are not WiFi friendly. Sonos may have difficulty staying connected.

Your options for wireless speaker setup would be:

  • Wire a speaker (or Sonos Boost) to your router to create the stronger SonosNet 
  • Invest in a good WiFI Mesh system to distribute WiFi through your home using nodes placed strategically throughout your home to extend the WiFi signal. A Mesh system typically consists of a main router and 1, 2, or 3 satellite nodes.

Soundbars in general don’t provide the same quality of stereo image that a traditional speaker setup offers. You will probably enjoy the TV audio more with the newer technology. If you need more dialog boost than average, I’m not sure if you’ll have a satisfactory experience because SONOS does not provide the dialog channel control that traditional A/V receivers typically provide.

I prefer ARC.

And, I prefer not to wall mount ARC or BEAM — especially if they are almost sitting on a surface. Bring the bar forward to the edge of the surface.

Thanks for the responses!

I remeasured my room and it’s actually 12 ft. x 14 ft (168 square feet), which means the Arc may be overkill, especially for the price.

I’m leaning towards the Beam, which would give me an additional $400-$500 in budget to spend on either a Sub mini or two surround sounds.

Any advice on which path to take with that (as far as biggest bang for the buck)?

I’m guessing that either would enhance the music experience (and probably the TV experience).  Dialog might be a toss-up, but it would be nice if either of those would help with that.

FWIW, my wi-fi setup is pretty good (or at least as good as I can make it). I have a Google Nest in the room, and the actual router to the internet is directly above through the floor.

Thanks again,


My other concept is to buy an Amp and use my existing Sub and two speakers for surround sound.  Puts me a little over my budget but it might work.



You will not be able to use a 3rd party subwoofer with a SONOS soundbar or AMP when it is driving surrounds.

Userlevel 7
Badge +21

Surrounds do little for music. If you set them to Full Mode they do allow it to be played louder but that mode really impacts stereo imaging.

In the Arc / Beam decision for music look at the distance between left and right drivers, the greater the distance the further you can sit away from the unit and still get good stereo sound.

I haven’t tried a Sub-Mini but the Sub makes a huge difference for both TV and music on either my Arc or Beam.