To ARC or Not to ARC?

  • 21 August 2020
  • 3 replies


Hello SONOS Community!

Just like many of you, I have more SONOS products than is probably acceptable. The big one I don’t have is ARC. I, of course, understand that no matter what I say next, the right answer is that I should buy it. However, there is this strange voice in my head that claims to be something called “common sense” that just wouldn’t shut up, so I need help clearing a few things up.

  1. Something that SONOS and TV manufacturer support have both been supremely unhelpful with... I have the 2018 LG C7 OLED TV. Checked the manual, googled around, contacted LG just to ask if the TV has Arc or eArc. The rep replied saying the TV has a “standard 2.1 Arc HDMI”. Which is, like, is it standard or 2.1? Decided to confirm with SONOS and even told them how unhelpful LG rep was and all I got was a canned reply saying to check with the manufacturer. Thanks. So, anyway, does anyone know if LG OLEDs (and 2018 specifically) have Arc or eArc?
  2. If the sound from the ARC’s up-facing speakers supposed to bounce off the ceiling, am I way off in thinking that one would not get the best performance from high and/or sloped ceilings?
  3. Say the answers for #1 and 2 above from the always super helpful community suggest I should probably not by ARC, but I still do, what should I do with my Playbar? I do have a 7.2 set-up in the basement running on a Pioneer VSX-LX503 AVR. Would I be able to somehow fit the Playbar into that to use instead of the current center channel? What additional components would I need for that?

Thanks much.


3 replies

Userlevel 4
Badge +12

Hi @scorpionswr,

Thank you for reaching out and getting our attention to this. To answer your question, I would like to know the exact TV model you have.

So I can look for a User Manual online.

  1. The 2.1 HDMI port is an eARC connection that supports Dolby Atmos, as per on HDMI 2.1. We can confirm this with the TV model you have on the User Manual. For our agent who referred you to the manufacturer; that’s because we have limited information about their product and to not misinform you. However, I can pass this along as feedback to our Phone support. They should’ve at least look into the specifications.
  2. No, you’re not wrong for thinking like that; because on a High Ceiling, the deflected sound from the up-firing speaker of the Arc will be way off to the back. for the Slope Ceiling, depending on how it’s sloped; it could be way forward or further to the back.
  3. Currently, our Home Theater system is limited to a 5.1 setup; that is 3 from the Soundbar[Right, Left and Center], 2 Surround speakers, and a Sub. Also, other Home Theater speakers can’t be bonded to another Home Theater speaker. We currently don’t have a 7.1 Home Theater setup for the Sonos system. Even if you have a Sonos Amp added to a Home Theater speaker with multiple speakers connected, it only counts as 2 channels for the Sonos Amp; Left Surround and Right Surround.

If you have other concerns, feel free to reach out.


Hi Kyle,

I’ll give you the TV mode in a second, but first I’d like to acknowledge something special I’ve never encountered before. Your answer was the most incredible display of customer support I’ve ever encountered. Everything in your note says I should forget the ARC and just stick with my trusty old Playbar. You prioritized giving me truthful information at the expense of your employer probably losing a sale. It’s a phenomenal display of customer experience and I salut you, sir.

The TV manual was my first stop and unfortunately it did not answer my question. The TV is LG OLED55C7P-U.

Truth be told, even if the TV has HDMI 2.1 and can support Atmos, my sloping ceiling defeats the purpose. I understand the other benefits of ARC over Playbar, but Atmos was the only feature worth the trade-up.

Again, thanks for your reply and your honesty. 

Userlevel 4
Badge +12

Hi @scorpionswr, thank you for the compliment and for the kind words.

Yes, when I looked for the user manual on their website it only shows the basic information without the specifications.

I looked further and found the Specifications of the TV. It does support Dolby Atmos and the HDMI 2.1 is eARC. 

I’m glad I was able to help you.

If you need further assistance, feel free to reach out.