Back in 2020, Sonos made a statement on the soundbar market by releasing its flagship Arc. It replaced Playbar and also PlayBase. Later, it inspired the emergence of the Beam series, more compact bars with Atmos support.
Sonos Arc is a huge soundbar, both literally and figuratively. It is packed with multiple features that remain relevant these days. My Sonos Arc review will help you to get into all subtleties of this device, and besides, I will share my personal impression of this soundbar. And we will start with the appearance of this model.
Build and design
The Sonos Arc doesn’t look like any other soundbar. As you look at it, you immediately realize that it wants to be noticed.
First, its size is in the spotlight. This soundbar is longer than the Sonos Beam and Beam Gen 2. It measures 45 x 4.5 x 3.4 inches (that’s impressive!), though it weighs manageable 13.78 pounds. Even though it is large, you can easily transport it or set it up in any desired location.
Second, just look at its form. It is not rectangular like most soundbars. Its curved, elliptical shape makes the Arc model truly stand up among other Sonos soundbars.
When it comes to materials, Sonos Arc has the same plastic casing and perforated grille on the sides. There is a mesh between the grille and the top sides of the bar. This device is available in white and matte black variations. You will find the Sonos logo in the center along with a tiny LED indicating the microphone status. Volume and pause/play sensor controls are on the top of the Arc soundbar.
Setup and connectivity
To connect the Sonos Arc to the TV, use the HDMI eARC/ARC port with the HDMI cable. There is no optical port, but you can use the included Sonos optical audio adapter. To hardwire to your router, you may want to utilize the 10/100 Ethernet port. With the infrared receiver (IR), you will sync the soundbar with your TV remote for streamlined control.
Wireless connectivity is also available in the Arc bar. It works with any 2.4 GHz router, though 5 GHz is not supported. For wireless audio streaming, you may use the Apple AirPlay 2.
All soundbar adjustments are made via a Sonos S2 app. There is no way to go wrong with the setup as all the instructions are given in the app. Just follow the suggested steps, and here you go. Using the app, you can connect the streaming services and transmit audio content to the soundbar.
Tuning the sound is simple. With the Trueplay technology, you can be sure that the audio waves reach all walls, even in rooms with high ceilings or off-center soundbar placement. The degree of calibration may surprise audiophiles, for sure. I like that the bar automatically adjusts the playback based on the audio input and the acoustic room profile.
Features and specs
In my opinion, Dolby Atmos support is the most important feature of this model. The surround sound will immediately bring your movie viewing to a whole new level. But I think you realize this yourself.
As you turn on Speech Enhancement in the Sonos app, you will get greater clarity for character dialogs. When they whisper or the action intensifies, this feature ensures you will grasp every word. The Night Sound mode is also available. It tempers loud effects and makes them less prominent.
With the Sonos voice control, you can play music and control your system hands-free. Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are also here to let you manage your smart home devices, set timers, check the news, and more.
Even though the Arc soundbar is just one element of the whole Sonos system (you can improve it with a sub and two speakers), it proved to deliver a decent sound quality.
This model offers an even sound, especially in the mids. All thanks to the room correction feature. The vocals and lead instruments are detailed and crisp, though there is a touch of extra brightness in the treble. Naturally, for a standalone soundbar, you don’t get extended low bass. You can adjust the bass, but do not hope these settings will change the low-frequency extension. For more rumble, you need a separate sub.
The Arc’s stereo sound is great, and, in my opinion, it is much better than the Sonos Beam soundbar. The side-firing speakers make you feel that the sound is larger than the soundbar itself. When listening to Atmos content, the soundstage feels wider and diffused. However, the sound objects come from the front of the TV rather than from overhead. So, the sound of a helicopter flying above doesn’t seem to be coming from overhead. But again, for a standalone bar, the Sonos Arc does a great job at delivering a tolerable surround sound.
- Built-in channels: 5.1.
- Amplification type: active.
- Output power, W: N/A.
- Separate speaker connections: yes.
- Wi-Fi/Bluetooth: yes/no.
- Multichannel surround: Dolby Atmos.