The Sonos Arc is a good overall soundbar from 2020. This standalone soundbar can be easily upgraded into the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers with the addition of a wireless subwoofer and surround satellites for an even more immersive experience. It also supports Atmos content, which the Sonos Beam doesn't. It's a versatile bar, although it slightly lacks low-bass, and there are compression artifacts at max volume. Overall, the soundbar sounds a bit bright, even after using the room correction feature. On the upside, it's a very well-built bar that has a sleek design and features built-in Google Assistant and Alexa.
The Sonos Arc is good for mixed use. It has a neutral, although slightly bright sound profile that's suitable for most audio content. It can reproduce clear and accurate dialogue, it can get loud, and it supports Atmos content, which is nice if you want a more immersive audio experience while watching movies. However, it lacks a bit of low-bass, and there are compression artifacts at max volume.
The Sonos Arc is great for dialogue and TV shows. It has a dedicated center channel, which helps reproduce clear and accurate dialogue. However, some users may find vocal-centric content sounds slightly bright. If you're looking to further improve vocal clarity, it has a dialogue enhancement feature. You can also stream content via Wi-Fi, and the bar can get loud enough to fill a large or crowded room. However, there are compression artifacts at max volume.
The Sonos Arc is good for music. Its default sound profile is neutral but slightly bright, which makes it suitable for a variety of different genres. It also has a wide stereo soundstage, and it can also get loud enough to fill a large or crowded room. However, there are compression artifacts at max volume. The bar also lacks a bit of low-bass. While it doesn't support Bluetooth, you can still stream music to the bar using the Sonos app or via Wi-Fi.
The Sonos Arc is decent for movies. While it supports Atmos content, it lacks dedicated surround speakers, so its surround performance falls a bit short of creating an immersive audio experience. It also lacks some low-bass, which may affect sound effects. That said, it has an overall neutral sound that keeps dialogue clear and accurate. It has low latency, so your audio stays in sync with your video.
The Arc is Sonos' 2020 soundbar and is very high-end. Like the previous Sonos Beam and Sonos Playbar, the setup can be upgraded with a separate subwoofer and satellites, which are the same as the Beam. The main competitors of the Sonos Arc are the Sonos Beam, the 2019 Samsung HW-Q90R, and the Bose Soundbar 700.
This soundbar is a lot longer than the Sonos Beam. It has a similar plastic finish, though it still feels high-end and sturdy. There are two plastic grilles on its sides and a black plastic mesh between the grille in the front and top sides of the bar. You can also purchase this soundbar in white if you prefer.
This setup comes without a subwoofer, although you can purchase a Sonos subwoofer separately.
This setup comes without satellites, although you can purchase these speakers separately.
Like most soundbars, the back is fairly straightforward. There's a small opening for your power and inputs. Note that the mounting holes are proprietary to Sonos, and you need to purchase special wall-mounting brackets separately, as they aren't included in the box.
The build quality of the Sonos Arc is great. Although it's entirely made of plastic, it has the same sturdy feel as the Sonos Beam. The speakers are also well-protected by plastic grilles.
The stereo frequency response of the Sonos Arc is good. When using its room correction feature, this soundbar has a fairly neutral, although somewhat bright sound profile. The bar struggles to reproduce low-bass, but after updating the bar to its latest software version, the bass is more present and sounds tighter. During our subjective tests, we also didn't notice the dip in the bass range. Unfortunately, it only has bass and treble adjustment features and lacks a more comprehensive EQ to customize its sound. The room correction feature is only available on iOS devices as well.
The stereo frequency response with preliminary calibration is good. We tried the following bass and treble slider combinations in addition to using the room correction feature: 'Bass: 0, Treble: -1', 'Bass: 0, Treble: -2', 'Bass: 1, Treble: -1', and 'Bass: 2, Treble -2'. However, none of these settings improved the default slope of this soundbar.
The stereo soundstage of the Sonos Arc soundbar is great. It feels larger than the bar itself thanks to the side-firing speakers that reflect sound from the walls to the listener. The focus is also very good, and you can easily pinpoint where the sound is coming from. That said, if you're listening to Atmos content, the soundstage sounds wider although more diffused.
The Sonos Arc has decent stereo dynamics. The bar can get loud enough to fill a large or crowded room. However, there are some compression artifacts at max volume.
The stereo THD performance of this soundbar is decent. There isn't much harmonic distortion at a typical volume level, but there's a noticeable jump in THD when raising the volume to its max. However, this may not be so noticeable with real-life content, so your experience may vary.
The Sonos Arc soundbar has an excellent dedicated center channel performance. It uses a discrete center channel, which can reproduce clear and accurate dialogue and vocals in your favorite TV shows. However, it can sound a bit bright on some content.
The surround 5.1 performance of the Sonos Arc is passable. It relies on its side-firing speakers to bounce sound off your walls to give you the impression of an immersive sound. However, it doesn't sound as immersive as setups that use dedicated satellites. If you watch a lot of surround content, check out the full Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers setup.
The height performance of the Sonos Arc is acceptable. It uses up-firing speakers located on the bar to bounce sound off your walls to give you the impression of height. However, if you're watching Atmos content, the volume level isn't as loud as other channels like center or surround. That said, it's still an improvement when compared to other soundbars like the Sonos Beam that don't support Atmos at all.
The Sonos Arc has mediocre sound enhancement features. It has a Room Correction setting which can help adjust the bar's performance based on your room setup. Unfortunately, it's only available on iOS. There are also volume adjustments for bass and treble, but unlike the Sony HT-G700, it lacks a proper EQ to fine-tune its sound profile to your preference. Also, note that there's no remote available, so everything has to be done inside the app.
The Sonos Arc has a limited number of inputs. It has an HDMI ARC port and an optical one, though you'll need to use the included HDMI adapter. You can also connect the bar to your home network by using the Ethernet port.
Update 01/12/2021: We updated the soundbar's firmware to 12.2.1. After connecting to the bar via eARC, we retested its support for 5.1 PCM and found that all channels are recognized, which wasn't the case with the previous firmware. We updated the result for 5.1 PCM from 'No' to 'Yes'.
This soundbar has very good audio format support via its HDMI ARC port. The bar supports pretty much every Dolby signal, and thanks to its eARC support, it can also play lossless Dolby TrueHD. Unfortunately, it doesn't support DTS like some other high-end soundbars like the LG SN11RG.
Via optical, the soundbar can play Dolby Digital, which can be found on most streaming services and some Blu-ray discs. Unfortunately, it doesn't support DTS content, which is even more common on Blu-ray.
The Sonos Arc has a fantastic latency performance. It has extremely low latency via its ARC and Optical In connections. This ensures that your audio is in sync with the video on your screen. However, some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience may vary.
The Sonos Arc has poor wireless playback options. Sonos soundbars all don't support Bluetooth connectivity, and the Sonos Arc isn't an exception as it only supports a Wi-Fi connection. There are a few apps like Spotify that have built-in support to cast easily to the bar. For iOS users, the bar also supports Apple AirPlay 2. It also features both Google Assistant and Alexa built-in.
The interface of this soundbar is quite minimal. There's a main light that changes color and blinks depending on the command. There's also a second one that lights up whenever the soundbar's microphone is activated, but that's about it.
This soundbar has touch-sensitive controls that allow you to play/pause, raise or lower the volume, and mute the microphone.
This bar has both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. There's a mic mute button so that you can turn off the speaker if you don't always want it to be listening to you.
The Sonos S2 app offers tremendous control over all your Sonos products. It's pretty much an upgraded version of the Sonos Controller app, previously found on the Sonos Beam. You can link music services to the app, directly cast to the bar, and have access to different features like setting alarms. It also allows you to set up room configurations for all of your Sonos products. Note that the room correction feature Trueplay is only available on iOS.
This soundbar is available both in white and black. While we tested the black version, we expect this review to be valid for the white variant as well. Note that we've only tested the soundbar by itself. This review isn't valid for the full setup with the added wireless subwoofer and rear speakers, which are sold separately. You can find our review for this Sonos setup here.
Sonos has also released a Costco-exclusive version of this soundbar. It should perform the same, but it doesn't come with a built-in microphone. If you come across another variant of this soundbar, please let us know in the discussion section below and we'll update our review.
The Sonos Arc is a very differently-designed soundbar when compared to the Sonos Playbar or the Sonos Beam. It's much bigger and has new features like Atmos support which isn't available on the other models. It's still an upgradable setup as the wireless subwoofer and satellites are sold separately, just like with the Bose Soundbar 700. For more options, check out our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best Dolby Atmos soundbars, and the best soundbars for movies.
The Sonos Arc is more versatile than the Sonos Beam since it supports eARC and Atmos content. The Arc is able to deliver deeper bass and it has better surround and height performances. That said, the Beam performs better at max volume. It's also shorter and much easier to fit between the legs of a 55 inch TV.
The Bose Soundbar 700 is a slightly better option than the Sonos Arc. Overall, the Arc isn't as well-built, but it supports Atmos, which is great for a more immersive movie listening experience. On the other hand, the sound profile of the Bose 700 is slightly more neutral, and it allows for Bluetooth playback, which is convenient. Both setups can be upgraded easily but can get quite expensive.
The Vizio Elevate is a better soundbar than the Sonos Arc. The Sonos has a bright sound profile that lacks a bit of bass, especially compared the Vizio's bass-heavy sound. The Vizio supports DTS and DTS:X content and it has a Full HDMI In port that supports 4k passthrough, unlike the Sonos. However, we tested the Sonos as a standalone bar, so you can check out the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers to compare its performance with its full setup.
The Samsung HW-Q950T is a better overall soundbar than the basic Sonos Arc setup. The Samsung is a 9.1.4 setup with a better-balanced sound profile and it has a graphic EQ and presets so that you can tweak the sound to your liking. You can stream audio to the bar using Bluetooth too, and it supports 4k @ 60Hz passthrough. However, the Sonos is a 5.1.4 setup that offers a better center and height performance. It has room correction as well as an auto-volume/night mode too. While it has limited inputs, you can also stream audio to it using Apple AirPlay.
The LG SN11RG is a better overall soundbar if you're comparing it to the Sonos Arc as solely a standalone bar. The LG has a subwoofer plus satellites to help its sound, but you can purchase these speakers separately for the Sonos Arc. The LG is also able to reproduce more bass, and while it can't get as loud as the Sonos, it can reach its max volume with fewer compression artifacts. It also has more sound enhancement features and more connectivity options such as two Full HDMI In ports. It even supports Bluetooth for a wireless connection. That being said, on its own, the Sonos has a better height performance. Unlike the LG, you can also use it with Apple AirPlay.
The Samsung HW-Q90R is a better soundbar than the Sonos Arc. The Samsung is a 7.1.4 setup with a more neutral sound profile and overall better performance at max volume. However, if you already have Sonos speakers, the Sonos app is very useful and allows you to control all of your ecosystem, which is nice. Also, the Arc can also be upgraded with a wireless sub and satellites, although the full setup can be quite expensive.
Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Sonos Arc or the Klipsch Cinema 600. The Sonos is a 5.0.2 setup that's better-built, with a better soundstage and a room correction feature. It also supports Dolby Atmos content, unlike the Klipsch. You can also update the Sonos with a wireless subwoofer and surround satellites. However, the 3.1 Klipsch comes with a dedicated subwoofer and more EQ presets.
Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Samsung HW-Q800T or the Sonos Arc. The Samsung has a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, and it has fewer compression artifacts when played at max volume. Unlike the Sonos, the Samsung has an HDMI In port and a graphic EQ. However, unlike the Samsung, the 5.0.2 Sonos doesn't downmix surround content into stereo, so it provides a more immersive movie-watching experience. The Sonos also performs better with Atmos content.
The LG SN10YG is a better soundbar than the standalone Sonos Arc. The LG comes with a wireless subwoofer, which helps it reproduce a thumpy, boomy bass. It offers more sound enhancement features such as EQ presets, and it has a larger variety of physical inputs. However, the Sonos offers a better height and surround performance.
The Bang & Olufsen Beosound Stage and the Sonos Arc are soundbars with different setups, but the Bang & Olufsen is better for dialogue and TV shows. While the Bang & Olufsen is a 3.0 setup with a more bass-heavy sound, it has a graphic EQ and presets so you can customize it to your liking. It has more physical inputs, including a Full HDMI In port, and it has outstanding wireless playback options. However, the Sonos is a 5.0.2 setup with side-firing speakers, which helps significantly improve its surround performance in contrast to the Bang & Olufsen, which downmixes this content into stereo. It also has a better height performance and has a room correction feature.
The Sonos Arc is a better setup than the Sony HT-G700. The Sonos feels better-built, has a more balanced sound profile, and can get louder with less compression artifacts. It also offers a better center, surround, and height performance, and has room correction. However, the Sony has EQ presets and has more inputs including an HDMI Out as well as a Full HDMI In port.
The full 5.1.2 setup of the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers is much better than the Sonos Arc soundbar by itself. Adding the two rear satellites provide a much better surround sound experience, which is very immersive with surround content. It also makes the soundstage wider, although it does lose a bit of focus. The added subwoofer also helps create more bass. On the other hand, the standalone soundbar might be a better option for people with limited space.
The 5.0.2 Sonos Arc is a better soundbar for TV shows and movies than the 2.0 Roku Smart Soundbar. Unlike the Roku, the Sonos has a dedicated center channel, which allows it to reproduce voices and dialogue clearly and more accurately. It doesn't downmix surround content into stereo, either, which provides a more immersive listening experience. The Sonos also supports Atmos content, unlike the Roku, and it has a room correction feature and a wider and more focused soundstage.
The Sonos Arc is a better soundbar than the LG SK1. Unlike the 2.0 SK1, the 5.0.2 Arc supports Atmos content. The Arc also comes with more sound enhancement features, including room correction, dialogue enhancement, and auto volume. It also has an eARC port, unlike the LG. That being said, the LG has less compression and less distortion when played at max volume, so you might prefer this bar if you tend to crank up the volume.
The Sonos Arc is a better soundbar for mixed use than the Roku Streambar. The Sonos Arc is a 5.0.2 setup with a better-balanced sound profile. It has a better center, surrounds, and height performance, and it also has room correction. However, while the Roku is a 2.0 setup, it has a few more physical inputs, like a USB port, and you can wirelessly stream audio to the bar using Bluetooth.