The 2020 Sonos Arc is a decent overall soundbar. This standalone soundbar can be easily upgraded in the future with a wireless subwoofer and surround satellites for an even more immersive experience. This soundbar supports Atmos content, which the Sonos Beam doesn't. It's quite a versatile bar, though the bass is slightly lacking 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 it features built-in Google Assistant and Alexa.
The Sonos Arc soundbar is a pretty straightforward bar that doesn't seem to excel at anything but can do an okay job at everything. The speaker configuration from the bar itself allows for a wide soundstage, but it lacks some bass, resulting in an overall bright sound profile which might not be ideal for all music genres. On the upside, it supports Atmos, which is great for an immersive experience when watching movies.
The Sonos Arc soundbar is just okay for dialogue and TV shows. It has a dedicated center channel for accurate reproduction of voices, which is great. It also has an overall bright sound signature which can help dialogue stand out, although some may feel like there's not enough bass. On the upside, it can get quite loud and you can easily stream content via Wi-Fi on your home network. It also features a dialogue enhancement feature to furthermore help your listening experience.
The Sonos Arc soundbar is passable for music. It has a fairly well-balanced sound profile, although it seems to lack a bit of bass and has an overall bright sound signature. On the upside, the stereo soundstage is quite wide and the bar can reach a very loud level. You can also link up your favorite streaming apps to the Sonos app and easily play music to the bar wirelessly.
The Sonos Arc soundbar is okay for movies thanks to its Atmos support. It allows for an immersive listening experience, although it doesn't have the best surround experience without the separate satellites. It also lacks a bit of bass, which will negatively impact your favorite action movies. On the upside, it supports a lot of audio formats found on Blu-ray discs and streaming platforms, including lossless Dolby TrueHD.
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.
This setup doesn't include a subwoofer.
This setup doesn't include rear satellites.
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'll need to buy special wall-mounting brackets that aren't included in the box.
The build quality of the Sonos Arc is very good. Although it's entirely made of plastic, it has a similarly very sturdy feel as the Sonos Beam. The speakers are also well-protected by plastic grilles.
Update 07/06/2020: After updating the soundbar to its latest software version, we heard a noticeable improvement in the bass range with real-life content, although our graph results didn't change much. The bar still lacks bass, but not as much as before. The bass is much more present and tighter. The overall sound profile is still somewhat bright.
The stereo frequency response of the Sonos Arc soundbar is mediocre. It lacks bass, and because of its overemphasized treble, it sounds bright and a bit piercing. Unfortunately, you can only tweak the volume of the bass and treble ranges as you don't have access to a proper EQ. Also, note that we tested this soundbar after calibrating it using the room correction feature, but this is only available on iOS.
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.
Update 09/21/2020: We've discovered a value input bug that would cause the Dynamics box results to be slightly off. All soundbars reviewed since January 30th, 2020 have been updated.
Update 07/06/2020: Even after updating to the latest firmware version, the bar's bass range still struggles at max volume. The text has been updated.
The stereo dynamics of this soundbar are decent. The bar can get very loud, which is nice, but there's noticeable compression in the bass range.
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.
The Sonos Arc soundbar has a great dedicated center channel. It reproduces clear and accurate dialogue and vocals, although it can sound a bit bright on some content.
Update 07/06/2020: After the latest firmware update, the surrounds performance got slightly better. The bass is still somewhat lacking, but it isn't as bad as before. The review has been updated.
The surround sound performance of this soundbar is decent. This setup doesn't come with dedicated surround speakers but instead uses the side-firing speakers on the bar itself. Overall, sounds can seem like they're coming from around you since they're reflecting off walls, but it won't be as immersive as if you buy the dedicated satellites. If you watch a lot of surround content, check out the full Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers setup.
Update 07/06/2020: After the latest firmware update, the bass dip isn't as noticeable, although our graph results didn't change much.
The Sonos Arc soundbar has a decent Atmos performance. Unfortunately, the overall volume level is greatly reduced when watching Atmos content and the bass is a bit lacking, which can affect your favorite action movie. On the upside, this is a noticeable upgrade from the Sonos Beam, which doesn't support Atmos.
The Sonos Arc has just okay 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's 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.
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 such as the LG SN11RG.
This soundbar doesn't have a Full HDMI In port.
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.
Sonos soundbars all don't support Bluetooth connectivity, and the Sonos Arc isn't an exception as it only supports 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.
There's no Full HDMI In port on this soundbar.
This setup doesn't come with satellite speakers.
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 soundbar doesn't have a remote, as everything is done through its app.
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 reviewed the black version, we expect this review to be valid for the white variant as well. Note, however, that we've only reviewed 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.
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 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 a bit more balanced for stereo content, and it allows for Bluetooth playback, which is convenient. Both setups can be upgraded easily but can get quite expensive.
The Samsung HW-Q90R is a better soundbar than the Sonos Arc. This full 7.1.4 setup has 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.
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 also has a more balanced sound profile, 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. You can even stream to it wirelessly using Bluetooth. That being said, on its own, the Sonos has a better surround performance and its height performance is quite comparable too. Unlike the LG, you can also use it with Apple AirPlay.
The Sony HT-G700 is a slightly better performing soundbar overall than the Sonos Arc. The Sony is a 3.1 channel can produce a more punchy, boomy bass thanks to its wireless subwoofer, it can get a tiny bit louder with less thumping and compression artifacts, and it has EQ presets available. It also has a Full HDMI In port that supports all common formats, and you can use Bluetooth to stream audio content directly to the bar. However, the Sonos is a 5.0.2 channel that feels slightly better built, and it has a room correction feature. It also uses side-firing speakers to reproduce surround content as well as up-firing speakers to reproduce Atmos objects, which is better than the Sony.
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 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 and comes with two surround satellites for a more immersive listening experience. 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.