The Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers is a very good overall soundbar. It sounds well-balanced right out of the box and features a lot of customization tools to make it sound the way you want. It’s a premium-feeling soundbar setup that has an amazing surround and good Atmos performance. However, some may be disappointed by the lack of Bluetooth compatibility and DTS support.
The Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers is very good for mixed usage. It offers a neutral, balanced sound profile that's suitable for listening to lots of different audio content, and it has some sound enhancement features so you can customize it to your liking. There's even a room correction feature that optimizes audio reproduction based on the unique acoustic characteristics of your room. However, it lacks a full graphic EQ, and it can't play DTS content.
The Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers is impressive for dialogue-heavy content like TV shows. Its balanced sound profile and its dedicated center channel can reproduce vocals clearly and accurately. You can even use its dialogue enhancement feature to make voices more clear and crisp. Unfortunately, you can't stream podcasts or audiobooks to the bar using Bluetooth, but you can do it via a Wi-Fi connection.
The Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers is very good for music. Out-of-the-box, it has a pretty neutral sound profile that's suitable for lots of different music genres. You can also use its bass and treble adjustments to customize its sound to your liking. Also, it has a wide soundstage that really immerses you in your music. However, it lacks a full graphic EQ, so it isn't as customizable as some of the other bars we've tested.
The Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers is good for movies. It has up-firing speakers that can simulate height when you listen to Atmos content. Thanks to its satellite speakers, it has an impressive surrounds performance, too. On the downside, it doesn't support DTS content, and there's some bass compression when you play it at max volume.
The Sonos Arc is a high-end soundbar from 2020. It’s technically sold as a standalone soundbar, but you can easily buy the Sonos subwoofer and the One SL speakers to make it a full 5.1.2 setup. It comes after the releases of the Sonos Playbar and the Sonos Beam, but its main competitors are the Samsung HW-Q90R and the LG SN11RG.
The Sonos Arc looks sleek. It’s entirely made of plastic but is a lot longer than the Sonos Beam. It feels high-end and sturdy. You can purchase it in 'Black' or 'White' color variants.
The Sonos Arc's subwoofer has a unique design with a glossy finish and two subs facing each other in the center hole.
The Sonos Arc satellites are two Sonos One SL speakers. They have a metal grille protecting the speakers and feature touch-sensitive controls on their top side. They seem very well-built and are quite heavy, which gives them a premium feel.
The Sonos Arc is a rather large bar and doesn’t fit between the legs of most 55 inch TVs. On the upside, it’s not too tall and won’t block the bottom of your screen.
The subwoofer isn’t much larger than a typical desktop, so you shouldn’t have any issues placing it anywhere in your room since it connects wirelessly to the bar.
The Sonos One SL speakers aren’t too big. They can only be placed in a vertical position and need to be plugged into a power outlet but don’t require any wired connection to the rest of the setup.
The Sonos Arc has a single hole in the back for its power cord and access to its inputs. You can also find the wall-mounting holes on the backside, but you need to purchase proprietary brackets as they aren’t included in the box.
The back of the subwoofer is very plain. You only have access to the pairing button and the status light. The ports are in the middle of the sub.
You can find the pairing button and an ethernet port on the back of each satellite speaker. You also need proprietary mounting brackets for them.
The build quality of the full Sonos Arc setup is excellent. While the bar is entirely made of solid plastic, the subwoofer and satellites add even more to its premium feel, thanks to their metal construction. It feels as sturdy as the Bose Soundbar 700.
The Sonos Arc full setup has a very good stereo frequency response. Out-of-the-box and with its room correction feature on, this soundbar has a balanced mid-range that can reproduce vocals and lead instruments clearly, though higher frequencies may sound a bit bright. While it has an extended bass, it still has some trouble reproducing the deep thump and punch found in bass-heavy music genres or action-packed movies. It also comes with several sound enhancement features, including bass and treble adjustments, to help you customize its sound to your liking. However, their room correction feature is only available on iOS.
With calibration and its room correction feature turned on, the Sonos Arc full setup has an excellent stereo frequency response. Using the suggested bass and treble adjustments, this soundbar has a very neutral sound profile that's suitable for listening to lots of different audio content. It can reproduce a warm, thumpy bass without overwhelming vocals and lead instruments.
This soundbar setup's stereo soundstage is great. It sounds wider than the standalone Sonos Arc by itself, although the focus isn’t as good. Nevertheless, it’s still fairly good and objects come from an accurate location rather than a diffused location.
The Sonos Arc has good stereo dynamics performance. While it can get quite loud for large rooms or parties, it struggles to perform well at max volume, especially in the bass range, so there are noticeable thumping and compression artifacts.
This soundbar has a great stereo THD performance. At normal listening volumes, most of the frequencies fall within good limits, resulting in mostly clear and pure audio reproduction. At max volume, there's a jump in THD. However, this may not be noticeable with real-life content.
The Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers has an impressive center channel performance. Thanks to its dedicated center channel, it can reproduce clear and accurate dialogue. While the frequency response lacks a bit of bass, this shouldn't be too noticeable in real-life as there isn't a lot of bass present with content played over the center speaker.
Update 08/13/2020: We've updated the review to say that this is a 5.1.2 setup, and not a 7.1.2. When using the rear satellites, the soundbar repurposes its side-firing speakers to help the left and right speakers.
This 5.1.2 full setup has an excellent surround performance. With dedicated satellite speakers, sounds seem to be coming around you rather than from just in front. The sounds on surround tracks are only played by the satellites, and nothing comes from the bar itself, giving you a very good surround experience.
The Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers has an acceptable Atmos performance. When playing Atmos content, it uses up-firing speakers on the bar to bounce sound off the ceiling and back to the listener to simulate height. However, this doesn't sound as immersive as dedicated down-firing home theater speakers. Its satellite speakers don't have up-firing speakers, either.
The Sonos Arc full setup has plenty of sound enhancement features. It has a room correction feature that adjusts the setup’s audio reproduction based on the room it’s set in, but it’s only available on iOS. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a proper EQ for you to customize the sound, but you can still play around with the bass and treble adjustment settings. Every customization option can be found in the compatible Sonos app, but you won’t be able to use the room correction feature on Android.
The Sonos Arc doesn’t have a lot of ports. It only features a single HDMI ARC port, so you won’t be able to use this soundbar as a hub for your different devices. It also features an Ethernet port to connect it to your home network, and it comes with an HDMI to Optical adapter.
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 full soundbar setup features an HDMI port that allows for most audio formats. Its HDMI ARC port also supports eARC, so you’ll be able to enjoy lossless surround formats as well. Unfortunately, it only supports Dolby formats and not DTS.
When using the HDMI to Optical adapter, the soundbar can only play Dolby Digital. It doesn’t support DTS like most other soundbars such as the JBL Bar 9.1 do.
This soundbar has an outstanding latency performance. When you connect it to another device like a TV over ARC or Optical In, it has low latency, making it suitable for watching videos and movies. However, some apps and TVs can compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience may vary.
Like all Sonos soundbars, this one has fairly limited wireless capabilities. You can't cast via Bluetooth, and only Wi-Fi is supported. On the upside, there are a few apps like Spotify that have built-in support so that you can 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.
This soundbar doesn't have a Full HDMI In port, so it can't support 4k passthrough.
The sub connects wirelessly to the soundbar. You can also connect the setup via the Ethernet port to your home network.
The satellites connect wirelessly to the rest of the setup but need to be connected to a power outlet. They also have an Ethernet port on their back.
The interface is quite minimal. There’s one light that blinks or changes color depending on the command you input. There’s also another one that lights up whenever the soundbar’s microphone is activated.
The control scheme is straightforward. You can play/pause, raise or lower the volume, and mute the microphone with the touch-sensitive buttons.
This soundbar offers built-in support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. If you don't want the voice assistant to listen to you, you can mute the microphone using the mic mute button on the bar.
The Sonos S2 app offers tremendous control over all your Sonos products. It’s the main way to control the Sonos Arc as there’s no remote. 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.
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. This review is also only valid for the full setup, and not for the standalone bar.
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.
The Sonos Arc full 5.1.2 setup is a very good overall soundbar. Thanks to its sound enhancement features, it has a very neutral, balanced sound profile and is in the same ballpark as the often-compared Samsung HW-Q90R when it comes to audio reproduction. 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 with Sub + One SL Speakers is a slightly better soundbar than the JBL Bar 9.1. The Sonos is better built, its height performance is better, and it has more sound enhancement features. However, the JBL has a better center channel performance. It also has more physical inputs as well as wireless playback options.
The Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers is a better overall soundbar setup than the Samsung HW-Q900T. The Sonos is better-built, and it comes with satellite speakers, unlike the Samsung. It has a wider soundstage and more sound customization features, including a room correction feature. Also, it has a better-balanced sound when playing Atmos and surround content. However, the Samsung supports DTS content and has a Full HDMI In port that supports 4k passthrough. Also, the Samsung has fewer compression artifacts at max volume.
The Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers is a better soundbar than the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch. The Sonos is better-built, and it has a more neutral, balanced sound profile. Also, it has a better soundstage performance and more sound enhancement features. However, the Nakamichi is Bluetooth-compatible, unlike the Sonos, and it offers more connectivity options, so it also supports 4k passthrough.
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 LG SN11RG and the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers are two great full surround setups. The LG features full HDMI ports and allows for Bluetooth streaming while the Sonos feels more premium and has a more neutral sound. Both support Atmos content and offer acceptable performances with their height channels, but the LG has two extra up-firing speakers on the rear satellites. However, the Sonos has a bit better stereo dynamics.
The Samsung HW-Q90R is slightly better than the full Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers setup. The Samsung has a better ability to reproduce very deep bass, and it's Bluetooth compatible and supports DTS content, which the Sonos doesn't do. On the other hand, if you already have Sonos products, you can control the whole ecosystem in the app, which is nice. The Sonos also has a much better surround experience and sounds a bit more immersive than the Samsung.
Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers or the Vizio Elevate. The Sonos is better-built, has a more neutral sound profile, and comes with a room correction feature. However, the Vizio comes with EQ presets, unlike the Sonos. The Vizio also supports DTS and DTS:X content, and it has a Full HDMI In port, so it supports 4k passthrough, unlike the Sonos.
The Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers and the LG SN10YG are both 5.1.2 setups with different strengths. The Sonos is better-built, and it comes with two satellites to help give your audio a more immersive feel. It can get loud enough for a house party or crowded room, and its surround performance is significantly better. However, the LG has a few EQ presets if you like to tweak its sound profile, and it offers more connectivity options, both physical and wireless.