Sonos Arc is the latest offering from Sonos. A premium offering to the sound bar lineup, the Sonos Arc has a lot to offer. In our comprehensive review, we cover all the aspects of the Sonos Arc, and how it goes up against the other Sonos sound bars – the Playbar and the Sonos Beam.
Sonos Arc Design is Premium and Modernistic
The design of the Sonos Arc is different from other Sonos Speakers. It is certainly the most modern and premium speaker that Sonos has ever built.
The overall design is curvy with a 270-degree elliptical shape. This helps the Sonos Arc in easily blending with any home theater setup despite its large dimensions. It is currently available in two colors with a matt finish – white, and black.
Measuring nearly 45-inches, the Sonos Arc is a very wide speaker. This makes it an ideal choice for wide-screen TVs or home theatre setups. It would look slightly odd when clubbed with any TV less than 45 inches in width.
At 6.25 kg, the Sonos Arc is pretty heavy. From a dimension and weight perspective, portability is not the Arc’s strong suit.
As we’ve seen with most Sonos speakers, the top side of the Sonos Arc hosts the capacitive touch buttons for controlling volume, play/pause, skip/previous and mic turn off.
On the backside, we have a port area which hosts the Ethernet Port, Join Button, and the HDMI port. There are no dedicated slots to mount the Sonos Arc on the wall and the Sonos Wall Mount has to be separately purchased at $79
Sonos Arc delivers an Immersive Listening Experience
The hearing experience associated with the Sonos Arc is simply amazing because it is loaded with features that make it so. The performance doesn’t come off as a surprise as the Sonos Arc is beefed up with performance-oriented hardware from the inside. Of all the features that it offers, the most commendable piece is the 3-D sound delivery.
Speaking of specs, it has 11 Class-D amplifiers combined with strategically placed 8 elliptical subwoofers, and adjustable equalizer settings for a customized listening experience.
The eight woofers are arranged in what Sonos calls a Phased Array, a setup in which the drivers are made to project sound both up-ways and sideways. Projecting sound in all directions, and the following reflections from the walls will create an enhanced 3-D experience while watching movies or listening to music. Sonos Arc also supports Dolby Digital and Dolby Atmos, two of the most widely used audio codecs.
Smart Assistant interaction with the Sonos Arc is pretty smooth. It supports both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Even commands given from the farther end of the room are picked up quickly and executed well. Thanks to the Arc’s microphone array coupled with multi-channel echo cancellation that isolates any background noise and puts the Arcs’s focus on the user’s commands.
Sonos Arc features TruePlay technology for iOS devices wherein it will dynamically adjust and tune the sound by considering various factors like room acoustics, room dimensions, and seating position of the listener. This is an added bonus to the listening experience.
Using the Sonos Arc is pretty easy and straight forward. You can get most of the job done by either Alexa or Google Assistant by giving vocal commands. For the rest, you can directly use your TV remote.
Yet another feature in the Sonos Arc that adds to the hearing experience is Speech Enhancement. This feature gives more importance to the human voice’s frequency resulting in crispier dialogues and thereby delivers high-quality audio while watching movies.
The Sonos Arc can also be combined with other Sonos speakers like the Sonos Sub or the Sonos One for a much more customised listening experience. However, we would recommend that for most use cases, the Sonos Arc by itself is more than enough.
Overall, the Sonor Arc offers a feature rich listening experience and is a great pick for home theatre setups.
Sonos Arc Pricing
Sonos being a premium speaker is priced in the upper circuit. It currently costs $799 and can be bought at Amazon, Sonos, and BestBuy. We would recommend buying from Amazon as you could grab the speaker for a lower price during Black Fridays or other seasonal sales
For those of you who want to club the Sonos Arc with other Sonos speakers, Amazon is offering a bundled pack of the Sonos Arc and Sonos Sub (3rd Gen).
For buyers in the UK, we recommend Smart Home Sounds for getting the Sonos Arc (and any other Sonos speaker) as they offer an extended 6 year warranty and an interest free EMI option.
Is the Sonos Arc at $799 Worth it?
The answer is Yes. Sonos Arc delivers premium sound quality, extremely detailed vocals, an immersive 3-D surround sound experience and is a perfect pick for those of you looking for a customised home theatre setup for less than $1000.
Sonos Arc vs Sonos Playbar vs Sonos Beam
The Sonos arc is curvier, and has larger dimensions whereas the Playbar is smaller and has a boxy profile. As mentioned earlier, the Arc comes in two solid matte finish of white or black. The Playbar, on the other hand, comes in only matte black with grey shades.
The Sonos Beam, like the Sonos Arc has a an overall curved design, and has smaller dimensions than the Arc and Playbar.
The Sonos Arc does look much more premium than the Sonos Beam and Playbar. Unlike the Sonos Playbar, the Sonos Arc and Beam can easily blend in with any home theatre look as they have much smoother appearance due to their curved structure.
Sonos Playbar has 9 Class-D amplifiers and 6 woofers as against the Sonos Arc with 11 Class-D amplifiers and 8 woofers. The presence of extra speakers that project sound to the upward and sidewards with Phased Array approach provide a much better 3-D surround experience with the Sonos Arc.
Sonos Arc supports both Dolby Digital and Dolby Atmos whereas the Playbar only supports Dolby Digital. Though Dolby Digital is the most common codec currently available, Dolby Atmos is slowly gaining popularity and as such having it in the Sonos Arc makes it a good investment for the future. Sonos Arc is the first Sonos sound bar to have the Dolby Atmos feature.
Sonos Arc owing to the larger number of speakers outputs higher bass than the Sonos Playbar and the Sonos Beam.
Should exsiting Sonos Beam or Playbar users upgrade to Sonos Arc?
Sonos Arc is definitely a better speaker than the Playbar and the Sonos Beam, and as such offers a much better hearing experience. Coming to the question on upgrade, we would recommend that existing Playbar users need not spend $799 and upgrade to a Sonos Arc.
For new users, however, we recommend going for the Sonos Arc rather than investing money on the Sonos Playbar.
For existing as well as new users, in case you wish to setup your home theatre in a small area such as within your room or if your TV is smaller than 45 inches, you can go for the Sonos Beam. In case you wish to cover a much larger area, Sonos Arc is the one to go for.