Home

 › 

Products

 › 

Reviews

 › 

I Review Tech and Here Is My Honest Opinion on the Sonos Arc

Sonos arc soundbar speaker

I Review Tech and Here Is My Honest Opinion on the Sonos Arc

Key Points

  • The Sonos Arc is widely considered to be one of the best soundbars available today.
  • Priced at $899, the Sonos Arc is undoubtedly a premium soundbar experience. 
  • Sonos designed the Arc to be very sleek all while containing 8 woofers and 3 tweeters.
  • Sound quality of the Sonos Arc is highly praised, particularly for dialog clarity and immersive audio.

In the soundbar world, there is one name that carries with it the full expectation of what a soundbar should be. The Sonos Arc is widely considered to be one of the best soundbars available today. Between its clean design and easy setup, the Sonos Arc has become a giant in the soundbar field. 

As someone who has spent years testing out different soundbars in various rooms around his house, Sonos has always been an interesting company. Something of an outlier in the audio field, Sonos always goes its own way and the Arc is no different. Whereas Bose and LG tend to stick to the same formulas, Sonos does its own thing. 

With this in mind, let’s see why you might want to consider the Sonos Arc over one of its competitors. 

Best Smart Soundbar
Sonos Arc Soundbar
$834.58
  • Includes support for Alexa voice commands, AirPlay 2, and more
  • 3D sound with Dolby Atmos
  • Trueplay tuning technology produces sound optimized for your room's acoustics
  • Eleven high performance drivers
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/28/2024 05:38 pm GMT

What’s Special About the Sonos Arc? 

Pricing

There really is no way around talking about the Sonos Arc price tag. I know this is an important consideration for most people and it should be. Regularly priced at $899, the Arc is hardly an impulse purchase. Instead, I like to think that anyone adding the Arc to their Amazon shopping cart is doing so with specific intent. This person has researched soundbars and understands exactly what they are paying for. 

Can you find similarly featured soundbars for less? Yes, you sure can. Do they look and sound as good as the Sonos Arc? This is a subjective answer and one only you can answer for yourself.

Released in June 2020, the Sonos Arc Gen 2 really hasn’t seen much of a price drop over the last 3 years. This isn’t hugely surprising when you consider it’s often the top of many “best of” soundbar lists. Given that, I am not surprised Sonos isn’t doing much in the way of sales or discounts. 

Design

When it comes to soundbar design, the Sonos Arc is no doubt one of the better-looking entries in this category. As a self-contained unit, everything you need from a soundbar is within the 45-inch long Arc. This includes 8 woofers and 3 tweeters, which includes a center-firing speaker making full use of Dolby Atmos technology. 

Available in black or white, the Sonos Arc design was expertly created to help bounce audio off walls. Instead of focusing on audio that comes solely out of the front, Sonos took another approach. In this case, the company designed its hardware to ensure the speaker grille wraps around the top, front, and both ends of its hardware. A hole-punch speaker grille covers all of the speakers in a way that allows the Sonos to maintain its good looks without hampering sound quality. I really can’t argue with the design here. It’s impressive. Sonos knows how to make a good-looking piece of hardware, of that I have no doubt. 

Another interesting takeaway when you read the specs of the Sonos Arc is that it sits higher than most competitive soundbars. Resting 3.4 inches off an entertainment center provides more room to allow the full sound from the speakers to push out. However, I find this a curious design addition when you consider many televisions are sitting lower and lower. There is a chance the Sonos Arc could block the bottom of a television, so something to consider. 

Sonos speaker
The Sonos name offers a strong belief the Arc will have impressive audio quality.

Audio Quality

If you’re looking to buy the Sonos Arc, there is a good chance you are doing so because of sound quality. I don’t think you are wrong to consider the Sonos if you really want an immersive, room-filling sound without multiple pieces of speaker equipment. There really is no way around it so I’ll just come out and say it. By all accounts, the sound on the Sonos Arc is fantastic. Again, I’ll remind you the Arc is often at or near the top of “best” soundbar lists because of its audio quality. 

Dialog, in particular, has been a real focal point for Sonos over the years. Gone are the days of saying “What did he/she say?” while you are watching a show. With the Sonos Arc, I have no doubt that even at a lower volume you should have zero issues hearing dialog. Whether it’s a movie or a show, this is one of the Sonos Arc’s greatest strengths. 

The upward-firing speaker system is about as immersive as you can want. Sonos has placed 11 speakers in the Arc hardware and sound absolutely fires in all directions. With two dedicated height channels, you will never struggle to hear any explosions or whispers. With the inclusion of Dolby Atmos, I think the Arc has just about every audio feature I could ever want out of a soundbar. 

Features

As I expect with the Sonos brand, their app is one of the best in the space. One of the best use cases of the Sonos app is what the company calls TruePlay. Using the microphones in the iOS app, TruePlay can help analyze how much space you have in a room and optimize the Arc’s EQ for the best possible sound. This is such a great technology that I am hopeful it will come to other soundbar brands soon. It’s so easy to transition the Arc between a family room or a bedroom and still get fantastic sound. I consider this a big win for consumers. 

Another big call out for the Arc is its seamless setup process. You are basically only a tap or two away from plugging in the Arc and being ready to go. It’s really that simple. 

Perhaps the last notable feature of the Arc is its heavy emphasis on voice commands. While I’m not one to focus too much on voice, it’s still nice to have. Between Alexa and Google Assistant, you are well covered for voice commands. You can also use Sonos Voice Control and just say “Hey Sonos” and then provide your hands-free command. 

Does the Sonos Arc Actually Work? 

I think there is little to be said about whether the Sonos Arc actually works. All of the awards and recommendations the Arc has received tell the story. There is no doubt in my mind that Sonos has created one of the best soundbar experiences with the Arc. I’ve set up enough soundbars in my day to know that Sonos is always delivering on ease of use. Using the iPhone app or tapping on one of the buttons on the hardware makes the Arc a real joy to use. 

With Dolby Atmos built-in, center-firing speakers, and the speaker grille design, there is little question in my opinion just how well the Arc can deliver on its promised sound. As popular as Sonos products are in the marketplace, there has to be a reason for its success. As the Arc is a flagship product and already in its second generation, it’s all the more reason to believe the Arc works very well. 

LG vs. Bowers & Wilkins soundbars
Sonos has plenty of competition with the Arc including similary-priced options from Bose.

How the Sonos Arc Compares to the Bose Smart Soundbar 900

Best for Gaming
Bose Smart Soundbar 900 Dolby Atmos with Alexa Built-In
$749.00
  • Features two up-firing speakers
  • Sharp looking hardware
  • Improves next-gen gaming audio in a big way
  • Dolby Atmos soundbar
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/28/2024 05:43 pm GMT

When it comes to direct competition for Sonos, the best choice is likely the Bose Smart Soundbar 900. Even simple things like being available in both black or white help make these two soundbars competitive. In the case of the Bose Smart Soundbar 900, the sleek design feels right at home in the Sonos world. The materials Bose uses are quality and Bose has long been obsessed with product details. It’s safe to say Bose went out of its way to make sure everything about the Bose 900 looks great. 

As far as features, the Bose delivers 9 speakers in total. While I know this is less than Sonos’ 11 in the Arc, Bose works overtime to produce the same type of sound quality. Dialog, in particular, I believe sounds the same between both soundbars. I have listened to soundbars where dialog is not prioritized, but this won’t be the case here. You can thank the addition of Dolby Atmos and up-firing speakers for a full 360-degree experience, pretty much the same as what Sonos delivers. 

Is the Sonos Arc Worth It? 

Trying to decide if the Sonos Arc is worth isn’t a quick answer. You might be wondering why as I’ve been pretty complimentary throughout this article. I’ve shown a lot of praise for its design, setup, and sound quality. However, the price tag on the Sonos Arc keeps it out of range for most people.

Said another way, most people don’t need to spend $900 on a soundbar. Even if you account for regular Amazon discounts, at $800 plus dollars, the Sonos Arc is still very much a premium device. 

What I think needs to be considered is how good of a sound you can find for less than you might spend on the Arc. My experience with soundbars tells me that for most people, you can spend less than half of the Sonos Arc price tag and come away with better-than-good audio quality.

Samsung, LG, and Bose all make soundbars that sound as good to most people. If money is no object, buying the Sonos Arc is perfectly fine. However, if you want to save money while still creating a better audio experience than what your television delivers, there are quite a few excellent soundbar options available.

  1. Sonos Arc Soundbar
    $834.58
    • Includes support for Alexa voice commands, AirPlay 2, and more
    • 3D sound with Dolby Atmos
    • Trueplay tuning technology produces sound optimized for your room's acoustics
    • Eleven high performance drivers
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/28/2024 05:38 pm GMT
  2. Bose Smart Soundbar 900 Dolby Atmos with Alexa Built-In
    $749.00
    • Features two up-firing speakers
    • Sharp looking hardware
    • Improves next-gen gaming audio in a big way
    • Dolby Atmos soundbar
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/28/2024 05:43 pm GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the number one reason to pick up the Sonos Arc?

The number one reason to pick up the Sonos Arc is undoubtedly its terrific sound quality. 

How often does the Sonos Arc go on sale?

Amazon has the Sonos Arc on sale fairly regularly, though the actual discount varies each time. 

Does the Sonos Arc come with a remote?

Interestingly enough, for the price, Sonos does not include a remote with the Arc. 

How long does it take to set up the Sonos Arc?

Even under difficult setup circumstances, you shouldn’t spend more than 5 minutes setting up the Arc. 

Does the Sonos Arc work with all television makes and models?

As long as your TV has an HDMI or optical input, the Sonos Arc will work just fine. 

To top