The Sonos Arc is finally here. People had huge expectations, especially with the Dolby Atmos feature, and many queued to buy it. But is the Sonos Arc as good as hyped? Sound-wise, this soundbar is impressive. The Dolby Atmos feature got people buzzing, and the subsequent updates were mind-boggling. However, not everyone is a fan. Some criticize the absence of a second HDMI, while others are more concerned about the Dolby Atmos. Keep reading to learn the six biggest complaints about the Sonos Arc.
1. It Doesn’t Support Bluetooth
Yes, you read it right. This soundbar doesn’t have Bluetooth, one of the biggest complaints about the Sonos Arc. So, how do you connect the soundbar wirelessly? Through Wi-Fi. You can stream music by connecting your phone and soundbar over the same Wi-Fi. However, not everyone has Wi-Fi at home. Paying for the internet to connect their external speakers is not a good idea, yet Bluetooth is free!
Luckily, Apple users don’t have much to complain about. The Sonos Arc supports Airplay. It’s somehow similar to Bluetooth but uses Wi-Fi. However, what about Android users? Not having Bluetooth works against anyone using an Android phone but has no Wi-Fi at home. So, we understand this criticism.
2. Trueplay Tuning Is Limited to iOS Users
If this soundbar lacking Bluetooth wasn’t bad enough, Android users have another reason to complain about the Sonos Arc. Most soundbars today have Trueplay tuning. This is how sound bounces in a room full of objects. It determines how sound reflects off your room’s walls, ceiling, furniture, and other solid items. So, with Trueplay tuning, you can tailor your soundbar to suit your room’s layout.
Unfortunately, with the Sonos Arc, this feature only works with iOS. The Sonos Arc will use your iOS device’s microphone to measure how sound reflects off different surfaces in the room. It will then optimize the sound settings to your room’s specifications. But what about Android users? Sonos hasn’t released a Trueplay tuning feature for Android users. You will have to buy the speaker and hope it suits your room. Ultimately, many Android users complained about Sonos Arc not having Trueplay tuning.
3. It Doesn’t Have a Remote
This may be a minor complaint, but many people expect a soundbar to come with a remote in its package. To solve the remote issue, the Sonos Arc allows TV remote syncing. However, you only get basic settings like volume control. You must install the Sonos app on your phone to control your soundbar and adjust its settings. However, many things could go wrong if you use your phone as a remote. So, having a separate remote for your Sonos is vital. Not to mention, some people still prefer the good old-fashioned remote to control their soundbars. Additionally, using your smartphone to control your soundbar may distract and dampen your entertainment experience.
4. It Has One HDMI Port
Surprisingly, this soundbar has one HDMI port that connects to the TV. This disadvantages gamer as they can’t connect their consoles to the soundbar without a second HDMI port. The same applies if you have a Blu-ray player.
So, what’s the solution? You just have to buy an HDFury Arcana. This adapter lets you connect your external devices to the soundbar and TV without losing Dolby Atmos. This would be an avoidable expense if Sonos included more HDMI ports. Furthermore, since it’s a hardware issue, Sonos cannot do much to rectify the problem if you have already purchased the soundbar.
5. Lip-Sync Issues and Their Possible Solutions
Lip-sync problems are common with soundbars and external speakers. This is a significant complaint with the Sonos Arc. Those using a Sky Q box were the first to raise the problem. Blu-ray player users also experienced lip-sync problems when using this soundbar.
To avoid this issue, connect the external player to the soundbar directly. Unfortunately, the Sonos Arc has one HDMI port, so this isn’t viable. Another workaround is to connect your Sonos Arc soundbar to the TV’s standard HDMI port. However, you will lose the Dolby Atmos feature. The second option is to use the HDFury Arcana. However, the Dolby Atmos won’t be that clear.
Alternatively, you can adjust your external player to Dolby Digital. Unfortunately, Dolby Digital doesn’t support Dolby Atmos, so with a Sonos Arc, you’ll be disadvantaged. You can also change your TV’s audio settings, but you’ll lose Dolby Atmos.
Overall, these lip-sync issues are a bummer for Sonos Arc users as they have to give up Dolby Atmos to fix them. If you have had enough with Sonos Arc, consider an alternative like the Bose 700.
- Built-in Alexa and Google Assistant
- Deep bass
- Bose Voice4Video Technology
- Connectivity via Bluetooth connection, Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay 2, or Spotify Connect
6. The Sonos Arc Over-Depends on the TV
Some people complain that the Sonos Arc relies too heavily on the connected TV. This goes back to the HDMI issue. Those with HDMI eARC on their TVs are in the clear. You can connect your gaming console or Blu-ray player comfortably to your TV and plug in the Sonos to get Dolby Atmos. Furthermore, you’ll still be okay with a more recent smart TV. Some of these TVs have built-in applications that support Dolby Atmos. So, with a simple HDMI connection, you’re good to go.
Unfortunately, those without a Dolby Atmos TV won’t enjoy it on the Sonos Arc. A single HDMI port in the Sonos makes it hard to overcome this limitation. Even the HDFury Arcana won’t be of much help. You will experience Dolby Atmos even though your TV doesn’t support it, but it won’t be as impressive. The only way to fully experience Dolby Atmos in this soundbar is to buy a TV that supports it. And that’s not a good idea.
When streaming, getting Dolby Atmos from the Sonos Arc is still problematic if your TV doesn’t support it. Streaming platforms like Netflix offers Dolby Atmos to premium subscribers. Besides subscribing to this premium package, you must have fast internet. Again, this is another expense for someone without eARC but wants to experience Dolby Atmos. The Sonos Arc’s over-reliance on the TV’s features makes it an unimpressive device for those still using old TVs.
What to Consider When Buying a Soundbar
A soundbar isn’t cheap. Additionally, nothing prepares you for the challenges you will experience once you buy it. So, what should you consider? Here’s the cheat code!
- Placement: Go for a soundbar with the Trueplay tuning feature, which can help you identify the best location to position your soundbar.
- Performance: Are you only interested in its volume and bass, or do you want an immersive audio experience? Most soundbars check the volume and bass boxes, so you can get a cheap device if that’s all you want in a sound system. But for an audio experience, you must invest in a high-end device with Dolby Atmos.
- Wireless connections: Find out how many wireless connections a soundbar supports. Should it use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, or both? Well, it depends on your situation. However, a Bluetooth-enabled soundbar gives you more options.
- Number of ports: The best soundbar should have multiple HDMI ports. The Sonos Arc only has one.
- Extra features: More features can mean a better user experience. These features include Alexa and Google Assistant.
The Sonos Arc is an impressive device with Dolby Atmos. Its general design is also elegant and can blend with your home decor. However, Sonos Arc has its negatives, resulting in user complaints. The Dolby Atmos feature, for starters, only works with select TVs. You typically require an adapter if your TV does not have the ARC port.
The single HDMI port on the device is another drawback. Once the port is occupied, you cannot use your console simultaneously with other external devices, which is a significant setback. Android users who like Bluetooth and Trueplay features are disadvantaged. All in all, no soundbar is perfect, including Sonos Arc. So, when shopping, think about the Sonos Arc complaints before you buy the soundbar.
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