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Is It Worth Getting a Sonos Arc (and What Should I Know Before Buying One)?

If you’re looking for the perfect soundbar for your setup, you should consider getting the Sonos Arc. Behind its $899 price tag is a world of perks and features that will definitely up your home cinema game. It’s mostly recognized for Atmos compatibility but there’s one other thing making the device worth your money - its versatility.
Is It Worth Getting a Sonos Arc?

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In fact, this is something you should explore thoroughly before splurging on the Arc. It’s not restricted to only functioning as your main home theater accessory. You should know that it’s also a multipurpose product capable of being an audio and smart home gizmo.

What Is Sonos Arc?

The Arc is Sonos’ multipurpose soundbar that belongs in a league of its own. It was meant to replace the Playbar and Playbase, which have long been in service for the brand’s avid users. Released in 2020, the soundbar represents everything the multiroom giant has to offer in its advancements.

Appearance-wise, you won’t find the Arc to be too eye-catching. Of course, it’s lengthy and measures about 45 inches (1142 mm), but the soundbar is sleek. It has that Sonos signature appearance, making it seamlessly blend into your home theater setup.

If you’re impressed by its physical build, wait until you see the inside. Housed within the soundbar are eleven audio drivers each accompanied by a single Class-D amplifier. These make the Arc a 5.0 surround sound system on its own, with an added pair of upward-firing speakers for Atmos.

Of course, you’ll also be getting the brand’s prized features that center on the listening experience. As a device that works outside the home cinema scene, the Arc can even stream top-notch audio from different services. You’re also privy to a lot of perks, such as accessing Sonos’ mesh network.

Aside from being part of the home theater and an audio device, the Arc is also a smart speaker. It can harness the capabilities of Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. Simply put, it can listen and perform a variety of basic tasks at your command.

When Did the Sonos Arc Come Out?

Sonos released the face of their surround sound discoveries in the form of the Arc in 2020. To be specific, the brand made the soundbar available for purchase on their website on the 20th of June. Its existence was announced to the world on May 6 though, alongside the Sub (Gen 3) and the Sub.

The soundbar is meant to replace the long-standing devices of the multiroom giant known as the Playbar and the Playbase. It’s initially sold for a whopping $799 which is what you’ll expect for a device of its caliber. If you’re impressed with Sonos’ older generation products, you’ll be taken to another level with the Arc.

It offers a full cinematic experience on its own, dominating the world of home theater with its Dolby Atmos compatibility. The soundbar is also among Sonos’ devices that operate on their new S2 platform, a software that contains the brand’s upgrades. It’s the more sophisticated version of the S1 legacy program so expect juicier updates.

Compared to other products of the multiroom giant functioning on the home cinema scene, the Arc is on the lengthier side. Sonos explains that it’s meant to be paired with televisions with bigger screens occupying the market. Worry not though, even with all its dimensions, the soundbar is still sleek and can integrate into your setup easily.

Will Sonos Arc Be Updated?

Since the Arc is the pinnacle of Sonos’ surround sound technology, it won’t be updated in the years to come. It’s jam-packed with the latest perks and features, with the S2 app handling all the upgrades. Some products may be getting the Gen 2 or Gen 3 version, but note that the soundbar is on the newer side.

It’s the product of years and years of Sonos’ home cinema engineering, containing the latest memory and protocol. As such, the Arc updating may only occur if the brand has developed any significant improvements to its software. The idea of an Arc (Gen 2) won’t happen any time soon so you can enjoy the soundbar for a long time.

This doesn’t mean that the home cinema product is getting neglected though. Sonos provides constant firmware updates on the Arc – including improvements in surround sound quality. Software upgrades are the only thing you’ll be getting rather than an overall twist to the soundbar’s version.

Is Sonos Arc Really That Good?

The Arc won’t be called the United States’ top-selling Dolby Atmos soundbar for nothing. Its accumulation of elite software and hardware features makes it deserving of this title. The device performs exceptionally well even outside the boundaries of the home cinema scene.

Home theater setups would usually require several speakers to mimic a high-fidelity experience. Not ones with the Arc though, it carries the power of a traditional surround sound setup on its own. Its sleek design houses a 5.0 configuration consisting of left, left surround, center, right surround, and right directions.

Aside from these channels, the soundbar has two-upward firing drivers designated for Atmos codecs. This makes the Arc a monster capable of carrying your home cinema soundscape all alone. Of course, you’re always free to customize your surround sound setup by adding other speakers into the mix.

You can’t deny Sonos really pulled through with the Arc’s hardware. However, wait until you see their lineup of perks and features available in their software app. The Dolby Atmos soundbar is only accessible within the S2 variation, the more modern take of the brand to their legacy program.

Within it, you can control the Arc’s audio output and its sound modes, and can even merge the soundbar with other speakers. You also have it in your hands to adjust the elements in your surround sound, like upping the bass and treble. There’s also the perk of having access to a collection of streaming services, another win for the Arc.

Within the home cinema, the soundbar can cater to different theater formats not limited to Atmos. True, Dolby Atmos is the pinnacle of surround sound, but you also have other options. Point is that the Sonos Arc is truly an exceptional soundbar in more ways than one.

Is Sonos Arc Good for Movies?

There’s no denying the fact that the Arc is phenomenal, especially when watching movies. In fact, it’s made for this very purpose as part of your home theater installment. As long as you’re using the right surround sound format, you’ll feel as if you’re in a movie of your own.

First off, you have TruePlay which is Sonos’ automatic calibration technology available for iOS users. You’ll have the best immersive experience since the soundbar will adjust itself to your room’s acoustics. This is also available for Android, but you’ll have to set it up manually via the EQ settings.

Aside from the ability to alter the soundbar’s audio output, there are other features making your watching impressive. You have Speech Enhancement which enhances dialogues on a whole other level. When this is activated, the Arc will prioritize human voices rather than the background music.

Night Sound is also another perk you should watch out for especially on movie nights. Simply put, this will reduce the output of loud audio and increase soft tones. It’s useful for when you want to enjoy your home cinema without waking other people up.

Is Sonos Arc Good for Gaming?

If you’re thinking that the Arc is limited only to music and movies, wait until you try it for gaming. The soundbar has the most dominant output among Sonos speakers so you can’t expect any less. It gives off a hi-fi soundscape elevating your gaming experience to another realm.

It has great compatibility with PCM and multichannel PCM, formats usually found in games or 3D content. As such, if you have a Nintendo Switch, the Dolby Atmos soundbar can easily decode the audio codec. This means you’re bound to experience the Arc’s surround sound channels directly while in-game.

Of course, note that this is only possible if you have an eARC linkage to the TV. It’s a must if you want to access higher-standard home cinema formats like the ones you use for playing. Using ARC or optical protocol may not provide you with the same captivating adventure.

What Makes Sonos Arc So Good?

There’s one thing that makes the Arc so good – its overwhelming versatility. True, its 5.0.2 channels and eleven sound drivers are certainly something to take note of. You can even say its Dolby Atmos compatibility makes it the peak of surround sound technology.

However, what truly makes the Arc stand out from the rest is its multipurpose characteristic. It can function as your main home theater accessory, work as a premium audio device, and even run as a smart speaker to boot.

To start with, the Arc is the peak of Sonos’ surround sound engineering. It is capable of dominating your home theater on its own, without the support of supplementary speakers. Simply put, the soundbar has enough channels to give you an immersive experience on its own.

Pair that with Sonos’ software advancements, like TruePlay, Speech Enhancement, and Night Sound. You’re even privy to adjusting your audio elements through the brand’s EQ adjustment settings. With it, you have the option to adjust the bass and treble first before buying extra devices.

Outside the home theater realm, the soundbar works as a regular Sonos speaker. It can connect to Wi-Fi via the S2 program and do a lot of wonders. This includes being able to access Sonos’ multiroom feature and merge with other devices in the same ecosystem.

With it, you’re free to stream any media on the Arc and other Rooms simultaneously. This is not even the most exciting part yet. The S2 app has over a hundred streaming services so you have an almost infinite list of music to choose from.

If that still hasn’t convinced you of the Arc’s flexibility, there’s yet another mode up its sleeve. Sonos made the soundbar capable of voice control and has compatibility with two of the leading smart assistants. To be specific, the device has built-in Alexa or Google Assistant capabilities.

No doubt, the Arc is a powerhouse when it comes to what it offers. That’s not even the end of it all. In fact, the soundbar is compatible with AirPlay, yet another trophy to Sonos’ collection of achievements.

This means it is capable of connecting to an Apple device, given that both fit the requirements for linkage. Android users are also not left alone, as well as other technologies like PC, receivers, and projectors.

Can You Play Music Through Sonos Arc?

If your television set is playing music, you can definitely pass it on through the Arc. Home theater setups usually have an external device in the form of a cable box that can stream songs from different sources. As long as you’ve successfully integrated the soundbar via HDMI cable, any audio from the TV set will pass through it.

For instance, if you have an Apple TV on your home theater installment, anything playing from it will travel to your TV and soundbar. It’s an added perk if the audio is in Dolby Atmos format – you’ll get the best of the all-in-one Arc’s 5.0 channels.

Of course, this is only available via eARC protocols so check your HDMI capabilities. There’s also the ARC signal which can cater to other Atmos variations. You’re even free to stream using the optical route, but you’ll have to make do with the few formats it supports.

There are other options for music to play through the Arc if you’re not keen on linking it to TV. This involves the use of the Sonos controller app, with which you linked the soundbar prior to usage. You can play any music streaming through the software when the Arc is not used as part of your home cinema setup.

When using this route to play audio, you can either use the soundbar alone or with a group. That’s right, the soundbar can merge with other Rooms in the same Sonos system. This way, whatever playing on your other speakers can pass through the Arc as well.

Here’s how you access the Group feature if it’s the first time you’ve heard of it:

Using iOS or Android Device

  • On your iOS or Android device, go to the System page. Look for the Room you put the Arc in, specifically your home theater designation.
  • Click on Group next to the Arc’s Room then add other Rooms you want to merge with the soundbar. Select Done once you’ve finished choosing the speakers you want to combine. You can also opt to group all your devices by tapping Everywhere.

Using macOS or Windows

  • Go to the Rooms pane on the left panel of the S2 app. Look for the Arc’s Room and tap the group button beside it.
  • Tap the Rooms which you want to combine with the Arc. After doing so, select Done to finish the grouping process.

Once you’ve successfully grouped the Arc with other Sonos speakers, you can use it as part of Sonos’ mesh network. Any audio streaming from one device will resonate with the Dolby Atmos soundbar.

Is Sonos Arc Good for Listening to Music?

When you buy the Arc for your home theater needs, not only do you purchase it for its compatibility with Atmos. You also get first dibs on Sonos quality, a guarantee that you’ll only get a good music listening experience. The soundbar is the peak of the brand’s surround sound technology so you really can’t expect any less.

First off, the Arc is an all-in-one surround sound product that can carry your home cinema alone. You’re not required to buy supplementary speakers just to have your dream living room installation. It’s enough to bring any music to life, filling your space with an excellent hi-fi soundscape.

This is thanks to the soundbar’s elite engineering making the device a powerhouse. First off, it possesses three angled silk-dome tweeters in charge of handling the higher frequencies of your sound. It also has eight woofers that ensure mid-range and vocal frequencies are outputted with high quality.

Each of these sound drivers is powered by matching eleven Class-D digital amplifiers. If you’re not aware of it, it’s quite impressive that Sonos managed to place them inside the sleek 45-inch (1142 mm) soundbar.

Next to the Arc’s build are the brand’s perks and features themselves. When you stream music to the soundbar, you get two things – quality and quantity. The Sonos app is brimming with over a hundred affiliated music services you can choose from.

Each of these audio programs has its particulars that can fit your preferences and mood. You can even stream music using a variety of surround sound formats, including the A-list Dolby Atmos. There are also a lot of features to enrich your music experience furthermore, like TruePlay.

Does Sonos Arc Have an AUX Input?

There are only three ports available on the Arc and an AUX input is not one of them. If you’re aiming to link the Arc to an external device this way, like a computer or mp3 player, it’s impossible. The soundbar simply has no designated opening to cater to this kind of connection.

Note that AUX inputs generally support 2.1 audio channels. The Dolby Atmos soundbar has a default 5.0 configuration making it incompatible with the AUX. It’s a no-brainer since the Arc can only connect to your TV via the HDMI ARC cable.

This doesn’t mean you can’t link the soundbar outside the home theater though. There are other alternatives, like using a receiver to tether to devices outside the HDMI realm. You also have the wireless route available, but you’re limited to products that can cater to the S2 program like iOS or Android.

Can You Stream Music on Sonos Arc?

Aside from being an all-in-one soundbar that houses a 5.0 configuration, the Arc is also an audio speaker. With it, you’re able to stream music from a variety of streaming programs. This is done through the S2 controller app which houses the brand’s elite set of features.

If you’re a novice in the Sonos community, you may be wondering how to do this. Simply put, the setup process will guide you on how to seamlessly add a music service to your soundbar. All you need to do is add the program to the Sonos system your Arc is affiliated with.

Here’s the basic guideline on how to activate the music service of your choosing on the soundbar:

For iOS or Android Users

  • Go to the Settings page then click on Services & Voice. Scroll down until you see Music & Content category.
  • Under this option, tap Add a Service. There will be an extensive list of music programs in which you should choose your preference.
  • On-screen instructions will appear to help you add the music software to your Sonos app. You will be required to sign in to your account to access your subscriptions, playlists, and added data.

For Mac or PC Users

  • On your device, navigate to the Select a Music Source selection. Tap on Add Music Services then choose the program you want to use on the Arc.
  • The S2 software will guide you on additional steps to integrate the music service into your system. Follow the steps provided to stream music to the soundbar when it’s not used as a home theater device.

Note that the S2 app will prompt you to select one particular music service as your default source of tunes. However, you’re free to link several of your accounts to the controller program for a wide variety of options. There are over a hundred choices available, including the mainstream and premium radio channels.

Can Sonos Arc Play Spotify?

If you’re a Spotify user wanting to stream music on the Arc, you’re in luck. The program is among the list of music services in partnership with Sonos so you’ll have no trouble accessing your account. You only have to add the music source on your S2 program and play your playlists and top artists with no delay.

Spotify is available in over 200 countries, including the USA, UK, Australia, Russia, and Spain. There’s no doubt that you can play it on the Arc considering the program’s range and reach. As a bonus, you can even log in to either the Free or Premium variation of the service on your Sonos controller app.

Here are the specifics you should be aware of when planning to use Spotify in your Dolby Atmos soundbar:

  • If you’re going to use the Spotify Free account on the Arc, the rules of the program apply to the connection as well. This means that you can search for any Spotify-registered artists or playlists in the S2 app. However, you’re restricted to having six skips per hour, unlike the Premium subscription.
  • It’s possible to add a single Spotify account across multiple Sonos systems. However, if you plan to stream on the Arc, you can’t play on a device belonging to a different system at the same time.
  • Grouping the Arc with other speakers using the Spotify app is only possible for mobile devices. A Mac or a PC won’t do since the Spotify desktop app does not support this feature.

Can Sonos Arc Play Apple Music?

One of the most impressive features of Sonos is its affiliation with a good deal of music services. This includes Apple Music, which you can play on the Arc even when you don’t have a premium subscription. However, this free trial lasts only for three months, so avail of an account before the limit.

You’re not going to miss out on anything by subscribing to the music service. With it, you can play over 75 million songs, access libraries, and listen to live radio on the Arc.

The cherry on top though, is that Apple Music is capable of streaming Dolby Atmos media. This makes the music program highly compatible with the soundbar which highlights Atmos music.

If you want to give it a try, look for audio that has a Dolby Atmos label on it. You’ll have a listening encounter that will provide you with high fidelity like never before.

Check out the details of Apple Music playing on your Sonos Arc:

  • If you’re interested in availing of the three-month trial of Apple Music, add the program to your S2 app. There’s a Start 3-Month Free Trial option for iOS users if you’re not yet a premium user.
  • For Android devices, you’ll have to download Apple Music on the Google Play Store first. Create an account and avail your free trial for three months.
  • The Apple Music to Sonos partnership also gives you access to explicit-music badging. Watch out for the E icon beside the album or track when you’re streaming on your Sonos soundbar. This can be filtered by tuning in Parental Controls on the S2 app.

Can You Cast to Sonos Arc?

Apple enthusiasts dabbling in the Sonos ecosystem have AirPlay, allowing them to cast whatever’s on their device to the Arc. In fact, the multiroom company did quite a feat getting the elite brand’s proprietary protocol. It’s another perk for iPhone, iPad, and MacBook users that already have the TruePlay feature at their disposal.

Android users aren’t so lucky though, especially since Chromecast is not supported by the soundbar. However, this doesn’t mean casting on the Arc is completely unattainable. You’re free to use Spotify Connect, given that you have access to the streaming program.

Other services can cast audio to the Arc via Android. Here’s a list of them for your convenience:

  • Amazon Music
  • Audible
  • iHeartRadio
  • Pandora

Can I Play Music From My Phone to Sonos Arc?

If you’re exploring the Arc outside of the home theater boundaries, you’ll quickly know some of its other features. This includes playing music from your phone without the need for a TV and black-box connection. It’s an effective way to maximize the soundbar’s capabilities, especially as an audio speaker.

There’s a catch of course – you can do this if you have the S2 app downloaded on your phone. This software is the hub for Sonos’ features, including over a hundred streaming services in partnership with the brand. It’s also the program where you set the Arc up upon first use, so you’ll have access to it already.

Note that during the setup process, you’ll be prompted to add several music services of your choice. You’re also free to select a default media source for when you stream media on the Arc. Here’s how it goes for both iOS and Android devices:

  • On your mobile phone, access the Sonos controller program. Go to the Settings tab then select Services and Voice.
  • Scroll down the menu until you see Music & Content. Click on Add a Service to see the streaming services available.
  • Once you’ve found the right music app for you, tap Add to Sonos. In-app instructions will guide you to log in to your streaming account. This will include the S2 software asking for your account details so get ready to provide and sync them.

After adding a music service or even several of them, you’re free to play music to the Arc using your phone. All you need to do is select a playlist or go to your music library to enjoy the multipurpose Sonos device.

Can the Sonos Arc Play Music From My iPhone?

Aside from using the S2 app to play music to the Arc, iOS users have another alternative up their sleeves. This is through Apple’s much better version of the Bluetooth protocol – AirPlay. With it, whatever’s playing on your iPhone will also stream on the Dolby Atmos soundbar.

If you’re a long-time Apple user, you’ll know how easy it is to establish an AirPlay stream. It’s no different when you’re using the Arc as the output device. All you need to do is open the Control Center panel which contains iOS shortcuts.

To do this, simply swipe up from the top part of your screen. This is only for iPhone 9 and later models though, swipe down instead if your phone is an earlier version. Locate the audio card on the selection, usually on the upper right panel.

You’ll find the AirPlay icon which you should tap. You’ll find Sonos devices and other compatible techs on the list. Scroll until you see the Arc and select it to stream your iPhone’s audio.

There are also streaming programs that can directly cater to AirPlay. This includes Apple Music, so check if you have an account, whether it’s a free or premium subscription. Simply open the app, select the AirPlay logo, then choose the Sonos Arc.

If the iPhone to Arc connection using AirPlay is successful, everything will be smooth sailing. You can play any pre-downloaded music using the soundbar’s 5.0 channels. As long as you don’t terminate the linkage, any media streaming on your phone will pass through the soundbar.

Can the Sonos Arc Play Music From My Android?

Android users may not have access to AirPlay, but there are still ways to play music on the Arc. Of course, there’s the S2 app which is the best program to stream to the soundbar. With it, you get an almost infinite list of songs, channels, and artists you can listen to.

However, you may want to explore more options available on the Arc to Android linkage. You’ll discover two routes – using stored music on your Android phone or using the streaming app directly. Both options are convenient but note that they still require a Wi-Fi connection.

The first route involves putting your audio files in the Music folder of your Android phone. If you don’t do this step, the S2 app can’t read the data at all. Also, you should ensure the S2 program is on its latest update and the device you’re using is an Android 8.0 or higher.

After complying with the requirements to stream pre-downloaded music to the Arc, open the S2 program on your device. Look for the Browse tab then click This Mobile Device. The content from your Android Music folder will appear, so choose which one to stream.

Note that even though the Music folder is read by the S2 app, it still won’t be part of your Sonos playlists. Additionally, you should remember to always keep your Android on and linked to the Wi-Fi network. Failure to do so will make the tracks unreadable by the S2 app.

The second route is known to Sonos veterans as Direct Control. It’s when you play audio directly from a Sonos-supported app rather than using S2. On your Android, check if the music service has a button for content streaming through the Arc.

For reference, the services that support the Direct Control Feature include Amazon Music, Spotify, and Tidal. Audible, IDAGIO, iHeartRadio, and Pandora also offer direct app streaming, so check them out. Remember that this Sonos Skill must be allowed in the Alexa app for it to work on the Arc.

Can You Play YouTube Through Sonos Arc?

There’s no doubt that Sonos products are a powerhouse when it comes to streaming services. The Arc is no exception and can even play YouTube through its surround sound channels. In fact, there are several ways to access the music program and blast it to the soundbar.

Your first option is to use the Sonos controller program containing the brand’s listening technology. It houses several music programs in partnership with Sonos, including YouTube Music, Apple Music, Spotify, and much more. There are also plenty of radio channels available that you can access from all across the globe.

All you’re required to do is add YouTube Music to the music services portion of your S2 program. It’s quite easy, especially since you’ll be prompted to add an audio program during the Arc’s setup process. If you haven’t, simply go to the Settings page and navigate to Music & Content to add the service.

Another way you’ve got up your alley if you’re an iOS user is through Apple’s wireless communication stack. It’s another one of Sonos’ fine achievements – getting AirPlay support on their products, including the Arc. Here’s how you can play YouTube on the soundbar through AirPlay 2:

  • Ensure that the Arc and your source Apple device are within range of each other. Both of the devices should also be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  • On YouTube’s search bar, locate the video you want to stream on the Arc.
  • Navigate to your Apple tech’s Control Panel by either swiping up or down.
  • Select the music control box and click on the AirPlay logo. A list will appear showing other compatible devices in the vicinity. Look for the Arc and give it a tap to initiate the AirPlay connection.

Once this is done, play the video you’ve searched for earlier. If the AirPlay stream is a success, you’ll hear no audio from your iPhone. Instead, the media will play loud and clear on your Sonos soundbar.

Does Sonos Arc Work With Apple HomeKit?

With the arrival of Apple’s AirPlay 2 protocol on Sonos, you’re free to use the Arc with the elite company’s HomeKit. If you’re not aware of what the hype is, Homekit is a framework that links automation devices together. With it, you can control every smart feature via Siri and the Home software.

Since the Arc is an AirPlay-enabled speaker, it will also appear in the Home app. You’re free to assign it to a room and even give it a personal name. By doing so, you’re giving Siri an easier time identifying and targeting the soundbar for future commands.

This includes asking the smart assistant to play certain playlists on the Arc. You can even opt to say “Play My New Music Mix everywhere” and watch the soundbar and other HomeKit-enabled speakers blast it all over the house.

How to Add Sonos Arc to HomeKit

To add the Arc to your HomeKit system, you first have to make sure you’ve got the right firmware update. If your device is already on version 9.0, you don’t have to worry about anything but adding the soundbar to the Home app. If it is not, here’s the full step-by-step guide to getting the feature on your hands:

Update Arc’s System for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit

  • Launch the Sonos controller program on your source device. Tap on More located on the bottom right corner of the screen.
  • You’ll find the Update option which you should click. This will take you to the App Store for the firmware update.
  • Launch the controller program once again and wait for the Check for Updates prompt.
  • Select Update to apply the new firmware on your Arc and other speakers on the Sonos system.
  • There are times when the update won’t be successful on the first try. In cases like these, simply tap Try again until the firmware is installed. There will be a splash screen showing Use AirPlay with Sonos indication.

After the update is done, you’re free to use the AirPlay stream to cast media from Apple to Arc. Once you do so, you’ll find a ‘Started from AirPlay’ label in the Sonos controller program. You’re also free to activate HomeKit and Siri Control, here’s how:

  • Open the Home app on your Apple source device. Select the (+) icon located in the upper right corner of the screen.
  • Select the Add Accessory option then click on Don’t Have a Code or Can’t Scan. You’ll be prompted to add the Arc and given instructions to integrate it into the Home app.

Note that when you’re naming the room the Arc will be inside the Home app, differentiate it from Sonos. For instance, rename the room you will put the soundbar in as ‘Home Arc’ to avoid any confusion. Once done, you’re free to use the Arc and make it part of your HomeKit system.

Which Sonos App Do I Need for Sonos Arc?

Since the Arc is part of the more modern line of Sonos devices, it is only compatible with the S2 app. If you’re an avid Sonos enthusiast, you’ll know just how important the software is for controlling the soundbar. You won’t have the chance to use the device in any way if it hasn’t linked to the program at all.

For reference, the S2 software is the brand’s second version of the controller program. It’s more advanced and has a lot more improvements to offer compared with the S1 legacy app. If you’re looking for an immediate difference, the S2 software is renamed Sonos and the S1 is called Sonos S1 Controller.

Here are other upgrades you can find on the S2 app:

  • More User-Friendly Interface. Sonos’ main aim is to provide convenience and quality to its users. As such, the S2’s operating system is redesigned to make navigating it easier.
  • You Can Save Groups. When using the S2 app, you can save the groups you’ve created with the Arc. This is useful for when you’re always using the soundbar with other speakers located in other Rooms.
  • Improved Security. There is much improvement to the software’s security protocols. This includes compatibility for elliptic curve cipher suites in SSL/TLS.
  • An Upgrade in Perks and Features. The S2 app is smarter and better – taking your listening experience to another level. You can access hi-res audio, customize your settings, and manage your Sonos devices easily.

What Does Sonos Arc Come With?

If you’ve bought the Arc brand-new from a legit seller, you’ll find several inclusions in the package aside from the soundbar. Simply put, it contains two cables for HDMI and power connection, an optical audio adapter, and the Quickstart Guide. Note that the box won’t contain the wall mount used for the soundbar so you have to purchase it separately.

Upon opening your package, make sure you’ve secured both the HDMI and power cables. By default, the power cable provided to the Arc is of standard length. However, you’re free to purchase other variations for less than $25 on the Sonos website.

Check out the length of the charging cables so you’ll know which fits your setup best:

Charging Cable Measurement
Short 19.7 in (0.5 m)
Standard 6 ft (2 m)
Long 11.5 ft (3.5 m)

As for the HDMI cable, they are of a universal span of 4.9 ft (1.5 m). This is a good length with a lot of extra leeway for when you want to extend your home cinema setup. With this, you’ll have plenty of options to decide where to position the Dolby Atmos soundbar.

It’s also a bonus that there’s an optical audio adapter included in the Arc bundle. If you’re wondering what it’s for – know that some TVs can’t accept HDMI protocols. The adapter will serve as the bridge for the soundbar to connect to these televisions.

Does the Sonos Arc Have IR?

By default, Sonos home theater products that connect via HDMI ARC have access to IR and RF signals. The brand’s Dolby Atmos soundbar is no different and has the IR sensor located on its front portion. If you’re looking for it, look under the Sonos logo and point your remote for more direct detection.

Note that the Arc should be linked to your television via the ARC protocol for this to work. This is also the same for when you’re connecting the soundbar via an optical audio adapter. However, you’re limited to using infrared (IR) remotes and not the RF varieties.

If you’re not knowledgeable about the different kinds of remote controls, here’s how you identify which is IR:

Try Covering the IR emitter

In general, IR remotes have an infrared light emitter on the front. As such, blocking this output will prevent you from controlling the TV from afar.

  • Power your smart television on. After doing so, cover the remote control’s front portion using your hand or any solid object.
  • On the remote, try to press any key to control the TV. If the television is nonresponsive, then the remote you have on hand is an IR variety. If it does respond, you’re using an RF remote instead.

Test It Using a Digital Camera

Modern smartphones have digital cameras capable of picking up infrared lights. They’re not seen by the naked eye, but they have light emissions that can be detected by your smartphone’s camera.

  • Launch the camera on your mobile device. Once it has loaded, point it towards the front of your remote control.
  • Check if your remote has a visible light bulb or a black window blocking the IR emitter. If it does, then you have an IR remote control.

Now, you got the hang of identifying whether you have an IR remote to control the Arc. With it, you can control the soundbar’s volume, the play/pause button, and many more.

Where Is the IR Repeater on Sonos Arc?

Located on the connector panel of the Arc is a pair of IR repeaters responsible for broadcasting infrared commands. To be more specific, one can be found near the HDMI port and the other is beside the power plug. If you’re still confused, look over the back of your soundbar when sending commands and watch the receivers flash.

For reference, IR receivers receive the Infrared (IR) light coming from your remote control. Once they receive the signal, it will be converted into an electrical one instead for electrical wiring distribution. In turn, your soundbar will receive the command and be controllable using the remote.

On times when you’re having difficulty navigating the Arc via the IR remote, check the receivers. Try to pull the Arc a bit more forward in your setup so these receivers won’t be blocked.

Does Sonos Arc Have a Remote Control?

There’s no remote control included in the $899 Sonos Arc bundle. However, this does not mean you’re required to always stand up and press the soundbar’s touch buttons. Note that Sonos has something more convenient that any remote in the form of the Sonos controller app.

This software not only contains the brand’s developments but also enables you to navigate the devices from afar. With it, you can play any music on the Arc, configure its system, and access listening perks and features. However, you’re not only limited to using your source device to control the Dolby Atmos soundbar.

If you’re still eager to have a remote control to manage the Arc, you can use the one that goes with your smart TV. Of course, there are some things you should be aware of, such as:

  • If you’re connecting the soundbar to the TV via HDMI ARC, you’re able to use an IR or RF remote control. Note that this protocol won’t require you to set the remote since it will work automatically.
  • When using the optical audio adapter, you’re only privy to using remotes that output Infrared (IR) signals. Also, you will need to set the TV remote feature on the S2 app if you want to access it using this connection.
  • You’re obligated to only use one remote on the Dolby Atmos soundbar. This is per Sonos’ limitation of one remote control per home theater product.

The remote control setup process won’t need much effort. Usually, this will be performed during the initial process of initiating the Arc on your home theater system. Here’s how it goes:

  • Launch the Sonos controller program on your iOS or Android device. Go to the Settings page then click on System.
  • Scroll down on the list of Rooms and find the one you stationed the Arc in. This is usually labeled as the Home Theater Room but you may have changed its name.
  • Under the Home Theater option, select Remote Control Setup. The S2 program will then provide you with instructions to add the remote to your Arc soundbar.

Does Sonos Arc Have Voice Control?

If you’re looking for more reasons to get the Arc, maybe its voice control features can convince you. On top of being a home theater product and an audio device in one, it’s also a smart speaker. With its built-in microphones, you’re free to issue hands-free commands to make things more convenient.

For instance, you may want to play a specific playlist but don’t have your source device nearby. As long as you got the mics on and going, all you need to do is talk to your smart assistant. Of course, you’re required to have this feature activated on the S2 app in which you linked the Arc.

Note that this is only doable on either an iOS or Android device. Go to the Settings page then click on Services & Voice. Under the Voice tab, select Add a Service and choose an assistant you want to add to the Arc.

Does Sonos Arc Have Alexa Built In?

One of the two voice assistants you can add to the Arc is Amazon Alexa. It has built-in support for the smart assistant since it’s a voice-enabled Sonos product. This means that the soundbar won’t need an external device to serve as a bridge for AI access.

However, there’s one thing you should check before rejoicing about this particular soundbar perk. Although the Arc has Alexa support by default, it doesn’t mean you can automatically have it on hand. You’ll have to check if the smart assistant is available in your region.

If you’ve already figured Alexa’s availability in your location, your next step is to set it up on the Sonos program. You’ll find this feature on the Settings tab of the S2 controller app. It’s right under Services & Voice, so make sure you tap Amazon Alexa on the list of smart assistants available.

Follow the Sonos S2 controller’s prompts for Alexa integration on your soundbar. As a tip, the Amazon Alexa app should already be set up on your phone before adding it to the Sonos software. This will save you the hassle of installing and logging in to your account during the process itself.

Does Sonos Arc Have Google Assistant Built In?

The Arc is one of the few Sonos devices that have built-in Google Assistant capabilities. As such, it’s a great alternative to Google smart speakers that are a part of home automation like the Nest model. With it, you can even control Sonos devices that are not manufactured with the same feature.

This is as long as the non-voice-enabled speakers are part of the same Sonos system, of course. You can command Google on the Arc to stream a song to select Rooms or even to devices on the same Wi-Fi network. If you’re not impressed, here is more of what you can do with the Arc–Google Assistant pairing:

  • Set up Routines to incite a series of actions on the soundbar
  • Control the Arc from afar, including playing or pausing the audio, and adjust its output
  • Access Google and ask the soundbar for recipes and current news, and even use Google Search to seek answers
  • Control a variety of compatible music services like Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube Music
  • Use Google Assistant on the Arc to control your smart home, like turning on various devices

Of course, before being capable of doing this, Google Assistant should be enabled on the soundbar. Like all Sonos features, you can activate this by navigating the brand’s clever software program.

Does Sonos Arc Work With Siri?

Among the extensive list of perks the Arc possesses is AirPlay compatibility. With it, the Dolby Atmos soundbar is capable of working with Siri, Apple’s very own digital assistant. You’ll only have to add the Arc to the Apple Home app and you’re all set to use the voice-controlled software program.

If you’re wondering how to, simply launch the Apple Home program on your iOS product. Give a tap on the (+) button on the upper right corner of the screen then click Add Accessory. Select I don’t Have a Code or Cannot Scan option.

After doing so, press the Arc on the list of devices to add it to Apple Home. Wait for a few moments for the soundbar to register on the program and check if it is working. Note that you’re limited to controlling Apple Music on the home theater device.

Does Sonos Arc Always Stay On or Go Into Standby?

Within thirteen minutes of being idle and not receiving a signal from the TV, the Arc will always go into standby. In this state, the soundbar is hovering between the on and off state. This means that it is reducing power consumption without restricting much of the product’s accessibility.

All you need to do when you want to cancel the standby low-power mode is give the soundbar a tap. Press any of the keys you’ll find on the touch panel at the upper part of the Arc. You can also turn on your television and the Arc will follow.

Similarly, standby mode also happens when the Dolby Atmos soundbar is not being used as a home theater device. It’s also able to function as an audio speaker, but will still go to sleep when there’s no queue after a few minutes.

This mode is entirely useful for users starting out on the Sonos ecosystem. More so if you have several of the brand’s products in your home theater setup. Any offset brought about by constant power on and off will be eliminated, further preserving battery service life.

Does the Sonos Arc Ever Turn Off?

If you’re wondering if the Arc turns off by itself, you’ll find that it’s incapable of doing so. What it does, however, is enter a sleeping state that is a bit different than powering off the soundbar. In this particular mode, the device is saving electric power while still being active and ready to go.

This is part of Sonos’ aim to focus more on eco-friendly engineering. You’ll find that their products, even the portable ones like the Roam, can enter standby mode. It’s a big help, especially for the Arc which needs to reconnect every time you turn it off.

On the chance that you’d like to constantly unplug the soundbar, you’ll face several inconveniences. First off, you risk loosening the cable since it’s located on the back of the master Arc. You’ll always have to reach over your setup especially if you’ve chosen the shorter variation of the line.

Reconnections are also inevitable every time you plug in the soundbar. You will have to set it up with the TV over and over again. Groups and other multiroom features aren’t safe either, so you’re bound to repeat the pattern over and over.

Does the Sonos Arc Have a Power Button?

Looking at the top panel of the Arc, you’ll find that there’s no designated power button. What you can see, though, are touch adjustments for volume, play/pause, and next/previous configurations. There’s also the microphone indicator which is useful if you have the voice control feature activated.

If you’re wondering why Sonos made the soundbar this way, know that this is the norm for their products. Of course, you’ll find a few exceptions here and there, like the Roam and the Move. However, they’re one of the more unique, portable technology of the multiroom giant.

The Arc, as part of the home theater setup, has no use for a power button. It does not rely on lithium-ion batteries and won’t need any power-saving properties. It’s meant to permanently be part of your living room, stuck next to an electric outlet.

Can You Turn Sonos Arc Off?

Since the Arc has no power button, there’s only one plausible way you can turn the product off. This is done by unplugging the Main AC power cable from the electric receptacle. However, this really is not recommended unless you’re rebooting or planning to reset the device.

By default, Sonos products are not meant to be turned off. They’re manufactured with convenience in mind, where little bits of interaction triggers them to awaken. Since the soundbar is part of the brand’s home theater series, it is the same way.

Once you turn on your TV, the Arc will respond and wake its system up. Note that this is only plausible if you didn’t unplug the device from power. If you ever do, you’ll have to reconnect the cable and boot the system up once again.

Do You Turn Sonos Arc Off?

If you’re worried about not turning the Arc off, you should ease your mind. It’s not made to be powered off every time you’re not using it. Contrary to expectations, you’ll benefit more if the soundbar is constantly connected to the electric port.

This is because the Arc goes into automatic idle mode, or sleep state as you know it. It’s a feature where the soundbar is ready to respond anytime while still saving power. For reference, check out the device’s consumption while on standby:

230V (European Union) 120V (North America)
Sonos Arc 4.4 Watts 4.3 Watts

As you’ve noticed, the soundbar uses a surprisingly small amount of power when sleeping. You won’t have to stress about leaving the Arc overnight or even longer. There won’t be much difference in electric consumption, and you can use your home theater at the slightest touch.

Is Sonos Arc the Best Soundbar?

Feature-wise, the Arc is the best soundbar Sonos has ever released in its list of home cinema devices. It possesses all the advancements that the company collected from its previous soundbar models. In fact, it even earned the spot of being the top-selling Dolby Atmos soundbar in the US in 2021. This is actually well-earned, especially considering the Arc’s audio output.

For starters, the soundbar has two dedicated upward-firing drivers for Atmos alone. With an eARC connection to your TV, you’ll have the best soundscape filling your room with a single device.

There are a lot of other things that make the Arc one of the best soundbars in the market. Here’s a list of them:

  • Easy Installation. The Arc is an extensive soundbar with impressive dimensions. However, this doesn’t mean you’ll have a hard time integrating it into your setup. It’s a sleek device that you can hang on the wall using a mount or simply station on a credenza.
  • Excellent Connectivity. Your TV’s not the only device the Arc can connect to. It’s capable of linking with a plethora of products, be it iOS, macOS, Android, or Windows. You could even connect it to other Sonos devices, AV receivers, and even chosen projectors.
  • Multifunctional Abilities. Truly, the Dolby Atmos soundbar is a capable home theater device. However, it can also function as a general audio product packed with Sonos’ perks and features. Not only that but it can even work as a smart speaker you can integrate into your home automation.
  • Home Theater Formats. The Arc may be advertised mainly as a Dolby Atmos soundbar. However, it is compatible with a whole lot of other audio codecs. Some of these include PCM and multichannel PCM, both of which are used in the gaming tech.
  • Plethora of Features. Sonos is known for providing ever-improving features on its devices. Each firmware update brings about an upgrade in security and premium listening perks. These include TruePlay, calibration of EQ, and sound modes to improve your experience.

How Much Better Is the Sonos Arc Than the Playbar?

As the successor to the long-standing Playbar, expect the Arc to have all the juicy updates. It’s leagues better than the older soundbar model, possessing the fruits of Sonos’ tech advancements. These include software and hardware development, leaving you impressed and itchy for an upgrade.

To help you understand just how better the Arc is compared to the older Playbar, first see the details below:

Sonos Playbar Sonos Arc
Release Date 2013 2020
Price $699 $899
Height 5.51 in (140 mm) 3.4 in (87 mm)
Width 35.43 in (900 mm) 45 in (1142 mm)
Depth 3.35 in (85 mm) 4.5 in (116 mm)
Weight 11.9 lb (5.4 kg) 13.78 lb (6.25 kg)
Colors Black & Gray Combination Black, White
Connectivity Wi-Fi, Optical, Ethernet, IR receiver Wi-Fi, HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, Optical adapter, Ethernet, AirPlay, IR receiver
Audio Configuration 3.0 System made up of three tweeters, six midwoofers, and nine amplifiers 5.0.2 System consisting of three tweeters, eight woofers, and eleven amplifiers

First off, consider the dates on which both soundbars were released. The Arc was introduced in 2020, seven years after the Playbar was available in the market. Within this time, Sonos surely accumulated progress and applied it with the Dolby Atmos soundbar.

One of these growth includes the default 5.0 configuration of the Arc. For newbies in the surround sound game, this means that the soundbar has five horizontal channels. There are also two dedicated upward-firing drivers for Atmos, making the soundbar dominate your setup even by its lonesome.

You’ll also notice that the Arc has greater dimensions than its older sibling, considering the drivers the flagship soundbar is housing inside. It has three tweeters, eight elliptical woofers, and eleven Class-D amplifiers for superior sound.

These improvement in drivers are what makes the Arc a more powerful audio system than the Playbar. It produces much more bass that won’t be compromised no matter how loud you push the soundbar. Due to this, the more recent Sonos product will sound much better than the older variety even at high volumes.

You’ll also find how much the multiroom giant has gone in its connectivity offers. The Arc can link to the TV via the HDMI ARC or eARC protocols. This allows the soundbar to access advanced home theater formats like the Dolby varieties.

On the other hand, the Playbar can only link to your TV via the optical route. With it, you’re limited to only playing Stereo PCM, Dolby Digital, and DTS. It’s impressive in its own right, but what the Arc is capable of is better.

Overall, the Arc has more elite features and even has one particular edge the Playbar doesn’t. The Dolby Atmos soundbar has voice control features – you’re able to communicate and issue basic commands without pushing any of its buttons.

Of course, although the Arc surpasses the 2013 Sonos soundbar, it doesn’t call for an immediate upgrade. The Playbar may be discontinued in the market, but it’s still supported by Sonos for firmware updates. As such, it’s up to you if you’re going to keep it or integrate the newer Arc into your home theater.

Should You Upgrade to Sonos Arc?

If you’re an avid fan of either the Playbar or Playbase, you should consider upgrading to the Arc. It’s Sonos’ flagship Dolby Atmos soundbar replacing both of the discontinued home theater devices. As the successor of both long-standing products, it’s sure to be packed with much better perks and features.

In fact, developments in engineering are prominent at first glance. Past devices from the brand have a gray and black color combination making them more noticeable. The soundbar has that signature modern Sonos look, sporting an all-white or all-black ensemble.

Feature-wise, the Dolby Atmos soundbar is part of the more contemporary line-up of Sonos devices. It’s only compatible with the S2 controller program, unlike the past units functioning on S1. To note, the S2 variation contains all the latest software upgrades, another reason you should switch to the Arc.

Also, you could do so much better with the sound quality once you’ve made the exchange. Aside from Atmos compatibility, the Arc’s audio output provides a more stellar performance than previous devices. This applies even when not used as a home theater accessory – it’s engineered to give superb quality in every way.

Why Is Sonos Arc So Expensive?

You may be skeptical about the whopping $899 price tag on the Arc especially if you’re tight on the budget. However, there’s one main reason backing up the value of the soundbar – it’s Sonos. The brand is royalty in the tech industry, known for its genius engineering and elite set of features.

First off, Sonos is the pioneer when it comes to multiroom audio. The brand started its wireless audio system way back in 2004, unlike others who settled for CD players and wire bundles. This makes the speaker giant more advanced than other basic competitors in the market.

You’ll clearly see this perk in their Dolby Atmos soundbar. It’s more than just a home theater device, it’s a whole other audio product when not linked via HDMI.

In fact, the Arc can access your Sonos system and group with speakers on the same network. This particular multiroom feature is something the company is known for. However, you’re not only paying for this perk when you buy the Arc. There’s a whole lot more, including its versatility with available devices.

You should also consider the sound quality the soundbar provides especially in the home cinema scene. It has eleven powerful sound drivers, made up of eight elliptical woofers and three silk-dome tweeters. Each of these drivers is powered by a Class-D amplifier, making the soundbar self-sufficient.

Another factor that makes the soundbar expensive is its ever-growing capabilities. All throughout, Sonos has been taking care of its legacy products, providing software security to the S1 legacy app. The Arc, being one of the more modern devices of the brand, gets continuous first-class updates.

You can find these upgrades on yet another feature making Sonos more high-cost. It’s the S2 app, a genius software program that holds all of the brand’s perks and advancements. With it, you can remotely control the Arc using your source device, stream music, and even group it with other devices.

The Dolby Atmos soundbar has a lot more to offer, including its voice control compatibility. When you buy the Arc, you’re allowing yourself to experience only the most premium listening experience. You’re paying for the quality, standard, and expertise of the leading multiroom company in the market.

Is Sonos Arc Worth the Money?

Considering everything the Arc has to offer, it’s safe to say that you’re getting your money’s worth. Not only does the soundbar performs extraordinarily well in its big, starring role in your home theater setup. It’s also an impressive audio speaker with smart capabilities up its sleeves.

Setting aside its diverse usage, there’s another thing that makes the soundbar deserving of your moolah. It’s an investment, something that will be part of your daily life for the years to come. Sonos is known for making long-lasting technology that improves as time passes, so you’re not losing out.

Its features are also nothing to scoff at, both in the hardware and software departments. The soundbar can seamlessly integrate with any kind of setup including a simple one with the most minimal equipment to boot. It can even be the highlight of your living room, mounted on the wall right below your big TV.

Of course, you don’t forget Sonos’ software and firmware upgrades. The Arc is privy to a lot of features that make your listening experience out of this world. It’s simply the pinnacle of the brand’s technology, which by itself, makes it worth $899.

Why Should I Buy Sonos Arc?

If you’re looking for something you can use even outside the home cinema scene, you should buy the Arc. It’s a great starter for when you plan to enter the Sonos ecosystem, or if you already have a solid collection of the brand. Here are a few elaborate reasons why you should splurge on the soundbar:

  • It’s Made for Big TVs. With the soundbar’s dimensions, you’ll guess from the get-go that it’s meant for big televisions. As such, you should consider buying the Arc if you’re aiming for an immersive home theater soundscape. It pairs well with your large-screen setups and won’t look out of place with modern TV models.
  • Oscar-Winning Audio Engineering. Sonos brought out the big guns when they were creating the Arc. In fact, the soundbar has 11 powerful drivers that provide a vivid audio experience. This is even backed and tested by oscar-winning sound engineers, going as far as to test dialog clarity.
  • An Extensive Range of Connectivity. Android, Apple, AV receivers, laptops, PCs – you name it. The soundbar is more than capable of linking with a long list of devices, including new and older-gen TVs. You’re even free to link it to fellow Sonos speakers through the S2 program.
  • Several Surround Sound Formats. Aside from Atmos which is the flagship format of the Arc, the soundbar is compatible with other variations as well. This involves other Dolby surround sound codecs and even others like PCM and multichannel PCM.
  • Brimming With Perks and Features. The soundbar is a powerhouse not only because of its connectivity. It’s also remarkable when it comes to the plethora of surround sound perks it possesses. It has the right listening features that can make your experience more dynamic, engaging, and enveloping.

There are a lot more reasons why you should buy the Sonos Arc. True, the $899 price may seem hefty at first glance, but wait until you explore the soundbar in depth.

Where Can I Buy Sonos Arc?

To make sure you’re getting the Arc from a genuine channel, it’s best to purchase it from Sonos itself. The brand has an official website that not only sells the Dolby Atmos soundbar but also highlights its features. There’s even a variety of other products available that you can mix and match to your home theater.

However, if you’re keen on looking over the Arc before buying it for life, you’re better off with another alternative. The website has a store locator feature you can use to find nearby affiliated shops. This is a more effective way to see the Sonos products up close and buy them on the spot if they fit your needs.

Of course, there are other retailers you can rely on, such as Amazon and eBay. They’re both hubs for sellers though, so better be careful about your transactions. It’s best to look for buyer reviews before continuing with your bargain.

You’re also free to check out branches of Costco and Target near you. These shops often sell Sonos products, including the Arc and the Arc SL. You’ll often find them in the electronics section, but you can always get assistance from nearby employees.