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Does Sonos Arc Really Sound Like Surround Sound (and What Sound Formats Does It Support)?

The Arc is the creme de la creme of Sonos’ home theater technology. With its built-in 5.0.2 system, there’s no doubt that it's capable of providing genuine surround soundscape even on its own. You could also opt to add more speakers to the setup, but know that the device alone can dominate your home cinema.
Does Sonos Arc Really Sound Like Surround Sound?

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This itself is impressive, but wait until you see the list of its supported surround sound formats. Although it is dubbed as an Atmos home cinema soundbar, the Arc is capable of harnessing other Dolby varieties. You can also access stereo or DTS, depending on the type of TV connection you have.

How Many Speakers Does the Sonos Arc Have?

Sonos reveals that the Arc is an all-in-one soundbar possessing a 5.0.2 system with seven speakers in total. In layman’s terms, it is made up of the left, rear-left, center, right, and rear-right speakers. Not only that but it is also built with two dedicated height channels for Dolby Atmos listening.

This speaker arrangement may be confusing for newbies on the home theater configuration. The brand announced that the Arc possesses eleven sound drivers but it only has seven channels. However, think of these drivers as an instrument to recreate a traditional surround sound system.

Three of them are silk-dome tweeters installed into the front part of the soundbar. Two of these tweeters are fixed into an angled diagonal orientation to reach the greater room parts.

On the other hand, the soundbar also possesses eight elliptical woofers derived from the smaller Sonos Beam. Two of these drivers are located on top of the device while four are stationed on the front. There’s also one woofer for each end of the soundbar for rear audio output.

Can You Adjust Sonos Arc?

One of the perks the multiroom giant provides to its users is the ability to tweak its products to a remarkable degree. As such, if you’re dissatisfied with the Arc’s output, you can always adjust it in a variety of ways. These include instances where you think the soundbar is lacking in volume or its surround sound feature can get better.

First off, if you find the soundbar’s volume not satisfactory, you can adjust it within the Sonos S2 program. All you need to do is open the app on your mobile device. Navigate to the Settings page and click App Preferences.

Find the Hardware Volume Control option and tap once to activate it. If you’re using an Android model, select Home Screen Volume Control instead. Once done, you’re free to adjust the audio output through your phone’s hardware buttons.

If you’re not keen on adjusting the Arc every time, Sonos has the right premium feature for you. This perk is called TruePlay which makes use of calibration technology to create the optimal sound output possible. However, unlike with portable products like the Move and Roam, you’ll need to activate this feature manually.

Here are the steps how to turn on TruePlay on your Arc using the S2 program:

  • Open the controller app and go to the Settings tab. Navigate to the System page and choose the device you’d like to activate TruePlay with. In this case, select the Sonos Arc.
  • Click on TruePlay then TruePlay Tuning. After doing this, prompts will be provided for you in the application.
  • Note that during the TruePlay setup process, you’ll be asked to grant Sonos access to your device’s microphone. This will be used for tuning adjustment and will take about three minutes to finish.

Note that TruePlay only works on iOS devices, so get your Apple mobile phone ready. Don’t forget to update it to the latest software version to avoid any complications during the tuning.

There’s another way you can adjust your Dolby Atmos soundbar. This is through the EQ settings located in the S2 controller app. By using this, you get to tinker with the elements of your audio system.

Does Sonos Arc Have an Equalizer?

All of Sonos’ products have built-in equalizer customization on them, the Arc is not an exception. If you’re keen on adjusting the aspects of your soundbar’s audio, there’s only one way to do so. That’s right, you’ll be using the Sonos S2 app to adjust the EQ based on your hearing preferences.

However, before doing so, take a look at the elements you can adjust on the EQ settings of your controller program. Here are the four of them:

  • Treble. These are the high notes of the audio, including dominant voices and glass smashing on movies.
  • Bass. Known as low-frequency sounds that add depth to the music. These are the sounds you hear when there are relevant sound effects.
  • Loudness. This aspect is one where you adjust the bass when you’re listening to subdued volumes. Sonos pulled through with this adjustment. It caters to your ear’s sensitivity during low-volume playbacks.
  • Balance. Through this toggle option, you can alter the volume balance on the left and right audio channels. Note that this is only available for devices on stereo pairing.

To adjust each of the mentioned bits of audio, you’ll need to first launch the S2 program on your iOS or Android device. Once you do, navigate to the Settings tab then System. Click on the Room you put the Arc in and select EQ.

Once you do, you’ll find adjustable bars you can toggle to suit your needs. Similarly, you can also alter the EQ Setting by going to the Now Playing screen. Just press the volume toggle button and click on the EQ logo.

You can also do this on your Mac or PC. If you’re using Apple’s MacBook, click on the Sonos drop-down menu located on the upper left part of the screen. Tap Preferences then EQ Settings and select the Room of the soundbar.

On the other hand, you can also do the same steps on your PC. The only difference is that you should tap the Manage drop-down menu at the upper part of the panel. Adjust the volume slider until you find the ideal EQ setting combination for you.

Does Sonos Arc Have Sound Modes?

The Arc has several sound modes you can access for better personalization. First off, you have the equalizer mode where you can control the audio’s bass, treble, and loudness. This is a convenient feature where you get to toggle the sound elements to match your preference.

There is also the Speech Enhancement feature – a perk that makes your home theater more desirable. With it, voice frequencies are highlighted and in turn, help you pick up the dialogue easier. Here’s how you do it using iOS or Android gadgets:

  • Turn on your television and check if the media is being streamed on your Sonos Arc.
  • If it is, then launch your S2 controller app. Go to the Systems page and click on the Dolby Atmos soundbar.
  • Press the Now Playing button located on the bottom. This will navigate you to a screen showing what is streaming on the TV.
  • Select the Speech Enhancement logo to toggle the feature on or off.

If you’re using a MacBook or a PC, here are the alternative steps:

  • Upon turning your TV on, ensure that the audio playing on it is also streaming on the Arc.
  • Open the S2 program and navigate to the Rooms panel. Once done, look for the Arc in the list and tap on it to select.
  • Go to the Now Playing section then toggle the Speech Enhancement perk on.

The third sound mode of the Arc may not be as flashy, but it is remarkable. It is called Night Sound and is helpful when you’re watching TV in the wee hours of the morning. When the perk is activated, intense sounds are reduced to avoid disturbance. Similarly, gentle, quiet sounds are increased to make the dialogue more comprehensive.

To activate this perk, you’ll first need to double-check whether the TV’s audio is playing through your soundbar. Once you’re sure that it is, launch the Sonos controller app. Go to the System page and tap on the Arc device.

After doing so, select the Now Playing bar located on the bottom portion of the screen. You’ll then see what is playing in your home theater setup. Tap the Night Sound logo to activate the feature.

You can also do this on your Mac or PC widget by doing the same steps as the mobile devices. However, instead of navigating to the Systems panel, go to the Rooms page instead.

Does the Sonos Arc Have Good Bass?

The Arc is a soundbar that can rival even the most premium five-speaker surround sound setup. No doubt that it has excellent bass, even without the support of auxiliary bass-focused devices. In fact, it can deliver full-bodied, deep, tuneful bass you’ll appreciate without being an expert in audio outputs.

This detailed bass is thanks to Sonos’ genius team of sound engineers. The brand incorporated eight elliptical woofers dealing with low-frequency music elements. They also handle midrange and vocal frequencies, equating to an impressive soundstage.

As a side note, these elliptical woofers are spread to shoulder the Arc’s speakers. Four of them are located on the front-firing speakers while one woofer on each side of the device bears the rear. Meanwhile, the two remaining ones can be found on top of the home theater soundbar.

Does Sonos Arc Have Enough Bass?

If you have a common living room with a decent enough size, you’ll find the bass of the Arc more than satisfactory. It has low-frequency output able to fill space with its all-in-one system without the support of a subwoofer. Sonos truly ensured that their first Dolby Atmos soundbar will deliver, so you can’t go wrong with the device.

In fact, it has a pretty decent sound profile, with the right balance of audio elements. The bass is remarkable enough for you to feel as if you’re present in the scene. Be it on-screen explosions or the deep thrums of the drum, the Arc will help you experience every beat drop.

Can You Adjust the Bass on a Sonos Arc?

Sonos is fully aware that some people prefer more depth and lower frequencies than others. That’s why they included an EQ feature that you can modify the bass with, among other audio elements. This convenient perk not only helps you increase bass output but also controls how loud it is during high volumes.

Like all of the brand’s premium features, you can access your equalizer settings on the controller app. In particular, you’re limited to only using the S2 program since the Arc is not compatible with the S1.

If you’re using your mobile gadget, you only need to go to the Settings page on your controller program. Click on System and select the Room the Arc is situated in. You’ll find the EQ option which you should press, revealing the bass slider you can toggle left or right.

The EQ settings are also available on your Mac or PC. All you need to do is tap the drop-down menu and go to Preferences or Settings (on PC). Tap EQ settings and select the Room you put your Sonos Arc in.

Is the Sonos Arc Loud?

As a soundbar that’s meant to carry the burden of surround sound alone, the Arc is no doubt loud. It’s able to fill your living room space with every high and low of the movie, all without the support of another speaker.

The Arc is the culmination of all the soundbars Sonos has manufactured to date. It’s the collaboration of the hardware and software advances of the brand so expect its phenomenal performance.

First off, you’ll see the same grilled material as the Play:5 and Playbase. The soundbar may look sleek and minimalistic, but its physical build contributes greatly to the sound output. It has a whopping 76,000 holes to provide you with a powerful soundstage and performance.

Also, take into consideration how Sonos built eleven sound drivers with matching amps in their Dolby Atmos soundbar. These drivers are divided into seven channels, all blasting sound in their respective directions. With a 5.0.2 configuration, the Arc truly is a traditional surround sound system in one device.

Don’t forget Sonos’ rich, premium features that made the brand dominate the industry. TruePlay, in particular, will help you achieve powerful sound dynamics that fit best in your home theater room. The soundbar is a long tube that gives a crystal clear soundstage that will rewrite your definition of loud.

How Loud is Sonos Arc?

The Arc boasts of sound output reaching a maximum of 92 decibels. If you’re not familiar with how booming this is, then you’re in for a surprise. It’s a notch louder compared to a jazz concert and only a few dB short of a full-blown power mower.

Maybe you think it’s lacking considering the soundbar’s premium price of $899. However, think of how thunderous it is at high volumes in an enclosed room. Since the Arc has several channels that roar audio from relevant directions, you’ll hear how filling it really is.

It won’t matter how you position it – be it mounted or sitting on the credenza. With its stellar build and top-of-the-line engineering, the Arc will sound loud and distinct.

Is Sonos Arc Louder Than the Beam?

If you’re an avid Sonos fan and looking for their louder soundbar, grab the Arc. It’s bigger and has a much wider soundstage, so it’s the right choice if you want to fill a larger room. It’s a tad bit pricey at $899, but it’s actually worth every inch of your money.

Compared with its smaller Beam counterpart, the Arc is made with superior hardware which makes it more sonorous. In fact, the Arc has an SPL value of 96.6 dB while the Beam only boasts 89.4 dB SPL. For reference, this MAX SPL rating measures a device’s highest sound output at a listening distance of 1 meter (~1 yd).

It doesn’t mean the Beam is a bad soundbar overall though. In fact, it will suit the home theater setup of those with particular needs. For a more solid representation, check out both soundbars’ aspects:

Sonos Beam Sonos Arc
Height 2.72 in (69 mm) 3.4 in (87 mm)
Width 25.63 in (651 mm) 45 in (1142 mm)
Depth 4.5 in (116 mm) 4.5 in (116 mm)
Weight 6.2 lb (2.8kg) 13.78 lb (6.25 kg)
Drivers One center tweeter and four elliptical mid-woofers Three angled tweeters and eleven elliptical woofers

If you’ve noticed, the Arc has bigger dimensions compared to the Beam. This is because of its hardware, consisting of eleven sound drivers that boast superior audio. Thanks to these, the Dolby Atmos soundbar easily dominates a spacious room filled with crowds.

Does Sonos Arc Support Hi-Res Audio?

Not only is the Arc capable of harnessing Dolby Atmos, but it also supports hi-res audio. In particular, Sonos acquired Qobuz’s hi-res audio library, allowing users to take their experience up a notch. This partnership is the brand’s first-ever streaming service to offer 24-bit audio.

The multiroom giant also bagged Amazon Music Unlimited’s Ultra HD lineup. This means that you get to listen to 24-bit, 48 kHz streaming and enjoy ultimate audio pureness. Of course, this is only available if you’ve subscribed to Amazon.

Before this upgrade, Sonos is only capable of playing CD-quality media. True, 16-bit, 44 kHz audio sounds fantastic and emphasizes the loudness of the music. However, hi-res is like listening to every beat of it firsthand.

Does the Sonos Arc Sound Better Than the Playbar?

The Playbar is among the home theater products that Sonos has discontinued in the market. It was replaced by the more advanced Arc, which evidently gives a much better soundscape due to improvements in the engineering. Simply put, the more recent soundbar has the edge when it comes to features and surround sound abilities.

If you’re looking for reasons to upgrade from the Playbar to the Dolby Atmos soundbar, then first take a look at all the perks you’re going to get. To help you with this, check out the table below:

Sonos Playbar Sonos Arc
Height 3.3 in (84 mm) 3.4 in (87 mm)
Width 35.5 in (902 mm) 45 in (1142 mm)
Depth 5.4 in (13.8 mm) 4.5 in (116 mm)
Weight 11.9 lb (5.4 kg) 13.78 lb (6.25 kg)
Price $379 (Refurbished) $899
Color Black Black, White
Channel 3.0 5.0.2
Drivers Three tweeters, six mid-woofers, nine Class-D digital amplifiers Three silk-domed tweeters, eight elliptical mid-woofers, eleven Class-D digital amplifiers
Voice-enabled No Yes
Airplay 2 No Yes
Dolby Atmos No Yes
TV Remote Sync Yes Yes
Touch Controls No Yes

As you can see from the table, the Arc is superior in dimensions with the exception of depth. This is because the soundbar is designed to accommodate eleven sound drivers for phenomenal surround sound. It is louder, more dynamic, and covers more ground compared to the discontinued Playbar.

Since the Arc is the product of results from both the Playbar and the Playbase, it’s meant to cover a whole lot of improvements. These include the channels and home theater capabilities. In fact, the Dolby Atmos compatibility alone makes the Arc a much better contender already.

It doesn’t mean the Playbar is lagging too much behind, though. It’s still an excellent sound system that can provide you with a satisfactory experience. However, you can’t deny the upgrades you can get from the Arc soundbar.

Does Sonos Arc Have Surround Sound?

The Arc is a standalone surround sound system with a default 5.0.2 configuration. This means that the soundbar has right, surround-right, center, left, and surround left channels. Aside from this, it also has two up-firing speakers that cater to Dolby Atmos audio output.

These channels are reinforced by eleven sound drivers, each supported by class-D Digital amps. It’s the product of genius engineering focused on providing a phenomenal surround soundscape. With it, you can have the most minimalist setup possible with just the Dolby Atmos soundbar and your smart TV.

Is Sonos Arc Good for Surround Sound?

Not only is the Arc good for surround sound, but it’s also one of the better options when you want to invest in your home cinema setup. This is a no-brainer, especially since the soundbar is the pinnacle of Sonos’ elite technology. It replaced the brand’s Playbar and Playbase, both of which have long dominated the industry.

To maximize its combination of hardware and software, the Arc is best mounted 4 inches (102 mm) below the TV. This ensures you get the best of what you pay for your home theater installation. You’re also able to maximize surround sound capabilities this way.

Note that the Arc has several features making it the ideal soundbar. To name a few, you’re able to access TruePlay and Dolby Atmos technology on the Sonos device. These perks work seamlessly with each other to provide you with a top-notch surround sound experience.

What Is Sonos Arc Height Audio?

If you’re curious about the Arc’s height audio, know that these are the soundbar’s upward-firing drivers. They’re responsible for that specific height effect you’ll often find in a surround sound setup. The edge though is that it’s the cheaper route because it’s a substitute for additional height speakers.

The Arc has a default 5.0.2 configuration, a pattern commonly found in a traditional home theater setup. However, rather than being a multi-device arrangement, you can have your own home cinema with the soundbar alone.

It has five drivers that blast audio from the left, center, to right. In addition to that, two height drivers are installed for Dolby Atmos technology. This particular surround sound tech is known to elevate your listening experience to another level.

Simply put, the Arc’s height audio enables the soundbar to fire sound towards the ceiling. This will result in a wider, more immersive soundscape.

How to Adjust Sonos Arc Height Audio

If you’re looking for a way to fine-tune your Arc’s height audio, Sonos got you covered. The multiroom giant gave you the reigns to control the volume of your height drivers using the S2 app. Note that this is only available on their 13.1 update version, so upgrade your software before anything else.

Once you got over the update process, your next step is to launch the controller program on your mobile device. Go to the Settings page then System. Scroll down until you see the Room where the Arc is stationed.

After doing so, look over the Sound category. You’ll see an option labeled Height Audio which you should tap. A slider will appear which you should toggle left or right to control the volume of the upward-firing drivers

How Far Should You Sit From Sonos Arc?

Though the Arc has dynamic audio you can hear from afar, there’s still a recommended listening position for it. In fact, Dolby Atmos soundbars should be placed at least 4 to 5 feet (1.2 to 1.5 meters) from your listening position. If you follow this, you get the ideal playback experience without interference or negative impact.

Note that the soundbar should be placed ideally at ear level when you’re sitting comfortably on your sofa. However, you should also remember to position the Arc based on your television’s placement. In particular, leaving a minimum space of 4 inches (102 mm) between your soundbar and TV is advised.

Taking these things into consideration, you should sit at a distance where you won’t be bothered by the Arc’s booming soundscape. Similarly, giving too much distance may give you dissatisfaction both on sound and visual aspects. As such, it’s best to try how much space is best for you starting at the recommended Atmos listening position.

What Surround Sound Does Sonos Arc Support?

The Arc can support more than a few Dolby audio formats, but the availability of some depends on a few factors. These include the type of connection from TV to the soundbar, streaming services used, and even your model of smart television. The soundbar can also play other home theater formats like stereo PCM and Digital Theater Systems.

For reference, the formats that can function with the Arc’s regular HDMI are the Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, and Dolby Atmos (DD+). On the other hand, the following home theater formats would require an eArc linkage:

  • Dolby Atmos
  • Multichannel PCM
  • Dolby Multichannel PCM
  • Dolby TrueHD
  • Dolby Atmos (True HD)

How to Check Surround Sound Format on Sonos Arc

There are a variety of home theater audio formats that the Arc is capable of supporting. As such, Sonos provided you with an option to check them using the S2 app. Here are the steps how:

  • If you’re using an iOS or Android widget, go to the Settings page and click System. Tap on the About My System option and look for the Sonos Arc. You’ll find the audio format being played under its name.
  • On macOS, navigate to the Menu tab. Tap Sonos then About My System. Under the Arc soundbar, the audio format is shown next to Audio In. This is also the same case with Windows products, but tap on Help instead of Menu.

An easier way to identify what audio format the TV is streaming to the soundbar is through the Now Playing screen. This is only available on the S2 app, which makes the compatible Arc privy to this feature.

Is Sonos Arc 5.1?

Rather than a 5.1 system, the Arc has a default 5.0.2 configuration. This first digit means that the soundbar has three front-firing speakers and two dedicated side drivers. The second number indicates that the presence of a subwoofer is nonexistent.

There’s also the third digit, which shows the number of height channels. In the Arc’s case, it’s clearly shown that there are two upward-firing drivers dedicated for Dolby Atmos. Overall, it has the speaker configuration of a traditional surround sound system.

If you’re not satisfied with the bass output of the streamlined soundbar, you can upgrade the system to 5.1 instead. This is done by buying a separate subwoofer in the form of a Sonos Sub worth $749. In fact, you’re free to add two Subs if you’re really keen on that bass-heavy soundstage.

You can even opt to create a complete home cinema installation with a pair of speakers for surround sound. Sonos recommends you get a pair of One SL, but you can choose from a variety of compatible products. Note that all these extras are not necessary but highly encouraged if you want a genuine home theater setup.

Can Sonos Arc Do 7.1?

If you’re planning to buy another pair of speakers to create a 7.1 setup, you’re bound to be disappointed. The Arc, made with Sonos’ genius engineering, is only meant for a 5.0.2 speaker configuration. An extra pair of tech for rear surrounds may sound ideal, but unfortunately, the brand has not made it possible.

For reference, the soundbar houses only three front-firing channels and two speakers dedicated to the side. It also has a pair of height speakers to blast audio towards the ceilings, mainly for Dolby Atmos. You could add a subwoofer or two, and even include a pair of speakers focused on side surround sound.

This is the limit and restriction the Sonos has included in the Arc. There’s no way to merge another pair of devices for rear surrounds because the soundbar is not just not cut out for it. You could try utilizing the Group feature if you badly want extra speakers, but they won’t be part of your home theater installment.

Can the Sonos Arc Play Dolby Digital?

Dolby Digital is among the home theater audio formats that the Arc can play. In fact, the soundbar is capable of supporting Dolby Digital 5.0 and 5.1 surround sound. Just don’t forget that your smart TV and external source device both have compatible surround sound formats.

For reference, Dolby Digital is a digital sound coding technique considered the top-tier in surround sound. Simply put, it is a technology that minimizes data requirements to give off first-rate audio. This involves a sophisticated method of multichannel audio reproduction for home cinema usage.

Does Sonos Arc Support Dolby True HD?

The Arc can make use of Dolby True HD to access Dolby Atmos audio. To be specific, you’re free to stream lossless Atmos media using this particular audio codec. This is made possible only with an HDMI eARC connection, so keep the optical adapters out of the equation.

What makes Dolby True HD stand out from other audio formats like the Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus is its lossless potential. Simply put, this codec can deliver 100 percent music to your ears, without any traces of distortion. This kind of compression is like hearing the audio straight from the studio itself, with no detail being lost in the transfer.

Dolby True HD is the premium standard of audio experience, but there’s one surprising thing about it. You don’t need high-speed Wi-Fi for it to work. Instead, you could use a 4K UHD Blu-ray player to receive the most immersive sound possible.

Does Sonos Arc Play Dolby Atmos?

Another edge you can expect the Arc to provide is its ability to harness Dolby Atmos. This surround sound technology is one of the best in the market, so it’s a remarkable feat for Sonos to offer it. Combined with the brand’s engineering, you’ll surely have at-home movie nights rivaling theaters.

If you’re still navigating your way to this particular perk, know that Dolby Atmos is simply object-based audio tech. It’s another media format that provides you with a 360° soundscape, adding dimensions to your listening.

Of course, there are certain requirements when playing Dolby Atmos audio on the Arc. You’ll have to consider what kind of connection your TV is capable of, especially since the soundbar has only a single HDMI port. The source devices are also a factor, as well as the streaming services you’re currently engaged with.

Is Sonos Arc True Dolby Atmos?

The Arc is a genuine Dolby Atmos soundbar, meaning you’ll only get true 3D encounters with it. You’ll know whether it’s playing this particular content by the quality of its surround sound output. Simply put, the audio won’t sound stale and will seem to come from all directions, including overhead.

If you want more solid proof of Dolby content streaming from your soundbar, Sonos has your back. All you need to do is open the S2 controller app the Arc is registered under. Look over the Now Playing screen, which will display a Dolby Atmos label.

In a similar vein, you can also do this by quickly going to the Settings page. Scroll through the panel and tap the About My System option. In this section, you’ll see a clear label on whether the soundbar is playing authentic Dolby Atmos audio.

Does Apple Music Dolby Atmos Work With Sonos Arc

Apple Music Dolby Atmos works with the Arc, but only by using the soundbar’s HDMI port. If you’re thinking of using the Apple Music streaming program from the S2 app, then it’s futile. The device is the only one capable of decoding an Atmos signal, so it only makes sense to use external means.

It’s not going to be as easy as plugging the soundbar’s cable into your Apple TV, however. You’ll need to first connect the Apple TV 4K to your smart television. Afterward, link the Sonos Arc to the TV via the HDMI eARC or the HDFury Arcana.

Does Sonos Arc Work Without Atmos?

Sonos may have labeled the Arc as their Dolby Atmos soundbar, but it doesn’t mean it’s limited to this particular role only. In fact, the home theater device is capable of working with other formats like Dolby Digital 5.1 and Stereo PCM. As such, you don’t need to worry if you’re restricted by the soundbar’s single HDMI port.

True, the Atmos compatibility makes the Arc a powerhouse in the surround sound industry. It can blast pretty convincing music from the front, side, and upward-firing drivers. However, be assured that it will provide dynamic, powerful audio even without the object-based program.

As such, you don’t have to replace your full home theater setup just to cater to the Arc’s compatibility with Dolby Atmos. It can still elevate your cinema installation with all its perks, features, and codec offers. Of course, the Atmos makes a difference, but you can always invest in a compatible TV later on.

Is Sonos Arc Good Without Atmos?

It’s not an exaggeration to say that the Arc is a self-sufficient home cinema system. In fact, although Sonos highlights its Dolby Atmos ability, the soundbar is still capable of functioning well without it. The combination of hardware and default features alone makes the device stand out.

The Arc alone is a 5.0.2 system, so it’s able to give a surround sound experience that can rival a full-blown speaker setup. You could even throw in a subwoofer or two, and even add a pair of speakers for side surrounds.

Also, don’t forget that it is still part of the multiroom giant’s line of speakers. The soundbar has the built-in Group feature too, so you can insert it in the brand’s well-known mesh system. This web network will stream whatever is playing on the Arc, so you’re able to listen anywhere at home.

Does Sonos Arc Support DTS?

The Arc may have been called the wireless Atmos cinema soundbar, but it doesn’t mean it only revolves around that. In fact, there are several other home theater formats it can work with, like DTS. It’s surprising, especially as this particular audio technology is the rival of Dolby Digital.

DTS, or Digital Theater System, is an audio compression tech that improves the surround sound experience. Sonos’ feat of successfully integrating it into your soundbar’s capabilities only means one thing. You’ll be given more options to explore the home cinema soundstage.

Can Sonos Arc Play DTS HD?

Sonos included DTS support in their surround sound format, but not the HD variety. Instead, the Arc will only play the most basic compression in the form of the standard DTS digital surround. Any dream of streaming this configuration’s lossless audio using the soundbar is still not possible.

If you were to try playing DTS HD on your soundbar, it will only blast as traditional DTS. This means that any of your DTS-HD and DTS-X discs will be for naught. They’ll only be downgraded into the older, outdated codec.

Does Sonos Arc Play PCM?

Among the list of Arc’s compatible home theater formats is PCM, specifically multichannel PCM. This addition to the features of the already impressive soundbar occurred on its software 12.2 version. With it, you can replicate a variety of surround sound formats from different origins using the soundbar.

One group of users that will benefit from this support are gamers. With the added perk of PCM to the soundbar, it’s possible to play a track even though it does not support a particular codec. This is done by unraveling the audio track and sending the signal uncompressed in PCM form instead.

Of course, you’ll only have access to this by using the HDMI eArc connection. This also applies to the multichannel PCM for Dolby, so check if your TV has the particular specifications for it.

Does Sonos Arc Support Linear PCM?

The Arc has been compatible with the Linear PCM audio ever since November 2020. This has been one of the upgrades the software 12.2 provided in the Sonos S2 application.

If you’re not aware of how great PCM is, then you should learn more about it to get the most out of your soundbar. For reference, this particular audio is the standard form of most sound signals used in CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray. When applied in a surround sound setting, it is then called Linear PCM.

It is a system that preserves the audio signal’s digital form and sends it to the Arc via the HDMI eARC connection. This signal is then transformed into analog output to be sent to the connected amplifiers or on the soundbar itself.

Does Sonos Arc Support Passthrough?

Within the Arc’s list of perks, you’ll find no support for any kind of passthrough feature. This may seem like a potential selling point, but Sonos only included one kind of port in the form of the HDMI Arc. This is in line with their goal of making a minimalistic design a priority, which may complicate some things further.

Generally, the HDMI passthrough feature sends media signals from an HD source to a home theater product. In turn, the device will then stream the audio from the HD source using its own hardware.

It would’ve been ideal for the soundbar to have an HDMI passthrough port. This will be useful for times when the connected TV is incapable of turning over the Atmos signal to the Arc. However, this will require two line-ins, which means Sonos will have to let go of having only a single port.

Does the Sonos Arc Support eARC?

Upon inspection of the 45-inch (1142 mm) Arc, you’ll find a single HDMI port located at the back portion. This port supports both ARC and eARC connections which you’ll use to link to your smart TV. Both of these protocols carry data signals, but the eARC has the greater bandwidth.

eARC, known as Enhanced Audio Return Channel, is an upgraded version of the HDMI Arc. Simply put, it has enough bandwidth upgrade to support data transfer without distortion to the Sonos soundbar. It will provide you remarkable 3D audio experience that encompasses your space from all directions.

If you were to connect the Arc to an eARC-compatible television, you can access lossless Dolby Atmos audio. This will improve your home theater setup by leaps and bounds, and provide you with a better cinema experience.

Does Sonos Arc Need eARC?

Knowing whether you’ll need an eARC linkage to your Arc or not will depend on your preferred home theater audio format. The soundbar has a single port that works for both HDMI ARC and eARC, which means you’ll have options to choose from.

To identify if you’ll need an eARC to your Arc setup, check if your ideal sound configuration is listed below:

  • Dolby Atmos
  • Dolby True HD
  • Dolby Atmos (True HD)
  • Multichannel PCM
  • Dolby Multichannel PCM

These mentioned audio formats all require an eARC connection, and of course, a television with the same compatibility. If you’re not that inclined with these, then an HDMI Arc protocol is enough. With it, you can still access stereo and other Dolby variants, like the Digital and Digital Plus.

Will Sonos Arc Work Without eARC?

The Arc will work without an eARC output as long as your television has an HDMI ARC port available. You could also use an optical audio adapter as an alternative, especially if your TV has no audio return channels. However, note that you can’t control the soundbar via remote or voice via the optical line.

On the chance that you don’t use the Arc with the more superior eARC protocol, you can still listen to a few home theater formats. These include:

  • Stereo PCM
  • DTS
  • Dolby Digital
  • Dolby Digital Plus
  • Dolby Atmos (Dolby Digital Plus)
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