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How to Use the Sonos Arc (and How to Get the Most Out of It)

The Arc is Sonos’ Dolby Atmos soundbar with a 5.0 surround sound configuration. It performs out of this world when used as part of your home theater setup thanks to its premium engineering. However, the device can also function as a regular Sonos speaker capable of being part of the brand’s multiroom network. 
How to Use the Sonos Arc

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In fact, you can get the most out of the soundbar if you use it as a music device when not linked to the TV. This way, you can stream a variety of media and give it a flare of surround sound capabilities. The Arc is also voice-enabled, so it’s best to take advantage of its compatibility with different smart assistants.

Where Is the Power Button on Sonos Arc?

If the Arc is your first-ever Sonos product, you’ll be puzzled because it has no power button built-in. Worry not though, because this is the norm for the tech made by the multiroom giant. The company is known to create devices meant to integrate into your home, so they’re not really reliant on batteries.

The Arc, in particular, is made to be stationed permanently under your TV either by wall mount or on the table. You’re required to always put it near a power source, so a key for turning the device off is unnecessary. This is unlike the Roam and the Move which need to conserve battery, hence, the existence of a power button.

How Do I Turn On Sonos Arc?

To turn on your Arc, plug the power cord into a nearby wall socket. You don’t need to press extra buttons nor do any elaborate routine to activate it. As long as the soundbar is connected to power and you’ve set it up, then it’ll turn on and will be waiting for a connection.

You’ll find the designated power port on the connector panel right on the back of the device. There’s also a provided power cord on the Arc bundle which you need to firmly attach to the soundbar. Note that the cable measures only 6 ft (2 m), so be careful of the distance to the outlet.

How Do I Turn Off Sonos Arc?

There’s only one way to turn off the Arc: disconnect the power cable from the outlet. The soundbar won’t work when not connected to power, so it’ll automatically turn off when unplugged from the electric supply. This is the standard for non-portable Sonos products that have no power button installed.

If you’re wondering why the brand designed its devices this way, know that they’re made to respond right away. Sonos reasoned out that turning off the product will require you to constantly undergo the connection process. Thus, instead of completely powering them off including the Arc, the brand insisted on a sleep feature.

How Do I Get Sonos Arc to Sleep?

The Arc will automatically go to sleep once you’ve left it alone for quite some time. To be specific, the device will activate idle mode by itself after three minutes of not receiving any audio signal. This feature is Sonos’ own take on conserving energy as part of their Product Sustainability Program.

In fact, all of their devices when in standby mode consume minimal electricity. Check out the Arc’s power consumption based on the standard supply of both North America and the European Union:

120V (North America) 230V (European Union)
Sonos Arc 3.4 Watts 4.4 Watts

If you’re ready to stream your media once again, simply resume what you’re playing and the Arc will wake up. It’ll switch to active mode without you pressing any button as long as you don’t unplug it from the power source.

How Do I Control Sonos Arc Volume?

There are four ways to control the volume on the Arc so you can choose which one’s the most convenient for you. First off, you can utilize the touch buttons on the soundbar which is the simplest way to alter its loudness. You only need to tap the volume up button on the right if you want to increase the audio, and the down key if you prefer to make it softer.

The Sonos app is also there for your convenience, especially if you’re using the soundbar as a music streaming device. Just toggle the volume control on your widget that hosts the S2 controller app and you’re good to go. As a bonus, you’re even free to set a volume limit on your Arc or even adjust the audio elements inside the software.

Another alternative for changing the Arc’s sound output is through your television’s remote control. However, this route will require you to perform a setup process to link the controller to your soundbar. If you’re interested, then the steps below will show you how:

  • Launch the Sonos controller program on your source device. Note that the Arc only works on the S2 version, so remember to set it up on the specific software.
  • Go to the Settings page and tap System.
  • After doing so, a screen where the Rooms you created for your Sonos products will show. Scroll down until you find the one where you stationed the Arc soundbar.
  • Under the Home Theater category, click on Remote Control Setup.

The app itself will provide you with instructions to smoothly integrate the remote into your home theater setup. Note that the steps above are only applicable if you’re using the optical audio adapter linking. If you’re connected to your TV via HDMI ARC or eARC cable, then remote control will be an automatic feature.

How Do I Use Voice Control on Sonos Arc?

To use voice control on the Arc, you’ll first need to unmute the built-in mic on the device. You can do this by tapping the microphone logo located on the right end of the soundbar. Check whether the LED indicator is on before issuing your hands-free commands.

Note that you can’t access voice control if you haven’t activated it in the Sonos app beforehand. To do so, launch the S2 program on your iOS or Android widget and go to Settings. Look for the Services and Voice Category and select the Add a Service option under Voice.

You can then select whether you want to have Alexa or Google Assistant on your home theater setup. There won’t be much of a difference between the smart features, so choose the AI you’re willing to explore.

How Do I Enable Alexa on Sonos Arc?

To enable Amazon Alexa on the Arc for access to smart perks, you’ll need to activate the voice control feature first. You can do this by using Sonos’ genius S2 software that serves as a hub for the brand’s perks. Note that the soundbar should be integrated into your Sonos system and is running on the latest software upgrade.

First off, launch the controller app on your iOS or Android device. The Arc is not part of Sonos’ legacy products, so it’s only compatible with the more recent S2 program. Go to the Settings page symbolized by the gear icon and select Services & Voice under the Voice category.

Tap Add a Voice Assistant then click Amazon Alexa. You’ll be prompted to sign in to your Sonos account, then tap Add to Sonos. After doing so, a page with the full list of Sonos speakers you can connect the AI with will show.

Scroll down until you see the Room you put the Arc soundbar in. You could also opt to add more speakers to access Alexa by selecting their respective Rooms. Once decided, click Sign in to Amazon where you’ll be led to the Amazon login page.

Further instructions will appear to activate Alexa on your soundbar. This includes a prompt asking you whether you’d like the Alexa chime enabled. This is turned off by default, but you can turn it on in the settings to hear a sound every time you say “Alexa”.

You should also link the music streaming services of your choice to the Amazon Alexa application. Don’t forget to do the same in the Sonos S2 app to access the same audio programs in your home theater setup. Finally, tap I’ve Set Up My Music in Alexa in the Sonos software and enjoy the assistant’s features.

If you’re curious about the abilities you get with the Arc-Alexa combination, here are some of them:

  • You can command Alexa to control the Arc’s volume, as well as other playback commands like play, pause, and skip.
  • Asking Alexa to play music is possible. In fact, you can instruct it to stream music from your default audio service.
  • The smart assistant can also take hold of your television if the Arc is connected to it. Specifically, this will work only when the soundbar is linked using the HDMI ARC cable. You can ask Alexa to turn your TV on or off, switch modes, and even turn up its audio output.

Why Is Alexa Not Working on My Sonos Arc?

One plausible reason why Alexa is not working on your soundbar is because of its restricted availability. Amazon Alexa is only accessible to Sonos in selected countries such as the UK, USA, Australia, Austria, Canada, and France. Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and Spain are also included in the list.

If you’ve successfully enabled Alexa on your Arc and it’s still not working as intended, then it may be because of several other reasons. The most overlooked factor is because of the disabled microphone on the Sonos soundbar.

Note that the Arc-Alexa pairing can only pick up your commands if you have enabled the mic since the device is not on constant listening mode.

Physical barriers may also be the culprit on why Alexa is not performing its smart tasks up to par. Walls, signal disruptions, and a lot of background noise may be hindering the Arc from deciphering your voice commands.

Also, there are a few requirements when using Alexa on your Sonos soundbar. You should note that the smart assistant won’t work on the Arc if the Amazon account it is affiliated with is another Sonos system. You should create another one if this is the case as the brand has a rule of one account per system.

On the chance that you’re using the right system but Alexa still ain’t streaming audio based on your command, then the music service may be to blame. Remember that you should link the music streaming services of your choice on both Sonos and the Amazon Alexa application.

If you’ve addressed all the mentioned reasons and the smart assistant is still not working, do the advanced fixes below as a last resort:

  • Launch the Amazon Alexa app on your mobile device. On the bottom right panel, select the More option and click on Skills & Games.
  • Go to Your Skills then Sonos. On this page, tap on Disable Skill. Upon completion, remove the Arc from the Alexa application. There’s a detailed how-to guide if you need it on Amazon’s webpage entitled Deregistering a Device.
  • Deactivate voice control in the S2 app and go to the Settings tab. Click on Services & Voice then tap on Amazon Alexa under the Voice panel.
  • Select the Arc soundbar on the list of Sonos devices then click Remove Alexa.
  • After doing so, log off all your Amazon accounts on your source device. These include the Amazon app, Alexa app, and even the Amazon site on all your browsers. By doing so, Alexa will sign in to your intended account.
  • Go to the Sonos S2 app and perform the Alexa setup once more. This is the same process as when you first installed the AI on your soundbar. Once done, check out if Alexa is working with the Arc by issuing a command.

How Do I Enable Google Assistant on Sonos Arc?

The Arc is a voice-enabled Sonos product so you won’t need any third-party device to access Google Assistant. All you need to do is activate voice control on the soundbar by using the S2 program. However, before doing the setup process, make sure you’ve accomplished the following:

  • Check if Google Assistant support on Sonos includes the region you reside in. The smart assistant is available across eighteen countries and is usable in nine languages.
  • Aside from the S2 controller app, you should also download the Google Assistant software on your device. You can get it for free on the App Store or Google Play Store. Note that setting up your account on the program is recommended before the voice control setup.
  • Register the Arc on your Sonos system. Also, if you have not updated the system to the latest software version, do so to avoid any hassle.

Once you have the requirements out of the way, you can continue with the setup process. Start by launching the S2 program on your mobile device and going to the Settings page. Click on Services and Voice and select Add a Service under the Voice option.

There are only two smart assistants available for use on the Sonos app. Choose Google Assistant and click Add to Sonos. After doing so, select the Room you placed the Arc in then press Add Google Assistant.

Next, you will be required to sign in to your Sonos account in the Google Assistant program. Once done, the app will provide you with instructions to set up the AI for your soundbar. The software will give you a list of things you should comply with, such as permission for the Arc to access Google Assistant.

Another thing is that you should provide your exact address for location-based services. Also, don’t forget to turn the Google Assistant chime on if you want a ‘ching’ when saying “Hey Google”.

For the final step, add the same music services you’re using to the Sonos system the Arc belongs in. Note that they should match with the audio programs in your Google Assistant app for a smooth listening experience.

Why is Google Assistant Not Working on My Sonos Arc?

It can be frustrating when the commands you’re issuing on Google Assistant via the Arc are not coming through. However, this problem may stem from several reasons, such as your microphone being disabled during the period you’re speaking. As such, one of the obvious ways to remedy this is to check the status light before talking to your smart soundbar.

If this is not the case, then check whether there are a lot of obstructions hindering the AI from hearing you. Get away from any devices traveling on the same signal or check whether physical barriers are at play.

Also, know that there’s a requirement of one system per Google account. Google Assistant won’t work if the account you’re using is already functional on another Sonos system. As such, you’ll need two Google accounts in one place if you’ve already used the present one.

In some cases, you only need to disable the smart assistant on your soundbar and then set it up once more. This will remove any system bug and ensure that the connection is renewed. The whole process is done via the S2 software, which will provide you with instructions you should follow.

How Do I Use Bluetooth on My Sonos Arc?

The Arc may be an all-in-one surround sound system capable of many feats, but Bluetooth pairing is not one of them. If you’re a true Sonos aficionado, you’ll find that most of the brand’s products don’t sport this connectivity feature.

As such, expect failure if you’re planning on Bluetooth-linking a pair of speakers outside of its home cinema capabilities. The soundbar has a traditional configuration of 5.0 for surround sound plus two upward drivers for Dolby Atmos. You could throw in a Sub or two, and even include a pair of Ones in the mix but only using the S2 app.

This is done without the help of Bluetooth, which is entirely unavailable to the Dolby Atmos soundbar. Remember that Sonos is a giant thanks to its mesh network of devices tethered via Wi-Fi. They opted to make the soundbar capable of accessing their Group feature over giving it Bluetooth perks.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a Sonos product that sports Bluetooth connectivity, then you can choose between two devices. The Move and the Roam are there for your outdoor convenience, made portable, unlike the Arc soundbar.

How to Connect Sonos Arc to Bluetooth

There is no direct nor roundabout way to pair the Arc to any particular tech via the Bluetooth route. Most soundbars in the market may be capable of this, but Sonos’ home theater product is just not built with this feature installed.

You can’t pair it to your TV using Bluetooth, so your only option is hardwiring it via the HDMI ARC cable or the optical adapter. Similarly, connecting it to your phone directly via Bluetooth is also impossible no matter how much you wish for it. You’ll always need the help of the controller program, which serves as a bridge for you to pair with other tech.

Looking at the list of Sonos devices, you’ll see that the brand is not fond of including Bluetooth in its products. This is understandable since it is known for its genius technique of harnessing Wi-Fi to the fullest.

If you’re really eager for a Bluetooth connection on the Arc, then you may settle for Apple’s AirPlay feature. The soundbar is compatible with the elite company’s media-sharing perk, which ultimately is still reliant on your home network. This is the closest you can get to Bluetooth, and it’s not accessible for you if you’re an Android user.

How to AirPlay on Sonos Arc

Another win for Sonos is that they’re able to harness AirPlay connection on their devices, including the Arc. If you’re an Apple user who purchased the Dolby Atmos soundbar for your home theater upgrade, this is a big boost. Here’s the know-how on streaming media to the Arc via AirPlay:

  • If you’re on your iPad or iPhone device, start by going to the Control Center panel. Click on the AirPlay logo located in the audio card in the top right corner. Afterward, tap the Arc on the list of available devices to pair the soundbar to your Apple device.
  • When using a MacBook, open System Preferences then Sound. Scroll down until you see the Output option where you should select the Arc for AirPlay streaming.

Once the connection is established, any media you play on your Apple product will also stream on your Sonos soundbar. You’ll be able to use AirPlay to mirror any media directly to your Arc device.

How Do I Use AirPlay 2 With Sonos Arc?

To use AirPlay 2 on the Arc, you’ll first need to connect it to your Apple device. You only need to tap the AirPlay icon on your iPhone, iPad, or MacBook and select the soundbar for streaming. It’s as easy as connecting via Bluetooth, so you don’t need to follow any extra steps.

Once pairing has been done, you can play your music, videos, podcasts, and other sounds on your Apple product via the Arc. This will provide you with a Sonos-quality surround sound experience and give you yet another linking option. Aside from the S2 app, you’re free to stream media straight from your Apple device.

How Do I Connect My Phone to Sonos Arc?

There are two ways to link the Arc to your mobile device. First off, the default route is by downloading the Sonos controller app on the App Store or Google Play Store. This software serves as a platform not only for the brand’s premium features but also as a bridge connecting your phone to the soundbar.

Simply launch the controller program and go to the Settings page. Click on System then Add Product to register the Arc to the software. In-app instructions will be provided to record the soundbar to your existing Sonos system.

Once done, you’re free to play any media of choice via the Arc from any affiliated music services. Be it Spotify, Apple Music, or even radio stations – the options are almost limitless. There’s one thing to note though: the Arc is not compatible with the legacy S1 program, so you’re required to use the S2 app.

The second way is exclusive only to Apple users which may be a bummer for Android patrons. However, this route involves the AirPlay feature available only for those using iPhones, iPads, or MacBook devices.

How Do I Connect My iPhone to Sonos Arc?

One exclusive way to link your iPhone to the Arc is through the AirPlay feature. To be specific, it’s the AirPlay 2 version that makes this connection possible. For reference, AirPlay is Apple’s very own wireless protocol that allows media sharing to compatible devices.

The process won’t give you sweat since it involves tapping a few buttons at most. To be specific, you only need to click on the AirPlay icon on the Control Panel. Select the Arc in the list of devices and wait for the iPhone-Arc connection to finish.

AirPlay works via Wi-Fi so it’s ideal for Sonos products that are tethered to the home network themselves. In particular, when used with the soundbar, you’ll be able to stream media with a touch of surround sound. It won’t matter if you’re playing through an app or using audio downloaded on your iPhone, the Arc will play it excellently.

If you’re not particular with AirPlay in general, you could use the S2 application to pair your iPhone with the soundbar. This is an ideal way if you want access to Sonos’ perks and features, including grouping the Arc with other registered speakers.

How Do I Play Music Through Sonos Arc?

Not only is the Arc a surround sound device that can stand phenomenally on its own. It also doubles as a music speaker capable of streaming audio from programs partnered with Sonos. This is as long as you’ve set it up properly in the controller program or hooked it up via Ethernet port.

That’s right – when you’re not using it as part of your home theater setup, the soundbar can be used as a regular Sonos product. It can be included in the brand’s multiroom network, merging with speakers in the same system. You can even stream media on it independently if you’re staying in the Room you stationed it in.

For reference, you almost have unlimited options when playing media from the S2 program. Sonos is contracted with over 130 music services including Apple Music, Spotify, Qobuz, and Tidal. You can stream audio through the Arc as long as you have your compatible device and a solid Wi-Fi connection.

How Do I Play Music From My Phone Through Sonos Arc?

If you’re not going to use the Arc as part of your home cinema installment, you can make use of it as a traditional Sonos speaker. This is done by connecting the soundbar to your phone through the S2 controller program. You only need to set up the Arc on your mobile and use it as a music device.

Simply add the home theater product to your Sonos system and enjoy entry to a variety of in-app streaming programs. Of course, don’t forget that you still need to install your chosen audio software in the S2 app. Here’s how it’s done using your iOS or Android mobile device:

  • Open the Sonos S2 app and go to the Settings page. Locate Services and Voice option on the list of panel menu.
  • Tap Music & Content then click Add a Service. On-screen instructions will guide you to the additional steps which you should follow.

After finishing the setup process, you can play music from your phone through the Arc soundbar. Sonos is partnered with not only mainstream audio programs but also radio services including the brand’s radio channel.

How Do I Play Apple Music on Sonos Arc?

Sonos not only bagged the AirPlay feature in their devices but also managed to get the Apple Music contract too. As such, playing through this program on the Arc will be easy as long as you already have your Apple Music account. Here’s how you can link the service to your soundbar using different devices:

Apple Music Setup Using iOS or Android Device

  • Install the Apple Music program on your mobile device. Although it is made by Apple, the software is still accessible to Android products. Make sure that you’ve already logged into your account.
  • Launch the S2 controller app and go to Settings. Click on Services and Voice then the Add a Service key. On the selection, scroll down until you see Apple Music.
  • You will be to log into your Apple Music account once more. Inside the Sonos app, provide your Apple ID and password to integrate the service into the system your Arc is in.

Apple Music Setup Using Mac or PC

  • Open the Sonos controller program on your MacBook or PC.
  • Go to the Select a Music Source option then tap Add Music Services. Among the list of programs, look for Apple Music.
  • In-app instructions will be provided which you should closely follow. Upon completion, you’re free to jam to any album available to Apple Music using the Arc.

If you’re using an Apple device and prefer something easier, you can use an AirPlay connection instead. The Arc is among the devices of Sonos capable of using AirPlay 2. As such, you can use Apple Music directly from your Apple device.

On your iPhone or iPad, open the Control Center and look for the audio card. Then, click on the AirPlay logo to activate Apple’s own take at Bluetooth connections. After doing so, you’ll see the list of devices you can pair with AirPlay including the intended Arc soundbar.

When using MacBook, check out the System Preferences tab then tap Sound. Navigate to the Output page and choose the Sonos Arc in the names of compatible products.

How Do I Play iTunes on Sonos Arc?

Fret not if you’re craving the music you’ve purchased and downloaded from iTunes. The Arc is entirely capable of playing your entire media library if you’ve learned how to add it to your Sonos system. This is possible through the intervention of the controller app, so make sure you already have it installed.

First off, launch the S2 program on your macOS or Windows device. Go directly to the Manage Menu and tap on Music Library Settings. This is symbolized by the (+) icon on iOS products but labeled as Add on Windows.

Select My Music Folder to look for your iTunes library. In some cases, the folder is not stored in the expected space. As such, you will need to explore your files a bit deeper.

Once you’ve located the intended music folder, import it to your S2 app by clicking on it. Some folders are passcode protected, so ensure you remember your lock combination.

After doing so, all you need to do is bear through the waiting time. If your iTunes library is jam-packed with songs, then it will take quite a while.