The Sonos Arc, a new way to revamp a home theater


Jo Ramos | The Ticker

Philip Watson

Move over Echo, the Sonos Arc, a sound bar speaker for home television, is here.

There have always been many reasons to stay home and watch movies and with the COVID-19 pandemic and films going straight to HBO Max lately, upgrading a home theater is worth it. The Sonos Arc, a new way of immersion into music, movies, TV and gaming is an ideal way of doing so.

The Sonos Arc came out in the Summer of 2020 and until recently has been almost impossible to get a hold of. Dolby Atmos, the surround-sound technology used in the Sonos Arc, immerses listeners in the center of the audio from the soundbar and is upgraded with the addition of surround-sound speakers. This is a great way to watch movies or TV to feel like one is being told, “You know nothing Jon Snow.”

For those that do not yet have a TV soundbar, this may be a good way to journey into that territory. The sound is  fantastic and the ability to play anything from the system makes it shine brighter.

The bass on the system is also not overwhelming so there’s no worry about fallen picture frames. Audiophiles may want to utilize deeper bass, which additional surround speakers can provide, but this item is already very costly at $799 and cannot be utilized with third-party speakers; it can be paired only with Sonos speakers.

The Sonos Arc does come with a few dents in its hull. To use it, a buyer needs to download and use the Sonos app for music. This is very unfamiliar to new users of a Sonos system. The world of technology changes every day, and sometimes familiarity with basic menus is a welcoming feeling.

It also comes with only a single HDMI eARC port, so a new TV or a compatible cable/set-top box like Roku or Apple TV may be needed to connect Dolby Atmos sourcing. The Arc floats just fine without it, though.

Lastly, there is no Bluetooth connectivity to this sound bar. To connect it to an iPhone, it has to be done through Apple AirPlay from the Sonos app. This feels like a huge runaround for no reason, whereas Bluetooth has been around since 1989 and is very familiar with almost everyone. The attraction of being able to just plug something in and figuring it out has always been a fun part of technology, but the manual had to be used here.

The soundbar does come with Google assistant and Alexa connectivity, which can be set up through voice commands.

Overall, for those that can afford this device, it is a welcomed upgrade to a home theater. As mentioned, the bass on the system is enjoyable but someone searching for a deeper bass should investigate either the subwoofer upgrade or investigate elsewhere. Alexa and Google assistant connectivity is a great touch and Dolby Atmos immerses listeners into what they are watching.

However, the hefty price tag at $799 can burn a serious hole in one’s pocket. While a different TV soundbar can be purchased elsewhere for cheaper than the Arche sound is seriously incredible from this device and it can get loud without sounding grainy. The upgrade to this soundbar is worth it as long as its price falls within one’s budget.