Why the Sonos Arc is one special soundbar
Why the Sonos Arc is one special soundbar
8:28

Why the Sonos Arc is one special soundbar

Audio
[MUSIC] This is it the SoDos Arc soundboard and place spoke the play bar and the playbase, and it cost $800 or $100 more than the play bar. Excuse this echo chamber. [UNKNOWN] But I unbox this puppy, set up and I let you know it sound. Let's go do this. [MUSIC] Okay, I've got the Arc all set up and I've given it a good listen. Really there are a few things about it that make it stand out from other sound bars. For starters, it's really stylish looking Also sounds really good for soundbar one of the big challenges for standalone sound bars. By that I mean one that doesn't come with a separate subwoofer. They just don't have a lot of bass usually, but this doesn't feel bass shy. At least you don't feel like you're making a big compromise. If you don't get a subwoofer, you can get one, but it doesn't make you feel like you're making a big compromise about having one. It also has a nice wide soundstage. Obviously, the biggest difference between this and the play bar is the design. Sonos wanted to have a less boxy look and where would they'd be round and more cylindrical shape Bark naming parcel your first a single piece 270 degree grill that the speaker is wrapped in is definitely sleeker. I really do like the new design as kind of a softer look, especially in the white colour. You can place it on a flat surface or mounted on the wall with a bracket you have to purchase separately for $79. [MUSIC] Speakers longer than the play bar is equipped with more drivers. Sadly, I only have a 43 inch TV where I'm living these days and the arc looks fine with it but it really is meant to be paired with a TV that's 55 inches or larger. There's a total of 11 drivers, eight elliptical woofers including up firing drivers and three precisely angled silk dome tweeters. The play bar has nine drivers, six of the woofers and three tweeters. Meanwhile Sona says $400 beam soundbar. Yes, it's sticking around has four full range drivers. Like all sorts of speakers. This is easy to set up using the Sonos app for iOS or Android for iOS and iPad OS users. There's also the true play auto calibration feature that tunes the speaker to your room. That said if you've got a weirdly shaped room, you're less likely to hear surround effects the speaker performs best in a boxy, enclosed room. You can add the art to a multi room music system with other sono speakers or wireless audio streaming, it only uses Wi Fi, not Bluetooth. So you have to have a Wi-Fi network to connect it to or an ethernet jack with Internet access. There are two ways to connect it to your TV. Most of you will use the HDMI ARC port on the back of your TV. ARC stands for audio return channel, it allows you to distribute the audio from multiple HDMI inputs to an audio source like a speaker. It's also able to pass high resolution audio like Dolby Digital plus, some might say the name of the speaker is also a reference to that port. If you don't have HDMI The other option is to go with the optical connection on your TV. an HDMI to optical adapter is included. That's how the older play bar and play bass connected to TVs The newer beam soundbar uses HDMI. However, if you use an optic connection you can't get Dolby Atmos a more advanced version of surround sound adds the dimension of height to your movies and music and places sound more precisely in a 3D dimensional space. It only works over HDMI. [MUSIC] How you get Atmos Sound is both easy and complicated. For starters, you need the right TV or streaming video device connected to your TV. My $225 TCL 4k TV has Roku built into it and it seemed to pass Atmos Sound to the Arc directly from the TV. However, I mainly use the Xbox One X as my streaming device and devices like Apple TV 4K, Nvidia Shield and certainly Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices also pass Atmos audio from various streaming services like outputting Dolby Digital plus via a standard ARC HDMI port. Where things get more complicated is when you wanna watch 4k Blu-rays. Output at mostly a higher resolution Dolby true HD. The only way to do that is connecting the sound bar to a TV with the newer HDMI port and only a handful of the newest TVs currently have it, the more should get it in the future. I'm not sure you'd be able to tell the difference between Atmos using Dolby Digital or Dolby true HD with a speaker this size Just something you need to be aware of. The other big feature upgrade is voice control. As with the beam, you can choose between Amazon Alexa or google assistant and there's an array of four Far field microphones do a good job of hearing your voice when you shout. From across the room even when your music is playing pretty loud, like with other sort of sound bars you can wirelessly add a set of rear speakers create an even more immersive surround sound system. For instance with my beam I have a couple of old play three speakers as readers. A lot of people like to use Sonos ones is weird because they're Sonos' least expensive speakers, can also get Ikea's Sonos compatible speakers for $99 each. [MUSIC] As I said, the issue with standalone sound bars is they tend to be short on bass. The play bar has some bass, but it's not exactly room rattling While the beam sounds remarkably good for its size, it's even more bass shy. Arc is the solo soundbar, for those who that being just isn't enough, it costs twice as much. It sounds at least twice as good. While you can add a subwoofer, so let's just update it at $700 sub with a new chipset that gives it more processing power Brings it up to date with the company's new lineup of speakers that use sounds as new AES two operating system and app. Not everybody does wanna buy one of those however, the arc clearly produces more base than the play bar, it also has a wider soundstage offers better clarity and has more volume That all comes across both when you're watching movies and listening to music, you still might want to add a subtle sub if you can afford it. But the point is this soundbar seems less bass compromised than previous sono sound bars and most other standalone sound bars out there right now. See that's home audio enter Ty Pendlebury gave high marks to the $500 Vizio sb 360512-F6 Atmos sound bar but that model yeah I know great name that's really easy to remember that model comes with a subwoofer and rear speakers. It sounds excellent but money particularly for home theater, but it just can't match the design of the ark. Also told me that he prefers the arc to the recently released Sony HT-G700 soundbar which comes with a subwoofer but no rears for $600. I'm a fan of the Sennheiser and yo soundbar but it's quite a bit bigger than the arc and cost $2500 At $800 the Arc is a bargain by comparison. [BLANK_AUDIO] The long and short of it is there other Atmos sound bars like the Vizio that cost less and sound excellent, partially due to the inclusion of a subwoofer over the Arc is certainly sleeker looking. It also sounds impressive and is really easy to set up. On top of that, you can integrate it into a Sonos multi room audio setup for music, or home theater. I'd certainly be tempted to upgrade to it from the play bar just based on its design, but only if I had a place to put my old play bar or if someone was willing to offer me a few hundred bucks for it. I'm David Carter for cnet.com Thanks for watching, and let me know what you think in the comment section. [MUSIC]

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