Our first Dolby Atmos experience with Sonos Arc


Just finished The Old Guard from Netflix on our newly bought Sonos Arc (+ 2 * Sonos One as surround, waiting for the Sub to arrive, but we think it will be returned as unneeded) and our 75″ Samsung QLED TV

We … were … blown … away!!!!!

Bought our previous Pioneer receiver back in 2008 with 5.1 and considered it the high standard and enjoyed countless movies on the 120″ HD-projector from PS3 BD-player. We stubbornly sticked with the projector and screen and simple iPads for daily watching. We are glad we skipped a generation or two of home-theater technology and invested in the Samsung and Sonos.

Our movie room is ~250 ft2 and the Sonos Arc is located about 4 in below the TV (not optimum, but all you Americans hang your TVs too high!). The Sonos Ones are 1 ft behind the sofa and spread 3-6 ft left-right. Calibrated the room with TruePlay.

Our thoughts:

Picture: HDR+ on the Samsung is amazing! The lens flares actually stings you in the eyes and lights up the room and the 4K content looks stunning viewed from 18 ft.

Sound: Dolby Atmos is freaking awesome! The spatial location of the sound is uncanny. The sound is actually coming from the actors’ mouths – you are practically THERE!! We expected stunning effects from helicopters flying over your head, but hearing the spent cases from the first scene clinking over the floor stunned us!

Comments (8)

8 responses to “Our first Dolby Atmos experience with Sonos Arc”

  1. beckoningeagle

    Cool!!. I am thinking of doing something similar so that I can have a lower profile of the TV and gain about 2ft of floor space. If you wouldn't mind aswering a couple of questions:

    1. Did you replace the Pioneer Amplifier as well or are you running the ARC through the amp?
    2. How does it sould with non Dolby ATMOS content such as DT:X or regular 5.1, do you still get discreet channels at least?


    • matsan

      In reply to BeckoningEagle:
      1. No, we still have the Pioneer (VSX-LX52, the non-connected generation) complete with 5 speakers and a sub from Dali in our apartment in town. Since October we have been "corona-refugees" spending our time out on our homestead watching content on a tiny iPad. Missing good sound and picture we treated ourselves to a late (or early) Christmas present.
      2. The Arc supports Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby True HD (https://support.sonos.com/s/article/4945?language=en_US) We have watched movies from BD, DVD and streaming services with full surround sound. We specifically bought a TV with eARC to get the the best support for the Arc. We have so far only found one format that isn't supported (but we think it's the Samsung that doesn't pass it through) - DTS. According to Sonos, it should play as 2.1 but the TV doesn't list it as supported. We tried playing "The Thomas Crown Affair" BD but no sound at all. We have a couple of BDs with both Dolby Digital and DTS and switching to Dolby Digital makes them play fine in 5.1

      Before getting the wall mount we had the TV on the supplied feet on the TV counter - it was a scary week with a 40" tall and incredibly skinny piece of equipment mounted on top of two pieces of plastic. Just passing it you could see the wind rocking it gently, preparing for a nose-dive!

      We got a Vogel flush mount so the TV only extrudes 2,7" from the wall which is pretty cool and looks really good. We hung it 25" above the floor (top of the TV is at 65"). This doesn't leave room for the suggested 4" between the top of the Arc and the TV, we only have 2,5".

      My comment about hanging too high comes from the Sonos website where the TV seems to be hanging at least 6ft high. Visiting our friends in the US in the good-old-pre-Corona-days we noticed that watching movies on TVs hung high is tiresome on the neck. We have always aimed for a "natural" height so you can look straight when you sit in the sofa.

      In reference to Paul's vinyl stories - we brought the old PS3 and the collection of BDs and DVDs that we have. Flipping through all the 100+ DB and 200+ DVD is fun and we have now Friday and Saturday movie nights. The PS3 is connected to the Samsung on HDMI1 and the Sonos Arc on the eARC compatible HDMI2 port. All other content (Netflix, Viaplay (sort of a Nordic HBO streaming service), Met Opera and Swedish public TV) is streamed using the built-in apps and shows from the Stockholm Opera casted through Chrome from the iPad.

  2. jchampeau

    I'll bet you $699 you won't return the sub once you hear it.

  3. Chris_Kez

    Congrats, that sound fantastic! We recently made the jump from a very nice but ten year old 52" Sony to a new 65" Vizio P series. It has been a really nice update but I'm actually torn on the size. For regular TV shows, I feel like the picture is too overwhelming and I want to move back a few feet; but for cinematic content I wish the screen was larger, lol! I think a 75" 21:9 screen would be perfect for me; too bad 21:9 just never took off.

    We also have a roughly ten year old Pioneer VSX receiver with a 7.1 setup that I hope to replace in the next year or so. For now, I'm using ARC from the TV to the receiver but it only seems to be capturing stereo, so I'm using the receiver's processing to simulate surround sound, which works pretty well. I've been too busy to get in and diagnose what the issue is, but it is fine for now.

    And yes, I agree that many TV's are hung way too high. Fireplace above the TV is a common and unfortunate situation, although my in-law's recently renovated their apartment and went with a low-profile gas fireplace that gives most of the benefits of a fireplace and still keeps the TV at eye level when seated.

    • matsan

      In reply to Chris_Kez:

      Sorry I can't be of much help with sound-problems. We used our Pioneer exclusively with an AppleTV or the PS3 so the receiver was directly connected to the sound source. With a TV connected to a sound bar or receiver I have seen many people using opto. Could also be a setting in the TV, our Samsung has a couple of settings for sound that we all put to "Auto" and then identified the Sonos Arc without any problems.

      Screen-size is an interesting optimization problem. We found out that 75" viewed from 15 ft is pretty close to optimum - an 85" would be a beast on the wall and 65" wouldn't cut it. In the apartment we have a 42" monitor for casual watching combined with a 120" motorized projection screen coming down from the ceiling in front of the monitor for movies.