Sonos Arc for music - additional speakers

BruceC

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I'm using a Sonos Arc linked to TV and computer for both surround sound and music. This replaced an ageing full surround sound system of separates. I didn't expect the cheaper and smaller Sonos to sound as good, but my wife disliked the clutter of 7 speakers, sub, receiver etc and I hoped the Arc would be "good enough" while getting rid of most of the clutter.

This worked up to a point. The room looks much better, and for watching TV I'm reasonably happy with the Arc. But for music (streamed from a Mac Mini) it's not cutting it. I'm not a hi-fi buff and the sound for music doesn't have to be truly exceptional, but I want it to be better than I'm getting from the Arc alone.

I'm considering adding a couple of speakers to the system, for example the Sonos 1 (or Era 1?). My concern is that the "normal" way to set this up with the Arc would be with the speakers behind and facing the TV. That's not going to give the best result for listening to music either: ideally you want the speakers in front of and facing you.

Another option is a separate hi-fi and speakers for music, but this would start re-introducing the clutter I wanted to get rid of. Also it would seem a shame to get the additional speakers and not have them integrate with the Arc to improve the TV sound. And there are advantages of easy integration with additional speakers from Sonos rather than a different maker.

I have not ruled out the option of adding the Sonos sub but that's a different issue.

I'd be grateful for any thoughts from anyone who has been through a similar thought process.
 

manicm

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How are you streaming music from your Mac Mini to the Arc?

Smaller speakers don't necessarily have to be in front of you, trust me. I've had speakers to the side of me which sounded spectacular.
 

twinkletoes

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How are you streaming music from your Mac Mini to the Arc?

Smaller speakers don't necessarily have to be in front of you, trust me. I've had speakers to the side of me which sounded spectacular.
Through the Tv from its HDMI port then into the sonos or alternatively you can use apple music natively on Sonos devices

The OP's question i dont really understand though.

If i understand correctly perhaps a speaker system like the KEF LS50 wireless is called for, killing 2 birds with one stone....... there are many different brands that do the same thing for a little less klipsch 5,7,9s would do well.

Sonos unfortunately don't allow connection to a tv with there "smaller" speakers such as the play 5 and so on. A missed opportunity in my mind.

If you want to stick to a sound bar prehasp the Amebo bar might be worth a look heard its very good with music. BUT very large
 
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BruceC

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Thank to both for replies.
Through the Tv from its HDMI port then into the sonos or alternatively you can use apple music natively on Sonos devices

The OP's question i dont really understand though.
Yes there's an HDMI link from the Mac Mini to the TV and from the TV to the Arc.

To (hopefully) clarify, my understanding is that I can add separate Sonos speakers to the Arc, but the orthodox way to do this would be to add a pair of, eg, Sonos 1s as rear speakers. I'm sure this would improve the surround sound but my first priority is to improve the sound for music.

Because of the way the room is laid out (sofa facing the TV) this would mean speakers on the floor either side of the sofa. My concern is that that might not solve the music problem because the sound would be projecting into the room from off to the side and slightly behind. But given that, as I said, I'm not a h-fi buff, might it do well enough? I guess that's the key question.

One alternative would be to have the speakers facing the sofa. That might work better for music but presumably would give poor results from a surround sound perspective.

The third option would be separate powered speakers or amp and speakers for music only. That should solve the problem with music but it means adding clutter and wasting the opportunity for the additional speakers to improve the TV sound.
 
I've got a Sonos Arc based 5.1 system with Sonos Ones to the rear and Sonos sub. It sounds fantastic for both movies and music. I've got the Sonos Ones on a stand which greatly helps. I think the sub makes a big difference to the Arc's performance as the lower frequencies are filtered away to the sub, allowing the Arc to focus on mid range and higher frequencies.
 

BruceC

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Thanks for this response. As an update, I bought two era 100s. On the whole I am delighted with the results. There's a massive upgrade on the sound for both movies and music. There's also the option to toggle between ambient and full on the rear speakers to get stereo playback for music. Hi-fi speakers to the rear are not optimal, and perhaps neither is 5.1 for music, but to be honest I'm not pernickety enough for it really to matter - it's a colossal upgrade on how the system was sounding before. I'm very seriously considering buying the Sub: the only thing making me hesitate at this point is that if I find I prefer listening to music in stereo I don't think I can justify the price of the Sub for movies alone - my tastes don't generally run to the kind of films that most benefit from outstanding surround sound.
 

manicm

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Thanks for this response. As an update, I bought two era 100s. On the whole I am delighted with the results. There's a massive upgrade on the sound for both movies and music. There's also the option to toggle between ambient and full on the rear speakers to get stereo playback for music. Hi-fi speakers to the rear are not optimal, and perhaps neither is 5.1 for music, but to be honest I'm not pernickety enough for it really to matter - it's a colossal upgrade on how the system was sounding before. I'm very seriously considering buying the Sub: the only thing making me hesitate at this point is that if I find I prefer listening to music in stereo I don't think I can justify the price of the Sub for movies alone - my tastes don't generally run to the kind of films that most benefit from outstanding surround sound.
As I said, it could work out, I once had a Panasonic mini system, speakers had supertweeters, and had them on my sides firing rearwards, and the sound was astounding.
 
Thanks for this response. As an update, I bought two era 100s. On the whole I am delighted with the results. There's a massive upgrade on the sound for both movies and music. There's also the option to toggle between ambient and full on the rear speakers to get stereo playback for music. Hi-fi speakers to the rear are not optimal, and perhaps neither is 5.1 for music, but to be honest I'm not pernickety enough for it really to matter - it's a colossal upgrade on how the system was sounding before. I'm very seriously considering buying the Sub: the only thing making me hesitate at this point is that if I find I prefer listening to music in stereo I don't think I can justify the price of the Sub for movies alone - my tastes don't generally run to the kind of films that most benefit from outstanding surround sound.
You could get the sub for demo and return if you don't think it's worth the upgrade to your system?
 

BruceC

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As a follow up, have now added the Sub, which arrived yesterday. Very happy with the overall outcome. I realise that even though I think of myself as not overly pernickety about sound, the truth is I'd ended up with a sound system that was well below the standard I've generally been used to. I now have a system that sounds good without the clutter of a full 7:1 separates ystem in black plastic and brown wooden boxes.
 
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Witterings

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I'm using a Sonos Arc linked to TV and computer for both surround sound and music. This replaced an ageing full surround sound system of separates. I didn't expect the cheaper and smaller Sonos to sound as good, but my wife disliked the clutter of 7 speakers, sub, receiver etc and I hoped the Arc would be "good enough" while getting rid of most of the clutter.

This worked up to a point. The room looks much better, and for watching TV I'm reasonably happy with the Arc. But for music (streamed from a Mac Mini) it's not cutting it. I'm not a hi-fi buff and the sound for music doesn't have to be truly exceptional, but I want it to be better than I'm getting from the Arc alone.

I'm considering adding a couple of speakers to the system, for example the Sonos 1 (or Era 1?). My concern is that the "normal" way to set this up with the Arc would be with the speakers behind and facing the TV. That's not going to give the best result for listening to music either: ideally you want the speakers in front of and facing you.

Another option is a separate hi-fi and speakers for music, but this would start re-introducing the clutter I wanted to get rid of. Also it would seem a shame to get the additional speakers and not have them integrate with the Arc to improve the TV sound. And there are advantages of easy integration with additional speakers from Sonos rather than a different maker.

I have not ruled out the option of adding the Sonos sub but that's a different issue.

I'd be grateful for any thoughts from anyone who has been through a similar thought process.

Been through a similar thought process, seems like you were happy with the system / sound you initially had and the wife was the driving force to get rid of it .... think that's the part I'd replace and get then get system you want.

Alternatively, if she's a half decent car, explain she's only needs a smaller more economical one.
American friedge freezer and a half decent cooker, don't need those just smaller budget ones that do the job .... handbags, shoes, jewelery and anti ageing cream (seen the cost of that **** with no proven results ) ... all unnecessary clutter.

Anyway ... me just jesting :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:
 

BruceC

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Appreciate it's all in jest, but she isn't the problem. Sure she'd prioritise a nice looking room but she's more than happy to leave this stuff up to me because I'm more interested, and she'll appreciate the better sound even if it isn't a big thing for her. The old clutter got on my nerves as well as hers. We have a nice compromise with the Sonos: fewer speakers, fewer boxes, the wireless speakers are easier to make unobtrusive, the Arc itself, even if not exactly stylish, isn't nearly as much of an eyesore as the things it replaced. And although it's too long since I heard the old system to be certain, I think it sounds better too.

With benefit of hindisight ending up with just the Arc for 2 or 3 years was an error of judgement, but it was my error of judgement and it's now fixed.
 

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