Ambeo or Full Sonos Arc

rich999

Novice Member
Hi All,
Asking for opinions on which soundbar people would recommend. I have an Apple 4K TV as main source, virgin box and LG B7 so ARC but no eARC.
I’m in the process of buying a new soundbar after selling my Playbar last year and saving!
I tried the Samsung N950 last year but didn’t like the sound from the sub - I just didn’t find it integrated well in my room.
What would you guys suggest as my best option? I’ve looked at the Ambeo (sounded great at the shop) and also the Sonos Arc which I haven’t heard yet. If I was going with the Arc it would be with Sonos Ones as rears I already have and eventually I would buy the sub. So do people think the full Arc system is better than the Ambeo or about the same? I’m swaying towards the Ambeo due to it’s extra HDMI sockets and hopefully no issues with lip sync thou that may just be reading too many comments on forums.
Or any other suggestions I may not have thought about?
Any help welcomed!
 

JBA6

Active Member
My understanding of ARC vs eARC suggests that your having only an ARC and not eARC output on the TV and the Sonos having just the one HDMI socket means that unless the TV is your only media source you will probably get lip-sync issues that you won't be able to correct. Setups without eARC need to have the media sources connected directly to the sound reproduction kit be that soundbar or AVR to avoid lip-sync problems. This isn't possible with the Sonos. The Ambeo or any other soundbar with more than one HDMI input shouldn't have this problem. You don't necessarily need a soundbar with an HDMI input for each source, you can use an HDMI switch instead. For example I have a Samsung soundbar which has two HDMIs in total, one is the ARC going to the TV while the other is available for other media sources. I have my my network player and my BD player connected to this second HDMI via a Kinivo HDMI switch which switches automatically to the player I am about to use (I only have one switched on at a time). This works perfectly with no lip-sync issues (my TV also only has ARC).
Hope that helps,
JB
 

Adam M

Well-known Member
Need to point out that the sonos arc has an hdmi output not an input. You can’t plug a source directly into it even if you could somehow split the picture off.

Even if you have an Apple TV 4K plugged into the an ARC equipped tv you will not get an atmos signal out of the ARC, even one that is carried over Dolby digital rather than over true hd because regardless of the signal, the Apple TV knows it is not plugged into a device equipped with eARC, you will therefore not have the option to select atmos as an audio type.

Only way around this short of buying a new tv is to buy an HD Fury Arcana - look for joe Fernand at the media factory for these. The arcana will let you plug your Apple TV and tv arc input into the sinks arc. That’s enough to tell the Apple TV to output atmos but also for the arc to get the full uncompressed atmos signal from the Apple TV.
 
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JBA6

Active Member
Adam,
Methinks you made a deliberate(?) mistake. The SONOS ARC has just the one HDMI socket and it is of course an input not an output as you suggest. If it were an output how are you supposed to get the sound from your TV to the SONOS? You surely aren't suggesting using the optical connection instead of the HDMI? Also why do SONOS state in the user manual that the ARC's HDMI socket should be connected to the HDMI ARC (or eARC) socket on the TV if it's not to get the sound from the TV to the SONOS?

Just clearing up any confusion here,
JB
 

uk1

Member
Hi All,
Asking for opinions on which soundbar people would recommend. I have an Apple 4K TV as main source, virgin box and LG B7 so ARC but no eARC.
I’m in the process of buying a new soundbar after selling my Playbar last year and saving!
I tried the Samsung N950 last year but didn’t like the sound from the sub - I just didn’t find it integrated well in my room.
What would you guys suggest as my best option? I’ve looked at the Ambeo (sounded great at the shop) and also the Sonos Arc which I haven’t heard yet. If I was going with the Arc it would be with Sonos Ones as rears I already have and eventually I would buy the sub. So do people think the full Arc system is better than the Ambeo or about the same? I’m swaying towards the Ambeo due to it’s extra HDMI sockets and hopefully no issues with lip sync thou that may just be reading too many comments on forums.
Or any other suggestions I may not have thought about?
Any help welcomed!

I cannot tell you how happy I am with my Ambeo.

If you do decide to go this route a decent woof woof is really worthwhile. One of my main sources oddly is subscription Youtube which has some amazing music channels .... NPR Studios Tiny Desk being one of my favourite. My one is attatched to a Sony AF9 TV and connect to the TV are several STB's.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Adam M

Well-known Member
Adam,
Methinks you made a deliberate(?) mistake. The SONOS ARC has just the one HDMI socket and it is of course an input not an output as you suggest. If it were an output how are you supposed to get the sound from your TV to the SONOS? You surely aren't suggesting using the optical connection instead of the HDMI? Also why do SONOS state in the user manual that the ARC's HDMI socket should be connected to the HDMI ARC (or eARC) socket on the TV if it's not to get the sound from the TV to the SONOS?

Just clearing up any confusion here,
JB

no, that was deliberate and exactly my point. It IS an hdmi output and therefore connects to a tv input! The audio return channel sends the audio in the opposite direction ie from input to output. That’s why you need the arcana to translate the hdmi coming from a source (output) to appear to the arc as an hdmi input with an audio return channel.

if in doubt, plug the Apple TV directly into the arc, it will not work.
 

rich999

Novice Member
Thanks for replies all- I had thought with my tv I could have used the ARC with the ATV4K plugged into my TV and had DD+ pass through giving lossy Atmos? Just that I would be risking sync issues by not having eARC?
Have I got this wrong/? If so then it looks like Sonos is off my shopping list.
 

Adam M

Well-known Member
You haven’t got it completely wrong but you won’t get atmos over dd+ only stereo or 5.1, because the Apple TV doesn’t send atmos over dd+, it just doesn’t give you the option to output atmos unless it detects an eARC.

you can get around this by putting an hdfury arcana between the Apple TV and the arc which will give you compressed atmos (dolby MAT) from the ATV and potentially (not 100%) TV audio through the Sonos Arc.
 
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rich999

Novice Member
Oh- have to say that’s news to me. There are people on Sonos discussion forum who say they have using LG series 7 OLEDS without the HD fury as it transcodes?
Anyway I won’t deny I’m leaning far more to the Sennheiser- just the cost of it in one chunk. Suppose that’s what interest free finance can be for!
Thanks for your help.
 

Adam M

Well-known Member
You're talking to the wrong person. I'm a sonos man through and through.

The apple TV works with the sonos, but you can't configure it to output atmos. I don't think it's anything to do with transcoding, the TV simply can't support the bandwidth. It doesn’t take in an atmos over true hd and transcode it to atmos over dd+.

my arcana arrived this morning. Just plugged it all in and it does exactly as described - my tv audio is being sent to the arc successfully too.

after plugging it in the arcana recognized the source as Apple TV and then the option to output atmos became selectable in the menu.

now I can properly play atmos from the Apple TV for the first time.

should be temporary for me as my tv is due a firmware release in may to upgrade to eARC.
 

outoftheknow

Moderator
after plugging it in the arcana recognized the source as Apple TV and then the option to output atmos became selectable in the menu.
Isnt the issue that Apple TV doesn’t use True HD nor DD+ for ATMOS? Isn’t it Dolby MAT?

Might be wrong but often than was an issue when devices couldn’t handle the metadata. Obviously the Arcana can hence it works?
 

Adam M

Well-known Member
Yes that’s true, but mat is compressed too, though I’m not sure if compressed as much as atmos over dd+ (beyond my pay grade). (now researched this - see post below).

I might have hoped that an hdmi arc connection has the bandwidth to cope. It would make sense if it doesn’t, that the Apple TV knows the hdmi it’s connected to can’t support its atmos signal and simply doesn’t allow you to select the option.
 
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Adam M

Well-known Member
Just read this -



post number 4. Seems that Apple TV’s Dolby mat signal is carried over dd+ whose bandwidth is within the capabilities of conventional ARC hdmi.

so it might just come down to not being able to select atmos output within the ATV menu system unless it’s connected to an eARC.
 

sceptic

Active Member
Another potential Sonos ARC customer here.
My understanding of the connectivity is that the various devices (Sky Q box, Firestick and DVD player) all connect to the TV. The TV then connects to the input on the Sonos ARC.
Is this correct?
 

Adam M

Well-known Member
Yes, that’s what hdmi arc does.

ideally you want a tv with eARC or your sound options are limited.
 

Adam M

Well-known Member
See the conversation above!

atmos audio from native tv apps is transmitted over Dolby digital + which has much lower bandwidth - noticeably worse quality.

Apple TV when plugged into the TV cannot output atmos at all. You cannot plug an Apple TV into sonos arc directly either.

only way to get around it is to install an hdfury arcana between the source, the tv and the sonos arc (three hdmi connections).
 

rich999

Novice Member
Adam now you’ve got your HD fury what happens with your other sources plugged into the TV. For example if you have a STB plugged into the tv does the sound still go through to the Sonos?
Or are you using a switcher before the HD fury?

thanks.
 

Adam M

Well-known Member
All my sources plugged into my tv. Tv connected to Hd Fury via its arc port.

I get sound from the tv apps/Xbox/switch via the Sonos arc as a result.

Don’t think this was guaranteed to work - I consider it lucky.

am expecting an firmware update to eARC in may at which point I can sell the arcana.
 

UMAR 3:16

Moderator
All my sources plugged into my tv. Tv connected to Hd Fury via its arc port.

I get sound from the tv apps/Xbox/switch via the Sonos arc as a result.

Don’t think this was guaranteed to work - I consider it lucky.

am expecting an firmware update to eARC in may at which point I can sell the arcana.
Are you saying that all your sources, e.g. 4K player, Apple TV 4K etc are plugged into your tv inputs. Then HD fury plugged into arc port of the tv output? The Sonos arc into the HD Fury so therefore if you play a source you get uncompressed Dolby atmos?
 

Adam M

Well-known Member
That’s how they are plugged in but only the source plugged directly into to the arcana produces atmos over true hd from the the arc.
Anything else and you need an hdmi switch going into the arcana with the sources plugged in to it.
 

UMAR 3:16

Moderator
Ok, so if apple tv is plugged into he fury and the 4K player is in the tv, will the player able to decode uncompressed atmos and send to ARC?
 

Adam M

Well-known Member
No, the hdmi arc only supports atmos over dd+. The sound from the tv to the arc even through the arcana has to go through the arc which is the weak link in the chain.
 

Adam M

Well-known Member
I have no idea, but the limitation here is the tv not the sound bar so I’d imagine it would be the case.

It’s possible the ambeo has a normal hdmi input so can take a direct feed in followed by an hdmi out just like an avr. I haven’t looked at its specs.
 

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