EARC vs ARC confusion

lumper

Active Member
Hi all, Im sorry for the question if has been covered, I am just a little confused and need a little help.

My tv has earc, LG oled, so after a long wait we decided we are going to get a sound bar with subs and rear surrounds for our tiny room and set up.
I know I know but this is the situation.

I was under the impression that if I want to use the features the tv offers for audio I would want to pair with an earc compatible device?

But I am being told by Nakamichi that I dont need to worry about that and will still get full audio features and benefits as if I did.

They said, that if I connect my tv's earc to the sound bars arc, and then just connect my series X to the tvs other hdmi 2.1 ports, I will be able to get the same quality audio and all the available formats supported by the xbx and the LG oled despite not being an earc sound bar, through the sound bar, is that true?

If its true, then why would any company add earc over arc?

What benefit is there to going with an earc sound bar over an arc sound bar ?

I was about to buy the LG Sn11, I like it, it has earc, supports all audio formats etc,..

I think for my little room it will perform well and meet our expectations, I know its not a receiver and speaker set up and I know many do not subscribe to using a sound bar, but this is where I am at.

So, does it make any sense for me to avoid arc sound bars? I really like the idea of the Nakamichi 7.2.4 set up for total immersion, The only reason I decided not to consider it was the lack of Earc.

Did I mis understand this?

Is he right?, there is no loss of audio quality using an arc sound bar over an earc sound bar? and I Can still run my hdmi 2.1 devices?

Im just confused now.

Thanks for any info.
Matt
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
ARC and eARC are not the same animals. ARC will not handle/offer the same range of audio codec support — eARC is newer. To get the maximum benefit, match your eARC LG TV with a bar that supports eARC.
 

lumper

Active Member
ARC and eARC are not the same animals. ARC will not handle/offer the same range of audio codec support — eARC is newer. To get the maximum benefit, match your eARC LG TV with a bar that supports eARC.
Well this is my understanding as well.
But Nakamichi sent me this email and explained I dont need earc to enjoy dolby atmos and other audio formats and still be able to use my series x @ 4k 120 vrr hdr plugged into the tv not the sound bar but the audio woudl come through the sound bar and my WebOs apps would also play the audio formats from Disney+ and Netflix etc..

He said,
"I understand your concern, however the soundbar is capable of receiving dolby atmos through ARC so if you connect your xbox to your TV and the TV EARC to soundbar ARC, you will be able to take advantage of the new VRR and still get dolby atmos to the soundbar. This is because the soundbar uses a common port versus the single ports that most ARC devices use. Common ports will allow atmos and high bandwidth audio to pass through.

Single Mode ARC: The original technology for sending audio down the CEC connection to your soundbar/ AV Receiver. This version is only capable of up to 1mbps (highest possible format: Dolby Digital.) This was first available with HDMI 1.4 and is still used with two channel (stereo) soundbars today.

Common Mode ARC: An upgraded version of standard ARC, this allows for up to 6mbps transfer rate (highest possible format: Dolby ATMOS Digital Plus) This is the type of ARC that is available with the current Shockwafe series."

So based on what he explained there, what am I sacrificing if I go with the Nakamichi arc sound bar over another bar that is earc capable? Am I going to mis out on other dolby formats or other high quality audio formats that I would otherwise get with an earc system?
 

lumper

Active Member
Hi all, Im sorry for the question if has been covered, I am just a little confused and need a little help.

My tv has earc, LG oled, so after a long wait we decided we are going to get a sound bar with subs and rear surrounds for our tiny room and set up.
I know I know but this is the situation.

I was under the impression that if I want to use the features the tv offers for audio I would want to pair with an earc compatible device?

But I am being told by Nakamichi that I dont need to worry about that and will still get full audio features and benefits as if I did.

They said, that if I connect my tv's earc to the sound bars arc, and then just connect my series X to the tvs other hdmi 2.1 ports, I will be able to get the same quality audio and all the available formats supported by the xbx and the LG oled despite not being an earc sound bar, through the sound bar, is that true?

If its true, then why would any company add earc over arc?

What benefit is there to going with an earc sound bar over an arc sound bar ?

I was about to buy the LG Sn11, I like it, it has earc, supports all audio formats etc,..

I think for my little room it will perform well and meet our expectations, I know its not a receiver and speaker set up and I know many do not subscribe to using a sound bar, but this is where I am at.

So, does it make any sense for me to avoid arc sound bars? I really like the idea of the Nakamichi 7.2.4 set up for total immersion, The only reason I decided not to consider it was the lack of Earc.

Did I mis understand this?

Is he right?, there is no loss of audio quality using an arc sound bar over an earc sound bar? and I Can still run my hdmi 2.1 devices?

Im just confused now.

Thanks for any info.
Matt
I found what I was looking for.
The Nakamichi wont be able to do lossless audio from the xbx or dvd player etc.. due to the arc limitation on the soundbar, so although it can produce Atmos it still has limitations, which is what I had thought, but couldn't get a straight answer from them about it.

I am going to get an earc unit and see how I like it and go from there, I'm going to buy the LG Sn11 for now, if I don't like it Ill sell it and pick up something else.

Thanks I replied in case someone else came along with the same question.
 

outoftheknow

Moderator
They are correct that ARC can handle Dolby ATMOS. That s when the ATMOS height metadata is attached to an audio format that fits in the bandwidth available with ARC. That is DD+ which is lossy. This is commonly then referred to as “lossy ATMOS” which may not strictly be correct. You can and will get ATMOS through ARC and get your VRR etc on the video when connected as they say.

eARC has more bandwidth so it can carry lossless audio formats - such as Dolby True HD 5.1. The ATMOS height metadata can be attached to that so that would give you what is commonly referred to as “lossless ATMOS”.

For the majority of consumers they will not hear the difference between lossy DD+ 5.1 and Dolby True HD 5.1 to start with. Or it doesn’t bother them if the soundbar can “only do” lossy DD+ because it “sounds great”. To be honest it does sound great - the lossy formats have been developed over the years to be pretty good.

fkr those that want to have lossless audio (with or without ATMOS height metadata, and also want to have the video features offered by their TV and HDMI 2.1 sockets on it, eARC is a must.

Soundbar makers aren’t wrong though to state you can get get ATMOS through ARC. Many will continue to offer soundbars that produce incredible sound from lossy codecs through the ARC input. They aren’t necessarily offering crap sound, or not offering the “best” sound. It depends if you as the buyer insists on lossless audio to start with.

ARC is a pain due the its reliance on CEC. That is implemented so badly in every device HDMI socket/chil that it often doesn’t do as designed. Audio drop outs etc ensue.

That doesn’t mean DD+ and ATMOS sounds crap via ARC though.
 

Eotyr

Active Member
Lip synch seems to be the other major factor - eARC at both ends is supposedly an assurance (is it? i don't know) you won't suffer with it. If you're experiencing lip synch that cannot be dialed out by onboard controls, best bet is in connecting equipment (players, consoles, streamers etc) directly to whatever additional HDMI sockets there are on the bar (some bars don't have ANY!) so that any audio delays that the TV's HDMI sockets are causing are removed from the equation. And then you have to worry about whether or not the soundbar can pass these fancy new video formats back to the television. It's super-confusing once you scratch the surface and so many people seem to suffer with lip synch issues. Is a database of known problems and matches between equipment not a viable thought? I now have an eARC bar and an eARC TV from the same manufacturer and, seem, mercifully to be lip synch free but I'd be interested in checking a combo was known to be OK before spending similar sums again.
 

Tegs200

Active Member
I've got an Earc LG E9 with a full Earc Sonos Arc set up and have Zero issues from day 1.
 

lumper

Active Member
They are correct that ARC can handle Dolby ATMOS. That s when the ATMOS height metadata is attached to an audio format that fits in the bandwidth available with ARC. That is DD+ which is lossy. This is commonly then referred to as “lossy ATMOS” which may not strictly be correct. You can and will get ATMOS through ARC and get your VRR etc on the video when connected as they say.

eARC has more bandwidth so it can carry lossless audio formats - such as Dolby True HD 5.1. The ATMOS height metadata can be attached to that so that would give you what is commonly referred to as “lossless ATMOS”.

For the majority of consumers they will not hear the difference between lossy DD+ 5.1 and Dolby True HD 5.1 to start with. Or it doesn’t bother them if the soundbar can “only do” lossy DD+ because it “sounds great”. To be honest it does sound great - the lossy formats have been developed over the years to be pretty good.

fkr those that want to have lossless audio (with or without ATMOS height metadata, and also want to have the video features offered by their TV and HDMI 2.1 sockets on it, eARC is a must.

Soundbar makers aren’t wrong though to state you can get get ATMOS through ARC. Many will continue to offer soundbars that produce incredible sound from lossy codecs through the ARC input. They aren’t necessarily offering crap sound, or not offering the “best” sound. It depends if you as the buyer insists on lossless audio to start with.

ARC is a pain due the its reliance on CEC. That is implemented so badly in every device HDMI socket/chil that it often doesn’t do as designed. Audio drop outs etc ensue.

That doesn’t mean DD+ and ATMOS sounds crap via ARC though.
Thank you for this information, I do appreciate it.
So, I decided that only 1 of the six I Was looking at didnt support Earc, the others all did.
I just wanted to know why and I have since figured it out.
I do want to use my tvs capabilities and earc so for me, I am going with the LG SN11 and if I dont like it Ill return it and try another from my list.
Thanks again very much.
 

lumper

Active Member
Lip synch seems to be the other major factor - eARC at both ends is supposedly an assurance (is it? i don't know) you won't suffer with it. If you're experiencing lip synch that cannot be dialed out by onboard controls, best bet is in connecting equipment (players, consoles, streamers etc) directly to whatever additional HDMI sockets there are on the bar (some bars don't have ANY!) so that any audio delays that the TV's HDMI sockets are causing are removed from the equation. And then you have to worry about whether or not the soundbar can pass these fancy new video formats back to the television. It's super-confusing once you scratch the surface and so many people seem to suffer with lip synch issues. Is a database of known problems and matches between equipment not a viable thought? I now have an eARC bar and an eARC TV from the same manufacturer and, seem, mercifully to be lip synch free but I'd be interested in checking a combo was known to be OK before spending similar sums again.
Thank you for the information.
I am going with a compatible product that does have earc, hopefully I wont have any lipsync issues but ill cross that bridge when I get to it.
 

lumper

Active Member
I've got an Earc LG E9 with a full Earc Sonos Arc set up and have Zero issues from day 1.
Thanks for the reply.
I too have an E9 and we are buying a CX in a few weeks.

The Sonos looks great, I was nearly sold on it, it has two irritating things about it, you need to use an iphone to set it up, that part sucks, I dont own an apple product, and the price, the 2 sub set up is over 3,000.00 and for a sound bar, that just seems crazy to me.

They are very popular and people seem to love them or hate them.
I decided to go with the LG SN11, if I dont like it, Ill return it and get one of the others from my list.
Thanks again,
 

Tegs200

Active Member
Thanks for the reply.
I too have an E9 and we are buying a CX in a few weeks.

The Sonos looks great, I was nearly sold on it, it has two irritating things about it, you need to use an iphone to set it up, that part sucks, I dont own an apple product, and the price, the 2 sub set up is over 3,000.00 and for a sound bar, that just seems crazy to me.

They are very popular and people seem to love them or hate them.
I decided to go with the LG SN11, if I dont like it, Ill return it and get one of the others from my list.
Thanks again,
I had the SN11 first and returned it for the Arc set up as it just wasn't for me , the apple thing is a pain and it is expensive but on the flip side the quality is great , it sounds good whatever your watching and it holds its money really well which the others struggle with , but all the best with the SN.
 

lumper

Active Member
I had the SN11 first and returned it for the Arc set up as it just wasn't for me , the apple thing is a pain and it is expensive but on the flip side the quality is great , it sounds good whatever your watching and it holds its money really well which the others struggle with , but all the best with the SN.
Thanks, I did see the Sonos, its just too much money, for 1/3 the price I Can get the Sn and I dont think the Sonos is 3X better.
But meh to each his own, I have a budget, I have to stick to it, Im going to start here, and see where it leads me.
Thank you again
 

Tegs200

Active Member
Thanks, I did see the Sonos, its just too much money, for 1/3 the price I Can get the Sn and I dont think the Sonos is 3X better.
But meh to each his own, I have a budget, I have to stick to it, Im going to start here, and see where it leads me.
Thank you again
I know exactly what you mean and all the best with the purchase .
 

lumper

Active Member
I know exactly what you mean and all the best with the purchase .
Thanks, all things being equal, money no object, ID probably get the Sonos with the second sub and maybe even upgraded speakers.
But money is part of the problem, so......
 

Tegs200

Active Member
Thanks, all things being equal, money no object, ID probably get the Sonos with the second sub and maybe even upgraded speakers.
But money is part of the problem, so......

Its a pain i know , when I got mine the SN was £1350 but I managed to get a 30% discount code and ending up getting the Arc , Sub and 2 sl's for £1285 which made it better , SN is going to be a good buy now as it was £1500 at launch.
 

lumper

Active Member
Its a pain i know , when I got mine the SN was £1350 but I managed to get a 30% discount code and ending up getting the Arc , Sub and 2 sl's for £1285 which made it better , SN is going to be a good buy now as it was £1500 at launch.
yeah I am seeing it as low as 1100.00 so, Im confident I can do well with it.
 

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