Old vs new soundbar, Sonos arc v panorama 2

swiftyswallow

Standard Member
Find myself in a dilemma. I have a b&w panorama 2, beautifully built soundbar but a few years old now.
I purchased a Samsung qled 75" about a year ago and have been wondering if it is time to upgrade my soundbar and sound quality now is a decent step up.
Really unsure if something like the new Sonos arc would be a noticeable improvement in sound from the £1650(new) panorama 2, 7 years ago.
I use it 90% for movies and TV, don't have a sub and can't have rears (female instruction 🤭).
So would really like the opinion of more experienced audiophiles as to whether you think it would be worth it or it would be marginal?
 

keithwiggins

Well-known Member
The b&w is a high quality audiophile soundbar. A newer atmos soundbar from the likes of lg/samsung/jbl/sonos etc when compared in isolation directly with yours wont sound anything like as good based on one criteria, sound quality. If however you then add subs rears etc then you will enjoy a better spread of sound, more wizz bang effects is if you like, but for outright sq the b&w will still be clearer and more articulate. Sound focused bars such as yours and focal /dali etc will always sound better, but they wont give you a spread of sound, so changing will be a compromise. better effects, vs purer sound, get out there and try to have a listen, the nearest to yours sq wise is an Ambeo followed by a b&o stage as one box solutions.
 

swiftyswallow

Standard Member
That's great, thanks Keith and provides some good clarity on the dilemma, I hadn't thought of the sq Vs space/effects before.
I hadn't realised also the the b&w will be better in sq than the newer soundbars but more limited in the stretch of sound in a room. I have an open plan lounge 6 X 4 into kitchen diner 4 X 5 so quite open.
 

bernado

Well-known Member
I would say the Arc would be a step down on sound quality from what you already have.
The only reason I could see for you to 'upgrade' your existing bar would be if you wanted additional features such as wireless music streaming.

I wouldn't get too overexcited by the thought of Atmos which some newer bars offer in their standalone devices, these effects tend to be quite subtle in my opinion. Whilst nice to have I wouldn't consider it enough of a reason to warrant a purchase on that aspect alone.

You've already said you don't intend adding a sub or rear speakers so save your money I say and be happy you bought well originally👍
 

swiftyswallow

Standard Member
Thanks bernado, that's reassuring!

Might be tempted by a sub, especially if there was a way to hook it up wirelessly to the B&W, cables showing is equivalent to putting a red sock in the wash! 😆
 

keithwiggins

Well-known Member
Thanks bernado, that's reassuring!

Might be tempted by a sub, especially if there was a way to hook it up wirelessly to the B&W, cables showing is equivalent to putting a red sock in the wash! 😆
you can get wireless kits for subs, svs does one and there are others.
 
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ST8UDDERZ

Well-known Member
Recently purchased a sonos Arc with sub and surrounds to replace my B&W Panorama 2. The sound on the Sonos system is amazing. I am not convinced by atmos but 5.1 is superb. I would highly recommend a purchase. My B&W has been boxed up and kept in the loft…will not get rid if it.
 

swiftyswallow

Standard Member
Thanks ST8UDDERZ... I just have the Panorama 2 but am seriously looking at a sub now - XTZ 12.17 or perhaps SVS PB2000/3000 micro depending on budget.

5.1 is still a pipe dream so would appreciate your thoughts on how you think the Arc would compare as standalone bar or am I better spending the money on a sub and keeping the Panny?

Just dont have the budget for an Arc and a sub.

Having said that, I just cannot get the Panorama OSD menu onto my new QLED TV so might be forced into it (unless some other way to see the OSD menu to configure the Panorama).
 

ST8UDDERZ

Well-known Member
Comparing the arc to the panorama as stand alone units….thats tough.
I would probably go with the sonos as it has a more spatial sound and i would say the bass is equal to the Panorama.
I would go for the sonos….then at a later date you could invest in the subwoofer….then at an even later date, sweet talk the missus😂.
The arc + sub sounds amazing, you can hear the bass but if you want to, you can feel the bass aswell👍
 

Enex

Standard Member
What about Ambeo, as a stand-alone bar it’s better than arc and you have Sub out port that you can use with a sub pf your choice if that matter to you.
Assuming rear speakers its a no go it’s probably a better alternative with a similar price point of your b&w.
 

swiftyswallow

Standard Member
Yeah that would be nice but it's also over twice the price of an Arc or decent sub.

I have asked the kids if they can live on beans and mars bar for a month to enable dad to buy an Ambeo and a sub but they said they would need crisps as well so it was a no go!

I've around £800 as a budget whatever I do so tricky...
 

GAS66

Active Member
Hi swiftyswallow. I'd be curious to know what you decided to do in the end? 5 years ago, I went went through a phase of going through soundbars like worn out old shoes. Among them were the B&W Panorama 2 & BK XLS200Mk2 DF Sub (excellent kit, with a very quirky remote), and the Paradigm Soundscape ( which killed the B&W in every way! These were both out at the time of the Sonos Playbar, which think was inferior sounding... Between then and now things have moved on quite a bit, so in my humble opinion, having heard it (With a Sub), the new generation Sonos Arc sounds better than the Panorama 2, and with the added bonus of a whole host of fine tuning tools via tablet/phone, and Atmos.
 

swiftyswallow

Standard Member
Hi Gass66, well, I actually ended up ordering an Arendal1961 1v subwoofer which I'm still awaiting delivery for (due before Xmas) so can't really comment as yet.

My reasoning was based on:

1. Perception that the biggest absence and most influential element for movie soundtracks is the bass
2. Changing the panorama to a newer soundbar might only realise a relatively marginal improvement and would still lack the thump sought
3. The Arendal is on a 30 day risk free trial so other than postage cost, I can still change tack if the bass is not so transformative
4. I can upgrade either the soundbar or change to an amp & speaker separates package later ( other half may also be more amenable if new bass wows too!)

So, lets see how it pans out. Have yet to inform my good lady I've ordered the Arendal 😆
 

GAS66

Active Member
Thanks. I'll be really interested to know you thoughts on this. Ironically, ever since revisiting this forum after some time away, I'm extremely tempted to ditch my trusty 5.1 in favour of either a Sonos Arc or Beam 2 based soundbar system.... Damn this Forum :eek:
 

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