Sonos Surround Set Or Back To 5.1?


Active Member
I recently purchased the Sonos Surround Set. The Arc wasn't working, so I ordered a replacement. I've now had some time to play about with the system. My thoughts:

1) The sound quality is good, but I'm not blown away. I only get a "Wow!" feeling when listening to Dolby Atmos test footage. Now, I realise that sound quality depends on the source, but I wasn't blown away by Blu-Rays and Netflix films that supposedly have good sound quality.

2) The sub seems to make no difference. It is definitely connected and active, but there's no difference when I switch it off and on.

3) The rear speakers (Sonos Ones) are good, but I find that I have to be really close to them to get the benefit. This might be a personal thing. When it comes to the rear speakers, I don't really want a subtle sound that you hear occasionally. I want to feel like I'm in the middle of the film.

4) Night Mode seems to make no difference. Voice Enhancement seems to make no difference.

5) I tested T2 Judgment Day on Blu Ray, and the Sonos App says that it was being played in Stereo. Not Dolby or 5.1. I'm sure that's not right, so I'll investigate further.

6) My TV (Sony Bravia 4K) doesn't have E-Arc - it just has Arc. I know that you need E-Arc to get the full benefit of the Arc, but will it make that much of a noticeable difference? I fully intend to upgrade my TV at some point, but until then I'm not sure if I want to fork out on the Arcana, especially if I buy it and the difference isn't clear or obvious.

7) Years ago, I had a 5.1 system. With that, I used to crank the centre speaker and both rear speakers. This might not be the "correct" approach, but it gave me the sound I like - clear dialogue and immersive background sound. If this is my preferred approach, am I better returning the Arc for a simple 5.1 system?


Distinguished Member
I don´t know is there some setup procedure to set the level of the speakers and sub, it sounds like your system isn´t setup correct. Also some setting not correct if you only get stereo so check the manual.

You don´t get Atmos now, only Dolby TrueHD with old tv which has ARC (need eARC). Review talked about this.

The Sonos stuff looks expensive when you add the sub and extra surrounds. Not sure why you torture yourself with that. It´s never going to compete with decent 5.1 system. Pick some good 5.1 speaker sub package with example Denon receiver so you also get the working "night mode" with dialogue you can hear late night. I already linked you few options in the earlier thread.

Even the 350£ costing compact Wharfedale DX2 package should be good step up from soundbar. These are actually really small when you check dimensions and have keyholes for screw mounting.

Depending will you need the latest receiver with hdmi 2.1 for future (gaming) or not, there is two bundle deals.


Active Member
Thanks! The Wharfedale looks quite interesting. I will investigate.

I'm planning to spend a few days on the Arc. After playing around with it, I can get the following:

After playing around with the Arc, I can get the following:

-Dolby Digital 2.0 (Normal TV, BBC iPlayer)
-Dolby Digital 5.1 (Netflix, Disney Plus, Apple TV & iTunes Movies on 3rd Gen Apple Box)
-Stereo PCM (Blu-Ray Player - with UHD 4K Blu-Rays, Now TV on Apple Box)

For the record, I have a Sony Bravia 4K. KD 55X8509C. It’s a 2015 model.

I don’t know the “ranking” of sound formats, but I imagine that True Dolby is near the top, and better than Dolby Digital 5.1.

Some things I’m still not sure of:

-If I unplug the arc, or any of the speakers, do all my settings reset?

-In the “Surround Audio” section of the app, there are two settings. When I increase or decrease “TV Level” it controls the surround sound in the Sonos Ones. That’s all good. But when I increase or decrease the “Music Level”, nothing happens?

-Since I’m not even seeing the option to get Dolby Atmos, I’m guessing it is either due to my TV (tool old) or the lack of an eArc? My Blu-Ray player is Atmos capable.


Distinguished Member
No one seems to speak the ARC at AVForums and found one thread on US forum where it wasn´t really praised on Reddit.

Best to register here and make thread there and ask from owners.

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