Sonos Beam vs Arc – Choosing the Right Soundbar for You

When it comes to smart speakers and the home theater market, Sonos is a renowned brand backed by years of delivering wire-free, phenomenal sound quality. The company offers a wide range of products, including speakers, subwoofers, and soundbars.

Generally, for an immersive surround-sound movie experience, a dedicated home theater is the very best option, but if you can’t afford it, your next best bet is the soundbar. In this blog post, we’ll test and put two of the top contenders for Sonos head-to-head: Sonos Beam vs Arc.

The Sonos Beam is a compact soundbar with great sound quality and a wide range of features that is perfect for smaller rooms. The Sonos Arc is a larger soundbar with better sound quality and more features, including support for Dolby Atmos surround sound. It is perfect for larger rooms and home theaters.

Both soundbars offer exceptional sound quality, but they cater to different needs and budgets. So, whether you’re a cinephile, a music lover, or just want to enhance your TV sound, read on to discover which soundbar is right for you.

Quick Comparison Between Sonos Arc and Beam (Gen 2)

Before diving into nitty-gritty details, let’s take a quick look at the Sonos Bem and Sonos Arc soundbars.

Sonos Beam is a compact yet powerful soundbar that is best suited for smaller spaces and living rooms. It comes in a sleek and minimalist design, which can easily complement the aesthetics of your living room or bedroom. It offers impressive audio quality and also supports voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. While it may not match the Arc’s cinematic experience, it is an excellent choice for those seeking an affordable, space-saving solution.

If you’re looking for a true cinematic audio experience that fills your room with immersive and captivating sound, the Sonos Arc is your go-to choice. This soundbar is larger and more expensive than Beam, but the Dolby Atmos support and breathtaking audio experience justify its higher price tag. If you’re ready to invest in top-tier audio, Sonos Arc is hard to beat.

Comparison Table – Sonos Beam vs Arc

FeatureSonos BeamSonos Arc
Dimensions25.6 x 3.9 x 2.7 inches45 x 5.5 x 3.4 inches
Weight6.2 pounds13 pounds
Design and build qualityCompact and minimalistPremium and sleek
Sound PerformanceExcellent for its sizeCinematic, Dolby Atmos support
Frequency response40Hz–20kHz20Hz–20kHz
ConnectivityWi-Fi, AirPlay 2, Ethernet, HDMI ARC/eARC portWi-Fi, AirPlay 2, Ethernet, HDMI ARC/eARC port
Power output80 watts940 watts
Voice assistantsAmazon Alexa, Google AssistantAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant
FeaturesSmart Speaker, WirelessSmart Speaker, Wireless, With Wi-Fi, Dolby Atmos Enabled
ColorBlack, whiteBlack, white
WarrantyLimited 1-yearLimited 1-year

Detailed comparison of Sonos Beam and Sonos Arc

Let’s dive into the details of both soundbars to find out what we discovered in our tests.

Design and Build Quality

Sonos Beam and Sonos Arc design

Sonos Beam is a sleek and compact soundbar that measures 25.6 x 3.9 x 2.7 inches. It is available in black and white colors and can easily blend into most home setups. The second-gen Sonos Beam has the same pill-shaped frame as the previous iteration.

Perforated plastic grille shielding covers the soundbar, which makes it more durable and strong. Its dimensions make it suitable for wall mounting or placement on furniture, making it versatile for various room layouts.

The Sonos Arc comes with premium build quality and design. It is much wider and larger than the Sonos Beam and is designed to fit under larger TVs. It comes with a spherically inclined build and measures 45 x 5.5 x 3.4 inches, making it suitable for home theater setups. Like Sonos Beam, it also comes in black and white finishes and is crafted to blend with your room’s aesthetics.

This soundbar has four status lights above the Sonos logo that shine through the grille and another LED light that shows whether the voice assistant is active or not. The design of the Sonos Arc is well-suited for wall mounting or placement on a media console.

Sound Performance

Both Sonos soundbars set the bar high when it comes to room-filling sound. With one tweeter, four woofers, and three passive radiators, Sonos Beam offers great sound quality for its size. It has an overall wide soundstage and good bass response, which makes it perfect for most listening spaces and even larger rooms.

It delivers well-balanced mids and highs, detailed lows, and clear, rich, and center-stage dialogue audio, which makes it the best option for movie and show-watching. Though it doesn’t have dedicated upfiring speakers for Dolby spatial audio format Atmos, it gives tangible motion, space, and depth to the sound, which makes the movie experience more immersive.

You can combine it with separate subwoofers for a wider soundstage and a more convincing Dolby Atmos presentation. While it lacks the sheer power of the Arc, it’s more than adequate for smaller to medium-sized rooms.

The Sonos Arc takes sound performance to a whole new level. It is equipped with 11 powerful drivers (two of which are up-firing), eight curved woofers, and three tweeters. With such an extensive system, it provides an earth-shattering sound.

It delivers wide and well-balanced mids and highs, while the low end is punchy and rich. Dialogue audio is so clear, and therefore, you don’t need a speech enhancement feature. Sonos Arc is the best musical performer among most soundbars, thanks to its tonal evenness.

With its Dolby Atmos support and dedicated up-firing channels for Atmos, it creates the most immersive and precise surround sound experience possible. You’ll feel like you’re in the middle of the action with its impressive spatial audio capabilities. It is an ideal choice for larger rooms and serious cinephiles.


Both the Sonos Beam and Arc are easy to set up. Sonos devices are well-known for their super-simple installation, and NFC (near-field communication) support on both devices makes setup and running much easier.

You can easily set up the Sonos Beam within minutes through the Sonos app, and it offers seamless integration with other Sonos speakers in your home. Simply connect your soundbar to the power outlet, download the Sonos app on your mobile, and tap your Apple device against the top of the Sonos Beam to add it to your Sonos system.

Setting up Sonos Arc is also an easy and straightforward process. Like Sonos Beam, you can configure Sonos Arc using the Sonos app. The Sonos app is available on both iOS and Android devices.

The only thing you’ll miss if you have an Android device is the iOS-only Trueplay feature. Trueplay uses your iPad or iPhone’s microphones to calibrate your soundbar to your listening environment.


Sonos Beam and Sonos Arc connectivity

Both the Sonos Beam and Sonos Arc offer similar connectivity options, including a power connection, HDMI ARC/eARC port, optical, Ethernet port, AirPlay 2, and WiFi connection. These options ensure compatibility with most TVs and streaming devices, allowing you to enjoy your favorite content seamlessly.


Unlike traditional soundbars, Sonos Beam and Arc are feature-rich Sonos soundbars. You can control and customize your listening experience with the help of the Sonos app. For example, with the help of the Sonos app, you can switch between different audio modes, such as speech enhancement mode for more dialogue clarification, night sound mode for low-end minimization, and not disturb the neighbors mode during late-night movies.

Both soundbars come with multiple features, including built-in streaming support from multiple platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, and more. Both the Sonos Arc and Beam come with assistant support. They integrate with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Sonos’ own voice control feature, enabling hands-free control of your music and smart home devices.

Another feature that these soundbars offer is audio zoning, which means multiple Sonos speakers can play the same source or each speaker can play a different source. Additionally, the AirPlay 2 feature allows iOS users to cast audio from their mobile devices to the Beam or Arc.

Both soundbars also support Trueplay, which has the ability to calibrate the sound in your room. But both soundbars lack the Bluetooth feature for more general wireless connectivity. But the HDMI-CEC feature allows the soundbars to turn on and switch to TV audio when you power on your TV.

Thankfully, whichever soundbar you choose, you’ll admire all the supersound Sonos has to offer.

Price and Warranty

In terms of value, both the Sonos Arc and Beam are not very budget-friendly offerings. But the Sonos Beam is relatively less expensive than the Sonos Arc, making it an attractive option for those looking to enhance their audio without breaking the bank. It typically comes with a limited 1-year warranty.

Sonos Arc, being a premium product, comes with a higher price tag. It’s an investment in top-tier audio quality and design. Like the Sonos Bean, it also comes with a limited one-year warranty.

Sonos Beam Pros and Cons

The pros and cons of the Sonos Beam soundbar are given below.

• Compact and sleek design
• Easy to set up and use
• Great sound quality for its size
• Affordable price
• Has an HDMI eARC port
• Supports AirPlay 2, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant
• Not as powerful as the Sonos Arc
• Doesn’t work well in large spaces
• No up-firing channels

Sonos Arc Pros and Cons

• Larger and more powerful design
• Easy to set up and use
• Has an HDMI eARC port
• Connects to other Sonos Products
• Excellent sound quality, especially for Dolby Atmos content
• Supports AirPlay 2, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant
• Larger footprint than the Sonos Beam
• More expensive than the Sonos Beam


In the Sonos Beam vs Arc comparison, the final choice depends on your specific needs, personal preferences, and budget. If you have a smaller room and want affordable soundbar sound quality and voice assistant support, the Sonos Beam is an excellent choice.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a true cinematic audio experience, have a larger room, and are willing to invest in premium audio, Sonos Arc with its Dolby Atmos support is a clear winner.

Whichever Sonos soundbar you choose, you’ll get high-quality sound and a seamless Sonos ecosystem experience for years. Ultimately, the best Sonos soundbar for you is the one that matches your unique personal preferences and home setup.

Comparison Table Sonos Beam vs Arc

Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

Is Arc better than Beam?

Yes, the Sonos is better than the Sonos Beam in most factors. It has a wider and more powerful soundstage, support for Dolby Atmos surround sound, better bass response, and enhanced dialogue clarity, which makes it a great option for a better movie and music experience. However, it is also more expensive and larger in size.

What is the difference between Sonos Beam and Arc?

The Sonos Arc mainly differs from the Sonos Beam in terms of size and price. The Arc is a larger soundbar than the Beam and is also more expensive. Additionally, the Sonos Arc has 11 drivers, including two up-firing speakers for Dolby Atmos, while the Beam has 5 drivers. Overall, the Sonos Arc is a more powerful soundbar with an extensive soundstage and plenty of features.

Is it worth upgrading Sonos Beam to Arc?

Whether or not it is worth upgrading from the Sonos Beam to the Arc depends on your personal needs and budget. If you’re looking for an immersive surround sound experience and the best possible audio quality, then the Sonos Arc is the better choice. However, if you are happy with the sound quality of the Sonos Beam and have a limited budget, then there is no need to upgrade.

How much better is Sonos Arc with a subwoofer?

Adding a subwoofer to Sonos Arc will greatly improve the bass response and overall sound quality of the system. This is especially beneficial if you are using the Arc for watching movies or listening to music with a lot of bass.

Is Sonos Beam Gen 2 worth it?

Yes, the Sonos Beam Gen 2 is worth it. It is a considerable improvement over the original Beam, with better sound quality, a more elegant design, and more features. If you are looking for a compact and affordable soundbar with great sound, the Sonos Beam Gen 2 is an excellent option.

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