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Sonos backtracks on Arc, Sub audio tweaks following user backlash

Sonos Arc with Sub
Enlarge / Sonos’ Arc and Sub.

Sonos issued a software update this week to address audio quality complaints brought on by a prior software update. Numerous customers said that update 14.12 made their Sonos devices play at lower volumes and that they lost bass when using Sonos’ Trueplay tuning.

As detailed in a couple of threads on Sonos’ troubleshooting forum, as well as on Reddit and YouTube, Sonos’ 14.12 update, which promised “improvements to the clarity of Arc’s audio while playing dialogue,” had undesirable effects as well.

As spotted by What Hi-Fi and The Verge, a Sonos staff member responded to commenters on Sonos’ forum this week, saying that the 14.12 update changed the Sonos Arc soundbar’s sound profile to improve audio quality, especially dialogue clarity, but also created “issues.”

“Users of Arc would find the same volume settings resulted in lower output volume. Whilst the maximum volume and bass capabilities were unchanged, volume settings in the lower regions resulted in a quieter sound than before the update,” Sonos’ representative wrote.

Further, some owners of Sonos’ Arc, Beam, and Ray products reported a reduction in bass coming from a connected Sonos Sub after tuning their devices with Trueplay. According to Sonos’ spokesperson, the issue didn’t affect the Sub Mini, which Sonos released earlier this month. The Sonos rep also said that those who use a Sonos soundbar on its own are unaffected.

The new update, 14.18, is supposed to fix these issues while retaining the boosted audio clarity that Sonos originally intended to deliver. “There was a clear preference within our community for the previous volume settings,” Sonos’ rep said.

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