For those looking for an all-in-one solution to their home theater audio set-up, the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Stage and Sonos Arc are two very viable options to look at.
In summary, both of these products are audio soundbars meant for convenience and seamless utility in your home theater system, offering high-quality audio. The Beosound Stage gives you a better frequency response, better customization options, and fantastic connectivity through its HDMI port and wireless connectivity. The Sonos Arc has speakers on the sides, which give it better surround sound (the Beoplay mixes down to stereo). And its room correction feature gives it a slight edge as well. The Beosound Stage is the more expensive one.
Here’s a comparison of these two to help you make your decision.
Designed by NORM architects, the Beosound is a Scandinavian minimalist design personified.
Available in three colors (Smoked Oak, Natural Aluminum, and Bronze Ton), it measures
110.4 x 7.7 x 17.4 cm and weighs 8kgs.
The frame extends to the seamless integration of the control buttons while the contrast between the aluminum and the fabric pops beautifully due to the deliberate gap between the two.
The overall appearance is of a stately, premium product that makes its presence felt inside a home. This is not a product that blends in. It is striking and beautifully so.
The Sonos, in contrast, feels somewhat generic in its appearance (at the risk of sounding harsh). While the matte finish is forgiving, the only available colors are black and white.
The materials do not give you anything close to the organic feel of the Beosound and make it look like exactly what it is: a speaker. And nothing more.
On the plus side, it is more of a ‘wallflower’ than its contender. It does a great job of blending into pretty much any room. So if you can’t be bothered planning your interiors around your home theater system, this might be closer to what you need.
The Sonos Arc measures 114.3 x 8.6 x 11.7 cm and weighs 6.3 kgs.
Let me tell you something right off the bat.
Room acoustics, particularly room dimensions and speaker positioning, will have an immense effect on sound quality.
The impact of the combination of these two is actually so strong that in most cases, it doesn't even make sense to utter a single word on sound quality without speaking of them.
This is why I'd hiiiiiiighly recommend you to check out this simple, 2D, online speaker placement calculator. I've had an Acoustics & Audio PhD build this tool specifically for this purpose. It's also completely free and mobile compatible. It's GOOOOLLLDDDDD.
ASAP Science made a video on the loudest and quietest rooms in the world. A mind blowing example of the importance of acoustics (time adjusted video).
Other parameters such as the age/materials of the building, the furniture & carpets in place, ceiling height, etc can and will, of course, have an effect on room acoustics, too. But much less.
Straight off the bat, both speakers do offer quality sound. It’s a close call. So, in addition to the points mentioned in the Summary above, here are a few additional factors to skim through:
- The Beosound Stage offers you a 3.0 configuration.
- The Sonos Arc, on the other hand, gives you 5.0.2-Channel, Virtual Surround sound.
- The Beosound Stage comes with 4 x 1.5" / 3.8 cm full-range drivers, 3 x 0.75" / 1.91 cm HF Tweeters, and 4 x 4" / 10.2 cm LF drivers.
- On the other hand, the Sonos Arc comes with 4 x Front-Firing Elliptical Cone, 2 x Side-Firing Elliptical Cone, and 2 x Up-Firing Elliptical Cone full-range drivers. In addition to 1 x Front-Firing Tweeter, 2 x Side-Firing Tweeter as HF drivers.
- Beosound Stage: You get Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD.
- Sonos Arc: This gives you Dolby Atmos.
If that’s too much technical jargon for you, what it really translates to is that while both are neck-to-neck in sound delivery, the side-firing speakers on the Sonos Arc are a little more versatile.
Additionally, it is helpful to note that the Sonos is also well equipped to connect to additional speakers and a subwoofer.
You may check out the Sonos Arc User Guide.
The Beosound Stage comes with 1 x HDMI 2.0 Audio/Video inputs and 1 x HDMI 2.0 Audio/Video output.
It offers LAN, Airplay 2, Chromecast, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.
The Sonos Arc comes with 1 x HDMI - ARC/eARC inputs, Ethernet LAN, AirPlay 2, Proprietary, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.
Small Caveat: Neither comes with any USB ports.
In conclusion, this is how Beosound Stage and the Sonos Arc stack up against each other:
- Design: Beosound Stage wins.
- Sound: Tie. The Beosound Stage offers premium quality and the Sonos Arc more versatility.
- Connectivity: Tie.
- Price: The Sonos Arc wins.