Do You Need a Subwoofer with Sonos Arc?

The Sonos Arc is a powerful soundbar that delivers fantastic audio to any room. But some people have wondered if they need a subwoofer to maximize their listening experience.

A short answer is it depends on personal preferences and the listening environment. With 11 high-performance drivers/speakers, the Sonos arc ensures precise and immersive sound. However, adding a subwoofer will be worth it if you want deep and powerful bass to take the listening experience to the next level. Sonos offers a separate subwoofer called the Sonos Sub that is specifically designed to work with the Sonos Arc and can deliver deep and powerful bass.

In this article, we will explore why adding a subwoofer is a good option and when you do not need a dedicated one. So without any further ado, let’s start.

Comparison of Sonos Arc’s bass performance with and without a subwoofer

The Sonos ARC is a high-end soundbar with impressive audio performance, including deep bass response. But the question is, with the immersive Sonos Arc bass performance, pairing with a dedicated sub is necessary.

Let’s compare Sonos Arc’s bass performance with and without a subwoofer.

Without A Subwoofer

The Sonos Arc features woofers and advanced acoustic processing, ensuring impressive bass response. Despite its slim profile, the bar’s bass is deep and powerful and can fill the room without any issue. It can deliver enough bass to fill any living space.

With a subwoofer

But when we talk about paring a dedicated subwoofer, especially Sonos sub, a wireless subwoofer designed for Sonos speakers/bars, including the Sonos Arc. With adding a dedicated subwoofer, the bass performance will be on the next level, and that is without any doubt. Yes, I got proof. A subwoofer is dedicated to working with low frequencies, so it can do much better to boost the bass performance and maximize the overall listening experience. Pairing the ARC with a subwoofer can result in even deeper, more impactful bass that can be felt and heard.

And a Sonos Sub is a perfect subwoofer if you’re considering buying a new one. It is a wireless subwoofer capable of delivering deep, rumbling bass that can add a new dimension to music, movies, and games.

To back up what I said, I found a video where some content played on a Sonos Arc soundbar and, yes same content with and without a subwoofer. You can tell how much difference a subwoofer can make, and it also depends on what type of content you listen to/watch and how much bass you prefer.

When Should You Add Subwoofers To Sonos Arc

This section covers the top scenarios where adding a subwoofer to the Sonos ARC soundbar is advisable.

Room Size

One of the obvious reasons to install an additional subwoofer with Sonos Arc is having a large room or an open-concept space. 

Even though the Sonos ARC soundbar delivers powerful bass, covering large rooms sometimes becomes challenging.

The built-in subwoofer might do a good job, but a fine dedicated subwoofer will let you experience fully immersive sound quality.

In addition, if you have a small room with high ceilings, the sound may bounce around and lose some of its impacts.

When considering room size, the placement of both the bar and sub also be considered. The positioning of both components can have a positive or negative impact on sound performance.

In short, consider adding a dedicated subwoofer if you have a large room or open-concept space. On the other hand, for a small room, you may get by with just the Arc’s built-in woofers.

Room Acoustics

Room acoustics refer to how sound behaves and is perceived in a given space and can be influenced by several factors, including room shape, size, and materials.

Sonos Arc sound will be distorted, muffled, or overly reverberant in a room with poor acoustics. This can impact the overall sound performance leading to uneven bass response and unbalanced sound.

In that scenario, adding a dedicated subwoofer will also be a good way to help compensate for poor room acoustics. But make sure to work with room acoustic. Adding acoustic treatment, optimizing speaker placement, or changing the layout of your furniture can improve the room’s acoustics.

Regarding furniture and floor hard flooring, multiple wooden and metal furniture items and bare walls are the prime causes of lousy room acoustics. 

In addition, work with the placement; avoid placing the subwoofer near the wall corners. The ideal placement is near the listening area. A subwoofer improves the overall sound quality by lifting the loudspeakers and soundbars. As a result, the stereo imaging is more accurate with more compelling dynamics.

Listening Preference

In addition to room size and acoustics, your preference is the biggest factor that lets you know whether to add a subwoofer.

If you want to have a lot of bass in the movies or music you listen to, you may want to consider adding a subwoofer to your Sonos Arc setup. 

On the other hand, if you listen to Sonos Arc and are satisfied with its overall sound, you might not need a subwoofer.

Here the type of content also plays a vital role. For example, if you love watching action movies or/and playing games, they feature a lot of explosions and bass-heavy sound effects. And with Sonos Arc and subwoofer, this will be much more enjoyable than only Sonos Arc.

In another case, you may not need a subwoofer if you mainly listen to podcasts or watch dialogue-heavy TV shows.


Last but not least, your budget can also impact your decision. You surely want to experience the feeling of living in the music, airplanes flying overhead, or the person passing by as the Sonos ARC soundbar promises. However, for the experience, you have to invest a hefty amount.

If price is not a concern and you need a thumping bass experience for your large rooms, go for the Sonos ARC soundbar. The average price of subwoofers falls between $200-500, while the Sonos subwoofer costs $799; the higher the quality, the higher the price.

Situations Where A Subwoofer May Not Be Necessary:

You may crave the subwoofer for no reason, while your Sonos ARC soundbar alone can handle your listening needs.

The below section highlights the situation where a subwoofer may not be necessary with the Sonos ARC soundbar.

Small Room

Whether Sonos ARC or Samsung, soundbars are well-known for their thumping sound experience, they are designed to feature multiple small built-in speakers that sync together and deliver a power-pack audio experience.

The Sonos ARC soundbar alone is enough for a powerful music experience if you have a small room—3D effects and extraordinary engineering fire sound power the eleven built-in internal speakers in all directions.

Low-Volume Listening

Not all users are crazy about thumping or bone-shaking sound experiences. Some prefer the low melodious sound with light bass, enough to hear the chores and dialogues accurately.

If you are one of them, stay away from an additional subwoofer. Adding a subwoofer doubles the bass intensity and volume levels; you might feel uneasy if you aren’t used to the thumping sound.

Besides, if you live in an apartment using a subwoofer with the Sonos ARC soundbar might result in additional problems, including neighbor complaints, excessive vibration, and noise.

Limited Budget

Before dying to fulfill the need for a thumping sound experience, you should consider the price of Sonos ARC. As you know, the Sonos ARC Premium costs $899, as per Amazon. 

Seeing the price, most users assume the soundbar comes with a subwoofer. The price alone is costly; if you’re tight on dough, think twice before adding a subwoofer.

Additionally, the average cost of a subwoofer ranges between $200-500. Having an additional subwoofer might not work if you are tight on budget. Avoid having a subwoofer, and let the Sonos ARC soundbar handle your sound needs alone.

No Interest in Deep Bass

One of the most out-ranking features of the Sonos ARC soundbar is the HI-RES audio with the bass boost technology. This technology delivers a satisfying bass response, ensuring each note hits the chorus.

Trust the Sonos ARC soundbar if you prefer a relatively satisfying bass response rather than deep. Combining the 3D Dolby Atmos- the bass boost technology delivers a realistic music experience. 

Good Room Acoustics

Unless the room is acoustically treated, you won’t experience satisfactory music quality despite having the best soundbars. As you know, room acoustic defines sound wave behavior in fully or partially closed spaces.

Before the original, the reflected sound waves reached the ears. If the room isn’t acoustically treated, with impaired speech comprehension, much of the sound will be tagged as noise, not music.

Adding a subwoofer with the Sonos ARC soundbar is unnecessary if your room acoustics are good. The soundbar can uniquely treat room acoustics thanks to its enhanced tuning technology.


The decision to add a subwoofer with Sonos Arc depends on your personal preference and the specific acoustic characteristics of your room.

While there is no doubt Sonos Arc soundbar can produce deep and powerful bass on its own. But at the same time, there is no denying a good quality dedicated such as Sonon Sub can produce even more deep and powerful bass, which brings the experience of listening to music, watching movies, or playing games from good to incredible.

Ultimately the decision will depend on your needs and budget, and if you already have a subwoofer, there is no problem experimenting and finding the best.

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