Sonos Arc vs Klipsch Cinema 800 which is better?

Sonos Arc vs Klipsch Cinema 800 which is better?

If you know about these two soundbars you may think that this Sonos Arc vs Klipsch Cinema 800 contest is a little unfair as the Klipsch Cinema 800 comes with a dedicated soundbar. Well, I can see why some might have that point of view, but I have put the Sonos Arc through its paces many, many times here on the site. Recently we looked at the Sony HT-Z9F vs Sonos Arc which is better? and that was quite an epic battle. As the Sonos Arc is seen as one of the best Dolby Atmos soundbars around, I think it makes perfect sense to put it in the ring with its rivals.

The Price

Look, there is no getting away from the fact that we are starting this Sonos Arc vs Klipsch Cinema 800 WWE: WrestleMania 37 main event worthy matchup with a bang! These are two very expensive soundbars, if you want the best Dolby Atmos effect, you have to pay for it. I have tested out cheaper Dolby Atmos soundbars and they are fine, but there is always a step up when you are using something like these two and if you want that step up, you have to be willing to pay for it.

Sonos Arc:

Sonos Arc - The Premium Smart Soundbar for TV, Movies, Music, Gaming, and More - Black

I have looked at a ton of soundbars over the last couple of years and there are a few that have kept their price very close to the RRP and the Sonos Arc is one of them. The asking price for this is $799.99 and I can count on one hand how often I have seen it go for considerably lower than that. Even when it does, you are probably looking at around 50 bucks at the most cheaper. This is so popular that the places like Amazon that sell it have never needed to lower the price significantly. Even if you look on eBay, you are still looking at a price around the 800 bucks mark, maybe even higher!

Klipsch Cinema 800:

Klipsch Cinema 800 Dolby Atmos 3.1 Sound Bar & Wireless Subwoofer

As I write this the Klipsch Cinema 800 is currently on Amazon for $969. This is clearly a fair bit higher than what the Arc is currently going for. However, you do have to factor in that this does also come with a subwoofer which I think makes the asking price for this a lot more reasonable. I did have a little look over at eBay and found that there is not much in the way of deals to be had for this on there just yet. Actually, you have to be really careful as when you search for this, most of what pops up are the 400 and the 600, so be sure to look before you think you are getting a great deal!

The Verdict: The Klipsch is quite a bit higher, but it does come with that subwoofer and if you know Klipsch, you know that it is a good quality subwoofer. That is why I think the better part of 200 bucks more is not completely out of line. Still, with that being said 150 to 200 extra bucks is a lot of money so you do have to factor in if you want a dedicated subwoofer bad enough to spend that extra money. If you do not, you might as well go for the Arc, if you do, well that extra money is not poorly spent at all!

The Design

I have not actually looked at too many Klipsch soundbars here on the site, but I have checked out many of their speakers and Klipsch always has a real elegance about their stuff that I love. Sonos are also known for making some great looking tech too, that is why this round in our Sonos Arc vs Klipsch Cinema 800 contest is going to be very competitive!

Sonos Arc:

Out of all the soundbars that Sonos make the Sonos Arc is the best looking of the bunch. I really like this Sonos Arc Review from the Gadget Show over in the UK. They do a great job of showcasing just how stylish this looks. It is worth noting that Sonos offer this in both white and black, but it is only the black version I have had the pleasure of getting my grubby hands on. As the Sonos Arc is designed with bringing the cinema experience home it is quite large coming in at 3.4” x 45” x 4.5”. If you ask me, this is a soundbar that is clearly intended to be under a TV that is at least 55 inches such as this gorgeous Sony X90J 65 Inch TV. The Sonos Arc has a very high-quality look and feel to it which is very hard to put into words.

I really like the curvy design that this soundbar has. Sonos have used fabric in the past for the front grill of their soundbars and it is a nice effect. However, with this one, they have gone for a very sleek looking plastic grille that follows the curves of the soundbar. It gives it a very sexy kind of look and it makes this a soundbar that you will be very proud to have out on display in your home or your home theatre. Sonos makes some great looking products, but this thing here is in a class all of its own.

Sonos keep that sexy look they have on the front around the back too. Here is where we have our various hookups for connecting this thing to your TV. Sonos have kept it very simple with this soundbar, which is actually something they do for them all now that I think about this. There is only an HDMI port on here, no optical! The reason for this is that first of all this is a Dolby Atmos soundbar and if you want Dolby Atmos, you cannot get it through an optical cable. However, they do also give you an HDMI to optical cable so you could connect it to your TV via an optical cable if you wanted to.

Klipsch Cinema 800:

As you would expect the Klipsch Cinema 800 is made mainly of plastic. It has a very interesting design and you can see it pretty clearly in this Klipsch Cinema 800 3.1 ATMOS Soundbar LIVE Unboxing – World Premiere which was one of the first videos to show off this set. The first thing that my eyes were drawn to with this soundbar was how the sides of it are a different color and design, I get what they were going for here, but man, this sticks out like a sore thumb and I have to say that I am not a fan of it. I like it, but I do not love it if that makes sense. The front and the top of the soundbar is covered in a nice black fabric that I like, but as I have said with other soundbars that have a similar kind of design, you do have to be careful with this as it can be damaged easily and it will be a real magnet for stuff like pet hair and dust! It comes in at 47.75 x 17 x 9.5 inches which is right around what I would expect from a soundbar like this and not too far off what Sonos is offering with the Arc.

Now, as well as a soundbar, this does also come with a subwoofer so let us take a little closer look at that. I was actually very impressed with how solid this subwoofer was. It is made from a very solid woof that was far thicker than I thought it would be. I liked how the feet lifted it off the floor slightly and it kind of makes the subwoofer look like it is floating in the air which is a very cool effect. I was surprised at how large the subwoofer was as it comes in at, 14.3” x 18.4” x 14.3” so it is going to take up a fair bit of space on the floor so that is something you have to take into consideration before you buy this.

I was very impressed with what the Klipsch Cinema 800 had going on around the back! You have two HMDI in ports, an HDMI out, an optical port, a standard 3.5” jack, an ethernet port, and a USB in case of any updates that need to be implemented. Klipsch has really made sure that anyone who purchases this has all of the options that they could possibly need when it comes to hooking this thing up to their TV and that is very cool!

The Verdict: I can appreciate that Klipsch was trying to go for something very stylish with the Klipsch Cinema 800 and I do like the design of it. However, the plastic horns at the side are a real deal breaker for me. I think if they were the same shade of black as the rest of the soundbar this round would have been a bit closer. My winner here has to be the Sonos Arc, it is just such a gorgeous piece to tech, no matter if you have the black or white version of it.  

The Sound

The most important category in this Sonos Arc vs Klipsch Cinema 800 fight to the death is sound. These both offer Dolby Atmos and I have personally known a couple of people who said that they did not know what Dolby Atmos was. However, after watching a movie at my place they are converted. Both of these soundbars really do sound great, but I have to pick a winner!

Sonos Arc: The more time that I have spent with the Sonos Arc, the more I have come to appreciate what Sonos has done here. Sonos know exactly what they are doing when it comes to soundbars and the way that this manages to fill the room and come at you from above thanks to Dolby Atmos is truly outstanding. One of my favorite high-octane style movies I have seen over the last decade is Baby Driver and the opening scene of that movie is a fantastic showcase for how good the Dolby Atmos on this soundbar is. It truly slaps you in the face, even when cranked all the way up the clarity is some of the best that I have ever heard in a soundbar. Another great way to show this off is with something a bit less action-packed like the horror movie Us which had me on the edge of my seat the whole time I was watching it and a huge part of that was the fantastic sound design the movie had. I really do not know how anyone could be disappointed with the sound that this is offering.

If you want to experience a bit more of the sound capabilities of the Sonos Arc check out this Sonos Arc Dolby Atmos Soundbar, Sub Gen 3, One SL … Should you buy? video which dives into the bass that this offers too. Speaking of which I think that the bass this thing provides is more than fine. When I watch movies I like to listen to them loud and never once did I think “man this needs more bass” however, I must admit if you do have a subwoofer connected like the epic,  but very expensive Sonos Sub Gen 3 which is as expensive as the actual soundbar! It truly is an even more cinematic kind of experience. While adding a subwoofer is awesome, I would certainly not say that it is essential.

While the Sonos Arc handles the big bad boom of movies well, I can tell you that it also has some of the clearest dialogue you will ever hear. Trust me, there is no way in hell you are going back to your TV speakers or even a cheaper soundbar after experiencing this. One of the most criminally underrated and under appreciated movies of the last few years is Bad Times At The El Royale. It is a very stylish, clever, and dialogue heavy movie and it was even better when I watched it with the Arc as I was able to hear so much more clearly.

Klipsch Cinema 800:

As a huge fan of Dolby Atmos, I was very excited to see what the Klipsch Cinema 800 had to offer in terms of Dolby Atmos. I really like this Klipsch Cinema 800 – The Soundbar BASS KING wants 20hz! video which shows off the sound capabilities of this soundbar pretty well. The first movie that I actually watched with this was It Chapter One on 4K and I was very impressed. This is a movie that has a very creepy soundtrack and I found that the Dolby Atmos effect was very well implemented here. I will say that I did not think that it filled the room quite as well as the Sonos Arc did, I actually have to say that using this directly after using the Sonos Arc, I did notice a difference. However, I am still impressed and think that those looking for that cinema quality sound will be happy with what this is offering.

As this comes with a subwoofer, we do have to talk about bass and I was impressed with the level of bass that this subwoofer added to the mix. I will admit that I am not a massive fan of the movie, but Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has amazing sound design, and the rumble that was added to the movie and the kick in the bass this provided made me enjoy the movie that little bit more. I did not expect a great deal from the included subwoofer here, especially considering the price point, but I was very happy with what this added to the mix and I will admit, it made me less focused on how the Dolby Atmos was not quite what the Arc was offering

Of course, clear voice is something that is very important when it comes to a soundbar and more than likely the thing that draws most people to a soundbar these days as TV speakers (while better than they were) are just lacking in the vocal clarity department. With the Klipsch Cinema 800, Klipsch is building on what they already did with the 400 and 600 in terms of the clear voice that is offered. I recently got The Bridge on the River Kwai: 60th Anniversary 4K Ultra HD as a gift from the wife and I watched it with this for the first time. I was very impressed with the vocal clarity on offer here, I  can hand on heart say that it is cinema quality!

The Verdict: Even though the Sonos Arc does not come with a subwoofer, I have to say that it beats the Klipsch Cinema 800 in every category except for bass of course. The bass that the subwoofer provided really did take me by surprise and made this category way closer than it actually had any right to be. I just feel that the Sonos Arc offers a better Dolby Atmos effect, better vocal clarity, and just a better overall sound.  

The Remote Control

Whenever I put together an article like this Sonos Arc vs Klipsch Cinema 800 article and the Sonos Arc is featured, I know that this category is going to bum me out! I think that a good remote control is pretty much a must, especially when you are spending 800 or more dollars on a soundbar. That is why I always like to have a dedicated category that looks at how we will be controlling our soundbar.

Sonos Arc: The Sonos Arc does so many things right. However, as we all know nothing is perfect. well Terminator 2: Judgement Day is, but not many other things are!  The one area where Sonos really dropped the ball is with the remote control. The reason I say this is that Sonos has decided that we do not need remote controls anymore! You need to download the app. Do not get me wrong, this app is fantastic and you do have the buttons on the top of the soundbar if you want a more hands on control. However, I really think that it sucks that they do not give you a remote control with this soundbar, even if it was something basic it would have been better than nothing.

Klipsch Cinema 800: I have zero complaints about the remote control that they give you with the Klipsch Cinema 800 at all! Klipsch always seems to make great remotes and I am glad that they kept a similar design from the 600 as there was no need to change it at all. You get full control of the features of the soundbar with this remote and at the end of the day, that is all you can ask for. You can change the “mode” with the press of a button and voice and night modes have their own dedicated buttons too.

The Verdict: Even though the remote of the 800 is very similar to what they gave us with the Klipsch Cinema 600, it is still a solid remote that gives you complete access to all of your soundbar’s features. Clearly, the Klipsch Cinema 800 wins this by default, but to be fair, Klipsch has crafted a damn fine remote control here and it is a remote that I really do like. It feels great, looks cool, and does all that you need it to do.

What Is In The Box?

I have made a reference to Seven so many times in this category with my other vs articles that I think I may have overdone it just a tad. Still, if you find yourself wondering “what is in the box?” this is the right category for you…… sorry I could not resist.

Sonos Arc: Sonos is more than fair with what they have thrown in the box for the Sonos Arc. You clearly get your soundbar as well as your power cable, but as I mentioned up above to make up for the lack of an optical port on the soundbar. Sonos throw in a handy little HDMI to optical cable adapter for those of you who need it. Right out of the box, the Sonos Arc is ready, no matter what TV you have… well, unless you are rocking a 90s CRT Sony Trinitron of course, man those were awesome TVs back in the day!

Klipsch Cinema 800: As the Klipsch Cinema 800 is offering you both a soundbar and a subwoofer, the first thing to note is that this thing is huge. My wife was actually the one home when this arrived and the delivery guy was being awkward and would only drop it off at the bottom of the drive and she was not happy about it! Anyway, you get your HDMI cable, remote, batteries and you get a couple of other interesting items like a mounting bracket and replacement side panels which is neat. At the end of the day, I would like it if they included an optical cable as well, but not many companies actually do.

The Verdict: I never like to award a round a tie, but I think that I really do have to in this case. I like how Klipsch gives you a few extras like those extra side plates and the Sonos Arc comes with everything you could need in the box. I do not think that it would be fair for me to say that either one of them is offering more than the other when it comes to what is in the box.     

What Is Better?

I really have enjoyed myself putting together this Sonos Arc vs Klipsch Cinema 800 article. These are both fantastic Dolby Atmos soundbars and I could see people who decide to take the plunge on either one being incredibly happy with the result. I do like how the Klipsch comes with a dedicated subwoofer and that subwoofer really did impress me far more than I thought it would. However, I have to say that side by side, for me the Sonos Arc is the better soundbar. The Dolby Atmos effect it offered felt more “extreme” and powerful and the dialogue quality I felt was better also, plus I did prefer the overall design of the Arc too.

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