Klipsch Reference Theatre Pack vs Sonos Arc which is better?

We have a very interesting matchup today as we look at the Klipsch Reference Theatre Pack vs Sonos Arc. I have looked at the Sonos Arc so many times I am pretty much on a best friends basis with it. Recently I put together this Klipsch Cinema 1200 vs Sonos Arc which is better? article which put the Arc against the best home theatre offering from Klipsch in my opinion. The Klipsch Reference Theatre Pack is a very different matchup as it is more of a “classic” home theatre setup than what the 1200 or even the Klipsch Cinema 800 or the Klipsch Cinema 600 are offering.

The Price

I have to say that we are starting this Klipsch Reference Theatre Pack vs Sonos Arc showdown with a rather “interesting category as we look at how much money you are going to have to throw down. Both of these are not exactly cheap and easily affordable in my opinion.  These are certainly not for people who want something that is cheap, that is for sure.

Klipsch Reference Theatre Pack: 

When the Klipsch Reference Theatre Pack was first released it was one of the more expensive offerings from Klipsch coming in at around a grand. Of course, things have changed greatly over the last few years and now you can find this for a fraction of that price. You may struggle to find one of these brand new on a place like Amazon now. However, there are sellers on there (as of writing) that have this for $280 used. There is also a Klipsch Theatre Reference Pack Renewed for $309 which might be the better option as it has been refurbished. On eBay, you can find some cracking deals for this I saw one brand new for around 350 bucks including shipping. Of course, you do also have to factor in that you will need a receiver in order for this to work so that can add to the cost greatly if you do not already have one.

Sonos Arc: 

I actually think I have lost count in regards to the number of times I have talked about the Sonos Arc. One of the ways that you know the Sonos Arc is popular is that it has managed to hold its price at the same rate, pretty much since the thing was released. It goes for $799.99 which I think for a high end Dolby Atmos soundbar is not out of line whatsoever to be fair. You can check places like eBay and other sites, but you are probably looking at a saving of 50 bucks at the most. I do not see this having a significant price drop until Sonos decide to release a follow up to the Arc.

The Verdict: 

I have to say that if you ask me the Sonos Arc is offering better value for money here. At the end of the day, the Klipsch Reference Theatre Pack cannot work on its own so you will need to also have a receiver in order to use it. If you already have a decent receiver that is not an issue, but if you have to buy one, that is another significant amount of money you are paying out. At that point, you are better off just paying up and getting the  Klipsch Cinema 1200. I know that you can get the Reference Theatre Pack for around 400 bucks, but I just think it is more hassle than it is worth.

The Design

One is a soundbar and one is a home theatre set up so that makes design a pretty interesting category in our Klipsch Reference Theatre Pack vs Sonos Arc fight to the death. The way that these are so different in their design actually makes them very hard to compare, but we are going to look at what each one offers and what one I prefer.

Klipsch Reference Theatre Pack: 

As there are a lot of parts to the Klipsch Theatre Reference Pack a video like this BEST BUDGET WIRED 5.1 HOME THEATER SPEAKERS – Klipsch Reference Theater Pack Unboxing & Review is a great way to see exactly what makes this setup. I always think that Klipsch does a great job when it comes to making their speakers look classy and stylish and that is certainly the case for this thing right here. You get a center speaker, four smaller satellite speakers and you also get a nice subwoofer here too. It is a full 5.1 system that is great for those wanting to add some surround sound to their movie room or their living room. Everything has a nice black ash kind of effect to it and that is a design I am always a big fan of as it always reminds me of the way stuff looked back in the 80s.

The Klipsch Reference Theatre Pack does not actually take up a great deal of space. The main center speaker comes in at 10.75” x 4.38” x 5.37” so it should fit nice and snug in most home entertainment centers or even right under your TV. The satellite speakers come in at 7.75” x 4.38” x 5.37” so they are nice and compact too. The subwoofer is also not too large coming in at 13.25” x 11.75” x 11.75”. Many people describe this set as offering big sound at a small size and I would probably agree with that. This is the kind of thing that could be ideal if you are a little short on space or even if you do not want the speakers to stand out greatly. As much as I love the design of the Sonos Arc, it is the kind of thing that is impossible not to take notice of as it is so large.

The build quality of the speakers and the subwoofer is great. I really like the way the Klipsch logo is gold and the way the gold behind the grill just peaks through is a very nice touch indeed. It all has a very uniform and stylish look that I think will appeal to most people’s tastes. My main criticism of the set is that mounting those satellite speakers on the wall can be a pain in the butt due to the holes designed for doing so. Also, the satellite speakers are not wireless, so you will have to figure out how to wire them nice and neatly.

Sonos Arc: 

Out of all the soundbars that Sonos make the Sonos Arc is the best looking of the bunch. As soon as you take this out of the box and hold it, the soundbar will amaze you with how premium the soundbar feels. This Sonos Arc Unboxing gives you a good bird’s eye view of what this soundbar is all about. This is quite impressive looking when you have it out on display and at 3.4” x 45” x 4.5” it is a pretty big soundbar so make sure it is going to fit under your TV and on your TV unit. I just think that Sonos absolutely nailed the design of this and off the top of my head I cannot think of a single thing that Sonos could have done to make the Arc look any cooler. Oh, you can also get the Sonos Arc in both white and black which I like as having more choice is always a good thing.

The first word that pops into my head when I think about the Sonos Arc is curvy. While I do not mind the more angular and boxy design that companies like Sony tend to use with their soundbars. I do love the way that this thing has a real “arc” to the whole design. Sonos have tended to use a fabric covering for their soundbars like the Sonos Beam for example. However, with the Arc, they have gone for a very stylish looking plastic grille that helps give the soundbar its premium feel. This is truly a showcase soundbar that is designed to be out on display in your home or theatre.

While what we can see of the Sonos Arc is great, what does it have going on around the back? Well, Sonos has been pretty smart here and kept things pretty minimal around the back which I do like. At the end of the day this is a Dolby Atmos soundbar and to make Dolby Atmos work, you need to have it connected via HDMI. With that in mind, Sonos has decided not to have an optical port on the back of here. Instead, Sonos gives you an HDMI to optical cable just in case you do want to hook it up to your TV via an optical cable.

The Verdict: 

I know that comparing a soundbar and a home theatre system is very tough and kind of unfair in all honesty. However, if I had to say which one of these, I like the style of best, it would have to be the Sonos Arc. I like what Klipsch has going on with the Klipsch Reference Theatre Pack, but those rear speakers have a bit of a “cheaper” feel to them than I was expecting. Also, the Sonos Arc is one of the most gorgeous soundbars you can get, it truly is in a class all of its own.

The Sound

I know that some of you reading this Klipsch Reference Theatre Pack vs Sonos Arc article have skipped right to this part of it. After all, sound is the main selling point of a soundbar or a surround sound setup. You may think that having a soundbar goes against a surround sound system is unfair, but this is probably not going to go the way that you

Klipsch Reference Theatre Pack: 

For such small speakers the Klipsch Theatre Reference Pack really does pack some very impressive sound. I found this quick The Klipsch Reference Theater Pack review that gives you a great idea about how this thing works and the kind of sound that you can expect out of it. The first thing I have to talk about is just how good the surround sound effect is. I watched the first X-Men with this and was very impressed. There is a part quite early in the movie where Wolverine can hear Professor X’s voice and the way it bounced around the room was awesome. Of course, you are dependent on the actual movie for having a great surround sound effect, but I think that this handles it very well and certainly gives you that at home cinema surround sound that people who buy something like this are looking for.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the Klipsch Reference Theatre Pack was the wireless subwoofer. Even though it is not all that large, it is designed very well and offers some fantastic booming bass that greatly enhances any movie you are watching. My son and I watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban while I was testing this over the weekend and it really was impressive. We had it pretty damn loud and the bass never got distorted or too overbearing. The more I think about it, the more I feel that the subwoofer is the real star of the show with this set!

You get some nice dialogue through this too. I do not think it is as precise as you get with a soundbar like the Sonos Arc that has an actual dedicated clear voice function built in. However, I do not have any complaints, and even if you are watching a movie like one of the Alien movies that offer action as well as a lot of softer spoken dialogue. You are going to be happy with the way it all sounds here. For a surround sound system, I think that Klipsch has really over delivered with what they have done here with the Klipsch Reference Theatre Pack. It is certainly at the current price it is going for one of the best sounding systems your money can buy!

Sonos Arc:

I really like this Get the most out of the Sonos Arc Dolby Atmos soundbar video as it gives some awesome tips to truly take your Sonos Arc to the next level. When it comes to the sound the thing that always blows me away about the Sonos Arc is how it truly fills the room with sound, it is actually pretty damn epic. The Dolby Atmos effect that this has is one of the best around, to be honest with you. It is something that I have grown to appreciate more and more with each movie I have watched. While it is not out for a couple of weeks as I write this, 007: No Time To Die is a movie I cannot wait to watch with the Arc. Modern movies like this that are made with Dolby Atmos in mind truly will be able to take complete advantage of what the Sonos Arc is offering. I have heard some audio snobs criticize the Dolby Atmos the Arc offers, but I think they are crazy people as I love it!

Now, one area that some people may be a bit critical of the Sonos Arc is with the bass. I will say that not having a dedicated subwoofer clearly does have an impact. To be fair though if you are watching a movie like Jurassic Park that has some thumping bass when the T-Rex comes to play for example. You are not going to be disappointed. It manages to have a decent level of bass and power when needed. If you can afford it you may be interested to get the Sonos Sub Gen 3. I know that this is a very expensive subwoofer, but it looks cool and is one of the best subwoofers you can get. I would advise getting the Arc first and then if you decide you do want bass with a lot more kick you can think about saving up and getting the Sonos Sub later.

The Sonos Arc gives you many different options that you can play around with to get the sound just the way that you want. One of the features that I want to give a bit of special attention to is the way that it handles dialogue. Most soundbars give you an upgrade over your TV speakers when it comes to dialogue, but this is something very special. My wife and I love horror movies and I just picked up the IT / IT: Chapter 2 2 Movie Collection on 4K. We watched the first movie with the Arc and it was great, the way it would go from Pennywise talking quietly to being manic was captured perfectly by the Arc.  

The Verdict: 

On paper, you have to ask how can a soundbar be better than a surround sound system? However, for me, there really is no comparison here. When I looked at the Klipsch Cinema 1200  and the Sonos Arc together, it was a very hard choice. Here that is not the case, I have to say that the Sonos Arc appealed to me far more than the Klipsch Reference Theatre Pack did.

The Remote Control

I have to say that this is the easiest category for me to write in our Klipsch Reference Theatre Pack vs Sonos Arc contest today!

Klipsch Reference Theatre Pack: As this is a surround sound system that requires a receiver, you do not get a remote control with the Klipsch Theatre Reference Pack. To be fair that is to be expected. I think the only time I have seen something like this come with a remote is when it either comes with a Blu-Ray or DVD player or even its own receiver. I guess this is another chance to remind you guys that you cannot just buy this and plug it into your TV, you will need a receiver.

Sonos Arc: The Sonos Arc does not come with a remote control! I thought I would forgo my schtick complaining about the lack of a remote with Sonos products today. This instead is designed to be controlled by the Sonos App. To be fair, the Sonos App is amazing and it gives you a tremendous level of control over your soundbar. I just wish they threw in a basic remote control to at least let you handle the basics of what the Arc offers.

The Verdict: I have to give this one to the Sonos Arc…. It finally happened! Sonos actually won the remote-control category. I am kind of at a loss for words here as I thought it would never happen. The Klipsch Reference Theatre Pack is dependent on your receiver remote control so that is pretty much out of the running right away. Man, I cannot believe that Sonos finally has a win in the remote control column.

What Is In The Box?

Next up in our Klipsch Reference Theatre Pack vs Sonos Arc contest of champions we have what you can expect to find in each box. Protective wrapping and stuff like that is not mentioned as I feel it is a given that they are in there. If you have kids anything packaged with Styrofoam is a nightmare as they love to bust it up and it gets everywhere. Ok, enough ranting, let’s look at what comes in each box!

Klipsch Reference Theatre Pack: The first thing I have to say about the Klipsch Theatre Reference Pack box, is that it was a pain in the butt getting those satellite speakers out! You get your speakers and subwoofer. You also get a power cable for the subwoofer and a wireless transmitter to connect the subwoofer to your receiver. Mine was already paired, but there is a handy sync button if you need it. Now, the satellite speakers and the center speaker are wired so you are going to have to make sure that you have enough speaker cable to connect this to your receiver. You can get a large spool of speaker cable on Amazon for pretty cheap, but you will certainly want to have more than you need!

Sonos Arc: Sonos has you covered with the Sonos Arc. You get your actual soundbar and power cable of course. You also get your instructions and they also give you a decent HDMI cable as well. They also include that HDMI to optical cable I was talking about earlier as well. Sonos have made sure that the Arc is ready for play as soon as you get it out of the box, well as soon as you plug it in, but you know what I mean.

The Verdict: I have to give this one to the Arc. I do not think I have had or even tested a surround sound system that was not a massive pain in the butt to get everything out of the box! That alone makes the Sonos Arc my winner here. Just make sure that you have more than enough speaker cable if you do decide to go for the Klipsch Reference Theatre Pack.      

What Is The Best?

I have to say that this Klipsch Reference Theatre Pack vs Sonos Arc is one of the more interesting battles I have done. These are two very different products and in all honesty, comparing them was not all that easy. I have to say that I have a clear winner here and that is the Sonos Arc. I just feel that the Dolby Atmos, the design, and the overall sound quality trumps everything that the Klipsch Reference Theatre Pack offers. Even if you have your heart set on surround sound, I personally would suggest Dolby Atmos over that every day of the week. I know it is way, way more expensive, but the Klipsch Cinema 1200 is a much better option as you get surround sound and Dolby Atmos! Still, when it comes to a surround sound system, for its price the Klipsch Reference Theatre Pack is really hard to beat.

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