Sonos Arc vs Bose Acoustimass 10 which is better?

Howdy folks today we are looking at the Sonos Arc and Bose Acoustimass 10. I am pretty much on a quest at this point to put the Sonos Arc up against anything I can think of! It is one of the most popular soundbars around and it is very easy to see why. Many of you may be wondering what the Bose Acoustimass 10 is! Well, it is a surround sound system from Bose and one that for a while was one of the best around. A little while back I put together this Bose Lifestyle 650 Vs Sonos Arc Which Is Better? which I had fun with as it was looking at a Dolby Atmos soundbar going up against a surround sound system.

The Price

As my guy Bob would always say, the price is right! Well, I think we all have a top dollar amount we are willing to spend on anything and that is why I like to start these things off with the price. This Sonos Arc and Bose Acoustimass 10 is quite interesting in that one is readily available and has kept its price pretty much intact since the day it was released due to it being so popular. The other one is a bit older so it is not as easy to come by so we are going to have to do some digging to get an idea of the asking price.

Sonos Arc: 

I would say that 95 percent of the time you find the Sonos Arc online or in a store, it is going to be around its RRP of $799.99. This soundbar is very, very popular and probably the flagship Dolby Atmos soundbar that you can get these days. I think that the price is great, I know that 800 bucks is far from cheap, but I think that you are getting very close to that cinema quality sound with this and it is one of the best Dolby Atmos soundbars around at this price range. Like anything, you can find deals if you are willing to shop around and be patient. I have seen this for closer to the 700 bucks range on a few occasions.

Bose Acoustimass 10:

Yikes, this is going to be tough. The reason I say this is that it is very hard to find a Bose Acoustimass 10 new in box on the market right now. Strangely this seems to be more available in Europe. This has not been available on Amazon for quite some time now so that took me to eBay. There are just the subwoofer, the speakers, and so on separately quite readily available, but not many complete sets. However, if you do shop around you can find some solid packages like this Bose Acoustimass 10 Series IV Home Entertainment System+ Sony STR-DH500 Receiver which I think is a great deal. Of course, you are taking a gamble buying something like this used so make sure to do as much homework as possible and be sure to ask a seller some questions if there is anything you are unsure about.

The Verdict: 

As it is very hard to find the Bose Acoustimass 10 new these days this is a hard one to call. There are many used offerings out there and like I said, there are some amazing deals if you are willing to take the chance. However, for me, even though it is around the 800 bucks’ range, I have to say that overall, I think that you are getting better value for money with the Sonos Arc so that is the winner of this round.   Plus, you do also have to factor in that you will need a receiver to use the Acoustimass 10 so that also adds to the price if you do not already have one.

The Design

The next round in this Sonos Arc and Bose Acoustimass 10 showdown is going to focus on the design of both of these bad boys! I tend to like pretty much everything that Bose and Sonos offer and I am very excited to get into this. I do have to tell you that it is the Series IV version of the Acoustimass 10 that I am talking about here. The reason for that is a buddy had one in his attic for about ten years (no exaggeration) and was going to throw it out, but asked me if I wanted it first. I said hell yes and that is actually what brought us to this showdown today.

Sonos Arc: 

Before I get to my thoughts on the design of the Sonos Arc, be sure to look at some of the millions of videos like this Sonos Arc Unboxing one that shows it off in some nice detail. I have yet to come across someone who did not love the design of the Sonos Arc. This as of right now is the best looking soundbar that Sonos has ever produced. I have looked at it a ton of times here on the site and one thing that I always mention is how curvy the design of the Sonos Arc is. It gives it a very stylish and contemporary kind of look and while I love a rectangular soundbar as much as the next guy, I can see why so many people would prefer a design like this. This thing is pretty damn big so it is going to be out on display and that is why Sonos has gone above and beyond to make sure it is something people will be very happy to have out on display in their homes.

Ok, so I did say that this was pretty big (cue a Michael Scott, that’s what she said) but truth be told the 45” x 3.4” x 4.5” sizing of this is not really any larger than other similarly priced and sized soundbars that are on offer from the likes of Bose, Sony, and Samsung. One thing I should mention is that this is available in both black and white, while I much prefer the black one, it is cool how there is a choice out there. Before the Sonos Arc, Sonos had a thing for using a fabric grille with their soundbars. That for most people is fine, but I have always preferred a plastic grille. As the Sonos Arc is the premium offering from Sonos, they have a very sleek looking plastic grille on here protecting the speakers. Not only does this look great here, Sonos clearly see this as the way forward as when they released their Sonos Beam Gen II they put a plastic grille on their too.

That smart style that is upfront and present is also featured on the back of the Sonos Arc too. You do not have to worry about a ton of ports on the back of this thing. There is just your power port and there is also an HDMI port. There is no optical port on here (however, you can still connect your soundbar to your TV that way, but more on that later) just HDMI! Sonos is really pushing the Dolby Atmos functionality of this soundbar so that makes perfect sense to me.

Bose Acoustimass 10:

To say my wife was not pleased when she came home and found the huge cardboard box that my buddy put the Bose Acoustimass 10 in on our kitchen countertop is an understatement! Before we get into this, this is the Series IV version I am talking about here, there are other versions, including the newer, Bose Acoustimass 10 Series V which offers more stylish speakers. The main center speaker comes in at 3.13 x 6.25 x 4.13. I like the design of this as it has a compact size to it which I think is pretty cool. I like the grille they have used (same on all parts of this system) and in all, it has a solid, Bose like feel to it all.

The cube speakers are pretty damn cool and they come in at, 6.25 x 3 x 4 inches. These have a bit of bulk to them, but the Series V version does away with this and they are much more streamlined. Overall, I really like these and would happily have speakers like this on the walls of my home theatre. I recommend you look at some videos such as this BOSE Acoustimass 10 series 4 home theater speaker system unboxing video that shows off the white version. Oh yeah, this was available in white and black, but from what I have seen the black version is far more readily available on eBay than the white. Overall, these have that Bose quality you would expect and while I would have them on the wall, you could also put these on a stand if you prefer that.

The final part of the surround sound puzzle that is the Bose Acoustimass 10 is the subwoofer which is referred to as the Acoustimass Module. This comes in at 16.33 x 8.13 x 25.33 inches and it weighs over 30 pounds. That means it is a pretty decent size and the build quality is what you would expect from something with the Bose name on it. As far as the design goes, I have to say I am not a huge fan. I tend to love most of what Bose offers, but this is a real miss for me. It looks like an early to mid-2000s desktop PC! It has these weird legs that it stands on and while it is built solid enough, I just do not like the look of it. No way, would I have this on display in my living room or home theatre.

The Verdict: 

Bose are one of the best around these days when it comes to making cool, sleek, and badass looking home theatre equipment. While I do not hate the design of the Bose Acoustimass 10, I have to say it is a tad clunky and “old” looking, but not old as in old school if you know what I am saying. The Sonos Arc, on the other hand, is one of the most stylish looking soundbars around and I think that even ten years from now it will look just as stylish. Sonos wins this round as easily as Brock Lesnar beat John Cena at SummerSlam. If you do not follow wrestling that will mean nothing to you, but what I am getting at is this was very one sided.  

The Sound

What I like about this Sonos Arc and Bose Acoustimass 10 is that we have Dolby Atmos going up against surround sound and that is pretty awesome. For me personally these days I think I would tend to go for Dolby Atmos over surround sound, but in the right circumstance, I do think that surround sound has a lot to offer. Let’s take a look at the sound that both of these offer.

Sonos Arc:

Make sure you have a look at this Sonos ARC Sound Demo which gives you a nice demo of the Sonos Arc. I have played around with many Dolby Atmos soundbars and over time I have come to appreciate the Sonos Arc more and more. At this price, it is easily one of the best you can get right now. Not only is The Incredibles 2 a great movie, but it also has a tremendous Dolby Atmos track that showcases what the Sonos Arc can do very well. A movie like this that has a lot of variety to the sound really does benefit from what Dolby Atmos offers. It really does sound like it is coming from above and what I think is really great about the Arc is the way that it truly does give you very close to cinema quality sound. Pretty much every movie that is released on 4K these days has a Dolby Atmos track and you will not be disappointed with the Sonos Arc in terms of its Dolby Atmos performance.

As I write this Venom: Let Their Be Carnage just arrived a few days ago and it was through the Arc that I watched the movie. It is a fun movie, better than the first in my opinion. What really blew me away was the conversations between Eddie and the symbiote. It is not just that it was crystal clear, it was the way it would go between the two and fill the room that impressed me. A movie like this is a great showcase for all of the capabilities of the Sonos Arc actually. It has a few quiet speaking sections, but the action and the craziness really does show off just how good a job Sonos has done when it comes to bringing the cinema experience home.

There is no built in subwoofer with the Sonos Arc, but to be fair the level of bass that it offers is still very impressive. Movies that have a great deal of action in them such as Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings which I actually watched on Disney Plus sound great. I never once felt that the bass was lacking and while I would always much prefer to have a subwoofer (you can get the awesome, but expensive Sonos Sub Gen 3 if you want) however, I would think that most people will probably not notice that this is lacking a subwoofer. It is just my crazy and obsessed brain that notices stuff like this!

Bose Acoustimass 10:


For years I was a huge advocate of surround sound and the Bose Acoustimass 10 is a solid surround sound system. Have a look at this fairly recent Bose Acoustimass 10 Series IV Home Theater Speaker System – Review 2020 to get a better idea of what you can expect with this. You will have to set this up and to be honest with you that is something I have a lot of fun with, depending on the size of your room, you may need to source some extra speaker cable, but this was fine for my living room. The first movie I watched through this was Batman Begins and I watched the DVD! I decided to watch something that was around roughly the time that this thing would have been regarded as one of the best around. I was impressed with the surround sound performance and when connected to my Sony STR-DH790 7.2-ch Surround Sound Home Theater I was very impressed with the surround sound performance of the whole system.

I decided to try something recent as well and as my lovely wife got me the 4K version of Black Widow for Christmas I decided to see what that was like. It sounded great with the surround sound setup the Bose Acoustimass 10 offers and I would bet for most people they would be certain it was cinema quality sound they were hearing when pumped through this. However, I have also watched this movie with the Sony Z9F and I have to say that the Dolby Atmos track over just playing it through a surround sound system is way, way better. The surround sound this offers really is great, but when next to a modern soundbar it just does not hold up.

I feel like I am being kind of negative when talking about the Bose Acoustimass 10 and that I feel is a tad harsh. I am sure if I had watched a movie through this back in 2005 or even as late as 2010 I would have been blown away and be shouting from the rooftops about how amazing and great it is. When it comes to surround sound, the Bose Acoustimass 10 actually still holds up really well. However, soundbars and even newer surround sound systems have come a long way since this was king. As I got this for free from my buddy, I have ended up putting it in the game room and the kids seem to be very happy with it.

The Verdict: 

While I think that the surround sound that the Bose Acoustimass 10 offers is great. I have to be honest and say that there is no real contest here and that the clear winner is the Sonos Arc. For under a grand you are getting a tremendous soundbar that offers fantastic Dolby Atmos performance and it can well and truly fill the room with sound and make you feel like you have a surround sound setup. For its day, the Acoustimass 10 was great, but here it just cannot match up with what the Arc is offering.

The Remote Control

Next up in our Sonos Arc and Bose Acoustimass 10 battle we are looking at how you control these devices. If you have looked at anything I have written about the Sonos Arc before, you know how this is going to go! However, I am a real sucker for a good remote control and that is why I always like to have it as a category when I do one of these things.

Sonos Arc: You do not get a remote control with the Sonos Arc. There is no point dancing around it! The way that you control the Sonos Arc is with their app. The Sonos app is great, it gives you complete control over all the features that the Arc has to offer and it really could not be any easier for you to use. There are also a few buttons on the Arc itself and you can use your voice if you want. I just think that a basic remote control should have been included here. I am someone that does not like to always have their phone on them so this would be a pain in the butt for me. Actually, the times I have used the Arc it has been, so much so that I had to go and get an old tablet I had to make sure it was always close to the Arc. I get why they have done this, but it is not a decision I am cool with.

Bose Acoustimass 10: As the Bose Acoustimass 10 needs a receiver to actually work, that is what you will be using to control the volume. I cannot mark it down for this as that is just the way it is. You can get some surround sound systems that come with a receiver or even a Blu-Ray player that will give you a remote, but that is not the case here.

The Verdict: Well, the Sonos Arc is actually picking up the win here! I know, I am surprised as you are, but at the end of the day, the remote you have with the Bose Acoustimass 10 is only as good as the receiver you are using with it. I think the fact that you do need a whole extra device means that I have to give this one to the Arc.

What Is In The Box?

The last category of this Sonos Arc and Bose Acoustimass 10 fight to the death is going to look at what exactly you are getting for your money. This way you will know if you need to go and buy anything else before your new toy is ready to be played with.

Sonos Arc: Given its 45 inches of length, you will not be surprised to hear that the box the Sonos Arc comes in is big. Inside the box, the Sonos Arc is very well packaged and I liked how it was not a pain in the butt to get out of the box which some soundbars are. Truth be told, there is not actually a great deal inside the box for the Sonos Arc. You have your soundbar and power cable along with the instruction leaflet. Sonos also gives you a good quality HDMI cable, but there is a very cool bonus here. That bonus is an HDMI to optical cable that allows you to connect this to your TV via optical cable if you want. Now, you will lose the Dolby Atmos functionality if you do this, but it is still something I think is very cool.

Bose Acoustimass 10: The way I got the Bose Acoustimass 10 was a little different. My friend literally handed me a large cardboard box with speakers and cables all tangled up! However, I did look online to see what to expect and this comes packaged very, very well. Each speaker has its own packaging inside the big box and that is something I like to see. It also gives you the various cables you need to get started as well. Sure, you might need to extend the cables if you have a rather large room, but it is a good start. I also found this Bose Acoustimass 10 Unboxing (+ Onkyo TX-NR535 (B)) [Deutsch/HD+] video from Germany which is very interesting. Granted I cannot understand what is being said, but it shows the Bose Acoustimass 10 being packaged with an Onkyo receiver which was interesting to see.

The Verdict: Apart from the receiver (and there have been bundles that include one) I think the Bose Acoustimass 10 does give you what you need to get up and running and I do not really have any complaints about what comes in the box. Still, I am giving this round to the Sonos Arc. It gives you what you need (well apart from the remote control of course) and that bonus cable that comes with it is pretty damn awesome and a very nice consumer friendly touch.  

Which Is The Better?

We are at the end of our Sonos Arc and Bose Acoustimass 10 and while I had some fun playing around with the Bose Acoustimass 10 I have to say this is an easy win for the Sonos Arc. Surround sound will always be awesome, but for me when it comes to home audio, Dolby Atmos is the way of the future and with more and more movies supporting it I think that Dolby Atmos is going to be what I recommend over surround sound most of the time. The Bose Acoustimass 1010 is not bad and if you can get it for like 100 to 200 bucks, you will be happy. However, when put side by side with the Sonos Arc there is no way I could suggest it over the Arc.

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