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Vizio Elevate vs Sonos Arc (2021): Which Dolby Atmos Soundbar Is Better?

Boasting features such as 5.1.4 surround sound with Dolby Atmos-capability and wireless connectivity, the Vizio Elevate is an excellent soundbar. While it is expensive, it is still one of the best value soundbars that you can get, especially when compared to other Dolby Atmos soundbars. But should you buy it? We compare the Vizio Elevate to another popular, but much more expensive Dolby Atmos-capable soundbar—the Sonos Arc. Should you shell out more money for the Sonos Arc? Or is the Vizio Elevate the better buy? Here’s our comparison of the two.

Vizio Elevate vs Sonos Arc Comparison Chart

ModelVizio Elevate Sonos Arc
 
Price
Channels5.1.45.0.2 (arc only)
5.1 (arc + sub)
5.1.2 (arc + sub + one SL)
DimensionsSoundbar: 2.7 x 48.1 x 6.5 inches
Subwoofer: 15.5 x 10.9 x 13.8 inches
Satellite (each): 5.9 x 2.9 x 3.7 inches
Soundbar: 3.4 x 45 x 4.5 inches
Subwoofer: 15.3 x 6.2 x 15.8 inches
Satellite (each): 6.36 x 4.69 x 4.69 inches
WeightSoundbar: 12.4 lbs.
Subwoofer: 25.7 lbs.
Satellite (each): 2.3 lbs.
Soundbar: 13.78 lbs.
Subwoofer: 36.3 lbs.
Satellite (each): 4.08 lbs.
Ports2x HDMI in
1x HDMI out (eARC)
1x USB
1x optical
1x 3.5mm
1x HDMI (eARC)
1x Ethernet port
Remote ControllerYesNo
Voice AssistantNoAlexa
Google Assistant
Wireless PlaybackBluetooth
WiFi
Built-in Chromecast
WiFi
Apple Airplay2
Supported FormatsDolby Atmos
Dolby Digital
Dolby Digital Plus
Dolby TrueHD
DTS
DTS:X
DTS-HD MA
Dolby Atmos
Dolby Digital
Dolby Digital Plus
Dolby TrueHD
DTS
5.1 PCM
Color OptionsBlackBlack, White

Design

The Vizio Elevate has a unique soundbar design with rotating speakers at the ends, while the Sonos Arc has a more standard look.

Even though they have the same number of physical speakers, the Vizio Elevate (left) is a 5.1.4 system while the Sonos Arc (right) is 5.1.2.

Both soundbars are made with mostly plastic but they look and feel like premium products. The Vizio Elevate soundbar is 2.7 inches tall, 48.1 inches wide and 6.5 inches deep, so it will require a long TV rack. In contrast, the measurements for the Sonos Arc is 3.4 x 45 x 4.5 inches, so it is taller, but shorter and not as deep. The Sonos Arc has a more minimalist aesthetic that will look good with any setup. In addition, it comes in either white or black, so you have color options. As for the Vizio Elevate soundbar, it has quite a unique design where the two ends can rotate when Dolby Atmos or DTS:X is selected (more on that later).

Their subs are quite different as well, with the Vizio Elevate subwoofer having a more standard design than the one that comes with the Sonos Arc soundbar. On the Vizio Elevate sub is a single driver and a single port at the back. On the Sonos Arc subwoofer, there are two drivers facing each other in the center hole. The Vizio Elevate subwoofer has a matte finish while the Sonos Arc sub has a glossy finish and both connect to the soundbars wirelessly.

The satellite speakers that come with the Sonos Arc are the Sonos One SLs, so they are wireless and not having wires allow you to place them wherever you want. However, they do need to be powered so you’ll need to have power outlets near them. On the other hand, the Vizio Elevate satellites require a wired connection to the Vizio subwoofer (they come with 30ft cables), so they can be limited when it comes to placement.

Sound

They are pretty much on par with each other when it comes to sound quality.

The Vizio Elevate subwoofer (left) has a more standard design than the one that comes with the Sonos Arc 5.1.2 (right) system.

The Vizio Elevate soundbar features a dedicated center channel, five tweeters and multiple woofers for a total of 18 drivers. As mentioned above, the ends of the soundbar can rotate upwards when it detects a Dolby Atmos or DTS:X signal, allowing for a 3D sound experience.

On the Sonos Arc are eight elliptical woofers and three angled silk-dome tweeters. It also has upwards-firing drivers for Dolby Atmos effects. Unfortunately, it won’t detect DTS:X signals, so it won’t work if you’re watching movies or shows with a DTS soundtrack.

When it comes to their Dolby Atmos performance, both are actually very good. While they won’t compete with a dedicated home theater with true down-firing speakers for Dolby Atmos effects, they are great for what they bring, which is a cleaner and simpler setup without the wires. You’ll be able to enjoy 3D audio with both soundbar systems as they offer clear dialogues/speech, pinpoint surround effects and powerful and rumbling bass.

One thing that the Vizio Elevate has over the Sonos Arc is that it comes with EQ presets that allow you to customize its sound output. The Sonos Arc does have its room correction feature but that is only available on iOS devices, so if you have an Android phone or tablet, you won’t be able to take advantage of it.

Features

The Vizio Elevate supports both Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks while the Sonos Arc is limited.

The Vizio Elevate soundbar (top) will require more space on your TV rack than the Sonos Arc (bottom).

One advantage of the Vizio Elevate is that it supports both Dolby and DTS signals while the Sonos Arc only supports Dolby content—Update: Sonos Arc now supports DTS, but not DTS:X and DTS-HD MA. While DTS:X is not as common as Dolby Atmos, having the option to choose which soundtrack you want to listen to is still a nice feature to have and the Vizio Elevate gives you that.

Another advantage of the Vizio Elevate is that it comes with a remote controller. Although you can control both soundbars with their respective smart phone apps, having a separate remote controller is still preferred by many, so that’s a consideration.

One thing that the Vizio Elevate lacks is a built-in voice assistant, which the Sonos Arc offers. You can control the Sonos Arc with Alexa or Google Assistant. The Vizio Elevate does have a 3.5mm input for voice assistant, so you still have the option to do so if you want.

As for wireless music playback, you can stream music to the Vizio Elevate via Bluetooth, WiFi and its built-in Chromecast. In contrast, the Sonos Arc offers wireless streaming via WiFi and Apple Airplay 2. For iOS users, the Sonos Arc is the smarter choice while for the rest, the Vizio Elevate offers more options.

Click here for our comparison of the Sonos Arc and Beam

Connectivity

The Vizio Elevate has more input and output ports for better connectivity.

The Vizio Elevate has two HDMI input ports and one HDMI eARC port.

Connectivity with the Vizio Elevate is excellent when compared to the Sonos Arc. The Sonos Arc only has one HDMI eARC port, and while this single port connection can be viewed as a much simpler solution, it can also introduce a host of issues when it comes to compatibility since not everyone has a newer model TV that has an HDMI port with eARC.

For instance, you have a TV that only has an HDMI port with ARC and you want to watch a 4K Bluray movie with Dolby Atmos using a Bluray player, well, you’re out of luck. A 4K movie with a Dolby Atmos soundtrack will require a TV that has an HDMI port with eARC due to its higher bandwidth requirement, and in this scenario, you won’t be able to enjoy the Sonos Arc’s Dolby Atmos feature. If you want the most streamlined experience with the Sonos Arc, you’ll need a newer TV that has an HDMI eARC port.

With the Vizio Elevate, you won’t run into issues like that often since it comes with two HDMI inputs and an HDMI output with eARC. It also comes with an optical input, a 3.5mm input and a USB port. When it comes to physical ports for connectivity, the Vizio Elevate gives you more options.

Verdict

The Vizio Elevate is simply the better soundbar due to its more affordable price, excellent sound and better connectivity.

If you are choosing between the Vizio Elevate and the Sonos Arc, our recommendation is the Vizio Elevate. It has a more affordable price and when it comes to sound quality, they’re pretty much on par with each other. The Vizio Elevate also has more connectivity options, whether wired or wireless. The only time we’ll recommend the Sonos Arc over the Vizio Elevate is if you want a completely wireless surround setup. Other than that, the Vizio Elevate is simply the better deal.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Sonos Arc worth it without eARC?

You can still enjoy Dolby Atmos with just ARC, but you will be limited. At its price, we think that the Sonos is not worth it if you can’t take advantage of all of its features.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which is better, the Vizio Elevate or Sonos Arc?

The Vizio Elevate offers more features and better connectivity at a lower price, so we recommend the Vizio Elevate over the Sonos Arc.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Sonos Arc better than the Playbar?

Yes, it is an upgrade over the Playbar in many ways, such as Dolby Atmos support and more.

๐Ÿ“Œ What is Dolby Atmos and do I need it?

You don’t necessarily need it but it can improve your movie watching experience immensely. With Dolby Atmos, you get overhead surround effects in addition to the directional audio that comes with surround sound setups. It provides a much more immersive movie watching experience than stereo, 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 surround sound.

Last update on 2022-08-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.