AV Outfitters

JBL 9.1 vs Sonos Arc Review (2023)

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

A Comparison of Two Superior SoundBars 

Introduction: Sonos Arc vs JBL 9.1

When it comes to the TV surround sound experience, top-of-the-line soundbars are one of the most often utilized audio equipment. They are necessary appliances in many homes of people who enjoy listening to high-quality sound. They are excellent at fulfilling this function.

There are various types of sound systems on the market, but you’ve undoubtedly heard of a few names known as industry leaders, like BoseJBLSonos, and many others. Bose, however, is being left behind because the JBL Bar 9.1 and Sonos Arc are the subjects of this article’s comparison.

Table of Contents

Sonos Arc

sonos arc review
Amazon Ratings 4.6/5

What We Like:

  • 3D sound with Dolby Atmos
  • Enhanced Trueplay technology
  • Full HD video recording/playback
  • Voice control with Alexa
  • Flexible placement

With the Sonos Arc, we once again collaborate with a renowned firm like Sonos, which is recognized for the excellent sound quality of its products. Because the Sonos Arc soundbar debuted globally on June 10, 2020, we are dealing with two 2020 debuts. Many people’s first choice is also the Sonos Arc soundbar. 

JBL 9.1

jbl 9.1 reviews
Amazon Ratings 4.3/5

What We Like:

  • Dolby Atmos and DTS: X decoding
  • Deep bass with a subwoofer
  • Ultra HD 4K passthrough
  • 820W output power
  • Optical connector

The fantastic JBL 9.1 soundbar is produced by the prominent JBL company, which is well-known for its sound equipment. It was a brand debut on February 6, 2020, and given that it is one of the most popular soundbars worldwide, it is undoubtedly one of the soundbars that has left a lasting impression on many people.

Specs: Sonos Arc vs JBL 9.1

Design and Material Quality

Since we want to utilize soundbars with TVs and since some people undoubtedly want to use the soundbar to round off their home decor, the design of soundbars, in general, is rather significant. These two soundbars have an exquisite style to look well in any space. However, there are a few distinctions that deserve to be made.

The JBL 9.1 is the ideal soundbar’s representation. It is unremarkable and has a small physical footprint, is built of solid plastic materials, and is only available in black.

On the other hand, Sonos Arc has an intriguing design and is available in matte black or white. The entire system is housed in the Arc soundbar, which leaves the Sonos Arc an optimal size and aesthetic for your living room, bedroom, or basement tv’s.

JBL 9.1 requires more space than other soundbars to accommodate the surround speakers and subwoofer since, as its name implies, it is a system that contains additional components. However, because it is available in black, this soundbar is one of them that will complement your space in many ways and look fantastic.

Moving on, the Sonos Arc certainly has an aesthetically compact appearance. But unlike the JBL 9.1, the Sonos Arc only comes with a soundbar and lacks additional speakers or a subwoofer. Additionally, it is available in a black finish. It has a very contemporary and simple design that will entertain you from the very first glance.


As of today, June 23, 2023, when this article was updated. The JBL 9.1 and Sonos Arc soundbars have different pricing on Amazon. The JBL 9.1 soundbar is priced at $799.00, while the Sonos Arc soundbar is priced at $889.99. Please note that these prices are subject to change and may vary over time. It’s always recommended to check the current prices on the Amazon website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Size and Setup

The JBL 9.1 soundbar features a casing made of dark grey plastic and has dimensions of 47 inches in length, 35 inches in width when set up separately, and 2.5 inches in height. Once the JBL 9.1 soundbar is hooked up and connected to your TV’s HDMI-out port, the final step is to calibrate it.

On the other hand, the Sonos Arc soundbar is designed to match the width of a 55-inch TV. To configure the Sonos Arc system, you’ll use the Sonos app. In terms of inputs, the Sonos Arc features an optical connector and an HDMI ARC port. It’s worth noting that you’ll need to use the included HDMI adaptor with the Sonos Arc.

The JBL 9.1 and Sonos Arc are famous soundbars known for their superior sound quality and features. Let’s explore each of them in more detail:

Sonos Arc:
  • The Sonos Arc is a powerful soundbar that offers a 3D sound experience with Dolby Atmos support. It utilizes enhanced Trueplay technology to optimize audio performance based on your room’s acoustics.
  • With the Sonos Arc, you can enjoy full HD video recording/playback, and it also supports voice control through Alexa integration.
  • The soundbar provides flexible placement options, allowing you to position it according to your preference.
  • It comes with the Sonos S2 App.
JBL 9.1:
  • The JBL offers Dolby Atmos and DTS:X decoding, delivering immersive audio with virtual 3D surround sound capabilities.
  • It comes with a subwoofer that provides deep bass, and the system boasts an output power of 820W, ensuring a rich and impactful sound experience.
  • The JBL supports Ultra HD 4K passthrough, allowing you to enjoy high-quality video content without degradation. It also features an optical connector for easy connectivity.

When it comes to connectivity, it’s important to note that the Sonos Arc primarily relies on HDMI ARC for audio transmission, while the JBL Bar 9.1 includes multiple connectivity options, including HDMI and optical connections.


Knowing a device’s primary connectivity technology is a prerequisite for discussing connectivity. These two soundbars offer fantastic HDMI connections, but JBL 9.1 has a unique feature: WiFi connectivity. It also supports an optical connector. The Sonos Arc utilizes eARC, ARC, and a few other optical outputs, but the eARC is the best one to use.

The input and output ports of the JBL Bar 9.1 are located in the center of the device’s back, and the connectors included are very conventional.

The Sonos Arc may connect to TVs with eARC, ARC, or optical outputs. eARC is advised for maximum compatibility.

Naturally, these two soundbars work with whatever device you own, if it supports HDMI or has an HDMI connector. We all know that most TVs have HDMI; therefore, there won’t be a problem, given how often people use their TVs.


When considering the purchase of a compact surround sound system, one of the most crucial factors to consider is the sound quality performance. This is also true for soundbars. Although we all know how great JBL and Sonos products sound, certain differences and specifics should be made when comparing JBL 9.1 and Sonos Arc.

JBL has incredible sound, and given that it comes as a channel, you’ll notice that the outstanding surround sound is present without any issues. In general, the sound is quite clear and of the finest caliber. The JBL sound bar is also renowned for having Dolby Atmos and DTS:X technologies built in, which are essential whenever you want to listen to an excellent surround sound system that will encircle you in all directions. The JBL built-in subwoofer gives you excellent bass accuracy, which is something that ought to be acknowledged. 

Moving on to the Sonos Arc, this soundbar generally has good sound quality as well. You won’t, however, get the surround sound you would adore if you consider it a single unit. Even if Sonos Arc owns the Dolby Atmos technology, which will undoubtedly provide you with a unique 3D audio experience, it does not own the DTS: X. However, the overall sound quality is excellent, but the bass is absent.

JBL claims to create a powerful yet gorgeous theater experience with a Dolby Atmos soundtrack or a Dolby 9.1 track when watching movies or television shows. The most widely used arrangement in home theaters is the nine-point one (9.1). It has the standard left, right, and center, two surround channels, and a fourth low-frequency channel made specifically for a subwoofer.

When correctly coupled, Sonos Arc smart soundbar also boasts the theatrical Dolby Atmos audio, which is still amazing in a straightforward 5.1. Atmos creates a perfect 3D virtual surround without the use of heavy installations by reflecting sounds off the floor and ceiling. To use the Dolby Atmos features of the ARC, the device needs to be linked to HDMI ARC or HDMI eARC.

Subwoofers of Sonos Arc and JBL 9.1

If you let JBL’s 10-inch downward shooting subwoofer, it will rattle your fillings. A substantial 25cm down-firing drive unit can fit inside the majority of it. These drivers add up to a 9.1 surround system, completing the “theater-like system” that enables those Grammy and Oscar-winning performances to play with crystal-clear language and music.

On the other hand, the Sonos Arc may be paired with a Sonos wireless subwoofer but does not come with one.


After extensive testing, we have decided that JBL 9.1 is the winner. JBL is your partner for your next aural experience thanks to its straightforward design, simple setup, 9.1.4 channel, and excellent stereo frequency response. Additionally, it supports Dolby Atmos and DTS content and offers simple networking.

Overall, the JBL soundbar is one of the greatest soundbars you can find, and itwill not want to give up its position as the best! However, Sonos Arc is well-known and capable of enabling you to listen to anything you desire.

I’m hoping this article will assist you in deciding between the JBL 9.1 and the Sonos Arc! 

If you are interested, check out our blog on the top new soundbars in 2023 or our blog on the top budget soundbars of 2023


  • Design: The JBL 9.1 has a more minimalist design with a black color and dense plastic materials, while the Sonos Arc offers an exciting design with a matte black or white finish.
  • Size and Setup: The JBL 9.1 is 47 inches long and 35 inches when on a detached setup, while the Sonos Arc has a width similar to a 55-inch TV. The setup process for the JBL 9.1 involves calibrating it after connecting it to the HDMI-out port of your TV, whereas the Sonos Arc setup is done through the companion Sonos S2 app.
  • Power: The JBL 9.1 features satellites with a power output of 820W when fully charged, while the power output of the Sonos Arc is not specified in the provided information.

In short, the Sonos Arc offers superior sound quality over the JBL 9.1 Surround System. With its advanced sound processing capabilities and Dolby Atmos support, the Sonos Arc creates a three-dimensional soundstage that fills the room.

Both the JBL 9.1 and Sonos Arc can be wall-mounted, although the specifics of the wall-mounting process may vary. It is advisable to refer to the user manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturers for detailed guidance on wall-mounting.

Regarding music playback suitability, both the JBL 9.1 and Sonos Arc are designed to provide high-quality sound for music. However, the subjective preference for music playback may vary. It is recommended to listen to both soundbars or refer to professional reviews that specifically evaluate music playback performance.


Both the JBL 9.1 and Sonos Arc offer voice control options. The Sonos Arc features built-in Amazon Alexa voice control, while the specific voice control options for the JBL 9.1 are not mentioned in the provided information.




About Me

My name is Robert Callaway and I have been in the AV industry for over 30 years installing quality equipment for my customers.  I have started this blog to share my extensive knowledge to make sure you are happy with your AV purchases. 


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