HDFury 4K Arcana review: How to get Dolby Atmos on the Sonos Arc

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To some, the HDFury Arcana will appear to be an overpriced gadget that doesn’t add something to their dwelling theater setup. For everybody who owns a pre-2019 good TV and a comparatively high-end soundbar able to decoding object-based soundtracks (i.e., Dolby Atmos or DTS:X), it will likely be nothing in need of a miracle.

The $199 4K Arcana fills a really particular want: As described by the corporate, the small field allows “full audio to any eARC sound system for as much as Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby MAT Atmos, DTS:X, DTS-HD Grasp Audio and older codecs.” In layman’s phrases, it means a high-end soundbar such because the Sonos Arc will ship full lossless audio to your soundbar even when your TV doesn’t assist eARC.

This isn’t a uncommon downside for individuals who worth high-quality audio. Whereas most trendy televisions assist HDMI ARC (the Audio Return Channel that sends sound out of your TV to your audio system over an HDMI cable), ARC doesn’t present sufficient bandwidth to hold high-resolution lossless audio codecs corresponding to Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Grasp Audio. A brand new customary known as eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) delivers extra than sufficient bandwidth, however solely newer TVs—beginning with high-end fashions offered in 2019—assist eARC. Learn this story for a deep dive into the 2 requirements.

hdfury arcana power Michael Simon/IDG

The HDFury Arcana will add some additional cable litter to your setup.

Should you’re like me, you’re going to seek out out the arduous means that your private home theater system isn’t all that it might be—after you’ve invested a whole bunch of {dollars} in a brand new soundbar. Few issues are extra irritating than splurging on an costly new gadget solely to find that one other element within the chain prevents it from delivering all that it’s able to. That’s precisely what occurred to me: I excitedly arrange my new Sonos Arc, placed on a film with a Dolby Atmos soundtrack, and heard solely lower-resolution, Dolby Digital Plus. (This Sonos assist article explains what’s wanted for every audio format).

Granted, it nonetheless sounded significantly better than the five-year-old Sonos Playbar I changed, however for the value I paid, I needed nothing lower than full 3D spatial sound. And I wasn’t about to interchange the 82-inch TV I purchased final 12 months simply to get eARC assist.

That’s when I discovered the HDFury Arcana, a field particularly designed to deal with my concern. It has one enter and two outputs, one which goes to the Sonos Arc’s HDMI port, and one which goes to my TV’s ARC port. It’s not in contrast to an exterior GPU for a laptop computer—the Arcana upgrades your TV’s ARC port to an eARC one as for those who had bought a model new set. It’ll even work with TVs or projectors that don’t have a devoted ARC port, and it solved the occasional lip-sync points I used to be having with common ARC.

sonos arc back panel Michael Brown / IDG

As an alternative of your TV, the Sonos Arc will plug into the Arcana.

However for those who’re studying this, your scenario is probably going the identical as mine: To procure a Sonos Arc to go together with your kinda-new big-screen 4K TV that may’t ship full lossless Atmos sound to it. And for that alone, The HDFury is properly price its $199 price ticket.

Plug and play

Organising the Arcana is extremely easy, although it’ll clearly add to the cable litter behind your TV. The field is sufficiently small to cover, however you’ll want to offer AC energy to the Arcana and add one other HDMI cable to your assortment.


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