Sonos is one of the leading premium audio brands of today, with a reputation for high-quality sound far beyond many of its competitors – and it’s just announced its first Dolby Atmos-compatible soundbar, the Sonos Arc.
Described to us as the “premium smart soundbar from Sonos for TV, movies, music, gaming, and more,” the Sonos Arc effectively replaces the Sonos Play:Bar and Sonos Play:Base models, making picking your next soundbar solution that little bit easier.
2019’s Sonos Beam model will continue, however, offering a cheaper and Dolby Atmos-free alternative – though the Arc will reportedly offer a “bigger soundstage” than the Beam, with the same Google Assistant, Alexa, and AirPlay 2 support.
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The Sonos Arc will be released on June 10 for $799 / £799 / AU$1,399, and will be available in both matte black and matte white coloring – but it’s now available for pre-order from Sonos.com.
Other Sonos models are also getting an upgrade for 2020, with the Sonos Sub (Gen 3) launching with up-to-date internals and an “increased wireless radius” ($699 / £699 / around AU$1,100), and the Play:5 (Gen 2) getting rebranded as the Sonos Five with a new all-white design ($499 / £499 / AU$800).
Enter the Atmos-phere
Why does the inclusion of Atmos matter? The Dolby standard is a high-end audio format for 3D sound, meaning that the sound you hear has an element of height and depth, even if you don’t have a full surround sound speaker setup around your living room.
The Sonos Arc will feature an array of 11 drivers, including eight mid-range woofers and three dedicated tweeters for a varied multi-channel sound. You might want to combine it with a dedicated subwoofer, though, to complete the package.
A renewed Sonos app – launching June 8 – will also support the new 2020 products, with compatibility with Hi-Res Audio formats, and users’ personal settings carried over from previous versions of the app they might have used.
It’s also worth noting that the Sonos Arc supports the latest HDMI eARC standard, allowing a higher bandwidth audio codec for Atmos, and enabling easy connection from your soundbar to your TV.
- Dolby Atmos: the surround sound format explained
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Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.