The Sonos Arc Dolby Atmos soundbar is getting a cheaper, microphone-free sibling

sonos arc
(Image credit: Future)

The Sonos Arc is our pick for the best soundbar of 2020 – and a cheaper version of the Dolby Atmos bar is soon to be unveiled, according to the multi-room audio brand. 

The Sonos Arc SL was spotted by eagle-eyed shoppers in the US on the shelves of Costco, and while it's yet to be officially announced, Sonos has since confirmed its existence, according to Android Central.

A Sonos spokesperson told Android Central that "customers can purchase Sonos Arc SL Shadow Edition, exclusively available at participating Costco stores in the US and Canada."

"The Sonos Arc SL Shadow Edition brings the immersive sound customer's love from Arc in a shadow black color and without built-in microphones. Arc SL Shadow Edition is available to Costco members for $749.99 USD / $949.99 CAD, and will be available on later this month."

There's no word yet on global availability, but that works out at roughly £550 / AU$1,000 – cheaper than the original Sonos Arc, which costs $799 / £799 / AU$1,399.

Dolby Atmos at a discount

In a similar vein to other 'SL' products like the Sonos One Sl, the Sonos Arc SL won't contain microphones, which means it won't come with built-in voice control – a small compromise for a $50 price decrease.

According to Android Central, you will still be able to control the Arc SL with your voice using compatible Sonos, Amazon Echo, or Google Assistant smart speakers.

And, you're still getting all the audio smarts that came with the original Sonos Arc, which draws on Dolby’s latest TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus sound codecs to deliver the best quality lossless audio found on cutting edge Blu-ray disks and some of the leading streaming services. 

It then enhances the 3D soundscape using Dolby Atmos object tracks to bounce certain sounds off the walls around you so they feel like they’re coming at you from all angles – perfect for watching films and TV shows.

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.