Sonos is perhaps most famous for making some of the world’s best smart speakers (opens in new tab), but now it’s taking its first step into the world of Dolby Atmos with the release of the Sonos Arc (opens in new tab) soundbar. It’s designed to replace the cheaper Sonos Playbar, and will work with the new Sonos S2 app when it launches on iOS, Android, Windows and Mac on June 8.
The Sonos Arc begins shipping on June 10th, with a recommended retail price of $799/£799, which is very pricey compared to the stellar Sonos Beam, one of our top picks for the best soundbars (opens in new tab) you can buy right now, but then the Arc is packing that magical Dolby Atmos tech. In fact, unlike the Beam, the Arc supports Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC), which means it’s capable of handling full-fat Dolby Atmos signals from any TV that can output it.
The Arc is designed to give your home cinema setup a boost by filling your room with immersive sound from the off. It’s built upon the Sonos S2 platform, which allows for higher-fidelity audio, enhanced security, and other ‘surprise features’ that Sonos is yet to unveil.
The new soundbar will be available to buy in either black or white, and is specifically designed to partner the bigger TVs that are becoming more popular, with its width measurement of 114cm making it a little wider than a 49-in TV. So in other words, it will sit beautifully underneath that 65-inch set you’ve been eyeing up in our guide to the best TVs (opens in new tab).
The Sonos Arc spec is as follows:
- Connections: HDMI, optical, ethernet, ARC/eARC eARC
- Surround format support: Dolby Atmos, Dolby True HD, Dolby Digital+, Dolby Digital
- AirPlay 2
- Voice control: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
- Dimensions: 3.4 x 44.9 x 4.7-inches (HxWxD)
- Weight: 13.9 lbs (6.3kg
Sonos Arc soundbar features: music and movies
Inside the Sonos Arc soundbar sits 11 high-performance drivers (eight of which evolved from the Sonos Beam) and 11 class D digital amplifiers to fire out room-filling audio, utilizing multi-directional sound to create a superb effect regardless of where you’re sitting in relation to the TV. The Arc uses its array of speakers to bounce sound off your living room walls and ceiling to create a 3D audio assault, and can tailor the sound to your exact room using Sonos’ Trueplay technology.
Sonos also drafted in Oscar-winning sound engineers to tune the Arc, and you can enhance dialogue in a film or show further by turning on the Speech Enhancement feature in the Sonos app.
In addition to losing yourself in big-budget movies, the Arc can also be used to play music – Sonos designed the soundbar with eight elliptical woofers and three silk-dome tweeters (built into the front, but with two firing diagonally) to deliver neutral audio in an ultra-wide soundstage. That should be good news for your Kenny Rogers’ Greatest Hits playlist.
It’s super-simple to play music through the Arc: it’ll appear as a playback device in Tidal and Spotify apps on your smartphone (opens in new tab), and compatibility with AirPlay 2 means it enables pretty much any audio to be sent to it from an iOS device, such as an Apple iPad tablet (opens in new tab). Feeling lazy? Then control playback using your voice instead. The Sonos Arc is Alexa and Google Assistant-enabled, with four far-field microphones using 'smart signal enhancement and multi-channel echo cancellation for easy voice control, even when the music or TV is blasting'.
The Sonos Arc works with a raft of streaming sites and providers, including Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible, Deezer, Pandora, Tunein, iHeartRadio, Google Play Music and others.
Can't wait for the Sonos Arc soundbar and want to elevate your home cinema setup now? Then take a look at the following soundbars...