On Wednesday, Sonos announced their latest hardware additions, featuring the Sonos Arc, a premium soundbar with support for Dolby Atmos. This marks the first Sonos product to support Dolby Atmos, and there are hints at support for higher resolution audio formats coming in the future. Two other pieces of hardware, Sonos Five (a PLAY:5 with revamped guts) and their 3rd-generation Sonos Sub, were also announced today.
Sonos Arc – Premium Sound, Premium Product, Premium Price
The new Sonos Arc soundbar is, according to Sonos, their most immersive speaker yet with the widest soundstage they’ve ever delivered. With Dolby Atmos support, Arc aims to deliver realistic 3D sound to your living room (or wherever else you decide to place it!).
Arc can be set in front of your TV or mounted to the wall with a $79 mounting kit. Connection to your TV is primarily with eARC or ARC (the former required for Atmos), and will come with an adapter in the box to support optical input, as well, just like the Beam does.
The popular Sonos Beam soundbar will remain in the lineup at US$399, and the new Arc will be priced at $799, giving customers the choice between two levels of sound.
We (obviously) haven’t yet been able to experience the Arc in person, but our feelings on the Beam remain: it’s a stellar product with fantastic sound, and is currently the device that serves our 15×25 living room quite well. At 45 inches, the Arc is almost twice the width of the Beam, with double the number of woofers (eight!), three tweeters (up from Beam’s lone tweeter), all powered by eleven individual class-D digital amplifiers. With those specs coming from Sonos, we have high hopes for what the Arc can deliver.
Of course, with Arc you’re not alone. If you want to increase your immersion level, you can link up a pair of any Sonos S2-compatible speakers as surrounds. That means your pairs of Play:1, Play:3, Play:5 (Gen 2), Five, SYMFONISK, and One/One SL are good to go here. A Sub (Gen-1, Gen-2, or Gen-3) can be added, as well, to help really rock that low end.
Like the Beam before it, Arc features Speech Enhancement and Night Sound modes, each independently activated, to allow you to easily customize the sound for a given moment. And like all Sonos products, Arc supports Trueplay, using your iPhone to tune itself to your room for both music listening and watching video content.
Additionally, Arc fully supports AirPlay 2 and happily plays along with any other AirPlay 2 devices. Voice support is a first-class citizen on Sonos Arc, as well, where you have the choice to use Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or nothing at all. This is configurable inside the app, and easy to change.
Arc is available for pre-order today and deliveries begin on June 10th.
Sonos S2 App Coming June 8, 2020
Arc will be Sonos’s first product requiring their new S2 app and platform. That app will be released to the public two full days ahead of Arc’s arrival, allowing you to get your existing Sonos system migrated over ahead of the moment where you integrate your new Arc.
Sonos Five and Gen-3 Sub Also Announced
Alonside the Arc, Sonos also announced mostly-technical updates to the PLAY:5 and Sub. The new Sonos Five replaces the PLAY:5 in the lineup, and follows the same form factor, albeit with some color tweaks, especially with the new, white-on-white model. The Sub also gets similar treatment with the Gen-3 version, most notably with an aesthetic difference in terms of the external finish.
The real changes to both the Sonos Five and Gen-3 Sub come on the spec sheets. Increased RAM, a more powerful CPU, and a new wireless radio prep these devices for the future, including perhaps a day when higher-resolution streaming services are supported on the platform. But as of announcement day, these will be functionally identical to the units they replace. We don’t recommend you rush out and trash your PLAY:5 quite yet. You should be fine for a while here!