Technology

Sonos Arc Dolby Atmos soundbar brings cinema home in style

Multiroom audio pioneer Sonos has unveiled its first Dolby Atmos soundbar. The all-new Arc will replace the brand’s original Playbar and Playbase when it lands globally June 10, priced at £799.

Sonos may be late to the Dolby Atmos cinema sound party, but it arrives in style. The new speaker is available in matte black and matte white, and features a 270-degree rounded plastic grille, peppered with some 76,000 acoustically tuned holes.

It can be placed in front of a TV or wall mounted. Hook-up is via HDMI ARC/eARC, with Ethernet to support Wi-Fi. There’s also an optical adapter for older tellies without HDMI ARC. 

The bar features eleven drivers, including two dedicated up-firers for 3D Atmos audio…

The Sonos Arc packs in eleven drivers for big audio

The bar features eleven drivers, including two dedicated up-firers for 3D audio, each driven by a Class D amplifier. The array comprises eight woofers and three silk-dome tweeters, with both up-firing and side firing drivers designed to create a wide soundstage using room reflection.

Measuring 114cm, and standing 8.5cm tall, it’s suitable for TVs 50-inches and upwards.

Using the Sonos app the Arc can be tweaked with Speech Enhancement, to clarify vocals, and Night Sound to dampen loud explosions. There’s also an update to Sonos’ s iOS-only Trueplay tuning app, which adjusts the Arc’s acoustic profile based on the room environment.

The Arc changes the use of its driver array, depending on content. When regular 5.1 rather than Dolby Atmos is received, the up-firers tonally alter to deliver more bass.

The Sonos Arc can also be controlled using the existing TV remote, with voice using Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant, via a quad far-field mic array, and Apple AirPlay 2.

For deep bass you’ll need an optional Sonos Sub

The Arc can be expanded with the latest iteration of the Sonos Sub and a pair of One SL surrounds, for a full theatrical experience. To help tune the bar, Sonos has called on the skills of some of the world’s most renowned sound engineers, including Giles Martin and Oscar-winning sound mixer Chris Jenkins, whose filmography includes Mad Max Fury Road and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The soundbar runs on the new Sonos S2 software platform.

Alongside Arc, Sonos is introducing an updated Sonos Sub (Gen 3) and the Sonos Five, which replaces the Play:5 (Gen 2). These have increased memory and faster processing power, says the brand.

The updated Sonos Five uses the same acoustic architecture as Play:5, and can be set horizontally, or in a pair in an upright position for improved detailed stereo separation.The Five is available in black with a black  grille or white with a white grille.

About Steve May

Creator of Home Cinema Choice magazine, Steve muses and reviews for Trusted Reviews, T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice, Ideal Home, The Luxe Review, Channel News and the i newspaper. He’s also the editor of professional home cinema website Inside CI, and contributor to industry trade magazine ERT. He's on Twitter and Instagram as @SteveMay_UK

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