Sonos is looking to make soundbars a style statement with the all-new $799 Sonos Arc. As the name suggests the Arc’s 270-degree, C-shaped grille promises the brand’s signature audio quality for high-fidelity formats and perfectly-tuned entertainment experiences.
Unveiled today (May 6), the Sonos Arc replaces the Sonos Playbase as the company’s home entertainment flagship. The curved, perforated grille and elliptical form falls into the company’s newer look, moving away from a rounded rectangular design. The Arc comes in matte black and white finishes, one of which should appeal to most people.
Here's everything you need to know about the Sonos Arc, which could soon become one of the best soundbars to buy.
Sonos Arc specs
Colors: Black, White
Size: 45 x 4.5 x 3.4 inches
Weight: 13.78 pounds
Speakers: 11 drivers, 8 woofers, 3 tweeters
Voice assistants: Alexa, Google Assistant
Sonos Arc design
Eleven high-performance drivers, including two that are upward firing, are supported by three tweeters: two side-firing and 1 front-facing for dialog. The Arc also offers 8 custom elliptical woofers, with 4 forward-firing, 2 reflecting upwards on the ceilings and 1 shooting sideways out of each end.
The Playbase, our top pick among the best soundbars, only has six midrange drivers, three tweeters and one woofer. Needless to say, the Arc is a beast by comparison.
Sonos Arc benefits from two software-based tuning features: Phasing rays and time alignment TruePlay. The phasing rays work like noise-cancelling headphones, but at room scale to focus sound. TruePlay is already available for a number of Sonos products, but now it factors in the ceiling. The Arc will tune to a room by making sure audio waves reach the ceilings and walls at the same time, even in spaces with higher ceilings or where the entertainment system is off-center.
Users will still need to use the Sonos app to conduct tuning tests via the Arc’s four far-field microphones, though. The Arc does not support the Auto TruePlay feature we raved about in our Sonos Move review.
It does adopt the Move’s aesthetic, though. The curved, perforated grille and elliptical form falls into the company’s newer look, moving away from a rounded rectangular look. The Arc comes in matte black and white finishes, one of which should appeal to most people.
Sonos Arc Dolby Atmos and voice assistant support
When the Arc is paired with a TV, it’s prepared to deliver to a 3D soundscape with Dolby Atmos audio and support for high-fidelity formats. It does so with a single ER channel and cord for set up, too. It’ll connect to your TV or cable remote for streamlined control.
And for hands-free users, the Arc’s built-in microphones can be used to summon Alexa and Google Assistant. We don’t have any soundbars on our lists of the best Alexa compatible devices or best Google Home compatible devices, but the Arc is certainly attempting to make its case in the smart home space.
Sonos Arc, Sonos Sub and Sonos 5: Pre-order and bundles
Sonos has also announced hardware updates for its Sonos Sub subwoofer and Play 5 stereo. The $699 third-gen Sonos Sub will offer improved internals, more memory and better Wi-Fi radio, while the $499 Sonos 5 will receive those enhancements plus a monochronic design.
All three new Sonos speakers are available for pre-order now and will release on June 10. On June 8, Sonos will launch the Sonos 2 (S2) app with a refreshed design and support for the new speakers. It will automatically pull your home system’s information and settings from the original app, and the older app will still be supported for users who prefer it.
Although the Playbar, second-gen Sonos Sub and Play 5 aren’t currently included in the trade-up program, Sonos is offering bundle discounts. The Arc and new Sub together cost $1,498, while the Arc, new Sub and two Sonos One SLs cost $1,856.
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