As the pandemic continues around the world, Sonos saw an exciting opportunity to launch its next-generation speaker soundbar with Dolby Atmos called the Dolby Atmos Soundbar Arc or Sonos Soundbar which is an improvised product of the Sonos Beam. With Dolby Atmos entering into the world of home theatres from previously available in movie theatre only, it won’t be wrong to say that a lot has changed in the world of Sonos since it first launched its Playbar and Playbase in 2013.
With TVs getting bigger and bigger and people showing their liking for such TVs, it became inevitable for the sound world to adapt to this need. Sonos Arc is specifically designed for larger TVs and is a new high-end bar that enables you to control what you want to see through the audio. As Sonos announces the smart Soundbar Arc, Playbar (flagship product of Sonos) that was untouched and unparalleled to any rivals in the brand has now received a competitor within the company that will hopefully replace it.
Sonos Arc Release Date and Price:
Sonos launches the new Sonos Arc soundbar with Dolby that will hit the market and major retailers on the 10th of June 2020. It is priced at $799 which is $100 more than the Playbar and couple more hundred dollars more than the Beam in the Sonos Home Theatre Line-up. However, this Arc is open to direct competition with the Sony HT-ST5000, which is priced at $1500 and the Dali Katch One which is a simpler one as compared to the other two. Now, time will tell if people convert to Sonos Arc easily or will prefer the previous products available in the market.
Soundbar Arc Design and Features:
A first glance at the Arc shows the sleek look of the soundbar however, as we dig deeper into it we can see the minute detail that this product comprises of. It is a 114cm wide product making it an ideal fit for the 49inch TVs since it has been launched to partner with bigger TVs. It is indifferent to the positioning i.e. either mounted on the wall or any piece of furniture. Since the Playbar had the flexibility too but was better suited on the wall.
The dimensions (W x H x D) of the Arc is 8.7 x 114 x 12cm and weighs approximately 6.3kg. Check other small sound bars here. On the front of the soundbar, you will see the play/pause button along with the touch panels used to control the volume. On the right, you will see the far-field microphone and the LED light that will indicate whether it is listening to the Alexa or Google Voice Assistant voice commands or not.
Coming to the functionality of this Arc, let us see how this is different from the already existing products of Sonos, and is it even worth the price???
On the backside of the device, you will find an Ethernet port which is useful for the household that uses the line infrastructure of the wired internet. However, it is predicted that most people will use it through its WIFI. Secondly, you will find the HDMI port and a power socket on the back. Unlike the Beam, the Arc Soundbar supports the eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) and is supposed to utilize the HDMI eArc to transfer the sound from the TV to the Sonos Arc.
Another feature is the 11 Class D Amplifiers that will power the 11 custom drivers that will be used to generate the sound-field. Out of the 11 drivers, 8 are the elliptical woofers and three tweeters built into the front but firing diagonally into the room. Another notable feature is the ability of its device to bounce off the sound on the ceiling and create a 3D effect through its array of speakers. It has speech enhancement technology for better voice clarity.
Literally, all the features available are at par with its competitors and even the OEMs and are still putting Sonos into the premium soundbars market. Moreover, this Sonos Soundbar Arc that supports Dolby Digital plus Bitstream to the Sonos system is another exciting feature to look forward to in this device. You have the option to select either black or white color in this Arc since both look very stylish and classy.
|Power Supply||AC 120 V, 60 Hz|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||87 mm x 1141.7 mm x 115.7 mm|
|3.4 inch x 45 inch x 4.5 inch|
|WEIGHT (kg, lbs.)||6.25 kg (13.78 lbs.)|
|CPU||A-53 Processor (1.4 GHz)|
|Memory||4 GB NV, 1 GB SDRAM|
|Infrared Receiver (IR)||✔|
|Capacitive Touch Controls||✔|
|HDMI ARC Port||✔|
|Apple AirPlay 2||✔|
|Class-D digital amplifiers||11|
|Far-field microphone array||✔|
|Adjustable EQ settings||✔|
|White, Black with matte finish|
Sonos New App:
Its features are not only limited to the hardware but this time Sonos is also launching a new App and an overall OS upgrade that will enhance the already existing features along with the higher fidelity audio.
This was announced back in March along with the exact launch date that is 8th June 2020 just two days before the launch of Sonos Arc. As per sources, the Sonos app which will be named as Sonos will be specifically for the Arc and will be supporting High-Resolution Audio. It will be encapsulated with high-end security features and user-friendliness with a more personalized experience.
The app will make it easier for users to communicate with other compatible devices such as Play, Connect, and Sub device families. It introduces a somewhat new feature that will enable ‘Room Grouping’ in case other compatible devices are placed in different areas of your home. Through grouping of rooms syncing of devices can be done such as playlists, song queues, and other setting such as voice controls, etc using RSS feed.
Sonos also has some good news for its old customers who will also enjoy these features to a minor extent until they don’t have too old legacy products. OS Upgrade will be launched for compatible products. Which helps them enjoy whatever is possible within the hardware limits of their product. But for most of the products, the updates are limited to security patches and bug fixes.
Just keep in mind if you are frustrated with not getting these updates due to legacy products, don’t worry. As you will get a 30 percent discount as a replacement with an updated new product line.
Just to mention that the Sonos S2 app will be available on IOS, iPad, Android, Windows, and macOS. But some features will only be applicable on iPhone and iPad such as Trueplay.
For the users of the Gen 1 Sonos speakers, it is time to upgrade your respective Sonos devices to the S2 Platform since these will not be compatible with the newly launched apps after June 2020. Some of the products that will not be compatible with the S2 app are:
Play:5 (Gen 1)
All Zone Players (ZP80, ZP90, ZP100, ZP120)
Connect (Gen 1)
Connect: Amp (Gen 1)
Sonos Multiroom Speakers For Complete Home theatre Experience:
Alongside announcing the Arc, Sonos announced the update of Sonos Sub from Gen-2 to Gen 3 as one of its Flagship Smart Speakers which is due to be launched on June 10, 2020. The updated Sonos Sub is featuring two canceling drivers that are used to eradicate the vibration that will produce and rattle so that you can get the powerful bass without any distortion. The wireless speaker is the same as the preceding one however, certain improvements have been done in memory and processing power which has been increased with an addition of a wireless radio system.
Some additional features of Gen-3 sub are as follows:
- Its configuration is very simple as you just need to bring your cell phone to Sub and it will automatically pair it by NFC and connecting it via WI-FI.
- Its design is flexible enough to be put in any space be it on the side, facing the ceiling or floor, or simply put it under or above any couch without losing any sound quality or performance.
- The response of the frequency is 25Hz which is very low.
- The dimensions are (H x W x D) 15.3 x 6.2 x 15.8 inches (389 x 158 x 402 mm) the weight of the sub is 36.3 lb (16 kg).
- Trueplay facility is present which puts the speaker-tuning capability in the palms of your hand as it adapts and optimizes the sound of the speaker to the unique acoustic of the room. For this, the iOS device is a must.
As an add-on, you can pair it with Sonos Arc for better home theatre experience and enabling Group Room Feature in the S2 App since the other room requires a speaker to be paired when using these features.
Sonos five replaces the Play 5 and is expected to be launched on the 10 June 2020 alongside the other two devices. It has been redesigned and features new hardware to make the new features more useable in the S2 software expected to launch in June 2020.
It is available in all white and all black for the first time and as three woofers in the sealed enclosure which will be used to deliver high-quality rich bass without any echo. It comes on Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity options in addition to the place for analog devices like the vinyl player.
Operating system Compatibility:
Sonos says the Arc Dolby Atmos virtually supports most of the market recognized Operating Systems. List specifically includes.
- iOS 11 or later (includes iPod touch 7th gen, iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, SE, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, X, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, XS Max, 11, 11 Pro and 11 Max. It also supports Apple Airplay 2 after iOS 11.2 and some compatible models of Apple Watch series).
- iPad OS 13 or later (iPad Air 2, iPad Air 3rd,5th, 7th Gen, iPad Mini 4, 5th, and iPad Pro All models.
- Android 7.0 or later (Nougat and later includes mostly all models after 2016)
- Fire OS 6.2 or later (Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Tablets launched after 2017 October)
- MacOS X 10.11 and Later (iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac Mini, Mac Pro, Xserve, and all later versions after mid-2007.
- For PC and Notebooks all including Windows 7 and later; Excluding Chrome Book and Including my 13inch MacBook pro
Smart TV Compatibility:
Unlike The Playbar, Playbase, and Beam, Arc Supports TVs with eArc, Arc, and even optical outputs. eArc provides much greater compatibility with supported formats such as the Dolby audio, Dolby Atmos Audio, TrueHD, MAT, Dolby Digital Plus, and Dolby Digital. Apple TV can be connected through HDMI Port.
Audio Formats Compatibility:
- MP3, WMA, AAC, OGG, FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, WAV
- Sonos supports FLAC files up to 16 bit/ 44.1 kHz
- Supported Sample Rates: 16000, 22050, 24000, 32000, 44100, 48000
- Radio streams in WMA, MP3, and AAC
To sum it up, the Sonos Arc sounds and looks very promising from the looks of it, however, a better verdict can only be given once this product hits the market in June 2020. This soundbar Arc promises to provide us with the experience of a home theatre since it uses the immersive sound technology to send out sound signals in the rooms it is placed, enhances our listening experience and adjusts its sound with the ambient atmosphere/ environment it is given e.g. at night it adjusts it sound so that the rest of the family is not disturbed.
This amazing sound system is a bit on the premium side which can be heavy on the pockets especially in the current scenario where many people have lost their jobs and are tight on their budgets. However, if you buy it when it launches it will be an amazing device for you to create an exceptional home theatre experience until the cinemas reopen. And who knows you might never have to go to a cinema again!!!
To order this Arc, visit Sonos website and pre-order this since the website is taking orders along with many major retailers. The product ships on June 20, 2020, after the official launch. You can pay via credit cards to secure your order and even read the features, design, take a look at the buying guide, and satisfy yourself before placing the order. We hope our analyses will help you in making your purchase. Till then, happy shopping!
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Image Source: Sonos