Rumour: Sonos to launch Dolby Atmos soundbar this summer

Mike Wheatley

Audio systems manufacturer Sonos is going to launch three new products, including its first soundbar that supports Dolby Atmos, according to anonymous sources.


9to5Mac cites an “anonymous tipster” as saying the company has a new Playbar, Sub and Play:5 speaker in the works that could be launched as early as June. The Playbar will support Dolby Atmos, the source said.

Sonos is yet to confirm the rumour, but such a device would certainly tie in with its S2 software update, also coming in June. That update is essentially a complete overhaul of Sonos’ audio software, and will increase audio bandwidth to enable “higher resolution technologies for music and home theatre”, which would make support for Dolby Atmos possible.

Should Sonos indeed launch an Atmos-capable soundbar, that product, together with the rumoured new Sub subwoofer, would likely replace its 2013 Playbar (pictured) and Sub. It’s not clear if the new products will also support voice control, like the higher end Sonos Beam device. Other questions remain too – for example, will it have upward-firing speakers that can deliver the appropriate height channels needed for Dolby Atmos? Or will it instead use some kind of sound processing technology to replicate that sensation of height via front-facing drivers? And how big will the soundbar be? All of this remains unanswered for the moment.

One thing we can be sure of is that the new soundbar, if it does launch, will not be cheap. That’s because Dolby Atmos soundbars are on the whole, still quite expensive, with the cheapest available models starting at around £600, while more premium products such as Sony’s HT-ST5000 is priced at £999.

9to5Mac’s tipster also told the publication that the upcoming Sonos Play:5 speaker will be a replacement for the original Play:5 that was launched in 2015, but they were unable to provide any details about its specifications or features.