Sonos debuts its first Dolby Atmos soundbar, the Sonos Arc

Mike Wheatley

Audio equipment maker Sonos has just unveiled its first ever Dolby Atmos soundbar, barely a week after the new device was first leaked. It’s called the Sonos Arc, and it runs Sonos’ new S2 software platform.


The Sonos Arc replaces the Sonos Playbar and Playbase as the company’s flagship product. It’s the first speaker the company has ever made that supports Dolby Atmos, and also the first to support HDMI 2.1’s enhanced Audio Return Channel.

The Sonos Arc comes equipped with 11 drivers, with two of those being upward firing to deliver overhead Atmos sound effects. There are also two left/right side-firing units that help to ensure a wider soundstage in the room. Sonos said its main priority with the Arc was to deliver “crystal clear dialogue and impressive bass”.

"Sonos Arc is a premium, smart soundbar, delivering an ultra-wide soundstage and impressive bass,” the company said. “Eleven high-performance drivers, including two that are upward firing for 3D audio, produce dramatic clarity, detail, and depth. Tuned in partnership with Oscar-winning mixing engineers, Arc adjusts its sound profile through software, based on the home theater set-up and what’s playing, whether stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, or Dolby Atmos."

Sonos said there are now more than 25 video streaming services that offer Dolby Atmos content, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, iTunes and Vudu.

The Sonos Arc can also be used in a larger setup with multiple Sonos speakers, including a pair of One SL rear speakers, the company said. Other features include Speech Enhancement and Night Mode.

With the debut of Sonos Arc, the company is entering a tough market, with competing products from the likes of LG, Samsung, Sony, JBL, Sennheiser and Vizio. The product is available in black and white colours and is priced at £799 in the U.K.

As well as the Sonos Arc, the company has also upgraded its Sonos Sub and Play:5, which is now known as the Sonos Five. Both of these feature increased memory and processing capabilities, the company said.

All three devices will run Sonos’ next-generation S2 software platform. The company is also planning to launch an updated app next month that can be used with the products.

“This new generation app features support for higher resolution audio technologies, evident with the Dolby Atmos experience on Arc, as well as increased security and improved design for easier use,” the company said. “User interface updates make it even simpler for customers to search for content, control sound, and personalize the experience with new features starting with saved room groups.”

Sonos said some of its existing products will also be compatible with the new software and app, but not all of them. In fact, some of its legacy products will stop receiving new software updates later this month, though the company assures us that they’ll all continue to work.