Sonos Introduces Arc Premium Smart Soundbar and Updated Sonos Sub and Sonos Five

May 7 2020, 01:30
Sonos introduced Sonos Arc, a premium smart soundbar for home theater with full integration in the Sonos wireless home audio eco-system and support for personal voice assistants. The new large size soundbar builds on Sonos’ experience in designing systems for home theater, with a solution featuring support for Dolby Atmos that is able to process audio according to content type, generating immersive sound and improving dialogue. The Californian company also announced some surprise updates to existing home speakers.

Sonos says that Arc is "more than a soundbar" because it also works with everything else in the Sonos eco-system. It supports dedicate DSP optimization for music streaming services, TV, podcasts and even radio. Powered by Sonos’ new platform, which introduce AirPlay 2 compatibility, Arc is a powerful home theater proposition, considering that it supports Dolby Atmos and everything else, and it will sell for $799.

"Home has never played a more important role in our lives and we've always been about making the home more enjoyable with great sounding products and new experiences. Arc brings the sounds of our favorite shows and artists to life like never before," says Patrick Spence, Sonos CEO. "Our goal is to make any room you have a television a place you can easily enjoy all of the great streaming video and music that exists today. Arc illustrates our commitment to brilliant sound and premium design, and sets a new standard for soundbars."

The Sonos Arc delivers an ultra-wide soundstage with impressive bass, thanks to the eleven high-performance drivers, powered by eleven dedicated Class-D amplifiers, including two drivers that are upward firing for 3D audio. And the soundbar adjusts its sound profile through software, based on the home theater set-up and what’s playing, whether stereo, Dolby Audio 5.1, or Dolby Atmos. Eight elliptical woofers ensure playback of mid-range and vocal frequencies in addition to bass, while three precisely angled silk-dome tweeters reproduce the high frequencies and improve dialogue intelligibility. A far-field microphone array uses advanced beamforming and multi-channel echo cancellation so that voice assistants can be activated from the sofa. Trueplay software dynamically tunes the speaker to the unique acoustics in each room.

The soundbar can be controlled from Sonos’ next generation S2 software platform, from an existing TV remote, Apple AirPlay 2, and with voice using Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant. There is obviously an iOS app with adjustable EQ and loudness settings, a Speech Enhancement function, and Night Sound mode to reduce the intensity of loud sound effects. Users can also refine the sound with an update to the Sonos Trueplay tuning technology, adjusting Arc’s acoustic profile based on the room, accounting for horizontal and vertical sound that comes with immersive sound.

The Sonos Arc will be available in June 2020, in matte black and matte white and there will be a separate custom designed wall mount. A simple connection through HDMI eARC or ARC keeps set-up simple. Adding a Sonos Sub and a pair of One SL surround speakers offers an even more immersive experience. The new Sonos Arc replaces Playbar and Playbase in the Sonos line-up.

New Sonos Sub (Gen 3) and Sonos Five
Alongside Arc, Sonos introduced two updates for its home audio line-up, increasing the built-in memory and introducing a faster processing platform. The Sonos Sub has been a long-time favorite for added bass when wirelessly connected to a Sonos speaker or soundbar. The new Sub (Gen 3) brings the same iconic design and bass quality, available in both black and white for $699.

An update to Sonos’ most powerful speaker for music, Sonos Five delivers the same great sound and acoustic architecture as the Play:5 (Gen 2). True to its predecessor, the new Sonos Five fits in any space with versatility and it can be used as a standalone speaker horizontally, or pairing two Fives in the upright position for detailed stereo separation. An enduring design that continues to fit perfectly into any space, Sonos Five is available in black with a black grille and, for the first time, white with a white grille. Price is $499 and availability starts June 10.

Starting June 8, Sonos users will be able to download the new Sonos app, delivering an upgraded software platform that will power the next generation of products and experiences from Sonos, including Arc, Five, and the third generation Sub. The three new products will run exclusively on the new app.

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 much needed user interface updates make it easier to search for content, control sound, and personalize the experience with new features starting with saved room groups. When users download the new app and transition to the new platform, all favorites, services, and settings will be saved.
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