After years, the time has come: Sonos has a new flagship model soundbar: the Sonos ARC. And no: ARC does not stand for audio-return channel. Although it does have that functionality. ARC stands for… yes: what it actually stands for. Arc(h)? But than again it doesn’t? Ah well… nevermind. Who knows what it stands for. Let’s see what the Sonos ARC can do!
Last week we had a Zoom-call with Sonos. The reason was a new product. Now we don’t need a crystal ball to guess it was a new soundbar. After all: everything has been renewed, except for the pretty old Sonos Playbar. That one dates from 2013. Yes: seven years old! The playbase was introduced about three years ago now. The Beam has been released relatively recently. That is also the only one with an hdmi connection.
The new Sonos ARC is inspired by the Beam. It is a Dolby Atmos compatible soundbar. With… drum roll… hdmi! Just like the ‘regular’ Playbar, surround channels can be added wirelessly. Think of two Sonos ‘Five’s. Or two ‘One’s. If you want extra bass, you can add the renewed Sonos Sub. In short: the method of expanding the experience is the same as with the Sonos Beam or Playbar.
The Sonos Sub is packed with drivers. The base-config is the center, left and right. There we see mid-drivers as well as tweeters. Then there are two extra units on the sides and two units that are responsible for the height-information. The upfire.
The units are capable of producing enough bass. In the middle of the soundbare there is also an extra driver to create extra bass. Of course that doesn’t replace a subwoofer. And if you place an extra subwoofer, you will quickly notice that the whole thing gets a bit more controlled. And so it sounds better. That was also the case with the Playbar, playbase and certainly with the Beam.
Now Sonos reports that the Sonos ARC already brings a lot of space through reflection techniques. Just like many soundbars can. However, it does not replace surround channels. If you really want surround then we recommend two rear speakers.
The amplification is not mentioned, nor was it discussed, but we can guess that it is a 10-channel class-D model: left right (with midrange drivers), center, wide left and right and two times upfiring: 10 channels. If we have to make an estimation, it will be about 500 watts rms in 4 Ohm.
Of course it will connect with a cable as well as via a wireless network. Just like the Beam, both 2.4 and 5 Ghz wifi is available and SonosNET is built in.
App and Sub
During the Zoom call Sonos also briefly mentioned that the Sonos App has been renewed and that the Sonos Sub has received an update. We will check out the new App as soon as possible. If revolutionary things have changed, we will take that into account in the next review. By the way, it is good to hear that the new products will support high-res audio with new hardware. Yes: Sonos will support high-res audio (after years of resistance :-)).
Price and availability
The price of the Sonos ARC is 899 euro. And if we are to believe Sonos, it will be available very soon.
Video New Sonos ARC
Design of the Sonos ARC