Sonos is spicing up its catalog with the Arc, an $800 Dolby Atmos soundbar. With it, Sonos claims, you can drag immersive “cinematic sound” into your living room. The company is also rebranding and repainting its Play:5 speaker—which is now called the Sonos Five, and giving the Sonos Sub a slight hardware update.
All three speakers are available for preorder and will ship before June 10th. But at $800, the new Arc soundbar is a shockingly expensive item. It sets a new standard for Sonos products, but will be out reach for most people. Along with its Arc announcement, Sonos also announced that it’s simplifying its lineup by discontinuing the Playbar and Playbase soundbars. The company will continue to sell its popular Beam soundbar for $400.
The Arc comes in black or white styles, and features a curved front grill. Most Dolby Atmos soundbars are shaped like rectangles with flat speaker grills, presumably because they’re packed with so many drivers. The Arc is 45 inches long, it’s compatible with the Sonos wireless Sub, and it comes with Google Assistant and Alexa baked in.
And then there’s the refreshed Sonos Five speaker. It offers the same listening experience as the old Play:5 speaker, meaning that Sonos hasn’t replaced or upgraded the product’s internal audio hardware. The company claims that its rebranded Five speaker has increased processing power to speed up audio streaming, but that’s the only real difference, aside from the new matte black and white design.
To the dismay of some fans, the Sonos Five still doesn’t support Alexa or Google Assistant. Sonos wants to posit its Five speaker as a performance listening machine, which makes sense. Still, its odd to see a $500 speaker without some kind of voice assistant built in. For reference, the $200 Sonos One supports Google Assistant and Alexa, as does the Sonos Beam soundbar and the new Sonos Arc.
And last but not least, Sonos is giving its wireless Sub a quick spec update. The product isn’t falling victim to any repainting or rebranding, but new models will have increased processing power to enhance the speed of streaming audio. Makes sense, as some Sonos Five buyers are likely to pair their fancy new speaker with an equally fancy Sub.
You can preorder the Sonos Arc, Sonos Five, and upgraded Sonos Sub on the company’s website. According to Sonos, orders will start arriving before June 10th. Personally, I’d keep an eye out for the discontinued Playbar and Play:5 speakers, as you may be able to grab them at a discount.
Source: Sonos via The Verge