At least it could were it not for the integrated IR repeater, which is enabled by default and works flawlessly during testing. I initially had trouble tracking down a Dolby Atmos stream of Max Mad: Fury Road, but I eventually found one with the Vudu app on the Apple TV 4K. Of course, your TV’s specs are important here. The speaker wasn't able to hear over maximum volume dialog -- even when I shouted -- but with music at a normal volume I was able to use my speaking voice. I listened to a host of different material over a couple of weeks -- from TV shows to movies to Dolby Atmos Music to video games. The Arc's Dolby Atmos sound field is generated by 11 Class D digital amplifiers that power 11 custom drivers. Other soundbars can tend towards brassiness on this track, but the Arc's sound was immediate and infectious -- it sounded realistic from even the next room. Meanwhile the Sennheiser Ambeo may be the best all-in-one Atmos 'bar I've heard, period, but it costs three times as much as the Arc. That's because 4K Blu-ray uses a higher-bandwidth version of Atmos than streaming services, one that only works over eARC. In all cases, the Arc sounded excellent and balanced if perhaps a little reticent in the treble -- nothing that tweaking the onboard EQ couldn't fix. But while it might be late to the Atmos party, now it has arrived, will it be the heart and soul of it? Build (Image credit: Sonos) Sonos has a new surround sound solution and it’s contained entirely in a single soundbar it calls Arc. Only the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar is better in this regard, and that costs almost three times as much. The Sonos Arc is specifically designed to partner bigger TVs. Each end also features a grille-covered driver. For anyone with a Sonos speaker at home (or those planning on investing in one) the speakers work well to create easy to use multi-room audio. The bullets fired from below streak across the room, the music builds again, with more menace this time. When listening to movies over my time with the speaker I was continually amazed by the amount of deep-end heft the Sonos was capable of. I used the Sonos Arc with a number of different TVs -- the Sony X950G LCD, the Samsung D8000 plasma, the Samsung 6 series LCD -- in two different rooms. While this Atmos-enabled speaker is perfectly capable on its own, you can also add the new Sonos Sub (Gen 3) for $699 / £699 / AU$999 for a bit of extra bass, or a pair of One SLs for rear left and right surround sound which will set you back $199 / £179 / AU$269 each. Your mileage may vary. Suddenly, a spark of lightning plunges everything into near silence as all power is lost and all that is left is the sound of the rain. The Sonos Arc soundbar launched globally on June 10th and costs $799 / £799 / AU$1,399 as a standalone unit. That tonal evenness helps make the Arc a much more musical performer than most soundbars. All up, the Arc is a pretty amazing bit of kit that can mimic true 3D sound from a sleek and self-contained unit – and that's why it's our best soundbar of 2020. While a number of Sonos systems have already featured integrated Google and Amazon smart assistants, they have offered capped experiences and because we weren’t able to quickly set this feature up we haven’t been able to see if there’s been any development here yet. Out of interest, what settings did you have to tweak on the LG C9 to get Atmos passed through from the integrated apps? As the camera switches between positions, the Arc conveys the subtly unique volume and texture of each. The song did sound a little more together on the Sony and more affecting too -- it sounded like singer Wally De Backer was making his pleas directly to me. What. I did appreciate that the Now Playing page of the Sonos app displays a Dolby Atmos logo when it detects either a Dolby Digital Plus or Dolby TrueHD-based immersive stream, so at least there's an easy way to tell when you're getting Atmos. There is no need to consider adding a Sub, nor do we consider it necessary to enable the Speech Enhancement feature during testing, so clearly projected is dialogue. Connect one to a newer TV and it will pass the Atmos stream to your Arc soundbar, if one is available. In addition if you have an older 1080p TV then you won't get Dolby Atmos at all -- your TV needs to be made from 2016 onwards to be able to passthrough Dolby Digital Plus. One of the spaces in which I listened to the Arc was the corner of an irregularly shaped room and there were almost no width effects. If you have a newer 4K TV then this probably won't be a problem. Even the colour choices are simple with the Arc, being available in just Black or White. Be in no doubt; the Sonos Arc is a superb bit of kit. The 11 high quality drivers work together to deliver everything from powerful warm bass to clean and precise high notes during both music and media playback. If you want a minimalist surround sound package and you have a squarish home cinema room then the Sonos Arc is an excellent all-in-one surround sound system. A standard ARC connection can handle the former but not the latter. Since the Arc is intended to bounce audio off the roof and walls of your room to create a 3D soundscape, it’s wrapped on the top, front, and either end by metal, hole-punch speaker grilles that cover the various orientations of the Atmos driver array. Then sound from everything plays though the bar. There was a time where you wouldn’t consider anything other than a multi speaker array for the best quality surround sound, but Dolby Atmos is leading the charge to deliver 3D audio effects from a more streamlined system — and there's no better example of this than the Sonos Arc. It’s important to note that eARC isn’t essential for Dolby Atmos transmission. You don’t have access to an iOS device for Trueplay Tuning. The fantastic Vizio SB36512-F6 and the new Sony HT-G700 both cost less and offer a second HDMI input as well as a subwoofer. It then enhances the 3D soundscape using Dolby Atmos object tracks to bounce certain sounds off the walls around you so they feel like they’re coming at you from all angles. England and Wales company registration number 2008885. While all this might sound complicated, the Sonos Arc setup couldn’t be simpler, involving just a couple of steps on the smartphone app. I purchased this for a second room. It can also be controlled via Alexa and Google Assistant, with the four far-field microphones spaced along the chassis able to pick up your commands, even when music or a movie is blasting out. Playing SBTRKT’s Trials Of The Past via Tidal, the treble is clear and crisp but not bright or distracting, the synthesised bass notes have a solid initial thump and smooth fade, and the vocal is clear in the middle, even as the track gets busy. It replaces the Playbar and Playbase, both priced at £699 ($699, AU$999), and sits above the Beam (£399, $399, AU$599) in Sonos's 'Home Theater' line-up. England and Wales company registration number 2008885. The Arc uses its array of speakers to bounce sound off your walls and ceiling to create a 3D audio effect, and the soundfield is once again tailored to your room using Sonos' Trueplay technology. With the new Arc, Sonos is finally replacing the Playbar, ... Jeffrey Van Camp is an editor for WIRED, specializing in personal technology reviews and coverage. While you can achieve Atmos sound without it, you may want to borrow a friend's iOS device to get the best from the Sonos Arc. Thank you for signing up to TechRadar. TechRadar is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. It also brings a beautiful design, excellent sound quality and a great user experience. Sure it's much more chaotic, but it's just as enjoyable. There's also a Night Sound feature that flattens dynamics and reduces bass, ideal for when you don't want to wake the rest of the household, while Speech Enhancement aims to project dialogue more clearly. The Arc is more than a soundbar, too. We were particularly taken by the unit's ability to deliver soundscapes that distinguished sound from individual instruments during particular arrangements without feeling disjointed. Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, The minimalist cable connections and all-in-one system construction add to this no-fuss feeling and streamlined aesthetic. If you're looking for a soundbar with voice assistants, multiroom music and other features, the Arc will float your boat. We got a feel for how capable Sonos was in this department when it released its Move portable speaker which was able to compensate for acoustic environments as hostile as being covered by pillows. Once in position, most of what you can see of the Arc is a 273-degree grille that hides the array of front-mounted and up-firing speakers. 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It … Often, the mistake is thinking that Dolby Atmos is simply about adding height to a soundtrack, when it should be about filling the room with sound and precisely placing effects in a three-dimensional soundstage. And just because your TV has eARC or ARC doesn’t mean every one of its streaming apps that should carry Atmos actually will. Receive mail from us on behalf of our trusted partners or sponsors? The Sonos delivered a better sense of back-to-front motion as the pursuing War Boys lept over the camera on their bikes and cars. And there's another Atmos wrinkle: setup. There was a problem. If the Arc is a little outside your budget, Sonos will also continue to offer the Sonos Beam for $399 / £399 / AU$599, which is a great unit to bolster your TV audio and a good all-round living room speaker. And while you can of course pair the Sonos Arc soundbar with the Sonos Sub or a pair of One SL speakers for deeper bass and true surround sound, it’s been created to be an excellent audio solution on its own, which cuts down on overall clutter.

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