Earlier this year, Sonos announced their new soundbar, the Arc, which promised to be a top-tier offering. The Sonos Arc would be the brand’s largest soundbar yet—better suited to match with today’s increasingly large flat panel TVs—and offered the most elaborate driver arrangement we’d seen from them. In short, it looked like it would be not just Sonos’ best soundbar, but one of the best Sonos speakers overall. After some pandemic-induced shipping delays, we’ve finally gotten our hands on the new Sonos soundbar and put it through our usual auditioning process.
What do we think about the Sonos Arc? In short, we love the it. The new driver arrangement, which consists of eight woofers and three silk-dome tweeters (each powered by its own Class D amplifier), offers much better channel separation than the Sonos Playbar, and creates an overall fuller, more vibrant soundstage. With integrated Dolby Atmos functionality, the Sonos Arc comes pretty darn close to sounding like a dedicated multi-speaker surround sound system. Of course, no soundbar can totally replicate the immersion that comes from discrete rear channels. But thankfully, it’s quite quite easy to sync a pair of Sonos One speakers (or the Sonos Amp and any other passive speakers) as dedicated rear channels.
As with all Sonos speakers, user experience is wonderful. Initial setup is a breeze and the Sonos app is always a pleasure to use. Overall, the Sonos Arc didn’t leave us wanting for much. Check out the video to get Carl’s complete thoughts. But before you do, here’s a fun fact that illustrates just how dedicated to perfection Sonos is. The outer shell of the Sonos Arc was designed to look great and be sturdy. It had to protect the drivers underneath and hide them from view, but not compromise sound quality in any way. To achieve this, each Sonos Arc soundbar has 76,000 perfectly uniform perforations cut into it. It’s one of those details you would never think about, but has a great effect on both the visual design and acoustic performance.