Sonos debuts new Arc soundbar, next-generation Sonos Sub, and Sonos Five speaker

Sonos has introduced a trio of new hardware today, adding three new smart speakers to its lineup, including the Sonos Arc soundbar that includes Dolby Atmos support, as well as Sonos Five, the next version of its Sonos Play:5 speaker, and a third-generation Sonos Sub. All of these will require the new S2 app that Sonos announced it will release to customers starting on June 8, which will introduce higher-res audio, a new UI and more.

The new Sonos Arc retails for $799, while the Sonos Sub is priced at $699 and the Sonos Five will set you back $499; all three are available for pre-order directly via the Sonos website. They’ll start shipping and become available at retail globally beginning on June 10.

This latest generation of Sonos soundbar succeeds the Sonos Beam, one the first of Sonos speakers to include support for Alexa after the introduction of the Sonos One in 2017. Beam is a lower-cost option, more compact option, available for $399, whereas Arc is a larger soundbar that more closely resembles the Playbar and Playable speakers that Sonos previously sold. Arc seems designed to replace both, since neither currently appears on the updated Sonos website following this launch.

Sonos describes the Arc’s audio as “rich, realistic 3D sound” that emphasizes a “premium audio experience” with “crisp dialogue.” It’s also the first Sonos soundbar with Dolby Atmos support, which it manages using two new height channels that are designed to render all 5.1 channels accurately with room-filling qualities. When the signal isn’t a true 5.1 one, those are repurposed to help with low-end for better bass.

The new third-generation Sonos Sub has more memory and processing power than previous iterations, as well as a new wireless radio for connecting to the rest of your system.

Sonos Five, meanwhile, has the same acoustic design as the Play:5, but with more memory, pricing power and a new radio on board as well. It also now comes in a full white version, whereas the previous generation only offered a white face with a black body.

As mentioned, all three of these will work with the new Sonos S2 app the company is launching in June — but these speakers will only work with that app, because of the operating system updates the app includes, which brings improved security and support for better audio quality when streaming.

That S2 app is the future of the company, but it will come with some compromises for long-time Sonos users. The most important of which is that if you have older Sonos hardware, you’ll need to remain on the S1 network. Those devices include some of the oldest that Sonos makes, but it’s definitely dangling a carrot for upgraders here with this new lineup to convince them to retire those in order to upgrade to the new experience.

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