New Sonos Soundbar In The Flesh!

While branding remains in question (is it the 2020 Playbar, Arc, or Apollo?), there’s no question Sonos is posed to release a brand-spanking new soundbar – likely with Dolby Atmos upwards firing speakers. And, fortunately, it looks far more beautiful than the renders I originally posted. A single HDMI ARC input is confirmed, like its little brother the Beam.

Based on a reddit leak, it appears pre-orders may begin as soon as today, shipping in early June… along with a possible slight bump in price (for way more capabilities) vs the 2013 Sonos Playbar it presumably replaces.

(Thanks anonymous tipster!)

9 thoughts on “New Sonos Soundbar In The Flesh!”

  1. Does any Dolby encoding (5.1 or Atmos) actually work for anyone over HDMI ARC? It’s a pretty well-documented problem. I get huge lip sync issues with my LG OLED TV and my Vizio Atmos sound bar. The only way I can get the delay to go away is by using 2-channel audio.

    Apparently eARC is supposed to be better… but not very many TVs have that. That’s a pretty small piece of the pie to hang your only sound input on.

  2. Sounds like it should include a optical-to-HDMI dongle, like the Beam. I, too, have had ARC audio delay issues – feel like the problem is my (2019) television, but the end result is the same irrespective of where the technical breakdown arises.

  3. They will need to support eArc for Atmos to work in it’s true form, if it’s just one HDMI port. While technically, Arc will work, it’ll need to downgrade sound quality to Dolby Digital, which I would be surprise if Sonos, known for quality, to go that route.

  4. Even lossy compresses Atmos won’t work at all over optical. So that’s out. The only options for most users without brand new TVs are real HDMI Input and Output ports (which only works for one source and won’t work for SmartTV apps), or HDMI ARC (which has the delay issues).

    eARC is also relatively untested across large numbers of TV and Sound Bar manufactures… so we don’t really know if it will fix the sync issues. It’s supposed to… but then again… ARC wasn’t supposed to have any of these issues.

    It’s like HDMI CEC all over again.

  5. I resolved my audio delay problems by splitting the source and taking audio directly to my Beam and sending the video directly to the TV. Anything passing through the HDMI ARC gave delayed audio. Not the Sonos fault. It’s the fault of the circuitry in the TV.

  6. @Msterling splitting the source signal is not a great solution, and just highlights the importance of actual working HDMI ARC:

    1) Splitting the source signal only works for one source (without adding yet another HDMI switcher or AV Reciever).

    2) Even if you do add a HDMI switcher or AV receiver to switch between sources, you can’t take advantage of multiple picture settings for multiple TV inputs. For example, I can’t have my Xbox on a low-latency setting and my Apple TV on a cinematic setting.

    3) You can’t use any of the TV’s built-in applications because you can’t get audio from them. For example, Apple TV still won’t play 4k Youtube videos, but my TV’s Youtube app has no problem with those. I’d rather use the TV’s Youtube app, but I can’t because of garbage HDMI ARC.

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