The soundbar is an elegantly simple solution to the problem of bulky speakers in a home theater entertainment array. Designed well, a soundbar nearly vanishes into the décor, providing an immersive sonic experience with a very small decorative footprint.
Sonos has entered the soundbar marketplace with a unit called the Arc, and the company may well be revising expectations for the 21st-century living room staple. The Arc is engineered to deliver a panoramic sound experience, and enhance visually while it plays its functional role with unusually effective aplomb.
The unit is built from polycarbonate, which keeps its price down. Still, it is loaded with eleven little drivers, each oriented to send sound to a specific area; the overall effect is of an astonishingly engaging listening experience. When used with music playback or radio streaming, it automatically alters its sound field emphasis to better accommodate the source.
The Arc is at its best paired with Dolby Atmos-enabled streaming or playback. Its 45-inch length makes it most ideally suited to use alongside televisions of 65” or larger.