© ClassyPictures / Shutterstock.com

When it is time to upgrade your home theater’s sound system, the Sonos brand is one of the most recognized and respected in the industry. The Sonos Playbar and Arc are excellent speakers that provide a high-quality sound system for your entertainment space.

Both soundbars offer several similar capabilities, but there are a few differences that make it easy to decide which one is better suited for your individual needs.

In this article, we’ll discuss the main differences between Sonos Arc and Playbar, how to choose between them, and which one is right for your listening needs.

Sonos Arc vs. Playbar: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Sonos ArcSonos Playbar
SpeakerEleven drivers, eight custom woofers, three tweetersNine drivers, six mid-woofers, three tweeters
Year Released20202013
Size87 x 1142 x 116 mm85 x 900 x 140 mm
Weight6.25 kg5.4 kg
Bluetooth Compatibility?NoNo
Price $899$899
Dolby Atmos?YesNo

Sonos Arc vs. Playbar: What’s the Difference?

The Sonos Playbar is a soundbar that was released in 2013. The Sonos Arc is a newer model that was released in 2020.

Both devices are designed to help you enjoy your audio experience TV. However, there are several key differences between both soundbars.

Dolby Atmos

One of the most notable features of the Sonos Arc is its Dolby Atmos support.

Dolby Atmos is a surround sound technology that creates a more immersive, three-dimensional audio experience in your home. It uses ceiling-mounted or in-ceiling speakers to bounce sound off the ceiling and create a surround sound experience. 

The Sonos Playback lacks this feature. However, even though it doesn’t support Dolby Atmos, the Sonos Playbar still offers a high-quality audio experience. So, if you’re looking for a soundbar that offers an immersive listening experience, then you might consider buying the Sonos Arc.

Price and Where to Buy

The Playbar is no longer manufactured, so it is not available on the Sonos website. The Sonos Arc is available on Sonos’ website for $899.

On Amazon, both the Sonos Arc and Sonos Playbar retail for $899.

Best for a Cinematic Experience
Sonos Arc
  • Features Dolby Atmos
  • Enhanced Trueplay tuning technology
  • Class 10 for Full HD video recording and playback (Full HD (1920x1080) video support
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05/08/2023 09:18 am GMT
Awesome Bass
Sonos Playbar TV Soundbar/ Wireless Streaming TV and Music Speaker. Compatible with Alexa. (Renewed)
  • The mountable soundbar for TV, movies, music, and more
  • Enjoy crisp dialogue and impressive bass from wall to wall with Playbar. Control it with the Sonos app, your remote, and more
  • Whether you mount it on the wall or place it below your TV on a stand or console, Playbar automatically tunes itself for the best possible sound
  • Playbar was specially tuned by Oscar winning sound engineers to emphasize the sound of the human voice so you can always follow the story
  • Easily connect Sonos speakers in different rooms over Wi-Fi to create a home sound system that brings every room and everyone together
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.


The Sonos Playbar is a rectangular soundbar that can be placed either on a TV stand or mounted on a wall. It has six mid-range woofers and three tweeters.

The Sonos Arc has a sleeker appearance, and boasts a curved matte black finish. It also has eight high-excursion woofers and three tweeters. 

Sound Quality

When it comes to sound quality, both the Sonos Arc and Playbar are excellent options. However, there are some key differences between the two that are worth considering.

The Sonos Arc is equipped with 11 Class-D digital amplifiers and three tweeters, while the Playbar has nine Class-D digital amplifiers and six mid-range drivers. 

The Sonos Arc also features Dolby Atmos technology, which creates a more immersive and realistic soundscape. It creates a 3D soundscape that envelops you in your favorite movies and TV shows. 

In terms of audio quality, the Sonos Arc is the clear winner, mostly due to its newer, updated technology. However, it is important to note that the Sonos Playbar is still a very good option if you are looking for high-quality sound.

Sonos soundbar speaker
The Sonos Arc and Playbar are both fantastic speakers, but the Playbar has unfortunately been discontinued and you can only buy it on Amazon. Still, the Arc is the updated model.

©Joni Hanebutt/Shutterstock.com


In order to understand the difference between the Sonos Arc and the Sonos Playbar, it is important to first understand the different ways in which each product connects to your TV.

The Sonos Arc connects to your TV via HDMI (HDMI eARC), while the Sonos Playbar connects via an optical cable. 

The main difference between HDMI and optical is that HDMI offers a much higher quality audio signal than optical. This means that if you have a TV with an HDMI input, then the Sonos Arc is the best option. However, if your TV only has an optical input, the Sonos Playbar is still a great option.

However, both soundbars support Wi-Fi connection, and you can always connect them to your local network.


A major difference between the Sonos Arc and the Sonos Playbar is that the former is a newer product with updated features, while the latter is an older product that is no longer being manufactured. 

Both products are soundbars designed to improve the audio quality of your TV, but the Sonos Arc has some advantages over the Sonos Playbar. The Sonos Arc has a higher-quality audio system with Dolby Atmos support for 3D sound. 

The Sonos Arc also has a built-in Alexa voice assistant and Google Assistant, so you can control it using your voice. However, the Sonos Playbar does not have built-in voice assistant capabilities.

Sonos Arc vs. Playbar: 7 Must-Know Facts

  • The Sonos Arc was released in 2020, while the Playbar was released in 2013.
  • The Sonos Arc and Sonos Playbar have the same price tag, but the Arc offers some additional, updated features that make it the better buy.
  • The Sonos Arc has Dolby Atmos support, while the Sonos Playbar does not.
  • The Sonos Arc comes with a wireless subwoofer and the Sonos Playbar does not. 
  • The Sonos Arc has HDMI eARC support, while the Sonos Playbar does not. This means that the Arc can provide a higher-quality audio experience than the Playbar.
  • The Sonos Arc has built-in Alexa and Google Assistant support and the Playbar does not. With Sonos Arc’s inbuilt assistant, you can use your voice to control music playback and other functions on the Arc.
  • The Sonos Arc has eight custom woofers and the Playbar has six.

Sonos Arc vs. Playbar: Which One is Better? Which One Should You Use?

Between the two, the Sonos Arc is undoubtedly the best option, especially if you are looking for a soundbar with the best possible audio quality and the latest technology. The only exception would be if your TV only has an optical input; in this case, the Sonos Playbar is more for you.

We highly recommend Sonos Arc due to its impressive features, such as Alexa compatibility, HDMI support, and Dolby Atmos support. Despite its high price, we’re sure the Sonos Arc would be an excellent addition to your home and help you enjoy an immersive audio experience while watching movies or your favorite sports. 

Sonos Arc vs. Playbar: Full Comparison with Price, Specs, and More FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What are the main differences between the Sonos Arc and the Sonos Playbar?

The Sonos Arc is a newer product from the company and offers several key improvements over the Playbar. It includes Dolby Atmos support for a more immersive sound experience and it has a sleek new design that better integrates with modern TVs.

It also supports HDMI, unlike the Playbar, which only supports an optical connection. Plus, the Sonos Arc offers improved voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Which is better, the Sonos Arc or the Playbar?

The Sonos Arc is a newer model with Dolby Atmos support, while the Playbar is an older model without Dolby Atmos support and is no longer manufactured (but you can still find it on Amazon).

Both are the same price, so you’ll want to go with the Arc, which has newer, better technology and features.

How does the Arc compare to the Playbar in terms of sound quality?

Sonos Arc has eight drivers compared to the Playbar’s six, so it offers fuller sound. The Arc also has Dolby Atmos technology, which creates a more immersive sound experience.

What are some of the features of the Sonos Arc?

Some of the notable features of the Sonos Arc include its HDMI ARC support and built-in Dolby Atmos support. Additionally, Sonos Arc has a sleek design with rounded edges.

What is Dolby Atmos?

Dolby Atmos is a new technology that promises to revolutionize the home theater experience. It is a sound system that creates a three-dimensional sound field, making it possible to place sounds anywhere in the room, including overhead. This gives movies and games a much more immersive and realistic soundscape.

How much does the Sonos Arc cost?

The Sonos Arc retails for $899, and the Playbar sells for the same price on Amazon.

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