(Pocket-lint) - Sonos has announced a replacement for its Playbar soundbar, and this time it embraces Dolby Atmos and smart assistants.

The Sonos Arc is a 5.0.2 bar with HDMI eARC and a completely retuned experience over the Playbar.

It comes with a new design aesthetic, with sleek, curved edges and rounded ends that look similar to the Sonos Move speaker if you look at that from above. This ties the new bar in with the rest of the Sonos family.

There are 11 Class-D digital amplifiers inside, with eight elliptical woofers and three silk-domed tweeters.

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Three of the drivers face left, centre and front for a direct soundscape. There are two - one angled at either end - to provide the width channels. And there are two angled upwards for Dolby Atmos height channels.

As a Sonos speaker system, it connects to the Sonos software - in this case the forthcoming Sonos S2 - and can be linked with other Sonos speakers and devices around the home.

It also comes with built-in Alexa and Google Assistant support, with four far-field microphones on board to accurately hear your commands.

Unlike the Playbar it replaces, which only offered an optical digital audio input, the Arc is HDMI eARC compatible, so you can feed it audio from your TV or AV receiver via a HDMI port. HDMI eARC is needed for Dolby Atmos playback, but you can also connect the bar to a TV supporting HDMI ARC or optical through an adapter.

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When connected through HDMI, you can use your TV remote to control the Arc through HDMI CEC. Alternatively, like the Playbar previously, you can use IR commands too.

Apple AirPlay 2 support is built in and the soundbar will work equally as well sitting on a TV stand as it does mounted on the wall (through an optional, additional wallmount - which the Arc recognises immediately and adjusts the sound signature to suit).

A 10/100 Ethernet port can also be found on the speaker, or you can connect it wirelessly with 2.4GHz Wi-Fi.

If you add a Sonos Sub and/or Sonos One/Play:1 speakers, you can make a true 5.1.2 channel experience with actual rather than virtual rears/surrounds.

The Sonos Arc is available for pre-order now in either black or white and will ship from 10 June in numerous countries around the world. It is priced at £799 / $799 / €899, with the optional wallmount at £79 / $79.

Writing by Rik Henderson.