(Pocket-lint) - Sonos has reportedly released a microphone-free version of Sonos Arc, its Dolby Atmos soundbar, in North America.
The new soundbar carries the “SL” branding - same as the Sonos One SL speakers that also lack microphones. However, whereas those speakers received no price reduction, this version of the Arc is $50 cheaper than the regular model. Unlike the Sonos Arc, which comes in black, the Sonos Arc SL is available in a “shadow edition” colour (that's basically almost black). There doesn't appear to be any other differences between the two.
In our review of the regular Sonos Arc, we described it as a superb Dolby Atmos soundbar – right up there with the best – and has all the bells and whistles of Sonos' multi-room system and more. You just need to match it with a Dolby Atmos supporting TV to get the best performance.
If you're reading this in the UK and want to get your hands on one: Sorry, no dice. It's supposed to be available exclusively at Costco in the US and Canada from 2 December 2020. Android Central noticed it's already being sold at Costco and recently appeared on Reddit.
From what we can tell, the audio and hardware is all the same on the Sonos Arc SL. It just gray-ish and lacks built-in mics for Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands. It also costs $749, rather than $799. While that's not a huge savings, every little bit helps, right? Especially at Christmastime.