Sonos has released a software update that brings multi-channel PCM support (via eARC) to its Arc soundbar. Multi-channel PCM support is important for surround sound gaming and more.
Sonos Arc update
Sonos launched Arc, the long-awaited successor to its Playbar, in the summer of 2020. Arc was generally well received but it lacked support for multi-channel PCM, which prevented it from receiving surround sound from various sources.
Also read: Review: Sonos Arc
PCM is uncompressed audio and multi-channel PCM is typically used for surround sound in games, or other types of real-time or "live" content where there can be no audio latency. For example surround sound gaming from Nintendo Switch or PCs. Blu-ray players can also be set to decode surround sound and output it as multi-channel PCM.
With software version 12.2, Sonos Arc gains support for multi-channel PCM through an eARC connection in a TV. The TV must also support eARC.
- "With a software update today, Arc now supports multi-channel LPCM, bringing new immersive sound experiences for gaming, Blu-ray discs, and more," said Sonos.
The software update is an important step in bringing Sonos Arc in line with the current surround sound ecosystem. In addition to multi-channel PCM, Arc supports Dolby Digital 5.1 as well as Dolby Atmos in DD+, TrueHD, and MAT container.
Sonos software ver. 12.2
In this update:
- Sonos Arc now supports multi-channel LPCM surround sound through an eARC connection.
- The Sonos app now has additional language support for Turkish, Russian, Korean, and Chinese Traditional (Hong Kong & Taiwan).
Supported home theater audio formats:
All home theater products:
- Stereo / PCM
- Dolby Digital 5.1 / AC3
Sonos Arc only:
- Dolby Digital Plus (Dolby Atmos)
- Dolby TrueHD (Dolby Atmos) *
- Multichannel LPCM *
*Requires an eARC connection