This is Sonos’ next flagship soundbar

As Sonos continues chipping away at fixing bugs and improving the performance of its poorly received mobile app redesign, the company also remains focused on several new hardware products. Among them is an ultrapremium soundbar that will serve as a successor to the current Sonos Arc — and likely at a higher price. Codenamed Lasso, the device is currently in limited beta testing, and today, I can share the first images of it. 

The exterior of the Lasso soundbar bears a strong resemblance to the Arc, which Sonos introduced over four years ago. But inside, the components and speaker drivers have been completely overhauled and redesigned, and that’s expected to result in a cost upwards of $1,200. Sonos aims to ship Lasso later this year, though the timeframe could change.

Yep, the Lasso soundbar has a very similar design to the Arc. If it ain’t broke…
Image: The Verge

Whenever it does arrive, Lasso (hardware model S45) will be the first Sonos product to integrate technology from Mayht, a Netherlands-based startup that the company acquired in 2022 for $100 million in cash. At the time, Sonos credited Mayht for having “invented a new, revolutionary approach to audio transducers.” CEO Patrick Spence said the deal would give Sonos “more incredible people, technology, and intellectual property that will further distinguish the Sonos experience, enhance our competitive advantage, and accelerate our future roadmap.”

But it’s taken quite some time to get Mayht’s ideas into a shipping product. Sonos has released several small speakers over the last couple years — the Era 100, Move 2, and Roam 2 among them — that could’ve benefitted from Mayht’s innovative transducers, which are said to “enable smaller and lighter form factors without compromising on quality.” But it’s the soundbar that will offer the first taste of what the acquisition has yielded. Sources tell me that it’s been a challenge to make Mayht’s transducer system more cost efficient, as it partly makes use of “expensive” neodymium magnets.

Bloomberg previously reported the Lasso codename, its rumored price, and the inclusion of Mayht’s technology. The product’s final consumer branding isn’t yet known, but for now, Sonos is playfully including the Ted Lasso typeface on beta units.

Lasso is the soundbar’s codename — not the final consumer branding.
Image: The Verge

The Arc is already a very impressive Dolby Atmos soundbar, and you can expect even greater immersion from Lasso and its revamped internals. Additionally, according to sources, the upcoming soundbar should deliver substantially better bass performance than its predecessor. With the Arc, you really need to add a Sub or Sub Mini to get the most out of it. Sonos could maybe get away with that with a $899 product, but if it’s going to charge well over $1,000 for Lasso, the device needs to deliver top-tier home theater audio without any added help.

The new soundbar will support Bluetooth audio playback, something that the Arc does not.
Image: The Verge

The images also reveal a dedicated Bluetooth button, suggesting that Lasso could support Bluetooth audio playback. That feature has been absent from all previous Sonos soundbars. And similar to the company’s other recent products, there’ll be a physical switch for disabling the built-in microphones.

Just like the Arc, Lasso is designed to work with the recently released Sonos Ace headphones for private listening with spatial audio. The company has pledged to extend Ace compatibility to its more affordable Beam and Ray soundbars by late summer or early fall.

As for the more immediate future, Sonos continues to release updates to its mobile app at a frequent pace as it tries to address customer frustrations and lift the negative sentiment that has embroiled the company’s community since May.

It’s clear to me that Sonos is listening and moving quickly, but a lot of damage has already been done: the Android version of the Sonos app currently has a brutal 1.2-star average review rating. The rating on Apple’s App Store isn’t nearly as bad since older reviews are still balancing out the spate of complaints that came with the redesign.

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