Sonos Now Supports Apple Music Spatial Audio on These Speakers and Sound Bars

Sonos this week updated its iPhone and iPad app with support for Apple Music spatial audio playback on compatible Sonos speakers and sound bars, including the newly-released Era 300, the Arc and Arc SL, and the second-generation Beam.

Sonos Era 300 With iPhone
Spatial audio simulates surround sound, making it seem like the audio is coming from all around you for a 360-degree listening experience. Apple Music offers thousands of songs in spatial audio, which are labeled with a Dolby Atmos badge in the Sonos app after updating to version 15.2, available now on the App Store.

Sonos launched new Era 300 and Era 100 speakers today with AirPlay 2 support for wirelessly streaming audio from Apple devices. The speakers were announced earlier this month, with more details and pricing outlined in our previous coverage.

Top Rated Comments

Someyoungguy Avatar
14 months ago

The only way to listen to music is as the artist intended and not using some cooked up algorithm that alters the sound.
The artist? Or do you also mean the producer and publishers? I don’t like all the artificial stuff either, but let’s not be naive.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
14 months ago
Lil Yachty‘s latest album ('') is the best use of Atmos I’ve ever heard, film or music.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gsurf123 Avatar
14 months ago
The only way to listen to music is as the artist intended and not using some cooked up algorithm that alters the sound.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jhwalker Avatar
14 months ago

In > 90% of the use cases everyone reading this should be concerned about how the Era 300 work as stereo speakers (not spatial audio), and whether they support lossless playback over Airplay 2.

The other 10% of the use cases will be people using them as surrounds, and for those that passionately care about Dolby Atmos / Spatial Audio.
I guess I'm in that "10%" as I'm very much enjoying Dolby Atmos content via both my home theater system and via my master bedroom Sonos system (ARC + sub + surrounds).
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dfwiddoc Avatar
26 weeks ago

The only way to listen to music is as the artist intended and not using some cooked up algorithm that alters the sound.
Many artists and/or producers are participating in the Atmos mixing/mastering process now, so having equipment that supports this is hearing it the way the artist intends it—today.

I have a Sonos Arc with a sub and two ERA 300s as surrounds, all of which support Atmos and Spatial Audio, and the masters I’ve selected by bands I love that are certified as artist-approved sound transformational in this format.

So many instruments that were previously buried in the stereo mix are now audible—and as an amateur musician myself, hearing this for the first time is thrilling. All of Lindsay Buckingham’s studio trickery is now evident in Atmos—and Steven Wilson’s Atmos and 5.1 mixes of XTC’s catalog, Yes, ABC and Tears for Fears are nothing short of incredible. Same with Giles Martin’s efforts with the Beatles catalog.

If you try to listen to these mixes on a system that isn’t Atmos capable, the experience can be off-putting. Prior to my purchase of the ERA 300’s, I was using old Sonos Play:3s as surrounds, and some of the music elements often sounded disembodied from the overall mix. I could tell I was listening to something processed, because the original balance of instruments from the stereo mix was lost. The sound was interesting, but didn’t sound full or complete. The left surround was closest to me and it overpowered the rest of the mix. It sounded too distanced from the album I was accustomed to.

Since I got the ERA 300s and completed the proper 7.1.4 configuration, especially after I performed Trueplay tuning and got all the speaker distances and phases properly set up, when I listen now it sounds like the original version I grew to love, just more immersive. Even though my left ERA 300 surround is three feet from my ear, when I’m sitting from my sofa I can’t hear it any louder than the other speakers. Everything is balanced and perfect. And no matter where I move to in the room, with Spatial Audio everything remains balanced and natural-sounding.

Stereo music was an arbitrary invention from nearly a century ago that endeavored to make the music soundstage more realistic, based on the best technology available at that time. And many people objected to it as artificial back then, just as you are now. Circumferential music is a long-overdue advancement in the same concept, that has been attempted with varying degrees of success for niche markets for years.

It’s only with the advent of digital technology, adequate storage containers, wireless bandwidth, multi-driver, independently powered speakers, and sufficient processing power that true Spatial Audio has been achievable for the mass market. It’s every bit as authentic as stereo if done correctly and played on the appropriate equipment, and it’s the future of audio listening I’m afraid. In the meantime, the stereo mixes remain available to everyone not interested in the technology—although for the first time in my life as a music lover, I think they’re missing out.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gwhizkids Avatar
14 months ago
It might open up the sound stage a bit but it destroys the real mix and true sound stage. It’s a gimmick and as with many apple innovations lately is absolutely pointless.
“Absolutely pointless”. [emoji23]
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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