Free upgrade for Sonos Beam and Arc soundbars adds major DTS surround sound option

The update rolls our today, bringing better movie soundtrack support for Blu-rays and other connected devices

Sonos Arc on wooden table, with TV behind it
(Image credit: Sonos)

One of the potential issues with the generally-excellent Sonos Beam (2nd Gen) and Sonos Arc soundbars has been their lack of support for DTS Surround Sound, which is used on a huge number of Blu-rays as an alternative to Dolby surround sound.

But that changes now, because the Sonos S2 app now provides an update that you can use to enable DTS support for the new Beam and Arc, as well as for the original Beam, and even the PlayBar and PlayBase.

To update your devices, within the Sonos S2 app, go to Settings > System > System Updates > Check for Updates. When you're playing something with DTS Surround Sound successfully on the ’bars, you should now see a symbol indicating that on the Now Playing screen of the Sonos app.

The one disappointment here is that the update doesn't also include support for the higher-quality formats DTS:X (which is the DTS equivalent of Dolby Atmos) or DTS-HD. It's little things like this that have held the Sonos Arc back from topping our list of the best soundbars overall – though the Sonos Beam 2 rates as the best soundbar for small TVs in our guide.

But this is still a great step for Sonos' plan to dominate the world of speakers one room at a time.

More improvements

There are more new features for Sonos owners in this update, though. Sonos Move and Sonos Roam owners now have a new battery saving feature, which basically means they'll turn themselves off after 30 minutes of in activity (rather than sitting in a low-power mode, which still drains battery). If you only use them occasionally, this will help make sure you don't need to worry about charging them whenever you want them ready to go.

And those who use their Sonos speakers with iPhones now have the ability to change EQ settings right from the Now Playing screen.

Android is expected to get this EQ feature in the coming months, and there's also support promised for Amazon Music Ultra HD hi-res tracks across the range, with the Sonos Beam (2nd Gen) and Sonos Arc also planned to support Dolby Atmos tracks via Amazon Music.

Matthew Bolton

Matt is T3's former AV and Smart Home Editor (UK), master of all things audiovisual, overseeing our TV, speakers and headphones coverage. He also covered smart home products and large appliances, as well as our toys and games articles. He's can explain both what Dolby Vision IQ is and why the Lego you're building doesn't fit together the way the instructions say, so is truly invaluable. Matt has worked for tech publications for over 10 years, in print and online, including running T3's print magazine and launching its most recent redesign. He's also contributed to a huge number of tech and gaming titles over the years. Say hello if you see him roaming the halls at CES, IFA or Toy Fair. Matt now works for our sister title TechRadar.