Sonos is a well-known American consumer electronics company. It is a leading manufacturer of state-of-the-art speaker systems. Its catalog includes powered smart speakers, soundbars, subwoofers and soundbases. Sonos recently launched a smart small soundbar for TV called Sonos Beam. It is a compact and space-efficient soundbar, smaller and lighter than the Sonos Playbar and Sonos Playbase. At just over 25 inches long, it is ideal for small and medium-sized living rooms. The Beam incorporates an HDMI input, a feature previously absent in other Sonos soundbars. This gives it an edge over its peers and makes it more flexible and user-friendly. The Beam is also a versatile smart home gadget. First up, it has Alexa voice control. That makes it only the second Sonos product after the Sonos One to support Alexa. The company has announced that the Beam will have Siri voice control and Apple AirPlay 2 streaming capability by the end of July 2018. And it plans to further upgrade the soundbar in the following months to support Google Assistant as well. Sonos, in other words, aims to make the Beam as platform-agnostic as possible to stay ahead in the competition.
Let us now take a closer look at the sound and design profiles of the new Sonos Beam :
Sound Quality :
The Sonos Beam supports PCM stereo and Dolby Digital formats including Dolby Digital 5.1. However, it does not support advanced codecs like Dolby Atmos, DTS surround sound and lossless audio formats. The Sonos Beam has a single sealed cabinet which houses four woofers for handling low frequencies, one tweeter for higher frequencies and three passive radiators. Two of the four woofers are positioned in the centre of the bar and one at either end of it. The tweeter is located in the middle while the passive radiators are placed at regular intervals along the length of the bar. This strategic placement of the drivers ensures uniform audio dispersion all over the room. The Sonos Beam delivers surprisingly intelligible audio. The left, right and centre speakers produce carefully focused sound waves. As a result, dialogues and vocals are stunningly realistic and life-like. The soundbar is fitted with five class D digital amplifiers for enhanced volume and intensity. Bass is rich and deep. For a single unit, the Beam manages to touch impressive bass levels. The booming bass is particularly evident while watching action-packed movies which have a lot of sound effects. The Sonos Beam supports Amazon’s smart voice assistant, Alexa. For processing voice commands for Alexa, the Beam is equipped with five built-in microphones so you don’t have to walk up to the soundbar every time you want to give a command. The microphones are powerful enough to capture your voice from any corner of the room. The Beam has all its internal cables neatly lined along its inner chamber to minimize acoustic interference. The Sonos Beam is essentially a 3-channel speaker bar. However, you can pair it with other Sonos speakers like Sonos One and Sonos Sub to scale it up to a 5.1 channel sound system. The Beam has Sonos’ Trueplay Room Equalization Technology which modifies the speaker’s sound to suit the size and layout of room. It also has Night Mode which lets you watch movies and shows at night without waking up the household.
Design and Features :
The Sonos Beam is a small soundbar for living rooms with space constraints. Its compact size helps free up space and makes your room look more organized. The speaker bar has smooth rounded edges and a fabric mesh covering the front panel. It has touch controls on the top panel for play/pause, mute and volume and playback change. An LED beam indicates the soundbar’s status, voice feedback and mute status. The rear panel holds the power connection, HDMI input, a pairing button and Ethernet port. The Sonos Beam is a Bluetooth-enabled multi-room speaker. You can stream music on apps like Spotify, Apple Music, Sound Cloud and many more. You can also use the Sonos Beam to talk to any Sonos device which you may have in your house. The most distinguishing feature of the Sonos Beam, however, is its HDMI input. While the Sonos Playbar and Sonos Playbase both offer only digital optical connections, the Beam offers an HDMI ARC (audio return channel) connection which is far more versatile and useful for TV connectivity. HDMI ARC can sync audio and video signals, and also control your TV (if your TV is compatible with CEC – consumer electronics control). It directs audio from your smart TV to the Sonos Beam. It lets you control the soundbar’s volume using your TV’s remote. The Beam comes with an optical audio input and includes an optical adapter. Since the soundbar obeys Alexa voice commands, you can turn on and turn off your TV and adjust volume by directing Alexa to do it. The speaker bar does not have a remote of its own. Dimensions of the Sonos Beam soundbar are: 25.6” x 3.9” x 2.7”. It weighs 6.2 lbs.
Top features :
- Alexa enabled speaker system.
- Platform-agnostic compact soundbar for small and medium-sized rooms.
- HDMI ARC input, Bluetooth, Dolby Digital 5.1, PCM stereo.
- 1 channel soundbar, can be upgraded to 5.1 channel by connecting additional speakers.
- Will support AirPlay 2 and Google Assistant in coming months.
- Trueplay Room Equalization Technology, Night Mode.
- 4 woofers, 1 tweeter, 3 passive radiators, 5 class D digital amplifiers.
- 5 microphones for Alexa.
For a detailed and exclusive sound performance across different frequency ranges, buy soundbar along with quality subwoofers.
To check some of the premium soundbar for your television, read this. If you are confused between choosing a soundbar or a comprehensive surround sound system then read our findings.
If you are thinking about installing a passive soundbar, then you may find some of the LCR passive sound bar interesting.
Computer soundbars are cheap but effective option to push your gaming experience to the next level.