The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is an interesting new soundbar from the well-known audio model Sonos. Inside the model’s wider assortment of audio system, it pairs properly with lots of the different gadgets and acts as a hub inside a encompass sound setup or by itself as a soundbar to stage up the sound of your TV.
It’s a improbable performer by way of sound high quality. It additionally delivers quantity vary, filling a room with sound with ease, delivering crashing movie results, refined dialogue, or soothing music with equal ease.
We had been persistently impressed with the sound high quality and the design throughout testing, solely encountering one or two minor hiccups by way of usability. The Sonos app is usually a little concerned and over-complicated, however this finally pays off for these constructing multi-room setups.
The Beam (Gen 2) is a superb all-rounder that is available in a smaller package deal than some comparable soundbars — its huge brother, the Sonos Arc, being one instance — and that makes it an excellent front room companion to stage up your sound and convey cinematic viewing experiences residence.
Sonos Beam (Gen 2) overview: abstract
We beloved the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). Whereas it’s primarily meant as a TV-accompanying soundbar, it’s additionally a pleasure to name on for music, podcasts, radio and basic use, because of the improbable sound high quality it delivers.
It’s aesthetically pleasing too and straightforward to suit into nearly any front room with out trying misplaced. That’s because of its comparatively compact dimension in addition to its styling.
In terms of sound high quality, it’s onerous to fault the Beam for a soundbar on this worth bracket. It delivers on the standard customers count on from Sonos, with treble, bass and mid-tones all rendered with improbable readability for movies, TV, or music. We’ve put the speaker by means of its paces and can focus on the sound high quality providing in additional element later on this article.
If you happen to’re on the lookout for one thing with an much more highly effective sound, it’s price contemplating the Sonos Arc, which makes use of a number of directional audio system to create encompass sound by means of only one gadget. Learn on for extra comparisons of those two Sonos audio system, or check out our greatest soundbars web page to higher perceive the alternate options.
- Unbelievable sound high quality
- Good for multi-room setups
- Refined and interesting design
- Comparatively compact form-factor
- Set-up a bit advanced in comparison with some alternate options
- Just one HDMI port
- Lacks the upfiring audio system of the costlier Arc
- Dolby Atmos
- Digital encompass sound
- Spectacular sound high quality
- Might be built-in into multi-room and encompass sound setups
- Voice management
- Comparatively compact form-factor
What’s Sonos Beam (Gen 2)?
The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is the newest subtle soundbar from famend audio model Sonos. It’s excellent for pairing with a TV or utilizing as a part of a house cinema setup, providing you with TV and movies a richer, deeper, extra cinematic sound.
How a lot is Sonos Beam (Gen 2)?
The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) has an RRP of £449. The worth dropped to £399 in the course of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday gross sales and is at the moment nonetheless accessible for that worth on eBay.
Sonos Beam (Gen 2) design
The speaker itself seems glossy and pairs properly with nearly any tv. It’s not the largest soundbar on the market both, so it’s more likely to match on most TV stands a technique or one other. That mentioned, it’s price double-checking measurements when you have a specific house in thoughts. (25.6 x 2.3 x 3.9 inches.)
The material mesh of the unique Sonos Beam is swapped out for a stable grille, meant to be extra hardwearing and simpler to scrub. We favored the look and agreed with the sensible reasoning, although some Sonos followers reportedly a lot most popular the material end.
The Beam (Gen 2) is out there in black or white, so it’s comparatively simple to make it slot in your chosen spot, however there aren’t any wacky shades on supply.
There are a number of contact buttons on prime of the soundbar, permitting you to pause and play manually or entry a microphone for voice management. There may be an on-off button, an HDMI port, and an ethernet port on the again. The truth that there is just one HDMI port might be a barely irritating downside in some circumstances.
Sonos Beam (Gen 2) sound high quality
Sonos is a model recognized for sound high quality, and this new Beam is actually a improbable new instance of how that repute was earned. It packs Dolby Atmos, creates digital encompass sound and finally presents a transparent, well-rounded sound with loads of depth.
The folky mid-tones of John Martyn’s ‘Over the Hill’ properly confirmed off the speaker’s potential to supply a layered, engrossing sound.
‘Do It Once more’ by Steely Dan completely confirmed off the Beam’s potential to create an expansive soundstage with improbable treble and distinct particulars.
In terms of bass, the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) packs an actual punch – delivering thumping movie results and bassy beats with equal vigour. Digital beats like Bicep’s ‘Glue’ had been rendered simply as pleasingly because the rolling bass guitar in Van Morrison’s ‘Moondance’ and the thumping bass of ‘Seven Nation Military’ by the White Stripes.
Sonos is clearly eager for the brand new Beam to ship relating to low down bass, partly as a result of the soundbar might be paired with a tv most often. The wholesome serving to of bass actually differentiates the audio system’ output from the comparatively tinny sound of normal TV audio system or a lesser soundbar. This makes it excellent for pairing together with your TV to ship a extra cinematic expertise. Nonetheless, in some remoted situations, the bass did barely overpower different feels like dialogue when utilizing the soundbar for TV and movies. This was uncommon however noticeable.
The rising prominence of straight-to-streaming movie premieres — led to by the pandemic — made that residence cinema really feel extra essential than ever. So the arrival of the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is well-timed, and actually it’s an excellent companion for cinephiles trying to enhance their at-home blockbusters.
Notably, Sonos used a 40% quicker chip on this new Beam than its predecessor, which it claims “creates two new audio paths for a digital encompass sound expertise”. With out having the primary Sonos Beam readily available to make a direct comparability, the Beam (Gen 2) actually does supply a lovely encompass sound impact — so far as a solo soundbar can. Clearly, one of the best setup for actual encompass sound Sonos followers could be to make use of a number of audio system to create a real, non-virtual encompass sound expertise.
Sonos Beam (Gen 2) set-up
The set-up course of is comparatively easy, however when in comparison with some much less upmarket Bluetooth audio system, it might sound a bit on the advanced aspect.
You’ll have to plug the speaker into the HDMI (Arc) port to make use of it together with your TV. That is totally different from the opposite HDMI ports, although the becoming is similar, nevertheless it ought to be clearly denoted subsequent to the port.
Then obtain the Sonos app and add your favorite music apps to make use of use them out of your cellphone through Bluetooth. This works high quality, nevertheless it’s one of many very slight drawbacks of the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). Often swapping between the TV and your cellphone because the speaker’s supply left the app a bit bamboozled — making the speaker onerous to detect on the cellphone app and requiring a restart. Finally, it simply doesn’t really feel seamless typically.
For instance, getting into the Sonos app and deciding on Spotify takes you comparatively rapidly and simply to your playlists however — unthinking for a second throughout testing — we exited the Sonos app to play a distinct playlist through Amazon Music. The outcome we had been unintentionally left with was fairly disagreeable: Spotify performed by means of the Sonos Beam (Gen 2), whereas Amazon performed by means of the cellphone speaker. This isn’t a serious problem although, it’s simple to navigate when you’re used to the Sonos app system, however at instances there may be the sensation that issues might be extra seamless for such a top-end product.
Equally, there’s a cause for the marginally extra advanced setup. If you happen to purchase a number of Sonos audio system (the brand new Beam could be twinned with the Sonos One SL and others) and create your personal multi-room system, there are many useful options on the app that can assist you handle the capabilities that every speaker fulfils and to change your listening expertise between rooms.
What’s the distinction between the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) and Sonos Arc?
Probably the most immediately recognisable distinction between the Beam (Gen 2) and the Arc would be the worth distinction, with the Arc retailing for £899 and the brand new Beam costing round £449.
The Sonos Arc makes use of up-firing audio system alongside its front-firing audio system to bounce hold forth the ceiling, making a encompass sound impact. That is what offers the speaker its title.
The Arc additionally supplies barely higher sound high quality and is round 1m lengthy, for much longer than the compact Beam (Gen 2), which is designed to suit fortunately in most leisure stands.
For extra on the Arc, check out our full Sonos Arc overview.
Our verdict: do you have to purchase the Sonos Beam (Gen 2)?
Finally, sound high quality is the foremost concern for anybody shopping for a Sonos soundbar, and this new Beam delivers. It’s immensely listenable, creating an immersive soundstage for music-lovers, or giving movies and TV an actual enhance with a kick of high-quality sound that renders bass.
It’s a extra subjective area, however we additionally beloved the design of the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). It’s certain to look improbable in your front room with its glossy edges, curves and refined entrance grille.
Plus, the prospect of constructing your Beam (Gen 2) into a bigger Sonos setup is interesting, although doubtlessly very costly. For anybody on the lookout for nice sound high quality or to construct their very own multi-room or encompass sound setup, the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a near-unbeatable possibility for the value.
The place to purchase the Sonos Beam (Gen 2)
The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is out there at a variety of top-end retailers.
For extra soundbar choices, check out our greatest soundbar web page, or check out our full Sony HT-G700 overview for an in-depth have a look at the competitors. For alternate options, why not try our greatest good audio system web page.