If you’re in the market for a soundbar and aren’t sure which one to go with, the Sonos Beam is an excellent option for anyone who can’t or doesn’t want to wire their home for surround sound.
Sonos Beam Soundbar Review: A Look at Why it is a perfect match for anyone who needs a stereo speaker and lacks the means to wire their home for surround sound correctly.
- 1 Pros & Cons
- 2 Pricing
- 3 Sonos Beam: Design
- 4 Sonos Beam: Setup
- 5 Sonos Beam: Voice Control
- 6 Connectivity Options in Sonos Beam
- 7 Performance
- 8 FAQs
- 9 Conclusion
Pros & Cons
- Great compact design
- HDMI ARC compatible
- Superb sound
- The app is not home theater-friendly.
- No Dolby Atmos
- It isn’t easy to set up non ARC TVs.
Although the original price of Sonos Beam was £399 (AU$599) at launch, it is now available at a slightly reduced price.
The Playbar is no longer available. Therefore, the Beam is the only soundbar in the Sonos range. The Arc is twice as expensive, but the Beam has Dolby Atmos processing.
Sonos Beam: Design
Let’s start by looking at Sonos Beam’s place in Sonos’ product line. There are five Sonos speakers currently available (the Sonos Move and Sonos One), Sonos Play;3 and Sonos Play.5), as well as four home theater audio sets (Sonos Arc and Sonos PlayBar and Sonos PlayBase) that you can purchase right now. You don’t even need to add the Sonos Sub.
It is often considered to be the entry-level soundbar in the product range. The Sonos Beam’s size is crucial. This product can be used with either a 32-inch or 40-inch TV. We should be aware that it can work with both the 32-inch and 40-inch models.
It measures 650x100x68.5mm and is much smaller than its sibling, Sonos PlayBar. It’s 60% smaller than the Sonos PlayBar (which can also be said about the price), but it has HDMI connectivity, which the Sonos PlayBar lacked.
The device is sleek and modern, with design cues taken from the Sonos One and the Sonos Play:5. The top controls are touch-sensitive and look identical to those on the Sonos One.
It’s simple. A four-dot square on the left controls volume, and the same court on the proper controls up. There is also a play/pause button in the middle. You can turn the speaker microphone on or off by pressing the button above.
Nearly, we called it the Alexa microphone because that’s what it is currently. Sonos is the only smart speaker that supports both Siri and Google Assistant. Sonos doesn’t like speaking with just one voice, but with many. It’s smart and cunning. Sonos has a definite ‘if they can’t beat you, join them’ mentality.
It doesn’t necessarily mean it has sacrificed design quality. Although the 43,000 hand-drilled holes may not be present anymore – as PlayBase claimed – it is still beautiful. Instead of a metal grille covering the speakers, the fabric is used.
You can mount the soundbar or place it in front of your TV. Most TVs can have the soundbar positioned in front of their screen at a depth of about 100mm. It will not interfere with the actual screen.
The Beam contains four full-range drivers and a center tweeter. Three passive radiators add bass to the sound. The drivers combine to produce a sound that is somewhere between a Sonos Play:3 or Sonos PlayBar. However, the speakers have been made specifically for the Beam. Sonos cannot recycle them.
This product can be used with three channels, but Trueplay software makes the three channels sound like surround sound. Trueplay calibrates the sound to the room.
When the speaker asks for your smartphone or tablet to scan the room, the magic happens. The speaker will then play a series of sounds while you wave your device around.
Trueplay activates sound in the room. It feels more natural to use a soundbar because the area is more significant. Trueplay is currently only available for iOS users.
The ports are very minimal when you flip the device. The ports include an Ethernet, HDMI slot, and power. There is also a Wi-Fi button.
Sonos Beam: Setup
It can be set up in two ways. It’s easy to set up the Sonos Beam if your TV supports ARC (Audio Return Channel). There will be a symbol at the HDMI slot. HDMI ARC allows your TV to sync audio and picture with the Beam and then have it work through your remote in just minutes.
This last part is essential for the Beam, as it doesn’t include a remote. The Sonos app is used to control volume and link up speakers, as with all Sonos products.
While this is great, you would prefer to use the app as an additional tool in a home theater setting than the only way to control your speaker. Sonos chose HDMI ARC.
Things get a lot more complicated if you don’t have ARC. Sonos has done its research and included an optical adaptor. This adaptor can be plugged into the HDMI cable that comes with the set, and the Beam can be used through the optical port.
You will need to go into the settings on the Sonos app and the TVs for it to work correctly.
We had to reconfigure our Beam soundbar to turn on automatically when the TV was on during our tests. This isn’t necessary, but it does require you to open the app each time it is not working.
Although it wasn’t easy to find the right place or how to do it, we finally found the TV Autoplay setting under Room Setting>TV after going through many menus. You can also configure your remote control setup from this menu. You can follow the steps on the app to get the remote working with the Beam in no more than a few minutes.
Although we enjoyed using the app, it is clear that Sonos prefers you to use Arc. While the app is pleasant, it’s primarily designed to ensure that your Sonos system works in harmony with other Sonos devices and not set up a home theater system. It now has the PlayBar and PlayBase, but we will see this change shortly.
The app has a lot of home theater options, in addition to the 60+ audio services it can connect with. The volume slider is just above, where you will find two of the most popular choices.
Night Sound (which eliminates booming bass so you can still watch the scene while your clan is asleep) and Speech Enhancement are two of the most popular.
We have used Speech Enhancement almost every day since using the Beam. It has improved the clarity of our speech, especially when we are watching scenes that are full of bombast.
You can also find room settings. EQ options (with bass and treble sliders) and TV Dialog settings allow you to sync your voice if it is a little off. This feature is not available with HDMI ARC.
Sonos Beam: Voice Control
You can also control the Sonos Beam with your voice. The Beam’s Alexa integration is a significant feature. It was first demonstrated on the Sonos One, where it worked exceptionally well.
However, using Alexa or Google Assistant to control a portion of a TV is quite another matter. It’s a trend that is growing – Alexa voice assistant now works with the Amazon Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Stick, and the Amazon Fire TV Cube.
This is the common thread: All of these products are Amazon-based. You need an Amazon Fire TV Stick or Amazon Fire TV Stick to get the best out of the Beam voice functionality. The Beam can be plugged into your TV to allow you to search Amazon Prime and Netflix. This is a fun but awkward thing to do.
Even if you don’t have Amazon’s back-end tech, you can still use voice comands to adjust volume (Alexa, turn up 30%, etc.), request radio stations, and pause or play what you are currently listening to. If you have HDMI ARC, Alexa will allow you to turn on or off your TV.
Although it’s a bit limited, it’s still fun. We found that the intuitive touch controls at the top of our Beam were used far more than expected.
There are many intelligent assistants you can call on if you need to be hands-free. You have Siri integration, Alexa, AirPlay 2, and Siri integration. Now, you can use Google Assistant in all major English-speaking countries.
Although it is still early days for the smart soundbar with triple-powered power, we are excited to see how this partnership develops. We appreciate this product more now that we know how egalitarian Sonos is trying to be. Making the soundbar as accessible as possible is an admirable and ambitious goal.
Connectivity Options in Sonos Beam
The 3-channel soundbar has a better connection than other models in this price range. This device can communicate with other Sonos products within your home theatre system via multi-room digital audio technology.
Sonos Playbar or Playbase, Sonos One, or Sonos Play:5 speakers can be connected to the Beam via Wi-Fi. This makes it much easier to control and play content. The Beam can be used as a hub to connect other Sonos products.
The Sonos Beam, unlike the Playbar or the Playbase, which offer only a digital optical connection (both have HDMI connectivity), offers HDMI connectivity.
This is a great feature, but it’s also a surprise because these speaker products are much more expensive than the Beam. It’s much easier to connect and set up an HDMI TV.
However, an optical connection is also possible if you have a Playbase soundbar. HDMI has better features, so it’s best to use.
The Beam does not have e-ARC support. However, the Sonos Arc speaker has it. Although it isn’t essential for this setup, the product doesn’t support Atmos. However, it’s something worth noting for our reviews.
The Sonos Beam’s speaker tests were nothing short of amazing. The Beam is a significant upgrade over other TV speakers at this price.
This 3-channel model is comparable to larger, more expensive devices. Whether we watch the news, movies, or TV shows, the dialogue is clear, balanced, and consistent. Although the TV sound is ineffective at making human voices stand out, the Beam does it better than other television sounds.
The experience of listening to music was also spot-on. The Beam provides a better balance, no matter what music we are listening to. The performance was well balanced, with the highs and lows not being too loud.
Even without the Sonos sub, the bass was a great punch and gave the low frequencies an even deeper sound. Even though the passive radiators are not as powerful as a dedicated subwoofer, the low frequencies it produces is impressive. To get the best sound, you don’t need to do too much.
Apart from the setup, HDMI connectivity offers another benefit. It can relay video and digital audio signals, so there is no delay between audio and visuals.
All of the product testings have shown that our numerous Sonos Beam reviews have been positive. Sonos is a great soundbar when compared to other soundbars.
The Beam is not perfect, and it has some drawbacks like no Dolby Atmos or an external sub. However, it delivers remarkable performance in comparison to other models. It’s a great addition to your living room, even though it isn’t as expensive as the Playbar.
Is it worth the Sonos Beam?
It is a significant investment. For such a small model, the audio quality is excellent. It produces well-balanced dialogues as well as bass in a wall-to-wall soundstage. You can also enjoy its fancy features, such as multi-room technology and voice control.
Is Bose better than Sonos Beam?
Yes, it sounds better than Bose models like the Bose soundbar 300 or 500. The Beam provides an immersive surround sound quality, whether you are listening to music or watching movies.
Read the full article to compare Sonos Beam vs Bose soundbar 300.
Which size is Sonos Beam suitable for?
This product works well in small to medium rooms. This model has a room correction feature that allows it to deliver wall-to-wall sounds, regardless of the size of the room. However, its performance is less in larger rooms.
Is Sonos Beam in need of a sub?
It doesn’t require a sub. It has three passive radiators which produce deep, thumping bass. If you need a complete surround sound system, you could add a replacement (the best small subwoofers below 500) and two rear Sonos speakers.
Does Sonos shine bright enough?
Although the Beam can be loud enough to fill a small or medium-sized space, it won’t become too noisy. The volume can be turned up to a high level but with minimal distortion, and the audio is still relatively balanced. It makes a great soundbar for your Projector.
Does Sonos Beam support Dolby Atmos?
It doesn’t support Dolby Atmos, unlike other high-quality soundbars that do. Although the sound quality isn’t as deep as soundbars with higher prices, it’s still great for its price and size.
The Sonos Beam is a great-sounding soundbar that works perfectly in smaller spaces while offering the depth of sound that would be required for home theater applications. The price point is relatively low, and the unit’s compact size makes it a great candidate for a soundbar installation in a small space.
For who’s who want the best of the best in terms of sound and style, there is no reason not to pick up the Beam soundbar, as it offers excellent performance and stunning looks at a bargain price.
Hooke Audio hope you liked this review of the Sonos Beam. If you have any questions about anything here please leave a comment below.