2018 feels a long time ago but that was the year the Sonos Beam arrived. In the four years since, the soundbar landscape has changed. plenty
It’s changed primarily as a result of Dolby Atmos invading living rooms and bringing cinema screen sound to your home. We’ve reviewed a number of compact soundbars that feature Atmos and joining in on the action is Sonos with the announcement of the Gen 2 Beam.
The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) remains the same size as before, so in terms of space there are no changes there. Sonos say the design is sleeker than before, with an upgraded polycarbonate grille that has both acoustic and aesthetic qualities, giving the new Beam an appearance that’s similar to the Sonos Arc.
Sonos say that set-up has been made easier and more secure through the Sonos S2 app with the Beam’s new NFC capabilities. There’s eARC support for passing Atmos on to the soundbar, and with more processing power and a newly developed phased speaker array, Sonos say the Beam can steer and sound around the room for a “lifelike experience”. Not that there aren’t any upfiring speakers, so the new Beam achieves its Atmos performance through virtual processing.
As with Sonos’ recent product launches, sustainability is high on the list of priorities. The packaging the Beam (Gen 2) model comes in includes premium uncoated kraft paper, a gift box made of 97% sustainable paper and features no single use of foam.
Along with the announcement of the new Beam, Sonos has also revealed plans to offer Ultra HD and Dolby Atmos Music via the Amazon Music platform later in 2021 so customers can experience immersive 3D and Hi-res audio.
And another feature we imagine many Sonos fans will be looking forward to is the announcement that the company is to add decoding for DTS Digital Surround sound later in the year for the Playbar, Playbase, Amp, Arc and both generations of the Beam. That’s been on the wishlist of Sonos customers for some time.
On the announcement, Patrick Spence, Sonos CEO said: “We often talk about ‘Hollywood at Home’ being a real catalyst for our business, and Beam has played a huge part in this as one of the top-selling soundbars in its category. Taking what we’ve learned over the years about great listening and home theatre, we’ve found a way to bring new features and significantly better sound to Beam, all in the same compact size that has proven
extremely popular with customers.”
Available in a choice of white and black finishes, the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is available to pre-order now, before it goes on sale October 5th for $449 / £449 / €499 / AUD$699.