sonos beam bar under tv

Is Sonos Beam the Best Compact Sound bar?

sonos beam bar under tv

Informinc’s Review of the Sonos Beam Sound Bar

Gone are the days when Sonos used to make only speaker. It’s time now for the smart gadgets and it was only a matter of time until Sonos started to make smart speakers as well. And that was just one step away from the smart sound bars.

What is Sonos Beam?

Sonos Beam falls into the “smart sound bar” category as it supports the Amazon Alexa voice assistant. It’s a special sound bar as its place is in the living room, and not in the kitchen- as it happens to smartest sound bars out there.

Large, horizontal and pretty subtle, nevertheless, Sonos Beam is made to address your living room’s audio device, helping you with the music and movie audio.

The Sonos Beam is a determined sound system that is made to accomplish many things and, more important, manages to deliver most of them.

Do we like its design?

The design of most sound bars out there isn’t revolutionary or impressive, most of the time. However, Sonos Beam makes a pleasant first impression as it’s compact and subtle. It’s not going to block the bottom of your TV or hang off your furniture. Finding its right spot isn’t going to be an issue, for sure.

The name leaves no room for interpretation and it’s a fresh one, that stays with you thanks to its clarity and simplicity.

Designed to work in one orientation, the Sonos Beam is fairly easy to place. The design is well thought out and a fabric grille is hiding the audio elements.

The fabric may remind you for the Playbar, whereas the overall appearance is similar to the Sonos Playbase. The ends are rounded and the colors to choose from are white or black.

Another great surprise is the touch-sensitive keys, instead of physical buttons. The layout is pretty similar to the one we found on Sonos One: volume down, play/pause and volume up. The Sonos Beam also includes a microphone mute button which may come in handy at times.

Do the features make it extra-special or not?

The inclusion of the Amazon Alexa voice assistant may be the most important feature to highlight on the Sonos Beam. Not only that Alexa is able to set timers or to answer some basic questions, but it’s also able to control your TV.

connection panel on the sonos beamWhen your Amazon Fire TV device is plugged in, Alexa is going to help the Sonos Beam get in control as well. You are going to be able to use your voice for controlling what you’re watching (but it has to be on your Amazon Fire TV device).

Even if Sonos Beam isn’t the first one to feature Alexa, it’s the first and the only one that takes both Alexa and Google Assistant and Apple Siri, through the new iOS update.

Sonos Beam comes with Trueplay-a feature which is going to review your room’s characteristic. It gives the best sound, depending on where the speaker is placed.

The smart sound bar comes with wide support for no less than 60 streaming services. It’s able to pluck tracks right off the net and the main services include: Amazon Music, Google Play Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Pandora, Deezer, Tuneln, Soundcloud and Audible.

Is it easy to use?

Sonos Beam is all about simplicity, audio quality and functionality. The Sonos’ app is going to lead you when creating your Sonos account, enabling Alexa, and connecting the sound bar to your Wi-Fi and TV. If you already have Sonos speakers, the app is going to find them automatically.  You just need to figure out if you want to have them separate or to put them together.

The only challenge about the installation is that you’re going to have to plug the sound bar into the TV’s HDMI ARC port, which sends both audio and video signal. HDMI ports do look alike so make sure you do it right. You know you got it right when you may use Alexa for turning your TV on/off.

Sonos Beam doesn’t come with a remote and you only have the app to control it with. However, the app is quite user friendly and it shouldn’t take you long until you figure out everything about controlling the settings.

Does the performance make a good impression?

One thing that isn’t going to let you down about Sonos Beam is its performance. In the case of devices that have to manage both movies and music, the performance is a bit challenging as it’s difficult to give the best for both. However, Sonos Beam isn’t going to let you down on either. It can play both movie soundtracks and music, in a pretty impressive way.

When you’re going to play some music video, you’re going to notice that the quality of the video isn’t going to be affected in any way by Sonos Beam. As a matter of fact, the Sonos Beam is able to convey the disparity, so you’re not going to lose anything.

You’re also going to appreciate the accuracy and spread of effects placement when watching some action movie.

Sonos Beam vs. Sonos Playbar-who takes the lead?

Sonos Playbar is the stronger choice as it provides deeper bass, shifting more air as well (your neighbors may not be into it, though). Sonos Beam isn’t far from it either as it compensates with its versatility and design. After all, it’s way easier to fit it in.

What’s to mention about the connectivity?

Sonos Beam is only interested in audio so you’re not going to experience any problems related to the video signal compatibility – Sonos Beam isn’t for that to begin with.

Sonos Beam is design to use your TV’s HDMI ARC (audio return channel) socket, which most TV models out there have. The HDMI ARC is going to transfer audio to a sound bar and you can take care of the volume and power through the HDMI CEC.

How does the short list of pros and cons look like?

There are many things to appreciate about this smart sound bar so let’s list our pros:

  • It includes Amazon Alexa
  • It’s small, subtle and easy to install
  • It ensures big and balanced sound
  • It supports AirPlay2

The downsides aren’t deal breakers:

  • It doesn’t come cheap
  • You can only operate it through the app as it doesn’t have a remote

What’s our final take?

The Sonos Beam isn’t going to blow your mind with its impressive and one-of-a-kind functions, but it’s not going to disappoint with every single one of its performances either. It impresses with the ability to play both music and movie soundtracks. The built-in Alexa support helps it stand out from the crowd and even if its high price is a pet peeve for some, the smart sound bar is worth every single penny.

Here’s an in-depth video review by Kirby Meets Audio:

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We’ve completed our point of view with info from down below:

Sonos Beam review: the upgrade every living room deserves

Sonos Beam review: a soundbar that harnesses the smarts of Amazon Alexa – Business Insider

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