Sonos has been slowly upgrading its soundbars, changing the ageing Playbar with final summer season’s high-end, Dolby Atmos-enabled Sonos Arc. Now comes a redo of the four-year outdated Beam, a smaller, extra reasonably priced soundbar that may now ship immersive audio much like its larger sibling, and it provides HDMI eARC connectivity besides.
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Slated to ship October 5 for $449 (you possibly can pre-order it now on Sonos.com), the second-generation Beam arrives at a $50 premium in comparison with its predecessor.
Measuring 25.63 x 3.94 x 2.72 inches (WxDxH) and weighing in at 6.2 kilos, the second-gen Beam is sort of exactly the identical measurement and weight as the unique (the brand new Beam is a hair longer than the first-gen model), however the wraparound mesh material on the primary Beam has been changed with a perforated, easy-to-clean polycarbonate grille, much like the Arc.
Contained in the Beam, the driving force setup is kind of the identical as earlier than. You get 4 elliptical midwoofers (two front-firing and two angled), a tweeter for the middle channel, and three passive radiators for low-frequency results. Every driver is powered by its personal discrete class-D amplifier.
The large inside change within the second-gen Beam is a brand new processor, which Sonos says is 40 % quicker than the CPU within the unique. Due to its added processing energy, the brand new Beam can squeeze virtualized Dolby Atmos peak cues (utilizing Dolby’s height-virtualization technology, which methods your ears into pondering they hear sounds from above) utilizing the identical five-driver configuration as the unique Beam.
Not solely will the Beam be capable of ship Dolby Atmos audio for movies, it’s going to quickly add the power to play Dolby Atmos Music tracks from Amazon Music, together with as much as 24-bit/48kHz lossless audio assist. (Different Sonos S2 audio system, together with the Arc, will quickly be getting assist for lossless and Dolby Atmos tunes from Amazon Music as effectively.)
The second-gen Sonos Beam replaces the wraparound material on the primary mannequin with a perforated grille much like its bigger sibling, the Sonos Arc.
In fact, the second-generation Beam isn’t the primary Dolby Atmos soundbar to ship peak results with out upfiring drivers that bounce hold forth your ceiling (because the Arc does); we’ve not too long ago reviewed soundbars from Vizio and Sony that carry out the identical trick. The important thing, in fact, is the execution; some soundbars with virtualized Dolby Atmos audio sound surprisingly pure, whereas others are distractingly hissy. We’re anticipating to obtain a review unit quickly, so we’ll be providing you with the news on the Beam’s real-world efficiency.
If you want, you possibly can flip the Beam into a correct 5.1.2-channel soundbar by including the Sonos Sub and a pair of Sonos Ones (which might act as encompass audio system). However provided that the Sub prices $750 and every Sonos One goes for $220 (following a collection of current value will increase), you’d be a complete of $1,640 for the entire package deal—ouch.
Within the rear of the revamped beam is a quick (10/100) ethernet port, together with a single HDMI-ARC connector that helps eARC (you possibly can learn extra about ARC and eARC right here). Due to eARC, the Beam can deal with lossless DTS-HD Grasp Audio and Dolby TrueHD audio codecs, that are generally discovered on Blu-ray discs. As with the Arc, nevertheless, there aren’t any extra HDMI inputs for connecting video sources on to the soundbar; as an alternative, you’ll want to attach sources to your TV’s HDMI inputs, after which pipe the audio all the way down to the Beam by way of ARC/eARC.
One bone of rivalry concerning the Sonos Arc was that when it initially shipped, it didn’t assist multichannel LPCM audio, which was a giant concern for Apple TV 4K customers since Apple’s streaming field delivers Dolby Atmos by way of LPCM. A firmware replace finally mounted that drawback, and fortunately, I’m advised that the 2nd-gen Beam will ship with LPCM assist.
There was additionally some grumbling concerning the Arc’s lack of an on-board DTS audio decoder, and whereas the Beam gained’t initially ship with one both, each it and the Arc will likely be getting DTS decoding later this 12 months by way of a firmware replace.
As with its predecessor, the brand new Beam has a far-field microphone array for voice management, and as with Sonos’s different S2-class audio system, you possibly can set up both onboard Alexa or Google Assistant (however not each on the identical time).
One other customary Sonos characteristic that the brand new Beam helps is Trueplay, Sonos’s room-correction technology that makes use of an iPhone’s microphone to detect the acoustics of a room and form the speaker’s efficiency accordingly.
You’ll be capable of tweak the Beam’s audio utilizing EQ settings, whereas extra options will allow you to enhance the sound of dialogue in addition to compress the dynamic vary for late-night listening classes.
Lastly, the most recent Beam will assist Apple’s AirPlay 2 streaming protocol, good for streaming audio from Apple gadgets in addition to creating multi-room audio setups.
In fact, you’ll additionally be capable of join the Beam to different Sonos audio system in your house by way of Sonos’ personal wi-fi audio platform.
Keep tuned for our full review of the Sonos Beam within the coming weeks.
You should definitely learn Sonos’s different huge announcement immediately: Sonos audio system to assist hi-res Amazon Music streaming, together with Dolby Atmos Music
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