Sonos Beam Gen 2: The Dinky Sonos Beam Provides a Polished Sound and Excellent Dolby Atmos Analysis

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The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a great update compared with the initial soundbar, including Dolby Atmos support, HDMI eARC compatibility, and a revitalized design. Although we just weren’t completely convinced by the online Atmos on offer, this soundbar sounds great and fits small spaces perfectly, while its mid-range price will not be too hard on your financial institution balance.

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a small and effective soundbar from multi-room sound giant Sonos. It is a considerable improvement on the company’s initial small soundbar with online Dolby Atmos, HDMI eARC compatibility, and a revitalized design.

While it is a bit more expensive compared to the first Sonos Beam, the new soundbar offers excellent worth. That is why it is among our top picks in our best soundbars guide.

Many thanks to its integration with the wider Sonos community, you can integrate it with additional audio speakers to expand your configuration. The Beam (Gen 2) sounds great by itself, but you can take the sound efficiency up a scratch by linking it up to the Sonos Below or using a set of Sonos One SL audio speakers as your back right and left networks.

Establishing the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a breeze—you need the Sonos S2 application, and you will have the ability to connect the soundbar for your Wi-Fi network and set up your articulate aide of choice. The S2 application also gives you access to the company’s TruePlay technology, which calibrates the soundbar’s sound for your room’s measurements using its integrated microphones.

It is a pity that TruePlay still just works with iOS devices, as it does make a distinction to the sound. Still, you could obtain a friend’s iPhone for the configuration process—and we think that is well worth doing.

Unlike its precursor, the new Beam comes with eARC compatibility—a feature that followers of the initial soundbar have asked for some time. This allows the soundbar to handle advanced sound styles compared to before, consisting of hi-res sound codecs.

However, the standout new feature for the Beam (Gen 2) is Dolby Atmos support. While the soundbar does not include the firing drivers you need for ‘true’ Atmos, it uses psychoacoustic methods to give the impression of elevation from your movie soundtracks.

Theoretically, this should make it appear as however, the sound from your movies is coming with you from every angle; we just weren’t completely convinced, however. While the Beam (Gen 2) has a large soundstage and effective sound efficiency for its dimension, we didn’t experience the type of overhead sound you receive from its bigger brother or sister, the Sonos Arc (which has those necessary up-firing drivers). You can learn more about this more capable—and expensive—soundbar in our Sonos Arc review.

We’re reluctant to judge the Beam (Gen 2) too roughly for that, however. You are still obtaining a much more immersive experience compared to what you had received from a non-Atmos bar, and there’s a percentage of upright information coming through—it’s simply not as persuading as various other online Atmos bars. Inspect our Sony HT-X8500 review for a fine example. Or have a look at our best Dolby Atmos audio speakers and soundbars guide.

Overall, if you are looking for a mid-range soundbar that will not take control of your living room and you want the ability to update it in the future with a subwoofer or back audio speakers, the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a great choice—just do not anticipate a super-convincing Dolby Atmos experience. Read on for our complete Sonos Beam (Gen 2) review.

Price and Availability

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) was introduced in October 2021 for $449 / £449 / $699, which is more expensive compared to the initial. At introduction, the initial Sonos Beam cost $399 / £339 / AU$599, however, it is often discounted nowadays. You can find out more about its precursor in our Sonos Beam review.

For a less expensive alternative, have a look at our Sonos Ray review, which does not have the same efficiency but is a lot more affordable at $279 / £279 / AU$399.

For a soundbar with comparable efficiency that is a bit more expensive, inspect out our Sony HT-G700 review, which is available for $600 / £450 / AU$900, to see how it contrasts.

Although it isn’t the most affordable soundbar available, the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a huge $400 / £400 / AU$800 cheaper compared to among TechRadar’s best soundbars of the minute, the Sonos Arc, which provides ‘true’ Atmos many thanks to firing tweeters. You can learn more about the Arc in our Sonos Arc review.

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Design

Such the initial Beam, the new Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a small soundbar that can easily be in shape under most TVs on a cupboard or is mounted to a wall surface to maintain your living room clutter-free.

At 2.72 x 25.63 x 3.94 inches (H x W x D), it is a lot smaller sized compared to the company’s front runner soundbar, the Sonos Arc, production is ideal for smaller-sized spaces.

Such as various other Sonos audio speakers, the design of the Beam (Gen 2) is all about clean lines and refined branding; this soundbar isn’t fancy, but it appearances stylish, and it is available in an option of black and white finishes, you can find the right appearance to in shape in with your decor.

One key distinction between the new Sonos Beam and its precursor is the design of the grille, which is currently made of plastic instead compared to woven fabric. This design choice is more in maintaining with the Sonos Arc, and as the company factors out, it is much easier to clean compared to dust-attracting fabric. We asked Sonos whether the new grille brings any acoustic benefits, but the company informed us it is simply a visual choice.

You will find a touch-sensitive control board on the top of the soundbar. The capacitive touch sensing units permit you to control your song’s playback, change the quantity, and shut off the integrated microphones for extra personal privacy. We found these managers were very receptive, however, you will probably find on your own getting to for your TV’s remote to do most of these points.

You will also find a small LED light remove on the top of the soundbar, which illuminates as you communicate with it, and another LED beneath the microphone symbol to allow you to know when the soundbar’s mic is allowed.

About the rear of the soundbar is a port for connecting it right to a power electrical outlet and HDMI, optical, and Ethernet ports.

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Setup and Connectivity

Establishing the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is very simple; you need to download and install the Sonos S2 application and follow the instructions to connect the soundbar for your Wi-Fi network and any song streaming solutions you had such as.

You will also after that have the ability to choose between Alexa or Google Aide. Many thanks to the soundbar’s integrated microphones, you will have the ability to control playback using your articulate alone, ask your chosen articulate aide questions, and control your various otherwise home devices.

Once you’ve done this, you will have the ability to use Beam’s room calibration feature, TruePlay, which songs the ‘bar’s sound to the measurements of your room.

As you undergo the TruePlay process, the Beam plays out a collection of beeps and ticks throughout the regularity range; you will after that be triggered to walk your room waving your mobile phone about.

The S2 application uses microphones built right into your mobile phone to analyze the audio; Sonos says it is necessary to cover as a lot of space as feasible and to minimize other ecological sound that could affect the outcomes. Sadly, TruePlay is just suitable for iOS devices presently, but it is well worth obtaining a friend’s iPhone to obtain one of the most from your new Beam.

The application also allows you to set the Beam with another Sonos audio speaker, such as the Sonos Below, or a set of Sonos One SL audio speakers that could be used as left and right back audio speakers.

Integration with the Sonos network gives the Beam (Gen 2) something many various other soundbars do not have: an easy way to update your home movie theater system. While the new Beam works very well by itself, including below and back audio speakers is a great way to include for your configuration in time. If you currently have a Sonos Wander mobile audio speaker, you will have the ability to ‘throw’ your sound in between the Bluetooth audio speaker and the Beam using the Sound Switch feature.

In regards to cordless connection, the Beam (Gen 2) supports Wi-Fi and Apple AirPlay 2 with suitable iOS devices. There is also the option to hook it up for your router with an Ethernet cable television if you want a more stable link for your home network.

One new connection feature for the Sonos Beam is HDMI eARC compatibility, which the company says will bring a “richer, more immersive, and greater meaning sound experience”. Compared with the HDMI ARC connection found on the initial Beam, eARC can handle advanced sound styles and deliver superior sound quality.

It is a pity there is no HDMI 2.1 support, which would certainly permit for 4K at 120Hz and also 8K at 60Hz pass through—which, in transform, would certainly make the Beam ideal for 8K-supporting gaming consoles such as the PS5 and the Xbox Collection X.

Still, the new Beam can deal with 32 networks of sound and also eight-channel 24-bit/192kHz uncompressed 38Mbps information streams. In various other words, as well as sustaining Atmos, it can play hi-res sound files of your favorite tunes.

If your TV does not have an HDMI port, you can connect the Beam via the optical port; Sonos provides all the cable televisions you need in the package.

The S2 application also makes it easy to stream songs, enabling you to include any song streaming systems and browse them without leaving the application.

Audio Performance

Despite its small dimension, the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) provides durable sound efficiency and is greater than qualified of filling your living room with sound.

We began by watching the computer-animated sci-fi funny Mitchell vs The Devices, where the Mitchell family find themselves coping with electric appliances (as well as a military of psychotic Furbys) in a deserted shopping center.

As cleaning devices drag themselves menacingly throughout the flooring, the Beam (Gen 2) proved qualified of handling rumbling radio frequencies with real dexterity. At the same time, the soundbar’s bass prowess was much more apparent as a huge Furby stomped toward our protagonists.

As the activity intensifies and the family discovers themselves in a full-on melee complete with lasers, the discussion remains clear and easy to follow.

While the basic sound efficiency of the Beam (Gen 2) was outstanding, we just weren’t fully convinced by the online Dolby Atmos. As vending devices propelled soft drink cans over the goings of the personalities on screen, the sound did provide a feeling of elevation, but we didn’t obtain the feeling that it was originating from over our goings.

It seemed like the online elevation networks cut out about the top of our ears. While this did feel more immersive compared to a non-Atmos soundbar, the effect had not been as outstanding as you obtain with the Sonos Arc, which features up-firing drivers.

These drivers are designed to jump sound off the ceiling and back to your ears, giving a genuine sense of sonic elevation to movie soundtracks and suitable sound files. Without them, the Beam (Gen 2) does not appear qualified of providing the complete Atmos experience.

Saying that we were very impressed by the size of the soundstage. You obtain the sense that the activity onscreen is occurring all about you without including additional back left or right audio speakers, such as the Sonos One SL.

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) also sounds great when having fun songs. Paying attention to Little Simz’ Lady, the bass sounds deep and well-controlled, while synth strings are warm and abundant. Simz’s rap-singing comes through clearness, while Cleo Soul’s Avant-soul melodies drift sumptuously over the blend.

As qualified as the Beam (Gen 2) is by itself, the bass is a lot improved by linking it up to the Sonos Below, which provides better splitting up in between the various regularities and a more arresting, toe-tapping sound.

Conclusion

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) soundbar will work perfectly well by itself to include excellent sound efficiency for your TV, but it also suits well with the wider Sonos community and is the perfect playmate for the brand’s speakers and back audio speakers.

There is no real Dolby Atmos here, you will need firing audio speakers for that. We also would not suggest it if you are on a limited budget. The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is no place close to one of the most expensive soundbars we’ve evaluated, but there are less expensive options.

If you are looking for effective sound, the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a great soundbar, and it sounds a lot larger compared to its small dimension might recommend. Because it is small, it’ll squeeze right into small rooms, and can be wall-mounted to conserve much more space.