Just when I thought I’d got all the Sonos I could ever need, they reveal their most advanced soundbar yet. I was lucky enough to see the new Sonos Beam soundbar in action, ahead of its launch date in July. The Sonos Beam promises to combine the incredible sound of Sonos with the convenience and functionality of Amazon Alexa.
What first struck me was the size – or lack of. I currently use a Sonos Playbar and the Beam is around 60% smaller. It’s wall-mountable too, which makes best use of the compact size, to create a sleeker solution for small- to mid-size rooms. Sonos has kept the styling in line with its existing range of speakers and soundbars – great if, like me, you’re a Sonos hoarder! Available in Sonos’ trademark black or white, the Beam measures in at just 65cm in length, 10cm deep and a shade under 7cm high. This makes the Beam compact, versatile and perfect for wall mounting OR placing under your TV.
Pleasingly, the Beam has just one connection into the TV, so there’s no tangle of wires and, as I’ve come to expect from Sonos, set up was simple; you just plug Beam into the power and connect it to the TV using the HDMI cable. From there, it’s as easy as 1,2,3… 1. Download the Sonos app. 2.Connect to the power and to your TV. 3. Follow the app instructions.
Once set up, it was clear to see that the Beam’s compact size doesn’t diminish what Sonos does so well: incredible sound. The Beam delivers wall-to-wall fully immersive sound, whether you’re watching TV shows, catching a film or playing your favourite video game. The sound is premium, thanks to the full-range woofers and tweeters which perfectly harmonise low and high frequencies.
When you’re watching a movie, Sonos’ Speech Enhancement technology means that you’ll never miss another word. Turning on Speech Enhancement delivers incredibly clear dialogue.
The Beam also has Night Sound, to allow you to enjoy your favourite late night TV without waking the kids; perfect when your box-set binge takes you into the wee hours!
The Beam also has voice support, in the form of Amazon Alexa. In houses that are increasingly becoming “smart homes”, the convenience of voice control is brilliant and the Beam delivers a 3-in-1 product that promises – and delivers – great audio, voice control and compact dimensions. By integrating Alexa, Sonos allows you to use your voice to turn on the TV, change volume, mute and more.
Create a home cinema by using two Sonos One speakers as rear surrounds, connect smart lighting (which must be Alexa-compatible) then say “Alexa, it’s movie time” and be amazed as the lights dim and the TV selects the film and video service.
Music and voice services combine brilliantly, too. Sonos’ list of streaming partners and voice assistants will keep growing. Some are names that are instantly recognisable, others may be less familiar, but are definitely worth exploring.
Sonos plays everything: from the most popular streaming services, on-demand services, internet radio, your favourite podcasts and audiobooks, to your go-to collection of downloads—whatever you love to listen to, Sonos plays it.If you’re already subscribed to a service simplyadd it to your system using the Sonos app, sign in, and play it out loud for the entire house to enjoy.
With Radio by TuneIn, the Beam has instant access to over 100,000 local and international radio stations, shows, and podcasts streaming from every continent. All on your Sonos – and all for free.
You choose your control; control Beam with voice commands, use the Sonos app, AirPlay or the app of your favourite music service. Using your voice gives you access to a whole host of possibilities. Use your voice to play your favourite radio stations and discover amazing podcasts. Ask Alexa for recommendations and learn more about the music you love.
“Alexa, who is this band?”
“Alexa, play BBC Radio 1 on TuneIn.”
“Alexa, who’s the lead singer of this band?”
The convenience of Alexa doesn’t end there, however; you can use Beam and Alexa to control your smart home.
Easily control your Alexa-compatible smart home devices. Adjust heating, turn the kettle on without getting out of bed, or dim the dining room lights without lifting a finger.
“Alexa, set the temperature to 21 degrees.”
“Alexa, turn off the living room lights.”
“Alexa, turn the volume up.”
You can use Beam to get the latest news and information. Check the traffic for your journey to work, update your to-do list, set timers, find a recipe for dinner and get Alexa to look up answers to all your questions as they pop up.
“Alexa, what’s the weather like today?”
“Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?”
“Alexa, how do you spell rhythm?”
You can also do more with Alexa skills. Find and add skills in the Alexa app to make life easier, then just ask out loud to order flowers, play games, check your bank balance and so much more.
“Alexa, start 7-minute workout.”
“Alexa, open Domino’s and place an order.”
“Alexa, what are your new skills?”
Add surround sound without wires. Beam is part of the Sonos sound system, so you can easily add more speakers to fill every room of your home with sound. Watching the big game? Never miss a moment, as you walk from room to room. Fill your home with the sound you love.
Sonos Beam is now available to pre-order and will also be available to rent for just £4.62 per week. If you’re new to Sonos, view the range or ask your local store about a demo and be wowed by the sound.