Sonos debuts Beam soundbar with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant integration
Jun 07 2018
You'll be able to adjust the volume using your TV's remote and the Sonos Beam won't get confused, either.
The Sonos Beam is essentially a smaller, smarter, and cheaper version of the company's Playbase speaker. The smart, compact soundbar for your TV.
Sonos says the Beam will support Alexa in the UK, US, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and soon in France.
That's becoming more hard as some of the tech giants such as Amazon, Apple and Google start creating their own hardware, complete with voice assistants offering "smart" capabilities beyond what Sonos - first and foremost an audio specialist - can manage.
The Sonos One, Play:5 (2nd generation) and Playbase will be compatible initially, along with future products from the home audio networking expert.
Beam produces a surprisingly wide soundstage for a speaker of this size, with four custom-built elliptical full-range woofers and three passive radiators delivering deep, warm bass and superior mid-range performance, while a single tweeter ensures crisp and clear dialogue. This allows you to send digital audio to your speaker, but it also allows your speaker to control your TV via another specification called HDMI CEC. Also, since this is a Sonos speaker after all, you can pair the Beam with Sonos' other speakers to create a true surround-sound setup.
Of course, this is a Sonos device which means it will link up with any other Sonos speakers you have for an instant surround sound experience. If your TV doesn't support HDMI-ARC, use the included Optical Audio Adapter to connect Beam to the TV's optical audio port. ● Comes in black and white fabric with matte finishes.
While most of the audio demos we heard were very convincing of the speaker's quality, one demo that totally failed to impress was a scene from Westworld in which the speaker introduced a fair bit of delay into the system. It includes Amazon Alexa support at launch, in addition to Apple Airplay 2 connectivity, which is scheduled to arrive in July.
Beam hits store shelves around the world July 17 and will retail for $399. Ask Siri to play any track, album, or playlist on Apple Music by using an iOS device to start playing on Sonos.