Size: 25.6 x 2.3 x 3.9 inches
Weight: 6.2 pounds
Speakers: 4 drivers, 1 tweeter
Audio formats: Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus
Colors: Black, White
Voice assistants: Alexa, Google Assistant
Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n/ac, 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi, AirPlay 2
The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) soundbar is latest home theater product promising the brand’s signature audio quality for high-fidelity formats and perfectly-tuned entertainment experiences.
Replacing the original Sonos Beam, one of the best soundbars on the market, the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a smart speaker, music player and TV accessory all-in-one. It's compact and rather affordable like the first generation model, too, priced at $449.
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That also means the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is positioned as an alternative to the booming Sonos Arc, which just saw a price hike from $799 to $899. And while Arc is still the top option for the best TVs with big screens in big spaces, apartment dwellers or those with smaller sets need a stellar soundbar, too.
Enter the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). Here's everything you'll want to know about Sonos's upgraded offering, from price and release date to the soundbar's newest features.
Sonos Beam (Gen 2) price and release date
The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) costs $449 and is available as of October 5, 2021. You can pre-order the new soundbar now if you want to get your hands on it as soon as it starts shipping, though we haven't reviewed it yet so we can't offer an informed recommendation. That said, Sonos is a trusted savant in the home audio market.
Sonos Beam (Gen 2) design
The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) design is somewhat of a blend of the Sonos Arc and original Sonos Beam. While it maintains the elongated pill shape and slightly concaved, touch sensitive top it gets the Arc's perforated polycarbonate grille. According to Sonos, the new grille should make the Beam (Gen 2) easier to clean and more durable over time.
Still the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is much smaller than the Arc, measuring 25.6 x 2.3 x 3.9 inches instead of 45 x 4.5 x 3.4 inches. This makes its more suitable for smaller entertainment spaces.
The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) also comes in two color options, like the rest of Sonos launches of the last few years. If you've coordinated your Sonos Move, Sonos Roam or Sonos One colors, you can keep the pattern up for your new soundbar.
Sonos Beam (Gen 2) audio quality
The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is pretty similar to the first-generation Beam on the inside. It features one tweeter, three passive radiators and four elliptical midwoofers, two forward firing and two angled to either side. But an upgraded CPU improves the soundbar's height and surround abilities, even with the same speaker hardware.
Sonos says the Beam (Gen 2) is also retuned, creating crisper central channel that prioritizes vocal clarity and vocal dialog. Users will also benefit from 3D audio with support for Dolby Audio, Dolby Digital Plus and all leading home theater sound formats.
Unlike the portable Sonos speakers, the Beam (Gen 2) doesn't support Auto TruePlay — just regular TruePlay. That means you'll have to manually tune the soundbar, which you'll want to do for sound tailored to the prime viewing spot on your couch, anyway.
Sonos Beam (Gen 2) features
The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) will initiate setup easily in Sonos S2 app thanks to its added NFC chip. The actual setup process will be a bit more laborious, requiring you to move around so Sonos can map out the room your new soundbar is in and tailor its soundscape accordingly.
When you're watching a blockbuster movie, the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) works as a regular music speaker. You can either AirPlay from the music apps on your iPhone, or use the Sonos S2 app to add and control your music and podcast services. Sonos even offers its own radio channel with guest hosts and curated content.
And like most of Sonos's other devices, the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) supports Alexa and Google Assistant. It can act as like many of the best Alexa speakers or best Google Home speakers, letting you control your smart home devices, get answers to queries or simply change the soundtrack hands-free.
Sonos Beam (Gen 2) outlook
Creating the ultimate home theater experience became a top consumer priority the last year and half. While the Sonos Arc stood out last year, not everyone can fit (or afford) the massive soundbar. With its smaller footprint and smart features, the $449 Sonos Beam (Gen 2) could come as an attractive choice for those with the best 55-inch TVs or smaller.
But the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is still one of several new soundbars looking to earn a spot in people's homes. The Bose Smart Soundbar 900 was just announced with a number of the same connectivity features, as was the Sony HT-A5000 with Dolby Atmos. That said, the latest Bose and Sony soundbars are about double the price of the new Beam, which could work to Sonos's advantage.
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