If you wanted to judge just how good a Sonos Beam is, and how popular they are – the first generation Sonos Beam is in “runout” price mode at $645 right now. The all-new Sonos Beam Gen 2 is $695. This is almost Apple like in terms of how well a product holds its price over the life of a product.
While the second generation Beam looks similar to the first, it’s all under the hood where the biggest improvements jump in.
Outside it’s just a touch sleeker – a “precisely perforated” grille for the optimal sound is how Sonos describe it. Up close it’s faultless, that’s the level of quality you want from a premium product like this.
Setup is Sonos perfection, just power and an ARC connection via HDMI to your TV and then you just open your Smartphone and begin the pairing process. The Sonos app discovers the new speaker quickly and you’re off and running in no time.
If you’re like me, the first thing you’ll do is find a Netflix movie that has the ATMOS logo so you can really test the new 3D Audio with Dolby Atmos technology built into the Sonos Beam Gen 2.
Now, I’m spoilt here, so have tested things like Sennheiser’s Ambeo soundbar with Atmos and attended demonstrations in perfectly engineered rooms. For this reason, I’m not easily impressed by “Atmos” sound – where sounds should come down from above and from all the angles you’d hope.
I personally think that actual rear speakers is better than any virtual approach, and that Atmos is only best heard where the placement is utterly spot on considering the TV, SoundBar, the Ceiling and the Couch.
For this, in our office, with office tile ceiling cover, I think we lack the bounce required for a true Atmos experience.
However, the overall sound feeling was outstanding. Virtual Surround pushing left and right rear sound without the presence of physical speakers. It does a great job.
Be sure to enable the Trueplay function in the app to correctly tune and setup your Beam Gen 2 to the room you’ve installed it in.
But in all honesty, I’d recommend this speaker for people who need to get a whole lot better sound – forget what comes from your TV, it’s rubbish when compared to any soundbar frankly. Sonos Beam Gen 2 is a rich sound, with some solid depth too.
But it’s the musical capabilities that really lift this into consideration above many soundbars.
Sure many do Bluetooth or Wifi streaming – but the Sonos App has set itself as a class leading way to interact with your streaming music services. Link them up in the app and play your tunes on a “real” speaker.
And of course, for people who have other Sonos products the Beam is almost a no-brainer for the lounge room.
Price wise, the $695 tag puts this into a high end of the soundbar market, given it doesn’t come with a Subwoofer as many in a similar or lower price tag do. But, the majority are 3 channel at most, so the presence of Atmos, along with the style, and the genuine music quality the Sonos Beam Gen 2 offers.
A no brainer for those in the ecosystem, and a gateway drug to the multi-room Sonos ecosystem for those who are new to Sonos.