Sonos makes some of our very favourite smart home audio gear, and today unveiled a new addition to their product range – it’s a compact soundbar named Sonos Beam.
But wait, you ask, doesn’t Sonos already make a soundbar? You would be correct, they do – a couple of products, in fact – the Sonos Playbar has been around for a while and comes in at $999, as does the Playbase which has mostly similar features but forms a platform onto which your TV can stand. Both options do and will continue to deliver some pretty massive bang for your buck.
But, what about those of us with slightly more modest ambitions? Perhaps – like me – you live in an apartment complex with a moderate-but-perfectly-fine loungeroom, and neighbours that you like? Sonos Beam is aimed at me – small-to-medium spaces, spaces it aims to fill without breaking the bank (or your walls).
Beam – about 65cm long – looks to pack a decent sound punch for its size, and delivers sound from four full range woofers and one tweeter, with a speech enhancement feature so you’ll be better able to understand just what’s going on in Westworld (which looks frankly like it’s not going to deliver us a robotic vulture this season, sadly). There’s also a Night Sound feature that promises to let you listen without waking up the entire household. Alternatively, you can also pair it up with a Sonos Sub if you need a little more kick in your bass (but do mind the neighbours).
Best of all, the Beam is still a Sonos speaker, so it’ll integrate with other Sonos products in your house, and it a new one at that so it brings support for Amazon Alexa like the recently-launched Sonos One speaker. Sonos also tantalisingly says there’ll be support for more voice assistants over time (*cough* Google Assistant please *cough*). There’s multiple far-field microphones built in to Beam that Sonos says will detect your voice from anywhere in the room.
As a full-fledged Sonos device, Beam has the full support of Sonos’ usual streaming partners which means you’ll be able to stream to it fron Google Play Music, Spotify and more.
If you’re in a multi-ecosystem household, you’ll be able to use AirPlay 2 to send audio to your Sonos Beam from something called an iPhone, as well as Siri and Apple Music integration. We’re hoping this kind of support for remote audio sources translates into eventual support for Google’s Cast standards too, but won’t be holding our breath. Beam also supports HDMI-ARC so it can help you control your TV (voice commands, anyone?)
The Sonos Beam launches in July for AU $599. You can pre-order now from sonos.com. You’ll also be able to get a wall mounting system from Sonos ($89) if that’s how your living room is set up.