The Not-So-Smart Speakers vs. The Sonos System

07 June, 2018, 03:28 | Author: Darrell Baldwin
  • Sonos Beam

Sound system maker Sonos is today taking the wraps off its new Beam sound bar. The Sonos Beam could change that.

If you're the person who is looking for a high-quality smart speaker for your TV setup that doesn't entirely break the bank, and who just so happens to love Siri, the Sonos Beam is likely the flawless choice to bring into your home theater. All "new" Sonos speakers - meaning the Sonos One, the second-gen Play:5, the Playbase and the Sonos Beam - already have Alexa support, and they'll get AirPlay 2 support this July. This cross-platform voice control promises to pertain to the Sonos Beam, as well, so anybody will be able to come into your home and control your music or TV using the voice assistant of their choice, either Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant, which sounds pretty neat. It comes in black and white and at 25 inches long is 60 percent smaller than the Sonos Playbar soundbar, which retails for $699.

Another benefit you get with the Beam using HDMI is that it can harness HDMI-CEC so you can turn your television on and off with your voice.

Inside are four full-range drivers, one tweeter and three passive radiators, plus five class-D amplifiers. Owners can also control Beam the way they choose, whether it be with voice, the Sonos app, third-party apps like Spotify, Audible, Pandora and Tidal, their existing TV remotes, and smart home gadgets like wall switches and remotes made by Sonos-certified partners.




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. With Google Assistant integration coming to the Sonos One soon, it might mean all of the major assistants are soon working together.

We'll have to spend some time with the device to see how it measures up, but so far it's an intriguing solution for improving home audio with some smart speaker chops.

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.

Sonos Beam is available for pre-order now and costs $399.

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