Sonos Beam Gen 2: 3.0 Dolby Atmos soundbar, multiroom, Alexa and Google Assistant

The American manufacturer is renewing its Sonos Beam soundbar, which appeared in 2018 with the Sonos Beam Gen 2. If originality is not the name, the Sonos Beam Gen 2 has changed significantly in terms of specifications. Presentation.

Let it be said, if the first Sonos Beam of the name (still 65.1 cm in length) overlooked a number of technologies that were already on the market, the Sonos Beam Gen 2 corrects the situation and promises the home cinema enthusiast significantly more memorable sessions.

Sonos Beam Gen 2, main evolutions Indeed, at the forefront of the evolutions of the Sonos Beam Gen 2, we notice the compatibility of Dolby Atmos (thanks to the new integrated CPU 40% more powerful which allows the management of this 3D audio format). Regarding the DTS, things are also moving with, according to the brand, an upcoming support through an upcoming Firmware update. Alas, the DTS: X will still not be in the game. At least, the management of DTS will avoid ending up with a completely silent soundbar in the presence of a video or sound track of this ilk.

In terms of notable changes, always, an HDMI output eARC, in phase with Dolby Atmos, in order to retrieve the appropriate soundtracks (in fact Dolby Digital Plus) offered by applications of OTT Netflix-type services coming directly from a Smart TV. Also worthy of note is a new polycarbonate grille with numerous perforations for optimized sound diffusion. The start-up has also been revised for maximum simplicity: two cables and the NFC function allow a quick and easy installation. Finally, in addition to access to a very large range of audio streaming services, the Sonos Beam Gen 2 will access Amazon Music's Ultra High Definition offer by the end of the year in a number of country, to enjoy listening to its lossless music in 48 kHz / 24 bits, as well as in Dolby Atmos Music, an immersive audio format that places the listener at the very heart of the song.

Technical characteristics…

Technically, the Sonos Beam Gen 2 incorporates four elliptical wideband speakers, two of which are placed at the ends at an open angle (see photo below) to widen the soundstage. These are supported by a central tweeter and three passive radiators to accentuate the impact of low frequencies. Everything is distributed over three separate channels (3.0). On the amplification side, the brand announces that the Beam incorporates five Class D amplifiers but does not specify anything about the power delivered, as usual. So much for the technique…

The connection of the Sonos Beam is limited to an HDMI input (eARC therefore), a 2.0 CEC input and an Ethernet port. We also note the Wi-Fi ac and AirPlay 2 compatibility. Of course, the Sonos Beam Gen 2 can be used alone with a TV, but also of course within a Sonos multiroom system. It is thus possible to complete the Beam with a Sonos Sub and a pair of Sonos Play: 1 or Sonos One to recreate a 5.1 Home Cinema system. Namely, an optical adapter is always supplied with the Sonos Beam Gen 2 in case the TV does not have an HDMI connector.

Similarly, all the features of a Sonos multiroom system, including a Beam Gen 2 as one of the links in the sound chain of a household, are also required: the possibility of playing the same music in all rooms or to enjoy a dedicated audio space in each of them.

Sonos Trueplay on the menu

Another precision, the Sonos Beam Gen 2 obviously benefits from the Trueplay functionality (click to know all about this function) for an acoustic optimization extremely easy to implement. Control of the Beam Gen 2 is via transport buttons located on the top of the speaker, at the front of the speaker (touchscreen interface with volume up / down, track previous / next and play / pause plus an LED indicator showing the status of Sonos components and Silent mode), or through the Sonos app. The latter also offers access to all available streaming services: Apple Music, Spotify, SoundCloud, Deezer, TuneIn (webradios), Google Play Music…

Neat design and voice control

Like the brand's previous productions, the Sonos Beam has a particularly neat design and finish. And one of the major strengths of the Sonos Beam Gen 2 is the integration of Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

The word to Patrick Spence, CEO of Sonos

“We say often that 'Hollywood at Home' is a real catalyst for our business, and Beam has played a role as one of the best-selling soundbars in its class,” said Patrick Spence, CEO of Sonos. Taking into account what we've learned over the years about listening and home theater, we've found a way to bring new features and significantly better sound to Beam, all in the same compact package that has been extremely popular with customers. ”

Immediate availability in black or white. Indicative price: 499 euros.

Reminder of the key features of the Sonos Beam soundbar:

• Model 3.0

• Loudspeakers: four full range, one tweeter + three passive radiators

• Five Class amplifiers D • Dolby Digital decoders • 1 HDMI CEC input

• 1 optical adapter

• AirPlay, AirPlay 2 compatibility via upcoming update

• Wi-Fi compatibility g

• Compatibility Alexa

• Siri compatibility (via Airplay 2 update)

• Trueplay functionality

• Multiroom functionality

• Dimensions: 651 x 100 x 68.5 cm

• Weight: 2.8 kg