Meet Sonos Beam



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Userlevel 2
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I'm no expert - is there a possible bandwidth issue in relation to DTS and Sonos's wireless infrastructure?
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Can you guys please stop with this rubbish? Sonos make fantastic products, but just admit the truth, You have left DTS out due to it being a cost issue. No-one would cripple a great product and cop so much backlash from people on this forum, not to mention it being mentioned in almost every review, if there wasn't a cost issue in doing it. There are workarounds sure, but they nearly all fly in the face of the simplicity buying sonos is meant to achieve. Ditto to the massive oversight on having no HDMI in on the Beam, meaning you lose a valuable HDMI Port on the TV to only audio.


Or maybe due to DTS having a competing product in DTS Play-Fi, they are not willing to license their proprietary codec to a direct competitor? Could that be a possible explanation?
No it's not. Otherwise the Bose, Yamaha and every other soundbar and home theatre system available wouldn't have DTS either, considering many companies now do multi-room audio.

The lack of DTS is not a deal-breaker for me, regardless of it being annoying. The Playbar is still overall a great product. It just gets annoying when some people try and spin Sonos not supporting a very common format that has been around for years and supported by virtually everyone else as being a positive.


Can you guys please stop with this rubbish? Sonos make fantastic products, but just admit the truth, You have left DTS out due to it being a cost issue. No-one would cripple a great product and cop so much backlash from people on this forum, not to mention it being mentioned in almost every review, if there wasn't a cost issue in doing it. There are workarounds sure, but they nearly all fly in the face of the simplicity buying sonos is meant to achieve. Ditto to the massive oversight on having no HDMI in on the Beam, meaning you lose a valuable HDMI Port on the TV to only audio.


Or maybe due to DTS having a competing product in DTS Play-Fi, they are not willing to license their proprietary codec to a direct competitor? Could that be a possible explanation?
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@Ryan S, what are the chances of Sonos supporting other audio codecs namely DTS for Beam considering it has HDMI?
95% of my movies are all DTS... So more support would mean more compatibility and more people would like this.

I see Bose has Dolby and DTS on their soundbar.


Hi, Sonos Beam was designed to be used with the most popular streaming services, none of which support DTS. This is the same reason we do not support DTS on the Playbar or Playbase. If you want to watch DTS-encoded audio content with Sonos Beam, it's possible to transcode DTS to Dolby Digital using a variety of Blu-ray players or modern game consoles. Beam plays Dolby Digital 5.1, so if you're getting Dolby Atmos or other Dolby Digital compatible signals, your TV should automatically send Dolby Digital 5.1 to Beam as requested via an HDMI-ARC handshake.
Can you guys please stop with this rubbish? Sonos make fantastic products, but just admit the truth, You have left DTS out due to it being a cost issue. No-one would cripple a great product and cop so much backlash from people on this forum, not to mention it being mentioned in almost every review, if there wasn't a cost issue in doing it. There are workarounds sure, but they nearly all fly in the face of the simplicity buying sonos is meant to achieve. Ditto to the massive oversight on having no HDMI in on the Beam, meaning you lose a valuable HDMI Port on the TV to only audio.
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The sky soundbox does seem exceptional value at £250.
But it does not support voice control or add surrounds or a sub. Can you airplay to it without the sky mini box being on as well?

You could have considered an HDMI auto-switch box to effectively get more inputs into your tv.


For context, I've got a pair of play 1s on stands and an echo spot in the same room. I've also got a HomePod in there now. Using a Logitech Harmony remote I have connected the Apple TV to sky soundbox via HDMI and optical to the TV. Can airplay to the Apple TV that way without TV or sky turned on. I've tried using HDMI auto switch boxes but they don't play well with always-on devices, 4K HDR or HDMI ARC from my experience. It isn't a big room so although I actually ended up spending more (already owned soundbox) on HomePod, Apple TV and Sonos One (for another room and enabling airplay 2 on all grouped devices) it gives me flexibility the beam alone can't (with its one input and also now access to Apple TV 4K content). To be honest I kind of feel that a pair of play 1s with echo (of any variety) or homepod is pretty decent in a smaller lounge, and that they wouldn't get much use in a 5.1 setup except for movies (same reason I didn't go for playbase). I think the Beam is a great all in one solution for a brand new Sonos owner (or single room user), but for many of us who have already setup houses around Sonos and own other products, the one port is a limitation. Final point is that if you're using whole house audio (I often do this) even with a pair of play 1s there is a noticeable increase in volume vs single play 1, with the beam in a 5.1 (or base or bar) setup I think it would be harder to control a standardised music volume all around the house. Rant over! Despite all this, I look forward to demoing it and might look to get one for the bedroom in the future.
Userlevel 7
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The sky soundbox does seem exceptional value at £250.
But it does not support voice control or add surrounds or a sub. Can you airplay to it without the sky mini box being on as well?

You could have considered an HDMI auto-switch box to effectively get more inputs into your tv.
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Really wanted to buy this but ended up buying a Sonos 1 to enable airplay on all my other Sonos devices instead and an Apple TV 4K. In order to take full advantage of the smart features of the Beam via HDMI ARC you need to use an HDMI port. However, if like me your TV has 3 HDMI ports and the Beam doesn't have at least HDMI in as well as out losing 1 HDMI port is a big negative. Decided to stick with my Sky soundbox for £250 as it sounds good and has HMDI in/out and optical. I feel this should have been the same on the Beam (or at least HDMI in and out). Still a good product though if you have 4/5 HDMI ports.
Userlevel 5
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First reviews of the Beam are coming out.
It seems an awesome product with "A little bright and sibilant at high volumes" like the playbase.

https://www.whathifi.com/sonos/beam/review
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Moving this message into a new post. It basically read: I'm super super bummed with Sonos' Home Theater offerings.
Userlevel 7
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Sonos have held this DTS position since day one of the playbar. I guess they have had enough sales already to not see it as a problem.
Releasing the beam as a half price playbar, for all the other tvs in the house, which probably are in bedrooms with younger people who have given up on dvds, and stream everything on demand, is a very clever sales move IMO.
We can only hope the playbar2 will support higher codecs. We need to keep pressure up on here.
Userlevel 1
@Ryan S, what are the chances of Sonos supporting other audio codecs namely DTS for Beam considering it has HDMI?
95% of my movies are all DTS... So more support would mean more compatibility and more people would like this.

I see Bose has Dolby and DTS on their soundbar.


Hi, Sonos Beam was designed to be used with the most popular streaming services, none of which support DTS. This is the same reason we do not support DTS on the Playbar or Playbase. If you want to watch DTS-encoded audio content with Sonos Beam, it's possible to transcode DTS to Dolby Digital using a variety of Blu-ray players or modern game consoles. Beam plays Dolby Digital 5.1, so if you're getting Dolby Atmos or other Dolby Digital compatible signals, your TV should automatically send Dolby Digital 5.1 to Beam as requested via an HDMI-ARC handshake.


DTS support should be no more than a simple software patch to load the relevant decoder to the product. If you can decode Dolby Digital it should be easy to load a DTS decoder codec. To restrict your customer base to watching streamed only content in Dolby Digital is a bit short sited especially after all the comments on this forum about watching DVDs and Blurays with DTS soundtracks.
I can only assume this failure to implement DTS for loyal customers who have spent a small fortune on Sonos “Home Cinema” speaker setups is a cost issue conveniently hidden behind the streaming only usage excuse.
Very sad indeed.
Userlevel 7
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@Ryan S, what are the chances of Sonos supporting other audio codecs namely DTS for Beam considering it has HDMI?
95% of my movies are all DTS... So more support would mean more compatibility and more people would like this.

I see Bose has Dolby and DTS on their soundbar.


Hi, Sonos Beam was designed to be used with the most popular streaming services, none of which support DTS. This is the same reason we do not support DTS on the Playbar or Playbase. If you want to watch DTS-encoded audio content with Sonos Beam, it's possible to transcode DTS to Dolby Digital using a variety of Blu-ray players or modern game consoles. Beam plays Dolby Digital 5.1, so if you're getting Dolby Atmos or other Dolby Digital compatible signals, your TV should automatically send Dolby Digital 5.1 to Beam as requested via an HDMI-ARC handshake.
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@Ryan S, what are the chances of Sonos supporting other audio codecs namely DTS for Beam considering it has HDMI?
95% of my movies are all DTS... So more support would mean more compatibility and more people would like this.

I see Bose has Dolby and DTS on their soundbar.
Looks like Prime Day might extend right through release day for Beam. Deals right out of the gate? Ya never know...

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/amazon-may-spilled-beans-prime-181116803.html
I would think it's pretty hard to give you an answer in square meters or feet. So much of that whole thing depends on what kind of floor covering, furniture, drapes, etc are in a room. It really depends on the individual room, rather than assigning a single "this speaker is good for this size space" kind of thing. And much of that could be mitigated by TruePlay tuning as well, throwing an additional wrench in the process.

I'd encourage you to do what hmurchison appears to have done....go listen for yourself, and make your own assessment. I'm certainly looking forward to doing that as well.
Userlevel 5
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The Beam was installed in my store yesterday. All I have to say is Kudos to the Sonos engineering team. The Beam's audio signature is exactly inline with the Playbar and the Playbase. In my initial listening the biggest difference I could tell was the louder playback of the larger units. If you have a small area the Beam is going to sound great and it's small form factor is a BIG plus.

Thoughts on Atmos:

While Atmos is a nice thought the reality is most people upgrading their sound simply want better sound than what their TV can manage. The people that care about Atmos already know they need to wire up the height channels and do a little sweat equity to deliver the results they want. Atmos soundbars are in this weird area where they are too expensive for the average consumer and not good enough for the audiophile.

Looking forward to sprinkling some Beams around my home.


Hi and thank you!
Could you elaborate more what you mean for small and large space? In terms of mq maybe?
Thank you
Userlevel 1
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The Beam was installed in my store yesterday. All I have to say is Kudos to the Sonos engineering team. The Beam's audio signature is exactly inline with the Playbar and the Playbase. In my initial listening the biggest difference I could tell was the louder playback of the larger units. If you have a small area the Beam is going to sound great and it's small form factor is a BIG plus.

Thoughts on Atmos:

While Atmos is a nice thought the reality is most people upgrading their sound simply want better sound than what their TV can manage. The people that care about Atmos already know they need to wire up the height channels and do a little sweat equity to deliver the results they want. Atmos soundbars are in this weird area where they are too expensive for the average consumer and not good enough for the audiophile.

Looking forward to sprinkling some Beams around my home.
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I am waiting to see what people think of the Beam with Sub and Surrounds vs Bar with Sub and Surrounds. Other than that I think many people are missing the point.
.


For me this is the main question. How's it sound compared to the bar/base?
Userlevel 4
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Wow - this is a long thread!

I am waiting to see what people think of the Beam with Sub and Surrounds vs Bar with Sub and Surrounds. Other than that I think many people are missing the point.

If I wanted a state of the art surround system, I would buy one. If I wanted Sonos integration I would then buy a Connect and link it to the state of the art surround system. It seems completely counter intuitive to ask Sonos to support Atmos with their current product line up. In my mind you would need some kind of Connect Amp on steroids to feed lots of speakers around a room.
Userlevel 3
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[quote=Taps803]Newbie question here. I do not own any Sonos products. I have been waiting for a Sonos soundbar that supports voice control. I'm considering a Beam 5.1 setup.

I want to use the Beam to replace current 2.1 soundbar that has a lot of HDMI ports. I'm hesitating because I read the Beam only has 1 HDMI port.

Current Setup:
TV:
2016 LG OLED 65E6P TV
- 4 HDMI ports. HDMI port #2 is labeled "(ARC)"
- 1 port labeled Optical Digital Audio out
Peripherals:
2016 DirecTV 4K setup
2017 Apple TV 4K
2016 Samsung 4K BluRay Player

Is the following correct?

If I connect:
1) the Sonos Beam to my LG OLED's HDMI #2 port labeled (ARC)
2) DirecTV to HDMI #1 port
3) AppleTV to HDMI #3 port
4) Samsung 4k BluRay to HDMI #4 port

then those 3 TV peripherals's sound will use the Sonos Beam for sound because of
- the HDMI cable going between Sonos Beam LG OLED HDMI (ARC) port #2
and
- the 3 other HDMI connections between LG OLED HDMI remaining 3 ports and perpherals above

??


Not sure anyone ever answered the original question. The set up you described is correct - Beam connected to ARC port, then anything connected to and playing through the TV will have the sound through the Beam. the TV is the hub
Userlevel 3
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But as for the beam there are no other alternatives in terms of HDMI like for speakers.
The sound of the beam is more or less good than 2 play 1 or 3?

This is similar to how the Playbar compares to them, they all sound good. You can potentially create a wider soundstage with a pair, in that you can physically separate out a stereo pair. Beam's soundstage is by no means small. In terms of power, it's closer to a pair of Play:3s than Play:1s, considering it has four full-range woofers and a tweeter, all independently amplified and specifically tuned, along with three passive radiators for room filling bass.


This is what I was looking for - thanks! Currently only have a Play 3 in the lounge for music and using TV speakers for TV. If I was happy enough with the Play 3 for music, it sounds like I will be more than happy with the Beam. Have pre-ordered 🙂
Userlevel 7
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Another question, does anyone know what room size this is made for?
I know they say small/medium but in terms of m2?

We don't list a specific measurement size, as there are a lot more factors that go into getting the best sound for the room, like the placement of furniture and the makeup and layout of the room. Generally, you're best off trying it out at home to see how it fits.
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Another question, does anyone know what room size this is made for?
I know they say small/medium but in terms of m2?
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Also question... When Sonos release Google Assistant, will I be able to say OK Google to my Beam and it will listen like Google Home and Mini? Ie will the assistant be naively running on the Beam?


Yes and no. I'm sure the Beam won't have the same firmware on it as the Google products do, but it will have it's own firmware that communicates with Google's cloud for Home. So yes, you will be able to give commands to the Beam and it will execute those commands...play music etc. However, I'd be surprised if it does everything a Google Home will do, same as the Beam won't do everything an echo will do. For example, I doubt you'll be able to make voice calls with a Beam. I don't know, I am just speculating on that.

And to be clear, you very likely won't need to get a Beam or Sonos One to control Sonos with Google Home. You should be able to tell you're existing Google Home and it will pass the command on to Sonos.


Thanks, I was planning to get rid of my Homes, and so on and just use Sonos Ones instead or put the Home into office/garage.
Hopefully they will get the integration seamless, and add recipes and so on.
Userlevel 7
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So can we finally add four Sonos Speakers and a sub to get "real" 5.1 audio? For example the Beam as Center, two Play 5s as L/R and two Play 1s as Rear L/R?

As I understand the Beam, it is considered a 3.0 speaker. Then adding the Sub makes it a 3.1 and then adding 2 rear speakers makes it a true 5.1 system. Is that not correct?


correct

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