Meet Sonos Beam



Show first post

311 replies

Userlevel 1
Badge +1
So, I signed up to make a comment, because I'm annoyed as many of the other posters are. I love Sonos for streaming (it's all over my house), and would LIKE to utilize it in my home theater to replace an aging wired system. However, Sonos can't seem to figure this out?!!? It's 2018 Sonos, you are not a 'baby' cutting-edge company anymore; you have a ton of competitors now (with deeper pockets) and you have many consumers (like myself) that have bought into your eco-system, but now we WANT MORE! Its fine to release incremental products to your 'general' (and new) customers to try to gain market share, but wake up! You have customers with entire eco-systems that WANT to do MORE with their Sonos products, but can't. How long do you think that is going to last before they move on and buy other products instead? That's what's going to happen in this house.

Word mate!
Hi guys,

as many others of you i was hoping for dolby atmos and dts x (what a shame not to integrate it in 2018). Anyway the beams looks nice. But i have a few questions in mind:

- Is it possible that dts x or atmos will come with a later update? (can‘t imagine because of the speakers inside...)

- Do you think the beam will sound as good as or similar to the playbar? Okay its smaller, but with new technical components...

- If i use Beam in a 5.1 setup, i ask myseld which speakers are the best for the rears: Sonos One or Play 1? Alexa is already integrated in Beam, that makes me think, that Play 1 could reach. The sound between Play 1 and One is comparable, right?

I would have paid more money for that product, coming with more state of the art audio codecs.

What alternatives do you see for a small home theatre setup with a huge sound?
I find it quite telling that there aren’t many “take my money now” or “pre-ordered” replies on the companies own Grand Release thread.

It's fairly clear you've not been around here that much.

Pretty much every product that Sonos has launched in the last 5 years or so has been met with a certain amount of disdain on these forums. And that's largely because Sonos tend to launch products that aren't particularly exciting or revolutionary. They are not "shiny".

But, over time, the shallow give-me-all-the-latest-trendy-technology-just-for-the-sake-of-it types (you know, the sort who think that Dolby Atmos in a one-piece soundbar is a good thing) drift away, and it turns out that Sonos have been selling bucket loads to normal people who find that the Sonos products fit their needs very well.

Because Sonos are, and always have been, in for the long-haul. More specifically, I mean they have always aimed to release products that have aren't inherently disposable, like so much of today's technology is. They aim to release products that will not only be usable, but, supported, "current" and active use in a decade's time. That's pretty much unheard of in today's market.

I put the word "current" because a small fringe of society will interpret that as having the latest trendy, news-making technical whizz-bangs. That's not what I mean. By "current" I mean stuff that's actually useful and applicable to a significant proportion of consumers (for argument's sake, let's put that at 30% of users or more). Stuff that's actually survived the early adoption curves and has become mainstream. Dolby Atmos, as an example, has not been implemented in 30% or more of homes. I would be surprised if it's in more than 1%.

Some consumer tech companies like to chase the latest and greatest partly because their company strategy is based on backing multiple horses, and partly because it's based on rapidly obsoleting products and replacing them with new ones. Shiny new technology is fun, makes news headlines, and gets geeks excited, but it rarely makes for great products that are supported (e.g. with upgrades) for more than a few years. It's not particularly good for consumers.

So Sonos's latest product doesn't deliver what you wanted. Well, that's a shame but, frankly, noone cares including, I suspect, Sonos. If you don't want what the BEAM has to offer then it's simply that you aren't in their target market. Tweakers and trend-followers have been asking for specific high-end capabilities from Sonos for years. Sonos has gone from strength to strength specifically by not being distracted by these niches and short-term trends, and by waiting to see what actually works.

It's not particularly sexy, but it does result in great products which fulfil what the vast majority of people want and need, and which continue being supported, upgraded and useful many years after you purchased them. That's something you can't say about pretty much any other digital audio vendor around.

Most of the other vendors have a track record of abandoning major product lines after a few years, leaving their customers stranded. Comparably, many of us are actively and seamlessly using Sonos equipment we purchased more than 13 years ago and which is still supported (e.g. with upgrades) today.

Cheers,

Keith
Userlevel 1
Badge
Ryan, I tried to pre-order the Beam however PayPal does not appear to be an option and checkout for this product. I bought 2x play ones just last week and checked out using PayPal no problem, what gives?

Removing the Beam from the basket and adding any other product lets me check out using PayPal...


Hi Mark, unfortunately, Paypal isn't an option for pre-orders. I'll let the sales team know you're missing the option so they get the feedback, but you'll have to place a pre-order using a different payment method. Sorry for the trouble!


Also on that same note it appears coupons don't work on pre orders either. I am a blue light card member and I added another item to check coupon works (it does) but not on this pre order. Guess I will have to wait for it to release rather then order today...ah well...shame...
Userlevel 7
Badge +25
Is it possible that dts x or atmos will come with a later update? (can‘t imagine because of the speakers inside...)
We do not currently plan to add the ability to decode Atmos content to Beam. If your TV is getting Atmos, via HDMI handshake the Beam will get sent Dolby Digital 5.1, and it'll sound great!

Do you think the beam will sound as good as or similar to the playbar? Okay its smaller, but with new technical components...
The output is deceptive with the smaller size. Playbar and Playbase both achieve louder volumes than Sonos Beam, with a wider soundstage and more bass. You might have to find this one out for yourself at a local store when it becomes available or pick based on the space it's going in. Personally, I think it sounds just as good. But my ears are broken from too many concerts.

If i use Beam in a 5.1 setup, i ask myseld which speakers are the best for the rears: Sonos One or Play 1? Alexa is already integrated in Beam, that makes me think, that Play 1 could reach. The sound between Play 1 and One is comparable, right?
Sonos Ones would be a bit more future proof as more features will probably come down the road that aren't available to the Play:1, like Airplay 2. But if you're using them as surrounds the Beam does the heavy lifting for most of that anyway. Both are good options, and they sound very close to each other. I can't really tell the difference but i know some people can. (Again, see my broken ears.)
Userlevel 1
Badge
This could actually take away some HomePod sales, actually. It’s FAR more flexible, and combines music and TV sound into a single unit, at very reasonable cost. Plus the ability to add surrounds and the excellent Sub later on. Makes the HomePod sound like a bit of a joke in comparison, really...

Or use them in combination? That is my plan! The HomePod is a pretty decent bit of kit with 360 degree sound...don't get me wrong I love the Sonos kit I have but the whole reason I love Sonos as a brand more (others should learn!) is that they are taking the approach to get Sonos to work with most other products people use (in my case Spotify, Amazon and Apple Music) The HomePod isn't for everyone but for the 360 sound it is an alternative to Sonos in some rooms.
Userlevel 2
I find it quite telling that there aren’t many “take my money now” or “pre-ordered” replies on the companies own Grand Release thread.

It's fairly clear you've not been around here that much.

Pretty much every product that Sonos has launched in the last 5 years or so has been met with a certain amount of disdain on these forums. And that's largely because Sonos tend to launch products that aren't particularly exciting or revolutionary. They are not "shiny".

But, over time, the shallow give-me-all-the-latest-trendy-technology-just-for-the-sake-of-it types (you know, the sort who think that Dolby Atmos in a one-piece soundbar is a good thing) drift away, and it turns out that Sonos have been selling bucket loads to normal people who find that the Sonos products fit their needs very well.

Because Sonos are, and always have been, in for the long-haul. More specifically, I mean they have always aimed to release products that have aren't inherently disposable, like so much of today's technology is. They aim to release products that will not only be usable, but, supported, "current" and active use in a decade's time. That's pretty much unheard of in today's market.

I put the word "current" because a small fringe of society will interpret that as having the latest trendy, news-making technical whizz-bangs. That's not what I mean. By "current" I mean stuff that's actually useful and applicable to a significant proportion of consumers (for argument's sake, let's put that at 30% of users or more). Stuff that's actually survived the early adoption curves and has become mainstream. Dolby Atmos, as an example, has not been implemented in 30% or more of homes. I would be surprised if it's in more than 1%.

Some consumer tech companies like to chase the latest and greatest partly because their company strategy is based on backing multiple horses, and partly because it's based on rapidly obsoleting products and replacing them with new ones. Shiny new technology is fun, makes news headlines, and gets geeks excited, but it rarely makes for great products that are supported (e.g. with upgrades) for more than a few years. It's not particularly good for consumers.

So Sonos's latest product doesn't deliver what you wanted. Well, that's a shame but, frankly, noone cares including, I suspect, Sonos. If you don't want what the BEAM has to offer then it's simply that you aren't in their target market. Tweakers and trend-followers have been asking for specific high-end capabilities from Sonos for years. Sonos has gone from strength to strength specifically by not being distracted by these niches and short-term trends, and by waiting to see what actually works.

It's not particularly sexy, but it does result in great products which fulfil what the vast majority of people want and need, and which continue being supported, upgraded and useful many years after you purchased them. That's something you can't say about pretty much any other digital audio vendor around.

Most of the other vendors have a track record of abandoning major product lines after a few years, leaving their customers stranded. Comparably, many of us are actively and seamlessly using Sonos equipment we purchased more than 13 years ago and which is still supported (e.g. with upgrades) today.

Cheers,

Keith


Too many points to go over here although I do get your overall point. DTS implementation is neither new or shiney, short term, trendy or sexy. It’s the norm. Almost every blu ray carries a dts track.
As a music streaming system Sonos is very good at what it does; but as a home theatre one stop shop it’s lacking and has been for years. It’s not about Dolby Atmos (though it would’ve been nice to see) it’s about simplicity. How many threads and questions are raised on these forums alone by consumers trying to suss out a work around to get sound from their blu ray player?
The playbar is still the flagship but won’t support AirPlay2 so it is potentially at risk of becoming obsolete on that front.

I guess the bottom line is that The Sonos Playbar is in need of an overhaul and a lot of existing customers like me we’re hoping this latest addition (with HDMI) would be it. And it isn’t.
Badge +2
Ryan, I tried to pre-order the Beam however PayPal does not appear to be an option and checkout for this product. I bought 2x play ones just last week and checked out using PayPal no problem, what gives?

Removing the Beam from the basket and adding any other product lets me check out using PayPal...


Hi Mark, unfortunately, Paypal isn't an option for pre-orders. I'll let the sales team know you're missing the option so they get the feedback, but you'll have to place a pre-order using a different payment method. Sorry for the trouble!


Thanks for acknowledging the issue, I thought that might be the case, but yes if you could please mention it to the sales team as I can't think of a logical reason why PayPal couldn't be used for pre-orders. If this changes please ask them to reach out to me.

Regards
Userlevel 7
Badge +25
Thanks for acknowledging the issue, I thought that might be the case, but yes if you could please mention it to the sales team as I can't think of a logical reason why PayPal couldn't be used for pre-orders. If this changes please ask them to reach out to me.
Will do!
Userlevel 5
Badge +11
I am just guessing that the beam could have the horse power to decode DTS , maybe it will be just a matter of software upgrade.

What worries me about Sonos is the lack of new software features, even the most simple ones, like better volume support, sleep and alarm, and other simple requests that are there on the forums.

It is true that hardware lasts years, but the device software is still quite the same as 10 years ago with some exceptions.
Userlevel 1
Badge
Thanks for acknowledging the issue, I thought that might be the case, but yes if you could please mention it to the sales team as I can't think of a logical reason why PayPal couldn't be used for pre-orders. If this changes please ask them to reach out to me.
Will do!


Ryan can you also let them know that the coupon code from blue light card isn't work on the pre order but is on all other products as I really want to order this ASAP (sorry I accidentally PM you this request so can ignore that). Anyway all the help you have given is further validation to me that my outlay on Sonos since January has been worth every penny (and it wasn't an easy decision for me as I don't earn lots but love music and films)
Userlevel 3
Badge +5
What a great release. The previous Playbar and Playbase were too big for my needs but the size and price (plus voice control) are exactly what I need in the new Beam. I suspect I'm Sonos target audience. As for Atmos, unfortunately, I suspect that's it's still too niche for the majority of Sonos users who either don't know what it is or don't really care for it.
If the Beam is "ideal" for smaller/mid-sized rooms while Playbar and Playbase work better in large rooms, what size room is considered small or mid sized?
Userlevel 7
Badge +25
I was just typing out a reply for your private message. I'll have the team look into the blue light card situation, I don't know too much on that front but you might want to give our sales team a call in the morning when they're in and see if they can help with what you're looking to do. They may have some more options over the phone, and if nothing else will be able to answer some of your questions.
Userlevel 7
Badge +25
If the Beam is "ideal" for smaller/mid-sized rooms while Playbar and Playbase work better in large rooms, what size room is considered small or mid sized?
Asking the hard-hitting questions. In short, this is going to be a personal preference based on what you're looking for and the many variables in the room. Square footage doesn't tell you how high the ceiling is, where furniture is, and the ceiling and flooring is made of, or how the room is designed. in the end, we have a great return policy, you can always check it out and see if it works for the room you're in, or if you need bigger sound. It's a similar question when picking between a Play:1, Play:3, or Play:5.
Userlevel 5
Badge +11
If the Beam is "ideal" for smaller/mid-sized rooms while Playbar and Playbase work better in large rooms, what size room is considered small or mid sized?
Asking the hard-hitting questions. In short, this is going to be a personal preference based on what you're looking for and the many variables in the room. Square footage doesn't tell you how high the ceiling is, where furniture is, and the ceiling and flooring is made of, or how the room is designed. in the end, we have a great return policy, you can always check it out and see if it works for the room you're in, or if you need bigger sound. It's a similar question when picking between a Play:1, Play:3, or Play:5.


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?
Userlevel 1
Badge
I was just typing out a reply for your private message. I'll have the team look into the blue light card situation, I don't know too much on that front but you might want to give our sales team a call in the morning when they're in and see if they can help with what you're looking to do. They may have some more options over the phone, and if nothing else will be able to answer some of your questions.

Many thanks for everything and I will do. I’m excited about the product as others here are too. I understand some people want Atmos and already invested in Sonos but I wanted to use my existing amp and speakers and speakers so I bought a connect and connect amp. Don’t see why that’s not an option for the Atmos crew (though also understand they have spent lots on Sonos kit too!)
Userlevel 7
Badge +25
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. Definitely, this is one to test out for yourself to see what you think. I'm looking forward to hearing with the community thinks!

Many thanks for everything and I will do. I’m excited about the product as others here are too.
You're welcome! We're pretty excited too 🙂
Already being called a “HomePod killer”, lol. It’s certainly a far more compelling product to me...

Based on its list of features, along with Sonos’ propensity for designing stellar-sounding speakers, there’s a very good chance the Beam will dance circles around Apple’s HomePod and offer a premium sonic experience for Alexa fans disappointed with their Echo speakers’ sound quality.

https://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/the-sonos-beam-is-the-homepod-killer-only-sonos-could-make/
Userlevel 3
Badge +3
Wow this is a huge step! Very pleased to hear about the Beam. Now that Sonos have opened up for HDMI and also released a new soundbar pretty close in time to the previous Playbase I'm guessing Dolby Atmos might show up in a Playbar/Playbase 2 in a year or so. Not that I'm unhappy with my Playbase. Just very happy about this step and eager to hear the new speaker. Atmos is not everything, a good speaker is way more important than sound direction.
I have been a long time Sonos owner and a member of this forum. Just logging in to echo the other comments voicing disappointment with this announcement, particularly with the lack of evolution in supporting more Home Theater audio codecs.

With the AppleTV 4K now supporting Atmos, and with Apple's promise to retroactively upgrade existing titles with Atmos sound tracks, Sonos can no longer claim that Dolby Digital 5.1 is sufficient for their target audience which comprises people who primarily stream media. It may have worked in justifying the lack of support for DTS (since very few streaming services stream DTS tracks), but it objectively doesn't hold water for Atmos any longer.

Sonos charges a premium for their products. As such their buyers are likely to be customers who by other premium priced products, and that would include the Apple TV. I can't see how they can keep their target customers happy any longer with their current product lineup.

Not to mention that they are being commoditized by technologies like AirPlay2. For instance, if an Airplay2 compatible wireless Atmos enabled home theater system was announced tomorrow by some other manufacturer, it would be a very attractive option for a lot of existing Sonos customers I would imagine. The switching cost would be negligible, because all AirPlay2 speakers look the same to an Apple device. One no longer needs the Sonos app. So you can have a wireless home theater from company X, and wireless speakers from company Y, and they will all look the same from Spotify or Apple Music, etc. No Sonos app required

In other words, Sonos' moat seems to be crumbling now that companies like Apple are going to increasingly own the end user experience through technologies like Airplay. I would think that, realizing this, Sonos would focus on solving the hard problems in a simple and elegant manner (like for instance doing Atmos really well with upward firing speakers, potentially leveraging TruePlay to tune the 360 degree acoustics). But they seem to be happy to be commoditized. Bizarre and disappointing to say the least.
Badge +12
Interesting, but for the price point it is a good package. Beats most sound bars in the 400 dollar price point. To bad no Atmos or 7.1, think that require a higher price speaker to be able to support the 7.1 and Atmos.

In other words, Sonos' moat seems to be crumbling now that companies like Apple are going to increasingly own the end user experience through technologies like Airplay.


AirPlay has been around for years. It “owns” nothing, and is well known for dropouts, more than anything. AirPlay 2 adds a huge buffer to mitigate the dropouts, but still requires Apple lock-in, while the home is increasingly being “owned” by Amazon and Google (Apple is a distant third). Sonos plays, or will soon play, in all three spaces. No contest.


AirPlay has been around for years. It “owns” nothing, and is well known for dropouts, more than anything. AirPlay 2 adds a huge buffer to mitigate the dropouts, but still requires Apple lock-in, while the home is increasingly being “owned” by Amazon and Google (Apple is a distant third). Sonos plays, or will soon play, in all three spaces. No contest.


From the Sonos point of view, it doesn't matter who is 1, 2, or 3 in the home automation race. The point is is that all wireless speakers would look the same to apps integrated with Google Home (or Apple Home), whether the speakers are from Apple, or Google, or Sonos, or yet another manufacturer.

So from an app on an Android or iOS device which integrates with the underlying 'Home' APIs, all the speakers look the same and Sonos doesn't stand out any longer. This is the definition of being commoditized. What is the differentiator which justifies a significantly higher price point? It used to be the ease of use and great integration through the Sonos app, in addition to the sound quality. Very soon it will only be sound quality, and that is a much harder sell IMO.
Badge +12
Just out of curiosity, since Dolby Atmos requires ceiling speakers, how does one expect to mount Sonos speakers, with their power requirements, in the ceiling? One, I would find it an eyesore to have power cables and outlets in my ceiling. Two, just the need for power cables has me not using my Playbar for 5.1 in my bedroom, and never having a Playbar in my main theater. I'm currently purchasing a condo in new construction, and I am going to have Atmos and surround speakers pre-wired. Even with bare studs, I would never resort to outlets in the ceiling, because walls or not, if I'm wiring the ceiling, I'm wiring for speakers, not power, and will get a full home theater experience in the process.

Of course, YMMV (which is why I ask).


Don't need ceiling speakers, they can do what sony did with the atmos sound bar that support 7.1. Have 2 speaker firing up toward. That reflects down to the seating area. They just need a bar or base with 2 more speakers in it. Or come out with a small pair of ceiling firing speaker to reflect or your ceiling. Just a thought.

Reply