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Meet Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

  • 14 September 2021
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Meet Sonos Beam (Gen 2)
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We’re happy to introduce you to Sonos Beam (Gen 2), a new version of our industry-leading compact smart soundbar for TV, music, gaming and more. The new Beam delivers an upgraded, more immersive sound experience with greater depth and clarity, as well as support for Dolby Atmos. 

Enjoy panoramic sound on the latest generation of Beam, now with support for Dolby Atmos

The new Beam is upgrading the home theater experience. Compatible with more than 100 streaming services available in the Sonos app, you can expect exciting improvements across sound, design and packaging, including:

3D Audio with Dolby Atmos: Immersive sound technology that places you in the center of the action, whether it’s experiencing planes as if they were flying overhead, hearing footsteps moving across the room, or feeling the score all around you.

 

Enhanced Sound, Same Size: With more processing power and newly developed phased speaker arrays, Beam steers and localizes sound around the room for a lifelike experience. The speaker is also now compatible with HDMI eARC on your TV, so you can experience your favorite movies and games in even higher definition sound with support for new audio formats.

Sleeker Design: An updated polycarbonate grille that’s precisely perforated allows the speaker to sound great and blend seamlessly into your home, just like Sonos Arc. 

Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

 

Easy, More Secure Set-Up: With just two cables and new NFC capabilities, setup is seamless and will have you listening in minutes. Simply open the Sonos app, follow a few prompts, and tap your phone to Beam.

 

Sustainable Sound: The new Beam features sustainable packaging, including a premium uncoated kraft paper, a gift box made of 97% sustainable paper, and no single use foam.

 

More Ways to Play: Sonos Adds Support for New Services and Audio Formats 

Launching later this year in select markets, Sonos plans to support Amazon Music’s Ultra High Definition audio, which will allow listeners to hear tracks in lossless audio up to 24-bit / 48kHz on their Sonos speakers, as well as Dolby Atmos Music, an immersive audio format that breaks the boundaries of traditional studio recordings and puts you inside the song, revealing every detail of the music. Available at no extra cost to Amazon Music Unlimited customers in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Japan, Ultra HD will be available to listen on all S2 devices, except Play:1, Play:3, Playbase, and Playbar, while Dolby Atmos Music will be available to listen on Arc and Beam (Gen 2).

Sonos also plan to add support for decoding DTS Digital Surround later this year via the S2 platform on Playbar, Playbase, Amp, both generations of Beam, and Arc.

 

Sonos Beam (Gen 2) backside

Beam (Gen 2) is available starting October 5th for $449, €499, £449, NOK4999, SEK5349, DKK3749. You can pre-order today on sonos.com.

Read the full press release on Sonos Beam (Gen 2) here


39 replies

My point is about more than just Sonos. But your point is taken that you don’t care, and are against Sonos providing consumers with a choice, with the exception of not registering to a voice assistant as the only option while a mic is still present, like they did with other products. Noted. Thank you for the answers.

Sonos states in their privacy policy that they do not and never will sell your data, and anything heard by the voice assistant mics is not stored by Sonos.  Now of course you are going to say "they say that, but are they telling the truth?"

Well, since violation of a publicly stated privacy policy is under the jurisdiction of the FTC, and if violated the fines the FTC would levy could bankrupt a small company like Sonos, well then yes, they are telling the truth.

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As said above: the fact that the Arc has a microphone does not mean it’s on. If you don’t trust this assurance by Sonos, you shouldn’t trust Sonos if they would say they did not put a microphone in an Arc SL…….

You’re ignoring the fact that if you don’t register with Amazon or Google, they don’t know you have a mic to listen in to.  Unless you think they are listening in somehow anyway.  If that’s the case though, aren’t you concerned that your smart phone and pretty much any electric appliance could be listening in on you?

 

I said LIMIT the number of devices that have microphones and access to the internet. I’m not saying absolutely nothing should have microphones. But there no reason for needing a microphone in every single device. Privacy with anything tech is hell, but we can at least take measures to limit information we WILLINGLY provide to all these providers. Just because they tell you that they don’t record/listen whatever, doesn’t mean they don’t. It’s propritary software, with great hardware. We have to blindly believe what they say. Obtaining and selling information is a source of income, especially for ‘smaller’ companies.

 

I feel that Sonos at least saw that at some point or else they wouldn’t have released an “SL” version of both the Arc or the One, no?

 

If you want to jump straight to the extreme of calling me a conspiracy nut and that I shouldn’t have any mobile phone or device that has a microphone because I don’t want every single thing I buy to have one, fine. I’m just asking for a choice to not have a microphone, like they’ve provided before.

Does Sonos have any plans to release a Beam SL, similar to the Arc SL, with no microphone built-in?

 

Don’t install a voice assistant and the mic is disabled.  Even if you don’t trust that statement, the mic power is hardwired to the mic LED, and cannot be turned on without lighting the LED.  LED off means the mic is off. 

 

Sure, but SL versions of the One and Arc are slightly cheaper than the standard version.  If you have no use for the mic for whatever reason, it’s a worthy question.

 

It’s more than that. Sure, you can say the wiring is configured so that when the microphone has power to it the LED light will be on… but who’s watching their LED light? Just because the light shows you whether or not it’s on doesn’t bring peace of mind. If I’m not in the room or at a level of height that allows me to see it, then I will never know if it’s on. If the device just straight up does not have a microphone built-in then I have nothing to be concerned about.

 

 

You’re ignoring the fact that if you don’t register with Amazon or Google, they don’t know you have a mic to listen in to.  Unless you think they are listening in somehow anyway.  If that’s the case though, aren’t you concerned that your smart phone and pretty much any electric appliance could be listening in on you?

 

 

There’s been plenty of reports for all the “smart” speakers where Apple, Amazon, Google, etc are all recording and listening even when the mic isn’t “on”.

 

 

I don’t think there has been a case where the owner didn’t register with the service.

 

I don’t have anything to hide, but that’s not the point. I want as few as possible devices that are both “listening” and connected to the internet in my home. I don’t need my sound system to be able to take voice commands from me. I don’t need a “smart” devices every 5 feet scattered around my home.

 

Everything seems to be getting built with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant as part of the product now, and I really don’t like that. Even cars are starting to have Alexa built in.

 

Plus, if it’s going to keep the costs down that’s an added bonus.

 

Does Sonos have any plans to release a Beam SL, similar to the Arc SL, with no microphone built-in?

 

Don’t install a voice assistant and the mic is disabled.  Even if you don’t trust that statement, the mic power is hardwired to the mic LED, and cannot be turned on without lighting the LED.  LED off means the mic is off. 

 

Sure, but SL versions of the One and Arc are slightly cheaper than the standard version.  If you have no use for the mic for whatever reason, it’s a worthy question.

 

It’s more than that. Sure, you can say the wiring is configured so that when the microphone has power to it the LED light will be on… but who’s watching their LED light? Just because the light shows you whether or not it’s on doesn’t bring peace of mind. If I’m not in the room or at a level of height that allows me to see it, then I will never know if it’s on. If the device just straight up does not have a microphone built-in then I have nothing to be concerned about.

 

There’s been plenty of reports for all the “smart” speakers where Apple, Amazon, Google, etc are all recording and listening even when the mic isn’t “on”.

 

I don’t have anything to hide, but that’s not the point. I want as few as possible devices that are both “listening” and connected to the internet in my home. I don’t need my sound system to be able to take voice commands from me. I don’t need a “smart” devices every 5 feet scattered around my home.

 

Everything seems to be getting built with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant as part of the product now, and I really don’t like that. Even cars are starting to have Alexa built in.

 

Plus, if it’s going to keep the costs down that’s an added bonus.

Does Sonos have any plans to release a Beam SL, similar to the Arc SL, with no microphone built-in?

 

Don’t install a voice assistant and the mic is disabled.  Even if you don’t trust that statement, the mic power is hardwired to the mic LED, and cannot be turned on without lighting the LED.  LED off means the mic is off. 

 

Sure, but SL versions of the One and Arc are slightly cheaper than the standard version.  If you have no use for the mic for whatever reason, it’s a worthy question.

Does Sonos have any plans to release a Beam SL, similar to the Arc SL, with no microphone built-in?

 

Don’t install a voice assistant and the mic is disabled.  Even if you don’t trust that statement, the mic power is hardwired to the mic LED, and cannot be turned on without lighting the LED.  LED off means the mic is off. 

Does Sonos have any plans to release a Beam SL, similar to the Arc SL, with no microphone built-in?

I am thinking about putting a new Beam underneath my Samsung Frame TV, and I was hoping to recess it into the wall.  At least a bit, if not fully flush with the wall.

Of course, this could be an issue as it might make the buttons inaccessible.   And I was wondering if it would cause a problem with sound (unlike the ARC the Beam doesn’t fire “up” but wondering if there is feedback or specs on doing something like this.

PS Besides matching the aesthetic of the Frame TV --- another reason I want to do this is because I have a Wrensilva Console with Vinyl underneath this setup and the lid of the record player goes up and I don’t want it to bang into the Beam.

 

You would likely need a good 5-6 inches on the sides to handle the side firing speakers on the beam.    And given the dimensions of the Beam, it should fit fine if you remove everything but the drywall on the other side of the wall, but you likely would need to cut out a stud or two.  Personally, I’d move the record player if it’s a issue.

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I am thinking about putting a new Beam underneath my Samsung Frame TV, and I was hoping to recess it into the wall.  At least a bit, if not fully flush with the wall.

Of course, this could be an issue as it might make the buttons inaccessible.   And I was wondering if it would cause a problem with sound (unlike the ARC the Beam doesn’t fire “up” but wondering if there is feedback or specs on doing something like this.

PS Besides matching the aesthetic of the Frame TV --- another reason I want to do this is because I have a Wrensilva Console with Vinyl underneath this setup and the lid of the record player goes up and I don’t want it to bang into the Beam.

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Should be interesting to see how the slower CPUs on those relatively ancient devices can hold up. 

Given $20 DVD players have been able to decode DTS for decades I can't imagine there's any issue with CPUs.

As I remember DTS has been carried over optical dating back to the nineties. If you recall the DVD player wars between DVD and HD DVD…..

As you know after the dust settled DVD won. Which incidentally was Sony’s first major victory (that’s still around today) since it’s Beta Vision format player lost to VHS.

I for once made the right decision and spent my money on the DVD player. I had several friends who went with HD DVD that eventually became expensive paper weights 😂🤔

If you had DVD while your friends had HD DVD you had a far inferior picture and they could still play and upscale DVDs..

I don't recall any DVD v HD DVD battle for DVD to have ‘won' - do you mean you chose Blu-Ray (BD) and they chose HD DVD?

I assume you mean Betamax too..

Yes, it was BluRay vs HD DVD and Betamax. As I said it was a long time ago. Besides I’m a senior citizen with memory loss… what’s your excuse 😂😂😂

Wow, a lot to unpack there.

Ultra HD will be available to listen on all S2 devices, except Play:1, Play:3, Playbase, and Playbar, while Dolby Atmos Music will be available to listen on Arc and Beam (Gen 2).

 

If play:1 or play:3 are used as surrounds (with a Beam/Amp/Arc as front) will the Room be able to play Ultra HD?  Likewise, if a pair of play:3s is setup as room and then grouped with a Ultra HD capable speaker (Move, for example), will the Move play HD while the play:3s plays ‘SD’, or will the whole group be downgraded to ‘SD’?

Hey Danny,

 

If a user streams 24-bit audio on an incompatible speaker, content will stream in lossless 16-bit audio instead. 

If you start playback of 24-bit audio on a compatible speaker and group in incompatible speakers, the content will stream in 24-bit on all compatible speakers and in 16-bit on any speakers that do not support high-res.

 

That makes sense.  However, if you have a room with an Beam and 2 play:1s for surround,  with music playback set to ‘Full’, does that mean that the Beam will play 24 bit and the play:1s will play 16 bit...in the same room?  

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Should be interesting to see how the slower CPUs on those relatively ancient devices can hold up. 

Given $20 DVD players have been able to decode DTS for decades I can't imagine there's any issue with CPUs.

As I remember DTS has been carried over optical dating back to the nineties. If you recall the DVD player wars between DVD and HD DVD…..

As you know after the dust settled DVD won. Which incidentally was Sony’s first major victory (that’s still around today) since it’s Beta Vision format player lost to VHS.

I for once made the right decision and spent my money on the DVD player. I had several friends who went with HD DVD that eventually became expensive paper weights 😂🤔

If you had DVD while your friends had HD DVD you had a far inferior picture and they could still play and upscale DVDs..

I don't recall any DVD v HD DVD battle for DVD to have ‘won' - do you mean you chose Blu-Ray (BD) and they chose HD DVD?

I assume you mean Betamax too..

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Wow, a lot to unpack there.

Ultra HD will be available to listen on all S2 devices, except Play:1, Play:3, Playbase, and Playbar, while Dolby Atmos Music will be available to listen on Arc and Beam (Gen 2).

 

If play:1 or play:3 are used as surrounds (with a Beam/Amp/Arc as front) will the Room be able to play Ultra HD?  Likewise, if a pair of play:3s is setup as room and then grouped with a Ultra HD capable speaker (Move, for example), will the Move play HD while the play:3s plays ‘SD’, or will the whole group be downgraded to ‘SD’?

Hey Danny,

 

If a user streams 24-bit audio on an incompatible speaker, content will stream in lossless 16-bit audio instead. 

If you start playback of 24-bit audio on a compatible speaker and group in incompatible speakers, the content will stream in 24-bit on all compatible speakers and in 16-bit on any speakers that do not support high-res.

I guess I was hoping for a completely redesigned Gen 2 Arc with more than one HDMI port as well as other new features like DTS.

 

It’s a bit soon for a new Arc, since it’s barely a year old.  Even then, I can’t see Sonos getting into the business of video switching and processing HDMI audio as well as HDMU ARC/eARC audio.  That said, I didn’t see them getting into DTS either, but that wasn’t a hardware change.

I guess I was hoping for a completely redesigned Gen 2 Arc with more than one HDMI port as well as other new features like DTS.

This is for the Gen 2 Beam only correct? Are there plans for a Gen 2 Arc to follow soon as well? Thanks.

Are you speaking about the addition of DTS?  If so, no it is not just the Beam G2 (from the first post):

Sonos also plan to add support for decoding DTS Digital Surround later this year via the S2 platform on Playbar, Playbase, Amp, both generations of Beam, and Arc.

 

This is for the Gen 2 Beam only correct? Are there plans for a Gen 2 Arc to follow soon as well? Thanks.

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As I remember DTS has been carried over optical dating back to the nineties. If you recall the DVD player wars between DVD and HD DVD the audio signals were sent over optical from the disc player to the 5.1 stereo Amp decoder with L/C/R, rear surrounds and sub. The video was sent via component RGB from the player to the CRT aka TV (LOL). My God…wires, wires, wires they were everywhere. There was even a hybrid player that supported both formats.

As you know after the dust settled DVD won. Which incidentally was Sony’s first major victory (that’s still around today) since it’s Beta Vision format player lost to VHS.

I for once made the right decision and spent my money on the DVD player. I had several friends who went with HD DVD that eventually became expensive paper weights 😂 .

To continue on…the Audio formats of Dolby Digital 5.1 vs DTS 5.1 became very heated and forced the consumer to buy players that supported both formats for an obvious premium. The cheapest player I owned was the Sony ES DVD player at a then high end price of $999.99 The average player sold around $350 - $500.

Back then the TV had nothing to do with processing the digital audio signal as it was contained on the DVD. I suspect as time progressed TV manufacturers sought only to bring optical audio as PCM to the stereo amp to be played on the L/R speakers as there was no streaming of Dolby Digital yet along DTS.

With the advent of HDMI, ARC and now eARC.. TV manufacturers I suspect had very little onus to incorporate more bandwidth into optical. However, that may be changing to offer more audio connection options. 🤔

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Intersting. I’ve always held the belief that DTS couldn’t be carried on optical, and yet wikipedia disagrees with me. 

Should be interesting to see how the slower CPUs on those relatively ancient devices can hold up. 

This leads me to believe that Sonos will only support lossy DTS Digital Surround and not lossless DTS-HD Master Audio (and certainly not DTS:X) which is widely used on most Blu-ray and UHD discs. Hopefully lossless DTS will be supported on the Arc and Beam (Gen 2) over eARC eventually.

Intersting. I’ve always held the belief that DTS couldn’t be carried on optical, and yet wikipedia disagrees with me. 

Should be interesting to see how the slower CPUs on those relatively ancient devices can hold up. 

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This looks like an excellent update, earlier than I expected. Added to this release knowing DTS is being added to Beam mk1, Playbar and Playbase is outstanding and shows real commitment to keeping customers by adding requested updates.

How about backporting DD+ support along with DTS to the Beam/Playbar/Playbase…

 

My understanding is that DD+ can’t be transmitted over an optical connection, so playbar/playbase would not be possible.  I think it’s possible with Beam Gen1 via ARC.  Perhaps Sonos didn’t want to complicate things by making it the only device that can do DD+, but not atmos.  Then again, then can add DD+ to the Amp too.

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How about backporting DD+ support along with DTS to the Beam/Playbar/Playbase…

 

and its not explicitly mentioned, but does the Gen 2 Beam with eARC support TrueHD Atmos and LPCM  5.1/7.1 like the Arc or only DD+ Atmos?

Sonos Arc and Beam (Gen 2) only

  • Dolby Digital Plus
  • Dolby Atmos (Dolby Digital Plus)
  • Dolby Atmos*
  • Dolby TrueHD*
  • Dolby Atmos (True HD)*
  • Multichannel PCM*
  • Dolby Multichannel PCM*

*Requires an eARC connection

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/4945?language=en_US

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