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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


70 replies

Userlevel 1

DTS!!!!

Wow that is a big deal and a massive change for stubborn Sonos.

Hopefully DTS-HD will be supported on the ARC which will be great for my Blue Ray library.

 

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’?

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.

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.

Userlevel 3
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Wow, nice gouging of UK and European consumers

 

$449 is roughly £324 and €379 at current exchange rates, not £449 and €499 respectively!

 

 

 

 

Wow, nice gouging of UK and European consumers

 

$449 is roughly £324 and €379 at current exchange rates, not £449 and €499 respectively!

 

 

 

 

Just stop.  US prices do not include taxes, whereas UK and Euro prices include VAT and import fees.

Userlevel 7

A Dolby Atmos soundbar with no upward-firing drivers? I’ll be curious to hear how convincing overhead effects will be.

Great to see the future “DTS Digital Surround” support. Does this mean DTS:X will be supported on Blu-rays or will it just be DTS-HD Master Audio, or neither?

Userlevel 7

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 😂😂😂

So the question for me becomes, speaking of upgrading. Does it make sense to move my Beam G1 to my family room to replace a Playbar and get a new Beam G2 in bedroom. Not seeing the benefit of such even if my bedroom tv has eArc. Especially seeeing that all 3 will get hd music. Am I missing something?

 

The playbar isn’t compatible with Amazon Ultra HD, which I think is the only thing you’d be gaining by switching it with a Beam Gen 1.  IMO, I think I would rather have a playbar in standard definition than a Beam in HD, especially if I use the soundbar mostly for TV.  The question really then comes down to whether or not the playbar can be grouped with another room playing Ultra HD.

Userlevel 7

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

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.

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.

 

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?  

I have a Gen 1 Beam sitting on the Sonos wall mount. If I upgrade to Gen 2, I’m guessing that the Gen 2 will still fit with the mounting holes in the base of the existing bracket? Have searched but not seen this actually confirmed anywhere.

Hi @eracode,

 

Yes. Beam (Gen 1) and Beam (Gen 2) use the same wall mount fixings, so if you choose to upgrade your new Beam will fit on the existing wall mount :slight_smile:

Userlevel 7

Hi @Speg 

Below is the answer to your question (and a bit more) :slight_smile:

Do I need a TV that supports HDMI eARC?

No. Beam (Gen 2) can connect to TVs with eARC, ARC, or optical outputs. For greatest compatibility, eARC is recommended.

If you connect to a TV with eARC, the Dolby audio formats supported include Dolby Atmos, TrueHD, MAT, Dolby Digital Plus, and Dolby Digital.

If you connect to a TV using ARC, the Dolby audio formats supported are dependent on your TV model and manufacturer. The TV may be capable of sending Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus, and Dolby Digital. An ARC connection cannot support TrueHD or MAT.

If you connect to a TV using the optical adapter, the Dolby audio formats supported are dependent on your TV model and manufacturer. The TV may be capable of sending Dolby Digital. An optical connection cannot support Dolby Atmos, TrueHD, MAT, or Dolby Digital Plus.

Userlevel 2
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Lots of info about the sustainalble packaging and paper

But what about the Power Consumption while idel, does Beam 2 still, all year round, use 6,1 Watt 24/7 ?

 

Userlevel 3
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A worthy upgrade if you were about to buy a beam for the first time

 

But Virtual atmos is still virtual, not the real McCoy  Will be interesting to hear it in the flesh before passing final judgement

Userlevel 4
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We are able to use one of our upgrades on this product. I just checked and changed my question into an answer. Give a fish, teach to fish...Just taught myself.

Userlevel 5
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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’?

Wondering the same, interested in spatial audio music from Apple, as I don’t subscribe to Amazon Unlimited.

 

hopefully we don’t have to upgrade the rears too

Userlevel 2
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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?

Userlevel 7

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. 🤔

Userlevel 7
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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..

Userlevel 3
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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.

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.

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. 

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