Sonos Beam Now Available - Setup and Useful information


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Sonos Beam, the smart, compact soundbar for your TV is now available. Play music, TV, movies, podcasts, radio, audiobooks and video games with rich, detailed sound that fills the entire room. We've collected some of the best resources for the Beam in this thread so that it'll help you find the answers you might be looking for. Find out more on our announcement post here.



Setting up, Requirements, and Basics of Beam


For full details on our setup, HDMI-ARC, how to control your TV with Alexa. and check out our page here.

In short, Beam connects to your TV’s HDMI-ARC port. Most TVs have two to four HDMI ports, so make sure you're using the one labeled ARC, which stands for Audio Return Channel. This connection syncs audio and picture, plus automatically pairs your TV remote to Beam. If you’re unsure if your TV has the right connections, consult your TV manufacturer’s specs.

If your TV is older than 5 years, or otherwise doesn't have an HDMI-ARC port, you can use the included optical audio adapter to connect Beam to the optical port on your TV. Note, Amazon Alexa TV voice commands will not work when connected via the optical adapter.

Beam plays audio from PCM stereo and Dolby Digital sources. When using HDMI-ARC, Beam will automatically request Dolby Digital 5.1 from the device it's connected to, which should convert Dolby formats for the best sound.

Wall mounting Beam
You can easily and securely mount Sonos Beam using our custom designed wall mount. The wall mount comes in all white or black and is designed with 1 inch/2.5 cm of clearance from the wall to achieve the best acoustics. Sonos Beam also supports a range of certified third-party accessories that you can find on Sonos.com.

How does Sonos Beam differ from Playbar and Playbase?


Sonos Beam is the first Sonos speaker for home theater that supports voice control and AirPlay 2. It uses HDMI-ARC to connect to your television and supports CEC to work with your existing remote. Sonos Beam is a more compact speaker and can fit almost anywhere. Playbar and Playbase have more drivers, so they produce a louder sound with more width and bass. Beam is optimized for small to mid-sized rooms, whereas Playbar and Playbase are capable of filling large spaces.

The Playbar does not support AirPlay 2.

Sonos Beam with Alexa


Sonos Beam has Alexa built-in. Beam listens for commands to start music and content with Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM, TuneIn, iHeartRadio and Audible; commands to control music from other services started with the Sonos app, plus requests for popular Alexa features like “What’s my Flash Briefing?” or “What’s the weather?” or “Play Song Quiz.”
Sonos Beam can also control devices through Alexa skills. In addition, Sonos has certified partnerships with smart home systems like Wink and Lutron. Based on your setup, commands to control various smart devices throughout your home will work. Possibilities include “Set temperature to 68,” and “Turn Living Room lights on.”

Controlling your TV and home with Alexa and Beam
For compatible TV’s, Sonos Beam introduces commands specific to TV use, including “Turn on the TV” and “Turn off the TV”. Sonos Beam also takes commands such as “Turn it up” and “Mute” and applies them to the TV volume.

Sonos Beam must be connected to your TV’s HDMI-ARC input and your TV has to support these CEC features. You can check which CEC features your TV supports with the manufacturer. Amazon Alexa voice control for your TV will not work if Sonos Beam is connected via the optical adapter.

Where available, you can use Sonos Beam with Alexa-enabled video streaming devices such as Fire TV. Once linked, you can control those services with Sonos Beam by saying “Play Catastrophe,” “Switch to ESPN,” or “Tune to channel 500”. If you’ve logged into Netflix or added HBO shows on your Fire TV, you’ll be able to play shows by name, e.g. “Play Stranger Things” or “Play Game of Thrones”. For steps to set up the Amazon Fire TV with Sonos, check out the article here.

If you're playing music and you need Beam to start playing the TV input, just ask "Alexa, switch to TV," and the source will change on the Beam.

TV requirements, recommendations for Sonos Beam?


Sonos Beam was designed primarily to be used with televisions via HDMI-ARC but will also connect with TVs that do not support HDMI-ARC by using an included optical adapter. For the best overall experience with Sonos Beam, we recommend pairing with a TV that supports HDMI-ARC and has full CEC capabilities. We don't have any official recommendations but feel free to make your own.
See our article here on television compatibility for Sonos home theater speakers.

If you're seeing a message about receiving unsupported audio on your home theater speaker, this thread is a great starting point.

Using Beam with your television remote
Beam has an IR receiver to pick up commands directly from remotes. When connected with HDMI-ARC supporting CEC, Sonos Beam automatically connects with your existing remotes - TV, cable box, and universal remotes - by sending and receiving commands over HDMI. If you're using the optical adapter to connect Sonos Beam to your television, you may need to program your remote to work with Sonos Beam.

36 replies

When will TruePlay be available for the beam?
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OhPitz wrote:

When will TruePlay be available for the beam?


Trueplay is already available for Beam. If you're running a beta of iOS, you might not be able to run tuning using that device.
Can I set Speech Enhancement as default on my beam?
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kastberg.info wrote:

Can I set Speech Enhancement as default on my beam?


You can't set it as a default, but if you set Speech Enhancement on, it should be remembered in between music and TV again.
Hi everyone, we've installed our new Sonos Beam and two Sonos One speakers. I've been looking for the "Speech Enhancement" but can't find it. Any suggestions where to find it, please?

Thanks
See this link:

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/1948?language=en_US
Hi, I bought the Beam this week and have a problem. Normal setup is fine: it plays TV sound and I can control TV volume with voice commands and I can issue regular Alexa commands e.g. “Alexa, what’s the time?”, but if I say “Alexa, turn the TV off” she says “sorry I couldn’t find a device called TV”, and if I say “Alexa, play songs by Led Zeppelin” (which would play from Spotify on all my other Echo devices) she says “Hmm, to do that first enable the Sonos Beam skill in the Alexa app, then say ‘Alexa discover my devices’”
I searched the Alexa skills for “Sonos Beam” but can find nothing. I already have the Sonos skill enabled.

Help please ta.
My Sonos Beam is connected via HDMI ARC to a 6 month old Sony 4K UHD TV. The sound cuts out intermittently when watching Sky Q UHD and Netflix in Dolby 5.1. If i switch Dolby off works fine. Think Sonos need to release an update or i will return my beam.
I am about to get a Sonos Beam and a new TV. The TV I am leaning to has only 3 HDMI inputs (including one ARC). But I will need 4 HDMI connections: Sonos Beam, cable box, blu-ray and Apple TV. So I am one input short. I know there are HDMI switches available but I would like to be able to control the switch with an Alexa voice command through the Beam. Is this possible?
chrisneal.mail wrote:

Hi, I bought the Beam this week and have a problem. Normal setup is fine: it plays TV sound and I can control TV volume with voice commands and I can issue regular Alexa commands e.g. “Alexa, what’s the time?”, but if I say “Alexa, turn the TV off” she says “sorry I couldn’t find a device called TV”, and if I say “Alexa, play songs by Led Zeppelin” (which would play from Spotify on all my other Echo devices) she says “Hmm, to do that first enable the Sonos Beam skill in the Alexa app, then say ‘Alexa discover my devices’”
I searched the Alexa skills for “Sonos Beam” but can find nothing. I already have the Sonos skill enabled.

Help please ta.

I do find it does this occasionally - not sure why - but trying again it usually works fine.
I just got my sonos beam bar today and set up with my one's added to try but the sound only comes out of the beam and not my ones. Any one know a fix?
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p.roman8391,

Did you have a Sonos One initially setup in a room, like 'Lounge’ (for example) and then did you later purchase a Sonos Beam and setup that device in a different room, like 'Lounge 2' (just as another example) using the Add Player or Sub feature in the Sonos App?

If not, can you perhaps (kindly) explain in a little more detail, what you have done so far and what you can now see, both in your 'Rooms Tab' and the area entitled 'About my Sonos System' in the Sonos App.
I initially had one Sonos one set up as living room and while setting up the Sonos beam I set the second Sonos one up along with the orginal that then created "Living Room 2" but once the set up was completed it removed living room and left only living room 2. I'm not sure on how to correct the problem
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p.roman8391 wrote:

I initially had one Sonos one set up as living room and while setting up the Sonos beam I set the second Sonos one up along with the orginal that then created "Living Room 2" but once the set up was completed it removed living room and left only living room 2. I'm not sure on how to correct the problem


So what do you see in the ‘About my Sonos System' ? You will find that in settings in the App.
Also what do you see in the 'Rooms Tab' from the main bar in the App?
I bought 3 Sonos Beam devices for the bedrooms in my apartment. 2 of the 3 I had no issues with the HDMI-ARC/CEC hook-up. The one I have an issue with is my recently purchased TV (TCL 49S405 Roku) which supports the ARC/CEC hook-up but the sound was not in sync like it is on the other TVs. If I use the HDMI to Optical adapter the sound is in sync, but I loose the remote/Alexa features. The delay settings that Sonos provides doesn't fix it. I assume this is a TV issue and Sonos can't compensate for it. I was wondering if the delay setting could be enhanced to allow me to get the devices in sync.
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Rwseid,

I would try changing the HDMI cable with one from your other TV's that are currently working fine, just to see if it’s perhaps a cable issue. You could also try one of your other Beams whilst you are at it, just to see if you are able to narrow down the problem to the TV.

At least that’s a beginning, to see precisely where the issues lie.
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Hi everyone, regarding Beam audio cutting out, or lip-sync issues, there are a few things to start with. When we see this sort of audio cutting out issue it's often with the TV having trouble processing all of the video content and also processing and send the Dolby Digital audio, as opposed to the stereo video, which isn't as taxing.

One big thing that helps is to go into the TV audio settings: Home > Settings > Sound and turn off any processing options there like Live Football Mode, Sound Booster, or Advanced Auto Audio. Those can add extra processing to the audio.

Beam should be playing the audio as soon as it gets it, so if the audio is delayed, or if the audio is cutting out (which can be caused by the same thing), that's a great place to start with. If you're still having trouble, I'd suggest that you give us a call on our support line so we can take a look at what's happening with you live.
Can I set Speech Enhancement as default on my own beam?:)
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nikitayt wrote:

Can I set Speech Enhancement as default on my own beam?:)


When speech enhancement is selected, I believe it stays in place until you deselect it.
Or the unit is powered off. There are some who feel it is appropriate to unpower their speakers, and it won't "survive" that process.
I could try one of your other Beams whilst you are at it, just to see if you are able to narrow down the problem to the TV.
Just a remark - Sonos Beam doesn't work with bluetooth headphones paired to TV - it steals connection and it looks as it is fault of Beam - https://en.community.sonos.com/troubleshooting-228999/sonos-beam-and-bose-qc-headphones-in-samsung-tv-6809849 - this is not a problem of Samsung TV - I have LG OLED TV and you have to turn off whole SIMPLINK burned deep in General menu, to turn Beam off and bluetooth headphones on. If you are using bluetooth headphones with TV a lot, Beam is probably not a good choice.
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VeeTee wrote:

Just a remark - Sonos Beam doesn't work with bluetooth headphones paired to TV - it steals connection and it looks as it is fault of Beam - https://en.community.sonos.com/troubleshooting-228999/sonos-beam-and-bose-qc-headphones-in-samsung-tv-6809849 - this is not a problem of Samsung TV - I have LG OLED TV and you have to turn off whole SIMPLINK burned deep in General menu, to turn Beam off and bluetooth headphones on. If you are using bluetooth headphones with TV a lot, Beam is probably not a good choice.


On my older LG TV there are two headphone audio settings. One option is 'headphones only' and the other is 'Headphones and TV Speakers'. The 'Headphone only' setting works just fine on my TV, without the need to switch off the LG Simplink setting. It’s just a straight swap in the main menu from 'Audio Out' to 'Headphones' ... see screenshot attached.

I never use the Headphones and TV speakers together anyway. In fact I don’t use the internal TV speakers at all, so these things are certainly not a problem for me when using my Beam.

All said and done though, I would see this being more of a TV firmware issue, as it’s clearly the TV that is not holding onto the setting that the user has chosen.

In my attached screenshot, the bottom two LG menu options have been separated out into their own section from the other choices on the sound page because they only apply when the internal TV speakers are available and in use... and the internal speakers are only ever available when the Simplink Setting has been switched off.

In LG's case it might be they need to switch off Simplink when a user chooses either of the bottom two menu options including 'Internal TV Speaker and Headphones', but I suspect not many folk ever use that setting anyway.

So it’s perhaps just simple and quick to toggle Simplink off/on. On some LG TV models, Simplink is quickly accessed from a button on the TV remote.
I have tried wired headphones and those worked, bluetooth headphones doesn't.

As others wrote in the other thread - the setup doesn't work with Samsung and LG TV (so its unlikely problem of TV), other soundbars works fine with switching to bluetooth headphones and doesn't hijack audio connection like Beam - for me it looks as Sonos violates HDMI-CEC protocol and instead of respecting setting of TV for audio source, always hijacking audio priority and sets itself as default.

I wrote feedback to LG as well, but I think Sonos hasn't properly implemented protocol. If Sonos Beam has ability to switch through protocol audio input to itself, TV has no way to hold to settings - in fact if I switch to bluetooth headphones, it works for just few seconds, until something (clearly Beam) resets the settings and hijacks audio.

Turning off Simplink is bad idea - I lose control over other HDMI connected devices like Apple TV and need to control each device separately. Why should THEY turn off Simplink when switching to Bluetooth? I don't think they should. The protocol was made to work with more devices.
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VeeTee,

Most TV's have only one HDMI-ARC port anyway, so how would you CEC-control your Apple TV, or other compatible CEC peripheral anyway if any soundbar was using the HDMI-ARC port? I thought it was always 'good practice' to switch off the CEC controls on the other devices using the other non-HDMI-ARC connections.

In such a case you could just use the Apple remote anyway to control it, or if you prefer, you can actually 'teach' the Apple TV to learn your TV remote IR output, without even invoking the CEC controls on the TV ... it takes but a few moments for ATV to 'learn a new remote'.

Switching off/on Simplink is not that big a deal in any event. You seem to be making this out to be a huge issue when really it’s not and it’s certainly not important at all for Apple TV, which can be so easily controlled via infra-red.

I’m quite lucky in my case, as I have a Bluetooth transmitter-base that plugs into my headphone port that came with my headphones, but in all honesty it’s rare I use headphones with the LG TV, which does work fine in my case. So I don’t for one minute think that these things would have ever prevented me from buying the Beam.

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