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.

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42 replies

Yes, I went to anynet+ and it started searching and in its search, tuner and Sonos beam came up but when it finished it said nothing was connected.What TV model is it, or do you have a link to its online user-manual?
Yes, I went to anynet+ and it started searching and in its search, tuner and Sonos beam came up but when it finished it said nothing was connected.
Folkessr,

Did you turn on anynet+ on your TV and check the sound output was set to Dolby Digital rather than DTS.? You may need to check your TV manual and/or audio settings.
I just purchased the beam and I am having trouble getting any sound from from the beam to my Samsung tv. I have tried the optical connection with no luck, when I Plug into the HDMI/ARC all sound goes off on the tv and no sound on the beam. I have been a sonos owner for several years and have never had any issue setting up and connecting my sound bar, base or speakers. Any suggestions?
I have a volume level problem between TV and music audio. TV is a Samsung ks8000 55.
TV is low so I have to increase volume.
Then I switch off TV.
Later I want to listen to music... Start music.... And boom!
Music is very loud compared to TV sound.
Any ideas?
Thank you
Camillo


Hi,

Did you ever get this sorted?

Thanks in advance

Geoff
Thanks @Ken_Griffiths - it seems it was the PlayStation 4. Turned off HDMI control in the PS4 settings and no issues since.

Nigel F,

Perhaps try removing, or turning off CEC control, on any of your other connected devices. I have seen that suggested by other users, just leave it enabled for the Beam. Other devices I’ve seen mentioned that have caused issues are Amazon Firestick, PlayStation etc.
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I have a volume level problem between TV and music audio. TV is a Samsung ks8000 55.
TV is low so I have to increase volume.
Then I switch off TV.
Later I want to listen to music... Start music.... And boom!
Music is very loud compared to TV sound.
Any ideas?
Thank you
Camillo
Nigel F,

Perhaps try removing, or turning off CEC control, on any of your other connected devices. I have seen that suggested by other users, just leave it enabled for the Beam. Other devices I’ve seen mentioned that have caused issues are Amazon Firestick, PlayStation etc.
That is the thing. I am only losing handshake with the Sonos. All other devices are working fine.
The TV is losing the handshake on CEC. I'd be checking to see if there was some sort of firmware/software update for the TV set. You'd be losing any other device, not just the Sonos, that's connected via CEC.
I am having issues using Beam with my Samsung QE49Q7C. After following various bits of advice on here I managed to get it all working. I had to pull the power plug on the TV and power up with just the Beam connected to get it to recognise the Sonos as an HDMI Home Theatre. Once connected it works fine for a day or so through several power up and downs, and then for no obvious reason the Beam will no longer see the TV and the TV doesn't recognise the Beam on power up - all the other connected CEC devices are recognised and work perfectly. If I pull the HDMI on the Beam and reconnect the TV searches and finds it as a Home Theatre, but the Beam will not connect to the TV over CEC/ARC and won't play TV audio. I have to pull the power plug on the TV and pull the Beam HDMI, power up and turn on the TV and then replug the Beam HDMI for it to be recognised on both devices. This is really frustrating! Why does it work one day but not the next?
Hi, I have just bought an nvidia shield and run into the issue with it not converting netflix dolby digital plus to dolby digital. This means that my old sony home theater in a box which only receives optical from the tv will only get stereo from the shield (connection is shield over hdmi to tv > tv optical out sony amp). The TV has no issue passing 5.1 on the optical and does so for dolby digital and dts.

So... I was looking at options to upgrade my old home theater. Was considering playbar but as optical only it would hit the same issue. However the beam with hdmi arc suggests that it may get around this and provide 5.1 from the shield. Has anyone tried this and can confirm if the beam requests dolby digital instead of just failing to decode dd+ from netflix?
I’m not sure what I am doing wrong but I cannot control the voice volume of Alexa, when I say Alexa it is very loud I have tried several times to tell her to set her volume or ask her what volume she is set at which she answers I’m sorry I couldn’t get volume information. I know you are suppose to be able to set her volume between 1-10 but nothing happens when I say Alexa set volume to 2 ..
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I have tried optical and its not working for me - I can't control volume with apple TV remote or LG remote through optical (I have no idea why). Turning off Simplink is not ideal, but I can live it - I just think I am not the only one with this problem, a lot of people are living in flats and with rising number of bluetooth headsets that connect to phones, a lot of them will also like to use headphones in night and won't be happy with this current situation.

I think if Sonos team looks into it, they'll find some solution...
VeeTee,

Would connecting the Beam via the TV Optical-out perhaps resolve the Bluetooth headphone issue for you? Is that perhaps another answer here?... like I say mine is fine because I use a Bluetooth base station to my headphone socket, so that’s also a way to resolve this matter easily. It’s not really a matter to advise people to not purchase a Beam as your original post suggested. I own an LG TV and Beam and mine is working fine with my type of Bluetooth headphones.
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CEC is something completely different from ARC - CEC allows you to command and control other CEC enabled devices connected through HDMI - like your DVD player to turn on TV and change its output over HDMI, or PlayStation to power and change inputs on AV receiver. I guess Sonos assumes that you have just one audio output, what is wrong in case of bluetooth headphones. I disagree with that turning on/off simplink is a not big deal - it is like recommendation that when you want to connect to Internet through Ethernet cable you should turn off whole wifi on a router. This issue is analogous to network problem where one device is not listening to DHCP protocol to get its IP address and it ignores it and sets IP address to whatever it wants, creating conflicts on network.

ARC is just Audio Return Channel (you need enabled CEC to use it) - TV may have one HDMI-ARC which acts for splitting audio, but all other HDMI are using CEC. I can control audio on TV through volume control on bluetooth headset, so probably TV is including as another CEC audio device.

To be honest, I don't know exactly what the problem is, but if others say, that other soundbars work fine and it has problem with multiple TV manufactures, Sonos needs to revise its assumptions, fix it or write in technical spec that Beam doesn't work with bluetooth headphones - "the workaround" currently is to disconnect Beam (either pulling out HDMI cable out, or turning off CEC which disables Beam) and that is not a proper solution.

I wouldn't say its huge issue, but CEC is protocol for multiple devices and Sonos cannot just bend it to its own liking assuming it's the only connected device. If I switch HDMI input from Playstation to Apple TV, Playstation is also not switching back assuming that it is the only device connected to TV.
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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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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
Can I set Speech Enhancement as default on my own beam?:)
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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.