My Beam (Gen2) arrived today (10/4/21). Here are my thoughts…
Testing was done to compare the Arc and Beam-Gen2 as stand-alone speakers without surrounds and sub(s). My opinions are based upon my ears. There are no graphs or charts to show frequency response with peaks and valleys. In short this is not a Peter Pee review (for those of you familiar with his YouTube Chanel) . Just a plain good ol’ fashion End User opinion/experience.
- Sonos Original Setup: Arc + One x 2 + Sub x 2
- Sonos Test Setup: Arc / Beam-Gen 2
- TV: LG OLED 65in (165.1cm) with eARC
- Room Dimensions (L x W x H) 20ft (6.096m) x 13ft (3.9624m) x 8ft (2.4384m)
- Disc Player: Panasonic DP UB9000 Ultra HD Blu-Ray
- Disc: Justice League 4K Ultra HD / Disc1 / Part 2 Heros
- Sonos App Reported Sound: Dolby Atmos (True HD)
Setting up the Beam-Gen2 was simple, fast and easy. To date it was the best experience I’ve had with a Sonos product. The ease of setup IMO is in no small way due to the integration of NFC using one’s cell phone.
Overall the Beam-Gen2 performed quite well. It was able to get loud without any noticeable clipping. Lows were decent but nothing to write home about. There were no noticeable Lip Sync issues with the disc, cable nor AppleTV 4K (thus far). However, it did lack the depth and total engrossment one experiences with the Arc.
The previous statement is actually a given due to the Beam’s minimalist speaker array compared to the Arc’s (11 drivers vs 5 drivers). Add to that no upward firing speakers the reflections were not as pronounced.
Listening to music IMO is an improvement over the Arc. I attribute that to the more-in-your-face speaker array setup with the Beam vs the Arc. You might say that in this instance the Beam’s minimalist speaker array is not as reflective thus giving a truer sound to music and vocals. Less is More in this case.
I’d venture to say that without a one-to-one listening audition of the Arc vs the Beam-Gen2 the end-user will be quite pleased with the Beam’s performance. TV size aside the Beam-Gen2 (IMO) is going to provide a better listening experience in a small to medium size room with 4 walls versus an open concept environment for video. As a music speaker room size is not as critical. However, I don’t have mention…lets’ not go crazy and install either the Arc or Beam in a concert hall size room or do I ?
The resting place for my Beam-Gen2 is a guest bedroom with One’s as surrounds sans sub. I might also add that in this room the Beam (Gen2) is replacing a Playbar that was attached to an older Sony TV with only HDMI ARC. The Playbar IMO offered a wider sound stage than the Beam ( Gen1). The Beam (Gen2) with side firing speaker appears to equal the sound stage produced by the older Playbar.