I'm considering switching from my Samsung HW-K550 to the new Sonos Beam. I have some questions before I do though - please feel free to answer any as appropriate! Thanks in advance!
1. My HW-K550 came complete with a wireless sub... will I miss not having one with the Sonos? I live in a terraced house so I do have the bass turned down quite low most of the time anyway!
2. I have listened to the 'Beam' in Currys and it sounds pretty good (I always think it is pretty difficult to judge when stood in a big shop though). Next to the 'PlayBar' the Beam does sound kind of muffled which raises some concerns about speech clarity (the Playbar sounded a lot 'crisper' to me). How have people found this? If anything, the Beam sounded much 'deeper' and 'bassier' than the PlayBar... but I've read the opposite online. Voice clarity is perhaps the most important thing to me.
3. With the above question in mind, would I perhaps be better off buying a second hand PlayBar for the same price as a brand new Beam? (I do have issues with the relatively ugly look and large size of the PlayBar though!)
4.Does the Beam stay permanently turned on like an Amazon Echo would?
5.Is the voice recognition as good as the Amazon Echo - the Beam would be replacing my Echo and I can't be doing with shouting 'Alexa' 50 times at the Beam!
6. I plan to pair the Beam up with two Sonos Play:1s. How does this work in practice? Do the Play:1s stay permanently turned on? Or can I somehow get them to turn on automatically when I turn the TV on?
7. Do the Play:1s sound good when paired with the Beam? I currently have the rear speakers for my HW-K550 and they are pretty rubbish!! Are they worthy of the extra £300 cost?
8. How does the Beam (and paired Play:1s) cope with switching between, for example, the TV and playing a song from Spotify via Alexa?
9. Is it possible to have duplicate sound playing out of two rear Play:1s (as opposed to 'surround sound') to achieve more room filling sound?
Best answer by Airgetlam
1) Depoends on your ears, honestly. But the nice thing is that if you do miss the sub, you can purchase a SUB later from Sonos and just add it to the "room"
2) No opinion
3) Depends on you. Note that the PLAYBAR does not have the mic built in like the Beam does, nor does it have the HDMI input, but only an optical input. Those may not matter to you.
5) I find that the voice recognition on my Sonos Ones to be the same as on my Dots, my Echo, my Show.. I'd expect the same from the Beam
6) They're permanently "on", but in low power state until they're woken up by the signal from the Beam/PLAYBAR.
7) They sound great when set up as surrounds with my PLAYBAR, I'd expect the same with a Beam.
Just fine? It's not much that you need to do except change what "input" you're playing from. You don't need to make any "changes" other than choosing what's playing, the software should do everything else for you.
9) Yes, there's a setting in the "advanced settings" area for the room that has the Beam in it, where you can alter the way the surrounds work. You'd want to change it from the default "ambient" setting, where they just support the main speaker to "full" for music, where they would act as a separate pair of stereo speakers.