...but I don't want a smaller soundbar


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As you may have heard, Sonos just unveiled a new soundbar. It is about half the size of the current PlayBar. I'm sure there is a market for it and it will do great, but for me this is the wrong direction.

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38 replies

Userlevel 4
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When I saw they added an HDMI port I was very happy and placed a pre-order for the Beam. A few moments layer I saw they posted an FAQ for the Beam and I was shocked to discover that Sonos still has it head up it's a$$. They still only support Dolby Digital and Dolby 5.1. with the Beam. This is so unbelievably idiotic. Needless to say I quickly canceled my order.
I'm now wondering why I should stick with this company when it so obviously doesn't understand home theater.

I held out for 2 years, dealing with down-sampling Blu-ray audio codecs to DD 5.1 and waiting for the "PlayBar II" to arrive.

This is it? Really? They add an HDMI port and then cripple it.

Time to sell the PlayBar, Sub-woofer and the Play1's and get a real home theater setup.
Userlevel 4
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Depends on what a person wants. If person wants more feature. This wasn’t the big announcement for them. If someone wanted a low cost alternative to playbar etc. great alternative. I mean it’s priced to sell a lot (with Alexa included). May not be what each of you personally may want but I’m willing to bet they will sell triple the amount of those as playbar and playbase combined this year. Fail for Sonos ??? Don’t think so.

From a general sales perspective I suspect you are right. What is disappointing for those qanting to soend more, rather than less is that sonos don’t seem to have a roadmap for that part of the market. Yes they have the 5s and the sub, but the brains and the front and centre are severly dumbed down when you look at the competition.

I think had Sonos presented the Beam, along with a higher end centre speaker with hdmi audio and ability to use 5s as L/R there would have been only a small fraction of the frustration and disappointment being vented.

Commercially however it seems that Sonos have taken the decision that catering for the ceap and cheerful is their future and where they’re targetting sales. I’m sure this will drive sales (whether that translate to aubsrantial profits remains to be seen).

I suspect that many of us venting today are heavily invested and feel let down in general terms, maybe not by this specific launch, but by general lack of upgrades available. The kit we’ve invested in has hit the ceiling in terms of HT. no pun intended before the atmos dude gets excited.

I bought a playbar and all the rest not 3 months ago. Never expected a new one so soon, and never expected the old one to be updated in any way. It is what it is. I bought knowing the limitations at the time. BUT i did have high hopes - whether justified or not - maybe driven by discussion on this forum - or simply looking at what pratcially everyone else in the industry is doing - that there would some day be an upgrade path. and I fully expectsd to have to oay for it.... yes take my money!!! But that seems not to be the case at least for a great deal longer. Ffs, lots of more modern kit does not even come with a toslink any more!!!’

I hope the Beam does well though. So well that maybe sonos can reinvest some cash to develop a grown up version rather than a fisher price version.
Userlevel 4
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Total garbage and a missed opportunity.

"Sonos Beam plays audio from PCM stereo, Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital 5.1 sources. These are the most popular audio formats for streaming video on demand and watching TV. "
Userlevel 7
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Total garbage and a missed opportunity.

"Sonos Beam plays audio from PCM stereo, Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital 5.1 sources. These are the most popular audio formats for streaming video on demand and watching TV. "


What about Netflix streaming DD+ and Atmos ????

Indeed its a big disappointment
Userlevel 1
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WHY??? Just why?? We finally have an HDMI Connector after asking this for Years and still no sign of modern audio codecs. What a Disappointment :(

I guess it's really time to move on to a different Home Cinema producer..
Userlevel 1
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What a huge antiklimax. What are they thinking of at R & D?

No DTS, no Atmos. Shame on you Sonos. I`d say you’re piss-ng on your customers..
According to the verge article ... Sonos was asked directly about Atmos and their answer was something to the effect of “there’s not a sound bar that handles Atmos really well yet.” ....
Well Hello?!? That’s what we are asking you to make for us! I’m ready to give you my money ... but this new sound beam is an easy pass for me
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I’m evaluating options for the future. Honestly I’m very happy with Sonus. For those who are moving on, what are you moving too? I don’t see any viable options that do what I want better than what Sonus currently offers. I love Sonus but I will change in a heartbeat if I see a better value. Currently I do not.

Unfortunately I may have no choice but to consider Samsung's HW-N950 or LG's SJ9 with a pair of H3/H5/H7 speakers.
Userlevel 7
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And today is June 6 so not sure what you heard on June 8th in your time machine. Maybe we can change the future.
Count me among the disappointed. This is a huge misstep and missed opportunity. I'm on the lookout for viable alternatives for the first time in over a decade.
Userlevel 2
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I've always been an avid Sonos promoter but i feel that we've been let down yet again by Sonos not listening and taking note of its loyal, committed user base. I can't describe the feeling of sheer dejection that i'm feeling at the minute. It just proves without doubt that they don't give a rats arse about us and the vast amounts of hard earned cash that we've all spent.
I never expected to say this but i'm definitely going to look at other alternatives for my TV and Home Theatre listening. Goodbye Sonos!!!!
Userlevel 1
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Well that settles it, selling the playbar, My house is littered with Sonos, like others I was hoping for an Atmos version playbar. I'll keep my 14 other sonos speakers in the house, but with home theatre I have been patient with this announcement. It really wan't much of one. I mean nothing that could not have been rolled out.

So, here where Im going. Either going with the Sony ST500 atmos sound bar or the Samsung Atmos K950 with the upward firing rear surround speakers. I have invested a lot in a new TV and found only a handful of times that i used the playbar for music. I'll keep the sub and learn to "group" it somehow with my main floor sonos 1,and 3, and 5
Userlevel 3
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The n950 is coming soon so sit for it don’t go with k950, the n950 adds the two side channels and does 7.1.4 and also adds dtsx the n950 supports basically every sound format out there and has the most Atmos speakers

The n950 soundbar has 17 speakers and the wireless rears have 6 speakers and the sub has the single driver so that’s 24 speakers in total in that package compared to the 14 you get with Sonos 5.1
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Btw, it is called the 'Beam'. And for me, I want bigger sound for bigger rooms. I'm sure it is a great product, just not for me.
Userlevel 1
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I also wanted Paybar 2 that is even bigger ,HDMI,DTS,etc

Sonos has disappointed me for this june 8th event, I expected a lot more
Userlevel 3
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What a complete letdown.

I was holding out for 7.1, Atmos support, ability to add more subs etc... and all we get is a watered-down Playbar with HDMI support.

Huge disappointment Sonos.
I’m evaluating options for the future. Honestly I’m very happy with Sonus. For those who are moving on, what are you moving too? I don’t see any viable options that do what I want better than what Sonus currently offers. I love Sonus but I will change in a heartbeat if I see a better value. Currently I do not.
Userlevel 7
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According to the verge article ... Sonos was asked directly about Atmos and their answer was something to the effect of “there’s not a sound bar that handles Atmos really well yet.” ....
Well Hello?!? That’s what we are asking you to make for us! I’m ready to give you my money ... but this new sound beam is an easy pass for me


Doesn’t explain the omission of dts/dd+ etc.
There are plenty of sound bars that handle that well. Sadly none of them work in the Sonos ecosystem!
Userlevel 2
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Yea I agree lol this is a super easy pass for me, I don't even care about no dolby atmos but this thing should have worked like a center channel with play 1/5 for left right and surrounds and able to decode modern codecs...
Userlevel 4
Badge +10
When I saw they added an HDMI port I was very happy and placed a pre-order for the Beam. A few moments layer I saw they posted an FAQ for the Beam and I was shocked to discover that Sonos still has it head up it's a$$. They still only support Dolby Digital and Dolby 5.1. with the Beam. This is so unbelievably idiotic. Needless to say I quickly canceled my order.
I'm now wondering why I should stick with this company when it so obviously doesn't understand home theater.

I held out for 2 years, dealing with down-sampling Blu-ray audio codecs to DD 5.1 and waiting for the "PlayBar II" to arrive.

This is it? Really? They add an HDMI port and then cripple it.

Time to sell the PlayBar, Sub-woofer and the Play1's and get a real home theater setup.


My sentiments exactly! I’ll stick with it for whole home music, but the HT system is getting broken up and moved into other rooms for music. So I’ll not need to buy any more Sonos gear. Period. The whole lack of hdmi old optical issue will become a non issue. So long as the speakers work and I can stream Spotify I’m set. I’ll spend my remaining AV budget on a more future proof solution.

Going to have to go wired I think. But such is life.
Userlevel 3
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I’m evaluating options for the future. Honestly I’m very happy with Sonus. For those who are moving on, what are you moving too? I don’t see any viable options that do what I want better than what Sonus currently offers. I love Sonus but I will change in a heartbeat if I see a better value. Currently I do not.

https://venturebeat.com/2018/05/13/creatives-x-fi-sonic-carrier-is-best-soundbar-from-5-years-in-the-future/

https://www.techradar.com/reviews/creative-x-fi-sonic-carrier
Userlevel 2
Badge +3
When I saw they added an HDMI port I was very happy and placed a pre-order for the Beam. A few moments layer I saw they posted an FAQ for the Beam and I was shocked to discover that Sonos still has it head up it's a$$. They still only support Dolby Digital and Dolby 5.1. with the Beam. This is so unbelievably idiotic. Needless to say I quickly canceled my order.
I'm now wondering why I should stick with this company when it so obviously doesn't understand home theater.

I held out for 2 years, dealing with down-sampling Blu-ray audio codecs to DD 5.1 and waiting for the "PlayBar II" to arrive.

This is it? Really? They add an HDMI port and then cripple it.

Time to sell the PlayBar, Sub-woofer and the Play1's and get a real home theater setup.


My sentiments exactly! I’ll stick with it for whole home music, but the HT system is getting broken up and moved into other rooms for music. So I’ll not need to buy any more Sonos gear. Period. The whole lack of hdmi old optical issue will become a non issue. So long as the speakers work and I can stream Spotify I’m set. I’ll spend my remaining AV budget on a more future proof solution.

Going to have to go wired I think. But such is life.

Yea I did that quite awhile ago sold my playbar off and went wired its awesome and supports it all, my denon receiver even works with airplay so its super simple from right within spotify to send music to it, it turns it on and just starts playing. I was hoping this soundbar would have brought me back into the fold because I have atmos ability now but dont use it just want the modern codecs and thought it would be cool to be able to use play 1 or 5 for the L R speaker but I honestly should have known better lol sonos should completely bow out of home theater.
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I’m evaluating options for the future. Honestly I’m very happy with Sonus. For those who are moving on, what are you moving too? I don’t see any viable options that do what I want better than what Sonus currently offers. I love Sonus but I will change in a heartbeat if I see a better value. Currently I do not.

Now that he lawsuit is resolved, I think I will be sticking with Heos. They cater more to the high end audio market. The Heos 7 is hard to beat and the Heos Bar and Heos Subwoofer is a great combo.
I’m evaluating options for the future. Honestly I’m very happy with Sonus. For those who are moving on, what are you moving too? I don’t see any viable options that do what I want better than what Sonus currently offers. I love Sonus but I will change in a heartbeat if I see a better value. Currently I do not.

https://venturebeat.com/2018/05/13/creatives-x-fi-sonic-carrier-is-best-soundbar-from-5-years-in-the-future/

https://www.techradar.com/reviews/creative-x-fi-sonic-carrier


A poster had put this on the board after CES and it looks interesting but I’m not spending $3k or more on a sound bar. Apple, Bluesound, Denon, SVS and Paradigm were all on my initial list. Some have features I like better than others but we are a Apple household and Sonus works seamlessly. I’m looking to add home theater sound to our bedroom and have been patiently waiting. Still not ready to jump on a sound bar. I may wait until the fall and see what hardware Apple rolls out for it’s 2nd generation. In the mean time Sonus is sufficient.
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I’m evaluating options for the future. Honestly I’m very happy with Sonus. For those who are moving on, what are you moving too? I don’t see any viable options that do what I want better than what Sonus currently offers. I love Sonus but I will change in a heartbeat if I see a better value. Currently I do not.

Unfortunately I may have no choice but to consider Samsung's HW-N950 or LG's SJ9 with a pair of H3/H5/H7 speakers.


Looks like LG have updated the SJ9 with the SK10Y and SPK8-S for rear speakers.