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New Sonos AMP with Beam

  • 10 January 2019
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I have two high quality wired speakers that I would like to use as the front right and left with my new AMP. I have heard that the Beam cannot be used as the center channel speaker, paired wirelessly. Is that correct? If I connect my smart TV to the AMP, can the Beam still be paired and function as a rear speaker, with full use of Alexa?
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Best answer by jgatie 10 January 2019, 16:57

You cannot use the Amp as L/R fronts with the Beam as center. You can either use the Beam and an Amp as L/R Surrounds, or an Amp as L/R fronts and a phantom center channel.
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6 replies

You cannot use the Amp as L/R fronts with the Beam as center. You can either use the Beam and an Amp as L/R Surrounds, or an Amp as L/R fronts and a phantom center channel.
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Thank you. Sorry to be a novice, but what is a phantom center channel?
There is no actual center speaker, but the sounds for the center are played equally by the R/L, thus simulating a center speaker.
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Hi. Thanks again. I don't want to waste your time but this dialogue might be helpful to others. That would seem like the right way to go since the beam was basically mimicking a right and left through one speaker unit. This would mimic the center channel through the two wired speakers.
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Hi. Thanks again. I don't want to waste your time but this dialogue might be helpful to others. That would seem like the right way to go since the beam was basically mimicking a right and left through one speaker unit. This would mimic the center channel through the two wired speakers.

Not really. The beam, like all soundbars, has specific speakers for left, right and center. They are not simulated, just not physically spaced apart the way you traditionally space them. With this phantom channel, there is no physical speaker providing the center channel.
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Maybe this will help someone else. I think the following is correct.

If you go with the amp and connect two wired speakers, they function as R and L fronts - and simulate a center channel. The beam and playbar cannot be paired with the amp and act as the center channel. As a result, you lose Alexa since the AMP is not Alexa capable. To get to surround 5.1 with the amp, you need to use 1’s and not 3’s aa the rear speakers since the 3’s do not have Alexa.

If you go with the beam, you can use the amp to power two wired rear speakers and the beam will function as the front R and L plus center since there are literally 3 speakers inside the beam.

Seems odd that the amp does not have a third set of inputs to connect a center channel wired speaker. Is there any workaround to get this to work? I have 3 high end wired speakers and want to use them not just as front R/L but front R/L and center.