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Which Magazine gives Sonos Beam only 49% in a scathing review


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Which? Magazine adds the Sonos Beam the the smart speaker 'Dont Buy' list together with the Sonos ONE (Gen 2) Read the Sonos ONE (Gen 2) review here.- sorry this has already been deleted by the Sonos moderators - surprise surprise

Note to Sonos Moderators: Please publish this post-its a genuine review of your product and I think potential Sonos customers have the right to make an informed decision.

Please note that this review is only the personal opinion of the Which? panel and not necessarily the opinion of the many satisfied Sonos customers out there of which I am one..

This is a direct copy of the review and hasn't been altered in any way by me. This information is for Which? members only but I thought it should be made more accessible so customers can make a more informed decision before buying.
Read on......

Which? reviewed this product in Oct 2018.

Which? verdict
Dull, muffled sound
The Sonos Beam sound bar has a compact design and is recommended for small to medium sized rooms. You can control the device with Amazon Alexa, the Sonos app, AirPlay or the app for your favourite music service. This feature-packed sound bar is cheaper than the popular Sonos Playbar, but did it impress our expert listeners? Our full review will tell you everything you need to know.
Lots of features

Poor sound, heavy reliance on the app
This small, stylish sound bar doesn't sound as good as it looks. It offers a lot of enticing features but it underperformed in our sound tests.

What type of sound bar is it?
This is the third sound bar by Sonos, following Playbar and Playbase. It offers useful features and provides a range of connection options, including HDMI, HDMI ARC and optical input. It has Amazon Alexa built in and can be used with AirPlay.
It can be paired with a Sonos wireless subwoofer and/or two Sonos speakers, which would give you a 5.1 system. These are all sold separately.
You'll need to download two apps - Sonos and Amazon Alexa - to be able to set up and use this sound bar.
How does it sound?
Dull and lacking in energy. Sound is brittle, flat and thin. It lacks detail and depth so doesn't do movies justice, making for a lacklustre cinematic experience. The flat sound is far from the powerful, enchanting audio that you'd want for an epic movie night.
Speech lacks clarity and sounds muffled so you risk missing important lines and needing to rewind scenes. We wouldn't recommend it for playing music either. You won't want to put it on full volume as you'll have to endure muffled, harsh tones.
One good point is that it sounds the same from different angles - so, basically, it sounds bad wherever you're sitting.
What's it like to use?
Everyday use is fairly simple - there's only one cable to connect and there's no remote control to lose. However, you'll struggle to use it if you don't have your phone to hand as the smart app acts as the remote. It's also hard to set up because you have to rely on two apps to get it up and running, which can be daunting for some. One of our experts found that they had to walk around the room shaking their phone for room calibration.
A more advanced user will be impressed by the amount of features available, although this may be daunting for a more novice user. The app has loads of features but some learning is required on your part because a few functions are quite hidden.
Should I buy it?
No. You can get a high-scoring model for less money.

(End of review)

I have to mention that I am a genuine Sonos owner, I am not a competitor
I have a Beam and 2 x Play ONE (Gen 2) all paired into a surround sound setup. I personally am sort of OK with the quality of the Play Ones, but I havent heard them on their own only all together. The Beam sound would be the only item I think has bad sound- its just , well , flat...
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Best answer by 106rallye 15 June 2019, 16:49

Strange review - mor like an opinion. I own a Beam and don’t recognise that it has a flat sound, but I have walked around the room waving my iPhone around - and I have a Sub too. The Whathifi test is much nicer. And what modern person does’nt have his phone at hand? And via HDMI you don’t need your phone as a remote. Your TV remote wille work!

The Beam is meant as a soundbar and not as your only music source. For music, a set up comprised of seperates would fair much better - but loses the connectivity features.
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Im don't understand why you are so keen to post a bad review of kit you own. There are literally hundreds of Sonos reviews, some good some bad. Not sure what purpose it would serve to post every one here, so can understand Sonos deleting such posts.

There are many oddities here too. The waving but is due tuning the room, why don't they mention it as such. Plus in my experience it makes s massive difference to the sound.

Looking forward to this post being deleted too. If you want to read Sonos reviews go to the many review sites and form your own opinion.
I hope that Sonos will not delete this; they know their product.
And a copy/paste review is close to useless. One based on actual use experience is the only thing of value here, IMO.
I have often said that a 1 pair + Sub is in audiophile class for music, and I will say it here as well. With a background of over a decade of using high end system components before I saw sense.
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Bockersjv, know I own the kit that the review is about but the truth is I wish I hadn't brought it!
Kumar, My actual use experience is bad. Flat sound from the Beam but with horrible grating upper tones at higher volume and Billowing, uncontrolled bass from the Play ONEs
Nice.
I have often said that a 1 pair + Sub is in audiophile class for music, and I will say it here as well.
Yes, you do, don't you? When even Sonos staff show a more balanced and honest view, it's hard to see why.... Unless you constantly need to reassure yourself about your buying decision?
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Im just gong to sell it and fire up my old Rogers LS7s and my old NAD 3150 amp. Just got to work out how to fit them in the room! Still sounds amazing. I guess after listening to that setup most things sound shit anyway...Does anyone know what im talking about here?
These are the same folks who can “hear” non-existent differences between amplifiers, interconnects, speaker cables, etc, so their reviews are meaningless. They exist to sell overpriced nonsense to rubes.
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There is also a copyright issue here. Did you ask the permission of Which to post their review verbatim?

I'm with Kumar, a pair of play ones and a sub sounds superb. Don't get the audiophile scene, and besides I doubt many producers put the effort into the recording process to make it worth the stress of trying to get the perfect sound, whatever that is.
my old Rogers LS7s and my old NAD 3150 amp. Just got to work out how to fit them in the room! Does anyone know what im talking about here?
Thin wall BBC types. My past includes Spendor LS3/5 Se and Harbeth C7s. So yes, I do know what you are talking about. Hopefully you also know about sub/satellite set ups, that are easier to set up in smaller spaces.
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Strange review - mor like an opinion. I own a Beam and don’t recognise that it has a flat sound, but I have walked around the room waving my iPhone around - and I have a Sub too. The Whathifi test is much nicer. And what modern person does’nt have his phone at hand? And via HDMI you don’t need your phone as a remote. Your TV remote wille work!

The Beam is meant as a soundbar and not as your only music source. For music, a set up comprised of seperates would fair much better - but loses the connectivity features.
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I havent done the iphone thing yet and will do when I get access to an iPhone. Did you hear any difference after doing the iPhone?
There was a marked improvement after I added the 2 Sonos Ones as surrounds (obviously) its nice that when I play music it comes out of all of them also..
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Truepkay made a massive difference on my playbase, can't disk for the beam but is worth trying and can be switched on and off with ease once done. Beware as it aLeo reverts the equaliser to neutral settings, but you can still play with it after trueplay in on.
I havent done the iphone thing yet and will do when I get access to an iPhone. Did you hear any difference after doing the iPhone?
Trueplay is a game changer. When I fist had my Play5 I was very unimpressed with it, but when I eventually borrowed an iPhone to tune it, the difference was chalk and cheese. At low volume classical music, I still prefer the original setting, but at higher volumes with contemporary music it's a vast improvement. I was then very sold on the benefits of processing, so I finally used the DSP setup on my AV amp and discovered similar benefits there, as well.

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