The problem with creating the perfect home theater system is that you’re going to need a ton of equipment that usually occupies a good amount of space. A stack of speakers, 1 or 2 subwoofers, and other devices to complete a surround sound format.
Even when your TV is slim and your receivers and video sources can fit on a tabletop or console, a bigger room is required to accommodate the theater speakers.
But what if you live in a small apartment or your family room or man cave has limited space?
Get a Sonos Beam.
This may sound like something out of a sci-fi movie where people get beamed up on a spaceship on demand, but this kind of beam emits sound instead of light.
But those who have tried using the Sonos Beam swear that its audio output is sure to beam you up, out, and into places where only good music and incredible theatrical sound can take you.
The best part is it only measures 65 cm wide and weighs less than 3 kg. For an easy comparison, think of the Playbar. The Sonos Beam is smaller and significantly lighter.
It has some smart capabilities as well.
What is the Sonos Beam exactly?
Sonos has always dedicated itself as a manufacturer of network-connected speakers even before there were home networks on the market. And before there were tablets, they already sold a tablet-like remote control. The company has always gone its own way, manufacturing useful devices long before people realize they were useful.
The Sonos Beam is no different.
It is a TV speaker that is smaller and cheaper with a few additions. It is a new slice of Sonos hardware that immediately succeeds the Sonos One smart speaker. This means it has similar specs but with a few additions.
It can be used as a standalone TV speaker that will improve your TV sound immensely, or it can be connected to the Sonos subwoofer.
For its small size, the Sonos Beam has a more than sufficient audio range. This is why some people with limited space are quite satisfied with its performance. Of course, for a true surround sound experience, pair the Sonos Beam with the subwoofer and a few satellite surround speakers from Sonos.
Its small size also makes it an unobtrusive addition in any home theater setup. Users can choose between black or white color.
Added features of the Sonos Beam
Also known as the HDMI Auto Return Channel, this feature allows you to sync audio and picture with the Beam and get everything working in a matter of minutes through your TV’s remote. If your TV was bought in the last few years, it should have an HDMI socket that is ARC-enabled.
But if it doesn’t, the Sonos Beam also comes with an optical port to accept audio output. Sonos did their due diligence and made sure the Beam will support different TVs.
What is even better is that the Sonos Beam will help you find the ARC-enabled HDMI socket during the intuitive, app-based setup.
Setting up the optical port with the Beam can get tricky, but there are solutions available.
Integrated with Alexa, the Sonos Beam lets you control the device using your voice. Alexa integration was first seen on the Sonos One but is significantly improved with the Beam.
Voice control assist was initially provided by Amazon Alexa, but integration with Apple Siri followed and integration with Google Assistant is in the pipeline.
This makes the TV speaker a smart home hub with all of the features of a standalone Amazon Echo. Since AirPlay 2 is supported, it is compatible with the Apple HomeKit, too.
To ensure that the Beam can hear you regardless of where you are in the room, 5 far-field microphones are integrated to it. Even when music or movie sound is loudly coming out of a speaker, you can still use Beam’s voice control and be heard.
The Sonos Beam doesn’t come with a remote. Thanks to voice support, you can use voice commands to turn on your TV and adjust the volume. If you want to expand the number of voice commands you can issue, add a Fire TV device to your setup to enable more commands via the Beam.
Specs in Brief
Bring up an iOS or Android app to display a wide range of music sources, such as Apple Music, Pandora Accounts, and Spotify, then select a song or playlist and hit play.
The speaker will automatically switch to TV mode when you decide to watch television shows. When the TV is turned on, speech enhancement features are also activated. Just say, “Alexa, play Stranger Things.” and the popular Netflix show will fire up on your Fire TV.
A tuning system will flip your phone into a scanner to automatically improve the audio quality in a room.
What it lacks in natural bass it makes up for with its wide audio range, adjusting itself to accommodate an action movie with a bit of thump.
The Sonos Beam supports HDMI-ARC but also comes with an adapter to receive optical audio output. And it works with other smart speakers instead of competing directly with them. Lastly, it supports Alexa and AirPlay 2. Soon it will also support Google Assistant.
For such a small package, the Sonos Beam offers both great TV audio and music playback for a fraction of the price of higher-end soundbars. With the Beam, you can add pieces as you go until you can create a whole room audio system.
One thing is for sure, you can start small and get bigger results with the Sonos Beam.
Moreover, this smart hub that works as a speaker and remote control is the most versatile option around. If you want to get good value for your money, you are sure to get more from it.
Living in a small place? Set up your own fancy home theater without the pricey and bulky speakers. Get the Sonos Beam today.