October 2, 2022

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Sonos Beam (Gen 2) review: Versatile speakers

Sonos Beam (Gen 2) review: Versatile speakers

Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a sound bar that works with Google Assistant and Dolby Atmos’ spatial sound effects. It’s the second generation that comes with a renewed design and improved speaker setup. This is the review.

Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

Sonos has a profile Announcing New Speakers: The updated version of the package. The second generation comes with a renewed design, improved speaker arrangement and support for Dolby Atmos 3D audio. Those are the sound effects that have to come from all directions. The new package is instead priced in the mid-range.

As a satisfied owner of a first generation Sonos Beam, I had the opportunity with AW Beta فريق Team To test new amplifiers. Is the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) a good choice if you don’t already have a speaker? And if you already own a Sonos Beam, is this Generation 2 a good reason to replace your existing speakers?

Distinctive design

As with all Sonos products, the packaging alone is a feast for the eyes. Sonos uses packaging materials that are easy to recycle. As soon as I took out the package, nothing seemed to change at first glance. Dimensions and rounded shapes are identical to the Gen 1 and the speaker looks elegant and basic. In principle, it fits into any interior. The buttons on the top remained the same, we see: touch buttons to reduce the volume, a play and pause button, a button to turn on the microphone.

However, if you take a closer look at the case, you will notice that the speaker grille has been completed with hard plastic and the fabric cover is gone. According to Sonos, this should improve the sound of the beam (configuration 2). On the back, you’ll find inputs for the power cord, a UTP input, and an HDMI port. There is also a button on the back to use when connecting your speaker Sonos app.

Easy to install

Fortunately, delivering the Sonos Beam Gen (2) is a piece of cake. The eARC HDMI port of the TV is connected to the HDMI port of the amplifier. Then proceed with the installation in the Sonos app, which instantly recognizes the latest game in your living room. The easiest way to set up is via NFC, because if you tap your soundbar, it can connect to your local Wi-Fi and your Sonos account. If you have multiple Sonos speakers or a subwoofer, you can pair it with Beam to expand the sound around your TV with surround.

Then, the amplifier can play all the sounds from your TV, including devices connected to your TV. It also turns on and off automatically with your TV. You can also take your TV remote control to set the volume on Beam (Gen 2).

Sonos Beam (Gen 2) review: Versatile speakers
Different grill finish in Gen 2 (top) and Gen 1 (bottom)

Sonos app

You can also stream music directly from your smartphone to Beam (Gen 2) via WiFi. This can be done via AirPlay, Chromecast, wall switches, TV remote control, SonosNet, Sonos app, or third-party apps. This includes: Spotify Connect, Audible, Pandora, and Tidal.

With the Sonos app, you can adjust a number of settings – such as the equalizer – and control your system. Personally, I don’t think the app excels in ease of use, because sometimes you really have to look for the right settings and menus.

If you own an iPhone or iPad, you can use the in-app TruePlay to control the Beam (Gen 2) audio. Final. TruePlay is a function in which the amplifier takes into account the furniture in your home and the acoustics in the room. Why Beam (Gen 2) can only do this on iOS is a mystery. Basically, the device uses its own microphones to adjust the sound to the environment. It works with Sonos Move and TruePlay is really an added value as you can read about it In our review of this speaker.

Sonos Beam (Gen 2) review: Versatile speakers

smart speakers

You can connect the speakers to the Google Voice Assistant from the Sonos app. You can also turn the assistant’s listening ear on or off using the touch button on the top of the Beam (Gen 2). It is also possible to send music to the device, but you cannot add it to speaker groups. It’s no secret that Sonos and Google There are no best friends to be. Are you an Alexa user? You can also manipulate this helper using the package (Gen 2).

Good sound, but stay realistic

If you’re used to watching TV using only your TV speakers, the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is more than a simple upgrade. The sound is much stronger: in the high notes as well as in the middle and low notes. Whether you are enjoying a movie or using the speaker to play music. You are sure to get a more complete sound compared to the internal TV speakers.

Unlike the previous generation, Beam (Gen 2) supports Dolby Atmos. If you’re watching a series or movie via Netflix or another streaming service that transmits a Dolby Atmos signal, you’ll enjoy full, wide sound in the room without having to use a surround setup.

Sonos Beam (Gen 2) review: Versatile speakers

I’ve played several movie scenes with lots of action and the sound really pops in the living room. I noticed that this amplifier was a little more punch compared to the previous generation. However, I was personally a bit disappointed, because Sonos’ marketing set my expectations for Dolby Atmos sound too high. While I secretly wished for an experience closer to a cinema setting, that wasn’t really the case. The sound is directed mainly forward and to a lesser degree upward. As mentioned, solid sound easily fills the room, but definitely don’t expect the same surround sound.

I really liked playing music on the Beam (Gen 2), because the Beam (Gen 2) sounds good with the different music genres I tested. You can also adjust the sound using the equalizer in the Sonos app. Only the differences between the first generation and this successor are actually unheard of, so it’s disappointing in this regard.

Sonos Beam (Gen 2) review: Versatile speakers

conclusion

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) have been great speakers for me in recent years, but with the help of Dolby Atmos, the second generation takes that a little further. The audio experience is better in movies optimized for it. So as long as you don’t take the term “3D audio” too often, you’re fine.

Could it be more than a powerful speaker that blows full sound into the living room? If you want a real contour, you will have to choose a suitable set. Although Sonos also offers the possibility to make your speaker the focal point of your surround sound setup. For example, I chose two more Symphony bookshelf speakers They act as surround speakers on the left and right behind the sofa. But if you want to spend a little more, two Sonos One speakers are of course very suitable for this.

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with the Sonos app so far. Everything works fine and looks good too, but the ease of use could have been a little better in my opinion.

In short: Would I recommend the Beam (Gen 2) if you’re looking for a speaker? A resounding “yes”! Although it is unfortunate that the suggested retail price of this successor has increased slightly, it remains a very solid product for your money. Should you run straight to the store to get new speakers if you have a Beam (Gen 1)? No, because the differences with the first generation are still limited.

Buy Sonos Beam (Gen) 2

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is now on sale for €499 in white and black.

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