Sonos Introduces Upgraded Beam (Gen 2) Compact Soundbar
Multi-room audio developer Sonos introduced Tuesday its Beam (Gen 2) compact smart soundbar.
At the same time, Sonos announced plans to offer both Ultra HD and Dolby Atmos Music in select models including the Beam (Gen 2) later this year via Amazon Music, raising the bar for immersive streaming music and soundtracks.
The company said the second generation version of the Beam upgrades the original Beam with “greater depth and clarity,” in addition to bringing Dolby Atmos support.
Sonos will begin to make the The Beam (Gen 2) available globally on October 5 at a $449 suggested retail price. Pre-orders are being taken now at the Sonos.com web site.
“We often talk about ‘Hollywood at Home’ being a real catalyst for our business, and Beam has played a huge part in this as one of the top-selling soundbars in its category,” stated Patrick Spence, Sonos CEO. “Taking what we’ve learned over the years about great listening and home theater, we’ve found a way to bring new features and significantly better sound to Beam, all in the same compact size that has proven extremely popular with customers.”
The Bean (Gen 2) offers support for more than 100 streaming services available through the Sonos app.
Key upgrades in the new unit include the following:
- Dolby Atmos: Immersive sound technology including overhead effects and a wider soundstage.
- Enhanced sound from the same size cabinet: Gen 2 adds more processing power and newly developed phased speaker arrays, to steer and localize sound around the room.
- eARC compatibility with eARC supporting TVs to handle larger bandwidth audio formats.
- Sleeker design using an updated polycarbonate grille for unimpeded sound dispersion.
- Easier and more secure set-up using just two cables and new NFC capabilities.
- Sustainable packaging.
- Performance tuning with the input of the Sonos Soundboard for more authentic sound experience along with Trueplay, which detects and adapts the speaker’s sound for reflections off of walls and furniture.
The Sonos Beam is designed to be placed in front of a standing TV, or easily mount to the wall with the existing Sonos Wall Mount for Beam.
Beam can be controlled with the Sonos app, a TV remote, multiple voice assistants, Apple AirPlay 2, music service apps among others. Users can add on an optional wireless subwoofer and a pair of wireless rear speakers for more immersive entertainment.
Newly supported services and audio formats in the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) include: (starting later this year) Amazon Music’s Ultra High Definition audio, providing lossless audio up to 24-bit / 48kHz on Sonos speakers, as well as the aforementioned Dolby Atmos Music available at no extra cost to Amazon Music Unlimited customers. Ultra HD will be available to listen on all S2 devices, except Play:1, Play:3, Playbase, and Playbar, and Dolby Atmos Music will be available to listen on Arc and Beam (Gen 2) models.
Sonos also announced plans to add support for decoding DTS Digital Surround later this year via the S2 platform on Playbar, Playbase, Amp, both generations of Beam and Arc.
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By Greg Tarr
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