The popular Sonos Beam soundbar has been upgraded. The manufacturer has introduced the 2nd generation of the small sound miracle, which only looks slightly different from its predecessor. However, a faster processor is used, and support for Dolby Atmos is also offered.
Dolby Atmos only as a simulation
The Sonos Beam Gen 2 soundbar is compatible with more than 100 streaming services via the Sonos app and focuses primarily on improved sound. This is achieved by a faster CPU (1.4 GHz clocked quad-core CPU), which is said to work about 40 percent faster compared to its predecessor. With more processing power and newly developed phased speaker arrays, the Beam controls and localizes sound in the room for a compelling audio experience.
The Beam connects to the TV via HDMI 2.1 eARC for even more listening pleasure for favorite movies and games, which are now played back in even higher resolution and new audio formats. For example, 3D audio with Dolby Atmos is finally supported.
However, there is a catch here: The effect channels in the rear and above the heads are only simulated by the phased speaker arrays. The configuration of the drivers is the same as in the predecessor. However, the difference should still be clearly audible in practice. At the same time, the common cinema sound formats like Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby TrueHD are supported.
Controlled via the Sonos app, with the TV remote, multiple voice assistants, and even Apple AirPlay 2, the Sonos Beam Gen 2 can be used alone or with the sub or rear speakers for an even better sound experience. Setup is also very simple: with just two cables and the new NFC features, setup via the Sonos app is seamless and takes just a few minutes. In terms of design, the Gen 2 hardly differs from the 1st generation. However, the soundbar relies on a redesigned polycarbonate grille that is precisely perforated.
DTS support and UHD audio to follow
What’s also exciting is that the Sonos Beam Gen 2 soundbar will get even better later this year. For example, the manufacturer is announcing that it will bring long-awaited support for decoding DTS Digital Surround via the S2 platform to the Playbar, Playbase, Amp, and both generations of Sonos Beam and Arc devices.
Sonos also plans to support Amazon Music Ultra High Definition Audio in select markets later this year. This will provide lossless audio encoding at up to 24-bit / 48 kHz. In addition, Dolby Atmos Music will also be available. Ultra HD is available to Amazon Music Unlimited customers at no additional cost and can be heard on all S2 devices except Play:1, Play:3, Playbase and Playbar, while Dolby Atmos Music will be available on Arc and Beam (Gen 2). Dolby Atmos Music is currently available on music streaming provider Tidal, for example.
Price and Availability
The Sonos Beam Gen 2 soundbar will find its way into stores from October 05, 2021 and can be purchased on the manufacturer’s website as well as at participating retailers. The RRP is 499.00 euros. A white and a black color version are available.