Sonos has unveiled a new soundbar speaker that, in an industry first, will be compatible with Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant, Apple’s Siri and Google’s Assistant.
Significantly cheaper than the original Playbar the new Beam will retail for A$599 and be available in July.
Other differences include the smart speaker capabilities (obviously) as well as the input on the rear being a single HDMI port instead of toslink/optical in. It does come with an adaptor however to convert HDMI to optical should your setup not support the HDMI remote control functions and you don’t want to waste/use a HDMI port on your TV or receiver.
The new Beam, reportedly has a solid level of sound quality however anecdotally the Playbar remains king.
Sadly the new version also doesn’t include support for Dolby Atmos, which many have been holding out for. It appears the battle for a lower cost has won out in order to see Sonos engrain itself in more consumers’ lives.
As impressive and as nice as it is to see the new product emerge I’ll likely be giving it a miss. Not hitting the mark on Atmos and providing a sound quality that doesn’t improve on my existing Playbar doesn’t coerce me to up/down-grade. Event Sonos’ own creative lead Jedd Derderian doesn’t think you should stating that “[Sonos] don’t believe in the replacement cycle…”, suggesting users buy the Beam to add on to their current setups instead of replace what they have.