Published: Thu, June 07, 2018
Industry | By Dora Warner

Sonos announces the Sonos Beam, a soundbar with Alexa built

Sonos announces the Sonos Beam, a soundbar with Alexa built

Sonos Beam connects to your TV using an HDMI cable, and thanks to a technology called "Audio Return Channel" that was added to the HDMI standard in 2009, the Beam instantly picks up all the audio coming from your TV and outputs without any special setup required on your end.

We're live (more or less) from San Francisco, USA and Sonos has just announced the Sonos Beam.

Sonos Beam Product Details: ● Low profile and compact size, Beam was created to fit on credenzas or under wall mounted TVs, providing versatility. It works as a soundbar and a smart speaker - now powered by Alexa, but Google is on the way - and it can even control your TV, which it does via an HDMI port.

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As well as announcing the new Sonos Beam the United States company has also revealed AirPlay 2 will be available on its products from July via a free software update.

Sonos Beam comes in white or black.

Alongside a decent speaker, though, you'll also be getting not one, not two, but three smart assistants built in.

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The new smart TV soundbar with five far-field microphones will be priced at $499 in Canada and is made for small to medium size rooms, powered by four full-range woofers, one tweeter and five Class-D digital amplifiers.

Sonos bills the Beam as a "3-in-1" proposition, marrying great audio with voice control and compact dimensions. So, don't expect it to match up to a Play:5 or Playbase for audio performance but you can complement it with a Sonos Sub for more bass, or some Sonos Ones for surround sound.

While most of the audio demos we heard were very convincing of the speaker's quality, one demo that totally failed to impress was a scene from Westworld in which the speaker introduced a fair bit of delay into the system. During the event, Sonos show how a song could be requested via Siri, then how users could ask Amazon's Alexa "what song is playing?"

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The Sonos Beam is available for pre-order today and ships July 17. While there haven't been any updates on its initial public offering, the company's integration with popular voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa will certainly help it fend off competition from the likes of Apple, Google, and Amazon, all of whom have their own popular smart speaker offerings.

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