A new, more powerful processor, improved speakers, a slightly revised design to align with that of the other products of the brand: the new Sonos Beam is a good evolutionary update of the first version of the American company’s soundbar.
More compact than the high-end Arc model, the new Beam significantly improves audio quality compared to the previous model. Much of the credit goes to new processor, 40% more powerful compared to that of the first Beam. And thanks to the computing power, as Nate Forand, principal project lead of the Beam project, explained to us, it was possible to bring the Dolby Atmos immersive audio technology to this soundbar as well.
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“Thanks to the new processor we have been able to radically improve the speaker arrays, the software system that coordinates the reproduction and interaction between all the speakers integrated on the Beam – Forand told us – We are passed from 3 arrays of the first generation to 5 arrays. The two new arrays are dedicated to surround and pitch information ”, and can thus use psychoacoustic techniques to separate sounds between those intended for perception at ear height and those that instead seem to come from above the viewer’s head.
Among the relevant innovations compared to the previous model, in addition to the Dolby Atmos that will make cinephiles and gamers happy, there are also the Hdmi eArc connection, for direct connection in series of the TV or projector, and a new external polycarbonate grille with a minimal and elegant look. It’s not just an aesthetic detail, they specified by Sonos, because the perforations have been rethought for both optimize the sound performance both to make the bar (intended to remain stationary on the TV cabinet or hung on the wall) easier to clean.
“The difference in audio quality between the new Beam and the previous model is evident as soon as you turn it on. With the same sound source, the new soundbar offers a more precise, immersive and simply superior quality sound – said Forand – Beam is optimized for home theater and it is designed to fit under the television, but it integrates seamlessly into the Sonos ecosystem, and nothing prevents it from being used as a high-quality music speaker in various parts of the house ”.
La partnership con Amazon
For this reason Sonos has already announced that it will soon be possible to use the second generation Beam to listen to music in high definition with Amazon Music Ultra Hd and with services that support Dolby Atmos Music. Anyone who already owns a Sonos speaker will be happy to know that the plan is to bring Amazon’s HD format not only to this product, but also to almost every other device of the brand, including Arc, Roam, Beam, Five, Sub (Gen 3), One and One SL, Symfonisk Bookshelf and Symfonisk Table Lamp (the latter two made in collaboration with Ikea). For now, of course, there is only the announcement, though. From Sonos they let it be known that they are still working with Amazon to make the debut of the new service by the end of the year.
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The Sonos ecosystem
Beam (Gen 2) integrates typical Sonos system functions such as the Trueplay, that is the technology that allows to define the acoustic profile of the room in which the device is located in order to improve the quality of the reproduction. Among the other intelligent functions, Speech Enhancement also stands out, to amplify the voices of the protagonists of films and TV series in order to make them more understandable, and the modalità Night Sound, which reduces the intensity of the sound at night, to watch TV at a volume that does not disturb those who sleep in another room of the house or the neighbors in the apartment next door.
The new soundbar retains the compact size of the previous model (it is 69 centimeters long) and is perfect for a medium-sized television setup, but also for those on a smaller budget than what is needed to purchase the Arc model. It is available in black or white with a matte finish and touch controls on the top.
Beam (Gen 2) costs 499 euros and can be pre-ordered on Sonos.com starting September 14; is available in Italy and Europe starting from 5 October.