Sonos targets TV viewers with its new Beam smart speaker

Sonos targets TV viewers with its new Beam smart speaker

Sonos claims most smart speakers are designed for the kitchen, but the Beam is meant to handle everything you need in your living room.

Besides, if I am looking for an intense, high-quality audio experience, I've always been happy to pay to see a movie in theaters, or watch a band play live.

During an event in San Francisco on June 6, Sonos announced a new product called the Sonos Beam. Sonos seems to have finally listened and has equipped the Beam with HDMI.

This new speaker offers powerful sound in a compact design plus it also features Amazon's Alexa assistant built in which allows you to control your TV via your voice.

The Sonos Beam isn't a replacement for the company's soundbar, as previously rumoured, it's something altogether new. This cross-platform voice control promises to pertain to the Sonos Beam, as well, so anybody will be able to come into your home and control your music or TV using the voice assistant of their choice, either Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant, which sounds pretty neat.

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First off, the Beam takes up much less space than Sonos' last soundbar, measuring in at 60% smaller and 28% shorter than the Playbase. Bass has some oomph to it, and can be upgraded with the addition of the Sonos Sub, while the highs peeked through periodically.

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.

The device will ship globally starting July 17 and is available for pre-order today on the Sonos website. Most TVs older than five years old most likely won't support HDMI-ARC, but you can still connect Beam to your TV via the optical port, however, Alexa voice commands for TV won't work.

Following this comparison, the Sonos Beam - the latest entry in the Sonos device family - is like the Sonos Play:1 for the living room: it's smaller than the mid-tier Sonos Playbase and substantially less powerful than the Sonos Playbar.

While Amazon, Alphabet Inc.'s Google and Apple typically highlight their music and voice-activation services on the companies' individual smart speakers, Sonos uniquely lets users connect to multiple voice assistants and stream music via other companies' services.

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