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Foto © Sonos Inc. – Sonos Beam Gen 2
Foto © Sonos Inc. – Sonos Beam Gen 2

Sonos Beam Gen 2 – Dolby Atmos and new audio formats

The second generation of the soundbar from Sonos Inc. will soon be available, so the Sonos Beam will become the Sonos Beam Gen 2, which is supposed to provide even more rousing, clear sound with more bass and thus support new audio formats including Dolby Atmos.

With the Sonos Beam Gen 2, the latest generation of the soundbar from Sonos Inc. is available, which is supposed to provide even more possibilities and above all an even more convincing sound. The company is convinced of this, even talking about the latest generation of the leading soundbar in its field for TV, music, gaming and more.

Well, you can somehow present everything in a way that you emerge as the market leader, but the Sonos Beam Gen 2 is supposed to distinguish itself from its predecessor by supporting new formats and thus guarantee even more music enjoyment.

Sonos Beam Gen 2 takes on a central role

As with all streaming systems, the streaming platform from Sonos Inc. naturally also plays a central role, especially the respective soundbar systems. Many customers consider a soundbar to be the ideal entry into the world of streaming, because a corresponding audio solution is indispensable for enjoying appealing sound while watching TV.

If this solution is also capable of streaming music, especially in combination with as many other systems in the house as possible, this can be a very powerful argument in the purchase decision.

However, the years in which Sonos Inc. was considered the clear market leader in this field are over, because many soundbar systems now offer streaming in at least some form, and the leading providers of streaming platforms, such as Yamaha MusicCast, Bluesound, and HEOS Built-in from Sound United LLC. and thus first and foremost the Denon brand, also offer various soundbar systems to expand the respective platform.

Improved sound

Sonos Inc. wants to assert itself in this highly competitive market with the new Sonos Beam Gen 2, first and foremost through an even more convincing sound; the manufacturer speaks in this regard of an improved sound with the same size. This is supposed to be achieved by more computing power of the DSP-based signal processing in combination with newly developed phased speaker arrays, which are supposed to radiate the sound into the room in the best possible way.

Of course, the new Sonos Beam Gen 2 can also be adapted to the room via Sonos Trueplay. The individual placement of the soundbar is also taken into account, so that a balanced reproduction is guaranteed, regardless of whether the Sonos Beam Gen 2 is placed directly under the TV or mounted on the wall.

Immersive surround sound with Dolby Atmos

The new Sonos Beam Gen 2 now delivers surround sound with Dolby Atmos, which is supposed to put the listener right in the center of the action.

But surround sound is now not only the focus for movies, music playback is also to become multi-dimensional in the near future. Sonos Inc. promises to support Amazon Music Ultra High Definition Audio in the course of the year to enable music streaming with up to 24 bit and 48 kHz. In addition, Dolby Atmos Music will also be available, which Sonos Inc. says will push the boundaries of traditional studio recordings and provide an entirely new listening experience. Aside from Switzerland and Austria, where Sonos Inc. says the feature won’t be offered for now, Amazon Music Unlimited content will be available to listen to on all Sonos S2 devices except Sonos Play:1, Sonos Play:3, Sonos Playbase and Sonos Playbar, while Dolby Atmos Music will be available on Sonos Arc and Sonos Beam Gen 2.

Likewise, Sonos Inc. announced that support for decoding DTS Digital Surround via the Sonos S2 platform would also be supported this year on Sonos Playbar, Sonos Playbase, Sonos Amp and both generations of the Sonos Arc and Sonos Beam.

Flexible streaming

Of course, nothing has changed around the basic streaming functionalities, as the new Sonos Beam Gen 2 can be combined with any systems of the Sonos S2 platform, and conditionally with solutions of the very first generation.

Access to your own content is just as possible as to countless streaming offers. This is one of the strengths of the solutions from Sonos Inc.; the company can show over 100 offers here.

Apart from the actual streaming platform from Sonos Inc., the new Sonos Beam Gen 2 is compatible with Apple AirPlay 2, which is mentioned for the sake of completeness.

Foto © Sonos Inc. – Sonos Beam Gen 2
Foto © Sonos Inc. – Sonos Beam Gen 2

Simple installation, intuitive operation

The connection to the TV is of course established via HDMI, whereby an eARC is supported as well as HDMI CEC for central control via the TV’s remote control.

For streaming, the corresponding Sonos app for smartphones and tablets is of course available, which is offered for all relevant platforms. The setup is now supposed to be even easier via new NFC functions in interaction with the Sonos app.

Via the app, the Sonos Beam Gen 2 can also be expanded with a subwoofer or rear speaker from the product range of Sonos Inc. to offer an even better sound experience, according to the manufacturer’s promise.

It should be mentioned that voice control is of course also available, first and foremost Amazon Alexa.

Sonos Beam Gen 2 17Sonos Beam Gen 2 18

Discreetly adapted design

As already mentioned, the new Sonos Beam Gen 2 is supposed to be very similar to its predecessor, but a single detail differentiates the two when it comes to design. Thus, the manufacturer states that here they rely on a revised polycarbonate grille, which is precisely perforated and thus has no effect on the radiation of the drivers, which it covers.

“We often talk about Hollywood for the home being a real asset to our business, and the Beam plays a big part in that as one of the best-selling soundbars in its category. We’ve learned a lot about great listening and home theater over the years and found a way to add new features and significantly better sound to the Beam – all while maintaining a compact size that resonates very well with Sonos users.”

Patrick Spence, CEO of Sonos Inc.

Foto © Sonos Inc. – Sonos Beam Gen 2
Foto © Sonos Inc. – Sonos Beam Gen 2

The new Sonos Beam Gen 2 will be available from October 5, 2021, and the company’s own online store is once again the main source of supply. The new Sonos Beam Gen 2 can already be ordered there for €499. Of course, the new Sonos Beam Gen 2 is available in both white and black. By the way, more details about the concrete integration of Amazon Music Ultra HD and Dolby Atmos Music, the company also wants to announce in the coming weeks on its own website.

Getting to the point

With the new Sonos Beam Gen 2, Sonos Inc. is clearly focusing on immersive surround sound, not only for movies and TV shows, but also for music playback, whereby they are primarily oriented towards Amazon’s offering in this regard. Apart from that, the new generation of the soundbar largely resembles its predecessor, and only design details distinguish the first from the second generation.

Manufacturer:Sonos Inc.
Distribution:Sonos Inc.
Price:€ 499,-

About Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.com, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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