COMPARE

    Sonos Beam (Gen 2) Soundbar
    Beam (Gen 2)

    The Sonos Beam is a compact soundbar that delivers great sound quality for the price. It’s certainly not cheap, but it costs much less than the company’s top-of-the-line Sonos Arc, and it will beat the sound on nearly any TV. Like a number of other high-quality soundbars, the Beam supports Dolby Atmos immersive sound, which can make sounds appear to come from overhead. (Imagine a movie scene involving a helicopter.)  The Sonos Beam is very easy to set up, and it has both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built in, so you can control the soundbar, other Sonos speakers, and additional Alexa- or Google Assistant-powered devices using voice commands. (It can coordinate with other Sonos speakers to create a multiroom audio system.) The Beam also supports Apple AirPlay 2 for streaming from Apple devices. The system is pretty flexible, too: By adding a subwoofer you can create a full-blown 5.1-channel surround-sound setup by adding a pair of optional wireless speakers.

    Description

    The Sonos Beam is a compact soundbar that delivers great sound quality for the price. It’s certainly not cheap, but it costs much less than the company’s top-of-the-line Sonos Arc, and it will beat the sound on nearly any TV. Like a number of other high-quality soundbars, the Beam supports Dolby Atmos immersive sound, which can make sounds appear to come from overhead. (Imagine a movie scene involving a helicopter.)  The Sonos Beam is very easy to set up, and it has both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built in, so you can control the soundbar, other Sonos speakers, and additional Alexa- or Google Assistant-powered devices using voice commands. (It can coordinate with other Sonos speakers to create a multiroom audio system.) The Beam also supports Apple AirPlay 2 for streaming from Apple devices. The system is pretty flexible, too: By adding a subwoofer you can create a full-blown 5.1-channel surround-sound setup by adding a pair of optional wireless speakers.

    Ratings Scorecard

    Test Results

    Sound quality

    Sound quality

    Sound quality represents tonal accuracy and ability to reproduce fine sonic detail. Sound quality judgments are made with the system optimized using its own auto speaker set-up function (if so equipped), with all "audio enhancement" features (e.g. virtual surround sound, etc.) turned off if possible, and with its own tone controls (if any) adjusted to achieve the most even tone.

     /  5
    Ease of use (TV)

    Ease of use (TV)

    Ease of use (TV) indicates how easy it is to set up and use the system with a TV.

     /  5
    Ease of use (Features)

    Ease of use (Features)

    Ease of use (Features) indicates how easy it is to set up and use the system's included non-TV features.

     /  5
    Versatility

    Versatility

    Versatility is based on the presence or absence of useful features. The Versatility scores for Basic models and Full featured models can not be directly compared since Basic model scoring does not take into account the advanced features which may be found on Full featured models such as surround sound capability or Internet streaming access.

     /  5

    About

    The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is part of the Soundbars test program at Consumer Reports. In our lab tests, Soundbars models like the Beam (Gen 2) are rated on multiple criteria, such as those listed below.

    Sound quality Sound quality represents tonal accuracy and ability to reproduce fine sonic detail. Sound quality judgments are made with the system optimized using its own auto speaker set-up function (if so equipped), with all "audio enhancement" features (e.g. virtual surround sound, etc.) turned off if possible, and with its own tone controls (if any) adjusted to achieve the most even tone.

    Ease of use (TV) Ease of use (TV) indicates how easy it is to set up and use the system with a TV.

    Ease of use (Features) Ease of use (Features) indicates how easy it is to set up and use the system's included non-TV features.

    Price & Shop