Sonos has announced Beam, a soundbar incorporating a HDMI ARC for the very first time, in addition to Siri voice control and AirPlay 2.
Designed to support multi-room audio around the home, Sonos is pitching its much-hyped offering as a “3-in-1” soundbar combining voice control, support for not one but all streaming services, and a compact size.
It’s reportedly 60% smaller than Sonos’ latest Playbar speaker, and 20% shorter too. Despite its small form factor, it incorporates four, custom-built “full-range” woofers, three passive radiators and a single tweeter.
The Beam can easily be paired with other wireless speakers from Sonos’ range for a surround set up. Control is via the top of the speaker, also compatible with the manufacturer’s Trueplay calibration technology which tunes speakers to best adapt performance to their surroundings.
Like most recent wireless speaker launches, it supports Amazon Alexa US, Canada, UK, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, with France to follow.
The Beam will also be one of the first wave of speakers to benefit from Apple’s AirPlay 2 rollout, with the rest of Sonos’ line to get it via software update (expected in July). Sonos says it is working on bringing Google Assistant to the Alexa/Siri party, as part of an open approach to embracing all voice assistants, as it has done with music streaming platforms.
As well as a useful single HDMI (ARC) socket positioned around the back, connections include Ethernet and an Optical Audio adapter.
The Sonos Beam is available to pre-order now, priced at $399 US and available in black or white. It will officially be released on July 17, 2018.