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Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Sonos Beam Home-theater Smart Speaker Offers Alexa and Apple Airplay 2 Integration


Sonos introduced the Beam home-theater smart speaker and said its products would be integrated in July with Apple's new AirPlay 2 wireless music-streaming system.

The compact and smart soundbar arrives July 17 at $399 US; Apple AirPlay 2 support coming in July.

The Beam is a sound bar designed to sit below a television set and replace the speakers built into existing TVs. It can also link to other speakers from Sonos around a home and be controlled with a physical remote or via Amazon.com's Alexa digital-voice assistant. Like other Sonos smart speakers, it also will be integrated in the future with Google's voice-activated Assistant. Beam is part of the Sonos home sound system, meaning owners have options like adding two Sonos Ones for surround sound, a SUB for more bass, or integrating Beam into their existing Sonos multi-room set-ups.

Unlike Amazon, Google and Apple, Sonos lets users connect to multiple voice assistants and stream music via other companies' services - more than 80, according to Sonos.

Owners can also control Beam the way they choose, whether it be with voice, the Sonos app, third-party apps like Spotify, Audible, Pandora and Tidal, their existing TV remotes, and smart home gadgets like wall switches and remotes made by Sonos-certified partners.

Out of the box, Beam comes with Amazon Alexa in the US, UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and soon, in France. Beam will support additional voice assistants as they become available on Sonos around the world and won't lock owners into specific streaming boxes or services.

Sonos says that the Beam produces "a surprisingly wide soundstage for a speaker of this size," featuring four custom-built elliptical full-range woofers and three passive radiators.

AirPlay 2, which Apple released last month, allows users to stream music from an iPhone or iPad to multiple speakers at the same time throughout a home. It's also a key feature introduced in May to Apple's own HomePod speaker.

Sonos said the Beam would go on sale July 17 and cost $399, less than $699 price for its original Playbar and Playbase living room devices. It will connect to TVs via a standard HDMI connection, allowing people to turn on their TV with a voice command. It will also integrate with a connected Amazon Fire TV set-top box.

Specs

  • Audio
    • Four full-range woofers
    • One tweeter
    • Three passive radiators
    • Adjustable bass and treble controls
    • Five Class-D digital amplifier
  • Dimensions - H x W x D: 25.625 x 3.94 x 2.70 in. (651 x 100 x 68.5 mm)
  • Weight: 6.2 lbs (2.8 kg)
  • HDMI ARC: HDMI Cable connects to your TV’s HDMI ARC input.
  • Optical Audio: Optical Audio Adapter to connect to your TV. Allows Sonos Beam to support DOLBY DIGITAL and stereo.
  • Top-panel features: Capacitive touch controls for volume up/down, previous/next track, play/pause, microphone mute. LED indicates status, mute status and voice feedback.
  • Power supply: Auto-switching 100-240 V, 50-60 Hz AC universal input.
  • Ethernet port: One 10/100 Mbps Ethernet port. Wire directly to your router to operate your Sonos if WiFi is unstable.
  • WiFi: Connects to your home WiFi network with any 802.11b/g, 2.4 GHz broadcast-capable router for uninterrupted wireless streaming. Connects directly via rear surrounds or Sonos Sub to 5 GHz broadcast.
  • AirPlay compatible: Works with AirPlay on Apple devices [iOS 11.4 and higher]


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