This new soundbar is interesting, and not only because of its awesome feature is reader-supported and the following article contain affiliate links, When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Almost every tech product has its own killer feature. This ability that the manufacturer will not stop pumping you at every opportunity and everyone just wants to try it. The Pixel 6 has the Magic Eraser, the iPhone 13 has the Cinematic Mode, the PlayStation 5 has the Haptic Feedback and the Dyson V15 has the laser that shows where there is dust. But this feature does not always live up to expectations. Beam’s second and new generation, Sonos’ sound bar (well, sound projector), is such a classic case.

Simple to install and not threatening

The new Beam is a kind of hybrid between the first generation of Beam and the late Sonos Arc. It’s still small and relatively low, so it can have fun sitting on your sideboard without taking up too much space or hiding your screen, even if it’s relatively low, only this time it does not come with a dust mesh that magnetizes dust, but with tiny holes (which will also catch Dust, but easier to clean externally).

Like Apple – “its spiritual mother” – Simplicity is the name of the game at Sonos, and the new Beam maintains this “I believe” with 3 very basic control buttons on the front, with a power connection, Ethernet connection, HDMI connection and sync button waiting for you in the back The not-so-useful of Sonos. This. This device is the opposite definition of “threatening” and light years away from the complication of antique receivers and soundbars.

After connecting everything, the installation continues in the Sonos app, and here I encountered a small problem that also happened to me in the previous Beam: the app just refused to find it on my network until I did a reset (simple operation of unplugging and connecting while pressing the sync button on the back the device). It’s annoying because the product actually came out of the box and I already had to do actions that do not appear in the basic user manual, but still. After some very simple settings, my TV has already moved to play its sound from it and… This is it.

Do not buy it just for the Atmos support, buy it for other reasons

The highlight of the new Beam is the support for the Dolby Atmos standard. Instead of the classic stereo or surround sound format we are familiar with where speakers shoot at us in a direct line, in Atmos format, the sounds are not in specific channels but are sent into space. That is, instead of the sound of a helicopter in a movie simply going from front to back, a quality Atmos mix will give the feeling that the helicopter is actually moving in space and not just passing between speakers. Most of this effect is created by shooting and returning sound from the walls of the room to your ears.

But here comes a very quirky twist in Beam: it has a single central Twitter, five Class-D amplifiers, three passive radiators for the low tones and four woofers for the mid-low range. You know what’s not here? Unlike the Arc which shoots sounds at a 270 degree angle to get back to you from the ceiling, the Beam does not have speakers that shoot at height. In Sonos they explained to me that the upgrade to the processor of the new Beam makes it possible to create a virtualization that will create the feeling of the “three-dimensional sound” that is obtained in the atmosphere.

Well, it’s hard for me to say that a 3D effect can be discerned here. Both watching Netflix-supported titles and watching dedicated trailers and videos from Dolby I did not feel that sounds emanated from all sorts of unexpected places, but I just enjoyed a pretty successful sound separation. Come on, Sonos are not magicians: if the Arc could barely produce a surround sound with its range of speakers, there’s almost no chance the new Beam will impress any more.

Contrary to Sonus’ general concept of simplicity and ease of use in the dark style, the Dolby Atmos concept comes with its own set of problems: just like in the Arc, you need to check if your TV supports the Atmos at all. If it supports Atmos, you usually need to find a way to turn this option on (on Sony TVs it’s simple, on Samsung and LG TVs it will require you to do a little more probing through the menus). And if you managed to do it all, the structure of your room can change the experience dramatically, and even if your room is perfectly attuned to the atmosphere, you will quickly discover that not all atmospheric mixes were born equal.

You will probably consume most of your Atmos content directly from Netflix, where the situation becomes even more bizarre, with maybe one episode or movie having a sound you can feel in the room, not coming from a clear source on the speaker – but in the new Beam this effect is even more diluted and not felt. In short, Dolby Atmos support really should not be the reason you would want to purchase this device. Atmos will not change your experience of watching movies or series, but it does lead to a pleasant sound dispersion that gives the feeling that the sounds do not necessarily come from the location of the speaker, but envelop the room. It’s a little weird to describe, but it’s something you easily feel when you sit in front of it.

In the news segment, Sonos claims that they will also release DTS support as part of a software update – a device that for some reason is still absent from its devices. However, as usual, if you are building on something that the manufacturer promises will come in a future update, past experience (not necessarily with Sonos) says that it is better for you to purchase this device only after this update actually materializes.