Sonos Beam Smart Speaker Announced

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The Sonos Beam will retail for $399 and is created to be a more affordable alternative to the company's Playbar product, which retails for $699.

And the Beam has been built to make the audio from your movies and TV shows sound as good as your music.

JBL also recently announced its own smart sound bar called the Link Bar, but that device features Android TV as well as Google Assistant, making for a more complete package.

Sound is produced via five Class-D digital amplifiers, four full-range woofers, one tweeter, and three passive radiators, so lets move on to talking about the sound. The Sonos Beam appears to be an effort to expand its voice control capabilities in the home, and will add yet another speaker to the company's ever-expanding product lineup. Sonos seems to have finally listened and has equipped the Beam with HDMI.

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Sonos says that Google Assistant will also be come to the device later.

Sonos has confirmed its intention to make Alexa available on the Sonos Beam in the US, UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and soon, France.

Sonos was way ahead of the curve in the early 2000s when it released products focused on music streaming, but in 2018, smart home assistants are the feature everyone's crying out for.

Sonos' Beam isn't technically a replacement for the Playbar, which still kicks around. If you group your older speakers with at least one of the newer speakers with AirPlay 2 support, you'll be able to stream to them, too. Basically, it enables one smart speaker to connect to other supported speakers that are most likely located in different rooms. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay 2 (via update in July), and HDMI-ARC.

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"You don't have to worry about what voice system you're already using", suggested Gartner analyst Brian Blau, who was at the event. AirPlay is a prime example: people have been clamoring for AirPlay support in Sonos for years, but it wasn't until AirPlay 2 introduced a way of fully integrating with Sonos's multiple speaker paradigm that they made a decision to flip the switch.

Well there's good news this week, in that it's good news that you'll have to wait another month or so for, because Sonos is nearly ready with AirPlay 2 support in its speakers, announcing a live day of July 17, the same date for the launch of the Sonos Beam.

"Or, if you're new to voice assistants, you can pick any one that you want to use and go forward with it - it has that kind of flexibility". Pre-orders can be placed on sonos.com.

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