Sonos has announced a next-generation version of the Sonos Beam. There is a huge update in order, as the Beam Gen 2 adds support for Dolby Atmos, as well as enhanced processing power and eARC connectivity.
Rather than using upward-facing drivers, as is the norm for a Dolby Atmos soundbar, Sonos says the Beam Gen 2 will deliver Dolby Atmos using psycho-acoustic techniques, employing new software made possible by a CPU that is 40% faster than that of the original model. Two of the soundbar’s five speaker arrays will be dedicated to reproducing overhead and surround sounds, albeit from a forward-facing position.
Under the grille are four front-facing elliptical mid-woofers and a centre tweeter that the company claims will result in even more crisp and clear dialogue than the original Beam. The drivers are powered by five Class D amplifiers, while three passive radiators will provide low-end frequencies.
The Beam Gen 2 will offer support for stereo PCM, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD, Dolby Atmos (in both the Digital Plus and True HD formats), multichannel PCM and Dolby Multichannel PCM at launch.
Sonos also plans to add support for Amazon Music’s Ultra HD audio to many of its products, including both the new and old Beam, which will allow listeners to stream tracks in lossless 24bit/48kHz. The Beam Gen 2 and the Arc will additionally get support to playback Dolby Atmos Music.
As with the original Beam, the updated model will support Sonos’ TruePlay room calibration and the Sonos S2 app that allows users to adjust treble, bass and the ‘loudness’ feature, as well as access modes for Night Sound and Speech Enhancement. The new Beam maintains compatibility with Apple Airplay 2 as well as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, while NFC (Near Field Communication) capabilities have been added to provide users with a simplified initial wi-fi setup.
The new Beam features sustainable packaging, including a premium uncoated kraft paper, a gift box made of 97% sustainable paper and no single use foam.
The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) will be available starting October 5, 2021 in the UAE for AED 2,069 through participating retailers.