January 22, 2019

Sonos AirPlay 2 reveal shows Siri and Alexa working together

09 June 2018, 08:43 | Cameron Gross

Enlarge Image The speaker features several drivers. No there won't be a translucent version of it. Screenshot by David Carnoy CNET

Enlarge Image The speaker features several drivers. No there won't be a translucent version of it.                  Screenshot by David Carnoy  CNET

-Tune with Trueplay. Trueplay analyzes all the acoustic factors in your room-size, layout, décor and speaker placement-and tunes Beam to sound its absolute best. Now if only Sonos could get Google Assistant running...

The Beam comes in white and black, is lined with seamless fabric all the way around, and the touch-sensitive buttons lie flush with the slightly concave top panel.

Sonos does not have its own voice-activation services, so it is relying on companies like Amazon and Google to bring voice assistant functionality to its smart speakers. Given the home cinema approach, this makes it much better suited to dealing with dialogue and creating a surround sound experience.

The new Sonos soundbar is available for pre-order for $399USD. The Beam uses your TV's own remote to work, so really, you're adding one external speaker to the system, rather than re-wiring an existing home theater system. In this sense, the Sonos Beam works exactly like any other wireless speaker, but with the advantage that it's not taking up extra room in your living room or kitchen. The company announced it will soon support Apple's AirPlay 2 for its newer speakers, starting in July.

If you're the person who is looking for a high-quality smart speaker for your TV setup that doesn't entirely break the bank, and who just so happens to love Siri, the Sonos Beam is likely the ideal choice to bring into your home theater.

In our demo, we were able to test voice control via Alexa for some smart lights and turning on the television to music playback from an iPad via Siri.

This new speaker offers powerful sound in a compact design plus it also features Amazon's Alexa assistant built in which allows you to control your TV via your voice. This means you'll be able to see your Sonos Beam as a speaker when playing music on an Apple device, without needing to go into the Sonos app. And, with a single supported speaker, AirPlay content can be streamed to other Sonos speakers in the system.

Sonos has been one of the premiere speaker brands on the market. It has an improved, five-microphone array to better "listen" for voice commands when music or movies are blaring.

HDMI ARC: HDMI Cable connects to your TVs HDMI ARC input.

Dolby Atmos support is notably absent from Beam, though this was not an oversight.

Power supply: Auto-switching 100-240 V, 50-60 Hz AC universal input. Instead, all of the music streaming is done over WiFi.

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