One of the best upgrades for your TV is a soundbar. My vote goes to the Sonos Beam, which sounds great and supports smart assistants like the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, too.
- Four full-range drivers and one tweeter
- HDMI (ARC), Ethernet and Wi-Fi
- Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built-in
- Dimensions: 68.5 (H) x 651 (W) x 100mm (D)
Compact and light, the Beam fits easily under most TVs, though it can also be secured to the wall with the optional mount. Setup is dead simple — connect the Beam to your TV’s HDMI ARC port and follow the instructions in the Sonos app (Android and iOS). Older TVs without HDMI ARC can use the included optical audio adapter.
Surprisingly for its size, the Beam has a relatively wide soundstage. It is not quite surround sound, but you do feel enveloped by the audio. Its dialogue enhancement feature is also handy in movies. But don’t expect thumping bass, unless you pair it with a Sonos Sub, which is a bit of an overkill. The Beam also lacks the illusion of height that you get with the Dolby Atmos-capable Sonos Arc.
Sonos supports most of the popular streaming services. For instance, I can stream my favourite tunes to the Beam directly through the Spotify app. Apple AirPlay 2 is also supported. But my top reason to pick the Beam is its integrated support for the Google Assistant (the Beam also works with Amazon Alexa). This means I can reduce clutter by retiring my Google Mini smart speaker while enjoying better audio, too. The Beam’s five far-field microphones are also adept at picking up my voice from across the living room.
While you can easily find dirt-cheap soundbars, such as TaoTronics soundbar, I think the S$699 Sonos Beam is well worth the price. Besides, you can start with the Beam and add more speakers like the Sonos One to enhance the auditory experience. Or place additional Sonos speakers in other rooms to create a wireless multi-room system for when we can have house parties again.