Compare the Top 6 Best Sonos Soundbars: Review
I have almost every Sonos product in my house.
The Sonos system is a great way to get all your music in one place and listen to it without having an extra speaker connected or running cables around. Their new line of low-cost speakers is now affordable, which means we can finally enjoy our home entertainment experience without worrying about how many rooms we’ll need coverage for.
Sonos Ray: How the Sonos Ray was designed to keep users hooked on the product
The Sonos Ray is smaller and easier to use than other Sonos products. However, it still has all the features that people like about Sonos products. Even people who are not very enthusiastic about Sonos products can appreciate the true quality of the sound. The Ray was designed to keep users hooked on the product and then push them into the Sonos ecosystem, where they can enjoy all the benefits of using a Sonos product.
Design and Materials: A small but powerful speaker
The Sonos Ray soundbar is a great product. It is smaller than other Sonos soundbars, but it has good sound quality. The transducers create immersive sound, and the frequency balance is good. It is a great solution for people who want good sound quality in a small package.
The soundbar can be wall mounted, but you need to buy some accessories separately. It has two main ports: one for power and one for digital optical input. This means it doesn’t have HDMI, and it’s not compatible with eARC. But it is optical, which makes it compatible with most TVs. However, there are some limitations that we will discuss later.
There is a small LED on it that you can choose to have on or off. You can also use touch controls to manage music playback and an invisible IR receiver that the company tried to fix itself to enhance optical connection volume control.
Configuration & Apps: Tips and Tricks
You need to use the Sonos S2 app in order to get the most out of your Sonos Ray. This app lets you control all the settings on your TV. The Sonos Arc is also important- it’s a new device that helps manage your system.
Sonos Ray doesn’t have a digital assistant built-in, but it is compatible with Spotify, Amazon Music, Tidal, and many other online streaming services. It also works with Apple’s AirPlay 2.
The configuration process is easy to understand and follow, even if you don’t know a lot about technical things. If you have a Sonos Sub or a pair of Sonos Ones to use as satellites, it’s easy to pair them together.
The Sonos Ray soundbar will be controlled through the Sonos app for iOS and Android. The soundbar will be connected to the TV using a single optical cable. Once the soundbar is turned on and the app is launched, the Sonos system will automatically detect its presence and begin the configuration process.
This app lets you do two things: True Play optimization and remote control association.
Sonos is known for True Play. Sonos created a sound optimization process called True Play. It’s easy to do and only requires an iPhone or iPad to capture the sound. The biggest flaw with the Sonos app, however, is that TruePlay is only available in the iOS version.
I recommend that you link the remote right away. That way, you can control the soundbar’s playback volume without using an app or touch panel. Here’s the thing: Optical connections don’t have direct control (through the TV) of playback volume, e.g. eARC.
If you have a Sonos Ray soundbar and a regular TV remote, you can use the soundbar to control the volume. Just start the program on the soundbar and point the TV remote at it. The soundbar will save the code from the TV remote and pick up the volume adjustment signal. This makes everything more convenient, except that this procedure can only be performed if your TV uses an IR remote; for example, many newer models do not use IR remotes, making it inconvenient to adjust volumes.
How to adjust the sound on the Sonos Ray with the different audio formats that the Sonos Ray supports
As we have already said, the Sonos Ray is very interesting compared to its small size. It has a sound profile typical of the brand, which is balanced and full-bodied. The two basses and the reflexes that accompany the mid-woofer are very well done, and the mids and highs are always reproduced in a very natural way, without any distortion.
Even though the Sonos Ray can’t play audio from the sides, it can still create a good sound. The dialogue reproduction is also good, which is important for this type of product. You can improve the sound even more by using the emphasis features in the app.
The Sonos Ray is not compatible with Dolby Atmos or Dolby Digital Plus. However, it does support Stereo PCM, Dolby Digital, and DTS Digital formats. The power is there, and the soundbar never distorts at high volumes. However, we need to take into account that the bass may not be as sharp compared to other soundbars made by the brand. Fortunately, it’s possible to manage the soundbar’s equalization and activate the loudness mode in the app.
Keeping in mind that we’re talking about a soundbar, not a physical multichannel system, I must admit, the new stuff from the Sonos Company is good.
I tried listening to some music on Spotify, vinyl (with the turntable connected to the Sonos Amp), and lossless audio files. At first, the bass was too strong. But after the last update, the problem was fixed. I’m amazed at how much sound reflects off the room now.
Sonos Ray Conclusion
The Sonos Ray is a good product, but it is more expensive than some other Sonos products. If you compare the price to other products of the same brand, it doesn’t seem too bad.
But I have to say that, in my opinion, the price for this product is more reasonable. If you look at quality, the Sonos Ray is the best soundbar when it comes to value. In short, soundbars that cost more don’t offer the same level of performance as the new Sonos models.
The Sonos Ray is a good product. It is well-priced and compact. The only problem is that it has only one optical connection. But it still sounds better than you would expect.
Sonos Arc review: It’s one of the best smart soundbars on the market, but it’s even better if you have an iPhone.
People who do not know about Sonos or who have never appreciated the high-quality audio of its products have missed out. From the first Play One and Play Five to the new Sonos One and the much-appreciated Sonos Beam (a smart soundbar that integrates Alexa and Google Assistant), Sonos is like Apple in the audio world. Sonos created a bunch of high-quality products that are all connected, but they can be a bit expensive for some people’s budgets.
Almost a month after its release, the new Sonos Arc gave away two of the company’s products (Playbase and Playbar). The Sonos Arc is a worthwhile investment, both in terms of sound quality and the hassle-free convenience of not having to lug heavy equipment into your house. It is more compact than the Sonos Beam, its sister product.
I am testing the new Sonos Arc. I want to wait a little longer before I decide if I like it. Some people have had trouble with the way the audio sounds on this new bar. But I think Sonos will be able to fix the problem.
Sonos ARC Review: Great Speaker for Big TVs
The Sonos Arc is 114 cm long. It is almost as big as the longest side of a 50-inch TV. That means if you have a TV that size or bigger, this will be a great speaker for you. The design is minimalistic and without frills. It has a long, round rod made of aluminum with metal mesh wrapped around the sides.
The Sonos soundbar is not flashy, but it does its job well. You can mount it on the wall, but you have to buy a few accessories separately. The soundbar has two main ports: one for power and the other for HDMI. This is the only way to connect the speaker method. The Sonos Arc connects to your TV via an HDMI cable that is compatible with ARC technology. This means that one of your TV’s HDMI ports will be used. I would prefer that the Sonos Arc had integrated HDMI-in and HDMI-out ports so that it could act as a “bridge.” That way, you wouldn’t lose any of your TV’s ports.
There is a small LED on the upper part of the device. You can choose to keep it on or off. If you have one of the digital assistants compatible with this product, the LED will light up indefinitely. There are also touch controls for managing music playback or disabling the microphone. However, we will discuss the number of microphones and their sensitivity shortly.
If you don’t have a TV with an HDMI ARC port, you can use an optical cable to connect it. This will give you the best sound quality, but you may not be able to control the volume using the remote.
How to use the Sonos S2 app to get the most out of your Arc
You need to use the Sonos S2 app to get the most out of your Arc. The Sonos S2 app is available on the Play Store and App Store. With this app, you can manage all of the features of your Arc, including connecting it to a digital assistant.
The Sonos Arc is also compatible with Spotify, Amazon Music, Tidal, and many other online streaming services. You can control these services with your voice. You don’t need a smartphone to use them.
The configuration process is easy to follow, even if you don’t know anything about technical dynamics. If you also have a Sonos Sub or a pair of Sonos Ones, pairing the devices is easy.
Sonos S2 Management App
The Sonos Arc is managed by the new Sonos S2 app. This app has been improved with a new interface and hidden content. If you have used Sonos’ older apps before, you will know that there have been big changes in speed and stability since then. If the S2 with the new Sonos App doesn’t work well for you, these issues will just bring back unpleasant memories.
The new app has some good features. It supports high-definition audio formats and searches for streaming services quickly. It also responds quickly to speaker management.
However, the biggest flaw with the Sonos app is that TruePlay is only available in the iOS version ( which is especially important with the Arc). TruePlay is a sound calibration system that, based on the acoustics of the room in which any Sonos speakers are installed, will optimize the audio performance of the company’s equipment based on the room and its location.
How to optimize your Sonos Arc for the best sound quality
What you need to know about TruePlay and Dolby Atmos
Android smartphones don’t work with TruePlay. But that’s okay because you can just turn on the Sonos Arc and connect it with the factory settings. The sound will be terrible, so you’ll probably regret buying it. Fortunately, a new software update has fixed some of the problems. But if you want the best sound quality, you should do the TruePlay optimization on the Sonos Arc. I’m not sure who wouldn’t be able to do this, because all you need is a newer iPhone or iPad that runs the Sonos S2 app.
The sound is different after TruePlay is optimized. The timbre is better, the bass is stronger, and there is more headroom. This means that the sound quality is as good as or even better than the Sonos Play, which also supports Dolby’s latest surround sound technology.
For those unfamiliar with Dolby Atmos, it is a technology that creates surround sound. It uses up to 128 sound objects instead of regular channels. This allows it to create a three-dimensional audio experience. Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus are two different types of audio signals. TrueHD is high resolution and can only be found in certain types of sources or devices. Digital Plus is a compressed format, which is the most popular type for online audio and video streaming.
Keeping in mind that we’re talking about a soundbar, not a physical multichannel system, I must admit, the new stuff from Sonos is good.
I compared the sounds of music played from Spotify, vinyl records, and lossless audio files on my computer. I could tell a big difference in the quality of sound once I updated my Sonos Amp to fix the “bass crunch.” When I listened to music in 4K or with Dolby Atmos sound, it sounded great if I was standing in the spot where the Sonos Arc was pointing. But if I moved away from that spot, the sound got softer. That’s because TruePlay calibrates the soundbar to your primary listening position.
Sonos Arc Conclusion
The Sonos Arc is pricey. This is a lot of money for some people. But it’s a great product because it offers a great TV sound system and a great music player with Alexa and Google Assistant.
Overall, Sonos speakers without DTS still work well for their dual purpose. If you need Atmos decoding, adding it is a good option. Keep in mind that the price for this quality may be high, but it is worth it for people who don’t have an iPhone.
Sonos Sub Review: It’s one of the best wireless subwoofers, but quality comes at a price.
When it comes to audio quality, there is a way to do it. You need to accept that you will have to pay more for better quality. Despite advancements in technology and the number of audio products available, the basic rule still applies: the higher the quality, the more you will have to pay.
Sonos makes great products. The Arc is the best TV soundbar, the Mobile is the best Bluetooth and WiFi smart speaker, and the Sonos Sub is a good addition to any home audio system. This is a wireless subwoofer that works with the Sonos ecosystem. This will improve your home audio experience by giving you a fuller sound. The only problem is the high price, which is almost as much as a mid-to-high-end TV.
How to Place Your Sonos Wireless Subwoofer for Optimal Sound
Sonos is available in two colors: bright white or black. It is a lightweight device that weighs only 35lbs and measures 15.3 x 15.8 x 6.2 inches. The minimalist design reflects the attention to detail put into this product. From the front, it appears as a square with a small sound slot in the center and a few other design elements.
On the front of the subwoofer, you will find the company logo. The status lights and physical buttons are on the left side, and they can only be used on the associated stage of the subwoofer.
The Sonos subwoofer can go down to 25 Hz and has a crossover of 110 Hz. This means that you need to be careful about where you place it. Make sure that it has enough room to breathe on at least one side, and make sure that it is not too close to walls or furniture.
The Sonos sub can be used not only vertically but also horizontally on the floor, as long as you use the other felt feet that come in the package.
The Sonos wireless subwoofer has feet with integrated pins. This lets you place it vertically, even if the floor vibrates a lot. You need to be careful when you place it, though, because the way it vibrates depends on what kind of floor it is on. The power and Ethernet ports are inputs through these pins. You can connect to the subwoofer wirelessly by connecting to 802.11b/g WiFi at 2.4GHz.
How to Configure Sonos Sub for Optimal Audio Performance
If you want to start using the Sonos sub right away, just connect it to your WiFi or Ethernet. You can manage all system parameters, including the association of new devices, through the app.
But the configuration process is very intuitive and structured so that it can be done even by people who are completely ignorant of technological dynamics. If you have other Sonos gear, you must use a Sonos sub, and the wizard will give the user the option to choose the group in which to place the subwoofer.
One important thing to note about Sonos is that it requires a mesh network for proper function. This means that each Sonos component creates its own small network that helps keep everything connected. In order to set up a mesh network, all you need is an existing wireless router and one or more Sonos components. The router will create the mesh network and wirelessly connect all of your Sonos components. You can then use the Sonos app to control them all from one central location.
For those of you who have already had a chance to use the old company apps, it’s important to know that you’ve noticed substantial speed and stability; if in older versions, you stumble upon firmware updates failing, for example, with the new Sonos App S2, these issues will just be unpleasant memories.
However, the main novelty of the new app is the high-definition audio format, as well as faster search through various streaming services and instant response in terms of speaker management (for example, the volume control has zero lag), which is not bad.
The biggest flaw in the Sonos app is the lack of TruePlay on Android. Sonos TruePlay is a sound calibration system that is based on the acoustics of the room in which any Sonos speakers are installed. It takes a few minutes to optimize the audio performance of the company’s equipment based on the sound of the room and its positioning. This is essential for getting the most out of the Sonos Sub.
The different types of settings that are available with the Sonos subwoofer
The Sonos subwoofer is a great addition to any Sonos system, and it’s available in almost every configuration, including the Sonos Amp. This means that if you decide to use non-wireless speakers with your Sonos system, you can still take advantage of the subwoofer.
Sonos introduced the ability to have two Sonos subs at the same time, which is a great solution if you need to refurbish the walls of your home for renovations. Anyway, I’ve been testing the Sonos sub for the last few months in the most “natural” configuration that comes to mind, combined with the Sonos Arc. At the default volume level (i.e., medium volume in the range of -15 to +15), the result is remarkable: listening with the sub alternately on and off accentuates the surprising contrast.
There is no one perfect setting for everyone when it comes to bass volume, as people have different needs and preferences. For me, I have found that setting the bass volume at 5 provides the presence of low frequencies that I need, even though this may be different for others. The type of use matters when it comes to what the optimal volume level for a subwoofer is.
I have found that the optimal volume level range for watching movies is 0 to 5. With some music genres, I might push it up to 10 or 15, while others would be better off at just below zero. It is important to note that, depending on the content, there can be different ideal settings. For example, the Death Star explosion scene from Star Wars Episode IV is so loud that setting the subwoofer to 5 would be too low, and setting it to 10 or 15 would be more appropriate. Another example is with music genres—depending on the style of the music, you may want to set the subwoofer’s volume higher or lower.
Sonos did a great job of creating a balanced sound with no problems in reproduction regardless of the volume level chosen.
Sonos TruePlay is a Sonos feature that uses your iPhone or iPad to measure the acoustics of your room and tune the speaker settings accordingly. This is an important step in getting the most out of your Sonos system, as it can help to correct any acoustic problems in your room and deliver a more consistent sound.
However, more attention must be paid to adjusting the volume. If only for some music genres, the bass might barely be understandable.
But the real magic is through the completion of TruePlay optimization.
Sonos Sub Conclusion
The Sonos subwoofer is an excellent product for those who are already familiar with the company’s products and ecosystem. The engineers have managed to create a subwoofer that meets (and possibly exceeds) customer expectations while also maintaining the high price point of other Sonos products. However, quality comes at a cost, and it is important to consider all factors before making a purchase. In short, although there may be some limitations when using a Sonos subwoofer with Android devices, this should not dissuade anyone from considering purchasing one.
Sonos Move review: Here are the best battery-powered smart speakers on the market (and good value)
If there are two positives to be found in Sonos, they would be the company’s American origins and the fact that it has been around for 15 years. It has never caused a ripple in its ecosystem, and it has continuously released high-quality wireless multi-room speakers that have category-leading sound performance, cutting-edge tech, and smart features. I’m referring to TruePlay, a fantastic audio optimization function that may modify the sound broadcast by the speaker based on the surroundings and where it is used, as well as the potential to communicate with Google Assistant and Alexa.
We’re always looking for ways to improve the quality and audio equalization of Sonos devices. And we’ve found a great new technology that does just that. But there’s a catch: it only works with iPhones. The reason is the calibration of the microphones, which are always the same and digitally manageable in iPhones but are fragmented in Android devices.
The Sonos Mobile is a battery-operated WiFi and Bluetooth smart speaker that integrates a digital assistant. It is the first device to try and solve the problem of TruePlay on Android. While it may be a little pricey, the quality of sound it produces is worth it.
Sonos Move Review: It sounds better than the Sonos One and has TruePlay on Demand.
How to Customize Your Sound with the Sonos Move
The Sonos Move is a cylindrical speaker that comes in two colors and has a specific ring base that connects to a power outlet. The system is self-centering, making it easy to place on the charging base. The Move also has Trueplay on Demand, which allows you to customize the sound depending on your environment.
It still has a homey feel typical of the company’s products, with a minimal design and touch-sensitive keys for controlling volume, music playback, and disabling the microphone; there are six keys, and they sit on top of the speaker.
The back of the device doesn’t have an input for an Ethernet cable, other than the power button and a button for pairing. However, Sonos has an option to enable or disable Bluetooth. Even if this may seem like nonsense to someone unaccustomed to the brand, it’s an important novelty.
The new Sonos Mobile app: faster, more stable, and better than ever!
High-resolution audio formats and zero-latency volume control with the new Sonos Mobile app
The revamped Sonos Radio streaming service
The Sonos Move speaker is a great option for anyone looking for high-quality sound. Its features include excellent sound quality, as well as the ability to manage Google Assistant and Alexa at the same time. However, you can only use one digital assistant at a time.
The new version of the Sonos app is much faster and more stable than the older versions. If you are using an older version of the app, you may want to consider upgrading to the latest version to avoid any inconvenience.
The new Sonos Mobile app supports high-definition audio formats and offers faster searches on various streaming services. It also has an instantaneous response in speaker management, such as zero-latency volume control. This app is compatible with Spotify, Amazon Music, Tidal, and many other online streaming services. You can control these services by voice, and they are completely smartphone-independent.
Sonos Radio is a streaming service offered by the company that includes thousands of stations curated by musicians and DJs from around the world. The service has been restructured and enriched with new themed channels that are grouped by genre. These channels offer high-resolution audio playback for an enhanced listening experience.
Sonos Move vs. One: Which Has Better Audio Quality?
The Sonos Move has better audio quality than the One, but less space. The two-way amplified speaker is equipped with a tweeter, which is located on the upper part and points downward, and a mid-bass speaker on the front to guide the audio. The Sonos moves the audio a lot more directionally than the One does, and distributes it more evenly at an angle. This gives you a better listening experience but takes up a bit more space.
In our different listening tests, the Sonos Mobile was found to sound better than the Sonos One. This difference is not only because of the larger size but also because the Mobile is much sharper than the integrated speakers, ensuring excellent midrange management.
The sound of the Sonos Mobile is rich and full-bodied, but it can be difficult to get the best sound if you’re not careful about where you place the speakers. This can be a double-edged sword, especially if you’re using it in a room that moves a lot. However, the Sonos Move is a mobile speaker, so it’s pretty much its natural limit and what the company itself wanted.
The speaker suffers from a slight reduction in high frequencies, but overall it is a good product. However, there are some limitations to consider. First, WiFi and Bluetooth cannot be used simultaneously. This means that if you are using Bluetooth to connect to another device, you will not be able to use the digital assistant on the speaker. Additionally, if you want to use the multiroom feature in your house, the speaker must be moved to the kitchen because WiFi does not work in that room.
The Speaker that Adjusts to its Surroundings
The Sonos Move is designed to adjust to its surroundings. It uses an integrated microphone that can also be voice-controlled, as well as an accelerometer, to detect movement and optimize the audio output accordingly. This provides a more balanced and equalized soundtrack, regardless of where the speaker is placed.
It’s not complicated-it’s something that’s integrated into the device so that the user doesn’t have to worry about it. However, disabling the microphone’s AutoTruePlay feature has no effect.
Sonos Move Battery Life
The battery on the Sonos Move lasted around 10 hours when streaming music over WiFi or Bluetooth. This is a great result, as it means the device can be used for long periods of time without needing to be plugged in.
The battery is guaranteed for about 900 charge cycles or about 3 years. After this point, you may start to notice a slight decrease in performance. However, the batteries are removable, so you can just open the box and replace them if needed.
Sonos Move Conclusion
The Sonos Move is a fairly expensive speaker. However, this price is justified by the device’s many features and capabilities. It offers great sound quality and is very sturdy, making it a good choice for users in all segments. Sonos has always been known for its high-quality audio products, and the Move is no exception. It features all the design and optimization work typical of the American brand.
Yes, given its price (twice as much as the Sonos One, actually), you’d hardly ever consider buying it in pairs to configure a stereo system (it can be done with no problems), but not only is it the best option for expanding an existing Sonos system, your first Sonos Personal: Being able to carry it with you is like having a Sonos device on every occasion, which, of course, is no small thing.
Sonos Beam review (2nd gen): The best in a compact soundbar, with better Dolby Atmos
Those who have never heard of Sonos or have never benefited from the system’s quality and ecosystem are missing out. Sonos has become an industry standard not only because of the high quality of its audio products but also because of the “revolutionary spirit” that has led to the development of a line of products that appeal to consumers’ emotions while being propelled by cutting-edge technology. These products, for example, support digital assistants and can be used in wireless multi-room setups.
As we’ve seen in our coverage of the Sonos arc (the company’s first Dolby Atmos-enabled soundbar), as well as the smaller Sonos Move and Sonos Roam, the first-generation Beam was the product that ushered in a new era of Sonos products with its integration of Google Assistant and Alexa in this compact soundbar.
The new Sonos Beam (2nd generation), succeeding the original generation, is the most compact and reasonably priced wireless speaker system currently available. In fact, it’s the second soundbar from the brand to support Dolby Atmos. The processor is 40% more powerful than the one in the previous generation, and it cloaks itself in new drivers. The soundscape is patently more three-dimensional.
Sonos Beam (2nd Gen) Review
Sonos Beam (2nd Gen) Smaller, Lighter, and More Flexible Than Previous Model
The Sonos Beam (2nd gen) is smaller than the Sonos Arc, making it more flexible in terms of placement and less dependent on the size of the TV being used. Given the Arc’s size, I stated in my review that I would only recommend it with a television screen measuring 50 inches or larger. The Sonos Beam (2nd generation) eliminates this requirement entirely thanks to its compact size (65 x 7 x 10 cm) and lightweight (2.8 kg).
The new Sonos Beam (Gen 2) retains the clean lines, meticulous attention to detail, and high-quality materials that have come to be expected from Sonos products, but the front fabric grille has been replaced by a polycarbonate one. It’s a practical innovation, as the first beam often becomes soiled, especially when the light source is white. No one needs to be told how difficult it is to clean dirt from fabrics that can’t be wet.
Touch controls for adjusting volume, managing music playback, and turning off the microphone are located in the flattened center of the upper, still slightly curved area. The digital assistant will also activate a status LED that will be used to indicate the soundbar’s current status.
All inputs and outputs are situated at the back, slightly below the soundbar’s main body for tidier cable management. The first noticeable difference from the previous generation is the addition of an HDMI eARC/ARC input to the back of the unit. This allows the Sonos Beam (2nd gen) to decode even the most complex codecs, including 5.1 PCM, Dolby Atmos True HD (hence lossless), and Dolby True HD.
The Future of Sonos: Beam (Gen 2) and the Entire Ecosystem
To fully appreciate the capabilities of Sonos Beam (Gen 2), it is necessary to keep the entire Sonos ecosystem in mind. The new soundbar, along with the rest of the company’s speakers, are capable of wirelessly communicating to form a multi-room system that allows for seamless, simultaneous playback across all speakers.
When systems can communicate with one another, it can lead to exciting new developments. For instance, the TV’s audio can be heard in other rooms, or a very high-quality wireless surround system can be configured, or optimized with True Play, by linking two satellites (likely two Sonos Ones) and one subwoofer (i.e., the fantastic Sonos Sub).
All of the company’s other speakers are controlled via the Sonos app for iOS and Android. Connect to the TV using a single HDMI cable (or optical cable if the TV doesn’t have an ARC-compatible port), and the Sonos system will automatically detect the soundbar’s presence and initiate the configuration process whenever the soundbar is turned on and the app is launched.
The second generation of the Sonos Beam also introduced near-field communication (NFC) connectivity, which is compatible with iOS devices like the iPhone. When the app prompted us to pair the iPhone 13 Pro with the soundbar, we simply placed the phone within a few centimeters of the latter to begin exchanging data and synchronizing the most crucial settings.
This second-generation Sonos Beam can connect to WiFi and operate independently within the home’s existing speaker system, with the added convenience of voice control (but only when needed).
Sonos Beam 2nd Gen vs Arc: Sound Quality Showdown
To sum up, it’s obvious that the Arc sounds better in some circumstances (given the crucial physical size), but the Sonos Beam (2nd gen) surprises us when we evaluate sound performance in relation to the size of both soundbars.
Putting the Sonos Beam (2nd Gen) in place and turning on the TV for the first time is when you really hear a difference in the sound quality. If you read our review of the Sonos Arc, you’ll remember that we were a bit of a first-time listener, so common TV shows are already more pleasing to the ears. Despite the compact size, frequency management was optimal even before True Play optimization. After some testing, we realized the sound was a little flat so we calibrated the soundbar. The Sonos Beam 2nd Gen problems have been resolved.
The highs are crisp, the bass can be felt and heard more than you’d think it could from a compact, and the soundstage is vivid on multichannel tracks. Increasing the dynamic range does result in a slight reduction in the bass, but this is likely intentional on the part of the manufacturer to prevent the drivers from being overstressed.
When there’s music involved, the second generation Sonos Beam does its best, with five active drivers instead of three in the first generation and class D amplifiers powering everything. A Sonos Sub or two Sonos Ones as satellites seem to be necessary, though, to get the most out of the soundbar. We’ve been using this setup on the Arc for a while, and it completely changes the feeling you get from watching a movie.
Additionally improved by the now-famous TruePlay calibration. However, there is still a major drawback: it is only available on iOS.
Sonos Beam Conclusion
The new Sonos Beam (now in its second generation) is cheaper than the Sonos Arc, its bigger sibling. Let’s be clear: the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a huge improvement in the world of compact soundbars, despite looking very similar to the previous model.
Dolby Atmos and lossless multichannel audio are now supported. The five drivers are of the highest quality, and the Class D amplifier does an almost flawless job of managing sound dynamics. While a true surround sound experience is achieved by adding at least two Sonos One SLs, if you’re looking for a soundbar and can afford the Sonos Beam (Gen 2), your ears will thank you.
Sonos Roam Review: Alexa Support, Spectacular Sound, and Three Standout Features.
Picture a Sonos Mobile that has been shrunk and lightened, with updated software that enhances the already impressive automatic True Play and adds new functionality. A portable smart speaker (compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa) that works with both Bluetooth and WiFi, the new Sonos Roam was likely released at a time when it was most inappropriate to sell travel and travel speakers.
Thankfully, it’s fully integrated into the Sonos audio ecosystem. Sonos Roam may be Sonos’ least expensive speaker ever, but we all know that good sound comes at a price.
Sonos Roam: The Ultimate Travel Companion for Music Lovers
Keeping with the Sonos family tree, the Sonos Roam is a triangular prism with rounded corners. The Sonos Play:1 looks identical to the Sonos Move and Sonos Arc, but the Play:1’s smaller size and lighter weight make it a more convenient travel companion. Imagine the Play:1 as a smartwatch that weighs only 3 kilograms. The Roam is 6.6 x 2.4 x 2.3 inches in size and weighs 15.2 ounces. It can be easily transported due to its small size. As real sound quality (and battery life) are often at odds with portability, this initially worried me.
It has an input for USB-C charging cables and can be used both horizontally and vertically thanks to two rubber feet. It is also very stable in any orientation and can be moved into any desired spot. The base is sold separately, but it is compatible with any wireless charging pad.
In addition to allowing for hands-free calling (when paired with a smartphone via Bluetooth), the rubber base also features buttons for controlling playback, adjusting volume, and turning the microphone off.
Two colors, Moon White and Shadow Black, will be offered. The white one we tested looked the best, but it showed fingerprints and dirt easily.
However, it is dustproof (can survive being submerged in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes) and waterproof (thanks to the IP67 certification) (including sand). I confess that I actually washed it under running water because I despised the white buildup of dirt, and it retained all of its features and sound quality just fine.
Sonos Roam vs. Other Bluetooth Speakers: How Does It Compare?
Sonos Roam, like Sonos Arc, Sonos Move, Sonos Beam, etc., supports both Google Assistant and Alexa, though not simultaneously. Instead, the user must choose which digital assistant they prefer to use in the Sonos S2 app.
Those who are already familiar with Sonos systems will notice that the new speaker management app has been completely redesigned, both in terms of the visual interface and ease of use. Not only have some of the more vexing problems from the original version been fixed, but also support for high-definition audio formats has been added, as has the ability to search through multiple streaming services in a fraction of the time, and near-instant responsiveness in speaker management (e.g., volume control with zero latency). All in all, not bad. With Sonos Mobile, you can play music from a wide variety of sources, including Google Play Music, Amazon Music, Tidal, and many others, all with just the sound of your voice.
Sonos Radio, the company’s streaming service, can be accessed through the Sonos S2 app (or by voice commands) and features thousands of stations culled from the company’s archive of over 60.000 tracks, which have been reorganized and enriched by local and international broadcasters with genre-specific themed channels and stations curated by internationally renowned musicians and DJs. The quality of each is superb. Blues Masters is a great album to listen to if you’re a fan of the genre. It’s quickly become one of my go-to radio stations.
Sonos Sound Swap is a particularly useful feature, allowing you to take your stationary Sonos system with you wherever you go by simply pressing and holding the play button for two seconds. If you keep playing, it will take less than a second, and the continuity will be so smooth it will make you shiver.
When you leave your home, your Sonos Roam will be remote from your WiFi network and will turn on Bluetooth automatically. And it doesn’t end there: Finally, when you return home, you can keep listening to your music through Proximity Roaming on your Sonos home speaker by pressing and holding the Play button for two seconds.
It’s a perfectly functional system that, while seemingly unnecessary to some, ensures that the entire Sonos ecosystem is always being utilized to its full potential. This is all to say that Roaming is infused with the Sonos DNA to the fullest extent, but not everyone will recognize the differences between it and a regular Bluetooth speaker.
How the Sonos Roam Changes the Game for Compact Speakers
Using Sonos Roam, I noticed a decline in sound quality, which was to be expected. Nonetheless, the Sonos’ size is somewhat miraculous, and everyone agrees on that; the Sonos Roam is one of the best subcompact speakers on the market today, especially given its diminutive stature.
Both the tweeter and the midrange woofer in the Sonos Roam are made of carbon fiber; they are double-amplified; their size cannot be considered compact; and yet, they are capable of reproducing full-bodied sound on par with the largest speakers. So it’s obvious from the build that it’s a directional speaker, but it can also be used in a stereo setup if the two speakers are connected.
When it comes down to it, the reality is that the worst play will come from the player who makes the smallest movements. The audio quality may not be immediately noticeable to the untrained ear, but when compared to other speakers of a similar size (like the Bose), it becomes immediately apparent. Simply put, Sonos Roaming is revolutionary. The Sonos Play:1 is the company’s newest and smallest speaker, and it features the same crystal-clear, full-fidelity audio that the company has become known for.
While the ideal balance of body and frequencies is most enjoyable at moderate volumes, I will concede that at maximum volumes the equalization is lost (likely to preserve the driver), resulting in high and low frequencies being more prominent than intended. This drastically lowers the high and low numbers in favor of the middle. Roaming at maximum capacity is something I would never use personally because of the problems it causes with energy consumption and because the replication quality drops significantly at that setting (which is supposed to be very high).
Automatic TruePlay: Sonos Roam: The Speaker that Optimizes Sound Based on its Setting
The idea is that the Sonos Roam will automatically adjust its performance to maximize its efficiency in its current setting. The camera and microphone (which can be controlled by voice) can both be utilized. The speaker’s internal acoustics also have an accelerometer built in, so whenever you stop moving for more than 20 seconds, the internal processor begins optimizing the audio output based on sound reflection calculations. This happens before the ball even reaches the internal DSP, which then corrects the audio output to balance and equalize the soundtrack.
Even if the user doesn’t perform the action themselves, the device will still perform the process invisibly in the background. It’s important to remember that turning off AutoTruePlay on the microphone won’t change anything.
You can listen to your Sonos system for up to 10 hours on a single charge, and it’s guaranteed to keep going. I have to concede that, at least in theory, the test results I got do match up with what the brand promises. But the reality is that this is an extreme factor depending on the type of use: when I activated Google Assistant, for instance, the battery drained on standby and I felt like Alexa wasn’t there.
It’s worth noting that Bluetooth isn’t nearly as heavily relied upon as Wi-Fi is in roaming WiFi, and that wireless multi-room functionality is a major factor in battery life.
Sonos Roam Conclusion
For me, the Sonos Roam is superior not only in terms of sound quality, especially at moderate to loud volumes, but also in terms of its premium features and overall dynamics.
The solution lies in acquiring the top mini wireless Bluetooth speaker on the market. However, it is not without flaws: at the highest volume setting, I prefer more even frequency management.