• Power Output: 65W (Estimated)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, HDMI (ARC), Ethernet
  • Others: Touch control, Optical converter, HDMI cable
  • Dimensions: 68 x 651 x 100 mm
  • Weight: 2.8kg
  • Pros:
  • Easy setup
  • Great bass
  • Excellent soundstage
  • Cons:
  • Slight sibilance at high volumes

Beam Me Audio, Sonos!

For every hardcore enthusiast that wants only the best HiFi setup, there are hundreds of casual who want more affordable surround audio. Soundbars are the de-facto alternative champs in this area and this time we got to test the Sonos Beam.

Inside the long box, there’s the power cable, HDMI cable, and HDMI-to-optical converter to go along with the soundbar. The soundbar itself has an oblong body with a flat bottom and slightly concaved top. It doesn’t look very fancy at first, but it has a modest style and elegance that will make it look good in living rooms. You can also choose to get it in white or black, so there’s a degree of colour pairing or contrast in design that some people may consider important.

You can hook it up to your network for playback from a NAS

You can hook it up to your network for playback from a NAS

At the top of the soundbar near the middle, there are three touch buttons for volume control and play/pause. As for the back, there is the power connection, HDMI port, Ethernet port, and a button for pairing.

The Sonos Beam is more compact when compared to a lot of other soundbars. It should fit well enough under most TVs, unless your TV’s stand is too short. Installing it is easy if you’re just using it as is: Plug the power in, then connect it to your choice of device – TV, game console, or media player – and ensure that the audio setting is set to digital.

Of course, if you want more functionality then the Sonos app is a must. With it, you can add a Sonos Sub (subwoofer) or One (speaker) to your setup, stream from over a dozen online music services directly from your smartphone, or get voice assistant/control support. While Amazon’s Alexa is yet to be supported in our country, you will be able to get the Beam to work with Apple AirPlay 2.

Sync a remote control to the Beam for easy volume control through the Sonos app

Sync a remote control to the Beam for easy volume control through the Sonos app

Other uses for the app include setting up different room profiles, basic EQ tweaking, or syncing your TV’s remote control to the Beam. The profiles aren’t really that important if you don’t plan to add speakers, but the last one is quite handy since you can then use the remote to control the volume or mute the soundbar.

When it comes to audio quality, the Beam is top notch. It not only outputs really high volume but also has fantastic soundstage and has good bass performance too, providing more than enough punch for your favourite action movies. The only flaw we found is that it gets slightly sibilant at the higher volume levels.

CHIP CONCLUDE: A strong choice if you’re in the market for a high quality surveillance camera, whether for indoor or outdoor use.

(to be published in issue January 2019)