The most important equipment in my salon. Sonos Beam - opinion after a few months

Some sit down to the TV to enjoy mainly the projected image. My excuse is different - I've been spending more time watching TV lately ... listening to it.

Of course, the visual part always goes hand in hand, but not long ago I sat in front of the TV relatively rarely. So rarely that the first activity after taking the place was to get up and look for the pilot. And then almost as long wiping it from the dust.

And then Sonos Beam came to me and the situation changed.

But that the review is a bit too late (after all, two years will soon pass evenly from the premiere), instead I will explain briefly what I wrote above. And by the way, I will mention a little bit about what could be better at Beam.

I absolutely love: connecting and configuring

I will write directly - I never planned to connect any external sound system to my TV. He is already old and tired of life, and I do not plan to replace him in the near future. Therefore, I do not have any room prepared or any roads planned for additional cables. Thread. Zero. Some classic and cable audio system that filled the room with sound completely fell off. Also because at least one cable would have to run directly through the center of the room (!).

For sonic hardware, this problem does not exist. When Beam reached me, I set it in front of the TV, connected it to the power supply and the corresponding socket on the TV (I used the optical input, unfortunately my old TV does not have HDMI-ARC, the adapter is included), I set up and ... I quickly realized that it was not enough . So I moved two Synfonisk speakers (i.e. Sonos) from another room, set it on temporary stands on the sides of the sofa, quickly set up in the application and ...

... that's it. End. Applause. A small home theater with surround sound composed in about 10-15 minutes, of which 5 took me away from the couch to get to the outlet from which Symphonisks were to be powered.

I don't know if it can be easier and cleaner without prior planning. And I didn't intend to plan.

I absolutely love: I don't have to know each other.

I did not plan to learn the secrets of how to place individual speakers relative to each other, which should be turned in which direction (ok, maybe beyond the basics ...) and in general on what magical ways to get the perfect surround sound. I wanted to have him, I wanted to sit down, listen and watch, not waste time learning unnecessary things.

And here I was given the TruePlay automatic configuration feature, which - and here there is no doubt - makes the difference. Just listen to such a set before and after the procedure.

What does the whole process look like? You should first sit in front of the TV, then walk around the living room and again - the work done. The loudspeakers are configured so that they are properly balanced in the spatial arrangement we set.

Of course, I have no doubt that an audio expert could probably do it just as well or even better, using his knowledge and equipment. Only I am not such an expert, nor do I have to invite someone like that to my home, if I can achieve the most satisfying effect with a few clicks.

You can also ignore TruePlay and set the speaker balance yourself if you have such a need. Similarly to e.g. their volume level in relation to the volume from the TV (separately for music and separately for video materials).

I absolutely love: how is the game included.

And this is not just about the sound itself (more on that in a moment). More about a combination of sound, simplicity of installation - even without the need for the most expensive components from Sonos, as well as almost zero effort.

I have never dealt with surround sound at home while watching TV, so maybe there is a bit of a reason for my fascination with this set, but I know one thing. Such the cheapest sonic surround sound set, i.e. Beam connected to the TV and paired with two Symfonisks (i.e. probably the cheapest network speakers on the market) is enough to have a great time watching movies.

And this is not just my isolated opinion - for example, my wife, who was absolutely skeptical about the idea of ​​such an arming salon, now she can not imagine that such a set could ever be missing. And for a few months it was "what do we need, we can hear the TV" ...

In turn, I regularly find that some sounds from films, transmitted in the form of surround sound, initially interpret as sounds of real surroundings.

I would not like to go back to the ordinary sound for any treasures, even if someone would promise me that it would have a higher quality.

A little mixed feelings: as it plays by itself.

It may be a bit rough opinion, and a bit exaggerated, but I will write like this: if you do not plan to make yourself a home theater with surround sound, you are not interested in communication with the phone, service from a really good application and so on, and your goal is to simply connecting a regular soundbar to a regular TV - it is worth thinking about buying Beam several times.

Yes, Beam, equipped with four full-range speakers, as a stand-alone device, plays well. Maybe even surprisingly good for the equipment of these dimensions (68.5 x 651 x 100 mm, 2.8 kg, you can hang on the wall if you need it).

Yes, PLN 1,900 is not an unimaginable fortune. Yes, Beam can play clean (unless we need extreme volume levels). Yes, the bass quality is very satisfactory (although they will probably be more demanding to look at the purchase of the Sub, which, however, does not make sense financially with Beam), and the high tones and dialogues are really clear (especially the latter deserve a big plus). Yes, regardless of whether in the film we are just watching the chase or shooting scene, or a moving scene accompanied by a violin - will be fine.

Yes, I listened to several concerts with different types of music and it was always a great experience for my needs. Yes, the default arrangements are fine and I did not feel the need to use the equalizer (bass, treble, bass boost).

Yes, it can pleasantly fill an average size living room with sound, without exaggerating the volume increase, loss of quality, while maintaining adequate readability .

But.

1900 PLN for Beam is a price dictated to some extent by additional functions - exactly the same as in the case of Aca, tested by Maciek Gajewski . If we buy it and ignore all the extras, then some of this cash will simply go to waste. And probably by deleting from the list of needs these few items, we will find something cheaper that plays just as well.

So Beam is somewhat similar to Symfonisk. If you want to be a standalone Sonos speaker, it's just ok. We won't be mad at ourselves that we bought it, but it won't change our lives. But in conjunction with the second speaker and after the appropriate (short) configuration, it can - to some extent - delight.

Similarly with Beam. If we treat it as a regular soundbar - it will be ok. It's nice, small, easy to fit, comfortable to use, and playing well. However, if we combine it with two other Sonos speakers (even the cheapest Symfonisks), then "ok" has a good chance of turning into "wow".

A definite plus: universality

At the same time, it is a plus resulting from the fact that it is simply another element of the Sonos system. And so, for example, with one click, I can - without turning on the TV - play music from my phone (via AirPlay or Spotify servers) on a salon, three-element set. I want to have music in the whole house? Further clicks and the same thing is played in the bathroom, kitchen and bedroom. I start to listen to something in the kitchen while preparing dinner, and then I go to the living room? I can drag the music behind me without pulling the phone.

And if, for example, I think that I prefer to have One speakers in home cinema instead of Symfoniks, just a few clicks on the phone. And of course their physical transfer. However, at the moment I do not plan to take One from the bathroom, for example - it is waterproof, while Symfonik cannot offer it.

"I don't know, I don't use"

Or "I checked if it works, and that's all." One of Beam's additional options is voice control, with which you can operate, among others Alexa or Google Assistant. And yes, there is such an option, it works, and the microphones successfully catch our voice coming from somewhere near the sofa. However, I could not find any more sensible application for this option - maybe because the control from the application level was completely enough for me?

It is also difficult for me to form a special opinion on the touch buttons on the top of the housing. There are, they work, but due to placing the soundbar slightly under the TV, I use them very, very rarely. I have the most frequent contact with them when vacuuming the whole set (he likes dust a lot, it is relatively easy to clean it).

Is it worth it

Given the fact that currently Beam is a test copy, it is easy for me to write that yes . But I will write it a little differently.

If I'd received Beam himself for testing and connected him to the TV himself, I would probably have mixed feelings and the decision about a possible purchase after the tests would be quite complicated. Yes, it would sound many times better than my embarrassing TV speakers, but I would have some difficulties justifying spending PLN 1,900.

However, in the current system, when I could connect One / Symfonisk to Beam, I absolutely can't imagine that after testing I could do something other than order my own copy. At the same time, it is easier for me with these 1,900 zlotys - because I do not treat it as a price only for a TV soundbar, but for entering the world of surround sound (banal in installation and configuration!) And it is immediately a really enjoyable level of man.

Anyway, the wife claims exactly the same, and Beam from the "fad" category quickly promoted her to the "necessarily" category. And I won't argue with my wife.

When is it worth?

  • when we want to make a home cinema with surround sound quickly, easily and maximally wirelessly
  • when we plan to connect additional speakers to Beam
  • when we have some Sonos speakers at home
  • when we are looking for a compact, good-quality soundbar and plan to expand our system someday
  • when we are looking for equipment with a very good application
  • when we are looking for equipment with voice assistants

When not necessarily worth it?

  • when we are not planning to expand anything and are just looking for a larger speaker for our TV
  • when 1900 PLN for a soundbar is too much for us
  • when we're looking for really thrilling bass


The most important equipment in my salon. Sonos Beam - opinion after a few months

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