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Sonos Beam Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Review updated Jan 17, 2024 at 03:00 pm
Sonos Beam Picture
6.9
Mixed Usage
7.6
Dialogue/TV Shows
7.3
Music
6.3
Movies
This soundbar was replaced by the Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

The Sonos Beam is a 3.0 soundbar with a small, compact design. It's a smart soundbar with built-in voice assistant support that you can easily add to your Sonos ecosystem using the Sonos S2 app. Like other premium bars on the market, it comes with a room correction feature to optimize audio reproduction based on your room's unique acoustics - though this feature is only available with iOS devices. While the standalone bar struggles to reproduce the deep, bassy rumble, you can always add on a separate subwoofer to improve its bass reproduction as well as satellites to improve its surround sound.

Our Verdict

6.9 Mixed Usage

The Sonos Beam soundbar is fair for mixed usage. Its neutral and accurate mid-range makes it ideal for listening to vocal-centric content like podcasts and TV shows. Vocals and lead instruments in your favorite music reproduce clearly, too, but you don't feel the rumble in the bass with bass-heavy genres like hip-hop and EDM. Though the bar can play surround sound, it doesn't offer a very immersive listening experience as a standalone bar. There's no Atmos support, either.

Pros
  • Very well-built design.
  • Easily upgradable setup.
Cons
  • No Atmos support.
  • No Full HDMI In ports.
7.6 Dialogue/TV Shows

The Sonos Beam is very good for dialogue-heavy content like TV shows. With its discrete center channel, this 3.0 setup anchors voices to a pinpoint location in the soundstage. Its balanced mid-range ensures that dialogue reproduces clearly and accurately, and there's extra brightness in the treble to make higher-pitched voices sparkle. You can even use its dialogue enhancement feature to make voices more clear and crisp if you prefer.

Pros
  • Dialogue enhancement tool.
  • Great center channel performance for dialogue in movies.
Cons
  • No Full HDMI In ports.
7.3 Music

The Sonos Beam soundbar is decent for music. It has a room correction feature - which Sonos calls TruePlay - that adjusts its audio reproduction based on your room's unique acoustic characteristics. With this feature on, it has a balanced mid-range that makes vocals and lead instruments clear and present in the mix, and there's extra brightness in the treble to make higher-pitched vocals sparkle. If you want a different sound, you can customize it with its bass and treble adjustments. However, you need to add a separate subwoofer to feel the deep rumble in bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop.

Pros
  • Wide soundstage.
Cons
  • Lacks rumbling low-bass.
6.3 Movies

The Sonos Beam soundbar is passable for movies. The bar supports surround sound like Dolby Digital and DTS, but it has to downmix it into stereo to play it. It doesn't sound as immersive as setups with discrete satellites, but fortunately, you can add on separate satellites from Sonos if you watch lots of movies. However, you'll also need to add a subwoofer to feel the rumble in the low-bass during action-packed scenes.

Pros
  • Great center channel performance for dialogue in movies.
  • Easily upgradable setup.
  • Wide soundstage.
Cons
  • Lacks rumbling low-bass.
  • No Atmos support.
  • Poor surrounds performance.
  • 6.9 Mixed Usage
  • 7.6 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 7.3 Music
  • 6.3 Movies
  1. Updated Jan 17, 2024: We've updated this review's text to ensure its accuracy and clarity.
  2. Updated Jun 13, 2023: Converted to Test Bench 1.2. Updated the results for audio format support via ARC/eARC, HDMI In, and Optical. Added Video Passthrough to TV results as well.
  3. Updated Mar 20, 2023: Added cable lengths to In The Box.
  4. Updated Mar 16, 2023: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. With this update, we've added a Mounting test and added information aboutSubwoofer Output, Spotify Connect, and Microphone Mute.
  5. Updated Nov 08, 2022: Retested the bar's sound with firmware version 14.18.
  6. Updated Mar 04, 2022: Updated review for accuracy and clarity.
  7. Updated Jan 19, 2022: Added DTS support with new update.
  8. Updated Mar 17, 2021: Updated review for accuracy and clarity.
  9. Updated Feb 09, 2021: Updated 'App' box, as the soundbar has a new companion app.
  10. Updated Feb 09, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.
  11. Updated Jun 30, 2020: We've updated some test results for consistency across reviews. No major score changes happened.
  12. Updated Sep 27, 2019: Review published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Sonos Beam comes in one color variant: 'Black'. Some retailers sell a version of this product known as the Sonos 'Beam Shadow' or the Sonos 'Beam Shadow Edition' soundbar, which is in a gray color scheme. While we haven't tested them, we expect them to be the same product and perform comparably in tests.

The second generation of this soundbar came out in 2021. You can see our review for the standalone Sonos Beam (Gen 2) or for the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) with Sub Mini + One SL Speakers.

If you encounter a variant not listed here, let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Soundbars

This bar's small, compact size packs a decent performance that can be easily upgraded down the line, thanks to its separate subwoofer and satellites. Its side-firing speakers also help ensure a wide soundstage. Unfortunately, it lacks Bluetooth connectivity, and like many small, standalone soundbars, it has a limited amount of inputs. Unlike its successor, the Sonos Beam (Gen 2), it doesn't support Dolby Atmos either, but it can still be a good choice if you're looking for a bar to handle podcasts or music.

If you're still looking for more soundbars, check out our recommendations for the best small soundbars, the best soundbars for dialogue, and the best Dolby Atmos soundbars.

Sonos Arc

The Sonos Arc is more versatile than the Sonos Beam since it supports eARC and Atmos content. The Arc can deliver deeper bass and has better surround and height performances. That said, the Beam performs better at max volume. It's also shorter and much easier to fit between the legs of a 55-inch TV.

Sonos Ray

The Sonos Beam is better than the Sonos Ray. The Beam is a 3.0 setup, meaning it has a discrete center channel to improve dialogue reproduction, unlike the Ray. It can reproduce a bit more rumble in the bass range, and its soundstage offers a much wider, more immersive listening experience. There's also an HDMI input, which the Ray lacks.

Sonos Playbar

The Sonos Beam is a better soundbar than the Sonos Playbar. The Beam has a more neutral sound profile and a sleek, compact design. It also supports ARC via an adapter and is Apple AirPlay compatible.

Bose Smart Soundbar 600

The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 and the Sonos Beam are both small, premium bars with different strengths. The Sonos creates a better soundstage to immerse you in your audio, and has a room correction feature via its companion app on iOS devices. In comparison, the Bose supports Dolby Atmos, which is important if you like to watch a lot of movies. It also offers a wider range of wireless playback options. Both are solid choices if you're looking for a bar with a small footprint though.

Bose TV Speaker

The Sonos Beam is a better soundbar than the Bose TV Speaker. The Sonos is a 3.0 setup with a better surround performance. It comes with more sound enhancement features, it can get loud enough for a large room, and you can stream music wirelessly to it using Wi-Fi or Apple AirPlay. It also has a companion app that can control all the bar's features. However, the Bose is a 2.0 setup that lets you use Bluetooth to play audio from your phone. The Bose also has an auto-off power-saving feature.

Bose Smart Soundbar 300

The Sonos Beam is a better soundbar than the Bose Smart Soundbar 300. The Sonos has a more balanced sound profile and has room correction and auto-volume features. However, the Bose is smaller, can support more audio formats via its HDMI ARC port, and has more wireless playback options.

Bose Smart Soundbar 700

When comparing the bars by themselves, the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 is slightly better than the Sonos Beam. The Bose can get slightly louder without as much compression at max volume. It feels better made and has a premium feel, with a glass plate covering. The Bose also has more inputs and can play content wirelessly via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. On the other hand, the Sonos is smaller and easier to fit in your home theater setup.

Sony HT-X8500

The Sonos Beam is a better soundbar than the Sony HT-X8500. The Sonos is a 3.0 setup that's better built, has a discrete center channel that performs better than the Sony soundbar's phantom center, and has a better stereo soundstage. You can also stream music to it using Wi-Fi or Apple AirPlay. However, even though the Sony soundbar's height channel performance is sub-par, it supports Atmos, which is rare for a 2.1 setup. The Sony also has EQ presets, an HDMI Out, and a Full HDMI In port, which is nice.

Bose Solo 5

The Sonos Beam is a better soundbar than the Bose Solo 5. The Sonos has a 3.0 configuration with a dedicated center channel, which makes voices even clearer. It's better built, and it gets louder than the Bose. Also, its soundstage is wider and has more sound enhancement features. However, only the Bose supports Bluetooth.

Bose Solo Soundbar Series II

The Sonos Beam is better than the Bose Solo Soundbar Series II. They're both small standalone soundbars with solid performances, but the Sonos has a better sound. It's better built, with a more neutral sound out of the box. Its soundstage is also much wider, so you feel more immersed in your audio. There's a discrete center channel to improve vocal clarity and more sound enhancement features to help you customize the sound.

Bose Soundbar 500

The Sonos Beam is a better soundbar than the Bose Soundbar 500. The Sonos is a more compact soundbar that can get a bit louder, and its stereo frequency response is more accurate. The soundstage of the Sonos is wider, which feels more immersive. The Sonos also has a room correction feature that automatically adjusts the sound profile based on the room's acoustics. On the other hand, the Bose supports eARC, even though it reencodes these formats into Dolby Digital, and is also Bluetooth-compatible. The Sonos only supports wireless streaming via Wi-Fi.

Yamaha YAS-109

The Sonos Beam is a better soundbar than the Yahama YAS-109. The Sonos is a 3.0 setup that feels better built and has a more neutral sound profile. Its center channel performance is better and has more sound enhancement features. However, the Yahama has more physical inputs like a Full HDMI In port and supports Bluetooth.

Yamaha YAS-209

The Sonos Beam is a better soundbar than the Yamaha YAS-209. The Sonos is a 3.0 setup with a dedicated center speaker and can get very loud. It's also more compact, and you can easily upgrade the setup with sub and rear speakers. However, the YAS-209 has a dedicated wireless subwoofer that helps to produce more bass than the Sonos. It also has a lot more connection inputs, and you can connect to it via Bluetooth.

Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a bit better for mixed usage than the original Sonos Beam. The Gen 2 is a 5.0 setup that offers better surround performance. It's better built and supports Dolby Atmos content. However, the 3.0 Beam does get louder.

Samsung HW-S60B/S61B

The Samsung HW-S60B/S61B and the Sonos Beam are both small standalone soundbars with premium designs. The Sonos is a 3.0 bar, and while it can reproduce a wider and more immersive soundstage, it can't playback Dolby Atmos content like the 5.0 Samsung. If you care about Atmos content, you may want to compare the Samsung soundbar with the next-generation Sonos Beam (Gen 2), which adds Atmos support to the first-generation model.

Bose Smart Soundbar 900

The Bose Smart Soundbar 900 is better than the Sonos Beam. It's better built and has a better surround performance. Unlike the Sonos soundbar, it also supports Dolby Atmos content. The Sonos is still a solid choice for dialogue-centric content like TV shows. It also has a more compact design, which some users may prefer.

JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam

You may prefer the Sonos Beam or the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam depending on your listening habits. The Sonos is a 3.0 setup with a better soundstage performance and a more balanced sound profile out of the box. Also, it has a dialogue enhancement feature. However, the 5.0 JBL is better for movies, as it offers better Atmos and surround performances. It also comes with a Full HDMI In port and more wireless playback options.

Roku Streambar Pro

The Sonos Beam is a better standalone bar than the Roku Streambar Pro. The Sonos is a 3.0 bar with a discrete center channel to improve its vocal reproduction. It has a better soundstage, and you notice more bass in the mix right out of the box. Unlike the Roku soundbar, it supports DTS content and has a room correction feature.

Klipsch Cinema 400

The Sonos Beam is better than the Klipsch Cinema 400. The Sonos is a 3.0 setup that's better built and gets louder. It has better soundstage, center, and surround performances. Unlike the Klipsch, it has room correction and built-in voice assistant support. However, the 2.1 Klipsch comes with a dedicated sub that helps reproduce a more extended low-bass.

Samsung HW-Q800A

The Samsung HW-Q800A is a better soundbar than the Sonos Beam. The Samsung comes with a dedicated subwoofer that helps reproduce a more extended low-bass. It supports Dolby Atmos content and has a better surround performance. It also supports more wireless playback options and has a graphic EQ and presets to customize its sound. However, the Sonos is more compact with a better soundstage and has a room correction feature.

Yamaha YAS-108/ATS-1080

The Sonos Beam is a slightly better-performing soundbar than the Yamaha YAS-108/ATS-1080. The Sonos has a more extended bass, feels better built, and offers more sound enhancement features. On the other hand, the Yamaha has more connectivity options, including a Full HDMI In port. The Yamaha also has Bluetooth playback, while the Sonos can only connect via Wi-Fi or Apple AirPlay.

Sony HT-A3000

The Sony HT-A3000 and the Sonos Beam are both small soundbars with premium builds. However, the Sony offers a slightly more versatile overall performance. This bar has a better surrounds performance and supports Dolby Atmos, which can make for a more immersive movie experience, even though it still has to downmix this content into stereo to play it. It also has EQ presets so that you have a bit more control over its sound. That said, the Sonos is smaller in size, and has a wider soundstage. It also has built-in voice assistant support, which can be handy if you want to note things down to Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. It's more limited in terms of audio support via HDMI ARC though, and it supports less wireless playback options.

Roku Streambar

The Sonos Beam is a significantly better soundbar than the Roku Streambar. The Sonos is a 3.0 setup that's better balanced and has a better center and surround performance. It also has more sound enhancement features and can get much louder, with some compression artifacts present. However, the Roku is a 2.0 setup with more physical inputs. You can also wirelessly stream your favorite audio to the bar using Bluetooth.

Sony HT-ST5000

The Sony HT-ST5000 is better for mixed usage than the Sonos Beam. The Sony is a 7.1.2 setup with a dedicated sub. It can reproduce a more extended low-bass and has a better surround performance. Unlike the Sonos, it supports Dolby Atmos content. However, the Sonos has a very compact 3.0 setup suitable for users who prefer dialogue-centric content like TV shows. Despite its small size, it has a better soundstage than the Sony.

Klipsch Cinema 600

The Klipsch Cinema 600 is better than the Sonos Beam for most uses. The Klipsch has a better surround performance and reproduces a more extended low-bass. However, the Sonos is better built with a better soundstage. It also comes with room correction and a built-in voice assistant, unlike the Klipsch.

Samsung HW-Q700A

The Samsung HW-Q700A is a better soundbar than the Sonos Beam for most uses. The Samsung supports Dolby Atmos content and offers a better surround performance. It reproduces a slightly more extended low-bass than the Sonos and comes with a Full HDMI In port. It also has a graphic EQ and presets to customize its sound, and it supports more wireless playback options. However, the Sonos supports voice assistants and has a better soundstage. It has a room correction feature, and some listeners may prefer its smaller design.

Vizio M Series M512a-H6

The Vizio M Series M512a-H6 is better than the Sonos Beam. The Vizio is a 5.1.2 setup with a dedicated sub and satellites. Unlike the Sonos, it supports Atmos content and has a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough. It also gets louder, and it has a better surround performance. The 3.0 Sonos is better built with built-in voice assistant support. Some users may also prefer its more compact design.

JBL Bar 5.1 Surround

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer the Sonos Beam or the JBL Bar 5.1 Surround. The Sonos is a 3.0 setup that offers a better soundstage performance. It also has a dialogue enhancement feature and built-in voice assistant support, unlike the JBL. However, the 5.1 JBL comes with a dedicated subwoofer, reproducing a more extended low-bass. It also offers a better surround performance and comes with EQ presets, a Full HDMI In port that supports high-quality passthrough, and more wireless playback options.

Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers

The Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers is a better soundbar than the Sonos Beam. The Arc full setup is better built and has a dedicated sub and surround speakers. It reproduces a more extended low-bass and offers a better surround performance. Unlike the Beam, it also supports Dolby Atmos content. However, the Beam's small, compact setup may be preferable for some users.

Sony HT-G700

You may prefer the Sony HT-G700 or the Sonos Beam, depending on your listening habits. The Sonos is a 3.0 setup that's better built and has built-in voice assistant support. It also has a better stereo soundstage and offers a room correction feature. That said, the Sony has a better surround performance, and unlike the Sonos, it supports Atmos content. It also comes with a Full HDMI In port.

AmazonBasics 2.1 Channel Bluetooth

The 3.0 channel Sonos Beam is a much better soundbar than the AmazonBasics 2.1 Channel Bluetooth. The Sonos is more compact, and it has a significantly better-balanced sound profile, a wider soundstage, and more sound enhancement features, including room correction. Neither soundbar has Full HDMI In ports, though, and both only support Dolby Digital surround content.

Polk Audio MagniFi MAX SR

You may prefer the Sonos Beam or the Polk Audio MagniFi MAX SR, depending on your listening habits. The Polk Audio is a 5.1 setup with a dedicated sub and discrete satellites. It reproduces more of the thump and rumble in your audio and has a better surround performance. However, there were some audio issues with the model we tested. Also, the 3.0 Sonos is better built with built-in voice assistant support. It has a better soundstage, and some listeners may prefer its compact design.

JBL Bar 9.1

The JBL Bar 9.1 is better than the Sonos Beam. The JBL has a dedicated sub that reproduces a more extended low-bass, and it supports Atmos content. It has a better surround performance and more wireless playback options. Unlike the Sonos, it has EQ presets and a Full HDMI In port. That said, only the Sonos has built-in voice assistant support. Some users may also prefer its more compact design.

Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module

The Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module is better than the Sonos Beam. The Bose is a better-built setup with a subwoofer and satellites. It supports Dolby Atmos content and can reproduce a more extended low-bass. Also, its surround and soundstage performances are better. However, the Sonos is still a solid choice if you prefer a compact, standalone soundbar.

Sony HT-S100F

The Sonos Beam is a better soundbar than the Sony HT-S100F. The Sonos is a 3.0 system with a center channel, which makes dialogue clearer and easier to understand. It also has a more accurate overall audio reproduction and has many sound enhancement features, including room correction. It has a great soundstage for an immersive feel as well. On the other hand, if you like the simplicity of Bluetooth, only the Sony is Bluetooth compatible. It's also better built and noticeably smaller, making it easier to fit into your setup.

Bose Smart Soundbar 700 with Speakers + Bass Module

The Bose Smart Soundbar 700 with Speakers + Bass Module is better than the Sonos Beam. The Bose has a subwoofer that reproduces a more extended low-bass and has discrete satellites for a better surround performance. It's also better built and has a better stereo soundstage. It even supports more wireless playback options. That said, some users may prefer the Sonos' more compact design.

Vizio V Series V51-H6

The Vizio V Series V51-H6 is better than the Sonos Beam. The Vizio is a 5.1 setup with a dedicated sub and discrete satellites. It can reproduce a more extended low-bass, resulting in more thump and rumble in your audio. It also has a better surround performance. However, the 3.0 Sonos is better built with built-in voice assistant capabilities. It also has a better soundstage.

Harman/Kardon Enchant 1300

The Harman/Kardon Enchant 1300 and the Sonos Beam have similar overall performances, so depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. The Harman/Kardon offers a better surround performance and comes with EQ presets for sound customization. It also has three Full HDMI In ports and more wireless playback options. You can also use it for high-quality passthrough. However, some users may prefer the Sonos' more compact design, voice assistant support, and neutral default sound profile. It also comes with an app, unlike the Harman/Kardon.

Denon Home Sound Bar 550

The Sonos Beam is a better soundbar than the Denon Home Sound Bar 550. The Sonos has a better soundstage performance, and it gets louder. It also has a room correction feature and a discrete center channel. However, the Denon supports Atmos content and Bluetooth connectivity. It also comes with EQ presets and a Full HDMI In port.

Samsung HW-Q60T

You may prefer the Samsung HW-Q60T or the Sonos Beam, depending on your listening habits. The Sonos is a compact 3.0 setup with better soundstage and center channel performances. It has built-in voice assistant support and a room correction feature. However, the 5.1 Samsung has a dedicated sub reproducing a more extended low-bass. It has a better surround performance, a Full HDMI In port, and a graphic EQ to customize its sound.

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Stage

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound Stage is a slightly better soundbar than the Sonos Beam. The Bang & Olufsen can produce more bass, supports Dolby Atmos, and has a graphic EQ with presets. It also offers more connectivity options and supports more audio formats. However, the Sonos has a more neutral sound profile and a room correction feature. Some users may especially prefer its small size, which can be upgraded later with a separate subwoofer or satellite.

Polk Audio Signa S2

The Sonos Beam is better than the Polk Audio Signa S2. The Sonos is a 3.0 setup with a discrete center channel that offers a better soundstage performance. It's better built, too. Unlike the Polk Audio soundbar, it has a room correction feature and built-in voice assistant support. However, some listeners may prefer to customize their bar's sound using the Polk Audio's EQ presets.

Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar MAX

The Sonos Beam and the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar MAX are two very different standalone setups. The Sennheiser is one of the largest and heaviest bars we've tested. It can reproduce a more extended low-bass, can become louder, has a better surround performance, and supports Atmos content. However, the Sonos is a very compact 3.0 setup. It has a better soundstage and is very suitable for dialogue-centric content like TV shows.

Sony HT-S350

The Sonos Beam is a better soundbar than the Sony HT-S350, even without its separate sub and satellites. The Sonos has a noticeably more neutral sound and a wider soundstage. It also has a dedicated center channel, which makes voices and dialogue clearer and easier to understand. However, it doesn't have any HDMI ports. Also, only the Sony supports Bluetooth.

Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Mini

The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Mini is more versatile than the original Sonos Beam. Unlike the Sonos, the Sennheiser supports Dolby Atmos content. However, it doesn't bring as wide a soundstage with stereo content. You might want to compare the Sennheiser with the Sonos Beam (Gen 2), as this next-generation bar adds Atmos support, too.

Samsung HW-Q600A

The Samsung HW-Q600A is a better soundbar than the Sonos Beam. The Samsung supports Dolby Atmos content and comes with a Full HDMI In port, unlike the Sonos. It also reproduces a more extended low-bass and has more sound customization features, including a graphic EQ and presets. However, the Sonos is more compact, has a room correction feature, and has built-in voice assistant support. It also has a better soundstage.

Samsung HW-A450

The Sonos Beam is a bit better for mixed usage than the Samsung HW-A450. The Sonos is better built, and some listeners may prefer its more compact design. It has better soundstage and center performances and a room correction feature. Unlike the Samsung soundbar, it offers built-in voice assistant capabilities and an HDMI ARC port. However, the Samsung has a dedicated sub, so it reproduces a more extended low-bass. It also has a graphic EQ and presets, which some users may prefer for sound customization.

Samsung HW-A650

The Samsung HW-A650 is slightly better for mixed usage than the Sonos Beam. The HW-A650 has a dedicated sub that helps reproduce a more extended low-bass. Unlike the Sonos, it has a Full HDMI In port and a graphic EQ for sound customization. However, the Sonos has a better soundstage. Some users may prefer its compact design and built-in voice assistant support.

Samsung HW-Q950A

The Samsung HW-Q950A is better than the Sonos Beam. The Samsung is an 11.1.4 setup that supports Dolby Atmos content. Thanks to its dedicated sub, it reproduces a more extended low-bass. It also gets louder, and it has a better surround performance thanks partly to its dedicated satellites. It supports more wireless playback options, and its Full HDMI In port supports high-quality passthrough. That said, the Sonos is better built, is more compact, and has a better soundstage.

Hisense HS218

The Sonos Beam is better than the Hisense HS218. The Sonos is a 3.0 setup that's better built and comes with built-in voice assistant support. It has better center and soundstage performances, too. Also, it comes with some more sound enhancement features, like room correction. However, the Hisense has a dedicated sub, which helps reproduce a slightly more extended low-bass.

Samsung HW-Q950T

The Sonos Beam and the Samsung HW-Q950T are two very different setups. The Samsung is a very versatile 9.1.4 setup with a dedicated sub and satellites. It gets louder and can reproduce a more extended low-bass. Unlike the Sonos, it supports Atmos content and has a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough. Its surround performance is better, too. However, the Sonos is a solid choice if you want a compact 3.0 setup for enhancing dialogue-centric content like TV shows. It even has a better soundstage than the Samsung.

Vizio M Series M51a-H6

The Vizio M Series M51a-H6 is better than the Sonos Beam. The Vizio is a 5.1 setup with a dedicated sub that helps reproduce a more extended low-bass. Thanks to its satellites, it also has a better surround performance. Unlike the Sonos, it supports Atmos content and comes with EQ presets and a Full HDMI In port. However, some listeners may prefer the Sonos' better-built, more compact design. Unlike the Vizio, the Sonos has room correction and built-in voice assistant support. Its stereo soundstage performance is better, too.

Samsung HW-Q70T

The Samsung HW-Q70T is better than the Sonos Beam for most uses. The Samsung has a more extended low-bass and comes with a graphic EQ and presets for sound customization. It supports Atmos content and has a better surround performance. It has a Full HDMI In port, and it supports more wireless playback options. However, the Sonos has built-in voice assistant support, a better soundstage, and a smaller design. It also has room correction and auto-volume features, unlike the Samsung.

Klipsch Bar 48

Even without the sub and satellites, the Sonos Beam is a better soundbar than the Klipsch Bar 48, which has a dedicated subwoofer. The Sonos is smaller, well-built, and has a more neutral sound profile. Also, its soundstage is wider and has more sound enhancement features. On the other hand, the Bar 48 can get noticeably louder.

Sony HT-X9000F

The Sonos Beam is a better overall performing soundbar than the Sony HT-X9000F. The Sonos is smaller, its sound profile is better balanced, and it has a better soundstage. It also has an outstanding discrete center channel and a room correction feature. However, it lacks low-bass. On the other hand, the Sony soundbar can support Atmos content by downmixing it, has a Full HDMI In port, and can stream audio via Bluetooth. It can also pass through high-quality signals, so if it is connected between your PC and TV, the text on the screen will be crisp and clear.

Samsung HW-Q60R

The Samsung HW-Q60R is a slightly better soundbar system than the Sonos Beam. Although the Sonos has a wider soundstage, the overall performance of the Samsung is better. It performs better with surround content thanks to the built-in Acoustic Beam up-firing speakers. On the other hand, the Sonos has a room correction feature, and it's easy to upgrade with a wireless sub and satellites, though we tested the Sonos as a stand-alone bar.

Sony HT-Z9F

The Sony HT-Z9F is a slightly better-performing soundbar than the Sonos Beam. The Sony is more versatile, even though it struggles to reproduce a rumbly bass. It can support Atmos content and all common audio formats through an ARC or Full HDMI In connection. However, the Sonos is great if you're short on space and looking for a standalone soundbar with a fairly neutral sound. The Sonos can also be upgraded later down the line.

LG SN6Y

The LG SN6Y and the Sonos Beam offer similar overall performances. The LG is a 3.1 setup with a dedicated sub and can reproduce a slightly more extended low-bass. Unlike the Sonos, it has a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough. However, the 3.0 Sonos is better built with a more compact design that some users may prefer. Despite its small size, it still offers a better soundstage performance.

LG Eclair QP5

The Sonos Beam is better than the LG Eclair QP5. The Sonos is a better-built 3.0 setup with built-in voice assistant support. It has better soundstage, center, and surround performances. Some users may also prefer its more neutral, balanced sound out of the box. However, it doesn't support Dolby Atmos content like the LG.

Sony HT-S200F

The Sonos Beam is better than the Sony HT-S200F. The Sonos is better built, and it has built-in voice assistant support. It also has better center and soundstage performances. Unlike the Sony, it has a room correction feature. That said, only the Sony has EQ presets.

Sony HT-A7000

The Sonos Beam and the Sony HT-A7000 are two very different setups. The Sonos is a very compact 3.0 setup with a better stereo soundstage. It's a suitable upgrade over your TV speakers, but if you like to watch a lot of movies, you may prefer the Sony. The Sony is better built with a better surround performance, and unlike the Sonos, it supports Atmos content. It also has a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough.

Sony HT-CT800

The Sonos Beam is a much better soundbar than the Sony HT-CT800. The Sonos has a more balanced sound profile, and its soundstage is noticeably larger. It's also a 3.0 setup, with a dedicated center channel for clearer reproduction of voices and dialogue. On the other hand, the Sony soundbar has a dedicated subwoofer, although you can buy a separate sub for the Sonos. The Sony also has many Full HDMI In ports and supports Bluetooth.

Samsung HW-Q70R

The Samsung HW-Q70R is a better soundbar than the Sonos Beam. The Samsung has a more balanced sound profile, mainly due to its dedicated subwoofer, and has up-firing speakers that support Dolby Atmos content. Also, the Samsung soundbar has more connectivity options, but the Sonos has more customization options to tweak the sound to your liking.

Samsung HW-Q59CT

The Samsung HW-Q59CT and the Sonos Beam offer similar overall performances. The Samsung is a 5.1 setup with a dedicated sub reproducing a more extended low-bass. Unlike the Sonos, it has a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough. That said, the 3.0 Sonos is better built, and its more compact design may be ideal for some users. It also has better soundstage and center performances.

Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch is a better setup than the Sonos Beam soundbar by itself. Since we only tested the Sonos with the bar alone, it's somewhat hard to compare a 9.2 system with a 3.0 system. Nevertheless, the Nakamichi gets louder with stereo content, although its soundstage isn't as wide as the Sonos'. The Sonos soundbar also features a room correction feature that uses a microphone to adjust the audio reproduction.

Vizio SB3220n-F6

The Sonos Beam is a better soundbar than the Vizio SB3220n-F6. While both bars have fairly well-balanced, neutral sound profiles, the Sonos packs a bit more thump and rumble. It also has a dedicated center channel, which helps voices sound clearer, and an even wider soundstage. It doesn't support Bluetooth, unlike the Vizio, which also has a regular audio jack for better mobile device support and can play files from a USB key.

LG SP9YA

The LG SP9YA is a better soundbar for most uses than the Sonos Beam. The LG is a 5.1.2 setup that comes with a dedicated subwoofer. It can reproduce a more extended low-bass and has a better surround performance. Unlike the Sonos, it supports Atmos content and has a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough. That said, the 3.0 Sonos has a more compact design. It also offers better soundstage and center performances, so it's a solid choice for users who listen to lots of dialogue-centric content and don't want to use up a lot of space in their setup.

LG SN8YG

The LG SN8YG is better than the Sonos Beam. The LG has a dedicated sub that helps reproduce a more extended low-bass. Unlike the Sonos, it supports Dolby Atmos content and has a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough. It also offers more wireless playback options and sound enhancement features, like EQ presets. That said, the Sonos is better built with a better soundstage. Some listeners may also prefer its more compact design.

Samsung HW-S60A

You may prefer the Sonos Beam or the Samsung HW-S60A, depending on your listening habits. The Sonos is a 3.0 soundbar with a better soundstage performance and a room correction feature. However, the Samsung is a 5.0 bar with a better surround performance and a graphic EQ for sound customization. Also, it supports Bluetooth connectivity, unlike the Sonos.

Samsung HW-A550

The Sonos Beam is marginally better for mixed usage than the Samsung HW-A550. The Sonos is better built with better center and soundstage performances. Unlike the Samsung, it has room correction and built-in voice assistant. However, the 2.1 Samsung has a dedicated sub that reproduces a more extended low-bass. Unlike the Sonos, it has a graphic EQ, presets, and a Full HDMI In port.

Yamaha YAS-207

The Yamaha YAS-207 is a slightly better soundbar than the Sonos Beam. The Yamaha has a dedicated subwoofer and a better bass extension to produce a thumpy bass. It also has more input selection and supports Bluetooth, but the Sonos' center channel performs significantly better for dialogue-heavy content and has more sound enhancement features than the Yamaha.

Vizio M Series M21d-H8R

The Sonos Beam is a better soundbar than the Vizio M-Series M21d-H8R. The Sonos is better built and has a more balanced sound profile. It also has a better soundstage performance and gets louder with less compression when you play it at max volume. However, unlike the Sonos, the Vizio comes with some EQ presets, and it has a Full HDMI In port that supports 4k passthrough.

Samsung HW-N450

Even with the bar by itself, the Sonos Beam is a better option than the Samsung N450. Without a sub, the Sonos has a similar bass performance to the Samsung's, with a more neutral sound overall. It is also a 3.0 bar with a dedicated center channel for clear voices and dialogue. The Sonos also has more features and room correction. It can also be easily upgraded with a separate sub and satellite. On the other hand, it doesn't have a lot of inputs, and you can't stream content via Bluetooth to the Sonos via Wi-Fi.

Samsung HW-Q90R

The Samsung HW-Q90R is a better overall setup compared to the Sonos Beam. The Samsung is a 7.1.4 setup with a better surround performance that can also support Dolby Atmos content. It gets louder with less compression at max volume, and it reproduces a more extended low-bass. When it comes to sound enhancement features, the Samsung soundbar has a graphic EQ and presets, whereas the Sonos has room correction. The Sonos is simple in its setup and is a great standalone soundbar with a center channel that helps reproduce dialogue accurately. It also has a better soundstage and built-in voice assistant support.

Samsung HW-Q80R

The Samsung HW-Q80R is a better setup than the Sonos Beam. As the Samsung is a 5.1.2 setup, the Sonos is suitable if you prefer to have only one soundbar to do it all. The Sonos offers several sound enhancement features that the Samsung doesn't have, like room correction. However, the Sonos doesn't support height channels or Atmos. It also lacks connectivity options compared to the many offered by the Samsung soundbar.

Yamaha YAS-408

The Sonos Beam is better for most uses than the Yamaha YAS-408. The Sonos is better built with built-in voice assistant support. It has better center and soundstage performances and comes with room correction. However, the Yamaha may be better suited for movies since it has a better surround performance. Also, its dedicated sub helps reproduce a more extended low-bass.

JBL Link Bar

The Sonos Beam is a better soundbar than the JBL Link Bar. The Sonos is easily upgradable, and its 3.0 configuration means it has a dedicated center speaker, which makes dialogue and voices even clearer. It also has way more features like room correction and a night mode. On the other hand, the JBL can play content via Bluetooth and has Chromecast built-in. It also acts as an Android TV box and a Google Home Speaker.

Samsung HW-Q900A

The Samsung HW-Q900A is better than the Sonos Beam. The Samsung is a 7.1.2 setup that has a dedicated sub, which helps reproduce a more extended low-bass. It gets louder and has a better surround performance. Unlike the Sonos, it supports Atmos content and has a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough. Even more sound enhancement features are available, such as a graphic EQ and presets. However, some users may prefer the Sonos' better-built, more compact design. Despite its smaller size, the Sonos also has a better stereo soundstage.

Samsung HW-S60T

The Sonos Beam is an overall slightly better-performing soundbar than the Samsung HW-S60T. The Sonos is slightly more compact, its sound profile is a bit better balanced, and it has a better center channel and surround performance. The Sonos also offers a wide range of sound enhancement features, like room correction and auto-volume mode. However, unlike the Samsung, it lacks an EQ. The Samsung, on the other hand, supports Bluetooth connectivity.

LG SN9YG

The LG SN9YG is better than the Sonos Beam. The LG is a 5.1.2 setup with a dedicated subwoofer that helps reproduce a more extended low-bass. Unlike the Sonos, it supports Dolby Atmos content and has a Full HDMI In port. It also has a better surround performance and EQ presets for sound customization. That said, the 3.0 Sonos has better soundstage and center channel performances.

Samsung HW-Q800T

The Samsung HW-Q800T is a better soundbar than the Sonos Beam. The Samsung comes with a dedicated subwoofer so that it can reproduce a more extended low-bass, and it also supports Dolby Atmos content. It also gets louder than the Sonos with less compression at max volume. It has a graphic EQ and presets for sound customization, a Full HDMI In port that supports high-quality passthrough, and more wireless playback options. That said, the Sonos has a better soundstage performance and comes with a room correction feature, unlike the Samsung.

Samsung HW-T650

The Samsung HW-T650 is better for mixed usage than the Sonos Beam. The Samsung has a dedicated sub that reproduces a more extended low-bass. Unlike the Sonos, it has EQ presets and a Full HDMI In port. That said, the Sonos is better built with built-in voice assistant support. It has a better soundstage and room correction.

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Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Sonos Beam's soundbar has a fairly plain design, mostly solid plastic. A mesh-like fabric cover surrounds the whole bar, which can get dirty or tear. On top of the bar, there are three touch-sensitive buttons.

Design
Style - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
No
Enclosure
No Subwoofer

This bar doesn't include a subwoofer. However, you can purchase a separate subwoofer to upgrade your setup.

Design
Style - Satellites
Satellite Wireless
No

This bar has no satellites, but you can upgrade your setup with additional satellites.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width 25.6" (65.0 cm)
Height 2.6" (6.7 cm)
Depth 4.0" (10.1 cm)

The Sonos Beam is a small and compact soundbar that fits easily between the legs of a 56" TV stand. It isn't very tall, either, so it doesn't block your TV screen unless your TV sits flush against your table.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Width N/A
Height N/A
Depth N/A
Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Width N/A
Height N/A
Depth N/A
Design
Mounting
Mountable Bar
Yes
Bar Brackets Included
No
Mountable Satellites
No
Satellite Brackets Included
No

You can mount this bar to your wall, but the brackets aren't included, so you'll have to purchase these separately.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

This bar has great build quality. It's mostly plastic, which feels very robust and solid. Unlike the Sonos Beam (Gen 2), however, it has a fabric cover to protect the drivers instead of a plastic grille. This design choice makes the bar prone to collecting dust and coming loose over time.

Design
In The Box

  • Manuals
  • Bar power cable (6.2 ft / 1.9m)
  • HDMI cable (4.9 ft / 1.5m)
  • HDMI to Optical adapter (9 cm)
  • Driver CDs

Sound
7.2
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
No Preset
Slope
0.63
Std. Err.
3.39 dB
Channels
3.0
Low-Frequency Extension
49.7 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

The Sonos Beam's stereo frequency response is decent. Like many premium bars on the market, it comes with a room correction feature to adjust its sound based on your room's unique acousticsโ€”Sonos calls this feature TruePlay. It's worth noting that this feature is only available on iOS devices.

With room correction on, its sound profile is fairly well-balanced, producing a bright yet neutral sound. Updating the bar to firmware version 14.18 adds some extra emphasis in the treble, too, so vocals and instruments sound crisp and detailed while sibilants like cymbals sizzle. This sound is ideal for dialogue-centric content without a lot of bass, like podcasts and TV shows. That said, like most standalone soundbars, it can't reproduce the deep thump and rumble in the bass range, which can make action-packed scenes and musical genres like EDM and hip-hop feel lacking. You can improve its bass reproduction by adding on Sonos' separate subwoofer, though.

7.5
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
No Preset
Suggested Bass Setting
0
Suggested Treble Setting
-6
Slope
0.18
Std. Err.
2.34 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
49.7 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

There are bass and treble adjustments in this bar's companion app, so you can customize its sound. With the bass set to '0' and the treble set to '-6', dialogue and instruments become less harsh without losing their detail or clarity. It still lacks the deep rumble in the low-bass, even when you adjust its bass.

8.0
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
2.26 dB

This soundbar has a great soundstage. Its side-firing speakers work together with its center channel speaker to produce a soundstage that feels almost as wide as home theater speaker towers. However, you can't disable this setup, and while this soundstage widening effect works well, it feels like the sound is coming from a general area rather than a specific location. If you're looking for a soundbar with a wider soundstage, check out the Bose Smart Soundbar 700.

6.4
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
91.2 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
3.85 dB

This soundbar gets fairly loud, so it can still fill an average-sized living room with sound. However, some compression artifacts are present at max volume, especially in the bass range. These compression artifacts persist, even after updating the bar to firmware version 14.18. As a result, cranking up the volume results in a sound that isn't as clean or pure as at lower volumes.

7.2
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.73
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.51

This soundbar's THD performance is decent. There isn't much distortion present at a normal listening volume, resulting in a clear and pure sound. That said, there's a slight increase in THD at max volume, even after updating the bar to firmware 14.18. Distortion is hard to hear with real-life content, but astute audiophiles will want to keep it in mind.

8.3
Sound
Center
Localization
Discrete
Slope
0.39
Std. Err.
2.87 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
92.0 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.97
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.56

This soundbar is a 3.0 setup with a great center channel performance. It has a dedicated center speaker that improves vocal reproduction overall. Its sound profile is pretty balanced, too, especially in the mid-range, where most voices reproduce. However, updating the bar to firmware 14.18 adds extra brightness to the mix, which you may want to adjust with its treble dial to get a more even sound. Also, it lacks some low-bass, but this isn't noticeable with dialogue-centric content since voices aren't usually reproduced in the bass range.

3.1
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Slope
-0.27
Std. Err.
5.44 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
85.2 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
1.74
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.95
7.1 Rears
No

As expected, this 3.0 setup has a poor surround performance. As a standalone bar, it downmixes everything into a stereo signal while using the left and right speakers to produce its surround sound. It struggles to produce an accurate and clear representation of surround objects like dialogue or individual instruments in an orchestra, which feel like they're coming from in front of you rather than around you. Luckily, as the L/R drivers are on the side of the bar, it can make the surround experience slightly better. You can also upgrade this soundbar with separate satellites to improve its surround performance. If you mostly listen to surround and Atmos content, you'll want to check out the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch, which produces a much more dimensional surround experience.

0
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Not Supported
Slope
N/A
Std. Err.
N/A
SPL @ Max Volume
N/A
Weighted THD @ 80dB
N/A
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
N/A

This setup doesn't support Dolby Atmos content. If you want a small bar with Atmos support, check out the LG Eclair QP5 or the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). There are other standalone bars with Atmos support, too, like the Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3.

5.4
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
Yes
Dialogue Enhancement
Yes
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
Yes
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
No
Bass Adjustment
Yes
Treble Adjustment
Yes
EQ
No
Surround Level Adjustment
No
Rear Level Adjustment
No
Height Level Adjustment
No
Virtual Surround
No

The Sonos Beam doesn't offer a lot of customizability like an EQ or presets, but you can adjust the bass and treble if you like to tweak your sound. There's a dialogue enhancement feature for producing clearer speech and a night mode for adjusting the volume level of different content as it changes. It also offers a room correction feature that automatically adjusts the sound profile to the acoustics of the room it's in, although it's only available on the iOS app. If you want a small soundbar with a graphic EQ, check out the Samsung HW-S60A.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Inputs/Outputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
Adapter into HDMI ARC
HDMI Out
ARC
HDMI 2.1 Class Bandwidth
No
Full HDMI In
No
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
No
RCA In
No
USB for Files
No
Ethernet
1
Subwoofer Output
No

This soundbar has a limited amount of physical inputs. It has an ethernet port and an HDMI ARC in port. While limiting, you can use the HDMI ARC in port with external devices that have an Optical Out by using the HDMI to Optical adapter included in the box. If you're looking for a 3.0 setup with more physical inputs, consider the Bose Smart Soundbar 300.

6.3
Connectivity
Audio Format Support: ARC/eARC
Dolby Atmos
Not Supported
Dolby Digital
Supported
Dolby Digital Plus
Not Supported
Dolby TrueHD
Not Supported
DTS
Supported
DTS:X
Not Supported
DTS-HD MA
Not Supported
PCM Channels
2.0

This bar supports surround sound via its HDMI ARC port. Unfortunately, it only supports Dolby Digital and DTS content, which you'll often find on Blu-rays and streaming platforms. This bar can't play back object-based sound formats like Dolby Atmos or DTS:X.

0
Connectivity
Audio Format Support: HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
Not Supported
Dolby Digital
Not Supported
Dolby Digital Plus
Not Supported
Dolby TrueHD
Not Supported
DTS
Not Supported
DTS:X
Not Supported
DTS-HD MA
Not Supported
PCM Channels
Not Supported

If you want a small soundbar with a Full HDMI In port, check out the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam.

10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support: Optical
Dolby Digital
Supported
DTS
Supported
PCM Channels
2.0

This soundbar can play back Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound, which is common in Blu-ray discs and streaming media. It uses its Optical out connection via its included HDMI to Optical adapter.

9.8
Connectivity
Latency
ARC
-14 ms
Optical
0 ms
Full HDMI In
N/A

The Sonos Beam has an outstanding latency performance. It has low latency via its ARC and Optical ports, making it suitable for watching videos and movies. Some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience may vary.

0
Connectivity
Video Passthrough To TV
1080p Max Refresh Rate
Not Supported
1080p @ 4:4:4 Max Refresh Rate
Not Supported
4k Max Refresh Rate
Not Supported
4k @ 120Hz @ 10-Bit
Not Supported
4k @ 4:4:4 Max Refresh Rate
Not Supported
8k Max Refresh Rate
Not Supported
HDR10 Passthrough
No
HDR10+ Passthrough
No
Dolby Vision Passthrough
No
HDMI Forum VRR Passthrough
No
FreeSync Passthrough
No
G-SYNC Passthrough
No
ALLM Passthrough
No

Unlike the Vizio M-Series M21d-H8R, this bar doesn't have a Full HDMI In port, so it doesn't support video passthrough to devices such as a TV.

3.0
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
No
Wi-Fi Playback
Yes
Chromecast built-in
No
Apple AirPlay
Yes
Spotify Connect
Yes

While this bar lacks Bluetooth connectivity, it can connect to external devices using Wi-Fi. Some apps like Spotify have direct support built-in, so you can easily cast your favorite songs from your mobile device. If you have an iOS device, you can also cast using Apple AirPlay. If you have the Sonos app, it connects you to several music sources that you can use to play audio.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
No

This soundbar's interface has two lights. The main light blinks and changes color according to your input source. The second light, found above the microphone icon, turns on when you activate the mic.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

The Sonos Beam's touch-sensitive controls are fairly basic, including play/pause, volume up/down, track skipping, and enabling/disabling the microphone.

Additional Features
Remote

The Sonos Beam doesn't have a remote. Instead, you can use your TV's IR remote to control the bar's volume if you program it through the app's 'Remote Control Setup' feature. You'll need to download the Sonos S2 app on your phone to access additional features.

Additional Features
Voice Assistants Support
Amazon Alexa
Yes (Built-in)
Google Assistant
Yes (Built-in)
Apple Siri
No
Microphone Mute
Yes

This bar comes with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. There's also a mic mute button on top of the soundbar if you want it to stop listening to you.