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Sonos Beam (Gen 2) Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3
Review updated Oct 12, 2023 at 12:49 pm
Latest change: Writing modified May 10, 2024 at 12:04 pm
Sonos Beam (Gen 2) Picture
7.4
Mixed Usage
7.5
Dialogue/TV Shows
7.5
Music
7.2
Movies

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 is a 5.0 setup that's the upgraded version of the Sonos Beam. It keeps the same compact design as its predecessor, but it adds Dolby Atmos support so you can enjoy movies and other height content on your favorite streaming platforms. It's a Wi-Fi-enabled soundbar that you can control using either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, and its compatibility with the Sonos S2 app makes it easy to integrate into your existing Sonos ecosystem. Also, you can add on a separate subwoofer and satellites from the manufacturer if you wish to improve its performance.

Our Verdict

7.4 Mixed Usage

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 is decent for mixed usage. This 5.0 setup offers a small, standalone design that's ideal for a smaller living space. Out-of-the-box, it reproduces dialogue in movies and TV shows with clarity, and vocals and lead instruments in your favorite music are present and detailed in the mix. Of course, since it's a standalone bar, you don't get as much rumble in the low bass during action-packed scenes, and the lack of satellites takes away from the immersive feel with surround sound. However, you can always add these components separately if you want to improve the performance.

Pros
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Room correction feature (iOS only).
  • Dolby Atmos support.
Cons
  • Lacks low bass.
  • Doesn't get very loud.
  • No graphic EQ.
7.5 Dialogue/TV Shows

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 is good for dialogue-centric TV shows and podcasts. It's a 5.0 soundbar, so it has a discrete center channel to improve vocal clarity in the mix. Its balanced sound, especially in the mids, ensures that dialogue reproduces with accuracy and clarity, and you can always use its dialogue enhancement tool to make voices more crisp. That said, when it comes to podcasts and audiobooks, you're limited to Wi-Fi if you want to stream wirelessly from your mobile devices, as there's no Bluetooth support.

Pros
  • Room correction feature (iOS only).
  • Dialogue enhancement feature.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud.
7.5 Music

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 is good for music. As with most premium bars on the market, there's a room correction tool to optimize its sound based on your room's unique acousticsโ€”Sonos calls it Trueplay. It's only available with iOS devices, but if you're an Android user, you can still use its bass and treble adjustments to accommodate for any changes in the sound with a different room. Overall, its sound profile is suitable for listening to lots of different music genres, with clear and detailed voices and lead instruments and a little extra punch in the high bass. EDM and hip-hop fans will notice the lack of rumble in the low bass.

Pros
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Room correction feature (iOS only).
Cons
  • Lacks low bass.
  • Doesn't get very loud.
7.2 Movies

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 is decent for movies. This 5.0 setup supports lots of different audio formats, which you'll likely come across on different streaming platforms and Blu-rays. Despite its small size, it provides a wide soundstage that stretches sound into the space around your room. However, it doesn't perform as well as setups with rear satellites, and that's especially noticeable with Atmos and Dolby Digital content. Plus, the lack of a sub means your couch doesn't shake during action-heavy scenes like at a movie theater.

Pros
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Room correction feature (iOS only).
Cons
  • Lacks low bass.
  • Doesn't get very loud.
  • 7.4 Mixed Usage
  • 7.5 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 7.5 Music
  • 7.2 Movies
  1. Updated May 10, 2024: Updated Stereo Dynamics results with new methodology from TBU 1.3. Added text to Audio Latency: ARC, and Audio Latency: Optical boxes.
  2. Updated May 09, 2024: We've converted this review to Test Bench Update 1.3. If applicable, we've retested stereo sound based on the manufacturer's recommendations. Additionally, we've expanded our audio latency tests to the following boxes: Audio Latency: ARC, Audio Latency: HDMI In, and Audio Latency: Optical. You can see the full changelog here.
  3. Updated Dec 12, 2023: Added market comparison with the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Mini in the Stereo Soundstage box.
  4. Updated Nov 09, 2023: Changed the Height (Atmos) setup picture as it showed height channels, even though the bar doesn't have any. We also removed mention of side-firing speakers for Atmos, as only the front-firing speakers are active.
  5. Updated Oct 12, 2023: Minor text edits for clarity. No changes in test results.
  6. Updated Jun 15, 2023: Updated Inputs/Outputs - Bar results to show that the bar's HDMI Out supports eARC.
  7. Updated May 05, 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.
  8. Updated Mar 07, 2023: Added cable lengths to In The Box.
  9. Updated Mar 06, 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.
  10. Updated Nov 22, 2022: Added the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) with Sub Miniย + One SL Speakers as a market comparison in the Stereo Frequency Response box.
  11. Updated Nov 15, 2022: Retested the bar's sound with firmware version 14.18.
  12. Updated Oct 27, 2022: Updated the text for clarity. No changes in results.
  13. Updated Jan 19, 2022: Updated to include DTS support with new update.
  14. Updated Nov 01, 2021: Review published.
  15. Updated Oct 28, 2021: Early access published.
  16. Updated Oct 12, 2021: Our testers have started testing this product.
  17. Updated Oct 05, 2021: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  18. Updated Sep 24, 2021: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

This soundbar is available in 'Black' and 'White' color variants. We expect both variants to perform similarly. We tested the 'Black' version, and you can see the label for the model we tested here.

Let us know in the forums if you come across another version of this soundbar.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 is a 5.0 setup that's the upgraded version of the 3.0 Sonos Beam. Despite its small size, it has a wide, immersive-sounding soundstage that rivals home theater tower speakers. Unlike its predecessor, it also supports Dolby Atmos content.

See our recommendations for the best small soundbars, the best Dolby Atmos soundbars, and the best soundbars under $500.

Sonos Arc

The Sonos Arc is better for mixed usage than the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). The Arc is a 5.0.2 setup with a better Atmos performance. It also gets louder, albeit with more compression at max volume. However, the Beam is more compact and better built. You can also upgrade both setups with a subwoofer and satellites.

Bose Smart Soundbar 600

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) and the Bose Smart Soundbar 600 are both smart soundbars with Dolby Atmos support. Their small designs make them easy to fit into your living room, too, which is nice. The Sonos's stereo soundstage is better, resulting in a more immersive feel with your audio. It also supports DTS content, unlike the Bose.

Sonos Playbar

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is better than the Sonos Playbar. The Beam is a better-built 5.0 setup that has a better surround performance. Unlike the Playbar, it supports Atmos content and Apple AirPlay 2, and has built-in voice assistant capabilities. It also has an HDMI ARC port. That said, the 3.0 Playbar gets louder.

Sonos Beam

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.

Sonos Ray

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is better than the Sonos Ray. The Beam is a 5.0 setup with better soundstage and surround performances, and unlike the Ray, it has Dolby Atmos support. It has a more extended low-bass, so you feel more rumble in the mix. There's HDMI connectivity and built-in voice assistant support, which the Ray lacks. However, the Ray is a more affordable option, and it's still a pretty decent choice for vocal-centric TV shows and music.

Sony HT-A5000

The Sony HT-A5000 and the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) are both standalone soundbars, but they cater to different types of listeners. The Sonos is a small, compact bar with built-in voice assistant support, so it's best suited to listeners without a lot of space in their setup. It's actually better built than the Sony, and it has a better soundstage. However, the Sony gets louder. It also has an HDMI In port for video passthrough, which the Sonos lacks.

Bose Smart Soundbar 700

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) and the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 are both good standalone soundbars. The Sonos has a more compact design, and unlike the Bose, it supports Dolby Atmos content. It also has a better surround performance. That said, the Bose has a more balanced sound profile out of the box, which some users may prefer. It also gets louder and supports more wireless playback options like Bluetooth.

Denon Home Sound Bar 550

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is better than the Denon Home Sound Bar 550. They're both standalone soundbars, but the Sonos is better built with better center and surround performances. The 5.0 setup can get a bit louder with less compression at max volume. The Denon has some extras, like a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough.

Sony HT-G700

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a bit better than the Sony HT-G700. Both soundbars have similar Atmos performances, but the Sonos has better soundstage and surround performances. Also, the 5.0 Sonos is better built and has built-in voice assistant support. The 3.1 Sony has a dedicated sub, meaning it can reproduce a slightly more extended low-bass. Unlike the Sonos, it has a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough.

JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is better than the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam. The Sonos is better built and has better soundstage, surround, and Atmos performances. That said, the JBL does get a bit louder with less compression at max volume. Unlike the Sonos, it's also Bluetooth compatible and it a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough.

JBL Bar 5.1 Surround

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is better than the JBL Bar 5.1 Surround. The Sonos is a better-built 5.0 setup that supports Atmos content, unlike the JBL. It also has a better soundstage and built-in voice assistant capabilities. However, the 5.1 JBL has a dedicated sub and can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It's also better suited to users who want to use a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough.

Bose Soundbar 500

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a better standalone bar than the Bose Soundbar 500. The Sonos is a 5.0 setup that's better built. Unlike the Bose, it supports Dolby Atmos content. It also has better soundstage and surround performances. That said, the Bose supports more wireless playback options.

Sony HT-X8500

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a better standalone soundbar than the Sony HT-X8500. The Sonos is a better-built 5.0 setup that offers better soundstage, center, surround, and Atmos performances. Unlike the Sony soundbar, it also has built-in voice assistant support. That said, only the Sony has a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough.

Vizio M Series M512a-H6

The Vizio M Series M512a-H6 is better for most uses than the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). The Vizio is a 5.1.2 setup with a dedicated sub and satellites. It offers a better surround performance and gets louder with less compression at max volume. Unlike the Sonos, it even has a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough. That said, the 5.0 Sonos is better built. Some users may also prefer its smaller, more compact design.

Polk Audio Signa S4

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is better than the Polk Audio Signa S4. The Sonos is a 5.0 setup with a small, compact design and is ideal if you don't have a lot of space. Despite its small size, it has better soundstage and surround performances than the Polk. It also has additional features, like room correction and built-in voice assistant support.

Samsung HW-S60B/S61B

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) and the Samsung HW-S60B/S61B are both compact 5.0 soundbars with Dolby Atmos support. However, the more premium Sonos is better built and can offer a wider soundstage. This is especially noticeable with more immersive audio formats like Dolby Digital and Dolby Atmos, as sound effects stretch into the space around your couch. However, the Samsung soundbar is still a solid choice, and it even offers Bluetooth connectivity, unlike the Sonos.

Bose Smart Soundbar 900

The standalone Bose Smart Soundbar 900 is marginally better for mixed usage than the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). The Bose is a 5.1.2 setup that's bigger and can get louder. It also has a better Atmos performance and supports more wireless playback options like Bluetooth. If you want a standalone bar that takes up less space, the Sonos is still a solid choice.

Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Mini

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) and the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Mini are both premium small soundbars with built-in voice assistant capabilities. However, the Sonos is the best of the bunch since it does a better job of creating an immersive soundstage that stretches further past the edges of the bar itself. Unlike the Sennheiser, it also has a discrete center channel to improve vocal reproduction. However, the Sennheiser's graphic EQ gives you more control over its sound compared to the Sonos's bass and treble adjustments.

Sonos Beam (Gen 2) with Sub Mini + One SL Speakers

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) with Sub Mini + One SL Speakers is better than the standalone Sonos Beam (Gen 2). The added subwoofer noticeably improves the bar's bass reproduction, making you feel more thump and rumble in the mix, especially with movies and bass-heavy music. Also, the satellites are great for surround sound and Atmos content, as they offer a more immersive listening experience, with sound effects that are more accurately positioned in the space around you.

Sony HT-A7000

The Sony HT-A7000 and the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) are both premium standalone setups. The Sonos has a smaller, more compact design, which some users may prefer. It also offers better soundstage, surround, and Atmos performances. However,, the 7.1.2 Sony has more wireless playback options and a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough. You can upgrade both setups with a sub and satellites if you prefer.

Samsung HW-Q800B

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) and the Samsung HW-Q800B are two very different setups. The Sonos is a compact, standalone bar that's ideal for listeners who don't have a lot of space in their living room. It's a versatile bar with a decent Atmos performance, but the Samsung is better for movies overall. The Samsung soundbar also reproduces more bass thanks to its dedicated sub and offers more sound enhancement features.

LG SP8YA

The LG SP8YA is better than the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). The LG is a 3.1.2 setup with a subwoofer that can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It can also get louder and supports more wireless playback options such as Bluetooth. Unlike the Sonos, it also comes with EQ presets. However, the Sonos is still a solid choice for users who prefer a more compact standalone bar. It's better built and offers better soundstage and surround performances despite its smaller size.

Yamaha YAS-209

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is better than the Yamaha YAS-209. The Sonos is a better-built 5.0 setup that supports Dolby Atmos content. It also has better soundstage, center, and surround performances. Its compact design may be more suitable for some users. However, the 2.1 Yamaha has a dedicated sub that can reproduce a more extended low-bass. Unlike the Sonos, it also has a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough.

Vizio V Series V51-H6

The Vizio V Series V51-H6 and the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) are two very different soundbars. The Vizio is a 5.1 setup with a dedicated sub and satellites included. It can reproduce a more extended low-bass and get louder than the Sonos. However, some users may prefer the Sonos' small, standalone design. The Sonos is better built, and unlike the Vizio, it supports Atmos content. It also has a better soundstage despite its smaller size.

Bose Smart Soundbar 700 with Speakers + Bass Module

The Bose Smart Soundbar 700 with Speakers + Bass Module is better than the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). The Bose is a 5.1 setup with a dedicated subwoofer and satellites. It can reproduce a more extended low-bass, and its surround and soundstage performances are better. Also, it offers more wireless playback options, including Bluetooth. However, some users may prefer the Sonos' smaller, more compact design. Unlike the Bose, the Sonos also supports Dolby Atmos content.

Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module

The Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module is better than the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) for most uses. The Bose is a 5.1.2 setup with a dedicated sub and satellites. It can reproduce a more extended low-bass, and it gets louder. Its soundstage and surround performances are better, and there are even more wireless playback options to choose from. However, the Sonos' small, compact design may be preferable for users without a lot of space in their setup.

Bose Smart Soundbar 300

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is better than the Bose Smart Soundbar 300. The Sonos is a better-built 5.0 setup. It has better soundstage and surround performances. Unlike the Bose, it supports Dolby Atmos content. Also, there are more sound enhancement features, like room correction. That said, only the 3.0 Bose supports Bluetooth connectivity.

LG S75Q

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a small, standalone soundbar with a slightly different design than the LG S75Q. The Sonos is more versatile overall, as it's a 5.0 setup with better soundstage and surround performances. That said, the LG comes with a dedicated sub and reproduces more low-bass than the Sonos. You can add a sub to the Sonos if you want, though.

JBL Bar 9.1

The JBL Bar 9.1 is better for mixed usage than the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). The JBL is a 5.1.4 setup with a dedicated sub and satellites. It has a better surround performance, and it can get louder. It also reproduces a more extended low-bass. There are even more wireless playback options to choose from, as well as a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough. However, if you prefer a more compact, standalone setup, the Sonos is still a solid choice. It's better built, and it even has built-in voice assistant support.

Harman/Kardon Enchant 1300

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer the Harman/Kardon Enchant 1300 or the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). The Harman/Kardon gets louder with less compression at max volume. It also has more physical inputs, including a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough. That said, the Sonos' better-built, more compact design may be preferable for some users. It also supports Atmos content, unlike the Harman/Kardon.

Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar MAX

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar MAX or the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). They're both standalone bars but with very different designs. The Sennheiser is a large, heavy bar with integrated subwoofers that help it reproduce a more extended low-bass. It can also get much louder than the smaller Sonos, and its Atmos performance is better. Some people may prefer the Sonos bar's small, compact design. It has a better soundstage, and some users may find it offers a better value than the Sennheiser.

Samsung HW-Q700A

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Samsung HW-Q700A or the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). The Samsung is a 3.1.2 setup with a dedicated sub that can reproduce a slightly more extended low-bass. It supports more wireless playback options, and unlike the Sonos, it has a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough. That said, the 5.0 Sonos is better built with better surround and soundstage performances

Samsung HW-S60A

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) and the Samsung HW-S60A are both versatile standalone soundbars, but the Sonos scores better overall. The Sonos is better built with Dolby Atmos support. It also has a better soundstage. The Samsung gets louder with a little less compression at max volume.

Polk Audio MagniFi MAX SR

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is better than the Polk Audio MagniFi MAX SR. The Sonos is a small, compact standalone soundbar with a premium build. Unlike the Polk Audio, it supports Dolby Atmos content. It also has better soundstage and surround performances. Although the Polk Audio can reproduce a more extended low-bass, in our tests, there were some audio quality issues that really took away from the listening experience. Other listeners have also reported problems with compression and distortion.

Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers

The Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers is better than the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). The Arc full setup is a 5.1.2 setup with a sub and satellites. It can reproduce a more extended low-bass and gets louder, albeit with slightly more compression at max volume. It also has better surround and Atmos performances. The Beam is still a solid choice for users who prefer a small standalone bar.

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Stage

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer the Bang & Olufsen Beosound Stage or the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). The Bang & Olufsen reproduces a more extended low-bass, so you feel more rumble in bass-heavy audio. It also gets louder with less compression at max volume. However, some listeners may prefer the Sonos' smaller, more compact design. It's also better built, with better soundstage, surround, and Atmos performances.

Yamaha YAS-408

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is better than the Yamaha YAS-408. The Sonos is a better built 5.0 setup that supports Dolby Atmos content. It has better soundstage, center, and surround performances, too. However, the 2.1 Yamaha has a dedicated subwoofer and can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It also gets louder with a bit less compression at max volume.

LG SP9YA

The LG SP9YA is better for mixed usage than the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). The LG is a 5.1.2 setup with a dedicated sub that can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It gets louder and has more sound enhancement features like EQ presets. There's also a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough, which the Sonos lacks. However, if you prefer a more compact, standalone bar, the Sonos is still a solid choice. It's better built and has better soundstage, surround, and Atmos performances than the LG. You can also upgrade it with a sub and satellites if you prefer.

Klipsch Cinema 600

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer the Klipsch Cinema 600 or the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). The Klipsch is a 3.1 setup with a dedicated subwoofer that can reproduce more low-bass. The 5.0 Sonos is better built and has a smaller, more compact design. Its soundstage, center, and surround performances are better. Unlike the Klipsch soundbar, it supports Dolby Atmos content and has built-in voice assistant capabilities.

Samsung HW-Q800A

The Samsung HW-Q800A is better than the standalone Sonos Beam (Gen 2). The Samsung is a 3.1.2 setup with a dedicated sub that reproduces a more extended low-bass. It gets louder than the Sonos and also supports more wireless playback options like Bluetooth. However, the Sonos is better built, and its more compact design may be better suited for some users. Despite its small size, it still has better soundstage and surround performances.

Vizio M Series M51a-H6

The Vizio M Series M51a-H6 is better than the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). The Vizio is a 5.1 setup with a dedicated sub and satellites. It can get louder, and it has a better surround performance. Unlike the Sonos, it even has a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough. However, the standalone 5.0 Sonos is still a solid choice for users who want a more compact bar. It's better built, with a better soundstage and built-in voice assistant capabilities.

Yamaha YAS-109

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is better than the Yamaha YAS-109. The Sonos is a better-built 5.0 setup that supports Dolby Atmos content. It has better soundstage, center, and surround performances. There are some more sound enhancement features too, like room correction. However, the 2.0 Yamaha is still a fair choice for dialogue-centric content like TV shows. Unlike the Sonos, it has a Full HDMI In port and Bluetooth support.

Samsung HW-A650

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is marginally better for mixed usage than the Samsung HW-A650. The Sonos is a better built 5.0 setup with a compact, standalone design. Unlike the Samsung, it supports Atmos content and has built-in voice assistant capabilities. Its soundstage and surround performances are better, too. However, the 3.1 Samsung has a dedicated subwoofer and can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It can also get louder.

Yamaha YAS-207

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is better than the Yamaha YAS-207 for most uses. The Sonos is a better-built 5.0 setup with a small, standalone design. Unlike the Yamaha, it supports Atmos content and has better center and surround performances. There are also some more sound enhancement features available, like room correction. However, it doesn't come with a dedicated sub like the Yamaha. As a result, the Yamaha reproduces a much more extended low-bass. That said, you can always buy a compatible sub from Sonos to add to your setup separately.

Samsung HW-Q800T

The Samsung HW-Q800T is better than the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). The Samsung has a dedicated subwoofer and can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It also gets louder. However, the Sonos is still a solid pick for users who want a small, standalone soundbar. It's better built and even has better soundstage, surround, and Atmos performances than the Samsung soundbar. You can also upgrade it with a sub and satellites if you want.

Samsung HW-Q950T

The Samsung HW-Q950T and the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) are two very different soundbars. The Samsung is a 9.1.4 setup that has a subwoofer and satellite speakers. It's much more versatile, with better surrounds and a more extended low-bass out of the box. But if you're low on space, the Sonos' small, standalone design is ideal. It's still a good choice for vocal-centric content and music, and it even has a better soundstage than the Samsung soundbar.

Bose Solo 5

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is better than the Bose Solo 5. The Sonos is a better-built 5.0 setup with better soundstage, center, and surround performances. Unlike the Bose, it supports Atmos content, has built-in voice assistant capabilities, and offers HDMI ports for connectivity. There are even more sound enhancement features available, including room correction.

Klipsch Cinema 800

The Klipsch Cinema 800 is better for mixed usage than the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). The Klipsch is a 3.1 setup with a dedicated subwoofer that can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It also gets louder with less compression at max volume. However, if you prefer a smaller standalone bar, the Sonos is still a great choice. It's a better-built 5.0 setup with better soundstage, surround, and Atmos performances.

LG SN9YG

The LG SN9YG is better than the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). The LG is a 5.1.2 setup with a dedicated subwoofer that can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It has less compression at max volume, and more sound enhancement features are available. However, the Sonos is still a solid choice for listeners who want a small, standalone setup. It's better built with better soundstage, center, and surround performances.

Sony HT-S350

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is better than the Sony HT-S350. The Sonos is a standalone 5.0 setup with a small, compact design. Unlike the Sony, it supports Dolby Atmos and DTS content. It has better soundstage, center, and surround performances, and a room correction feature. The Sony does get louder, though.

Klipsch Cinema 400

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is better than the Klipsch Cinema 400. The Sonos is a better-built 5.0 setup that supports Dolby Atmos content. It has better soundstage, center, and surround performances. Unlike the Klipsch, it has built-in voice assistant support and a room correction feature. However, the 2.1 Klipsch comes with a dedicated sub, and it's able to reproduce a more extended low-bass.

Samsung HW-B450

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is more versatile than the Samsung HW-B450. The Sonos is a premium setup with Dolby Atmos support, which the Samsung soundbar lacks. It's a small, standalone bar ideal for smaller living rooms, and it has better surround and soundstage performances than the Samsung. Still, if you want a more budget-friendly option for stereo content like music and TV shows, the Samsung is a solid pick.

LG Eclair QP5

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is better than the LG Eclair QP5. The Sonos is a better-built 5.0 setup with built-in voice assistant support. It has better center, surround, and Atmos performances. Its soundstage is better, too. Also, there's no Full HDMI In port like the LG.

AmazonBasics 2.1 Channel Bluetooth

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a much better soundbar than the AmazonBasics 2.1 Channel Bluetooth. The Sonos is a premium, well-built 5.0 setup with a small, compact design. Unlike the AmazonBasics soundbar, it has a discrete center channel and supports surround and Atmos content. Its soundstage is better, too, and it offers more sound enhancement features.

Samsung HW-A550

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is better than the Samsung HW-A550. The Sonos is a small, compact soundbar with a standalone design. Unlike the Samsung, it supports Dolby Atmos content. It also has better soundstage, center, and surround performances. That said, the Samsung's dedicated subwoofer can reproduce a slightly more extended low-bass.

Samsung HW-Q900A

The Samsung HW-Q900A is better than the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). The Samsung is a 7.1.2 setup with a dedicated sub that can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It offers more wireless playback options and sound enhancement features, including a graphic EQ and presets. There's also a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough, which the Sonos lacks. However, the Sonos is still a solid choice for listeners who want a small, standalone bar. It has better soundstage and surround performances, and you can even upgrade it with a sub and satellites.

Samsung HW-Q60T

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a bit better for mixed usage than the Samsung HW-Q60T. The Sonos is a better-built 5.0 setup with better soundstage and surround performances. Unlike the Samsung soundbar, it supports Dolby Atmos and built-in voice assistant capabilities. Its small, standalone design may also be preferable for users without a lot of space in their setup. However, the 5.1 Samsung has a dedicated sub and can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It can also get louder.

Samsung HW-Q70T

The Samsung HW-Q70T is slightly better than the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). The Samsung is a 3.1.2 setup with a dedicated subwoofer that can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It can get louder than the Sonos. However, the Sonos is still a solid choice for listeners who want a small, standalone setup. It's better built with better soundstage, Atmos, and surround performances.

LG SN6Y

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is better for most uses than the LG SN6Y. The Sonos is a 5.0 setup that supports Dolby Atmos content. It has better soundstage and surround performances, and its small and standalone design is ideal if you don't have a lot of space in your room. While the LG comes with a dedicated sub, it doesn't really reproduce that much more low-bass compared to the standalone Sonos, either. 

LG SN10YG

The LG SN10YG is more versatile than the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). The LG is a 5.1.2 setup with a dedicated subwoofer that can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It also comes with more sound enhancement features, including room correction, and a Full HDMI In port for video passthrough. However, the Sonos is still a really good option if you want a small, standalone bar. Its soundstage and surround performances are better than the LG.

Sony HT-X9000F

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is more versatile than the Sony HT-X9000F. The Sonos is a premium 5.0 setup with a small, standalone design. It has better soundstage, center, surround, and Atmos performances. You can even upgrade it with a sub and satellites to improve its performance. Meanwhile, the 2.1 Sony has a dedicated sub included. It can reproduce a slightly more extended low-bass, but its default sound isn't as neutral as the Sonos. It's still a decent choice for vocal-heavy content like TV shows, though.

Samsung HW-A450

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is more versatile than the Samsung HW-A450. The Sonos is a premium 5.0 setup with a small, compact design. Unlike the Samsung soundbar, it supports Dolby Atmos content, and it has HDMI inputs. Its soundstage, center, and surround performances are better, too. However, the 2.1 Samsung is still a good choice for TV shows and music. It comes with a dedicated sub, reproducing a more extended low-bass right out of the box.

Samsung HW-Q600A

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer the Samsung HW-Q600A or the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). The Samsung is a 3.1.2 setup with a dedicated sub that can reproduce a slightly more extended low-bass. It also gets louder, and unlike the Sonos, it has a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough. The 5.0 Sonos is better built with better surround and soundstage performances. It also has built-in voice assistant capabilities, and some users may prefer its standalone design.

Bowers & Wilkins Formation Bar

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is better than the Bowers & Wilkins Formation Bar. The Sonos is a 5.0 setup with Dolby Atmos support. It has better soundstage and surround performances, and there are more sound enhancement features available such as room correction. Also, unlike the Bowers & Wilkins, it has HDMI connections. 

Samsung HW-Q950A

The Samsung HW-Q950A is better than the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). The Samsung is an 11.14 setup with a dedicated sub and satellites. It has better surround and Atmos performances and can get louder. There are even some more sound enhancement features, like a graphic EQ, as well as some more wireless playback options. Unlike the Sonos, it also has a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough. That said, the Sonos is still a solid option for users who prefer a small standalone bar. It's better built than the Samsung, and despite its small size, it has a better soundstage.

LG SP7Y

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is better than the LG SP7Y. The Sonos is a small, compact standalone bar. Unlike the LG, it supports Dolby Atmos content. It's better-built, and it has better soundstage, center, and surround performances. That said, like most small bars, it struggles to get very loud.

LG SPD7Y

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) or the LG SPD7Y. The Sonos is a small, compact bar with a 5.0 setup. It has better soundstage and surround performances and built-in voice assistant support. If you have a little more room in your space, the LG is still a decently versatile choice. It comes with a dedicated sub, and it reproduces more bass.

Sony HT-ST5000

The Sony HT-ST5000 and the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) are two different soundbars. The Sony is a premium 7.1.2 setup that has a dedicated subwoofer. It can reproduce a more extended low-bass right out of the box. Unlike the Sonos, it has a Full HDMI In port for video passthrough. That said, if you're low on space, the Sonos' small, compact design is a better fit. It's a premium 5.0 bar with a better soundstage. You can even add on a sub and satellites if you prefer.

LG SN8YG

The LG SN8YG is better than the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). The LG is a 3.1.2 setup with a dedicated subwoofer that can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It offers more sound enhancement features like EQ presets, and wireless playback options like Bluetooth. There's also a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough. However, the 5.0 Sonos is still a solid option for listeners who want a small standalone bar. It's better built and has better soundstage and surround performances.

Sony HT-Z9F

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) and the Sony HT-Z9F are two very different soundbars. The Sonos is a smart 5.0 setup and is more compact and better built. It has better soundstage, surround, and Atmos performances. There are also more sound enhancement features available, including room correction. However, the Sony is a 3.1 setup with a dedicated subwoofer included. It can get louder, and it offers more wireless playback options. There's also a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough, which the Sonos lacks.

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Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style - Bar

The bar has a very similar design to the original Sonos Beam. It's mostly plastic. Instead of fabric, the front is covered with a plastic grille. You can find the bar in either Black or White color variants.

Design
Style - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
No
Enclosure
No Subwoofer

You can purchase a subwoofer from the manufacturer separately if you want to upgrade your setup.

Design
Style - Satellites
Satellite Wireless
No

You can upgrade the bar with additional satellites, sold separately.

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

The bar has a compact design, so it fits easily between the legs of most 55" TVs. It also isn't very tall, so it doesn't block your TV screen unless your TV sits flush on 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 the bar to your wall, though you'll have to buy the brackets separately.

8.5
Design
Build Quality

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 has excellent build quality. Like the Sonos Beam, it has a very premium feel overall. It's mostly plastic, which feels very solid and durable. There's also a plastic grille in front to help protect the drivers inside and feet on the bottom to hold it in place.

Design
In The Box

  • Manuals
  • HDMI to Optical adapter (9 cm)
  • HDMI cable (4.9 ft / 1.5m)
  • Power Cable (6.2 ft / 1.9m)

Sound
7.4
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Channels
5.0
Tested Preset
No Preset
Slope
-0.56
Standard Error
2.82 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
50.4 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
16.7 kHz

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 has a decent stereo frequency response. As a premium bar, it offers a room correction feature to adjust its output based on the unique acoustic characteristics of your spaceโ€”it's called Trueplay. It's only available with iOS devices, but Android users can still use its bass and treble adjustments to switch up its sound based on your room. Its sound profile is quite balanced, especially in the mids, where most voices and lead instruments reproduce. You notice a touch of extra punch in the high bass, too. Like the original Sonos Beam, it's suitable for many different audio content. However, the lack of rumble in the low bass is especially noticeable in action-packed movies and bass-heavy music genres. Updating it to firmware version 14.18 doesn't noticeably change the sound, either. If you want more rumble in the bass, you can always add a Sonos Sub, and you can see the results for the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) with Sub Mini + One SL Speakers as a comparison.

7.4
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
No Preset
Suggested Bass Setting
-3
Suggested Treble Setting
2
Slope
0.05
Standard Error
2.66 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
51.9 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
17.2 kHz

If you prefer a more balanced sound with stereo content, you can customize its output using its bass and treble adjustments. The resulting sound is a bit more even, especially in the high bass, as you notice less punch added into the mix. Voices and lead instruments remain clear, but there's still a lack of low bass, which is expected in setups without a dedicated sub.

8.0
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
2.32 dB

The bar has an impressive stereo soundstage, especially compared to other small soundbars like the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Mini. Its side-firing speakers work together with its stereo speakers to widen the soundstage. As a result, its soundstage is perceived to be almost as wide as home theater speaker towers in our testing room. While this effect works well, it also slightly diffuses sound a little bit, so sound seems to come from a general area rather than a pinpoint location. Also, you can't turn off this feature.

7.1
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
88.8 dB SPL
DRC @ 90dB
N/A
DRC @ Max Volume
1.70 dB

The bar has a satisfactory stereo dynamics performance. It gets loud enough to fill an average living room with sound, but it's not ideal for larger living spaces. Also, there's some compression present when you push the bar to max volume, which increases after updating the bar to firmware version 14.18.

7.4
Sound
Center
Localization
Discrete
Slope
0.24
Std. Err.
3.73 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
72.3 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.63
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.54

The bar has a discrete center channel to improve vocal reproduction in the mix. This channel has a balanced frequency response, especially in the mid-range, where most voices are reproduced. As a result, it's easy to follow along with conversations on screen.

5.9
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Phantom (Front Firing and Side Firing, Bar)
Slope
-0.56
Std. Err.
2.79 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
70.4 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.38
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
0.87
7.1 Rears
No

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 has a passable surrounds performance. This setup uses front-firing and side-firing speakers to represent surround objects in the soundstage. However, this doesn't sound as clear or real as a setup with discrete localization. If you want a better surround sound, you can check out the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) with Sub Mini + One SL Speakers instead.

5.7
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Phantom (Front Firing, Bar)
Slope
1.01
Std. Err.
3.35 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
59.2 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
1.45
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
0.30

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 supports Atmos content, unlike the Sonos Ray. It uses front-firing drivers built into the bar to simulate sound objects in the soundstage. The frequency response on these channels lacks a lot of bass, which is normal for a standalone soundbar. As a result, sound effects seem a bit bright in the mix.

Subjectively, the bar's Atmos performance is good for a standalone setup with such a small footprint. It gives a little bit of height, so you get some sense of immersion with the action taking place on screen. That said, it falls short in comparison with soundbars that have dedicated subwoofers and satellites. The lack of bass is noticeable in action-heavy scenes, and you don't get the same sense of action spreading to the sides of your couch or above and behind you. Of course, the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) with Sub Mini + One SL Speakers is an improvement in this regard. If you don't have room for these add-ons, it still does a fine job.

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

Like many premium soundbars, you find a room correction feature designed to optimize the bar's sound based on your room's unique acoustics. It's called Trueplay, and you can access it through the Sonos S2 app on a compatible iOS device only. Unfortunately, Android users are limited to manual adjustment using the bar's bass and treble adjustments, but you won't find a full graphic EQ to switch up its sound across the range.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Inputs/Outputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
Adapter into HDMI ARC
HDMI Out
eARC
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

There are a limited amount of physical inputs. You can connect the Sonos Beam Gen 2 to your TV using the HDMI port. If you have an older TV, you can use the included HDMI to Optical adapter to connect to an Optical Out port. The button beside the inputs lets you link the bar to a compatible subwoofer and satellites, sold separately. However, without a Full HDMI In port, you can't use the bar as a hub between different devices.

9.6
Connectivity
Audio Format Support: ARC/eARC
Dolby Atmos
Supported
Dolby Digital
Supported
Dolby Digital Plus
Supported
Dolby TrueHD
Supported
DTS
Supported
DTS:X
Not Supported
DTS-HD MA
Not Supported
PCM Channels
Up To 7.1

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 has excellent audio format support via ARC. It supports Dolby Digital content, the most common surround sound format. Also, it supports eARC and can playback lossless and object-based formats like Dolby Atmos.

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

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 supports Dolby Digital and DTS content using the included HDMI to Optical adapter. You can find these formats on many Blu-rays and streaming platforms.

7.3
Connectivity
Audio Latency: ARC
PCM-2.0 ch
61 ms
PCM-5.1 ch
61 ms
Dolby MAT (PCM) Atmos
79 ms
Dolby Digital
111 ms
Dolby Digital Plus
121 ms
Dolby Digital Plus Atmos
121 ms

This soundbar has a decent latency performance over ARC. There's lower latency with PCM content, but other commonly found audio formats like Dolby Digital are more likely to exhibit some lip-synching delay. While some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently, you can use the TV Dialogue Sync feature in the Sonos app to manually adjust for delay.

not tested
Connectivity
Audio Latency: HDMI In
PCM-2.0 ch
N/A
PCM-5.1 ch
N/A
Dolby MAT (PCM) Atmos
N/A
Dolby Digital
N/A
Dolby Digital Plus
N/A
Dolby Digital Plus Atmos
N/A
7.8
Connectivity
Audio Latency: Optical
PCM-2.0 ch
119 ms
Dolby Digital
180 ms

This bar has a good latency performance over Optical. It's a bit higher with formats like Dolby Digital, but you can use the app to help manually compensate for delay. Some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently, too.

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

There's no Full HDMI In port, so it doesn't support high-quality passthrough.

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

The bar lets you wirelessly stream content from your mobile devices via Wi-Fi and Apple AirPlay 2. However, like the original Sonos Beam, it doesn't offer Bluetooth connectivity.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
No

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 doesn't have a display. Instead, there are two lights on the top to indicate its status. One is above the microphone icon and turns on when the microphone is activated. The other, located about the play/pause button, changes color and blinks depending on the settings you adjust.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

There are some touch-sensitive controls on top of the bar. You can adjust the volume, play/pause your audio, and turn the microphone on/off. There's a button on the back of the bar that lets you pair it with a subwoofer and satellites, sold separately.

Additional Features
Remote

You don't get a traditional remote with the bar since it's meant to be controlled through the Sonos S2 app.

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

The bar has built-in support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. You can mute the microphone for more private moments, too.