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Sonos Beam (Gen 2) Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Review updated Oct 27, 2022 at 09:52 am
Latest change: Retest Jun 15, 2023 at 09:42 am
Sonos Beam (Gen 2) Picture

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 in 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

N/A Mixed Usage

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 is satisfactory for mixed usage. This 5.0 setup offers a small, standalone design that's ideal if you have 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.
N/A Dialogue/TV Shows

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 is good for dialogue-centric content like 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.
N/A Music

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 is satisfactory 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 acoustics—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.
N/A 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 it would at a movie theater.

Pros
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Room correction feature (iOS only).
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • Doesn't get very loud.
  • N/A Mixed Usage
  • N/A Dialogue/TV Shows
  • N/A Music
  • N/A Movies
  1. Updated Jun 15, 2023: Updated Inputs/Outputs - Bar results to show that the bar's HDMI Out supports eARC.
  2. 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.
  3. Updated Mar 07, 2023: Added cable lengths to In The Box.
  4. 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.
  5. Updated Nov 22, 2022: Added the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) with Sub Mini + One SL Speakers as a market comparison in the Stereo Frequency Response box.
  6. Updated Nov 15, 2022: Retested the bar's sound with firmware version 14.18.
  7. Updated Oct 27, 2022: Updated the text for clarity. No changes in results.
  8. Updated Jan 19, 2022: Updated to include DTS support with new update.
  9. Updated Nov 01, 2021: Review published.
  10. Updated Oct 28, 2021: Early access published.
  11. Updated Oct 12, 2021: Our testers have started testing this product.
  12. Updated Oct 05, 2021: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  13. 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 discussions 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 a bit 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 if you want.

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.

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 surrounds performance. Unlike the Playbar, it supports Atmos content, Apple AirPlay 2, and 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 Sonos Beam. The Gen 2 is a 5.0 setup that offers better surrounds performance. It's better built and supports Dolby Atmos content. However, the 3.0 Beam does get louder.

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 surrounds 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 it supports more wireless playback options like Bluetooth.

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 comes with an HDMI In port for video passthrough, which the Sonos lacks.

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.

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 it 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 has 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. That said, 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.

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 comes with 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 comes with a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough.

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 comes with some extras, like a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough.

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 comes with a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough.

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. That said, 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.

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 can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It gets louder than the Sonos, and it 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.

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, 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 comes with 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 it 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 5.0.2 setup that's bigger and can get louder. It also has a better Atmos performance, and it 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.

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

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, so 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.

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.

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 it supports more wireless playback options such as Bluetooth. Unlike the Sonos, it also comes with EQ presets. That said, the Sonos is still a solid choice for users who prefer a more compact standalone bar. It's better built, and it offers better soundstage and surround performances despite its smaller size.

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 it offers more sound enhancement features.

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 surrounds 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. That said, 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.

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.

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 to 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 that it offers a better value than the Sennheiser.

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. That said, some users may prefer the Sonos' smaller, more compact design. Unlike the Bose, the Sonos also supports Dolby Atmos content.

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.

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 there are more sound enhancement features 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.

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 it 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.

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.

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 surrounds 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.

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. That said, 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.

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 it supports both surround and Atmos content. Its soundstage is better, too, and it offers more sound enhancement features.

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 comes with 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.

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. That said, 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.

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 that's more compact and better built. It has better soundstage, surround, and Atmos performances. There are also more sound enhancement features available, including room correction. That said, 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.

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.

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, as well as a Full HDMI In port for video passthrough. That said, 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.

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 it can get louder than the Sonos. That said, 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.

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, unlike the LG. 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 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 it 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 it has better soundstage, surround, and Atmos performances than the LG. You can also upgrade it with a sub and satellites if you prefer.

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, as well as 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.

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.

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 has built-in voice assistant capabilities, and some users may prefer its standalone design.

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.

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. That said, 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.

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 comes with 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.

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 comes with a dedicated subwoofer and can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It also gets louder with a bit 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, we experienced some audio quality issues that really took away from the listening experience. Other listeners have also reported problems with compression and distortion.

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.

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.

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 comes with 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.

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.

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 more wireless playback options like Bluetooth. There's also a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough. That said, 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.

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 surrounds 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.

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-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 comes with 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.

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 it 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-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.

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-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 it 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.

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 more 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. That said, 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-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. That said, the 3.1 Samsung comes with a dedicated subwoofer and can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It can also get louder.

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-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. That said, the 2.1 Samsung is still a good choice for TV shows and music. It comes with a dedicated sub, and it reproduces a more extended low-bass right out of the box.

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 it's able to reproduce more low-bass than the Sonos. You're able to add a sub to the Sonos if you want, though.

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.

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 it 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 is able to reproduce a much more extended low-bass. That said, you can always buy a compatible sub from Sonos to add on to your setup separately.

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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.

Design
Style - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Locked
Enclosure
Locked

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

Design
Style - Satellites
Satellite Wireless
Locked

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

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width Lock" (Lock cm)
Height Lock" (Lock cm)
Depth Lock" (Lock 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
Locked
Bar Brackets Included
Locked
Mountable Satellites
Locked
Satellite Brackets Included
Locked
N/A
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.

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
N/A
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
Channels
5.0
Low-Frequency Extension
Lock Hz
High-Frequency Extension
Lock 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 space—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. Overall, 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, though 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.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Locked
Suggested Bass Setting
Lock
Suggested Treble Setting
Lock
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
Low-Frequency Extension
Lock Hz
High-Frequency Extension
Lock 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, though.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
Lock dB

The bar has an impressive stereo soundstage. 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 disable this feature.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
Lock dB

The bar has a fair 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 adds pumping artifacts to the mix, which increases after updating the bar to firmware version 14.18

N/A
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock

The bar has great stereo THD performance. Whether you're listening at a normal volume or with the volume cranked up, distortion falls within good limits. As a result, audio reproduction remains clear and pure.

N/A
Sound
Center
Localization
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock

The bar has an excellent center performance. This 5.0 setup has a discrete center channel, so voices are more accurately localized to a pinpoint location in the soundstage. It has a balanced mid-range, where most voices are reproduced, making dialogue clear and detailed.

N/A
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock
7.1 Rears
Locked

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 always add rear speakers separately.

N/A
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 has a middling Atmos performance. Unlike the Sonos Ray, it supports Atmos content, using side-firing and front-firing drivers built into the bar to simulate sound objects in the soundstage. However, this doesn't sound as immersive as home theater setups with discrete localization. It also struggles to reproduce a thumpy low-bass, so you don't feel the deep rumble and punch in action-packed scenes.

In our subjective listening tests, the lack of bass was very evident when watching Atmos content. While the bar's soundstage is wide, its performance wasn't quite as immersive as other bars we've tested with discrete surrounds, like the Sony HT-A9.

N/A
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
Locked
Dialogue Enhancement
Locked
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
Locked
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
Locked
Bass Adjustment
Locked
Treble Adjustment
Locked
EQ
Locked
Surround Level Adjustment
Locked
Rear Level Adjustment
Locked
Height Level Adjustment
Locked
Virtual Surround
Locked

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 has an unremarkable selection of sound enhancement features. There's a Trueplay room correction feature, though you can only access it with a supported iOS device. Its Speech Enhancement feature helps to clarify dialogue, and its Night Sound setting can reduce dramatic changes in the volume level for listening at night. However, there aren't a lot of sound customization features available aside from bass and treble adjustments in the Sonos S2 app.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Inputs/Outputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
Locked
HDMI Out
Locked
HDMI 2.1 Class Bandwidth
Locked
Full HDMI In
Locked
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
Locked
RCA In
Locked
USB for Files
Locked
Ethernet
Locked
Subwoofer Output
Locked

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 soundbar has a limited amount of physical inputs. There's an HDMI ARC port as well as an ethernet port. The button beside the inputs lets you link the bar to a compatible subwoofer and satellites, sold separately. You can also use the included HDMI to Optical adapter to connect to devices with an Optical Out port.

N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support: ARC/eARC
Dolby Atmos
Locked
Dolby Digital
Locked
Dolby Digital Plus
Locked
Dolby TrueHD
Locked
DTS
Locked
DTS:X
Locked
DTS-HD MA
Locked
PCM Channels
Locked

The bar 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.

N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support: HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
Locked
Dolby Digital
Locked
Dolby Digital Plus
Locked
Dolby TrueHD
Locked
DTS
Locked
DTS:X
Locked
DTS-HD MA
Locked
PCM Channels
Locked
N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support: Optical
Dolby Digital
Locked
DTS
Locked
PCM Channels
Locked

The bar supports Dolby Digital and DTS content using the included HDMI to Optical adapter. You can find this format on Blu-rays and streaming platforms.

N/A
Connectivity
Latency
- SAMPLE -
Get Insider Access for videos & test results
Sonos Beam (Gen 2) Latency Video Sample
ARC
Lock ms
Optical
Lock ms
Full HDMI In
N/A

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 has an excellent latency performance. It has low latency via ARC and Optical, so the audio you hear is in sync with the video you see. Some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience can vary.

N/A
Connectivity
Video Passthrough To TV
1080p Max Refresh Rate
Locked
1080p @ 4:4:4 Max Refresh Rate
Locked
4k Max Refresh Rate
Locked
4k @ 120Hz @ 10-Bit
Locked
4k @ 4:4:4 Max Refresh Rate
Locked
8k Max Refresh Rate
Locked
HDR10 Passthrough
Locked
HDR10+ Passthrough
Locked
Dolby Vision Passthrough
Locked
HDMI Forum VRR Passthrough
Locked
FreeSync Passthrough
Locked
G-SYNC Passthrough
Locked
ALLM Passthrough
Locked

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 doesn't have a Full HDMI In port, so it doesn't support high-quality passthrough.

N/A
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Locked
Wi-Fi Playback
Locked
Chromecast built-in
Locked
Apple AirPlay
Locked
Spotify Connect
Locked

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

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Locked

The bar doesn't have a display. Instead, there are two lights on the top of the bar. One is above the microphone icon, and it 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, like all of your Sonos products.

Additional Features
Voice Assistants Support
Amazon Alexa
Locked
Google Assistant
Locked
Apple Siri
Locked
Microphone Mute
Locked

The bar has built-in support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. You can also mute the microphone if you don't want the bar to listen to you.