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

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Nov 22, 2022 at 10:03 am
Sonos Beam (Gen 2) with Sub Mini + One SL Speakers Picture
Channels
7.1

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) with Sub Mini + One SL Speakers is a premium Dolby Atmos setup. The bar is the second generation of the original Sonos Beam and maintains the same small and compact design as its predecessor. Adding on the Sub Mini improves its bass reproduction, and the Sonos One SL Speakers are a great way to expand sound throughout your living room. Like other premium Sonos setups, you can control the bar with built-in voice assistant support, and you can pair it with other products in your Sonos ecosystem to spread your favorite tunes throughout your whole home.

Our Verdict

N/A Mixed Usage

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 with Sub Mini is great for mixed usage. Out-of-the-box, dialogue in your favorite TV shows and podcasts is clear and present, and voices and instruments in music are detailed in the mix. The Sub Mini brings plenty of rumble, too, so you can feel the floor shake with bass-heavy music and action-packed movies. Speaking of movies, this bar supports lots of different audio formats that you're likely to come across on most streaming platforms and Blu-rays. It may be small, but this setup packs a punch.

Pros
  • Room correction feature.
  • Supports Dolby Atmos content.
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
Cons
  • No Bluetooth compatibility.
N/A Dialogue/TV Shows

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 with Sub Mini is great for dialogue-centric content like TV shows. Its discrete center channel is designed to improve vocal reproduction, so you don't have any trouble following the plot in your TV shows and movies. If you want a more clear and crisp sound, there's a dialogue enhancement feature on hand, too. You can also stream podcasts and audiobooks to the bar over Wi-Fi and Apple AirPlay 2, but unfortunately, it doesn't support Bluetooth.

Pros
  • Room correction feature.
  • Wi-Fi and Apple AirPlay 2 support.
Cons
  • No Bluetooth compatibility.
N/A Music

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 with Sub Mini is great for music. This bar has a room correction feature that uses a built-in microphone to analyze and adjust its output based on your room's unique acoustics. The resulting sound is quite balanced and even, making it suitable for listening to lots of different genres. The rumbling bass is great for fans of EDM and hip-hop, while other genres enjoy a clear and detailed reproduction of instruments. Voices can sound veiled at times, but you can always adjust its bass and treble to make up for it.

Pros
  • Room correction feature.
  • Rumbling low-bass.
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
Cons
  • No EQ.
N/A Movies

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 with Sub Mini is very good for movies. It supports lots of audio formats you're likely to find on your favorite streaming platforms, like Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital. Its sub brings the excitement to action-packed scenes, meaning you can feel the rumble in your seat like at the movie theater, and its satellites spread sound effects into the space all around you. For such a small bar, it does a really impressive job. However, if you compare it to bigger options in the premium market, you'll notice a touch less height with Atmos content.

Pros
  • Room correction feature.
  • Rumbling low-bass.
  • Supports Dolby Atmos content.
Cons
  • No EQ.
  • N/A Mixed Usage
  • N/A Dialogue/TV Shows
  • N/A Music
  • N/A Movies
  1. Updated Nov 22, 2022: Review published.
  2. Updated Nov 18, 2022: Early access published.

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Differences Between Sizes And Variants

You can find the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) in White and Black color variants. It's available as a standalone bar, which we've tested separately. However, these results are only valid for the soundbar when paired with the Sonos Sub Mini and the Sonos One SL Speakers.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 with Sub Mini is a great option if you don't have space in your setup for a larger soundbar like the Sonos Arc or the Bose Smart Soundbar 900. It's a sleek, premium setup with Dolby Atmos support and built-in voice assistant capabilities, much like other top options on the market. Given its size, it does a great job of filling your room with sound.

You can also see our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best small soundbars, and the best Dolby Atmos soundbars.

Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers

The Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers is better than the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) with Sub Mini + One SL Speakers. They're both very premium Dolby Atmos setups with built-in voice assistant support. However, the Arc is bigger, and it gets louder with less compression at max volume. Also, it provides a more immersive listening experience, especially with Dolby Atmos content. Subjectively, it reproduces more height in the soundstage, and objects seem to come from more accurate locations in the space around you.

Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

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.

Samsung HW-Q990B

The Samsung HW-Q990B is better than the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) with Sub Mini + One SL Speakers. They're both very premium soundbar setups with Dolby Atmos support. However, the Samsung soundbar supports more audio formats and more wireless playback options and offers more sound enhancement tools. Also, the larger Samsung gets louder with less compression at max volume. Subjectively, we found that it did a better job replicating height with Atmos content, resulting in a more immersive, all-around sound.

Bose Smart Soundbar 700 with Speakers + Bass Module

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) with Sub Mini + One SL Speakers is a more versatile pick than the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 with Speakers + Bass Module. While they're both standout bars, only the Sonos supports Dolby Atmos content, which is increasingly common on many different streaming platforms. It also supports DTS content, unlike the Bose, which you're likely to find on Blu-ray discs.

Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module

The Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module is better for most uses than the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) with Sub Mini + One SL Speakers. While they're both premium setups, the Bose is a bit better, as the bigger bar offers a better soundstage performance. Subjectively, it's noticeable with Atmos content, too, as the bar does a better job simulating height. It has more wireless playback options, and it gets louder with less compression at max volume. That said, the Sonos supports DTS content, unlike the Bose.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style - Bar

It's the same design as the original Sonos Beam, although the front of the bar is covered with a sturdier plastic grille instead of fabric. The controls are on top of the bar, and there's a Sonos logo on the front.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

The Sonos Sub Mini is a solid and sturdy device that's shaped like a cylinder. It's mostly made of plastic, and there's an opening on the side to the drivers inside.

Design
Style - Satellites

The Sonos One SL speakers have a sleek plastic design that matches the bar and the sub. The top and the bottom of the speakers are made of plastic, while metal grilles wrap the edges.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width Lock" (Lock cm)
Height Lock" (Lock cm)
Depth Lock" (Lock cm)

Thanks to its small size, the bar will fit easily into your existing setup, and it slides between the legs of most 55" TV stands.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Width Lock" (Lock cm)
Height Lock" (Lock cm)
Depth Lock" (Lock cm)

The Sonos Sub Mini is, as its name implies, smaller in size than the original Sonos Sub. Since it's wireless, you have flexibility when placing it in your room.

Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Width Lock" (Lock cm)
Height Lock" (Lock cm)
Depth Lock" (Lock cm)

The Sonos One SL Speakers are also wireless, giving you lots of flexibility when setting them up in your room. They don't take up too much space, either.

Design
Back - Bar
Bar Mounting
Locked

The back of the bar has an opening for the power cable and its inputs. You can also wall-mount the bar, though you have to buy a proprietary mounting kit from the manufacturer separately.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Locked

The back of the sub is very plain, giving it a stylish look. Its enclosure is sealed, so you don't see the port.

Design
Back - Satellites
Mounting
Locked

The back of the sub has inputs for the power cable. You'll also need to buy separate mounts if you want to wall-mount them.

N/A
Design
Build Quality

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 with Sub Mini has excellent build quality. Overall, it's a premium setup, with a solid and sturdy plastic build on the bar, the sub, and the satellites. The grilles on the bar and the satellites help to protect the drivers inside, too.

Design
In The Box
HDMI Cable Length
Lock m (Lock ft)
Digital Optical Cable Length
N/A

  • Manuals
  • HDMI to Optical Adapter
  • HDMI cable
  • 4x power cables

Sound
N/A
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
Channels
7.1
Low-Frequency Extension
Lock Hz
High-Frequency Extension
Lock kHz

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 with Sub Mini has a great stereo frequency response. Overall, the bar's sound is even and balanced, making it suitable for listening to a wide array of audio content. The Sub Mini brings solid thump and rumble in the low-bass, especially with genres like EDM and hip-hop, as well as adding some extra boom to the mix. Voices are clear and clean with most content, though they seem a bit boxy with certain tracks. Still, it offers a pleasant sound that pleases many different types of listeners.

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 want a more even sound with stereo content, you can use its bass and treble adjustments to switch up its performance. Setting the bass to '-3' and the treble to '2' results in a more balanced output, as vocals and lead instruments are more clean and detailed in the mix, without the veiled quality you get out-of-the-box.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
Lock dB

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 with Sub Mini has a great stereo soundstage. When you listen to stereo content, the soundstage stretches past the edges of the bar itself, mimicking the performance of larger soundbars. The focus is good, too, so sound effects seem to come from accurate, pinpoint locations in the space around you.

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

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 with Sub Mini gets loud enough to fill most rooms with sound. That said, as you crank up the volume, there are some compression and pumping artifacts present in the mix, which takes away from the clarity of your audio.

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

At normal listening volumes, distortion falls within good limits, meaning you can enjoy clean and pure audio reproduction. As with most bars, distortion jumps when you press the bar to max volume. However, distortion is hard to hear with real-life content, so it's not much of an issue unless you're an astute audiophile.

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 Sonos Beam Gen 2ย with Sub Mini's discrete center channel is designed to improve vocal reproduction. Thanks to its balanced frequency response, voices are clearly and accurately reproduced in the mix, and dialogue is easy to follow in TV shows and movies.

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 2ย with Sub Mini's discrete surround speakers make for a noticeable improvement over the surround performance of the standalone Sonos Beam (Gen 2). Sound effects are more accurately placed in the soundstage, as a result, so you have a more cinematic, immersive listening experience. Given its balanced frequency response, these objects are reproduced with accuracy, too.

Note: For our testing, we send a surround file to the bar and measure its results. While it only activated the surround speakers and the sub, with real-life content, this soundbar plays audio from all its channels.

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 with Sub Mini doesn't come with up-firing Atmos drivers like the Sonos Arc. Instead, it uses its side-firing and center channels to simulate sound objects in the space around you. It's not quite as immersive as what you get with a traditional home theater setup, which would use down-firing speakers in your ceiling for a more clear and real sound. Still, thanks to its balanced frequency response, sound effects are reproduced with clarity.

Subjectively, this soundbar performs well with Atmos content. The additional subwoofer and satellites make for a much more cinematic listening experience than what you get with the standalone Sonos Beam (Gen 2). You feel more rumble in the bass during action-packed scenes, just like in the theater. Sound effects are more accurately placed in the space around you, too, resulting in a clean and crisp sound with lots of detail. Compared to the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers, there's a bit less height, but it still does a great job for such a small bar.

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 with Sub Mini has lots of sound enhancement features. As with other Sonos bars, you won't find an EQ, but you can still use its bass and treble adjustments to switch up its sound. Like other premium bars on the market, it has a room correction feature that analyzes your room's unique acoustics and optimizes the bar's output accordingly. Sonos calls it Trueplay, and it's available through the Sonos S2 app on iOS devices. If you're an Android user, you can't use it, but you can always use the bass and treble adjustments to compensate.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Physical Inputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
Locked
HDMI ARC
Locked
HDMI Out
Locked
Full HDMI In
Locked
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
Locked
RCA In
Locked
USB for Files
Locked
Ethernet
Locked

The bar has limited physical inputs. It connects to your TV or other devices over HDMI ARC. If you have an older TV, you can use the included HDMI to Optical adapter to connect it via Optical. However, without an HDMI In port, you can't use it for video passthrough.

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

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 with Sub Mini supports many different audio formats via ARC. It can playback 5.1 surround sound like Dolby Digital, as well as lossless and object-based formats like Dolby Atmos.

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

Via Optical, the bar supports common 5.1 surround sound formats like Dolby Digital and DTS, which you're likely to come across on streaming platforms and Blu-ray discs.

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

You can connect the bar to your TV over ARC or use the included HDMI to Optical adapter to connect it to older TVs via Optical. Both connections enjoy low latency, so the audio you hear is in sync with the video you see. You don't notice issues with lip-synching, either. Some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently, though, so your real-world experience can vary.

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

Like all Sonos soundbars, this bar has limited wireless capabilities. You can stream audio over Wi-Fi and Apple AirPlay 2 connections, but unfortunately, you won't find Bluetooth.

Connectivity
Other Input Specifications
4k @ 60 Hz Passthrough
Locked
4k @ 60 Hz @ 10 bit Passthrough
Locked
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 Passthrough
Locked
HDR10 Passthrough
Locked

Since the bar lacks an HDMI In port, it can't perform video passthrough.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Locked

The sub connects to the bar wirelessly. It only needs to be plugged into a power outlet.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
Locked

Since the satellites are wireless, you only need to plug them into a power outlet to get them to work.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Locked

The bar lacks a display, but there's a horizontal light above the controls that changes color and blinks depending on the settings you adjust.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

There are some simple control on top of the bar. You can use them to play/pause your audio, adjust the volume, and mute the microphone.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
Locked

The bar doesn't come with a remote, so you have to control it using the Sonos S2 app.

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

You can control the bar with your voice using its built-in Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. When you're not using it, you can also mute the microphone to keep the bar from listening to you.

Additional Features
App
App Name Locked
iOS Locked
Android Locked
Acts As A Remote
Locked
Controls Soundbar's Settings
Locked
Casts Device Files
Locked

The Sonos S2 app acts as the bar's remote. You can use it to control all of the bar's features and customize its sound. Plus, you can link music services like Spotify into the app, making it easy to stream them from the bar itself. If you already own other Sonos devices, you can control them all within the app and set them up to play audio around your rooms.

Additional Features
Other Features
Power Saving
Locked
HDMI CEC (TV Remote Control)
Locked

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 with Sub Mini doesn't have a power-saving mode, so you'll have to remember to turn it off manually if you want to conserve power. However, you can always sync it with your TV remote to control some of its basic functions via HDMI CEC.

Discussions