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The new Sonos Beam (Gen 2) delivers better sound than before – and it looks a true beauty, too

As home entertainment systems become more functional and streamlined, we’re often promised ease and satisfaction with every new add-on.

An amplifier here; speaker there; wider, slimmer, high definition, curved TV screen… you get the picture. But as the add-ons add up, things can get quite convoluted and confusing. It’s why some folks stick to the old-fashioned models when it comes to reliable home audio and visual.

One brand that genuinely helps make things simpler is Sonos. The brand whose name is a nifty palindrome (read it back to front and downside up) always manages to impress me with its array of speakers that tick all the right boxes.

Recently, I had the pleasure of plugging in the new Sonos Beam Generation 2 – a soundbar that is as impressive in functionality as it is beautiful to look at.

The speaker was out of the box and delivering sound within minutes – the set-up is that easy. Simply open the Sonos app, plug in two cables, follow a couple of prompts and tap your phone to the speaker. Then, wow, what a wonderful sound!

The new Beam delivers an upgraded, more immersive audio experience, all in the same compact size, thanks to exciting improvements across its sound, design and packaging.

Advanced audio processing precisely localises, moves and times specific sounds throughout the room for an impressive lifelike experience, while something called Trueplay™ adapts the sound for the unique acoustics of your room so that your content always sounds the way it was intended.

A centre tweeter creates a crisp high-frequency response, three passive radiators enhance low frequencies for balanced sound, and four elliptical mid-woofers ensure faithful playback of mid-range frequencies and maximise low-end output. That’s a heck of a lot of speaker in one slick soundbar.

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 is a beauty to look at, too: slim enough to fit in with any home entertainment set-up as it is unimposingly set up in front of your smart TV, attached via a simple HDMI cable.

Within minutes, I was tuning into YouTube clips and even when I’d move away to the kitchen to do a little dishwashing, I could sense the surround aspect of the speaker. In fact, one moody music video started with the sound of raindrops and I had to actually ask my partner if it was raining outside – the audio quality is that real.

To up the realness ante, the Beam Gen 2 comes with support for Dolby Atmos so is to give the sound coming out of your TV or other media an almost three-dimensional quality.

The speaker links easily to your other hardware so that your TV’s remote virtually becomes a universal one – et voila! – you have instant access to the speaker and full control.

Since we’re all staying home a lot more – no thanks to the pandemic – we’ve come to expect our home theatre experiences to be top-notch, perhaps not as grand as the movie theatres but with more impressive sound than before.

One study shows that straight-to-streaming content on our TVs has tripled over the last year, and with stream platforms such as Netflix, Shudder and Stan all delivering such excellent content – much of it superseding the stuff on celluloid screens – there’s no excuse not to have hardware that matches in quality.

Enjoy the immersive experience that is the Sonos Beam Generation 2. It’s got all the oomph you want out of your television, movie and YouTube watching, all in the same compact size of its predecessor.

Even the product’s packaging is on point, using premium uncoated kraft paper for cusioning, and a gift box made of 97% sustainable paper.

Unpack a speaker that truly packs a punch!

Antonino Tati

 

The Sonos Beam Generation 2 is available from good audio and electronic outlets, RRP $699.00. Visit www.sonos.com for more information.

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