Sonos introduces ‘Beam’ sound bar with AirPlay 2, Siri and Alexa control

Sonos Beam

The Beam comes enabled with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant out of the box. I've no doubt the $399 Beam speaker sounds great-especially compared to the TVs it'll plug into-but it might be wise to understand the headache factor with the assistants before plunking down the cash.

Sonos Beam connects to your TV using an HDMI cable, and thanks to a technology called "Audio Return Channel" that was added to the HDMI standard in 2009, the Beam instantly picks up all the audio coming from your TV and outputs without any special setup required on your end. It integrates with Apple's digital-assistant Siri on the Apple devices themselves, rather than on the speaker like Alexa as well as Google Assistant in the future. The Sonos Beam could change that.

Sonos Beam comes in white or black. It has voice assistant support (Amazon Alexa at launch, followed by Siri via an AirPlay 2 update in June and Google Assistant later) and it puts out decent, if-not-quite-room-rattling sound.

Other extras on the Beam include a night mode, which boosts the audio without waking up the entire house, and there's also the ability to instantly pair the speaker with your remote.

Sonos is at once playing to its original strength of selling great-sounding smart speakers for every room in the home, and doing the sensible thing of remaining agnostic to the growing array of increasingly popular voice digital assistants.

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Of course, this is a Sonos device which means it will link up with any other Sonos speakers you have for an instant surround sound experience. Better yet and the company says the Sonos One, Playbase, and second gen Play:5 will gain support for AirPlay 2 in July as well. "We believe we've created the best, most versatile, smart speaker in the world".

The device will ship globally starting July 17 and is available for pre-order today on the Sonos website.

With Alexa built in it should also be pretty smart with the voice assistant able to help you find content and even control your TV via simple commands.

The sound bar also offers support for Apple's recently introduced AirPlay 2 audio streaming protocol and control with Siri.

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