Despite its cult around the world, Sonos is a brand that has not been very popular in India. That might change soon with the kind of attention the company has been showing in the Indian market lately. And this festival season, it lines up new products with aggressive pricing.
The Sonos Beam soundbar will be among the devices the company uses to endear itself to Indian audiences. The Sonos Beam certainly has the design to stand out, being the most compact TV soundbar I’ve ever seen. While not as long as most soundbars, it is a bit taller and you will need to be careful with the location or you might end up blocking the TV remote.
The Sonos Beam also has a very minimalist design with just a play / pause button flanked by volume controls. The Beam was designed as a product that you do not need to physically turn off or operate once installed.
Behind the harness are ports for power, HDMI (Arc) and Ethernet. There is also a button that you should use in case you want to reset the connections.
Above the soundbar, there’s a mic sign to indicate that you can control the device with your voice if needed – using the Sonos app, you can set it up with Alexa or Google Assistant, although both services do not appear to be available in India at this time.
The Sonos app has you covered. It sets up the new device over Wi-Fi, then plugs all your music accounts like Apple Music and Spotify to the speaker, also helps you decide the quality of compression if needed. You can do a lot more, but it will be a bit complicated for regular users. For the TV, I just had to use the Arc connect using an HDMI cable to link the devices.
One thing to note is that Sonos as a company doesn’t like Wi-Fi very much. There are several reasons for this, but for music lovers, Bluetooth connectivity can be irritating as it will come with all the sounds on the phone. . Wi-Fi, on the other hand, just streams music and you can do that literally from anywhere as long as you’re on the same network.
So to play music – since I couldn’t set up voice commands – I would stream music from Apple Music through the Sonos app, or just use AirPlay directly from the Apple Music app. On the Sonos app, I also linked my Spotify and Audible. And this is the best option because nothing interrupts the music.
Now let’s come to the music, the best part about this device. Sonos has always had a very different and unique audio profile that has endeared it to millions of users. The Sonos Beam continues this heritage with a clear and natural high-fidelity audio signature that is very enjoyable.
There is no profusion of bass here. The voices cross the room in an almost ethereal whiff. The Beam is like the perfect speaker for a Jagjit Singh or for getting my weekly dose of Rabindra Sangeet. Even when a more contemporary Prateek Kuhad plays the beam, it is a pleasure for the ears and for the mind. But then the Beam is versatile and Itne Kareeb’s transition from Shubha Mudgal to Doja Cat’s Woman is seamless. For the Beam, it’s all just one more song, because it does the basics so well. Nothing intimidates this little music bar.
As a TV sound bar, the Beam can fill the room. And the fact that it has a very clear audio profile means you can hear every dialogue so well and you don’t really need the captions to get the most out of the 5W speaker on your TV.
At the special festive price of Rs 37,399, the Sonos Beam is on the steeper side. But the audio quality is so good that you won’t regret it at all if you love your music as much as I do. In fact, I’m already planning to buy this one. The Beam serves music the way I like it, pure, punchy and precise.
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