At a media event this morning in San Francisco, Sonos unveiled a new smart sound bar they call the Sonos Beam. The speaker will be available on July 17th at a price of $399, with pre-orders beginning today.
Following up the original Playbar speaker introduced in 2013, and the Playbase, a larger home theater speaker solution unveiled last year, the Sonos Beam is the company’s second speaker to feature native support for voice control with Amazon’s Alexa assistant, and in July, Siri. Google Assistant support has been promised, although no timeline has been given.
The sound bar also offers support for Apple’s recently introduced AirPlay 2 audio streaming protocol and control with Siri. Sonos previously announced that the Sonos One, Play:5 and Playbase would be the only exisiting speakers to receive support for AirPlay 2, meaning customers who purchased the original Playbar would miss out. New for a Sonos sound bar is HDMI ARC output instead of an optical port.
Sonos mentioned that they focused on creating the Beam because they felt the living room was a space that was being ignored in the smart speaker category. The company’s focus for the product was to create a compact sound bar with easy control that’s both smaller and shorter than the Playbar.
The speaker will be available in either all black or all white finishes with a mesh grille free of visible seams.
Stay tuned to 9to5Mac for more photos and details about today’s Sonos announcments.