Sonos Beam (2nd gen) vs Sonos Beam (1st gen): What's the difference?

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(Pocket-lint) - Sonos announced a 2nd procreation of its compact soundbar - Beam - successful September 2021. The latest exemplary offers a mates of differences compared to the original Beam soundbar that launched successful 2018, though not each are aboveground level.

If you're wondering however the 2021 Sonos Beam compares to the archetypal procreation model, and which you should buy, you're successful the close place. 

Here are the differences betwixt the Sonos Beam (2nd gen) and the Sonos Beam (1st gen).

What's the same?

  • Dimensions
  • Sound architecture
  • Colour options
  • Sonos features

There is plentifulness that remains the aforesaid betwixt the Sonos Beam (2nd gen) and the Sonos Beam (1st gen), including the wide size of the device, the achromatic and achromatic colour options and the acoustic dependable architecture.

You'll find 5 class-D amplifiers, 4 elliptical midwoofers, 3 passive radiators and 1 centre tweeter wrong some Sonos Beam soundbars, arsenic good arsenic a far-field microphone array.

Both models besides diagnostic capacitive interaction controls connected the top, the aforesaid plan wide - with 1 tweak - and galore of the aforesaid Sonos features, including Trueplay for tuning, the quality to radical with other Sonos speakers and compatibility with implicit 100 euphony services. 

They some enactment with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, some person AirPlay 2 support and they some measurement 651 x 100 x 69mm and measurement 2.8kg.

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What's antithetic betwixt the Sonos Beam 2nd gen and 1st gen?

While determination is plentifulness that remains the aforesaid betwixt the 2 Sonos Beam soundbars, determination are a fewer cardinal differences excessively - arsenic you would expect.


The 2nd procreation Sonos Beam has a much almighty and faster processor, which enables it to diagnostic assorted improvements elsewhere.

Dolby Atmos support

One of the improvements that comes from the upgraded processor is amended talker arrays connected the 2nd procreation Beam. 

The caller Beam has 5 talker arrays alternatively of the 3 recovered connected the archetypal Beam. The 2 caller talker arrays are dedicated to situation and tallness information, and clip and frequency-based psychoacoustic techniques are applied to separate betwixt receptor and overhead level. 

This enables the 2nd gen Beam to connection virtual Dolby Atmos, contempt offering the aforesaid acoustic dependable architecture arsenic the archetypal Beam, which doesn't enactment Atmos.


The 2nd procreation Sonos Beam has HDMI eARC, portion the archetypal procreation exemplary lone supports HDMI ARC. 

HDMI eARC compatibility should let for richer, much immersive and a higher explanation dependable experience, according to Sonos.

Speaker grille

The talker grille connected the 2nd procreation Sonos Beam is made from polycarbonate, matching that of the larger Sonos Arc. 

The archetypal Sonos Beam has a soft, worldly decorativeness which is harder to support clean.



The 2nd procreation Sonos Beam volition beryllium disposable from 5 October and costs £449 successful the UK, $449 successful the US and €499 successful Europe.

The archetypal procreation Sonos Beam is simply a small cheaper, costing £399 successful the UK and $399 successful the US. You mightiness find it cheaper elsewhere erstwhile the 2nd procreation exemplary arrives though.


There aren't immense differences betwixt the 2nd procreation Sonos Beam and the archetypal Sonos Beam, but determination are capable to marque the newer exemplary the amended enactment connected paper. 

Many of the same features are offered - similar euphony work compatibility, multiroom and Trueplay - and the plan is mostly the aforesaid speech from a caller grille, but the 2nd procreation Sonos Beam offers enactment for virtual Dolby Atmos and HDMI eARC support. 

The newer exemplary is somewhat much costly though, truthful if you're not excessively disquieted astir Dolby Atmos support, you mightiness find yourself drawn to the older exemplary to prevention immoderate pennies.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Originally published connected 14 September 2021.

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