Sonos Beam vs. Sonos Playbar - Which Sonos soundbar is best?
The Sonos BEAM is here! This piece is Sonos' new low-priced soundbar offering that is competing with similar offerings from Polk Audio, Samsung, Yamaha and others. We have written HERE previously about why Sonos is great. However, we'd like to go over the compare the Sonos BEAM vs the Sonos PLAYBAR which is their premium soundbar solution. In a nutshell:
Pros of Sonos Beam:
The Sonos BEAM sells for $399.00 vs. $699.00 for the Sonos PLAYBAR. Benefit $$$!
The Sonos BEAM has Alexa built-into the soundbar. This allows you to operate many functions with just your voice!
Pros of the Sonos Playbar:
Better Sound: The Playbar uses 9 built-in speakers vs. 5 built-in speakers for the Beam. This allows the Playbar to provide fuller sound and audio that fills up a room.
Cleaner mounting: The Sonos Playbar can be mounted vertically or horizontally. This makes for a much cleaner look when it is mounted under a TV as it doesn't protrude as far from the wall. The Sonos Beam will stick out substantially past the wall-mounted TV in most cases. If you want an aesthetic and subtle look, the Playbar is our recommendation.
Hook-up Method: The Sonos Playbar uses what is called an optical cable to provide the audio channels. The Sonos Beam uses an HDMI cable and relies on a technology called ARC (audio return channel). Guys like us hate ARC as it isn't as reliable as we'd like. This lack of reliability can cause things to turn off that shouldn't, can cause components to go to the wrong input, etc. For better reliability and ease-of-use, we recommend the Playbar.
We are BIG fans of the Playbar over the Beam. However, they both have their place. Choose the Playbar if you have a large room, want BETTER sound or a clean look when wall-mounted. Choose the Beam if you are on a budget or if you want to get better sound in secondary areas such as Guest Bedrooms, Kids' Rooms, etc.
Need help deciding? We've helped hundreds of clients with Sonos in their San Diego homes. Let us help you as well!