Sonos today debuted a new home smart speaker and TV soundbar named Beam that comes with Alexa voice control, and later this year voice control from Apple's Siri and Google Assistant. All "new" Sonos speakers - meaning the Sonos One, the second-gen Play:5, the Playbase and the Sonos Beam - already have Alexa support, and they'll get AirPlay 2 support this July.
JBL also recently announced its own smart sound bar called the Link Bar, but that device features Android TV as well as Google Assistant, making for a more complete package.
This FCC filing sketch was the first we saw of Sonos' latest simultaneous assault on the music, home cinema and smart AI markets.
The $399 Sonos Beam will let you speak directly to Alexa out of the box, and a software update coming in early July will introduce Apple's Siri to the party, too. It can even amplify quiet dialogue automatically.
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Most modern TV's support both ARC and CEC, but it's usually only people using high-end audio receivers that ever use it.
It's also worth noting another key feature is the ability to support multiple voice assistants - something Sonos has been teasing since it announced the Sonos One previous year. Sonos seems to have finally listened and has equipped the Beam with HDMI. Also, like the other Sonos products, it is possible to tune the Beam to your particular living room using the brand's Trueplay technology, which analyses acoustic factors such as room-size, layout and speaker placement, and then adjusts the acoustic profile taking these factors into account.
AirPlay 2, which Apple released last month, allows users to stream music from an iPhone or iPad to multiple speakers at the same time throughout a home.
We haven't had the chance to try it out ourselves, so we can't say how it sounds. So, don't expect it to match up to a Play:5 or Playbase for audio performance but you can complement it with a Sonos Sub for more bass, or some Sonos Ones for surround sound.