Home audio device maker Sonos has introduced its latest smart speaker Sonos Beam, a small soundbar which powers home entertainment with artificial assistant built-in.
According to The Verge, the Sonos Beam is targeted at consumers who want a smart speaker in the living room but also don’t want one. The device doesn’t just help homeowners set timers and play music, but also make their TV sound better.
The Sonos Beam will have Amazon Alexa built-in. The company has also promised to bring Apple AirPlay 2 in July via a software update, and integration with Google Assistant will also come later.
The soundbar and speaker features four full-range woofers (one angled on each end and two front-facing), one tweeter and three passive radiators to optimize the sound quality. It can be placed on the wall below a TV or in a side cabinet.
Three ports are included in the speaker, for power, Ethernet and HDMI ARC, the last of which allows for TV voice control. Asking Alexa to turn on the TV or to turn down the volume will be the default function of the Sonos Beam.
If homeowners have the Amazon Fire TV, they can even ask Alexa to play their favorite TV shows or movies.
The Sonos Beam is for the high-end smart speaker market and will compete with the Google Home Max and Apple’s HomePod. However, instead of luring customers to one ecosystem, Sonos wants to provide various voice assistants for customers to choose from and offers great sound quality at home, the company says.
The Sonos Beam will be available on July 17 for US$399. The price is much lower than Sono’s other TV speakers.
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal this April, Sonos has filed confidentially for an IPO and might get public this summer.