Sonos Beam (2nd gen) unboxing, first impressions

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The revamped Sonos Beam isn’t due to arrive until next week, but we just got our hands on a pre-release review unit. Feast your eyes on our unboxing and check out my first impressions of the new Beam’s performance.

My Beam review unit was originally slated to land on my doorstep last week, but due to shipping delays, I’ve only had the unit for a little more than 24 hours. Because I prefer to spend at least a week with a soundbar before rendering a verdict, I’m going to hold off on a full review until I’ve had a little more testing time.

But since Sonos says we can start talking about the Beam as of today, I thought I’d throw down some unboxing snapshots and let you know how the setup process went, as well as my initial impressions of its audio performance.

Unboxing the new Sonos Beam

Speaking of impressions, Sonos sure knows how to make a good one, even when it comes to packaging. A zip-strip lets you open the interior box without having to slice it open (you will need scissors for the exterior box), and inside, there’s none of the styrofoam packaging that I typically have to deal with when cracking open a soundbar; instead, the Beam ($449, shipping October 5) is nestled in a stiff, two-piece cardboard cradle, wrapped in black fabric and sealed with a small, round sticker. Very classy.

sonos beam 2nd gen sticker Ben Patterson/IDG

Lifting the Beam 2 out of the box reveals a “Let’s get started” sleeve that contains a quick-start guide. Since the Sonos app guides you through the whole setup process, I never bothered with the paper guide.

sonos beam 2nd gen inside box Ben Patterson/IDG

Inside the marked accessories box are three cables: an HDMI cable (roughly about five feet long), a power cord (ditto), and a nice bonus: an optical-to-HDMI adapter, handy for those with older TVs that lack HDMI-ARC interfaces.

sonos beam 2nd gen cables Ben Patterson/IDG

What you don’t get in the box are any mounting accessories. Sonos does offer a custom mounting bracket for the Beam, but it will set you back $50.

Also missing from the box: a remote control. Instead of a dedicated Beam remote (the Beam’s larger sibling, the Sonos Arc, doesn’t have one either), you control the Beam with the Sonos app, Alexa or Google Assistant voice commands, or your TV’s remote, either via HDMI-CEC or good old-fashioned IR.

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