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Find out more about the functionality of the Sonos Beam as we answer some common questions.

We answer popular questions regarding the Sonos Beam, how it works and how to install effectively.

How does Sonos Beam work with Amazon Alexa?

Sonos Beam supports voice commands with Amazon Alexa. These include commands to start music and content with Spotify, TuneIn and Audible; commands to control other services started with the Sonos app, plus requests for popular Alexa features like “What’s my Flash Briefing?” or “What’s the weather?” or “Play Song Quiz”.

How does Sonos Beam differ from Playbar and Playbase?

Sonos Beam is a more compact speaker and can fit almost anywhere. Playbar and Playbase have more speakers, so they produce louder sound with more width and bass. Beam is perfect for small to mid-sized rooms, whereas Playbar and Playbase are capable of filling large spaces.

Can I control my TV with Sonos Beam and Amazon Alexa?

For compatible TVs, Sonos Beam introduces commands specific to TV use, including “Turn on the TV” and “Turn off the TV”. Sonos Beam also follows commands such as “Turn it up” and “Mute”, applying them to the TV volume. Sonos Beam must be connected to your TV’s HDMI-ARC input and your TV needs to support CEC features. Amazon Alexa voice control for your TV will not work if Sonos Beam is connected via optical adapter.

Sonos Beam can be linked to Alexa-enabled video streaming devices such as Fire TV. Once linked, you can control these services with Sonos Beam by saying “Play Catastrophe”, “Switch to ESPN” or “Tune to channel 500”. If you’ve logged into Netflix or added HBO shows onto your Fire TV, you’ll be able to play shows by name, e.g. “Play Stranger Things” or “Play Game of Thrones”.

Do Sonos Beam microphones hear me when audio is playing?

Yes. Five far-field microphones are built in to Sonos Beam to detect your voice from any direction, anywhere in the room. You can speak at natural volume to activate Alexa-supported voice commands. Based on your preference, you can choose to have voice feedback turned on or off.

Can I turn off the far-field microphones?

Yes, simply touch the microphone icon and the light will turn off/on. When the microphone light is on, Alexa is ready for a voice command. When the light is off, the microphone is off. This ensures privacy when you want it.

How will Sonos Beam connect to smart home or home automation systems?

Sonos Beam can control devices through skills in the Alexa app. In addition, Sonos has certified partnerships with smart home systems like Wink and Lutron. Based on your setup, commands to control various smart devices throughout your home will work. Possibilities include “Set temperature to 20” and “Turn Living Room lights on.”

What is HDMI-ARC?

Sonos Beam connects to your TV’s HDMI-ARC port. Most TVs have two to four HDMI ports, one of which is labelled ARC, which stands for Audio Return Channel. The HDMI-ARC port syncs audio and picture, plus automatically pairs your TV remote to Sonos Beam. If you’re unsure if your TV has an HDMI-ARC port, consult your TV specs with the manufacturer.

If your TV is older than 5 years, or otherwise doesn't have an HDMI ARC port, you can use the included optical audio adapter to connect Sonos Beam to the optical port on your TV. Please note that Amazon Alexa TV voice commands will not work when connected via optical adapter.

Does Sonos Beam support AirPlay?

Yes. You can AirPlay straight to Sonos Beam from your iPad, iPhone and Mac. Watch a video on any Apple device and enjoy the sound on Sonos Beam in perfect sync.

Does Sonos Beam pair with other Sonos speakers for surround sound?

Yes. While Sonos Beam is a great soundbar on its own, it also wirelessly pairs with our Sub for added bass and a pair of Sonos speakers for full surround sound. A setup with left and right rears and a Sub gives you true 5.1 surround sound.

Can I wall mount Sonos Beam?

Yes. You can easily and securely mount Sonos Beam using our custom-designed wall mount. Our wall mount comes in all white or black – to complement your speaker – and is designed with 1 inch/2.5 cm of clearance from the wall to achieve the best acoustics. Sonos Beam also supports a range of certified third-party accessories that you can find on Sonos.com.

What audio codecs and formats will Sonos Beam support?

Sonos Beam plays audio from PCM stereo, Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital 5.1 sources. These are the most popular audio formats for streaming video on demand and watching TV.

What audio content can I play on Sonos Beam?

Sonos Beam plays back all of your TV audio, once setup with the Sonos app is complete. You can stream audio from TV, movies, video on demand, music, radio, video games, audiobooks and podcasts.

What if my TV supports a codec that isn’t one of the supported by Sonos Beam?

When Sonos Beam is connected to HDMI-ARC on your TV, the TV and Sonos Beam automatically pick the best format that both systems can support. If you are using the Optical Audio Adapter, Sonos Beam will support PCM stereo and Dolby Digital.

Why does Sonos Beam have Bluetooth Low Energy?

Sonos Beam uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to temporarily communicate with your phone/tablet during the setup process. BLE does not support audio streaming. Once setup is done, Sonos Beam streams and updates via your own WiFi.

 

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