Difference Between Sonos Beam and Playbar (With Table)

As the technology progresses further in the 21st Century, more and more people are getting around to purchasing a proper home entertainment center. Having a dedicated home center means that everything in that portion of the house, from the lighting to the furniture to the electronic devices has only one purpose, which is to optimize the entertainment feeling in that place. 

Now, in such cases, when one spends so much time and money on this, then it is natural to get a good sound system that would complement this setup. There are plenty of good sound systems and speakers available in the market that could easily confuse the market. Hence it is really important for the consumers to know what they should purchase. Brands such as Bose, Sonos, Sony, etc. have specialized to a great extent in this department. In fact, Sonos is an industry leader in this market. Two very popular speakers made by Sonos is the Sonos Beam and the Sonos Playbar.

Sonos Beam vs Playbar

The difference between Sonos Beam and Playbar is that the Sonos Beam has the ability to support smart assistants such as the Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s Siri right from setup. Being able to access the assistant helps to perform various virtual assistant functions easily.

Comparison Table Between Sonos Beam and Playbar

Parameters of ComparisonSonos BeamSonos Playbar
PriceThe Sonos Beam is cheaper than the Playbar.The Playbar is more expensive than the Beam.
Virtual Assistant FeaturesThe Sonos Beam features smart voice assistant compatibility features.The Playbar does not have any smart assistant features.
Driver SizeThe Sonos Beam has smaller drivers than the Playbar.The Playbar has bigger drivers than the Beam.
DesignThe Beam is sleeker than the Playbar.The Playbar is a bit bulky than the Beam.
PortsHDMI ARC connection.Optical connection.

What is Sonos Beam?

The Beam is a small-sized speaker that is mainly intended to cater towards the home entertainment department and is manufactured by the audio equipment company Sonos. Before the release of the Beam, Sonos had released quite a few speakers, such as the Playbar, Sonos One, the Playbase, etc. However, the Beam carried a special significance, as it was way more affordable than the other products its company made. Added to the reduced price tag, came to a lot of features that even its more expensive counterparts did not have.

The Beam is not just a regular TV speaker that you could use to boost the sound of your TV. There is also an HDMI ARC connection, and also smart virtual assistant support too. Initially, it only supported Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa. However, after that, it also went on to support the Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri.

The Beam is quite small in comparison to its siblings from the same company. Its width is only 65cm and it weighs about 2.8 kgs. There are touch controls, which are present above the soundbar which helps one to perform basic functionalities, such as playing and pausing, or moving to the next or previous track, etc.

The Sonos Beam comes in two colors, black and white. And even at that price point, it has a convincingly very good finish, which gives a more premium look and feels than even more expensive and costly soundbars.

One of the best advantages of having such a small, yet powerful speaker is that since it is small, it can accommodate anywhere while the excellent quality drivers give an excellent quality sound output.

What is the Sonos Playbar?

The Playbar is a premium speaker that is manufactured by the audio equipment giant Sonos. The Playbar is known as a speaker to be one of the best in the market and hence has always been one of very high regard. The Playbar has the ability to stream Hi-Fi quality sounds that come from the TV. This speaker is also targeted to be a home entertainment speaker. Of course, it can be used to stream music, and it does that job very effectively, however, with the surround sound features that it comes with, its use would not be justified if it is not used with its home entertainment unit.

The Sonos Playbar has an optical connection system. This is in a way both an advantage and a disadvantage. The advantage is that the connection is seamless and easy, however, the disadvantage is that optical connections are not very common in televisions yet, and hence one needs to check if their television is compatible before actually purchasing the product because otherwise, it would just be money down the drain. One ca also connect their Android, or iOS devices to the Playbar and stream music from the music streaming platforms as well.

Main Difference Between Sonos Beam and Playbar

  1. The main difference between Sonos Beam and Playbar is that the Sonos Beam has the ability to support smart assistants such as the Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s Siri right from setup.
  2. The Sonos Beam is cheaper than the Playbar.
  3. The driver size of Sonos Beam is smaller than those of the Sonos Playbar.
  4. The Sonos Beam is sleeker than the Playbar.
  5. Sonos Beam has an HDMI ARC connection, while the Playbar has an Optical connection.


When made to choose between either of these two speakers, it is definitely a tough pick. They both produce excellent sound and occupy nearly the same space. However, if one wants to be a little tight on their pocket, they could for the Sonos Beam, as it will come cheaper than the Playbar. However, the Playbar has seen a lot of price reductions too. Either choice will be a great one though.


  1. https://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?conv=147&papernum=10243
  2. https://search.informit.com.au/fullText;dn=021245717650079;res=IELENG
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