Sonos Beam vs Playbar: Difference and Comparison

As technology progresses further in the 21st Century, more and more people are getting around to purchasing a proper home entertainment centre.


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Having a dedicated home centre means that everything in that portion of the house, from the lighting to the furniture to the electronic devices, has only one purpose: 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.

Plenty of good sound systems and speakers are 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 are the Sonos Beam and the Sonos Playbar.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Sonos Beam is more compact and affordable than the larger and more expensive Playbar.
  2. The Playbar has better sound quality with more bass and overall power, while the Sonos Beam has a more balanced and clear sound.
  3. The Sonos Beam has built-in voice control and can be integrated with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, while the Playbar requires a separate device for voice control.

Sonos Beam vs Playbar

Sonos beam is a type of speaker. The sound of the TV can be boosted using this speaker. It provides an HDMI ARC connection. It is also affordable. Virtual assistant features are also supported by Sonos Beam. Playbar is another type of speaker which is expensive. It provides high-quality sound features. It also supports the optical connection.

Sonos Beam vs Playbar

Comparison Table

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 your TV’s sound. 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 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 kg.

Touch controls are present above the soundbar, which help one perform basic functionalities, such as playing and pausing, 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 very good finish, giving 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.

sonos beam 1

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 can also connect their Android or iOS devices to the Playbar and stream music from the music streaming platforms as well.

sonos playbar 1

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 Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s Siri right from setup.
  2. The Sonos Beam is cheaper than the Playbar.
  3. The Sonos Beam’s driver size is smaller than the Sonos Playbar’s.
  4. The Sonos Beam is sleeker than the Playbar.
  5. Sonos Beam has an HDMI ARC connection, while the Playbar has an Optical connection.

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