Your Sonos

The Essential Guide to Beam

Steven Saftig

Global Head of Editorial

Everything we make is intentionally designed to be easy to set up, control, and enjoy. But the Sonos experience can be as rich and multilayered as you’d like. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your Sonos products, we present the ‘Essential Guide’ series.

When we released Beam in 2018, we packed incredible power, dialogue clarity, and voice control into a surprisingly compact soundbar. With the new generation, we’ve added two additional speaker arrays, a precisely perforated grille, a faster, smarter chip, and an HDMI eARC connection for higher resolution audio formats, including Dolby Atmos.

Start Here

Whether you’re brand new to Sonos or a longtime owner, the ‘Essential Guide’ series is for you. If Beam is your first Sonos speaker, start from the beginning. We’ll take you through the entire Sonos journey step by step, from setting up the product to some of the more advanced features possible when you group it with other Sonos speakers. If you’re a longtime owner, feel free to look around. Hopefully you’ll learn something new or rediscover features you haven’t used in awhile.

Set Up

Once you’ve unboxed Beam, the first thing you’ll need to do is set it up, starting by placing it on a piece of furniture below your TV or mounting it to the wall  with our custom mount.

Beam comes with two cords: one for power and one to connect the soundbar to your TV. (If your TV does not have an ARC or eARC port, use the included Optical Adapter.) Start by downloading the Sonos app to your smartphone or tablet, and follow the guided steps.

Connecting to WiFi is as simple as touching your mobile device to the near-field communication (NFC) tag on the top of the soundbar. The Sonos app will then guide you through syncing Beam with your TV remote and adding a streaming or voice service.

White Beam with TV
Woman sitting in front of TV with a white Beam

A Note on Packaging

Beam (Gen 2) is the first Sonos home theater product to launch with our new sustainable packaging, featuring a more compact box design to streamline shipments, premium uncoated kraft paper with illustrations that minimize the use of inks, removal of EPE foam, and a gift box made of sustainably sourced paper. To learn more about our sustainable packaging efforts, check out this blog post.

The Sonos App

The Sonos app is like having a control panel for your speaker (and your entire system) in the palm of your hand. Once you’ve learned a few simple icons, you’ll be able to navigate the app easily. Find a complete tutorial on using the app here.

Below are a few of our most popular features that will help you quickly find your favorites or discover something new.

Speech Enhancement—While your TV is on, tap the speech bubble icon on the Now Playing screen to amplify voices so you never miss a word and can always follow the story.

Night Mode—Tap the moon icon on the Now Playing screen to reduce the intensity of loud effects and enhance quieter ones.

My Sonos—Even with millions of songs, albums, books, and podcasts at our fingertips, we often find ourselves going back to those handful of favorites over and over again. Save them to My Sonos as you explore and then just tap the star icon in the toolbar at the bottom of your screen to quickly access all the content you love.

Search—Tap the magnifying glass icon in the toolbar to search by artist, song, album, playlist, station, genre, and more.

Browse—When you’re not sure exactly what you want to listen to, tap the music note icon at the bottom of the screen, and let Sonos Radio or your favorite music service lead you down a path of music discovery.

Dolby Atmos

Dolby Atmos is an immersive sound technology that places you in the center of the action,   so you experience planes as if they're flying overhead, hear footsteps moving across the room, and feel the score all around you.

In order to enjoy Dolby Atmos on Beam, you’ll need to ensure that you have a TV that supports Dolby Atmos and Atmos-encoded content. To ensure you’re getting Dolby Atmos sound, check out this article.

Beam touch controls

Touch Controls

The Sonos system was designed to be flexible and adjust to the way you listen. And as omnipresent as phones are in our lives, sometimes it’s really nice to forget about them. That shouldn’t mean the music has to stop.

All of our speakers have touch controls or buttons that allow you to manage your experience without the app.

To play or pause

Press the Play/Pause button once to play or pause content.

To group speakers

Press and hold the Play/Pause button to have Beam play what your last active speaker is currently playing.

To change volume

Press the button to the left of Play/Pause to turn the volume up.

Press the button to the right of Play/Pause to turn the volume down.

To skip forward or back

Swipe right across the touch controls to skip to the next track.

Swipe left across the touch controls to play the previous track.

Note: You can also disable touch controls from the Sonos app. From the Settings menu, tap System, choose Beam from the list of products, and then toggle Touch Controls in the Hardware section to off.

Direct Control and AirPlay 2

If you want to stream to Sonos without leaving your favorite app, you have some options.

Spotify, Audible, Amazon Music, Pandora, and other services all let you control Sonos directly through their app. Just look for the button that allows you to play to an external speaker.

And if you have an iOS device, including iPhone and iPad, or a Mac, you can play sounds from your favorite apps out loud on Sonos via Apple AirPlay 2.

Hands-free help

When you want to set a timer, turn on an episode of your newest streaming obsession, or find out how many cups are in a quart, just ask your voice assistant. Beam works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The light on top of Beam signals that the microphones are on and that your voice assistant is ready to respond. It’s also hardwired, so if the light is off you can be certain the microphone is off too.


With sound, so much depends on the environment in which you’re listening. If you’re in a cozy room with thick carpet and tons of pillows, your speaker is going to sound a lot different than if you’re listening in a larger space with more hard materials. With an iOS device, our Trueplay tuning technology will measure the effect that your room’s size, furnishings, and other surfaces have in relation to Beam’s placement, then fine-tune the soundbar to make sure it sounds exactly as it should.

You’ll be prompted to tune your speaker with Trueplay during setup. If you choose to wait, you can always come back to it later from the Settings menu. Tap System, choose Beam from the list of products, and then tap Trueplay in the Sound section.

Couple watching TV with Sonos home theater

The Ultimate Home Theater Setup

With Beam, your shows, movies, and games will sound fuller, the dialogue crisper, and the bass bolder. If you’d like to further expand your home theater setup, you have two options.

  • Add a subwoofer. Adding Sub to your home theater setup will give you bass you can feel. It also offloads the lower frequencies from Beam, so you can experience richer mid-range and high frequencies.
  • Connect two rear speakers for surround sound. When you add two matching speakers (Sonos One, One SL, or Five) to your setup, you unlock your home theater’s full potential. Ambient effects like footsteps, whispers, and elements of the score will completely immerse you in the world on screen.

Learn more about creating the ultimate home theater setup here.

Beam and the Sonos System

Sonos pioneered multiroom listening with a simple vision: Help music lovers play any song anywhere in their homes.

But how we live in our homes is ever-changing. Sometimes we continuously flow from room to room, crossing paths with partners, family, and housemates. At times like these, sound is a shared experience. But there are also times when we camp out in separate areas of the house, happy to stay put and have our individual experiences. With multiple speakers, the Sonos system adjusts to the unique ways we live in our homes. If you want to explore how to expand your listening experience, visit for more information on portable speakers, architectural speakers, and more.

With access to an endless flow of incredible movies, shows, and games in our homes, our living rooms have become the epicenter of current culture. And increasingly, how we watch is becoming just as important as what we watch. From epic clashes to hushed, dramatic moments, sound plays a crucial role in immersing us in the worlds of our favorite stories. By familiarizing yourself with Beam’s features, you’ll ensure you’re experiencing your home entertainment the way it was meant to be enjoyed. Now, on with the show.

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