by Andrew Heinzman on
There isn’t much to say about the new Chromecast. It’s almost identical to its 2nd generation counterpart, even down to the $35 price point. Oh, and it doesn’t support 4K.
The Sonos Beam is, by all accounts, the perfect soundbar for the modern smarthome. Now, you can order one for $400.
Sonos is known for its high-quality audio equipment, as well as its whole-home audio arrangement. Now, Sonos is taking it to the next level with a $399 sound bar that’s compatible with Airplay 2 (like many other Sonos devices), Alexa, and soon, Google Assistant. This makes it a unique competitor to devices like Apple’s HomePod and the Google Home Max. Except the Beam doesn’t commit to a single ecosystem, so anyone can use it.
The Beam also makes a compelling argument for smart speakers in some homes where you might not otherwise want one. A Google Home or Amazon Echo might cost less than a Sonos Beam, but they’re also standalone units that, at best, can play music with somewhat better sound quality. The Beam, on the other hand, is a soundbar you can hook up to your TV. A good soundbar is already a solid upgrade to your home theater, so why not get one that can double as a smart assistant while you’re at it?
At $399, the Sonos Beam isn’t in the budget category by any means, but if you’re looking for even a semi-decent upgrade to your TV’s sound system, and wouldn’t mind adding a smart speaker to your home for your trouble, this is a compelling option. The Beam is currently on sale from Amazon, Best Buy, and Sonos directly.
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