Do you need a 4K TV to use a Sonos Beam?
Best Answer: No! The Sonos Beam will work with any TV as long as it has an HDMI-ARC (Audio Return Channel) port. Most TVs will have between 2-4 HDMI ports, but for the Sonos Beam, it must specifically be the on labeled as the HDMI-ARC port. This port syncs audio with the picture, as well as pairs your TV remote to Beam.Sonos Beam ($399)Sonos Surround Sound Entertainment Set ($697)
First off, what's a Sonos Beam?
Sonos Beam is a smart and compact soundbar for your TV. Unlike the Sonos One, the Beam is specifically made to be used with your TV, rather than a standalone speaker.
Once the Sonos Beam is plugged into the HDMI-ARC port, it should automatically pair with your TV and remote without any other setup. The Sonos Beam also comes with Amazon Alexa voice control, so you can control the Beam with your voice. It's also compatible with AirPlay 2, so you can ask Siri to play sound from your Apple devices on the Beam. Both Alexa and Siri work interchangeably.
If you choose to use the Sonos Beam for streaming music from services like Spotify and Apple Music, the TV doesn't need to be turned on. The Beam also works great for Fire TV and other video streaming services, which you can connect to directly in the Sonos app. We have a guide for all of your Sonos setup needs here.
The Sonos Beam uses full-range woofers and harmonizes low and high frequencies in the tweeters, so it delivers premium sound in small to medium size rooms (the Playbar is designed for larger rooms, but doesn't work with AirPlay 2). It also has a Speech Enhancement feature, which means you'll never miss another word during your movies or television shows.
What if my TV is more than 5 years old or doesn't have an HDMI-ARC port?
Sonos includes an optical audio adapter with the Beam so that it hooks up to TVs without an HDMI-ARC port, or TVs that are older and lack these connections.
However, be warned that if you need to use the optical audio adapter, the Amazon Alexa TV voice commands will not work.
But I have a 4K TV! Does the Beam sound better with it?
Not necessarily. Unless your 4K TV has something like Dolby Atmos, then the sound quality that comes from the Sonos Beam will sound about the same, regardless of the kind of TV you own. That's because the Beam itself has powerful woofers and tweeters built-in, providing you with high-quality, premium sound that fills small and medium-sized rooms.
I also have other Sonos speakers, like the One. Can I use the Beam with them?
Yes! If you have a Sonos One, it can be paired with the Beam for an immersive sound experience. If you have two Sonos Ones, they can be used to create stereo surround sound with the Beam, which would be the optical setup.
All pairing would be done in the Sonos app. If you purchase the Sonos Surround Set with Beam (Beam and two Sonos One speakers) for $697, you save about $100.
Premium sound for smaller rooms
The Sonos Beam is an excellent quality soundbar for your TV, regardless of 4K or not. It's super easy to set up, and the voice control commands make life easier. Plus, the Speech Enhancement feature means you'll never miss a word again.
Stereo surround sound
If you want to save some money and go for surround sound with the Beam, then get the Surround Sound Entertainment Set. It bundles a Sonos Beam with two Sonos Ones, and you basically shave off $100 versus buying them separately.
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Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.
When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.