Best answer: If you ever plan on using your Sonos Beam has part of a 5.1 system. you'll want to pick up a Sonos Sub as well. Plus, if a rumbling, powerful bass is important to you, the Sonos Beam is slightly lacking low-end power when it's on its own.
Amazon: Sonos Sub ($699)
The Sonos Beam is a small soundbar
Sonos makes great speakers, and the Sonos Beam has so much to offer. Alexa support, 80 compatible music streaming services, and being small enough to fit in a mid-size room make the Beam a compelling product. With that small footprint though, the Beam makes some concessions when it comes to sound.
The bass won't be as strong as on the Sonos Playbar because, well, it has less and smaller tweeters and woofers inside. This isn't to say that the Sonos Beam sounds bad. In fact, it still manages to sound much larger and fuller than its size would have you believe is possible. However, for people who like that rumbling low-end, the Beam is slightly lacking.
Surround sound needs a SUB
You'll need a Sonos Sub if you want a 5.1 surround system.
Sonos is a premium product that carries a price tag to match and it's hard to buy a 5.1 surround system from Sonos all in one go. However, if you do have dreams of eventually owning a 5.1 surround system with your Sonos Beam, you'll need to purchase a Sonos Sub in order to complete the set.
If you want to turn your Sonos Beam into a full surround system, at the very least you'd need a Sub and two other Sonos Speakers — such as the Play:1's or Play: 3's — to act as the rear speakers. If you plan on buying each piece separately, the Sub is the most expensive. But once you get that out of the way, getting the rest of the system should be a no-brainer. This is a plan for an audiophile though, and most people won't feel the need to spend so much on a sound system.
Consider the size of your room
The Sonos Beam is designed for a small to mid-size room, and if your room is compact, putting more speakers in — especially the fairly large Sonos Sub — may not be necessary. Smaller rooms won't need as much of a bass presence to full the room, meaning the Sonos Beam on its own for a bedroom TV or other similar size rooms, especially in apartments, is likely just fine on its own. However, if your Sonos system needs to cover a large space, splurging for the Sub might not be a bad idea.
Necessary for Sonos surround
The Sonos Sub is a very powerful and large dedicated sub that goes perfectly with any other Sonos speaker you have. Plus, if you want to make your Sonos speakers into a true 5.1 surround system, you need the Sonos Sub as part of that equation.
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