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Sonos says support for Google's Assistant will come later but didn't say how much later. This speaker, by comparison, is tailor made for the living room. As the guys sit down to watch a game on TV, one of them ends up identifying at least seven smart devices in his living room which control everything from the TV to weather reports to toilet paper orders.

Sonos has expanded its line of multiroom audio speakers with a compact, more affordable sound bar called the Sonos Beam. Around the back you'll find the HDMI input, Ethernet port, power connection and a pairing button. It can even amplify quiet dialogue automatically.

That said, the Beam will be the first Sonos speaker to ship with Apple's AirPlay 2. The Sonos Beam is a three-channel system (left, right and center), but for those who want the complete 5.1 surround sound experience, you can pair the Sonos Beam with two Sonos Ones (or two Play:1s) and a Sonos Sub.

The Sonos Beam is designed for three-channels, but it can almost make those three channels sound like true surround sound thanks to Trueplay - a software feature that calibrates the sound to the room. At launch Sonos plans on integrating Amazon's Alexa, just as it does now on the Sonos One. It connects to the HDMI-ARC port on your TV and can therefore be controlled via your existing TV remote and vice versa - such as turn on your TV using Alexa voice commands.

Siri support is a bit more obtuse and it comes via AirPlay 2, not direct integration per se.

It's also worth noting another key feature is the ability to support multiple voice assistants - something Sonos has been teasing since it announced the Sonos One past year.

I immediately reminded myself, however, that I've been perfectly content with my cheap TV's cheap built-in speakers for years now, and happy to listen to music on $15 computer speakers, and the Sonos Beam doesn't change that.

For now, boasting Alexa and the brand's signature Trueplay tech, the Beam presents a solid speaker that might be a tad expensive at $399 (£399, around AU$500) but it's one that could successfully open the door to multi-room audio enthusiasts who have long wanted a versatile Sonos system for themselves. Support for AirPlay 2 will be added in an update next month, and that will allow iPhone users to control Apple Music on the device using Siri.


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