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'Versatile' smart speaker Sonos Beam to land in NZ from August

12 Jun 2018

Sonos is ramping up the integration of streaming content and wireless smart speakers in a market that it says is constantly filled with tech clutter, poor audio quality and other nefarious motives.

From August 2018 Sonos will release the Sonos Beam to the New Zealand market, and the company says the product has one goal: to provide a simple, rich sound experience for sonic content including visual media to music and podcasts.

“In a smart speaker category increasingly filled with tech clutter, poor audio quality and ulterior motives, Beam is the best example yet of what makes Sonos different,” comments Sonos CEO Patrick Spence.

He says Sonos took an open approach, a design obsession, and focus on quality and commitment to build a system that improves with time. He believes these components are at the heart of the company, and they have also helped to make a versatile smart speaker.

The 25.6 inch Sonos Beam will support more than 80 music services, multiple voice assistants, and Apple AirPlay 2. The addition of AirPlay2 to the Beam will be available in July via a free software update.

Customers can play music and podcasts from their iOS devices directly on their Sonos speakers, including the new Sonos Beam, Sonos One, Playbase, and the second generation Play:5. And, with a single supported speaker, AirPlay content can be streamed to other Sonos speakers in the system. Customers enjoying Apple AirPlay 2 on Sonos will also gain a new voice experience with the addition of Siri. Ask Siri to play any track, album, or playlist on Apple Music by using an iOS device to start playing on Sonos.

The company says Beam will also produce a wide soundstage for a speaker of this size, with four custom-built elliptical full-range woofers and three passive radiators delivering deep, warm bass and superior mid-range performance, while a single tweeter ensures crisp and clear dialogue.

Units shipped to New Zealand and Australia, US, UK, Germany, Canada, the UK, and in France will be shipped with Amazon Alexa. It will support additional voice assistants in future and won’t lock owners into specific streaming boxes or services, Sonos says.

Beam joins all other Sonos speakers to become part of the Sonos home sound system, which means owners have options like adding two Sonos Ones for surround sound, a SUB for more bass, or integrating Beam into their existing Sonos multi-room set-ups. Owners can also control Beam whichever way they like, whether it be with voice, the Sonos app, third-party apps like Spotify, Audible and Tidal, their existing TV remotes, smart home gadgets like wall switches and remotes made by Sonos-certified partners.

The $699 Sonos Beam will be available for shipping to New Zealand from August 2018.

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