We recommend the Sonos Beam to anyone at the recsearch for a compact soundbar offering great connectivity for quite some time, but now that the audio company has announced the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) , you might be wondering which soundbar is right for you. From the outside, the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) looks like its predecessor, making it difficult to pinpoint exactly what has changed. In fact, the acoustic architecture of the two soundbars is exactly the same. However, there is a big difference between the two generations of Beam. The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) brings Dolby Atmos immersive sound to the mini soundbar for the first time, and that could be a game-changer if you wishz recreate the ambience of a home cinema. Unsurprisingly, the second-gen Sonos Beam saw a small price hike as well - and now that the original Beam has been spoofed, we're starting to see this scale model. The discount level should only increase as we get closer to Black Friday 2021 . The new Sonos Beam (Gen 2) comes with DolbyAtmos. (Image credit: Sonos) Sonos Beam (Gen 2) vs Sonos Beam: price and availability The new Sonos Beam (Gen 2) will be available to buy from October 5 for $ 449 / £ 449 / $ 699 (although it's available for pre-order now). This makes it more expensive than the original at launch, which costs $ 399 / £ 339 / AU $ 599. We've already started to see the prices of the original Sonos Beam drop, and you can almost guarantee it will be sharply reduced from Black Friday 2021 - if stocks last, that 's going to be a big discount. 'that is to say. The first generation Beam has officially been discontinued, so you need to act fast if you have the heart for it. Weirdly, we're not convinced that the price of the second-gen Sonos Beam won't change in the future. Sonos recently announced price hikes for a number of its products, stating that it evaluates prices on a base market by market . One of the biggest price increases is for the company's other soundbar, the Sonos Arc , which is now $ 100 / £ 100 / AU $ 100 more expensive than before. This doesn't bode well for the new Beam. In saying this, Sonos has made no suggestion that the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) will see a price increase anytime soon - just know that the company's pricing is not set in stone. Design The design of the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) and its predecessor are largely the same, although the company has made some subtle changes. Both soundbars are designed for small spaces, and at 2.72 x 25.63 x 3.94 inches (H x W x D), they should fit comfortably under most TVs. Both devices are also available in black and white color options, they can be mounted on the wall and are controllable via a touch panel located on the top of the unit. You also have the option to use the Sonos S2 app, your TV remote, AirPlay 2, or use the built-in Google Assistant and Alexa voice assistants to control your music playback and other settings. . The only immediately noticeable difference between the two is that Sonos has removed the fabric grille from the original Beam, replacing it with a polycarbonate faceplate (or plastic, if you prefer). The plastic grille matches that of the Sonos Arc - and, as the company points out, it's much easier to clean than a dust-collecting cloth. We asked Sonos if the new grille brings an avacoustic antages, but the company told us it was a purely aesthetic choice. It certainly brought the soundbar in line with the rest of the Sonos ecosystem, because none of the other current generation Sonos speakers have fabric grilles. On the back of the soundbar, you'll now find an HDMI eARC port, rather than the HDMI ARC on the original Beam (more on this later). The new Sonos Beam (Gen 2) (Image credit: Sonos) Audio performance The biggest difference between the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) and the original on the audio front is that the new sound supports Dolby Atmos. This cinematic sound technology organizes the elements of a movie soundtrack (or compatible music files) in a 3D sphere, giving the impression that sound comes to you from all angles. 'True ' Dolby Atmos speakers and soundbars - such as the Sonos Arc - use upward tweeters to bounce the sound off the ceiling and back down to your ears to give the soundtracks a sense of height, but the So nos Beam (Gen 2) does it virtually. According to Sonos, the feeling that the sound surrounds you from all angles is achieved using psychoacoustic techniques made possible by the new and improved speaker sets. The second generation Beam contains five bays as opposed to one another. to the three found in the original Beam. While we haven't tested this for ourselves yet, the virtual Atmos can be quite convincing - although you'll likely get a better sense of the height of the more expensive and larger Sonos arc. Otherwise, the rest of the audio technology inside the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) ist the same as before. You get five Class-D amplifiers, a center tweeter, four elliptical midwoofers, and three passive radiators working together to deliver powerful, balanced sound. And it's not a bad thing. In our review of the original Sonos Beam, we were blown away by the richness and depth of the audio, despite the device's small size. With that in mind, you can certainly expect clear, punchy sound from the new Beam, especially if you pair it with Sonos One SL rear speakers and the Sonos Sub for a more complete home theater setup. Like all Sonos speakers, the new Beam uses Trueplay, a feature that calibrates the soundbar to the dimensions of your room. The Beam (Gen 2) also always comes with sound modes such as speech enhancement for clear dialogue and night mode when you don't want to disturb your neighbors -and you can change the equalizer settings through the S2 app.