The second generation of the Beam soundbar features the same acousitic architecture as the first generation model, meaning you'll find five Class-D digital amplifiers, four elliptical mid-woofers, one tweeter and three passive radiators, but it has a faster CPU and improved speaker arrays.
According to Sonos, there are five speakers arrays in the new Beam soundbar compared to the three in the original, with the extra two dedicated to surround and height information, applying time and frequency-based psycho-acoustic techniques to distinguish between ear level and overhead audio. This results in the Beam's ability to offer Dolby Atmos support.
It's worth mentioning the Dolby Atmos support is virtual only on the new Beam as there are no upfiring speakers, like the larger Sonos Arc has. It's updated polycarbonate grille does match that of the Arc though, moving away from the material-covering on the original Beam.
Along with the more powerful processor, improved phased array and updated grille, the new Sonos Beam also has HDMI eARC compatibility. Otherwise, the dimensions, specifications and features like TruePlay, compatibility with over 100 music services and the rest of the features Sonos speakers offer are the same as the original Beam.
The second generation Beam will support Amazon Music Ultra HD that arrrives later this year, as well as Dolby Atmos Music.
The new Sonos Beam will cost £449 in the UK and $449 in the US. It will be available from 5 October and comes in black and white colour options.