A surprisingly salient special survey by Sonos says that something like 70 percent of slender-TV owners select to stand their set on a flat surface rather than sticking it on a wall. Say that silently seven times. All of which causes a problem when it comes to a home theater speaker system, especially if that system is a soundbar. Most soundbars, after all, are designed with wall-mounting as a primary option. Even if it does manage to fit there, it often looks out of place, giving the whole array the appearance of a cluttered mishmash of electronics. Simplicity is right up there, too. It works within a Sonos wireless multiroom streaming audio system, as any other Sonos speaker will, but it does theater sound, too. Or you can set it on a shelf or cabinet under the screen. Almost immediately after releasing the Playbar, Sonos started looking for a satisfying solution for that group of conscientious wall-mount objectors those dastardly percenters. Sonos reps visited people in their homes to see system setups in the wild, and they asked a ton of questions about what people actually want regarding TV sound.

Keeping Your Home Safe with Amazon Echo

Can the Beam deliver the goods? Black Friday soundbar deals Build and design The Sonos Beam is quite a bit more compact than its older siblings. At just 65cm wide and weighing 2.

This system is the easiest to setup, its the best way to hook up speakers and stream music from almost any music service through the sonos app and be uninterrupted! Connect Sonos to an Amazon Echo or Dot, then simply request the music you love.

Although she may be most often seen as a joke-telling, fact-searching assistant, Alexa can do plenty more than that. Read on for five things to do in order to get the most out of Alexa. Spend a little time configuring things, however, and your Flash Briefing could be a whole lot more useful. That way, you can have a weather report for the day read out first, then slide into headlines, and finally get more granular as the briefing goes on.

Amazon is offering free voice calls made through Echo devices to numbers in the US, Canada, and Mexico. Better still, your own phone number will show up as the Caller ID. Set up voice profiles Originally, Alexa focused all her attentions on just one person. With the arrival of voice profiles, however, your Echo can differentiate between multiple people, and tailor the information they each hear accordingly. That involves reading out ten phrases within earshot of the nearest Echo speaker.

From that, Alexa builds an acoustic profile by which to recognize you. With that, she can automatically use your own Amazon shopping account when you order something by voice, pull up your own news preferences for Flash Briefings, and use your own contacts for voice calls and messages.

5 ways to get the best out of Amazon Alexa

The all-new Plus will be released on 11 October in both the US and UK, but you can pre-order now ahead of its arrival. We’ve already had the chance to go hands on with the Echo Show , and if you want to pick one up for yourself you can do so from 11 October in the US and UK. That means that, like the Echo Show, it is able to do video calling and display information — but as a bedside companion.

Read our full Echo Spot review. However, the TV Cube goes one further by aping the Echo Show by using your TV screen to visually show off things like weather forecasts and recipes — as well as the standard audio feedback of a standard Echo device. It’s US only for the time being.

Echo. All Alexa devices are using cloud service technology, echo is one of that. Echo 2nd generation device is the medium in size. Its almost 7′ inch tall and comes with a woofer.

Want to listen to music anywhere in the house? A wireless Sonos system may be the answer. But what is it? What can it do? And what are the alternatives? We’re here to help. You’d either need to move your system from room to room, put up with wires and cables trailing under doors and rugs and up the stairs, or you could spend a fortune on a custom-install system.

Alexa, ask Plex to get this party started!

Smart Home How to bring Alexa into every room of your home Finding the right combination of Amazon Echo devices can be a tricky balancing act, we’ll walk you through it. Thanks to Amazon’s ESP feature , you no longer have to worry about device overlap since only the closest Echo will respond to you if multiple devices hear your command.

The second half of the piece has been updated to reflect this change. It’s time to think big picture now that we’ve reviewed all three devices with Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant. What if you want to roll out Alexa to every room in your house?

But you’ve always needed to cue up music and control what’s playing on them with Sonos’s own app, which often provides a less-compelling experience than the streaming services’ own.

How to Get 5. I plug my TV’s digital audio fiber optic output into the PlayBar. Everything sounds good, but I’m pretty sure I’m not getting real surround sound. Very little sound comes from the Play: It only does Dolby Digital. Could this be the problem? How can I tell if I’m getting 5. And if I’m not, what can I do about it?

Sincerely, -Two-Channel Charlie Dear Charlie, We actually get this question a lot from friends and from readers, not just about the Sonos PlayBar but about other soundbars that offer true 5. The Sonos PlayBar is a great product for streaming music and can make huge improvements in your TV sound quality, but it’s not actually that simple to get real discrete surround sound out of it, even when you add the Play: Assuming you’ve configured the speakers correctly in the Sonos set-up Play: By adding a pair of Play:

How to set up Alexa voice control for existing Sonos speakers

Google’s somewhat unexpected Home Max is built with high quality music playback in mind, first and foremost. And Google says that its machine learning capabilities will give the company a leg up other players in the market. I’m no audiophile, but my first impression of the Home Max is definitely positive. It’s extremely loud, well balanced and crystal clear, with well-defined bass that isn’t overwhelming.

In short, the sound quality is what I’d expect from a speaker in this price range — in a vacuum, it’s not cheap, but it’s also significantly better than the speakers most people probably have in their homes.

Spotify on Sonos. Get Sonos and Spotify Premium playing together. Fire up the Spotify app on your phone, tablet or laptop. 2. Play a song and select Devices Available. 3. Select a Sonos speaker and start listening. Get started with Premium. You need Premium to play Spotify on Sonos.

View gallery – 5 images The wireless audio experts at Sonos just unveiled their newest device: Built specifically for the living room, and with Amazon Alexa functionality on board, it rolls the functions of a smart speaker and a soundbar into a single device. During the launch event, Sonos reiterated its commitment to making its platform as open as possible — you can already play tunes from Google Play Music, Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and more on its hardware — and to that end, the Beam will support “additional voice assistants” over time.

In other words, Sonos wants to get this working with the Google Assistant and Siri further down the line, just like the Sonos One. Out of the box you get Alexa, and as well as all the usual Alexa functions — updates on the weather, reminders to buy milk — you’ll be able to use your voice to control your television, as long as it supports the up-and-coming HDMI ARC Audio Return Channel standard.

Essentially, it gives the soundbar the power to act as a full remote control, changing volume levels, turning the set on and off, and so on. Besides the embedded smarts, there is of course the sound. This device is smaller and cheaper than the Sonos Playbase, the company’s previous premium speaker for the living room, so if you’re not concerned with digital assistants then the Playbase might still be the better bet in terms of audio quality.

The Beam has five main speakers to the Playbase’s 10, but Sonos is still promising “incredible room-filling sound” from the speaker, and as with every Sonos device, you can connect it up to other Sonos speakers on your home network so you could maybe add the Sonos Sub for some extra base. The Beam includes four custom-built elliptical full-range woofers, a single tweeter, and three passive radiators, which apparently gives it “deep, warm bass” and “superior mid-range performance” if you want to take Sonos’ word for it.

JBL Xtreme review

The real reason to get an Echo right now is because you want the Alexa voice-control platform, which makes interacting with your speaker and other devices much easier. Voice control frees you from being constantly tethered to your smartphone. If you thought the transition from flipping light switches to pressing smartphone buttons was game-changing, then letting Alexa control your things will be even more satisfying. Alexa is particularly useful for smart-home users because it lets you control your Alexa-compatible devices without having to take out your phone and launch an app.

Without touching anything, you can walk into a quiet room and ask for music, or walk into a dark room and ask for lights. A growing list of built-in capabilities and third-party skills means that your Alexa device keeps improving the longer you own it.

It’s a small echo that can hook up to external speakers via mm cable or Bluetooth. The Dot also includes a small built-in speaker in case you just want to use it for Alexa’s voice-activated features but don’t care about listening to music.

It’s a world flush with affordable, high-quality speakers for your TV that don’t require putting different kinds of speakers all over your room, with multiple diagrams and sync options to ensure everything is just so. The soundbar is a gift for people who want to hear, and feel, their entertainment without the hassle of multiple wires. The soundbar world is on the brink of a big change, though: The Polk Command Bar starts off as an unwieldy, albeit cleverly designed, package. The shipping box itself is shaped like a guitar case or a saxophone, with the soundbar providing the length while the subwoofer is in the compartment atop the soundbar.

There’s a handle for easier transport. Unpacking is easy enough. Take the subwoofer out, slide the soundbar away from the box, and collect the various plugs and cables to begin setting up your new audio system. The Command Bar easily connects to your TV. For the subwoofer, all you have to do is plug it in and it’ll automatically wirelessly sync up with the Command Bar. There’s also built-in Bluetooth if you want to use your phone to stream music.

How to set up Alexa voice control for Sonos speakers (CNET How To)