When it comes to high-quality audio solutions for your home, the competition is fierce. The HomePod 2 speakers by Apple and the Sonos Beam Gen 2 soundbar are two popular options in the market.
In this article, we’ll compare these products in detail, covering everything from design and audio quality to smart features and compatibility. By the end, you should have a clearer understanding of which option suits your needs best.
Design and Build Quality
The HomePod 2 boasts an elegant design, featuring a sleek cylindrical shape that easily fits into most home decor styles. Its compact dimensions make it ideal for smaller spaces. The HomePod 2 has a seamless fabric mesh cover that not only looks good but also helps to distribute sound evenly.
Sonos Beam Gen 2
The Sonos Beam Gen 2 sports a slim, low-profile design that can be easily mounted on a wall or placed on a TV stand. Its elongated shape ensures that the soundbar doesn’t obstruct the view of the TV screen. The Beam Gen 2 also features a fabric cover, giving it a premium appearance that complements its exceptional audio performance.
HomePod 2: A Well-Balanced Listening Experience
The HomePod 2 delivers a well-balanced listening experience with its custom-designed high-excursion woofer and seven beamforming tweeters. It uses spatial awareness technology to analyze the room’s acoustics, adjusting the sound accordingly for an immersive audio experience. Apple‘s computational audio technology ensures that the music is always crystal-clear, regardless of volume.
Sonos Beam Gen 2: Immersive Dolby Atmos Support
The Sonos Beam Gen 2 soundbar takes sound quality to a new level with its Dolby Atmos support. Its five phased-array speakers create a three-dimensional soundstage, providing an incredibly immersive listening experience. The Beam Gen 2 also includes a central channel for crystal-clear dialog, making it an excellent choice for movie and TV enthusiasts.
|HomePod (2nd generation)
|Sonos Beam Gen 2
|Siri voice control
|Learning TV volume, Apple AirPlay, smartphone control
|Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, Thread
|Wi-Fi, ARC – Audio Return Channel, eARC, Optical Inputs
|High-excursion woofer, horn-loaded tweeters, computational audio, spatial audio with Dolby Atmos
|Custom-built drivers, advanced processing, Trueplay tuning, speech enhancement
|Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri (through connected device)
|Sonos S2 app, Apple AirPlay 2
|142 mm x 168 mm (W x H)
|651 mm x 68 mm x 100 mm (W x H x D)
|Power cable, documentation
|HDMI cable, optical audio adapter, flat Ethernet cable
Smart Features and Voice Assistants
HomePod 2: Siri Integration for Seamless Control
Apple’s HomePod 2 comes equipped with Siri, the company’s intelligent voice assistant. Siri allows you to control your music, answer questions, and even control smart home devices with just your voice. The HomePod 2 also works seamlessly with other Apple devices, ensuring a smooth user experience.
Sonos Beam Gen 2: Multiple Voice Assistant Options
The Sonos Beam Gen 2 soundbar supports both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, allowing users to choose their preferred voice assistant. This versatility allows you to control your music, ask questions, and manage smart home devices using the voice assistant that best suits your needs.
Multi-Room Audio Capabilities
HomePod 2: Seamless Integration with Apple’s Ecosystem
The HomePod 2 excels in multi-room audio capabilities when used in conjunction with other Apple devices. Using AirPlay 2, you can effortlessly stream music to multiple HomePods or other compatible speakers throughout your home. Apple’s ecosystem ensures a seamless listening experience, allowing you to easily control your multi-room audio setup.
Sonos Beam Gen 2: The Power of the Sonos Ecosystem
Sonos has long been known for its multi-room audio solutions, and the Beam Gen 2 is no exception. Using the Sonos S2 app, you can easily group multiple Sonos speakers together for a synchronized listening experience. The Sonos ecosystem also supports a wide range of streaming services, ensuring you have access to your favorite music and podcasts.
Smart Home Integration
Smart home integration is an essential consideration when choosing between the HomePod 2 speakers and the Sonos Beam Gen 2 soundbar.
As an Apple product, the HomePod 2 integrates seamlessly with the Apple ecosystem, supporting Siri as its voice assistant. With Siri, you can control your smart home devices, ask questions, set reminders, and more. The HomePod 2 supports HomeKit, Apple’s smart home platform, allowing you to control compatible devices and create custom automation routines.
Sonos Beam Gen 2
The Sonos Beam Gen 2 offers more flexibility when it comes to smart home integration. It is compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, giving users the option to choose their preferred voice assistant. The Beam Gen 2 can also connect to various smart home platforms, including Amazon’s Smart Home, Google Home, and even Apple HomeKit, providing a more versatile smart home experience.
Set-up and Ease of Use
When it comes to setting up and using your new audio device, both the HomePod 2 speakers and the Sonos Beam Gen 2 soundbar offer straightforward processes.
Setting up the HomePod 2 is incredibly easy for Apple users. Simply plug in the speaker, open the Home app on your iOS device, and follow the on-screen instructions. The HomePod 2 automatically integrates with your Apple Music account and other Apple services, streamlining the set-up process.
Sonos Beam Gen 2
The Sonos Beam Gen 2 set-up is also user-friendly. To get started, connect the soundbar to your TV and power source, then download the Sonos app on your smartphone or tablet. The app will guide you through the set-up process, which includes connecting the Beam Gen 2 to your Wi-Fi network and configuring your preferred audio and voice assistant settings.
Upgradability and Expansion
HomePod 2: Limited to Apple Ecosystem
When it comes to upgradability and expansion, the HomePod 2 is somewhat limited due to its integration with Apple’s ecosystem. While you can add additional HomePod speakers to create a multi-room audio experience, your options for expansion and integration with third-party devices are limited.
Sonos Beam Gen 2: An Expandable Ecosystem
On the contrary, the Sonos ecosystem allows for more upgrades and expansions over time. You can easily add additional Sonos speakers or compatible devices to create a more comprehensive home audio system.
This flexibility makes the Sonos Beam Gen 2 an attractive option for those who want to build and expand their home audio setup over time. Furthermore, Sonos is known for its regular software updates, which ensure that your system remains up-to-date and compatible with the latest features and technologies.
Pricing and Value
HomePod 2: A Premium Device with a Premium Price
The HomePod 2 is priced at $299 (£299), which is relatively expensive compared to other smart speakers in the market. However, it delivers excellent audio quality and deep integration with the Apple ecosystem, making it a worthwhile investment for Apple users who prioritize sound performance and design.
Sonos Beam Gen 2: A Competitive Price for an Immersive Experience
The Sonos Beam Gen 2 retails for $449 (£499)(Amazon Link), positioning it as a more premium option. While it is more expensive than the HomePod 2, it offers additional features such as Dolby Atmos support, multiple voice assistant compatibility, and broader streaming service support.
The Beam Gen 2 is an excellent choice for those seeking a soundbar that delivers high-quality audio and enhanced TV-watching experiences.
Check out this in-depth comparison of the Sonos Era 100 and Era 300 for more information on Sonos products: Sonos Era 100 and Era 300: What’s the Difference?
Choosing the Right Audio Solution for Your Home
Both the HomePod 2 and Sonos Beam Gen 2 offer impressive features and sound quality, but the best choice for you will depend on your personal preferences and needs.
If you are heavily invested in Apple’s ecosystem and prioritize a seamless multi-room audio experience with Siri integration, the HomePod 2 may be the better option. Its sleek design and well-balanced sound quality make it an excellent addition to any Apple-centric home.
On the other hand, if you value Dolby Atmos support, a wider range of streaming services, and the flexibility to choose between multiple voice assistants, the Sonos Beam Gen 2 soundbar could be the perfect fit. Its elegant design, immersive audio experience, and competitive pricing make it a strong contender in the audio market.
Ultimately, both the HomePod 2 and Sonos Beam Gen 2 are excellent choices, and the right decision will come down to your unique requirements and preferences. By comparing the features and capabilities outlined in this article, you can make an informed decision and enjoy a high-quality audio experience tailored to your needs.