Sonos Beam vs Playbase — Full Comparison of Two Top Sonos Soundbars (2023)

Both from a brand with a stellar reputation, which between the Beam VS Playbase is more worth your money? Our experts have carefully tested both to identify which will produce a more impressive audio and won’t be a waste of time due to a long and arduous return process.

Sonos Beam OR Playbase?

Best for Sound
Sonos Playbase
Best Compact Choice
Sonos Beam

Features of Sonos Beam and Playbase

Design: Playbase vs Beam

The Playbase has a larger design in terms of surface area, but the height is lower than the Beam. While you need to clear more surface area to place the Playbase, it can slide into tighter spaces.

The Sonos Beam is more compact and takes up less space but is just a bit thicker than the Playbase.

Both devices come in black or white to match your interiors but the Sonos Beam includes indicator lights that can show what the settings are without looking at your TV.

Sound Quality

The Sonos Beam can project high definition sound but it is nowhere near as powerful as the Playbase. The Playbase features deeper bass, and has 10 amplified drivers for more power. The Playbase was tuned to optimize all content and the Sonos Beam will never be able to match the sheer audio strength that the Sonos Playbase is capable of.

However, it’s also worth it to note that the Sonos Beam was specially tuned by Oscar-winning sound engineers to enhance the dialogue so you can clearly hear every word on the screen.

Bluetooth LE

Bluetooth LE, or Bluetooth Low Energy, sometimes known just as BLE, was first introduced by Sonos [1]. Bluetooth allows you to stream content from external devices wirelessly. 

The Low Energy characteristic of the Sonos Beam Bluetooth will also save power. Both the Sonos Playbase and Sonos beam Bluetooth and are not outfitted with LE.

However, both devices feature Wi-Fi that can connect to other Sonos components to create an entire home theater system.


The Playbase and the Beam do not come with a subwoofer built-in or external and a subwoofer will need to be purchased separately. However, both the Sonos Playbase and the Sonos Beam are buildable systems and can be connected to a wireless subwoofer among other components, just like these other top soundbars.

A subwoofer is needed to create reverberating sound and thumping bass that expands the room. Regardless of the size of your room, the low tones are needed for a full spectrum listening experience.


Our experts have awarded a major win to the Sonos Beam VS Playbase review category for connections. The Sonos Beam has an easy setup that features HDMI ARC, the best option for a quick and easy setup along with support for the highest quality content.

The Sonos Playbase only has digital optical, which does support digital content but nowhere near as high quality as the HDMI ARC can. The HDMI ARC can support both video and audio frequencies, which is a step up from the regular HDMI.

Voice Control: Playbase or Beam?

For convenience, the Sonos Beam allows for hands-free voice control with Amazon Alexa built-in. There is no need to purchase an external Alexa device and you can take full advantage of its features capable of basic functions.

The Sonos Playbase does not have Alexa built-in but you can use Siri and Apple Airplay 2. The Sonos app can control both the Playbase and Beam, but only the Sonos Beam has hands-free voice control.

Overall Winner: Sonos Beam

To answer your question about Sonos Beam VS Playbase, our experts have come to the conclusion that the Sonos Beam beats out the Sonos Playbase by far. It has won in pretty much every category above and brings convenience and high definition audio into a viewer’s experience. 

Equipped with convenient functions like voice control, the Sonos Beam can almost control itself! The overall design is much smaller than the Playbase and it was specially tuned by Oscar-winning sound engineers. If you crave more in-depth sound at any time, you can also build upon the Sonos Beam and create a multi-room streaming system.


Picture of Willie Greer
Willie Greer
Willie Greer is the founder of The Product Analyst. A cinephile, he has made it a personal quest to achieve the awesomest home theater possible. He now shares what he has learned through the years on the site, and has enlisted the help of tech-savvy colleagues in providing more insight about today’s most sought-after gadgets.