Last night Sonos launched Beam, which, although it looks like just another soundbar, actually isn't meant to just sit under a TV.
Due for global release in July, Beam is being pitched as a smart speaker, but in a different, maybe less obtrusive, form factor.
In white or black, Sonos Beam supports 80+ music services, multiple voice assistants and Apple AirPlay 2 with a US price of US$399 (quite a bit less than Sonos’ Playbase or Playbar TV-connected speakers).
Beam will also, as you'd expect, integrate with other Sonos products to create a TV-based home theatre set-up (it has HDMI-ARC) or be integrated into a multi-room system.
Control is through the Sonos app, third-party apps like Spotify, Audible, Pandora and Tidal, TV remotes or other smart home gadgets.
Plus, Beam comes with Amazon Alexa in countries including New Zealand and will support other voice assistants as they become available on Sonos products.