Sonos Beam vs Yamaha ATS-2090 which is better?

Sonos Beam vs Yamaha ATS-2090 which is better?

Today we are having a pretty interesting matchup as we look at the Sonos Beam vs Yamaha ATS-2090. The Sonos Beam is a very popular soundbar and I have looked at it before in articles such as the article called, Bose Solo Series II vs Sonos Beam Which is Better? which was added to the site recently. The Yamaha ATS-2090 is pretty interesting and a great offering from Yamaha even if it does tend to get ignored for their YAS series of soundbars. Still, I thought it would be fun to put these two up against each other and any time I get to check out a soundbar, you better believe I am going to make the most of it.

The Price

Money does indeed make the world go around or as my boy, Biggie Smalls said, Mo Money, Mo Problems! Either way, getting the most bang for your buck is pretty important. Thankfully, neither of these are going to cost you over five hundred bucks so these are not some of the more expensive soundbars on the market, but I still feel like price is an important category in our Sonos Beam vs Yamaha ATS-2090 fight.

Yamaha ATS-2090:

Yamaha ATS-2090 36" 2.1 Channel Soundbar and Wireless Subwoofer with Alexa Built-in

If you were to go on Amazon right now you could get the Yamaha ATS-2090 for the very reasonable price of $289 which I think is amazing for a soundbar/subwoofer combination of this kind of quality. Now the thing to know about this is that Yamaha themselves have said that this is the same as the Yamaha YAS-209  which can be a bit more expensive depending on where you shop. I had a quick look on eBay and the price for this thing is all over the place. I would advise shopping around and be sure to put the 209 in the mix as well as they are the same thing.

Sonos Beam:

Sonos Beam - Smart TV Sound Bar with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black

If you were to go to Sonos directly you would see that the RRP for the Sonos Beam is $399.99. I do not actually think this is a bad price at all for a soundbar of this quality and Sonos has done a great job I think in keeping the price under that 400 bucks price mark. Now, if you were to go to Amazon and try to buy this the price it costs will differ. I am not exaggerating when I say that in the space of a week I have seen this on Amazon for as high as $425 and as low as $370! There are a few sellers on eBay who have this and there you could save as much as 100 bucks off that $400. This is a very popular soundbar as a result many places carry it so be sure to shop around.

Sonos has their Sonos Beam listed with a $399.99 RRP. I have looked at a ton and I mean a ton of soundbars over the years and I think that this is a very fair price that they are asking. The first place most people will probably look is Amazon and on there the price for this thing changes all the time. I have seen it for around the $370 mark and then seen it as high as $425 bucks! I would certainly shop around for the Sonos Beam as it is very popular so prices can be quite competitive. For example, on eBay I found some sellers selling brand new ones for close to 300 bucks which is a great price and certainly puts this closer to the Yamaha YAS-109.

The Verdict: If we were going for RRP vs RRP here the Yamaha ATS-2090 would be the hands down winner. I mean at under 300 bucks it is great value for money as it does come with a subwoofer. However, I think if you were to shop around and you could get the Sonos Beam for closer to that 300 bucks mark then things become a tad more complicated. For me, I do think that the Sonos Beam is a higher end soundbar, but you cannot ignore the fact that the Yamaha is giving you a subwoofer.

The Design

One of my favorite categories, when I do these types of articles, is the design that is why it is so high up on our list in this Sonos Beam vs Yamaha ATS-2090 battle. Look at our Bose Smart Soundbar 300 Vs Soundtouch 300 Which Is Better? match up or one of the other similar types of articles and you will see that I do like to go into pretty great detail about the design of each soundbar I am looking at. At the end of the day, this thing is going to be out on display so you want it to look good.

Yamaha ATS-2090:

Before we dive into this I recommend that you check out this Yamaha ATS-2090 YAS-209 Soundbar UNBOXING & REVIEW! which showcases this thing very well. I think that this is a truly awesome looking soundbar and it has a very cool design. It is much longer than the Sonos Beam as the dimensions for this are 36.4″ x 2.4” x 4.0”. This does mean that you will want to make sure your TV unit is ok for this and that it will not look too strange under your TV. If you have a smaller TV like this SAMSUNG 32-inch Class LED Smart FHD TV then this soundbar may look a bit strange underneath it. I think the way it looks in comparison to your TV is something that you do have to greatly consider before pulling the trigger on it.

Now, as far as the design for the Yamaha ATS-2090 goes, it is very stylish, modern, and sleek. As you would expect, the majority of this soundbar is made from a strong plastic. Like the Beam though, Yamaha has used fabric for the grille. This fabric has a black mesh look to it and there is no denying that it looks very, very cool. This does not just cover the front as it wraps all the way around the sides too which is a smart effect. While I love the design, the fabric does worry me a bit, I know for a fact if I had this in my house when my son was younger, he would have poked his fingers through it the first chance he got!

On the back of this is where all the connections are. This is pretty stacked when it comes to the ports on the back. It has an HDMI In, HDMI Arc out, an optical port, an ethernet port and it also has a USB which can come in handy if you need to update the firmware. This has every connection that you could possibly need on the back of it!

Sonos Beam:

I suggest that you have a gander at this Sonos Beam Unboxing and Testing which shows you this thing fresh out of the box. I am a huge fan of what Sonos does, I think they have a very distinct style when it comes to their soundbar, and the Sonos Beam no matter if you have the black or the white one looks great. The dimensions of this are 25.6” x 2.6” x 4.0 which are not bad at all, I am sure that some people will like that it is not all that wide, I know that was one of the reasons that my parents liked this soundbar. Those who have a TV unit that is a little on the smaller side will not have to worry about this thing hanging off the edge or taking up a ton of space on it!

I really like how curvy Sonos make their soundbars. This gives the soundbar a very elegant design and I think that if you had this sitting between the legs of something like this All-New Toshiba 50-inch 50C350KU C350 Series LED 4K UHD Smart Fire TV it would blend in very well. One of the things that Sonos like to do is use fabric. The majority of the soundbar is made from a strong and solid plastic, but the grille is this fabric that wraps around the front and the side. It is certainly very appealing to look at, but for me, I do worry about this getting covered in dust (especially the white version) and also the kids or the pets damaging it. It would not take much for one of the kids to poke their finger through it that is for sure.

While all the action happens at the front of the soundbar, the business is taken care of around the back. Here is where you have your power port, but you also have an HDMI port for connecting it to your TV. What if you wanted to connect this via optical you say? Well, Sonos give you an HDMI to optical cable in the box.

The Verdict: I think that both of these soundbars look really cool. Sonos have a real elegance about them whereas I think Yamaha have made something that is more “cooler” if you know what I am saying. Hmm, this is one of the hardest vs I have had to do. I think that I am going to give this one to the Yamaha ATS-2090, but it is very close, so close that if you asked me in a couple of days, I would probably change my mind!     

The Sound:

The whole point of a soundbar is to get better sound than your TV speakers are giving you. Look, TVs from a picture point of view are better than ever. If I could call up Doc Brown and borrow the DeLorean and go back to like 1995 and show myself what TVs look like now I would probably freak out! While that is great, sound is greatly lacking in modern TVs and that is why you are here right now reading my ramblings about this Sonos Beam vs Yamaha ATS-2090 fight!

Yamaha ATS-2090: I was very impressed by the sound that the Yamaha ATS-2090 produced. Even though this is not a very expensive soundbar, Yamaha have well and truly made this as powerful as they possibly could. The first thing that is worth noting is that you get that dedicated subwoofer with this. I went into this (like I did the Yamaha YAS-209) thinking it would be cheap and underpowered, but I was wrong. Granted it is not going to shake the room like a 400 bucks subwoofer, but it more than offers enough kick to make you feel a bit of rumble and add that extra punch to the bass that an action movie like Pacific Rim needs to truly make you feel like you are in the movie theatre. While the bass and raw power of the soundbar and the subwoofer are great, it also works well for speech too.

If you watch this Yamaha YAS-209 Soundbar Review | Wireless Sub and Clear Voice video you get a good idea of the kind of power this offers.

There is actually a button called clear voice which is there to make the dialogue extra clear. To be honest with you, I found it to be clear and easy to understand without messing with this. If you were watching some kind of drama like the fantastic Knives Out which is all about the dialogue, you really notice how clear all the voices are which for a movie like this is very important. I loved how there were so many different presets on the remote control for you to play around with so you can experiment with different types of sound to try and find one that suits you best. I love this kind of thing and I would recommend you mess around a bit and find which one your ears like best.

I love music just as much as I love movies and I am super happy to report that the Yamaha ATS-2090 has Bluetooth connectivity. This makes streaming your favorite music from your phone so much easier and convenient. I will always be a vinyl man at heart, but having the option to quickly put some music on through this is something I really do appreciate. My wife uses this feature on the soundbars we have in our house all the time so I know it is an important feature.

Sonos Beam: I have to start by saying that you cannot expect the same kind of sound out of the Sonos Beam as you get with the premium offering from Sonos which is the Sonos Arc. Even with that being said, the Sonos Beam can kick some serious butt and it is very impressive what they were able to cram into this rather modestly sized soundbar. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a movie that I love and that in many ways showcases what I like about this soundbar. You get very clear speaking, but everything else including the action sounds great. The music as well sounds amazing, this movie by the way has an amazing soundtrack it even featured on my 10 Best Movie Soundtrack Albums on Vinyl list I did recently. The point I am making is that the sound is very balanced, the speaking is not quiet and the action blows your eardrums!

I know this is a quick video, but check out this SONOS Beam SoundBar | Demo Sound Test which gives you a little taste of the sound the Sonos Beam is offering. I have said it before in other articles that I have written, but this is the soundbar that my parents use, and what sealed the deal for them was the vocal clarity. It is just so crisp and clear. Before, they had to have their TV up loud to hear speaking, but then when a commercial would come on or something more action oriented, it would be way too loud.

The only downside that I have with the Sonos Beam is that there is no Bluetooth connectivity. Yes, you can connect a phone to this, but it would have been so much easier if they let you connect to your phone via Bluetooth and stream music through it that way. It is a real shame too because if you watch MTV through this it sounds great, not that MTV plays much music these days, but you know what I mean.

The Verdict: Hmm, by the way, I was holding my chin as I said hmm for maximum dramatic effect! These are both great soundbars in their own right. I think that the Sonos Beam delivers a very even and high-quality sound experience I really do, but it is lacking a tad in the bass department. I am not saying that the subwoofer you get with the Yamaha ATS-2090 is amazing, but it certainly makes a difference. At the end of the day, I am not quite sure the Beam offers enough to make it so much more expensive so I am giving this one to Yamaha.

The Remote Control

You know what is a damn underrated and way too harshly critiqued movie, Click starring Adam Sandler. Ok, so neither of these have a magic remote like he has. However, for me, a remote control is something I have always loved. These days getting a decent remote happens far less than I would like so for me this is a big round in our Sonos Beam vs Yamaha ATS-2090 showdown.

Yamaha ATS-2090: The Yamaha ATS-2090 has an awesome remote control as does the 209 and the 109 because they all offer the same thing. This is a really well-made remote control and one that gives you all of the options you need at your fingertips. It has six buttons for all of the different presets, clear voice, and 3D audio also has their own dedicated buttons too. They have made this remote control as easy to use as possible. I could set this soundbar up in my grandparent’s house and they would be able to use it!

Sonos Beam: I have put the Sonos Beam up against many other soundbars here on the sight and in pretty much every category, even against something as epic as the Bose Smart Soundbar 700. It manages to hold its own in its very own way. There is one category where the Beam loses every time and that is this one right here. The Sonos Beam does not come with a remote control. Instead, you have to download the app to your phone or tablet and control it that way. They do let you connect your TV remote to it, but who wants to do that? If you want access to the full set of features that this thing has then you need the app. I get their argument for doing this, but that does not mean I have to like it.

The Verdict: In this round, the Sonos Beam showed up to a gunfight with a SUPER SOAKER and got destroyed! You may think that I am giving this round to the Yamaha ATS-2090 by default, but that is actually unfair. You see the remote control that Yamaha use with that and the majority of their other soundbars is fantastic so it more than deserves to take this round.  

What Is In The Box?

It is important to know exactly what you can expect for your money that is why our final category in our Sonos Beam vs Yamaha ATS-2090 fight is what is in the box. Here you can see what will fall out of the box when you ignore the instructions on it and open it upside down.

Yamaha ATS-2090: I really do love what Yamaha has done with the Yamaha ATS-2090. Inside the box you get your soundbar and also in that box is a power cable, your remote control and there is also an optical cable. There is no HDMI cable which kind of grinds my gears. I think that if a soundbar has both an optical and an HDMI port that they should give you both cables! For a company, the size of Yamaha throwing in an HDMI cable would cost them nothing!

Sonos Beam: While I think that it sucks the Sonos Beam does not come with a remote control. I have to give Sonos a big Barry Horowitz (that is the most obscure WWF/E reference ever) pat on the back for what they give you in the box. They give you everything that you need to get this thing working out of the box. It comes with an HDMI cable, but they also give you an HDMI to optical cable as well which means you are covered no matter how you want to hook this thing up.

The Verdict: I do not know what made Yamaha think it was ok to not give us an HDMI cable in the box! With that being said and even though it does not come with a remote, I have to give this to the Sonos Beam. There is a chance that someone could buy the 2090, not know about HDMI or optical cables and then not be able to connect it to their TV and have to then go and buy an additional cable. Sure, an HDMI cable is dirt cheap these days, but that is not the point. The subwoofer comes in its own box and in there you get the subwoofer along with its power cable.

What Is The Best Soundbar?

I know that I have built up this Sonos Beam vs Yamaha ATS-2090 as a fight to the death, but truth be told you cannot go wrong with either one of these. I think that the design of the two of these are both great in their own way and they both offer a solid sound. Heck, as I said my parents use the Sonos Beam and they are very happy with it. For my money though, if I had to have one of these in my living room, game room, or whatever I think I would go for the Yamaha ATS-2090 as I think it offers more in terms of bass and I love the remote control that it comes with which gives you a ton of options without having to use an app. Just remember that the Yamaha YAS-209  is the same soundbar so you could get that instead of this and still have the same result.

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