In this work we present two extensions to the well-known dynamic programming beam search in phrase-based statistical machine translation (SMT), aiming at increased efﬁ- ciency of decoding by minimizing the number of language model computations and hypothesis expansions. Our results show that language model based pre-sorting yields a small improvement in translation quality and a speedup by a factor of 2. Two look-ahead methods are shown to further increase translation speed by a factor of 2 without changing the search space and a factor of 4 with the side-effect of some additional search errors. We compare our approach with Moses and observe the same performance, but a substantially better trade-off between translation quality and speed. At a speed of roughly 70 words per second, Moses reaches 17.2%% BLEU, whereas our approach yields 20.0%% with identical models.