- Pairs with your existing Sonos system for wireless whole home audio
- 9 speakers produce stunning 2.1 channel – like audio
- Aesthetically pleasing design
- Pair Sonos Play:3 for full surround sound
- More expensive than competing soundbars
The Geek’s Take
Only recently released, the Sonos PLAYBAR is already at the top of our Gotta Have list. Our unabashed love for the Sonos system is no secret and the addition of a home theater solution to their mix only makes our hearts grow even fonder. By packing 9 separate speakers into an eye pleasing design that integrates into your existing Sonos system, the PLAYBAR is our top choice in the soundbar category. For Sonos customers in need of home theater audio and with cash to spend, it’s a no brainer.
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The Sonos Playbar produces the same HiFi sound quality that we’ve come to expect from all Sonos devices by utilizing a series of nine speakers to create simulated surround sound – six 8-centimeter aluminum cone mids and three 2.5-centimeter titanium dome tweeters. Each of these nine speakers have their own amp to control individual output for better acoustics and power efficiency. The result from initial hands on accounts is powerful, crystal clear highs and melodic mids. Bass is clean but relatively light – for seriously heart thumping bass, Sonos suggests adding the Sonos Sub to your set-up.
The Sonos Playbar is designed to look as good as it sounds, workable either flat on an entertainment center or mounted on a wall thanks to an onboard accelerometer. The nine speakers are covered in high grade speaker fabric and solid aluminum plate runs across the front, providing both a clean, industrial look and acting as a heatsink for the guts inside. That aluminum finish makes an appearance again on each end, where it rings the textured endcaps. Sonos doesn’t skimp when it comes to build quality either, wrapping interior wires in foam tape and sealing each and every joint with a gasket to eliminate buzzing and rattling. This all equates to the high quality, premium look and feel you’d expect from a soundbar in this price range, and from the Sonos brand as a whole.
One reason we love Sonos is its extreme ease of set-up. All too often, wireless audio systems are difficult to set up or keep connected to your wireless network. Sonos solves this problem with the Sonos Bridge, a device that connects to your existing router to create a peer to peer network just for Sonos devices like the Sonos Playbar, eliminating the firewall and security roadblocks that can trip up other wireless streaming devices. Once the Bridge is connected to your router and the included software installed on your PC or Mac, just plug the Sonos Playbar and press a button to add to to the network. That’s it. And Sonos makes connecting your HDTV or game console is just as simple by including a Toslink connection for lossless digital audio input.
- 5.1 Audio – add two Play:3’s in tandem and a Sonos Sub for earth shaking 5.1 surround sound home theater audio without wires!
- Built in IR receivers – Adjust the volume with your TV or universal remote via the integrated IR receivers. The Sonos PLAYBAR also works with the Sonos iOS and Android apps too, letting you control the sound from anywhere in your wireless network.
- TONS of music options – All of your favorite Sonos music streaming options are still here to play when you’re not watching movies. Pandora, SiriusXM, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Slacker, Rdio and many more are all playable along with the local digital music files in your personal collection.
If we have one issue with the Sonos Playbar, it’s with the pricetag. At $699, the Sonos Playbar is a bit on the high side, even compared to premium soundbars like the SpeakerCraft CS3. But when you consider that the Sonos Playbar is basically a home theater and an extension of your current Sonos system combined into one, it feels a little more reasonable. Plus, it does replace your current bulky receiver and wired speaker set up and when paired with a pair of Play:3’s can even produce true 5.1 audio to create the elusive wireless home theater audio set up. All that said though, we would still feel a little more comfortable with the Sonos Playbar were it $100 cheaper.
As we said in our Play:3 review, once you go Sonos, you’ll wonder how you lived without. As unapologetic Sonos fans, we’re pretty stoked about the Sonos Playbar and the possibilities it offers for the audiophile and home theater enthusiast. Yes, it’s a little expensive, especially when paired with other Sonos devices to create a surround sound set up, but that super slick design and Sonos’ audio streaming options ease that wallet pain a bit. If you’re in the market for a new soundbar, you could do a whole lot worse than the Sonos Playbar.
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Sonos Playbar Review
Just announced on Feb 12th, the Sonos PLAYBAR is already at the top of our Gotta Have list. Our unabashed love for the Sonos system is no secret and the addition of a home theater solution to their mix only makes our hearts grow even fonder. By packing 9 separate speakers into an eye pleasing design that integrates into your existing Sonos system, the PLAYBAR is our top choice in the soundbar category. For Sonos customers in need of home theater audio and with cash to spend, it’s a no brainer.