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Sonos Playbar Review

Why should you buy the Sonos soundbar? It is the first soundbar that comes with a premium audio maker for music. All eyes and ears are on Sonos to decide whether Sonos can offer a soundbar that will cater to the TV and home video requirements of the users. The modern-day TV has benefitted a great deal from the big advances in the fields of manufacturing and engineering and they appear great.

However, they just appear amazing and in most cases, the sound developed from them is thin and flat like the panel itself. A soundbar like Sonos Playbar is fundamentally a long box having a range of speakers in it. It is a simple and yet a neat way of getting a greater sound.

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It is a fact that many other players have entered the multi-room, wireless soundbar market but the Sonos proposition remains a compelling one. This is mainly because of the slick interface and its capability to support new services and features. Of course, there is the alternative of Sonos One available if all you wish from the soundbar is to listen to a lot of good music. But there is an added advantage here that Sonos Playbar can connect you to the TV as well.

Sonos Playbar Overview

Setting up

 Surprisingly there is just a single way of connecting the soundbar to the TV and that is through a digital optical cable. Although this offers an advantage in terms of simplicity you will find all your devices connected to the TV normally and there is a single cable connecting the Playbar and the TV. However, all this is not as efficient as the devices having several HDMI inputs available with a single output for the video.

Although the optical outputs on your TVs are quite common these days they have not been so common for long. You might wish to check whether your TV has got one before you decide to buy the Sonos Playbar. There is another soundbar model by Sonos available called Beam which comes with HDMI if you prefer to have Sonos TV speakers having this connection.

In the event you decide to buy the Sonos Playbar you will start wondering whether the money was well spent immediately after buying the piece. This is a minimally styled and very well made unit and will blend with the surroundings nicely. It is also possible to mount it by using an optional $35 mount or you may just lay it flat in front of your TV monitor. There are built-in accelerometers in the Sonos Playbar which automatically sense the orientation and they will adjust the sound as required.

A couple of things you need to keep in mind here. The Playbar sounds at its best when the piece is set with the wider edge facing the outside. So even in the case, the TV is not wall mounted it is recommended that the soundbar stands out on the thin edge as much as possible. If you decide for the standard orientation which is a laid down position, keep in mind that the feet of the Playbar don’t lift the piece very high. So, it will not straddle the TV pedestal as the Yamaha YSP models do.

Set-up of the Sonos Playbar is pretty simple by using the iOS or Android app. It takes you through the addition of the Sonos Playbar process like any other Sonos component along with taking you through the connection procedure. There are a couple of Ethernet sockets available which allow you to connect with other components such as a smart TV or internet by using the Sonos network.

There is an IR sensor available which means that you will teach the Playbar to respond to the volume control of the TV remote. There is an action repeater built-in so that all the instructions you have provided to the remote control get across to the TV even if the Playbar is lying in front of the unit. There is no voice control option available here unlike Beam. If you are looking for Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant you will need to get Sonos Beam.

Audio

One may not notice a lot of difference to the other soundbars if you only set it with your TV and turn on the news. It might sound a bit richer though. But you haven’t spent 600 USD to make the news sound better right? Go ahead and put on some music on it. One hour later you will sit mesmerized as you will discover the delight and depth in the numbers you though were well-known to you. You will quietly agree with yourself that the dollar was well spent.

It is agreed that you may have wished for a bit of more punch to the bottom end and it can be added by using a Sonos sub but it will double the cost of the soundbar. All those claims that the Sonos Playbar adds hi-fi sound to the TV are a bit over the top, this is a very nice sounding unit despite being simple and does a lot more than other soundbars do like these mentioned here. It is a typical Sonos unit at heart and provides access to a big amount of streaming music.

The Sonos Playbar can play pretty much everything you have stored in your NAS device or computer. It is possible to send the audio directly from iOS or Android phone or tab and it is possible to connect it to the internet radio also thereby empowering you to play those millions of audios from Deezer, Tidal, and Spotify.

Review Verdict

 The Sonos Playbar offers the typical full and brilliant Sonos experience which is deep, wide and detailed. The dynamic soundstage offered by the Sonos product is quite good and it is possible to upgrade the product with a Sub and Play3s. There are no HDMI ports available though and no support for DTS. It also doesn’t push the sound into a room as much as other products. So, if you are just looking for a great movie sound, the Yamaha YAS models will suit you better but in case you are looking for a simple device which will improve the sound of the TV a great deal as opposed to the surround sound and improve the music experience, this is the soundbar for you.

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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.
Willie Greer

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