There are a few different sound bars on the current market. Sonos has just come out with the Playbar that integrates everything that’s loved about digital Sonos into one compact and slick sound bar option. Those who are serious audiophiles might not enjoy all that the Playbar has to offer, though those seeking a simple sound bar solution will enjoy what Sonos has put out.
The Sonos Playbar works with other Sonos products, is a cinch to set-up, and does exactly what it was built to do. The Playbar currently retails for $699. This price is on the high side, but it’s worth the splurge if you’re looking for a sound bar that has it all. Here’s a complete review of the new Sonos Playbar.
Sonos gets top marks for creating simulated sound. When the Playbar is working, it seems as though there are a number of speakers set up all around a room. Even though the Playbar is just one single bar, the surround sound effect is quite spectacular (especially if you have a smaller space to fill). It is also possible to match the Playbar with the Sonos subwoofer for real 5.1 sound.
Adding other Sonos speakers to the mix will increase the price of the overall setup, but it’s worth the extra cost for true surround sound. The Playbar also comes with Sonos’ integrated software that makes streaming seamless. The Sonos software (called Sonos Connect) puts all of your streaming content into one place. From there, you can access all of that great content using the Sonos software.
Then again, if you already stream using AirPlay, Sonos’ software won’t matter too much. Sonos is also well known for design qualities that are hard to match.
Design and Aesthetics
If understated design is your thing, the Playbar is really what you want. Sonos’ designs are always minimalist but sleek. The Playbar sits nicely underneath any TV, and it can also be mounted to a wall next to or behind a TV. If mounting the Playbar to a wall, this speaker will sit flush against the wall, which makes for a really nice combination of sound and style.
The idea behind the Playbar design is not to take up too much space. After all, you already have a number of electronics crowding up your living room (most likely). Just like the overall design of the Playbar, this speaker system also has one simple connectivity panel. On the back of the Playbar you will find two Ethernet jacks, one power port, and an optical audio output.
Having only one audio output might seem odd, but Sonos wants you to connect all of your home theater extras to your TV, and then connect your TV to your Playbar. All of this in a minimalist way, so that you won’t be bothered with any wires or cords extending out of your beautiful new Playbar. The only downfall to the Playbar (and this might be a big one) is that the sound coming from the device isn’t spectacular.
It’s not bad sound, mind you, but it’s not the best sound bar sound you can find. My advice is to shop around for sound bars, listen to as many as possible, and then decide on the one that will work best for your entertainment room setup.