Sonos Playbar review – Sonos PLAYBAR TV Soundbar/Wireless Streaming TV and Music Speaker.
Sonos Playbar review: In 2002, a group of music lovers with audio techs backgrounds of Sonos Inc. set out with a goal to reinvent home audio for the digital age with the simple vision that, fill every home with music and make listening to a respected experience again. Meanwhile, the Sonos have gone forward to become the most renowned brand for enjoying music in the new millennium.
One of the success keys of Sonos is their limited product line. While some brands produce hundreds of items, Sonos products are very limited with quality. Before launching a new product, Sonos sensibly analysis the need that it will meet the consumer’s demand, and how it can assistance to set new standards. All Sonos products work for an expert group together and are backwardly well-matched, allowing you to upgrade and expand your system at your own step. Sonos has also raised up the bar on software issues, improving not only the utility of their products but also their performance.
The most advantage of the Sonos eco-system that allows you to group your Sonos pieces and control all however you like, also allowing you to part your home up into zones, or group them together in a few taps of the mobile app. We won’t get in too deep into the fundamental functionality of the app and interface in this the Sonos Playbar review, but meet your requirements it to say, it’s the best policy as a speaker manufacturer we’ve seen. It keeps getting better as new updates are released.
The focus of the Sonos Playbar review, while lots of other companies already having soundbars on the market for years, Sonos knew they had to offer far more than the rivalry. We realize that the Playbar’s functionality, features, and sound quality make it a top priority. It’s an all-in-one speaker system that can be used on its own for music streaming, or paired with your TV for a theatrical upgrading over your TV’s built-in speakers.
We shall clarify the design in this Sonos Playbar review. All of Sonos’s recent speakers, such as the Play:5, are designed to be used exclusively within the range of the Sonos wireless system. Those Sonos speakers give you right to entry to your computer’s music libraries, along with an appropriately wide collection of music over 30 streaming services such as Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Tidal, Soundcloud and many more. The Sonos Playbar offers all this too, but it is also designed to plug into your TV in addition, to replace its skinny internal speakers.
This may easy to explain the Sonos Playbar’s design; with a super-slim shape measured by 85mm (H) x 900mm (W) x 140mm (D), the Playbar is specially designed to sit under a TV set, either mounted to the wall or laid flat on a table. It is designed to live perfectly under TVs of 42-inches and larger. Nine amplified speaker drivers nicely placed into it, seven are front faced and the rest two are placed both side panel which delivers ‘directionality’ crisp powerful sound.
Even though it wants to more-or-less melt into the background of your lounge, the Sonos Playbar is still simple but a good-looking and absolutely well-made speaker. The Sonos Playbar that isn’t covered by the smooth and soft fabric grille is made of aluminium – whereas many similar looks soundbars are constructed of plastic and covered by the smooth and soft fabric grille. The Sonos Playbar’s weight is 5.4 kg, however, build quality and durability is fantastic.
Sonos Playbar designed to connect to any Amazon Alexa-enabled device and it can wirelessly stream all favorite music services, you just ask for the music you love. All Sonos products are designed for syncs wirelessly with other Sonos speakers, so you are able to listen to TV or music sync throughout your home.
The Playbar has also very limited connections as like other all Sonos product. At the back side of the Sonos Playbar, there are two Ethernet ports, the power socket, and the all-important optical input. Most of the case, every other TV-related audio gadget has moved to HDMI, the Sonos Playbar uses an optical audio input. Before buying the Sonos soundbar, you should make sure your TV has an optical output.
Specifications and Features:
Hopefully, you will get all feature information through this Sonos Playbar review. The Sonos Playbar is not only a Soundbar for TV, but it is also a smart speaker that you can stream your favorite music from anywhere in the home, through the app available on both iOS and Android. The app is also used to control the Playbar including the volume and works with over 30 streaming services that you probably haven’t even heard of. Into the Playbar, there are nine dedicated amplifiers installed inside with the end two facing outward, those deliver ‘directionality’, creating a wider soundstage and detailed sound that massively leave behind its physical form. The excellent sound is just the beginning of what Sonos can offer.
The Playbar supports Dolby Digital, but it does not work with DTS audio signals. So you will need to ensure your TV or Blu-ray player able to convert the signal which supported by the Playbar.
Set-up the Playbar is very simple using the Android or iOS app, which takes you through adding the Playbar in the same way as any other Sonos smart speakers as well as taking you step-by-step through the connection process.
You should keep in your mind that if this is your first Sonos component, you’re going to have connected it directly to your router, but this can be done using power line devices or Sonos’ own Bridge if there’s a distance between them.
One arranged little touch is that inserted away with the other connections is a pair of Ethernet sockets, which allow you to connect other components, such as a smart TV, to the internet via the Sonos network.
And talking of straight touches, the IR sensor means you can show the Playbar to react to the volume controls of your TV’s standard remote, and there’s even a repeater built in so that all of your remote’s other instructions get to your TV, even if the Playbar is placed there too.
The main features:
- Multi-room Audio
One of the best-feature of Sonos is its multi-room capabilities. Multi-room means that once you have set up one Sonos component, you can add more Sonos speakers to other rooms, as part of the same ecosystem. Sonos have been working on this technology concept since 2002, they are experts in it, and the Sonos app is always being upgraded. Start with the Playbar, add more speakers to other rooms over time, at your step. We believe a home full of music is a party home and when all those are centrally controlled. You could be playing your favorite album on all of your speakers in a matter of seconds!
- WiFi, not Bluetooth
The Sonos Playbar has no Bluetooth connection option and you may not have expected a soundbar to use anything other than Bluetooth. However, the Sonos Playbar connects directly to your home WiFi wirelessly which brings many benefits – no drop-outs, no push notifications and no connecting to Bluetooth every time.
- Make a Wireless Cinema Surround Sound System
The Playbar provides the groundwork for a home cinema in your own living room. After setting up the Playbar, you could add the Sonos Sub to dramatically improve overall bass output and a pair of Sonos PLAY series speakers to complete the Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound set up.
- Watch films and stream music to it when the TV’s off
The Playbar is multi-purpose in the sense that it can make your TV shows and films sound clear and loud which is highly rich and detailed, you can also stream your favorite music to it when the TV is not on. You can easily add your music over 30 streaming services or stream free radio to it. You don’t need to separate the HiFi system for your music and TV audio.
Other useful Playbar features we love too!
Autoplay is a great feature that will switch the Playbar input to the TV input when it delivers audio from TV. If you choose to listen to the radio on your Playbar and then leave the house, the Playbar will then be set up to radio as an input. As soon as the TV is powered up, Autoplay switched would be on automatically to TV mode in the background.
To avoid the sudden loudness of the Playbar for kids, neighbors or people who are asleep, you can enable Night mode. Playbar suppresses sudden loud noises while Night mode is enabled, so you don’t have to worry when you’re watching war movie late at night!
Though Night mode suppresses sudden loud noises, it makes the vocals sound much clearer. To deliver crisp, clear dialogue from the center channel Playbar uses custom drivers, where your ears can distinguish it best.
Every speaker will sound different in each different room, as the resulting sound principally depends on your room’s acoustics, layout, decor and how the sound bounces off each surface to your ears. TruePlay is a feature that regulates this process and acoustically familiarizes the speaker to each room. With Playbar, Sonos will want to know from you to define where your viewing position is, so it knows how to adjust the sound according to the layout of your room. TruePlay feature is available with any Apple device and can be done as part of the initial set up.
This Sonos Playbar review will let you know the setup details. The Sonos PlayBar setup is as like any other Sonos speaker within the Sonos system through the Sonos app (supported by Android, iPhone, iPad or desktop), go into the app settings from the “More” button and section in the bottom right, tap on “Add a Player” then follow the instructions.
These instructions will work while ensuring the device is plugged in, and then wait for a green or white flashing light, which is placed on the side of the Playbar next to the volume buttons, press the volume up and mute button at the same time. In order to begin adding the Playbar as new or your existing Sonos system, you’ll need Wi-Fi but you no longer need a Sonos Bridge to connect your Playbar to your Wi-Fi network.
To get the TV’s sound working on the Playbar, there is a little more effort required. Even though it’s all set-up activities are very straightforward and the process is easy enough with step-by-step guidance from the Sonos app. Eventually, in these steps, you’re setting up your TV to allow that you are going to use an external speaker, which you’ll be able to do using the audio settings menu on your TV.
Sonos also allows you to program your TV remote or any other learning controller to adjust the volume of the Playbar, which is guided through the Sonos app. It’s very simple, requiring you to just press the volume buttons on the remote when instructed by the app in order to teach the Playbar to recognize it rather than reprogramming the TV remote itself.
The form of balancing the Playbar is the last stage of setup, followed by Trueplay, a technology Sonos introduced in 2015, which allows you to tune a Sonos speaker to its surroundings using an ‘iOS’ device (no Android yet miserably). Once again, you just need to follow the instructions within the Sonos app to begin Trueplay adjusting.
TruePlay software is that regulates the Playbar to process and acoustically familiarizes the speaker to each room, while you walk around the room moving your iPhone or iPad up and down for 30 seconds, through your smart device’s microphone TruePlay settle how to adjust the sound according to the layout of your room and where your Playbar is positioned within the room in order to reorganize your speaker accordingly to deliver the best sound possible.
Sonos newly redesigned Controller apps for Mac and Windows. In addition to a completely give a face-lift look, it will offer an improved search box that committed to making it easier to find music across various services, expanded drag-and-drop functionality as well, accessible to sleep timer and alarm settings, “one-touch Party Mode”, which lets you adjust the volume in grouped rooms at the same time.
There are three panels of control for bigger screens: the left panel shows all your connected Sonos speakers, the middle displays a queue of tracks and what’s currently playing on a selected speaker and the right panel displays your available audio sources. At the top, there are the volume, EQ, play/pause and track controls, and a universal search-as-you-type field. There are also buttons on the app for clearing your current queue or saving it as a playlist, plus sleep timer and alarm settings at the bottom.
All of these features are available on the mobile apps too but are situated within menus, as opposed to being readily available. If you want to pinch the bass and treble settings from the “now playing” screen on the mobile app, you have to tap at least five menus to get to the necessary controls, it is an example for your understanding. That’s hardly an ideal UI; in fact, it quickly became a source of annoyance for us.
|Product Dimensions||85mm (H) x 900mm (W) x 140mm (D)|
|Item Weight||11.9 pounds|
|Shipping Weight||17.7 pounds|
|Shipping Advisory||This item will be shipped separately from other items in your order. Additional shipping charges will not apply.|
|Item model number||PBAR1US1BLK|
|Customer Reviews||4.3 out of 5 stars and 1,090 customer reviews|
User Manual [pdf ]
Warranty & Support
Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here. [PDF ]
The most common question for a buyer is ‘how the Sonos Playbar sounds?’ We shall try to explain its performance in this Sonos Playbar review. The best word we can use to describe the Playbar’s sound is ‘assured’; it’s not just that you never doubt that it will be able to reproduce that bass line, tricky percussion or soaring vocal that’s coming up, but that it does it all without strain or even apparent effort. After hearing it’s sound, within just a couple of seconds it’s clear to me that this is a massive upgrading over even the most impressive-sounding flat screen TV. There’s no logic that it’s trying too hard, no sense that Sonos is masking lack of control at the bottom end with meaningless. It just sounds clean, detailed, neutral, without sliding clinical soullessness. The width of the soundstage that’s produced a mighty impressive, and there’s detail, mass and tonal balance that any TV on its own simply can’t deliver. Sonos be familiar with the sound, and the Playbar lives up to the brand’s reputation. While watching movies, such a small soundbar fills the room remarkably well. Since it isn’t a 5.1 system, it seeks to emulate surround sound, and in the process creates a wide field of sound that makes the viewing experience immersive.
A speech enhancement setting in the app includes, that boosts the mid-range volume and greatly improves the clarity of dialogue, which I found particularly useful when listening to the narrators in Ken Burns’ The Roosevelt: An Intimate History, as well as Frank Underwood’s Southern-dialect heavy monologues in House of Cards. Without it on, the voices frequently got lost in the mix.
At night mode, which crushes the dynamic range of the output – making loud sounds quieter and boosting soft sounds – depending on the volume, so as not to disturb neighbors or sleeping children. It works also as does the speech enhancement mode; you probably don’t want it turned on if you’re playing music, but it can do a good job of picking out speech that might otherwise be buried in the mix for TV programmers and movies.
The Playbar is skilled for going pretty darn deep for a product of its type too, although it does struggle with the very lowest bass note on the track. The fact that if you have no budget limitation and want to gets even close impressive surround Dolby Digital cinema sound and hear sub-sonic notes, you do have an option to adding a Sonos Sub (place near to the Playbar) and two Sonos Ones or Sonos Play:3s (place to listener’s behind with pairing) to your system via the app. It is a simple process that includes a couple of steps for trimming levels so that it blends successfully with the Playbar, and the sound clearly improves from a stereo signal with its addition. But it’s an embarrassment the set-up can’t handle DTS or any of the higher quality soundtracks such as Dolby TrueHD – due to the limitations of the bandwidth of the optical connection.
Based decently on the audio quality, we are a little bit in love with the Playbar. We know the Playbar is expensive, but it has a huge effect on everything you watch on your television, and it’s one of the best straight speakers you can put your music through. It all achieves then, but its achievement that you have to pay a great deal for – and given the Playbar’s level of quality in its own right it’s elasticity that only the wealthy or very dedicated should really considerable.
Video by Audio Advice
- Full sound without a subwoofer.
- Outstanding for music & cinema sound.
- Support for most streaming music services.
- No Bluetooth connectivity.
At the time of writing this Sonos Paybar review, the price is:
Sonos PLAYBAR TV Soundbar/ Wireless Streaming TV and Music Speaker US$ 669.82
Sonos Wall Mount Kit for Sonos Playbar (1938798) US$ 39.00
The Sonos Playbar is a make-believe piece of the set that really delivers high-quality crisp sound. Its price might seem high on the surface you are getting a speaker that replaces your AV receiver, a mass of speakers, and the capability to make it part of a bigger streaming system as well. There are cautions that, the Playbar need to have a TV adept of becoming your entertainment hub and takes away the benefit an AV receiver offers with additional HDMI support.
We extremely like the Playbar. It sounds remarkable, can mix nicely into an existing Sonos audio system, or be the first thing you add to your home from which a rich, easy to use multi-room audio system can progressively grow.
You would be happy to use it as it is; there’s enough bang in the bass to give action movies an accurate sense of drama, but the mid-range and high-frequency audio are high quality and clean. If you want a more bombastic bass, you can always add the Sonos Sub, but it would be a ‘nice to have’ rather than a must-have, and there’s also the option of adding Sonos Play:1s or Play: 3s for 5.1 surrounds.
That said, the Sonos Playbar delivers great high quality and clean sound, super easy setup and it is brilliant as both a TV speaker and a separate Sonos speaker, present all the features that come with the Sonos system, including hassle-free app control, voice control via an Alexa-enabled device and imaginary multi-room capabilities, as well as the additional TV functions.
The Sonos Playbar is a features-unifying device that will let you dump your remote controls and your old hi-fi in the bin. Once you’ve set it up, it’ll also let you control both your TV and your audio system with your phone.
Playbar’s full-bodied and well-engineered hardware, nor the sophisticated simplicity of setup that only Sonos provides. So, while the Playbar may not essentially represent the best sound explosion for your buck when it comes to home theater systems, it does offer a superior user experience — and if you are financially solvent for Playbar, you won’t be disappointed by its performance.