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Sonos Playbar in Review: the Best Soundbar for your TV Audio and more?
We detail why the Sonos Playbar could be the best soundbar on the market for your TV and music
The Modern TV Catch-22
Why is it that more and more customers with a modern TV these days are now adding a soundbar to their TV set up?
Well, the answer to that actually makes a lot of sense, and the truth is that as TV manufacturers strive to make modern TVs slimmer and slimmer, the speakers get smaller and smaller, and the audio suffers.
As a result, they sound flat, lifeless and non-immersive. As the famous filmmaker George Lucas once said: “Sound is 50% of a movie” which explains why soundbars are rapidly becoming a necessary counterpart to a TV.
Why miss out on half a movie when you’ve spent a large sum of money on getting the visuals right with a feature-packed TV?
Another well-documented fact when purchasing a new TV is you can no longer guarantee great TV audio by simply spending more money on the TV itself.
How to choose the right Soundbar for you
Luckily for the customer, there are many soundbars on the market at varying sizes, price points, sound quality and array of features.
When you think of a soundbar, you may imagine it as one long speaker. However, soundbars contain multiple speakers all correctly angled to give you the best listening experience.
Some brands attempt to fool you by creating a wide soundbar that only contains a couple of speakers at each end with a big chunk of plastic in the middle.
When we talk about the price though, similar to the TV market, you do get what you pay for in the audio market.
A cheap soundbar may be all you need to satisfy your listening expectations; however, if you’re looking for your films and music to sound as good as the visuals, you’re going to need to spend a little more to achieve the desired sound.
At Smart Home Sounds, we believe you will see the true value in Sonos TV speakers, and they can even trump some of its more expensive rivals.
1. Multi-room Audio
One of the best-selling points of Sonos is its multi-room capabilities. What is multi-room you ask?
It means that once you have one Sonos component, you can add more speakers to other rooms, as part of the same ecosystem.
This technology is not new to Sonos. They have been working on this concept since 2002, so they are experts in it, and the Sonos app is always being refined.
Start with the Playbar, add more speakers to other rooms over time, at your pace. We believe a home full of music is a happy home and when it is all centrally controlled, it adds to the overall seamless listening experience.
You could be playing your favourite album on all of your speakers in a matter of seconds!
2. WiFi, not Bluetooth
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 carries many benefits.
- No drop-outs, no push notifications and no connecting to Bluetooth every time. Read more about the benefits of WiFi-enabled speakers.
3. Create a Wireless Cinema Surround Sound System at your pace
The Playbar provides the foundation for a home cinema in your own living room. Over time, you could add the soul-shaking Sub to dramatically improve overall bass output and a pair of PLAY speakers to complete the Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound set up.
Read more on our blog dedicated to creating your Sonos home cinema.
4. 5-Star Customer Reviews
The Playbar is still the best-selling soundbar on the market and is reviewed very highly by its large community of users. We recently received this particular review from one of our valued customers:
“Really pleased with the product very good quality sound, and so it should be for the price I guess. It's made a huge difference to our TV viewing. I no longer need a stereo in my Lounge I just stream all my music through it as well now. Love it so much, so I'm already saving for the Sonos subwoofer!! :)”
5. 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 incredible, but second to that; you can stream your favourite music to it when the TV is not on.
Easily add your music streaming service subscriptions, iTunes playlists or stream free radio to it. You no longer need a separate HiFi system for your music and TV audio.
That’s why we are confident that the Sonos Playbar will beat your expectations.
With ten dedicated amplifiers packed inside with the end two facing outward, the Playbar delivers highly rich and detailed sound with a soundstage that massively outperforms its physical form.
And the exceptional sound is just the beginning of what Sonos can offer.
Other Useful PLAYBAR Features we Love!
This is a great function that will switch your Playbar input to the TV input when it senses audio from your TV. How would this work?
If you decide to listen to the radio on your Playbar and then leave the house, the Playbar will then be set to radio as an input.
With Autoplay switched on, as soon as the TV is powered up, the Sonos system will switch automatically to TV mode in the background. This allows for seamless day to day use.
If you’ve got kids, neighbours or people who are asleep, you’ll probably agree loud noise is not ideal especially at night.
Usually, it’s the louder, more sudden noises that would wake a child or person so when Night mode is enabled; it suppresses these sudden loud noises, so you don’t have to worry when you’re watching Indiana Jones late at night!
This goes hand-in-hand with Night mode above, but this mode makes the vocals sound much more clear so subtitles may not be necessary. How?
PLAYBAR uses custom drivers to deliver crisp, clear dialogue to the centre channel where your ears can distinguish it best.
Every speaker will sound different in each room as the resulting sound largely depends on your room’s acoustics, layout and how the sound bounces off each surface to your ears.
TruePlay is a feature that regulates this process and acoustically adapts the speaker to each room. With Playbar, Sonos will ask you to define where your viewing position is, so it knows how to adjust the sound according to the layout of your room.
This feature is available with any Apple device and can be done as part of the initial set up. We would highly recommend completing the set up of TruePlay to ensure you’re getting the very best from your speaker.
Control made easy using your current remote control
As the Playbar has an IR sensor, it can receive an IR signal from your existing remote you use every day.
Pair your current remote control with the Playbar in the initial set up for easy, seamless volume control of your TV audio.
FAQ: What are the Playbar’s Dimensions?
The Sonos Playbar dimensions are as follows:
85mm (H) x 900mm (W) x 140mm (D)
The Playbar brings all of your TV and music content to life such as TV shows, films, games, audiobooks and music.
With its nine dedicated amplifiers, the sound is dispersed fantastically well and will continue to do so for many years to come.
With the addition of all of its useful features paired with its award-winning sound quality and usability we are confident, there is no better soundbar on the market to offer as much fluidity or versatility to the listening experience.
If you have any further questions about the Sonos Playbar, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our specialists.