Sonos PLAYBAR + SUB G2 Review
Firstly, why Sonos when there are so many other products available for far less or much more that will enhance the sound of your TV.
I wanted a much better sound from my Panasonic flatscreen, less wires, but did not want the equipment to be slave to its source given the growing number of smart devices in the household. Having read several reviews and after weighing the pros and cons I bought the Playbar + Sub over the the Bose sound bar for reasons that will become clearer later.
A word of caution - This is not a plug and play device. There are no on screen settings or a remote control unlike other sound bars. Therefore, it requires a smart phone or tablet to run Sonos app. Apart from volume controls on the Playbar all other settings have to be set via the app.
From the moment you open the box you know you are dealing with a quality product. Each item is wrapped with cloth like material, protected with high density foam and has the necessary cables neatly packaged. No loose bits or 50+ page manuals. The materials used are of a high standard and build quality is excellent.
Setting up the Playbar was easy. Firstly, download the Sonos controller app to get your equipment connected. I chose to connect via the Sonos Bridge but you can connect directly to the Playbar. Once setup it was easy to add the Sub via the app. Audio from the TV is connected via the supplied optical cable. The app is easy to operate. Just ask my 65year old mother-in-law. Another neat feature is to be able to control the volume from your TV or Sky remote.
And now to the sound experience. Sound from standard channels from the Sky+ HD box is not going to blow you. The Sub was hardly audible and speech was like you were in a echoey room. Switching to HD channels totally changed the sound experience and got a lot better when watching Youtube via Panasonic's VIERA cast. Suddenly you could feel the vibrations in the floor emanating from the Sub and the room being filled with clear sound. Switching off speech enhancement and night sound features also helped.
Hint: Turn the volume down completely on the TV or Sky remote and then using the app increases the volume to about a quarter. Now use the TV/Sky remote to adjust the volume and the sound is amazing. This was discovered purely by accident.
That covers the visual part but there is more. From the app you can stream radio or music from your smart phones or tablets as I normally do when I just want some background music. Contrary to some posts, there are no issues with streaming music from Android smart phone to the Playbar.
So am I pleased. You bet. Can't wait to try out 5.1 by adding a couple of play 1 or play 2 speakers.
- Sonos Playbar
- Sonos Sub
- Sonos bridge
- Sonos app (Android on Samsung Galaxy S4 and S3mini, iOS on iPad 3)
- Sky+ HD
- Panasonic TX-P50V10B