Choosing a sound bar for your HDTV can be as simple as going to your TV manufacturer’s website and pick a matching sound bar since many TV manufacturers also offer nice sound bars. However, you are not exactly restricted to these choices. There are a couple of other companies that concentrate on audio products and build sound bars as well. The Sonos Playbar is one example of a fine audio product that can match and significantly enhance any HDTV.
The simplistic and sleek design of the Playbar may not be the most stylish of the bunch but it is well built and really feels like a premium product. The sound bar measures about 3.35 inches so you shouldn’t encounter any problems in placing it right in front of the display. You may also mount the sound bar against the wall horizontally.The controls are found on the side of the sound bar.
The connection ports clearly indicate that the Sonos Playbar is designed for network-connected devices and, of course, the TV. All you will find on the back of the sound bar is a pair of Ethernet ports and an optical digital audio in. One of the Ethernet ports can be used to connect to the router so it is part of the network while another component such as a Smart TV can connect directly to the sound bar and still have access to the router. You can also extend the wireless range of the Playbar if you connect a Sonos ZoneBridge to the sound bar. Once you connected the sound bar to the TV using the optical cable, you can immediately proceed to the simple setup process. One of the impressive things about this sound bar is how easy it is to pair your TV remote with the Sonos Playbar. You will be asked to press the volume up button so the sound bar can find the correct IR code.
The free Sonos Controller provides a friendly interface for controlling the speaker. The app displays a list of Sonos devices within the local network in one panel along with a list of music sources in another panel. You can add your own music playlists or link accounts to online services like Spotify, Last.fm, Pandora and plenty of others. This app makes it very convenient to stream music to the Playbar and works with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices. You can also do things like adjust the volume even if the remote control isn’t with you.
The exterior of the Sonos Playbar kind of gives a hint as to why this sound bar is so pricey but it is the interior that really highlights how high-end the Playbar really is. You won’t notice it from the outside but the Sonos Playbar actually features 6 3.15-inch aluminum cone mids equipped with neodymium magnets and a trio of 1-inch titanium dome tweeters. On top of that, a digital amp is assigned to each speaker so the Playbar can pump out some serious power. According to Sonos, clarity is more important than loudness and the automatic equalization feature supports that fact.
Compared to other sound bars, the audio quality is very good. Music tracks of any genre simply sound great including those bass-induced tracks. This is pretty impressive considering the fact that the Sonos Playbar doesn’t have a built-in subwoofer or separate subwoofer. But because of that missing subwoofer, some audiophiles may not find this sound bar to be a suitable replacement for a larger home stereo system. Still, with all the 9 drivers combined, it is very much possible to fill up a standard room with very clear sound. Even at maximum volume, you won’t hear any kind of distortion making this speaker reliable for house parties.
Other welcome features include a Night Sound mode which lets you watch movies and shows at a lower volume without sacrificing the dialogue clarity. You can boost the dialogue volume even more by turning on the Speech Enhancement feature which lowers the bass and raises other key frequency ranges.
The Playbar is easily one of the best sound bars ever. Your main barrier is the $700 price tag which is the kind of price that music and movie enthusiasts would pay for. But these folks will be paying for a slightly incomplete system since that price doesn’t include the subwoofer. You would have to shell out another $700 for the Sonos Sub wireless subwoofer to really complete the experience. The low bass really makes the difference when watching movies, playing games and listening to music. But if you don’t need the extra bass, the Sonos Playbar on its own is still an excellent multimedia powerhouse that is a cinch to set up and can give the TV and any component connected to the TV audio superpowers.
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