11.9 lbs. (5.4kg)
Dimensions (H x W x D)
3.35 x 35.43 x 5.51 in. (85 x 900 x 140 mm)
PLAYBAR, AC power cord, flat Ethernet cable, optical audio cable, warranty and regulatory booklet, and Quickstart Guide
AC 100-240V, 50-60 Hz
4°F to 158°F (-20°C to 70°C)
32°F to 104°F (0°C to 40°C)
Side panel button
Volume up, volume down and mute
Side panel LEDs
Indicate PLAYBAR status
Sonos System Software supports : Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Swedish and Brazilian Portuguese.
It seems that Christmas and New Year bought us everything audio (specifically everything Sonos) – and with 2016 well under way, it seems the audio theme continues. So further enhancing our audio category is yet another Sonos product. Introducing the Sonos PLAYBAR. With today’s gadgetry audio becoming weaker, the need to bolster the output audio is greater than ever. One such gadget that is often left in the dark are our TV units, however in the world of digital, it’s probably one of the most used viewing gadgets that everyone owns. Knowing the consumer demand for great sounding premium audio is a known company called Sonos – and the PLAYBAR is no exception to offering audio at a premium.
Features at a glance:
* Complements HD television screens with highly detailed, richly textured sound.
* Uses your WiFi, easy to set up and expand your system over time.
* Requires just two cords: one power cord, one optical cord (both included).
* Understands and speaks most IR remote’s language and can be controlled by free apps for your Android®, iPhone® or iPad®.
* Plays all sources plugged in to your HDTV: cable/SAT boxes, Blu-Ray players, and video game consoles. If it’s connected to your HDTV, PLAYBAR will play it.
When it comes to Sonos, it’s a given that when it comes to audio they do it big, and the PLAYBAR is testament to that statement. Arriving in an oversized shipment container, the PLAYBAR is the bigger and certainly badder sound bar out there. Measuring 8.5cm (H) x 14cm (D) x 90cm (W) and weighing in at a whopping 5.4KGs, the PLAYBAR looks the part and is meant to mean business.
While the market is literally flooded with sound bars that all promise to do the same thing: Enhance your viewing audio, by bypassing your TV’s internal speakers. When you get a Sonos PLAYBAR you enter in to a whole new sound bar dimension/galaxy. Not just your average all-in-one home cinema audio alternative, What you get with a Sonos product is much more – you are literally thrust in to a world of audio goodness both specification and software wise.
At the heart of any Sonos product is of course the design, and sticking with the staple Sonos design, the PLAYBAR looks both stylish as it does minimalist. Not always does a product have to shout at you with a crazy design or construction for it to look the part, and with a Sonos product it oozes style effortlessly every single time. Staying with the matt black housing alongside gunmetal grey accents, the PLAYBAR sits nicely within the Sonos range while still offering it’s own bit of audio individuality.
Sitting underneath the sleek black mesh covering is no less than nine class-D digital amplifiers perfectly tuned to match the speakers and acoustic architecture. With nine amplified speakers, six midrange and three tweeters, PLAYBAR replaces the steady drip of your TV’s built-in speakers with deep booms, crystal-clear whispers, and huge waves of live concert sound. And with automatic equalisation, the system self-adjusts for rich, seamless performance.
Much like the other Sonos speakers, the PLAYBAR is multi-mounting adaptable and offers various mounting positions for convenience. The PLAYBAR can sit in a variety of positions, you can either stand it uo or lie it flat. Providing you with a flexible design, you can have it sitting above your TV, below your TV, sitting on a table or you have the option to wall mount the PLAYBAR for even more flexibility. Available as an additional accessory is the PLAYBAR wall mounting kit, making wall mounting your PLAYBAR a breeze. Ensuring that when either laid flat or sitting upright you don’t lose your TV’s remote control function are two IR sensors and and IR repeater – meaning any signals sent from remote to TV are reached and translated so your remote control works regardless of the PLAYBAR orientation.
The PLAYBAR is a special sound bar that hosts a Variety of specifications not found on competitor models. As a movie buff myself, i know only too well the late night frustrations when it comes to wanting cinematic audio without sacrificing the good relationship with your neighbours. Thanks to Sonos your late night movie viewing is very possible without giving up on great sounding movies. The PLAYBAR comes equipped with Night Sound: Night Sound’ dynamically compresses the audio to avoid any bangs and crashes waking the family/neighbour, while making quieter sounds more audible. In addition the PLAYBAR offers Speech Enhancement features that boosts the frequency range of the human voice so you never miss those essential moments of dialogue. Not just designed for use with your TV set – the PLAYBAR also doubles up as your all-in-one player that allows you to stream all your music.
When it comes to ports and controls, the PLAYBAR follows the usual Sonos design. Three control buttons and a single status indicator adorn the side mesh panel – these are the main and only control system on the unit. The ports (alongside two large wall mounting protrusions either side of the PLAYBAR) are located on the reverse centre of the PLAYBAR within a recessed compartment. Like other Sonos speaker, this is basic and only features the necessary ports – which are: 2 x Ethernet ports, an optical port and your power cable port. An important observation is that the PLAYBAR connects to your TV unit via the supplied optical cable, therefore before purchase one should check their TV has an available optical port for PLAYBAR connection. There are negatives and positives to this method of connection, the most positive being that you negate the need to connect each device individually to the PLAYBAR – instead all devices connected to your TV will have the audio pushed through the PLAYBAR automatically. A handy feature is the Auto-play function. TV Auto-play means all your TV audio will automatically play through the PLAYBAR when you turn your TV on. If you are playing music through your PLAYBAR and then switch on your TV, music audio will cease and the PLAYBAR automatically switches to TV audio – this feature can be turned on/off through the settings menu.
Installation & Setup:
The Sonos PLAYBAR like other Sonos products is dead simple to install and set up, it’s literally just a case of connecting your new audio gadget to a power source and downloading the Sonos controller app (for either tablet/mobile/MAC/PC). You simply follow the on-screen prompts for Wi-Fi connection and then sit back and enjoy.
The beauty of owning a Sonos system means you can continually add in more speakers at any time, literally at the push of a button. Sonos make integrating further speakers a breeze. The PLAYBAR allows you to continually build on your existing system by enabling you to create a variety of systems types. Don’t have any other Sonos products, then the PLAYBAR acts as a standalone 3.0 system. Pair the PLAYBAR sound bar with the SUB subwoofer, and with the push of a button you can add spine-curling bass to your cinematic experience—wirelessly. Add PLAY:1 speakers to your PLAYBAR and SUB for a true surround sound experience that plunges you deeply into the cinematic and gaming action on your screen. Sleek and understated with wireless control, this deeply immersive home cinema experience wraps you in crystal-clear, state-of-the-art Sonos sound.
For those who haven’t read our Sonos PLAY 1 and PLAY 3 reviews – the features for the PLAYBAR are identical when it comes to playlists and the like (taken from our PLAY 1 Starter bundle review):
The SONOS console itself is very intuitive, very easy to navigate and allows you to operate all of your SONOS products from within one single interface. Your music source is grouped by type: Music services: mostly these are premium services that you will need to subscribe to, personally i would have liked more free services here, providing a ‘break’ from your own music library and going in to something different. Radio By TuneIn: Here you can set either your zip code or area and all your locals radio stations are grouped by genre. Music Library: this is where all your own music is found, the settings for this are in the music library settings (it’s a simple case of locating where your songs are located on your mobile/tablet/PC and hitting tyhe update button). Your own music library can then be sorted in to specific playlists by creating a new playlist and then right clicking on the appropriate audio and adding it to the newly created playlist.
You can select and play music and podcasts stored on any iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch that’s on the same network as your Sonos products. Playback is perfectly synchronized, in any or every room of your home. Simply choose This iPad, This iPhone, or This iPod touch from the Sonos app on your iOS device to make audio selections and then you can use any Sonos controller to control playback. In addition You can play music to your Sonos system directly from the Google Play Music app on any Android device. This feature is available for both Standard and All Access Google Play Music customers.
The Sonos PLAYBAR ships with the equalization settings preset to provide the optimal playback experience. If desired, you can change the sound settings (bass, treble, balance, or loudness) to suit your personal preferences from within the room settings tab.
Judging by our previous Sonos speaker reviews, it was almost a dead cert that the PLAYBAR would match up to the rest and then some. Quality construction alongside easy installation, and a flawless software system that offers an infinite amount of streaming options, the PLAYBAR is both versatile as it is performance guaranteed. When set up and connected i wasn’t immediately blown away by the output audio, however it’s only when you sit down and soak up the output sound-stage that you realise Sonos have created something a little bit special that can only be described as being ‘simply amazing’. There is a real depth and dimension to the audio that is processed and thrown out by the PLAYBAR providing the receiver with an immersive and atmospheric listening experience.
The PLAYBAR as a standalone sound bar/speaker does a stellar job and reproducing highly detailed, richer sounding audio depth, however like previous Sonos speakers we’ve reviewed, the very low ends is where you are left feeling somewhat underwhelmed. What we mean by this, is that unlike traditional sound bars that would otherwise mask the lack of low ends with un-necessary and fabricated bass, the Sonos PLAYBAR doesn’t pretend it’s there. It merely offers the subtle rumble where necessary. Don’t get us wrong, as a single unit the PLAYBAR offers what other sound bars fail to even come close to, however when it comes to ground-shaking, make my body buzz bass, the PLAYBAR is somewhat lacking. Why? The PLAYBAR’s little friend and helping hand at re-creating your bone-tingling ‘thump’ is the Sonos SUB. Not having one without the other is like having fish without chips or salt without vinegar – the two are just better when they are together. Separately the two devices work – but offer a match made in heaven when paired together. So if it’s the rumble in the jungle you are after, we would suggest spending the additional money and getting both units together to maximize the output audio recreation.
Sitting here with an objective and level head, it’s hard to deny that the Sonos PLAYBAR is a quality audio accessory/booster through and through. As a standalone speaker the PLAYBAR excels all expectations from the get-go. From the quality build right through to the exceptional sounding audio reproduction, the PLAYBAR does exactly what it says on the box and more. What the PLAYBAR lacks in bass reproduction it makes up for in versatility and future-proof upgrade options. As a system add-on, the PLAYBAR is an outstanding piece of kit that cannot be matched by anything else on the market. Take away all the bells and whistles and solid performance and there are cheaper alternatives around, however what you get with a Sonos system is much more than great sounding audio. A Sonos system gives you fool-proof set up, quality construction and a sound stage that simply has to be heard to be appreciated. Yes, there are cheaper sound bars on the market, and if you want to simply boost your TV’s audio then they may be worth a look. However if you are in the market for a robust audio solution that can continually grow with your needs then the only way forward is Sonos – and what better way to start than with a PLAYBAR?