Happy Friday Dudes!
Let’s take a look at one of my favourite pieces of audio and potentially favourite pieces of tech, period. I am of course talking about the Sonos Playbar.
This gorgeous piece of equipment has been on the market since February of 2013 (I know I’m a bit late to the party). But, this can be considered a good thing, because you don’t have to worry too much about a new Sonos Playbar 2 being released anytime soon. Software and app updates have been the only changes of any kind to the Sonos Playbar since its release.
As the title states, this will be an in-depth review of the two components and we will go over everything we can including: specs, features, my personal opinions and give it a grade with pros and cons to boot.
So, first let’s go over the specs of the Playbar.
Dimensions – H x W x D
3.35 x 35.43 x 5.51 in. (85 x 900 x 140 mm).
11.9 lbs. (5.4kg)
Side panel buttons & lights
Volume and Play/Pause buttons.
LED indicates Sonos component status and mute status.
2x Ethernet Ports
1x Digital Optical Port
802.11b/g, 2.4 GHz Wifi Connectivity
9 Total Speakers Incl. 6 Mid Woofers and 3 Tweeters
9 Integrated Amplifiers
So let’s talk specs.
The Playbar does not list it’s wattage, impedence, or any of the other benchmarks that we normally associate with speakers and AV receivers. Sonos took this one out of Bose’s playbook and did not list any of this because they believe that a customer should judge their products by listening rather than by specs. This is a nice way, as a brand, to say that our products are superior and we don’t need the proof to come from specs.
The Playbar is large compared to many other soundbars but its groovy and smart design helps it stand out among others. On top of the listed specs it also has an IR repeater on the front of the bar that allows the remote for your TV to work even if the IR sensor on the TV is blocked by the bar.
The bar also has an optical port and two ethernet ports on the back. Now you might wonder why it has two ethernet ports rather than just one; the reason for this is because the playbar can also act as a daisy chain to your smart TV or other smart devices.
Lastly, the Playbar does not use bluetooth whatsoever; which is not a deal breaker for most because Wifi actually gives you much better sound quality in comparison to bluetooth. Now we shall move on to the features.
Sonos’ Playbar is touted as the soundbar for music lovers. Music is of course where the Playbar shines and it is all controlled through the Sonos app. The Sonos app helps you quickly search through all your services to track down favourite music, send it to different rooms, and adjust the volume and other settings. There are several streaming services available for Sonos including Apple Music, Spotify, Sirius XM and Google Play Music. Unfortunately, without bluetooth you cant listen to your music library as of yet, however, there are rumors that peoples iTunes libraries will be available in to stream through airplay in 2018. Next, the Playbar has a little feature called Trueplay.
“What is Trueplay?” you might ask. Trueplay is an audio calibration software that is built into the Sonos app. Trueplay uses the microphone built into your iPhone or iPad (sorry android users) to talk to your Sonos speakers and give the best audio experience possible based on your living room, kitchen, mancave or bedroom setup. The last two features on the Sonos app are Night Mode and Dialogue enhancement.
Having a hard time hearing what’s being said? PLAYBAR uses custom drivers to deliver crisp, clear dialog to the center channel where your ears can best discern it. Need even more clarity? Turn on Speech Enhancement to keep the dialog at a consistent level and reduce the volume of any loud sound effects.
Watching late at night and don’t want to disturb the rest of the house? Turn on Night Sound. At lower volumes, quiet sounds are enhanced and the intensity of loud sounds is reduced.
Additionally you can add on the Sonos SUB and a pair of Play Ones to bring it to the next level.
The Sonos SUB is in my opinion the tightest sounding wireless subwoofer today. It has a cool “O” design that serves as a nice aesthetic but also as a functional feature. The design causes each of the racetrack-shaped drivers to resonate and somewhat cancel each other out. This limits rattling and keeps the sub from waking up your neighbor’s, unless you’re into that kind of thing.
Final Thoughts and Grades
The Sonos Playbar is a piece of technology that all geeks should aspire to have in their home. Once you’ve set it up, it’ll also let you control both your TV and your audio system with your phone. For almost everything you listen to or watch the Sonos Playbar sounds great; with excellent clarity and an expansive soundstage. Sadly, all this convenience and minimalist Sonos style doesn’t come cheap, a figure that quickly rises to around two grand should you want to build around the Playbar to reach its full 5.1 potential. If you are in the market for a new soundbar check out our list of the 5 best for 2017.
- Deep & Tight Bass
- Sonos App is Amazing
- Full Sounding
- Bulky In Comparison to Bose ST300
- No iTunes or Bluetooth
Price at time of writing:
Playbar @ 899.99 CAD
Playbar + Sonos SUB @ 1799.99 CAD
Get it on the Sonos website
Or Get it at Best Buy
Disclaimer: We (DudeDaily.ca) are in no way affiliated with any companies or their subsidiaries that have been mentioned in this post.