Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 09:30 AM PDT by Brian Hoss
Nine-speaker sound bar offers wireless expansion and streaming.
Sonos has built a product line with an emphasis on wireless capabilities. With the Playbar, Sonos is really offering a hybrid sound bar. One the one hand, the Playbar is ready to replace paltry TV speakers for booming stereo sound for anyone, even those users made dizzy by a traditional receiver set-up. On the other hand, the system supports wireless streaming for audio playback, wireless smartphone control, wireless/wired multi-room audio networking, and wireless expansion to a either a 3.1 or 5.1 set-up.
Sonos, Inc CEO John MacFarlane, "Sonos has transformed the way people listen to music throughout the home and now we’re bringing our wireless HiFi approach to home theater. PLAYBAR will change everything about the sound experience in your living room, bringing together amazing HiFi sound for your TV and wireless access to the world’s music in a radically simple way."
The nine-speaker set-up breaks down into six mid-woofers and three tweeters, and is designed to project sound in two positions. The bar can be set in front of the TV or rotated 90 degrees for mounting without compromising the angles speaker design.
The Playbar becomes a 3.1 system by adding The Sonos Wireless sub, and a 5.1 by adding a pair of Sonos Play:3 speakers. As a Sonos product, the potential for a multi-room audio set-up is just one-button and several purchases away from being realized.
Even at $699, the Playbar depends on a optical jack for deriving Dolby Digital from the TV. Older TV sets are notorious for only supporting Dolby 2.0, so prospective buyers with 2008 era TVs should be wary.
Still the Sonos' combination of audio quality, simple set-up and footprint, and advanced wireless capabilities may make the Sonos Playbar the best option for the right situations and family members.
The Sonos Playbar is available to order here.
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