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Sonos PLAYBAR: a sound bar with a difference

Sonos PLAYBAR Wi-Fi sound bar


Sound bars can be an inexpensive and unobtrusive way of bringing surround sound to your living room. They've been around for a few years but the new Sonos PLAYBAR is a sound bar with a difference.

For starters, the PLAYBAR does what Sonos does best: give you wireless access to internet music services or tunes stored on your computer, NAS drive or mobile devices. Or even, say, vinyl LPs played back through another Sonos unit. And, as they're received via your Wi-Fi connection, your TV doesn't have to be switched on for you to enjoy your music.

However, a sound bar's primary role is, of course, to improve the sound of what's being viewed on telly and the PLAYBAR will, of course, deliver. If your telly has an optical output, anything connected to it can be output via the PLAYBAR. (An optical cable is supplied.)

The sound bar incorporates nine drive units and, in typical Sonos fashion, each is powered by its own amplifier. The six mid-bass units and three tweeters produce a 3.0 surround sound soundstage. This, though, can be enhanced so that the PLAYBAR is the heart of a more conventional surround sound system. Bass performance can be boosted by adding a Sonos SUB so that explosions are felt as well as heard. Adding a pair of Sonos PLAY:3 units at the rear of the room will turn the system into a fully blown 5.1 setup.

The PLAYBAR can be sat either on its feet or its end. An internal accelerometer detects which way up the unit is and tailors the sound accordingly. A wall mount kit is available for £34.99.

The Sonos PLAYBAR costs £599 and is, unsurprisingly, proving very popular and our initial stock is selling quickly. With the PLAYBAR, Sonos has produced a novel component that can sit on its own or complement existing Sonos gear. Either way, it's guaranteed to put a smile on your face. For yours (PLAYBAR and smile!), visit Hi-Fi Stereo.

Date of article:13/04/2013

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