Sonos Playbar

Tested at £600
100100
5

The Playbar is Sonos in a soundbar – with a couple of little caveats, that’s as good a proposition as it seems

Comments

The sound quality must be the most important feature of a soundbar, but the price and the lack of HDMI passthrough kill this for me.

I agree that an optical connector is a tidy solution, but getting the original unadulterated digital sound signal (and correctly decoding it) is paramount to achieve the goal of great sound quality.

This device relies on the quality of the signal from the TV's optical output and won't decode DTS or DolbyHD. For £600 without a sub, this just isn't a 5-star device.

Don't really understand how this product got 5*........

Its very expensive for what it does, and yes I agree it does do it well, though not for £600 mind you.

No HDMI ports.......

No Subwoffer, unless you buy the hugley overpriced and average sonos one

And too use Play 3's as part of a 5.1 system is just plain silly, yes it sounds good....but thats it. It's no where in league with a separtes system consisting of speakers and a reciever.

 

BOSTON SOUNDWARE XS SE 5.1 £220

BOSTON XS DIGITAL CINEMA 2.1 which has bluetooth £220 (£150 white version)

 

ONKYO TXNR515 £230

OR

YAMAHA RXV473 £250

 

for about £70  £90 more tahn the sonos playbar if you choose to, gets you all this setup........and the 2.1 speakers are very good, I've purchased these recently and I am very impressed with the performance. What HIFI should review these

In light of the price, per pound perfornace and actual performance which was just 'good' in my book it shouldn't really get anymore than a 3* really

I've just bought one of these for my bedroom and I must say I love it. I didn't have any kind of surround sound upstairs prior to this. I did have some reservations about buying one with it only have a digital connection but I needn't have worried. TV sounds amazing now. Its connect to a Samsung LED TV and works a treat. Streamed music is even better. The styling is top notch. The sound is fantastic and with the sound bar being quite discreet even the wife sseems to like it. Excellent product and well worth the money!

I changed from a Yamaha YSP-2200 to this and I personally love it. I bought the entire kit (Sub+2Play 3's). I have linked my Deezer account and find myself listening to music like never before compared to the Yamaha. As for TV and films, I have an LG 55LW550T and Apple TV. The LG passes dolby digital 5.1 which is a bonus, so I get full HD picture with 5.1 sound through my iTunes film collection. I find I can hear dialogue better through this than the Yamaha especially if you select the speech enhancement mode when some films dialogue are not as good as others. Very happy with my purchase. 

BTW any DTS soundtracks on blu ray or dvd and you only get silence!!!!!

DO NOT USE AS A 5.1 SYSTEM- TESTED WITH PANASONIC 2012 AND SAMSUNG TVS.

THEY ONLY OUTPUT STEREO VIA OPTICAL SO YOU CANNOT GET GENUINE 5.1 SOUND

NO DTS OR HD SOUND. DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO ONLY

UPGRADED WITH 2 X PLAY 3S AND A SUB £1700 AND ALL I CAN GET IS STEREO!!!!!

THIS IS NOT A 5* PRODUCT FOR HOME CINEMA . SHAME ON YOU WHAT HIFI FOR NOT TESTING THIS!!

All you need is £30 CYP AU-D21 2-1 TosLink switcher et voila you will have DD5.1.

I do believe What HiFi did mention this at some point.

Its because most TV's do not pass through DD5.1

Sometimes the HD channels output 5.1. My old Pioneer used to display it the odd time on BBC HD.

HD only with HDMI and the review does state NO DTS in the negative box.

All you haters, this is a great bit of kit for what it is...............If you want HD Sound buy an massive amp, 7 speakers, sub, loads of cable etc etc!

We really see the Playbar as a means to improve your TVs sound with the added streaming benefits. You can if you wish choose to by the sub and Play:3s to create a 5.1 system, but there are caveats, which we mention in the review. Some TVs can output DD5.1 over their optical outputs, but only if the broadcaster chooses to use this sound format for its programmes. Also, TVs won't necessarily pass through a DD signal sent via a dedicated source such as a Blu-ray player. This really depends on the TV manufacturer and specific model in question.

I am at a loss as to why anybody would buy this. You can buy stereo wireless speaker that will sound a great deal better than this (or any other) sound bar. Top wireless stereo speakers, such as the Dynaudio Xeo or Moos Mini Aero (better of the two IMO based on spec), would certainly outperform any soundbar by a very, very large margin when it comes to music playback. They will also deliver a sound stage that in many respects will be more 3D and far more engaging than the fake surround effect of a sound bar. 

Heard this system the other day at our local electronics store... and it's pretty bad to be honoust. The sound is very clearly coming from the soundbar itself, no matter where you sit or stand. It's very distracting, as you're always aware that you're listening tot he soundbar itself, not sound "floating" in the air. Haven't heard anything this bad lately, though I have to admit not listening to a lot of soundsbars. Anyway, you're much, much better of with just some simple bookshelves in my opinion, like the Play 5 if you really want to link to the Sonos network.

Also be sure your tv has optical out by the way, mine surely doesn't...

I stopped myself from asking this question as John Lewis replaced it the next day but may have to have a third Playbar.

Has anybody else had any faults or quality issues?

My first one was not sitting flat on its feet which sparked alerts immediately and yes it was faulty with a high pitched screach being emitted constantly from one of the speakers, the noise was like a data stream but extremely high pitched even when TV off.

My new one that I have just set up still does not sit flat, ie 'wobbling' across 2 feet, and the top metal piece with Sonos written on it is protruding on one side against the speaker cloth.

I am starting to kick myself for becoming an early adopter of this now.......!

It does sound good though, being in line with the rest of my, excellent quality, sonos system.

Now I wait to hear whether I need to return it for another.

BTW you don't need a Sub so IMHO don't waste your money:-)

Music Schmusic and Footballs! There's not a single comment in the review about voice quality and dialogue clarity, surely the single most important point in a soundbar review.

Check your TV specs.  There are many TVs which only output 2.1 CH sound when the source is connected via HDMI.  So Playbar great but only if watching TV through aerial! 

Interesting review. How does it compare with Audioengine 2 I currently have for my bedroom TV?

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