Sonos has made its first step into the home cinema market and officially unveiled its much-rumoured soundbar, the Sonos Playbar.
See also: read our Sonos Playbar review
Hoping to – in its own words – “crash the home theatre party”, the Sonos Playbar connects up to your TV via a single optical cable, offering the same simple setup that we’ve come to expect from Sonos products.
This optical connection will automatically pass all the audio from your TV to the Playbar, whether from a set-top box, Blu-ray player or games console, with the Playbar capable of understanding both Dolby Digital and stereo sound.
There are also two Ethernet ports, which can be used for hardwiring the Playbar to your router and for passing connectivity to your Smart TV, for example.
If you’re short on space, the Playbar can be used on its own to improve your TV’s sound, or alternativaly in combination with other Sonos products for a truer home cinema experience.
Add the Sonos sub unit to create a bassier 3.1 system, or the sub and two Play: 3 speakers for a standard 5.1 setup – all connected over Sonos’ wireless network.
Sonos says the Playbar will fit into most living room setups, thanks to its ability to be placed in three positions – either laid on its side under the TV or, for wall-mounted setups, on the wall above or below the screen.
This is thanks to built-in sensors that know which way the Playbar is being used, automatically adjusting the EQ and channel orientation to suit.
Take a look under the hood and you’ll find nine individually amplified speakers made up of six mid-woofers and three tweeters, which Sonos promises will add clarity to your TV’s sound, not just volume.
It also learns your TV remote’s IR signal on first use, so there’s no need for a separate controller – though its sound can also be managed via the Sonos controller on your computer, smartphone or tablet as well.
Of course, as a Sonos speaker, it can stream music from online services like Spotify and Rdio, or alternatively, tracks stored locally on your device. It can also be added to a ‘group’ with any other Sonos speakers in your house for synchronised multi-room music playing, but will automatically ‘ungroup’ itself when being used with your TV, so not to interfere with your telly watching.
The Sonos Playbar should suit any TV of 40 inches or above, measuring in at 85mm x 140mm x 900mm, and will be available on 5 March for £599.
Our full Sonos Playbar review is now online.