Sonos is a brand you would associate with wireless HiFi systems. It’s a popular choice if you want a clean, great-sounding wireless speaker system for your entertainment room. The Sonos Playbar is the first step to that wireless HiFi system and is itself, the wired component of the lot. It situates itself at the base of your TV and will replace the audio output with a better one.
This soundbar is minimalist in design but solidly built giving you that feeling of money well spent. The exterior is covered with a matte cloth which easily attracts dust, on a mostly aluminum finish that should span the whole length of a 40″ TV nicely.
All the buttons are on the right side which allows you to control the volume and that’s it for physical controls.
What’s not shown is the array of speakers inside. There are nine of them with six midrange and three tweeters, all controlled by a processor that automatically equalizes the sound, self-adjusting to give you the best quality for whatever you’re listening.
At the back are the connections you need to fulfill. Aside from the power, you need to connect your router to the Playbar via a LAN cable which is included so make sure your TV is near your router. What’s nice here is that you can also use the Playbar as a pass-through if you find yourself lacking a LAN port for another device. You also need to connect the Playbar to your TV via optical audio (cable included) so you have to make sure your TV has a provision for it.
Before actually using the Sonos Playbar, it has to be recognized by your network. You need to download the Sonos app onto your mobile device (iOS or Android) or your desktop.
This app will basically serve as your remote control for the Playbar aside from managing music to stream. Once running the app, it will scan for the Playbar and I was surprised how easy setting it up was. No need to configure anything, it just worked after connecting.
For a soundbar, I’m really not expecting close to surround sound or those booming bass to make gunfights in movies sound badass. I’m more interested in additional level of loudness with a balanced, deep, and rich sound profile.
I was impressed with the performance of the Sonos Playbar. It gave me that rich and deep sound stage on my movies, the absolute clarity to let me hear different instruments while watching live concert performances (really enjoyed it on Aerosmith’s You Gotta Move concert), even dialogues on TV shows were reproduced loud and clear and with the right texture. But since it’s just a playbar, the coverage is not as wide to give you that feeling you’re inside a cinema. You still need to invest on other Sonos speakers to really appreciate the sound quality especially when watching videos with HiFi sound.
Well first of all, I wish the Sonos Playbar has a remote control of its own. It was frustrating having to switch on and unlock my phone, look for the app just to adjust the volume. Having said that, I can’t say anything bad about the sound quality. It really brought more life and vibrancy from my TV’s own dull speakers.
The Sonos Playbar is clearly not for everybody and it’s hard to justify getting it without buying other Sonos speakers like the Sonos Play:1 and Sonos Sub to create a 5.1 sound environment. The Playbar itself, although sounding admirably good, felt lonely by itself. Still, it’s a very clean solution to have that clutter-free wireless HiFi system in your entertainment room. The ability to stream music to it is just an added bonus as you definitely want to use it for watching movies.
If you’re still interested in having the Sonos Playbar for your home, prepare to shell out SGD1,299 or roughly about Php45,200. This product and other Sonos components can be bought online from Sonos-SEA, who’s also the authorized reseller of Klipsch in Southeast Asia. You don’t have to worry about shipping and other tax as it’s already covered by the distributor.