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Sonos Playbar - Excellent And Expensive Home Theater Addition (Part 2)

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Software

We have indicated mobile and desktop Comtroller applications of Sonos in previous Sonos reviews, and users’ experience has still been stable since the one-year-ago revolution. There are three controlling windows for bigger screen: the farthest window on the left shows all your connected Sonos speakers, the middle window shows a waiting line of tracks and what are playing on chosen speaker, and the right-hand window indicates your available audio sources. On the top, they are controls of volume, EQ, play/pause and track, and one common search field. There are also buttons to delete current waiting line or save them in playlist, together with sleep timer, and alarm setting on the bottom.

All these features are ready on mobile applications, but they are put in menus, totally contrary to availability. For example, if you want to change setup of bass and treble from “now playing” screen on mobile app, you will have to go though no less than 5 menus to get necessary controlling board.

Sonos Playbar review an excellent and expensive home theater addition

Sonos Playbar review an excellent and expensive home theater addition

Just saying that multi-window interface of Controller apps for tablet and desktops is better UI than mobile version because it makes many your available controller easy to drag and drop songs into expected row. Going deeply into menu-level system for arriving at all the sound sources feels to be able to forgive because you can do it while also control waiting line and what are playing. Regardless of quite secret quality of Controller, most of the people will not have trouble being comfortable with it after 1 night or 2 days.

Perharps Sonos has supported all music services at present, but new streaming foundations seem to appear weekly at this time. That is the reason why Sonos has Sonos Labs which allows you to try new services when they are available.

Sound

We have indicated before, but being worth recalling: Playbar was good when compared to its competitor soundbar, especially in playing music. It was a flexible speaker which faces well to any kinds of music we put into, even they were tracks with much bass from The Black Album of Jay Z to solo guitar tracks from Phish: A Live One, or funny songs from Some Nights of Fun. Similarly, Playbar is outstanding in playback of film and TV audios, providing good simulated surround sound. Summary, it is reasonable promotion compared to any TV speakers that we’ve heard.

We have indicated before, but being worth recalling: Playbar was good when compared to its competitor soundbar, especially in playing music.

We have indicated before, but being worth recalling: Playbar was good when compared to its competitor soundbar, especially in playing music.

Is it replacement of your home stereo system? No. Normal listeners will not seek out the mistakes in audio output of Playbar, but if you are thinking that such new Sonos can provide depth of sound and the stereo distinguish is supplied by a quality set of desktop speakers, or a full component stereo system, you will be disappointed. Playbar excels in role of soundbar, provides considerable motivation compared to a set of TV’s speakers and serves as capable and preparative stereo which provides a convenient way to listen to all kinds of music.

Home-theater performance of Playbar is reinforced by two exciting features: Night Sound and Speech Enhancement. Night Sound aims to those who like watching TV in late night, but do not want to wake up their neighbors. Turn it on and dynamic range of sound going through speakers is decreased when switching down volume. Some light sound, as conversations, becomes louder while louder sound, as explosions, is turned down. It works well for watching movies, but we recognized that feature made talk show programs sound a little small. In conclusion, we preferred sound with Night Sound to be turned off.

On the other hand, Speech Enhancement is a happy addition for our watching TV. It works through combination of decreasing bass, increasing gain for center channel while turning down gain of competitive channels and going up or down some specific frequency. In fact, this feature is really intelligent because it makes the voice sound more plentiful and clearer. It is not thing that you pay attention until it is turned off, when you realize that the voices on screen suddenly seem muted and choked in comparison.

In general, the array of nine drivers has filled up room with sound; and regardless of hesitance of Sonos about product performance, Playbar can really increase volume. We are saying about waking up neighbors, and if you like, we did not see any distortion during the short time we heard in maximum volume. Obviously, if you are desiring that Playbar plays a center role in next party, you will not be disappointed.

In spite of comprehensive capabilities of Playbar, we will be irresponsible if do not talk about how much it is better when combined to Sonos Sub. For all that Playbar works well, it is lack of low-end power of subwoofer, and sometimes we remember that ability, especially watching TV. These six 8-centimeter divers only cannot provide low, rumbling bass which is an indispensable component for truly wonderful experience of home-theater. We do not say that Playbar does not create good sound of home-theater; only that if you do not hear soundbar together with Sub, your experience is much worse. Naturally, home-theater sound can be improved by setting up a couple of Plays:3 for satellite speakers to create real 5.1 surround sound, but adding Sub is really fill in all sound gaps of Playbar.

Conclusion

Playbar of Sonos is an excellent-designed soundbar, distinguish sound, but with price of 700USD, it makes a big challenge; it is not a big bargain. Combine it with Sub to have truly experience of home-theater, and that combination push costs up to 1,300 USD – 1,400 USD (not including other 50USD for Sonos Bridge). It is a huge number compared to coming set of soundbar and wireless Sub of Vizio, for instance.

Playbar of Sonos is an excellent-designed soundbar, distinguish sound, but with price of 700USD, it makes a big challenge

Playbar of Sonos is an excellent-designed soundbar, distinguish sound, but with price of 700USD, it makes a big challenge

Vizio’s products will transmit music directly via Bluetooth, along with 2 satellite speakers and provide sound quality almost equal to Sonos in price of 329 USD. However, you do not have all-in-one music transmitting method of Sonos Controller, strong hardware and good design of Playbar, as well as not have subtle simplicity of setup that only Sonos can provide. Therefore, while Playbar could not essential represent for the best thing when mentioning to home-theater system, it provides excellent user experience and if you have enough money, you will not disappoint with its performance. Consider it like this way: this is a test model which we hope that we would not need to return.

Info

·         Price: $699

Strong points

·         Simple setup

·         Wonderful sound, fill in the room with 1 soundbar

·         Top construction quality

Weak points

·         Expensive

·         Mobile app needs better UI

The key point

·         Playbar of Sonos creates an excellent addition for living room, but only those who are rich and love music can afford.

Specifications

General

·         Product type: Sound bar

·         Speaker type: Nine class-D digital amplifiers

·         Speakers included: 6 x Midrange, 3 x Tweeters

·         Dimensions (WxDxH): 35.43 x 5.51 x 3.35 inches

·         Weight: 11.9 lbs

 

Features

·         Connectivity technology: Ethernet - Wi-Fi, Wireless

·         Dolby Digital, Android devices, iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad connect to your Sonos system through your home Wi-Fi network

·         Turn any Mac or PC desktop or laptop computer in your home into a Controller

·         Endless music from the most popular online music services

 

 

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