What’s the story?
The Playbar is everything awesome about Sonos packed into a longer package that can connect to your TV.
It’s got all the features of the Sonos Play:3 and Play:5 speakers, including the ability to stream, and we quote, “all the music on earth”. It’s a bold claim, but with its ability to access millions of tracks across internet radio, Apple Music and more, we’re going to believe it.
A new feature lets you play songs directly from your smartphone or tablet, too – it’s this depth and breadth of features that keeps Sonos a leader in the market, even if the Playbar is now two years old.
Disappointingly, there’s no HDMI; you’ll have to use your TV’s optical input to make the connection. On the plus side, the Playbar has a built-in IR repeater, so you can still control your telly even if the bar blocks the IR sensor.
There’s a great sense of atmosphere from the Playbar. The nine speakers inside (each with its own amplifier) fire sound upwards, so you get a decent spread of open and weighty sound. The only drawback is that you don’t get the full brunt of a movie’s impact – a more directional approach would make the performance that bit more engaging.
Part of Sonos’s success is a great app that works seamlessly from the very start. No other device makes it as easy to stream music from multiple sources (even from your NAS or laptop) and branch out into multiroom. Sonos is sticking to its guns and still won’t support high-res audio, but CD-quality is good enough when the system is so brilliantly easy to use, and sounds just as smooth.