Review: Sonos Playbar

Guest blog by Ian

If you are looking to enhance the sound of your television then this is a product that is certainly worth looking at, not only will the Playbar enhance the sound of your current television but it will also give you the ability to stream music as well.

This product is a very aesthetically pleasing and revolutionary soundbar which gives you the options to have it lying flat or standing vertical. You can even have the Playbar wall-mounted.

Setting up – The Playbar is fairly straightforward to set up as it only has a few connections. The first is the mains cable, the second an optical cable and lastly is the two Ethernet sockets. Your television will require an optical output as it is the only way of getting audio from the television to the Playbar (not normally a problem for most modern televisions but worth checking before making a purchase).

Photo-24-06-2013-03-25-37-PM1Next: if you don’t already have a Sonos system you will need to first download the free Sonos app onto your iPad, Tablet or Smartphone; then you just follow a few simple step-by-step instructions and you will be up and running in no time. A great feature is that the Playbar will also learn your television volume buttons so you don’t always have to use a tablet or phone to control the device. The remote control on the Playbar also repeats all remote signals, so if the Playbar positioning blocks the remote signal to your television, the signal will still get through. This may seem a simple idea but I have experienced this problem in the past where a soundbar blocks the television sensor so you have to wave the remote around to get the television to respond – not the most relaxing evening!

Once you have completed the setup you will be impressed by the sound quality, using the iPad or Tablet you can go into the Sonos Playbar settings and if you feel you would like a little more bass or treble you have the option to adjust this to your personal taste.

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Another great feature of the Sonos sound bar is that if you wish to enhance your listening experience even further then you can. You might like to add on a Sonos Sub if you like an extra touch of bass (this will give you a 3.1 system). You might even like to add a pair of Play speakers to act as rear surrounds, if also paired with the Sub this will give you a 5.1 cinema system – In my opinion, this is the ultimate audio experience.

As I mentioned earlier on, the Playbar also has two Ethernet connections… and you may be asking yourself why you need them. To put it simply, these act as an extension of your router. If you had a smart television or another device that you cannot connect via Wi-Fi then the Playbar will enable you to do this by simply plugging in an Ethernet cable from the bar to your device.

DSC1Another couple of features on the Playbar that I particularly like are Night Sound and Speech Enhancement, Night Sound dynamically compresses the audio to avoid bangs and crashes disturbing or waking the family but will enhance quieter sounds, making them more audible. Speech enhancement mode will boost the frequency range of the human voice so you don’t miss out on those all important pieces of dialogue.

I set our Playbar to TV AutoPlay mode – this will allow you to use your television remote and as soon as you turn the television on the audio will come out of the Playbar. Of course, if you don’t want to use this, you can change this in the settings menu by simply switching off TV AutoPlay.

Overall, I think that this is a really great addition to any television and the excellent sound produced along with the ability to stream endless amounts of music puts this to the top of my personal favourites.

The great thing is with the Sonos it doesn’t have to stop at the television, the option to add multiple speakers (zones) throughout the home is another excellent feature. Not only can you stream music to all zones at the same time, you also have the option to play different music on each speaker at the same time if you so wish, with the option to group and ungroup zones from the touch of a button on your controller.

View our fantastic Playbar and Sonos speaker packages here or pop into your local store to hear the amazing sound yourself.