The SONOS Playbar was a pleasure to review. It was super simple to setup, configure and use. I could operate the device via WIFI as the bridge was connected directly to my router meaning I could use my smartphone or computer to send commands. Or I could simply turn on my TV and listen to digital audio from the programs there. Streaming music from my Apple TV’s iTunes Match account worked like a charm but in order to use the SONOS computer application downloading the music beforehand would be required.
As you can see from the image here I was met by a rather large box about 3 weeks ago. I unpacked the Playbar and was able to setup the system to work with my TV, PVR remote, smartphone and computer in about 30 minutes total. The unit itself weighs in at 11.9 pounds and retails for about $750.
As I’m big into streaming music with iTunes Match the only thing that disappointed me was that I could not use the SONOS native application to send music to the Playbar. This mind you was a minor disappointment since I have my house wired with Apple products and could create a playlist on my iMac and use AirPlay to stream direct to my Apple TV. For those of you storing your music files locally you shouldn’t have a problem.
My wife doesn’t care for the deep bass sounds too much so I was faced with the task of modifying the equalizer settings. I found this option to be hidden a little too deeply in the SONOS computer application. Personally I thought that this setting should have been much easier to access. The smartphone application by the way did not have the option to modify the equalizer. Hopefully future releases of the software will improve this shortcoming.
As for the overall audio experience I found the SONOS to be excellent. I have an ear for sound quality and could say with confidence that you will not be disappointed with this unit. The Playbar boasts nine Class-D digital amplifiers that are perfectly tuned to match the speakers and acoustic architecture. You’ll find six midrange and three tweeters in this optical audio setup. Additionally you can create a 3.1 home theater with the addition of SUB or 5.1 with SUB and PLAY:3 speakers. Check out all the specs here.
Playbar works with a host of music services including Amazon Cloud Player, AUPEO!, Deezer, iHeartRadio, JB Hi-Fi NOW, JUKE, Last.fm, MOG, Pandora®, Rdio®, Rhapsody®, SiriusXM™ Internet Radio, Slacker® Radio, Songl, Songza, Spotify®, Stitcher SmartRadio™, TuneIn, Wolfgang’s Vault®, WiMP, and downloads from any service offering DRM-free tracks.
Have I piqued your interest? Let me know if you’re seriously considering the SONOS Playbar or if you already own one. I would be very interested to hear about your experience!