The Sonos Playbar was released officially in March 2013 amongst a huge amount of speculation and excitement, similar to an new Apple product launch. Does it live up to the build quality of other products in the range?
Well first a bit about Sonos
. It’s a manufacturer of high quality audio equipment, providing wireless music streaming solutions. In a nutshell this means you can have a wireless speaker set up in your home with standalone units with built in amplifiers, or use connector boxes with an existing hi-fi to stream music from different sources. The benefits? If you love your music it’s the ultimate system, allowing you to play the same music in every room or different albums in each connected zone, all from the same hard drive. You can also hook it up to your Spotify account, stream from your favourite radio station or use an input such as an iPhone and then play the stuff you love. If you’re looking to fill your home with sounds then it’s the perfect system and comes into it’s element when you’re having a party.
Sonos has been around for quite a few years, but has continued to rise in popularity due to an increased UK distribution, selling directly online as well as from top retailers like John Lewis. It has fans nationwide due to the simplicity of the set up, providing a plug and play solution that even the least tech savvy can master to get everything live in under an hour. Initially providing connector boxes, recent launches have seen separate speaker units in a couple of different sizes, a subwoofer and most recently, the Playbar. This now enables you to create a wireless home cinema set up (with the addition of the sub and a couple of Play:3 speaker units), but it’s not a cheap option with the cost of the new product at £600.
So it the Sonos Playbar worth the hefty price tag? In our opinion absolutely yes, without a shadow of a doubt. Like all of the products made by the company, it offers minimalistic styling (you could be excused for thinking it came straight out of the Apple factory), exemplary sound quality and nifty tech aspects. These include an IR repeater to make sure the infra-red signals from your remote still reach your TV, together with Ethernet sockets so you can piggy-back off the network to get the internet to any smart TV. As with all of the other units it can be controlled via the free iPhone or Android app, making it easy to change the streaming source and adjust volume.
The final verdict – there are other TV speakers out there but if you want the best it will cost, just be warned that when you start with Sonos you’ll find it difficult to stop and it’s not a cheap obsession.