57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on 24 August 2012
Having gradually updated my HiFi which started with a Play 5 for the kitchen and then included the Sonos pre-amp to run my very large Tannoy D700's in the lounge. I then decided I wanted more sound in the kitchen and went for the Sonos amp to run B&W M1's plus a Cambridge Audio sub. I then got a call from my local HiFi shop to inform me that I should come and listen to the new Sonos Sub. Always bad news as it usually costs a lot of money!
So went and had a look and listen and was blown away. Needles to say I have now replaced the kitchen set-up with 2 x Play 3's and the Sub (which at the moment is sitting on the worktop (and looks great). This set-up is much, much, much better than the B&W/Sonos/Cambridge Audio as it is all designed to work together with less wires and more flexibility. The sound quality as superb playing anything at any level and can go very, very loud indeed. The sub does not distort, but everything in the kitchen rattles.
If comparing to my Tannoy D700's, the Sonos is nearly as good. The Tannoys deliver a warmer richer sound whilst the Sonos set-up is more crisp and clean. I am sorely tempted to now go for 2 x Play 5's and a Sonos Sub to replace the Tannoy set-up but it's a tough one.
Money wise, it will cost around £1,100 for the 2 x Play 3's and Sub. Expensive yes, but it is a full music centre and you can start with 1 x Play 3, add another when the budget is there (and make them into a stereo pair) and then finally add the Sub to give the extra oomph. Yes, it is little pricey at £600 but beautifully made/looks great and works really well. In addition, you can tune it to the environment in which you are sighting it and change the base level to suit your own taste. Lastly unlike some other subs, it isn't just boom, boom, boom. It does an excellent job of playing musically (if you know what I mean!)
669 of 694 people found the following review helpful
on 28 November 2013
Let me start by saying I'm a big fan of Sonos, with several rooms in my house already equipped with Zoneplayers, as well as a Play:5. So, when I recently bought a new TV, adding a Playbar seemed like the logical thing to do to upgrade from the in-built speakers.
So, for me, I'm not overly interested in the Playbar's qualities as a wireless music player. After all, this is a soundbar, fitted under my TV, specifically designed to give a home cinema experience according to Sonos - just take a look at all their current advertising, encouraging you to buy a couple of Play:1s to hook up with it for that 5.1 experience. The problem is, the Playbar doesn't deliver on its promise.
How do Sonos advise you to connect the Playbar to your system? Well, the only method they recommend (or will support if you have an issue) is that you take an optical output from your TV. Not from an amp, BluRay player or cable TV box, just from your TV. The problem is, if you feed your TV with an HDMI signal, then you will struggle to find any TV that will pass a 5.1 signal through its optical port - you will only get stereo. This means you won't get 5.1 from your Playbar and you won't get a surround channel to any Play:1s you've bought and connected. (You will get a pretty dire pseudo-5.1 that the Playbar will create from the stereo source).
OK, let's go the unsupported route and give the Playbar a 5.1 feed direct from your source. The problem here is that the Playbar will only play Dolby Digital 5.1, not DTS. Go and have a look at your current BluRay collection and see how many have a DD soundtrack - about 15% if you're lucky. All you will get from your Playbar is silence.
If you want a soundbar which accepts both DD and DTS 5.1 signals to play all your DVD/BluRays then there are plenty on the market that will do that not just for less, but for a fraction of the price of the Playbar.
Sonos is generally good, but the Playbar is a very ill-judged bit of kit. If you just want a better speaker for your flatscreen, you can get a good one for a third of the cost of the Playbar. If you want home cinema, then the Playbar can't provide it, despite what the Sonos advertising might tell you.
108 of 112 people found the following review helpful
I'm a massive Sonos fan. I'd been wanting to replace my bulky 5.1 speaker system with a Playbar since it was rumored. All their products have incredible sound quality so I was optimistic about this set up.
Set up is easy, sound quality is good for the unit. It's a nice product and looks great while being easy to operate.
After minimal tweaking I got the sound just right. Mids and highs are clean and crisp, voices are clear, and the Sub offers perfect deep/tight bass to Movies, Music and Games. This is an incredibly balanced combination that fills the room with accurate, high-quality sound. I honestly wasn't expecting to be this impresssed.
Here's the issue though: Sonos says they want you to use your TV as a hub, all the inputs going to the TV and then optical audio out from the TV to the Playbar. Great idea - but the problem is that most TV's won't pass Dolby Digital 5.1 surround from HDMI to the digital/optical audio. If it's from the TV itself (such as Netflix on a smart TV) it will pass 5.1 through the optical port but not from HDMI.
So if you have multiple sources (say an Xbox 360, Blu-Ray player, Apple TV, etc) there's no way for those sources to ever deliver 5.1 to the Playbar as Sonos intended (assuming you add a sub and some Play:3's to the mix). And you can't wire multiple inputs directly to the Playbar because they have a single input for the sake of simplicity. Normally I'm fine with this, but in light of the limitation with HDMI => optical pass through on TVs this became an oversight to me upon learning about the pass through issue. You can solve this by finding a TV or receiver that does pass through DD 5.1 through the optical audio, but you shouldn't have to. Alternatively you can use an optical audio switch, which is fine most of the time but may not work with a blu-ray player since Playbar lacks DTS support and are also limited on inputs, but this doesn't solve what to do for certain devices that don't have an optical audio port (e.g. most computers, Wii U, etc).
In the end you're left with a system that is capable of producing much better sound (especially if a sub and some Play:3s are added) that most everyone won't be able to hear and results in this not sounding as good as it costs. And that's just a shame to me.
* Easy set up
* It looks gorgeous
* Decent sound from stereo source
* Single optical input only
* No DTS support
* Entire package is expensive for 5.1 (or even 3.1)
* There are no official Windows RT or Windows Phone 8 apps
Ultimately I'm disappointed. Had Sonos included multiple audio inputs or HDMI pass through, or even better yet HDMI switching (in place of a receiver) then this could have been an amazing piece. But the reliance on a single optical input being provided from the TV, one which will down convert any HDMI source's audio to stereo sound, in the name of simplicity just seems like a bad idea.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2015
Only initially planned to buy one play:1 speaker for music, but figured might be worth getting two play:1s in case I ever wanted Sonos surround sound for tv, so they could act as rear speakers. Bought them. Then read forums where customers were going on the rampage re their tv's inability to pass dolby digital 5.1 from external source and lack of DTS compatibility.
Liked the sound of the playbar in store - so started researching what TVs had the ability to pass 5.1 DD from external source. General consensus was that if you bought a Sony Bravia 2014 range or newer, you wouldn't need an HDMI switch with optical output to pass DD 5.1 from say, DVD player or xbox.
For all those desperate to find a TV that will do the business with sonos playbar and Sonos surround speakers - I've got it synced up to a Sony KDL-48 W605B. Just tried it for the first time tonight and used Monsters Inc dvd (audio format DD) and sonos controller confirms dolby digital 5.1 audio output. Sound quality exceptional. The idea of adding a sonos subwoofer and putting on Apocalypse Now is dribbleworthy. 5 stars.
44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on 1 September 2014
Having moved house, I've been forced to retire my separate 5.1 Home Cinema amp and speakers from the living room. The speakers in my television alone (a recent Samsung) were a huge step down, so I sought to remedy with the Sonos. The amp was a fairly recent purchase itself and more expensive than this, so I had low expectations that the Sonos would be a worthy replacement, but I am pleasantly surprised by how close it is. I've been a happy Sonos user elsewhere in the house for a while, but was always a bit sceptical of the Soundbar.
I'd recommend checking your television carefully first. You must have an optical audio out that will output (and pass-through) Dolby Digital unmolested. Equally, you need to be able to disable the speakers in the television, and have a compliant remote. My Samsung ES7000 from 2013 does this, but by luck rather than judgement and many televisions may fall-short. In that case, buy a Yamaha Projector instead with HDMI. Many of the (probably deservedly) poor reviews come from those connecting the Playbar directly to disc players or set-top boxes, or connecting to TVs that output only stereo.
If you have a compliant television though, this really is good. A breeze to set-up, trivial to use once it is, and seems to do well with streamed material (Amazon Prime / Netflix) which tend to be Dolby Digital encoded. It sounds excellent, much closer to the separate system than I expected, and worlds better than the televisions own speakers.
I was worried by the lack of DTS, but the omission is explained by Sonos as no TVs pass-through DTS currently, making it a pointless feature if you connect the Playbar correctly. No streaming services are using DTS, and I find I rarely use discs these days anyway. Again, if you are more regular disc users, a Yamaha Projector with HDMI input may suit you better.
For me, the benefits in ease of use, the quality of sound, and seamless integration with the TV and the rest of my Sonos kit have made this a winner.
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on 26 January 2013
I was happy, more than happy with my Play 5 in the living room. I went to buy another Play 5 for the kitchen and they demoed the Sub. I ended up with both another Play 5 and the Sub and an uneasy feeling I'd spent too much . I was annoyed because I swore I'd never spend that much on the sub.
A few hours of listening and I can say I have no regrets. The Sub is subtle. It's not a boom box. It fills out the bottom frequencies linearly. You get bass that is warm and sweet. Even at low volumes the sub is doing a great job of filling things out. Trouble is, non sub rooms now sound terribly thin.
One thing to note if you have young kids or cats is the speakers are not grilled so placement to avoid curiosity leading to damage is something to consider.
It's a lot of money, but I think it's a worthwhile investment to take a system to an altogether new level.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 18 October 2014
OK, I was a bit nervous about spending so much on a sub but felt the Playbar and surround Play:1s were lacking a bit of bass. The reviews convinced me, and have to say I'm quite amazed by the difference. The existing speakers just sound better, and the whole soundstage is enhanced.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 23 April 2015
Why pay £599 from Amazon UK when amazon.it sells for £475 and £5 for a cable from Sonos?
Great if you already have a Sonos system, if you want it to double up as your stereo in the TV room otherwise I'm not sure I'd pay £475 for it. Also at this price, the optical cable provided is completely rubbish, come on Sonos you are charging £600 in the UK for this, surely you could bulk buy some decent optical cables and include these?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 October 2015
I've had my eye on a Sonos system for some time. With a change of TV and TV stand, a new solution to my music needs was required (I store all of my iTunes library on a NAS drive and I am also a Spotify Premium subscriber). So, knowing my TV had an optical output (yes, you need one), I went ahead and purchased the Playbar. Setup was extremely easy and I was set up within 10 minutes. First up, the sound quality. The sound quality from the unit is exceptional. Music channels on the TV have come to life. My music library sound fantastic. Balanced highs and lows, with crystal clear mid range. The app to control the unit is a joy to use and is stable and reliable.
Some disappointments... (not specifically Sonos related) - my optical output on my TV (a Samsung) doesn't pass Dolby digital through it. Therefore, I receive a stereo feed from my TV to the PlayBar. My SKY HD box is connected to my tv using HDMI and due to a limitation of this connection, the volume output is quite low compared to the music services. Whilst this doesn't affect my enjoyment of the product or it's quality, it can, on occasions be a little annoying when I've forgotten to adjust the volume down before I start up my music library (and it hits louder than anticipated).
A small a minor niggle. Otherwise, I'm absolutely delighted with the unit and it is the start of a full multi-room Sonos system for me.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 May 2015
I love my Sonos Playbar!
This is the beginning of my Sonos collection. We recently moved house to discover that the standard speakers in our TV (mine's a Samsung UE48h6400) weren't cutting it in the new living room. I decided that I wanted to upgrade the sound for the TV and I've been looking for an excuse to get a Sonos speaker so this was the obvious choice.
From the moment you plug it in, the experience is fantastic. With two wires you plug into the TV and the power and then switch it on. Then fire up the app (mine is on my Iphone 6) and you are guided through the entire setup process.
Highlights for me:
1. Remote calibration step allows me to use the volume controls on my sky remote to control the volume (as well as from the app)
2. Really simple to integrate my spotify premium account
3. Once set up, it was a matter of seconds for my other half to connect her Iphone 5s and use all the same functionality
4. Sound quality is fantastic. I've seen some gripes about the low end in other reviews but if I'm, honest, any more low end power is going to seriously anger the neighbours!
5. Switching from TV sound to music streaming is seamless and really easy from the app. (so easy that we've taken to dubbing the adverts with our own soundtracks)
I highly recommend the Playbar and can't wait to expand my Sonos collection!