Top positive review
Too expensive as a standalone soundbar, but spectacular when paired with surrounds and a whole home Sonos setup
12 December 2017
I have Sonos set up around my home. I have things I love about it and things I think Sonos could do to improve. The sound is very high quality, but the 'smartness' and 'connectedness' is lacking for a wifi speaker at this price. The app interface could be clearer and easier to use.
I do love the Playbar. It certainly does enhance the sound of a flatscreen TV. It creates rich sounds. But I don't think it is worth £600 alone. The sounds are good but they're not incredible.
Where this really shines is when you pair it with two Play:1 speakers to make surround sound. The playbar really becomes awesome then as it sends the sounds off in all the right directions and, with the surrounds, has great depth. If you have the surrounds, I don't think you need the sub, as together they create a lot of bass. The real benefits of using Sonos for your surround sound is that it's wireless so you don't need to run cables everywhere, and you can also use it to play music from the Sonos app, coordinating it with your wider system if you have one.
You should also be aware that it can only receive Dolby Digital 5.1 signals: not DTS. Sonos also recommends that youplug the optical cable directly to your TV, instead of to other peripheral devices such as consoles, Blu-Ray players etc. The problem with this is that you need a TV which can pass Dolby Digital 5.1 signals from HDMI to optical cable. There are a lot of TVs, particularly Samsung TVs, that don't do this. To address this, I needed to buy an optical audio switcher so I could have my console and blu-ray player and TV connected to the Sonos - using a switch to change the audio input.
To summarise: it's a good speaker when on it's own, but there are cheaper standalone soundbars out there that do the same job. It is however spectacular when it's paired with satellites for surround sound, and when you have other Sonos speakers around the house with which it can coordinate. Check your TV can pass DD5.1 from HDMI to optical, or buy an optical switch.