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4 Year Asurion Home Audio & Video Accident Protection Planfrom Asurion, LLC
- Covers drops, spills and cracks and other mechanical and electrical breakdowns.
- No deductibles or hidden fees. Free shipping on all repairs. Fully transferable.
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Sonos PLAYBAR TV Soundbar/ Wireless Streaming TV and Music Speaker. Works with Alexa.
- Complements HD television screens with crisp and powerful sound from nine amplified speaker drivers. Wirelessly streams all your favorite music services too.
- Connect your Playbar to any Amazon Echo or Alexa-enabled device, then just ask for the music you love.
- Syncs wirelessly with other Sonos speakers so you can listen to TV or music in perfect sync, throughout your home.
- Pair with two Play:1s and a Sub for a 5.1 surround system, the ultimate home theater experience.
- Simple two-cord setup. One for power and one for the TV. Control from your existing TV remote, or wirelessly connect on the Sonos app from your smart device.
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From the manufacturer
Not just louder. Clearer.
Thin is great for TV screens, but not so great for sound. Playbar to the rescue. With nine amplified speaker drivers—six mid-range and three tweeters—Playbar replaces your TV's built-in speakers with deep, rumbling lows, crystal-clear dialog, and immersive waves of sound.
What you see is what you hear.
Playbar features nine speakers designed in a phased speaker array to deliver 'directionality', creating a wider sound stage.
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|Item Dimensions||5.51 x 35.43 x 3.33 in||35 x 5.12 x 2.12 in||36.62 x 4.25 x 2.38 in||21.5 x 3.38 x 2.75 in||40 x 2.8 x 4.1 in||18.44 x 38.56 x 8.69 in|
|Item Weight||11.9 lbs||7.5 lbs||6 lbs||3.7 lbs||7 lbs||23.8 lbs|
PLAYBAR´s nine–speaker design floods your home with huge waves of epic, full–theater sound for TV, Web, Movies and Video Games. It is also a stand–alone all–in–one Sonos player that allows you to wirelessly stream all the music on earth—your iTunes library, your favorite music services, and thousands of Internet radio stations, shows and podcasts.PLAYBAR connects to your TV using a single optical cable and power cord and plays everything that is connected to your TV, from cable boxes to gaming consoles. Connect PLAYBAR or BRIDGE to your wireless router and link all Sonos players wirelessly with one touch. NOTE: To get started, you must wire either one player or BRIDGE to your home network using a standard Ethernet cable.
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Set up is easy, sound quality is good for the unit. It's a nice product and looks great while being easy to operate (although more reliant on the Sonos application than I'd prefer). It's the typical awesomeness that you get with any Sonos product.
When testing the Playbar with a direct connection to a device (e.g. Apple TV) and running it compared to my 5 speaker system through my receiver I was impressed with the quality. Sound was more spread out and filled the room better but dialog/center was ultimately a bit shallow feeling. If you turn on speech enhancement in the menu it helps out but something still feels slightly off. It's something you're unlikely to notice unless you're actively comparing like I was but to the Playbar's credit it was no slouch. I had a few people compare with me and everyone picked the typical 5.1 setup for better sound but had positive things to say about the Playbar - mainly noting its shallow feel in certain rangers and with dialog as the main issues.
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 (DD) 5.1 surround from HDMI to the digital/optical audio. If it's from the TV itself (such as Netflix on a smart TV) or input directly from the coaxial cable it will pass 5.1 through the optical port BUT not from HDMI. This is either required to be HDCP compliant or is a licensing/cost issue (not sure). There are a few tv's that do this but they're few and far between and hard to verify.
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
+Decent sound from stereo source
---Single optical input only
--No DTS support
--Entire package is expensive for 5.1 (or even 3.1)
The only scenario I can see this being a good thing is if you have a room where you want to add a Sonos component and a soundbar to and you want to do it in a single package without caring about other components, like for a Den or a bedroom. Any other solution seems like there'd be a better option.
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.
Had I known about the tv's not passing through audio I wouldn't have bought this. My mistake, honestly, but it just makes it baffling as to why Sonos didn't provide different input options. As it stands I'm returning it. Hopefully Sonos will look in to making an HDMI hub option as an accessory.
** Update **
The landscape has changed in terms of tvs that do pass 5.1 through and it's better. It's still difficult to determine precisely so I'd suggest checking forums to see if your TV does in indeed pass 5.1 out. My 2015 LG OLED does not but I'm under the impression the 2017 models do, possibly the 2016 models for example. That all said I think my points made above still stand. Most existing TVs don't do this and it's still very hard to verify.
Additionally I'd like to note the omission of another audio format, Dolby Atmos. Sonos says they elected to omit this on the Playbase (the related product to this) because so few things used it and they wanted to focus on streaming but the issue is this limits user choice. Vudu, Netflix, and iTunes support or will support Dolby Atmos. There are likely more services that do as well.
They have their very specific viewpoint of how people should use this product and with what (5.1 over optical in DD, steaming services) and that options aren't needed. There are better products out there, especially for the total money spent. I'm not saying there's no market for this or it's terrible - if you have a TV that passes 5.1 and you don't care about DTS and Dolby Atmos it's a fine product and exactly the scenario that Sonos has in mind. But if you want options or don't have a TV that will and you'll be limited to stereo, look elsewhere then. You can do better or cheaper. It's just a shame that Sonos continues to limit this product as, when it works as they want it to, it's great.
Summary : I was so excited by the concept of a Playbar. I have Sonos speakers in two other rooms of my house, but it is unfortunately not integrated in my two rooms with surround sound speaker systems. I would kill to have Sonos wireless music in those rooms, but seamlessly integrate with my existing A/V setups. That is what Playbar is for. Super exciting. While the setup experience and audio quality of Playbar is great and up to the usual Sonos quality bar, it unfortunately doesn't work with my Sharp Aqous TV, and I think that might be the tiny Achilles heel of this product. It probably works with most, but not every HDTV, due to a basic setup assumption. I love the Playbar concept, and it probably works great for most people!
I got this product to integrate into my main living room A/V experience. My LR is about 20'x16' with no separation from another 20'x16' dining room. Relatively big space to fill with audio. I've got a relatively generic 5 speaker setup, with no sub because everyone else in the house complains about the noise level when it is enabled ;-) I mounted my Sharp Aquos 46D62U on the wall, and ran HDMI and component
in-wall between a lower cabinet and the wall plate behind the Sharp. Pretty standard. I've got a number of HDMI sources running into a Onkyo amp, then one HDMI from the amp to the TV through the in-wall wiring. My goal in adding Playbar was to disable the existing room speakers, and use the Playbar as the audio source. I would get full Sonos integration plus audio from my existing PS3, Xbox 360, and AppleTV. Wee!
The out of the box experience was mostly to Sonos's standard quality level. I've come to expect that setup is very easy, and it was. They've added the steps needed to check audio coming from your TV source, and to configure your remote control to change volume on the Playbar. This all worked well for me.
The sound quality was also up to the high Sonos standards. I loved having my music collection seamlessly stream into my living room, finally. And as I'll explain in a minute, when I tested with an alternate TV, the audio quality for game (PS3, Xbox 360) and movie sources was quite good. I think for bigger rooms you'll want to add the Sonos Sub for depth, but for smaller rooms the sound was high quality and bright.
There were two big gotchas that will not affect everyone, but affected me. I think it is important to understand them before purchasing a Playbar:
1 - If you have an in-wall installation for your TV, adding/retrofitting Playbar into the environment is not hard, but requires some manual dexterity and a longer digital audio cable than ships in the box. Most people with an in-wall installation do not think of putting optical audio cables into the wall during the initial buildout. Audio was supposed to transfer via HDMI in the new world order. This means you have to difficultly get behind the TV (most of the time flush mounted), plug in an optical audio cable, then run this unsightly cable down from the TV to the Playbar. I went in-wall because I wanted a nice aesthetic, but that cable ruins the clean visual experience.
The optical cable that ships with the Playbar is way too short for most runs from the back of a wall mounted TV to the Playbar. Most TVs have their connections in the back to one side (right, often), so you have to run the optical cable back to center, then straight drop it to the center of the Playbar where its connectors are. If you don't want an oddly angled cable running from the Playbar to the TV, this involves a few 90 degree bends, which adds to the required cable length. The Sonos supplied short optical cable was in no way long enough for this, but as a bit of an audio geek, I had extra optical cables of various lengths. If you don't have extra optical cables of longer length, be prepared to buy one to finish this install. This is a rare "fit and finish" miss for Sonos.
2 - The basic premise of the Playbar solution is that you run all HDMI to the TV, then an optical audio cable from the TV to the Playbar. This is a huge assumption about the age of most people's TVs. New TVs have plenty of HDMI ports and the assumption that there is a working audio optical out is probably ok. What I learned is that my older (sold in 2006-2008 at high volume) but still good Sharp Aquos 46D62U has that optical audio out, but it was designed only for ATSC (over the air HDTV) audio. It is not a generic pass-through audio port. Translation, the Playbar does not work with my TV. But I had no way of knowing this when I got the Playbar. There is no list I could find of TVs that will not work with the Playbar, but I can guarantee these exist. It took me three hours of super geeking to learn all of this, buried in manuals and AVForum posts. In this way I'm not the average Sonos customer, as less of a geek would have gotten frustrated and taken something back well before this.
I trust Sonos, and assume that the vast majority of TVs work with this digital audio pass-through model. I grabbed a newer Sony TV I had stored and hooked it up outside my home theatre room, and it worked well. Maybe mine is a rare case, but I wonder with less expensive or older HDTVs, will Playbar work every time. Hopefully FAQs will quickly appear documenting the few TVs that won't work with Playbar, so you don't have to order something that has a very low but possible chance of not working with your TV...
All in all, I really love the Playbar concept, and wish, oh wish, it had worked in my main home theatre room. The sound quality is great and setup is a breeze. Now to convince my wife I need a new TV for the living room?!