Sonos PLAYBASE Soundbar Announced
Off the wall
Sonos has officially announced the latest addition to its wireless home sound system range, a soundbar / soundbase product named the PLAYBASE.
The launch was inspired by the insight that up to 70% of all TVs stand on furniture and are not mounted to the wall. PLAYBASE is a thin speaker that sits under the TV. It’s just 58 mm in height but still packs in 10 drivers. It’s designed to look as though as if it was cut from a single piece of granite - which it sort of does – and the construction comes together with no visible joins although the casing does have 43,000 tiny holes that make up an acoustically transparent grille
“When we think about what product we’ll invent next, we think first about the home, and the role each of our products play in the home. What we realized is that PLAYBAR only met the need of the small percentage of homes where people mount their televisions on the wall,” said Sonos CEO, Patrick Spence. “We saw a tremendous opportunity to deliver great sound in great style for the majority of homes where the TV sits on a piece of furniture. It was a huge challenge where we pushed the boundaries of design, acoustics, materials, wireless and software, and we can’t wait for people to bring it home.”
PLAYBASE should be easy to control and set-up using just two cords (optical and power – so no HDMI). It expands to other rooms when wirelessly connected to your Sonos home sound system, and, says Sonos, is equal parts TV speaker and music speaker, with access to more than 80 music services. Later this year, like every other Sonos speaker, you’ll soon be able to control PLAYBASE using your voice and any Amazon Alexa enabled device.
"We have built a product that can not only handle the complexities of home theater – delivering open and natural sound, clear dialogue, and immersive bass that fills the room – but also fits perfectly in any home environment,” said Giles Martin, Sound Experience Leader at Sonos. “The challenge with PLAYBASE was upholding the desire for it to be beautiful from all angles without compromising any of our design, acoustics or engineering principles. We were obsessive in our approach and decisions, resisting every urge to pack anything in here that wasn’t needed, and custom built everything else to find the perfect fit - it’s our thinnest, most beautiful speaker yet.”
All of PLAYBASE’s 10 custom-designed drivers have dedicated amplifiers – six mid-range, three tweeters, and one woofer – and are powered by software to control the sound coming from each transducer. The result, it’s claimed, is a sound stage much wider than the speaker itself.
With software, Sonos says it's also able to deliver flexible control experiences – whether with your TV remote, Sonos app, or select partner apps—and add new features over time. This includes Trueplay, recently available for Sonos’ home theatre products, which adjusts the sound of PLAYBASE to the specifics of any particular room. In addition, Dialogue Enhancement and Night Mode, both options within the Sonos App, allow for enhanced vocal clarity or toned down bass for loud action scenes.
Priced at £699 and available in both black and white, PLAYBASE will be available globally starting on April 4, 2017.
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