Sonos Playbar Review & Comments

Discussion in 'Soundbars, Soundplates & Soundbases' started by Phil Hinton, Apr 2, 2018.


    1. Greg Hook

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    2. Soundizer

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      No HDMI ARC is show stopper for many.

      Excellent Streaming Services support.
       
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    3. Ste7en

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      Great review. I'm trying to talk the Mrs into us getting one for our living room.

      Love that you can expand upon it and have a wireless 5.1 setup in the living room (wires everywhere are a big no-no in our living room unfortunately).

      No HDMI is a bit odd though.
       
    4. Cameron583

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      I've gone from a Playbar + Sub to a 2.1 setup Inc a Denon X2400, and can't say I find ARC all that useful. In fact, it's more annoying than useful - if I turn the amp on before the TV, the sound goes through the TV rather than the speakers.

      I think Sonos did the right thing. Adding an HDMI would cause problems where it'd become 'old and out dated' when a new HDMI version is introduced. You don't get that issue with optical. Sonos' ethos has always been about longevity, how you can buy a speaker and it'll be updated for years to come with new features and improvements.
       
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    5. barry7767

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      You may not become out dated, but rather you may consider you already are. I run a 2.1 set up in lounge rather than a soundbar, and demo'd the Sonos a number of times before deciding (have it around house).

      I use ARC and get clear benefits from Dolby Digital+ on Netflix and the lossless formats if watching a Bluray. It isn't just about surround sound, rather the quality of the audio too. You just don't get the high res benefit with the Sonos. That's not to say it doesn't sound good, but seems a waste to me that you miss out on the better mixes, and for that price.
       
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    6. Cameron583

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      Does optical not support the formats you listed?

      I think one would be hard pushed to tell the difference in sound quality with the Sonos stuff though - it's not transparent enough. Definitely a pleasing sound rather than analytical
       
    7. barry7767

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      It doesn't no, HDMI needed. I guess its impossible to say whether it would benefit/improve it as it cannot accept the signal to test - that alone rules it out for me and many others.
       
    8. Scotland11

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      I have a couple Play 1s and love them. I so wanted Sonos to update the Playbar to include HDMI pass through and DTS support. If they had done so I would have happily bought one or even two. I have a large blu-ray collection (400+ movies) the majority of which are encoded in DTS. With that I can’t justify nearly £700 on a sound bar that doesn’t include rears or a sub. It’s gone up in price since it launched and yet hasn’t add new features.

      The Playbar has been on the market a long time. I think they’ve relaunched most of the product line in that time. I can only hope they do the same for the Playbar with 4K/HDR and Atmos/DTS-X support. Perhaps when e-arc comes along.
       
    9. HMHB

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      As a matter of interest, do these blu-rays only have a DTS soundtrack? I've only got DVDs so no idea about blu-rays etc :)
       
    10. Scotland11

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      Largely yes. Certainly for lossless soundtracks. They tend to be either DTS HD Master Audio or Dolby HD. With majority being DTS on Blu-ray. Although UHD Blu-ray seems to be moving more towards Atmos for new releases than DTS-X.
       
    11. low-def.

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      Looked at getting one of these a few times, but have always decided against it due to it seemed so out of date.
      Currently using the Samsung 650 bar following a demo played alongside the Sonos. The Samsung sounded much better to me and has many more of the current gen features and for much less.
      Sonos need to update and relaunch the playbar.
       
    12. BringTrumpets

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      I've been a fan of Sonos speakers for a long time, the original joy in the gear is that it 'just works', and needs limited technical nous to get going.

      With the bar\base the optical input is a limitation and a barrier for some potential customers and doesn't follow the same simple setup. Yes one cable is easy to wire, but working out whether your kit will switch for you, or setting up a seperate inline switch (faff) is beyond some basic users. Multiple HDMI in would be a benefit and simplify the installation and operation. Add to that the cost of system in total and you could have a decent separates system going, or change from splurging on more advanced bars.

      The biggest barrier to a Sonos fan such as me is that both the Play Bar and Base seem to be in need of an update in view of the Sony and Samsung Atmos\DTS-X offerings. For a few £ more I can get a systems that will stay technically relevant for a lot longer.
       
    13. Scotland11

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      It's been out for about 5 years and has actually gone up in price.
       
    14. Greg Hook

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      Indeed. Thanks to Brexit, it actually went up by £100.
       
    15. HMHB

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      I think it probably went up in price everywhere if memory serves me right ? Apple did the same with their prices at the same time.
       
    16. BringTrumpets

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      We must be due a price cut soon then, since their reasoning was the USD to GBP exchange rate which has now almost recovered. Alternatively Brexit was an excuse.
       
    17. Greg Hook

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      You'd think so, but all these companies are quick to put prices up when there is a valid excuse, but then they don't drop them as quick when the reverse applies.
       
    18. curvature

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      I'll add my comments too.

      In the past I have had full on systems that took a lot of setting up, had metres of cabling that I had to conceal around the room and generally took a lot of effort to use.

      Where Sonos score is ease of use mixed with good quality sound and reliability.

      I'm not a massive film or TV viewer but do like to have a full range of sounds when watching TV and the odd film or music video and this is where I find Sonos works well. My set up comprises Soundbar, Sub and 2 x Play 1's and everyone in the family can use it.

      What surprised me at the weekend though is playing Gary Numan's Savage album whilst cleaning the log burner out. It was playing through all of the Sonos gear and the sound was just incredible, it really suited such a strong sounding album.

      I will add that my main listening system system comprises a Linn LP12, Naim amp and Monitor Audio speakers but that is just a listening experience.

      The Sonos gear has nothing on the HiFi but again it is good at what it does.

      It really depends on what you want and how much you want to spend.
       
    19. bromberg

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      I agree. Or mostly;). HDMI is really a faulty standard in terms of ARC and CEC. I think sonos to this day still clap in there hands on this decision.
      Otherwise there forums and Communities would would have been overloaded with hdmi issues. Sonos doesnt have that problem. And honestly? HD sound on a soundbar? Is it that important?
      Well the trend these days are atmos and i think sonos will look into a more surround minded setup WHEN hdmi 2.1 are available.


      BUT, dts support would be nice. The only thing i miss with hdmi is volume control via cec. I would love to control the sonos volume on my apple remote app.

      Maybe it will be possible if Sonos supports airplay 2.
       
    20. HMHB

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      As a matter of interest, if I did get a Playbar and hook it up to my Sky box (for example), do I get the choice of where the sound comes from? I wouldn't always want the sound to come out of the soundbar as on some broadcasts I find the surround sound annoying. When watching some sports for example I'd prefer the sound to still come out of the television.
       
    21. Greg Hook

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      You'd be best to hook it up to your TV if it has an optical out.
      That way when the Playbar is on the sound will come from that, but when turned off the sound should come from the TV. Perhaps the Sky box works that way too?
       
    22. Qactuar

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      Still no DTS from Sonos? For this sort of money, there's no excuse in my opinion.
       
    23. pr1vatepiles

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      Got sonos gear set up in my living room. Two play one's and the playbar. Currently saving for the sub as it's the only product I can't get a discount on through work. Having heard the gear in demo and at a friends house, i was sold on the quality. I was originally concerned about DTS, but it's so far not been a problem for me. Any disks with DTS on have been handled by the one x without issue, and aside from converting a few titles on my media server, it's been fine.

      Well worth the investment if you can find the gear at a good price. The price rise with brexit certainly wasn't nice.
       
    24. HMHB

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      I don’t have any outputs on my television so I’d have to swap between the Sky box and the DVD player to be able to output to the playbar.
       
    25. HMHB

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      Not sure why people keep blaming Brexit for the price rise. That’s maybe the excuse they used and the reason some parts of the press wanted us to believe but it’s just an excuse as far as I’m concerned. The pound was always due to drop in value back then and it did, but since then it’s grown in strength and we haven’t seen that reflected in prices.

      It was the same with the global depression, companies just used that as an excuse to get rid of people.
       
    26. rb212

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      Brexit nothing to do with it its just way over priced
       
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    27. youngsyp

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      As many have stated, the lack of HDMI is what put me off buying one of these. That and the lack of modern sound format support. Plus, only 1 TOSLINK port? For most of us, that puts a reliance on our TVs being able to act as a switch and not screw up the HDMI to optical conversion/ audio passthrough.

      That's why I bought an Arcam Solo Bar. It supports the modern sound formats (not Atmos of course...) and has HDMI ports although I will freely admit, the support from Arcam is pretty woeful, with the Bluetooth issue I've had with it.

      Paul
       
      Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
    28. youngsyp

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      Because...

      No maybe about it.

      And to be more specific, they blamed the $ to £ exchange rate, as also mentioned above.

      Put whatever spin on it you want but, those are the facts.

      Paul
       
    29. duffbeerdrinker

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      I love the sound quality and app features of Sonos - we had a couple of Play 1's and a Play 3 around the house for music.
      I used to have a full surround setup with amp etc but got tired of the complicated setup and wires all over the living room.

      I really wanted a Playbar but resisted for a long time due to the lack of DTS support and no HDMI but there were rumours that Sonos may include these at some point. When they released the Playbase with the same connections and features I realised they would probably never change their opinion about the inputs and so I took the plunge.

      Not cheap by any means but I now use the Play 1's as surround, a Playbar and the Sub. I set my PS4 to output Dolby Digital rather than DTS and never looked back.
      The sound quality is incredible when you consider the size of the speakers and I really don't feel the need for Atmos etc so the Sonos is perfect.

      It's the only wireless speaker system that I have tried that actually works reliably. I thought the lack of HDMI would annoy me but it is so simple to use the Sonos system that I think it is unnecessary. Very high WAF with this setup!
       
    30. pr1vatepiles

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      It's a fair comment. But most people took sonos at their word. They did send messages out before the raise to warn people. Not often you that these days.
       

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