Sonos is making a foray into the world of surround sound with the introduction of their new PLAYBAR soundbar in March 2013. That’s just next month!
A few of us were lucky enough to experience the PLAYBAR prototype last September. Unfortunately, we all had to sign non-disclosure agreements and could not talk about it to anyone! Now you can check out the Sonos intro video here.
With the PLAYBAR, Sonos makes adding better sound to the bedroom or secondary TV as easy as adding another zone of Sonos. When we first heard about it, we wondered how Sonos would solve the problem of needing a remote to change and control your TV content and needing their IOS or Android app to control the volume of their PLAYBAR. Every other Sonos component uses the great Sonos app for volume control, so we were puzzled as to what their solution might be. Well, they hit a home run! The PLAYBAR will learn the volume up/down/mute functions of your remote! So for watching TV, just pick up your smart remote (or cable/dish/DirecTV remote if you’re not lucky enough to have a custom Audio Advice remote) and it all works seamlessly. Then when you want to play music, the PLAYBAR acts just like another zone of Sonos on your IOS or Android device! How cool is that?
Better yet, switching is a snap. Simply feed the HDMI outputs of your TV service device (your Apple TV or Roku, Bluray player and whatever else you have) into your TV. The PLAYBAR has a single optical input. Most current TVs have optical out, so you will run that into the PLAYBAR. When the PLAYBAR sees this input go active when your TV turns on, it will switch to the optical input. Turn off your TV, and you are back to music!
For older TVs with just a cable or sat box, you can run the digital out of the box into the PLAYBAR and the video to the TV.
The PLAYBAR is set up to work well with the SUB from Sonos and you can even add a set of PLAY3 speakers for rear channels. It has 9 drivers to provide full surround sound.
We think the PLAYBAR will be just perfect for secondary TV systems. I saved the best part for last: it’s only $699!
We are now taking pre-orders and will have another review once we get one in to play with and put through its paces!