Recommend Sonos – Playbar Soundbar Wireless Speaker

I hooked this up to my girlfriend’s pair of Play 3’s in her living room in order to set up [surround] sound for her TV/AppleTV. We moved the 3’s to rear surrounds and use just the Playbar under the TV. I have to say, despite being an audiophile and knowing full well that Sonos doesn’t come close to leading the pack in terms of raw fidelity… I almost don’t care because they sound great and Sonos makes it sooooo painless to set things up. Within moments (and virtually zero effort on our part), we had beautiful surround sound for movies!

Pros: easy to set up. Works well with Alexa. Sound is excellent. Integrates well with TV. Looks high end.
Cons: Expensive. IR receiver doesn’t work well in one orientation. Doesn’t integrate with the sound display on the TV.

We’ve been fans of Sonos since we bought our first Play:5, 10 years ago. Sonos is still the best electronic device we have ever purchased. Lately we have appreciated the ease and convenience of using voice commands of Alexa to listen to music. In fact we have sometimes listened to the speaker on the echo dot despite it’s obviously inferior sound. Since the update allowing integration with Alexa, we use the speaker for just about everything, except to ask Alexa questions.

With this in mind, I purchased this Playbar to use with the TV. I wasn’t sure if I’d have to configure it each time I turned the TV on, or how easy it would be to set up with Alexa. Once we set it up to work with the TV, it just comes on automatically. There is only a slight delay of a second or so before the sound comes on with the TV. I don’t have the turn the speaker on separately. It also works very well with Alexa. You can listen to music withe the TV either on or off. If you are listening to music and then turn the TV on, the speaker will switch to TV sound. We’ve tried the night time mode that turns down the loud parts of a movie down, so you don’t disrupt the neighborhood. It’s easy to set this using the Sonos app. The Palybar has only one physical connection in addition to its wireless one and that is an optical connection. I was a little concerned that my TV didn’t have an optical connection, but I think this is fairly standard and that most sound bars of various brands connect via optical connection. My TV has an optical connection.

I had no problem setting up the Playbar to the Alexa/echo system, although I can’t explain the process. We did find that the IR receiver with the speaker sitting more upright, such as you might have it, if you were connecting it to the TV with a bracket only worked if you were standing within 5 feet or so. The IR receiver oriented in the way you would rest the speaker on a table of fireplace mantle worked well from far away, so that’s the way we oriented the speaker and fortunately it turned out to be the way we prefer.

The price on this product is high. I think it’s worth more than the typical sound bar system for its sound quality and the things it can do. How much more is an individual decision. For someone considering a sound bar and a separate sound system and an echo speaker, the choice is more clear. And echo dot and the Sonos Playbar could give you the capabilities of a whole bunch of different systems and do it more elegantly.

Looks are a matter of personal preference, but I think the Playbar looks and feels high end.

I can’t see a situation where you’d be disappointed with the Sonos Playbar if you are looking for a high-quality sound bar. The new integration of Sonos products with Alexa/echo really takes an already great product and brings the most updated convenience.

This Sonos device integrates with other Sonos products, including the Sonos Subwoofer. You could connect a 5.1 system wirelessly. We haven’t done this and probably won’t, but if you were considering running wires through your walls, the high expense of a lot of Sonos speakers might offset some of the installation time/expense. Keep in mind that each speaker will still have to be plugged into a power outlet.

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