TV sound bar/wireless music system
Our take on the Sonos Playbar by Crutchfield's Tara W.
The sound bar for music lovers
This is no ordinary sound bar. The Sonos Playbar connects to your TV to play movies, TV shows, and sports with vibrant, room-filling sound. But, unlike other sound bars and like all Sonos speakers, it offers wireless access to a world full of music — Pandora®, Spotify®, Beats Music™, thousands of Internet radio stations, and more. Control the Playbar using your TV's remote control and using the free Sonos app for smartphones and tablets to stream digital music.
The technology behind the Sonos Playbar
The nine-speaker Playbar features three tweeters and six midrange speakers for cinematic sound without loading your room up with speakers. Built-in amplification and processing can handle Dolby® Digital and lossless audio formats. And the Playbar's automatic equalization self-adjusts to the program material to provide rich, seamless sound.
Three options for home theater sound
Clearer TV sound
All by itself, the Playbar acts as your front left, center channel, and front right home theater speakers. Connect it to your TV with an included optical digital cable for clean, clear sound from TV shows and movies.
Pair a Sonos Sub with the Playbar to add bass impact to your home theater system. The Sub pairs wirelessly with the Playbar at the touch of a button. It's a simple way to enjoy rich, full sound.
Add two Sonos Play:1, Play:3, or Play:5 speakers to the Playbar and Sub for a complete, wraparound movie theater experience in your living room. Like the Sub, the Play:3 speakers wirelessly connect to the Playbar so you don't have to run speaker wire around your room.
Note: You can set up a home theater system with the Playbar , the Sub, and other Sonos speakers as surrounds, all without making a wired connection to your router. However, for challenging Wi-Fi® environments we recommend adding the optional Sonos Boost (not included) to make a stable wireless connection.
The Sonos app gives you easy wireless control
Control the Playbar volume and mute functions using your existing TV, cable, or universal remote. The free Sonos Controller App lets you control the Playbar with your smartphone or tablet and allows you to stream music to the Playbar even when your TV is off.
Spotify®, Apple Music™, SiriusXM, and more at your fingertips
The Sonos system works seamlessly with a host of streaming music services, including Pandora®, Spotify, Apple Music, Rhapsody®, TIDAL and more. You also have access to thousands of Internet radio stations from around the world through TuneIn Radio, and terrestrial radio stations through iHeartRadio. If you subscribe to SiriusXM Internet Radio, you can tune into all your favorite programming on any Sonos player in your system.
Play music stored on your iPhone®, iPad®, or iPod touch®
Sonos now gives you convenient wireless access to music and podcasts stored in the Music app of iOS devices, for playback throughout your entire Sonos system. This feature works on devices running iOS6 or later (see below for full list of compatible Apple devices). The system even lets you connect multiple Apple players at once. For instance, you can queue up songs from your iPhone to play in the kitchen while you cook, and your spouse can stream a podcast in the den at the same time.
- plays TV sound, music from the web, and digital audio files on your home network
- built-in amplifiers and nine built-in speakers (three tweeters and six midrange drivers)
- communicates with other Sonos players via Wi-Fi or a dedicated Sonosnet 2.0 wireless network
- control your Sonos system with your smartphone, tablet, or computer (via the free Sonos app)
- plays MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, and Ogg Vorbis files (firmware is upgradable to support future audio formats)
- compatible with protected WMA files from Napster, Urge, AOL, and many other music download sites
- not compatible with protected AAC files from iTunes
- play music and podcasts stored in the Music app of an iPhone (3GS or later), iPad (iPad 2 or later), and iPod touch (4th generation or later)
- plays MP3 and WMA streaming Internet radio stations
- plays songs from Rhapsody® digital music service subscription required after free 30-day trial
- plays songs from SIRIUS® Internet Radio subscription required after free 30-day trial
- plays personalized Internet radio stations from Pandora®
- multi-zone synchronous playback (same music plays in multiple zones simultaneously) or multi-stream playback (each plays individually selected music)
- connects to your TV, Blu-ray player or cable box via an included optical digital audio cable
- accepts Dolby Digital and 2-channel PCM audio signals
- use your TV or cable remote to adjust volume or mute the Sonos PLAYBAR
- top-mounted controls for volume, muting, and play/pause
- bass, treble, balance, and volume controls accessible via remote
- 2-port Ethernet switch
- compatible with Windows® (XP or higher operating system)
- compatible with Mac® (OS X 10.4 or higher operating system)
- AC adapter included
- optional wall mount kit allows for easy placement near a wall-mounted HDTV
- 35-1/2"W x 5-1/2"H x 3-5/16"D
- weight: 11.9 lbs.
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- requires high-speed Internet connection
What's in the Box:
- Active soundbar speaker
- 6.5' AC power cord
- 5' Optical digital cable
- 59" Ethernet cable
- Quick Start Guide
- Important Product Information Booklet
What a great solution for a large room with very high ceilings and terrible acoustics. A great companion for my new LG OLED 55 TV, and provides lush sound from all sources. Great look, simple set up, and, I think, a terrific value.
Randy, Sedona, AZ
Features and Specs
|Pieces in System||1|
|Tweeter||3 Dome tweeters|
|Midrange||6 Midrange drivers|
|Surround Sound Decoding||5.1-channel|
|4K Video Compatible||No|
|HDR Video Compatible||No|
|Audio Return Channel||No|
|Remote IR Passthrough||Yes|
|Works with TV Remote (IR)||Yes|
|Control by App||Apple iOS, Android|
|Mounting Bracket Included||Optional|
|Surface Mount Stand Included||No|
|Speaker Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Speaker Labor Warranty||1 Year|
|Amplifier Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Amplifier Labor Warranty||1 Year|
|System Frequency Response||Not Given|
|Sound Bar RMS Power||Not given|
|Subwoofer RMS Power||N/A|
|Inputs and Outputs|
|Mini Stereo Audio Inputs||None|
|RCA Stereo Audio Inputs||None|
|Optical Digital Audio Inputs||1|
|Coaxial Digital Audio Inputs||None|
|Sound Bar (inches)||3-5/16H x 35-1/2W x 5-1/2D|
|Sound Bar Weight||11.9 lbs|
|Subwoofer (inches)||No Subwoofer|
Soundbar Speaker: Complement your flat-panel television with the Sonos PlayBar soundbar speaker for rich, room-filling HiFi sound. The Sonos PlayBar is simple to setup, control, and expand. It requires only two cable connections - a power cord & optical digital audio cable.The PlayBar supports playback of all sources connected to your TV; such as cable/satellite, Blu-ray/DVD player, video game system, etc. The Sonos PlayBar can also wirelessly stream music from your computer, as well as various online music services and Internet Radio. The PlayBar can even sync with other Sonos speakers wirelessly. The unit can be controlled from your TV's remote, or by your Apple iOS device or Android smartphone using the free Sonos App from iTunes or Google Play.
Note: The PlayBar works with all amplified and non-amplified Sonos products (sold separately).
Active 9-Speaker Design: The Sonos PlayBar soundbar speaker features a sophisticated 9-speaker design with six midrange drivers and three tweeters (the left & right tweeters are angled for a wider sound stage). Each speaker is driven by a perfectly matched Class D amplifier. The PlayBar acts as your front left, front right, and center-channel speaker.
Optical Digital Input (Dolby Digital/PCM): The Sonos PlayBar soundbar speaker connects to your television via its optical (toslink) digital input. The unit supports both Dolby Digital (5.1ch) and PCM (2ch) audio signals through its digital input. Make sure to turn your television's speakers off.
- Dolby Digital: Your television's off-air and network movie apps can be delivered in Dolby Digital format to the PlayBar. The PlayBar will decode and utilize up to six discrete sound channels (five channels for center, right front, left front, right rear, and left rear; and 1 discrete Low-Frequency Effects (LFE) or subwoofer channel) available through the Dolby Digital format. Not compatible with Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS HD, or any other surround format (only supports Dolby Digital 2ch to 5.1ch).
- Stereo/PCM: AV sources connected to your TV (such as Blu-ray, cable/satellite, video game) are delivered in Stereo/PCM format to the PlayBar. The PLAYBAR will decode the Stereo/PCM format into a left front and right front channels directly from the 2 channel Stereo provided and will decode a matrixed center, right rear, left rear, and subwoofer channel from the audio signal.
Note: The digital optical output terminals of most newer flat-panel TVs only send an audio signal in 5.1ch when receiving Dolby Digital/DTS surround sound from the TV's built-in tuner, network connection, or connected USB device; and will output only 2ch stereo from sources connected to the TV via HDMI, or RCA (like your Blue-ray/DVD player or satellite/cable box).
Trueplay Tuning (for Apple iOS): The layout of a room, and where a speaker is placed, can have a significant impact on the sound that you hear. Trueplay, an auto-tune app within the Sonos App, uses the microphone in your Apple iOS 8.0+ device to measure how sound reflects off walls, furnishings and other surfaces in a room, and then fine tunes the Sonos PlayBar speaker to make sure it sounds great no matter where you've placed it. The Sonos PlayBar speaker already sounds fantastic, but Trueplay brings you even closer to how music should sound. Completing Trueplay tuning for a room takes approximately 3 minutes from start to finish.
Note: Trueplay is currently not compatible with Android.
Equalization (EQ): During the PlayBar setup process you will be guided through its audio calibration process. If desired, you can change the sound settings (bass, treble or loudness) for the Sonos PlayBar. Bass boosts lower frequencies, treble boosts higher frequencies, while loudness boosts both bass and treble to improve the sound at low volume.
Sound Options: The Sonos PlayBar offers various sound settings to customize your listening experience.
- Speech Enhancements: The Speech Enhancement setting makes the TV dialog easier to hear.
- Night Sound: The Night Sound setting adjusts the audio for night time viewing so you can reduce the volume and still experience proper balance and range. At lower volumes, quiet sounds are enhanced and the intensity of loud sounds is reduced.
- Audio Delay (Lip Sync): You can increase or decrease the sound delay if the image on your TV and the sound from the PlayBar are not in sync.
TV Auto Play: When TV Auto Play is set to On, TV audio automatically plays through the PlayBar when you turn on your television. If music is playing when the TV is turned on, the music immediately stops and the PlayBar switches to TV audio.
IR Sensor/Repeater: The Sonos PlayBar speaker does not come with a remote, but does offer a built-in IR sensor and IR repeater. You can program your TV's remote control to operate volume up/down of the system. If the PlayBar blocks your TV's IR sensor, the unit's IR repeater allows the remote signal to pass through the PlayBar to your TV.
Note: Many newer TVs are coming with RF remotes and don't offer IR functionality. In this case, you would not be able to program the soundbar and TV remote to work together.
Wireless 5.1ch Speaker System: Add the Sonos Sub 1 Wireless Powered Subwoofer and a pair of Sonos One, Play:1, Play:3, or Play:5 speakers for a wireless 5.1ch surround sound experience (sub and speakers sold separately). Now you don't have to run wires to a powered sub or rear speakers to enjoy true 5.1ch audio. In conjunction with the Sonos Boost, you can even use the Sonos Connect:Amp as a rear amplifier with separate rear speakers; in this configuration you will still need to run wire between the rear speakers and the Connect:Amp (Boost, Connect:Amp, and speakers sold separately).
Mounting Options: The PlayBar can sit above or beneath your flat-panel TV on a shelf, or mounted on a wall using optional wall mount bracket (616PBWLMNT, sold separately). When mounting the speaker below a television, allow 1" of clearance between the PlayBar and the TV. When mounting the speaker above a television, allow 2" of clearance between the PlayBar and the TV. Do not place the PlayBar in a cabinet or on a walled shelf. Both ends of the soundbar speaker should be at least 1' from a wall or other obstruction.
Sonos Multiroom Eco-System: The Playbar is part of the Sonos wireless multiroom music eco-system consisting of a family of wireless network speakers, players, and amplifiers. Start with the Playbar soundbar speaker and add other Sonos products - including the Sonos PLAY:1 / PLAY:3 / PLAY:5 powered speakers, the Sonos One voice-activated speaker, and the Sonos Connect:Amp / Connect zone players (all sold separately). With multiple zones, you can play the same or different songs in different rooms of your home. Up to 32 Sonos devices can be connected in one system.
Two Ways to Connect Wirelessly: Sonos brings great sounding music wirelessly to any room in your house, without a big wiring project through SonosNet or WiFi.
- SonosNet Wireless Mesh Network: Sonos can utilize its own SonosNet proprietary wireless mesh network technology to provides superior wireless range for whole-house coverage, ensure synchronous music playback, and avoid sources of wireless interference. The transmitting range of the Sonos wireless system is approximately 100', depending upon your home's layout. In addition to the Playbar, you will need a Sonos Boost (sold separately) connected to your network router/modem via a Ethernet cable.
- WiFi Wireless Network: Sonos can also operate over your home's existing WiFi network (802.11 b/g; 2.4GHz). Because you are connecting wirelessly to your home's existing WiFi network, you do not need to hardwire a Sonos Boost to your router/modem. The Sonos system's wireless range will be dependent on your home's existing WiFi network.
- You cannot connect the Sonos system via both the SonosNet proprietary mesh network and WiFi; you will need to choose one. Sonos recommends using its proprietary SonosNet wireless mesh network over WiFi when applicable.
- The Sonos proprietary mesh network will provide a more secure wireless connection with fewer interruptions for optimum performance.
- WiFi is subject to greater interference from other WiFi and 2.4GHz devices on your network. WiFi connectivity is not compatible with 5GHz (you will have to use the Sonos wireless mesh network in this case).
Ethernet Port (10/100 Mbps): In addition to built-in WiFi, the Sonos Playbar is equipped with one Ethernet port (10/100 Mbps). Use it to wire directly to your router to operate Sonos if WiFi is unstable, or use the Ethernet port to provide Internet accessibility to non-wireless devices if you're using a SonosNET Boost setup.
Music Streaming Services: Sonos gives you access to unlimited music; such as your iTunes library, your favorite music services, and thousands of Internet radio stations, shows, and podcasts.
- Online Music Services: Sonos works seamlessly with TuneIn, Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM, Google Play Music, Apple Music, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Rhapsody, TIDAL, Deezer, SoundCloud, and more; plus downloads from any service offering DRM-free tracks. (Service availability varies by region.) Click here for the latest online music services (some online services require a paid subscription).
- Music Libraries: Sonos supports playback of music from any computer or network-attached storage (NAS) device on your home network where you have shared music folders. Sonos can play music stored on up to 16 PCs, Macs or NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices on your home network, supporting the most popular audio formats. Sonos indexes your music folders so you can view your music collection by categories (such as artists, albums, composers, genres, or tracks). Sonos supports the following audio file formats - MP3 (compressed), WMA (compressed), AAC (MPEG4), iTunes, Ogg Vorbis, Audible (format 4), Apple Lossless, FLAC (lossless), WAV (uncompressed), and AIFF (uncompressed).
- iTunes Music: The Sonos wireless music system supports the playback of music and playlists managed with your iTunes account (playlists are limited to 40,000 tracks). Sonos can access your iTunes music files from your network computer or directly from your Apple iPod iOS device (4.0+) running the Sonos app.
Sonos Controller App: Sonos allows you to control its audio setup, playback functions, and search features through the Sonos Controller app (for Apple iOS 9.0+ and Android OS 4.3+) or the Sonos Controller software (for Windows PC (7-up) and Mac OS X 10.10-up) - letting you control the entire Sonos eco-system from your compatible smartphone, tablet, laptop, or computer. The new navigation bar (My Sonos, Rooms, Browse, Search and More) at the bottom of the app makes finding what you're looking for effortless and moving between music quicker than ever.
- My Sonos: Organize your music with the My Sonos tab. It's the simplest way to combine and access all the music you love. Bringing together in one simple screen all your favorite songs, playlists, albums, podcasts and radio stations from across your different music services.
- Now Playing: The Now Playing screen features album art and basic playback controls. For a deeper look into the music you're listening to, the "Info View" screen gives you artist bios, album reviews and concert listings. See related artist suggestions to discover a new band for your queue. You can also add to your playlists, delete songs from your library, and share tracks to Twitter or Facebook.
- Rooms: You can choose to play different songs in different rooms, choose to group all rooms together to hear the same music throughout your home, or choose to group only certain rooms together for music playback. You can also crank up the volume for each room individually or together.
- Browse & Search: Browse your music services, favorites, internet radio, personal music library and playlists. You can browse your music content by Album, Artist, Song, or Playlist. You can even search across all of your music services and files simultaneously, so you can find the music you love instantly.
- More: Provides personalized & custom settings for your Sonos system. Adjust and audio settings like bass, treble, balance, and loudness for each room location.
Note: The Sonos device, Apple iOS/Android device, Windows PC, and/or Mac computer must be connected to the same wireless network.
Alexa Compatible: Through a free network software update you'll be able to control your Sonos system through any Alexa-enabled device - including the Sonos One and Amazon Echo devices (sold separately). Using the Amazon Alexa device as you normally would; just say "Alexa" and the name of the Sonos room you want to play a particular music service through when instructing Alexa to play music. Play a song, skip forward and back through playlists, target one room or an existing group of rooms, and adjust volume - all using your voice.
- Alexa supports Amazon Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn Radio, and SiriusXM music services (Spotify control is coming soon). When instructing Alexa to play a particular artist, the song will begin playing from your default music service, set in the Alexa app, unless you specify the service in your voice instruction.
- For a complete list of Alexa voice commands you can use with Sonos, click here.
- Any non-music related commands will still play over your Alexa device (weather, traffic, flash briefs, etc).
- You will need to search and enable the Sonos skill from the Alexa app on your mobile device or computer.
- Your Sonos equipment and Amazon Alexa-enabled devices must be on the same wireless network.
Google Assistant: The Google Assistant will be supported by Sonos in 2018 through an over-the-network firmware update.
Home Network Requirements: To access Internet music services, Internet radio, and any digital music stored on your computer or Network-Attached Storage (NAS) device, your home network must meet the following requirements:
- High-speed DSL/Cable modem, or fiber-to-the-home broadband connection for proper playback of Internet-based music services. If your Internet service provider only offers Satellite Internet access, you may experience playback issues due to fluctuation in download rates.
- If your modem is not a modem/router combination and you want to take advantage of Sonos' automatic online updates, or stream music from an Internet-based music service, you must install a wireless router in your home network. If you don't have a wireless router, you will need to purchase and install one before setting up your system.
- You will need the Sonos Controller application for Apple iOS 9.0+ and Android OS 4.3+, or the Sonos Controller software program for Windows PC 7-up and Mac OS x 10.10-up.
- Connect at least one Sonos component to your home network router using an Ethernet cable, and then you can add other Sonos components wirelessly. Or setup your Sonos component wirelessly via WiFi without any hardwire connection.
- For best results, you should connect the computer or NAS drive that contains your personal music library collection to your home network router using an Ethernet cable.
- Make sure all of your Sonos components have the latest software update installed.
Note: Although Sonos is compatible with most networking equipment, some network devices are incompatible. Usually when networking hardware does not work with Sonos, it's because it lacks support for the network protocols that Sonos uses to operate, like UPnP, STP, and SMB/CIFS.
Automatic Updates: The Sonos PlayBar supports free automatic software updates so you will always have the newest features and music services to enjoy. Simply register the PlayBar and Sonos will automatically notify you when software updates are available through Sonos Controller app. By simply pressing one button your system updates itself.
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