Pros / Its sound quality is superb.
Cons / It is difficult to set up and lacks many connection ports.
Verdict / If you don’t mind the hassle of setting up this sound bar, it’s a major upgrade from your television speakers.
The main reason this sound bar landed near the end of our lineup is its lack of connection ports and overall features. This isn't a Bluetooth sound bar, and it’s missing HDMI connections, aux ports, analog ports and a remote control. However, if we based our rankings on sound quality alone, the Sonos PLAYBAR would hover around the top of our rankings.
This Sonos impressed with its prominent bass response and clear dialogue that remained at a consistent volume, even when the action started to ramp up during our movie test. All audio elements remained intact and each had an even place within the sound spectrum – nothing was overpowering, yet the audio was loud and clear.
We found that the bass response was powerful, clear and punchy, even without the aid of an external subwoofer. This was most noticeable in our movie testing. Sound quality is certainly not the reason the PLAYBAR ranked poorly against the competition.
Unlike all the other sound bars we reviewed, you can't simply connect the PLAYBAR to your television with an optical cable and start using it. Instead, you must first connect it to your home Wi-Fi network. To do so, you need to plug the sound bar directly into your wireless router with an Ethernet cable. You then have to download the Sonos app with your smartphone or tablet and follow the instructions to properly connect the sound bar to your Wi-Fi network. You should only have to go through this process once; afterward, it stays wirelessly connected to your Wi-Fi network.
This sound bar does not come with its own remote, so less tech-savvy individuals might have a hard time operating it. You can either use the smartphone application to control the PLAYBAR or follow the instructions in the application to program your TV remote to control it. The process doesn't take long, but it is more involved than just having a dedicated remote from the start. Since it doesn't come with a remote or have Bluetooth capabilities, we were unable to test those features as we did with the other sound bars we reviewed.
The PLAYBAR is covered by a one-year warranty starting at the date of purchase. We recommend following the instruction manual, as this unit is much harder to set up than others in our lineup. You can call or email Sonos if you have additional questions.
- Remote Control Range
Sound quality is not the problem with the Sonos PLAYBAR. In fact, its sound quality rivals that of the best sound bars available. Instead, it’s held back by its lack of connectivity options and how difficult it is to set up. You shouldn't purchase this sound bar if you are not tech savvy or if you don't have a wireless internet router.