Update: Need A closing-minute Valentine’s Day present on your favorite audiophile? Do Not fail to see the Sonos Playbase – a really perfect audio solution for people taking a look to step up their audio recreation. It no longer most effective offers a cool pedestal on your reveal and a significant enhance to your TELEVISION’s lackluster audio output, but it Also hooks as much as every other Sonos you have – or have but to purchase.

Three years after the company launched its first ever soundbar, the Playbar, Sonos has created the Playbase, a unique type issue sound machine that mixes a steady pedestal in your TELEVISION with an audio cabinet.

Why did Sonos create a 2nd residence entertainment device? The staff did extensive analysis into how people used their Playbar at residence and located that most of the people did not wall-mount their televisions or Playbars. To that finish, the Playbase was created to allow people to set their televisions right on prime of the speaker, making an allowance for a compact home theater answer.

Coming in at $699 (£699, AU$999), the Playbase is not low cost, But in return on your financial investment You’ll Be Able To get a compact and versatile audio solution that integrates seamlessly with other Sonos audio system in your house.

So, how do they stack up? Let’s have a pay attention and spot how they compare.

Design

The PlayBase is without doubt one of the nicer looking pieces of kit that Sonos has produced. From the smooth matte end to the delicate contact controls on its front, The Whole speaker has an understated design that helps it blend into a home theater. This created a conundrum for Sonos as they needed to create a soundbase that used to be beautiful yet failed to take hold of too much attention.

To Be Able To keep the appears as refined as conceivable, Sonos labored to design simply the right amount of speaker holes (over 43,000) that optimized Performance but in addition obscured its 10 inner drivers from being a visible distraction.

The Playbase is available in a flat white or black and whereas both mix into most house theater setups we prefer the black end because of how it fits most televisions, and the white PlayBase we had for review Also began to collect dust and mud notably quickly. The Playbase measures in at 2.28 x 28.35 x 14.96 in. (58 x 720 x 380 mm), making it reasonably thin for a playbase, serving to the speaker mix in completely on our Ikea bookshelf-grew to become-TELEVISION-stand.

The Top of the speaker houses three buttons for play and pause, Tune playback keep an eye on and quantity. The play/pause button features a small mild that flashes completely different colours to point speaker standing. Buttons to the left and right of the play/pause button keep watch over extent and customers can swipe left and right throughout the buttons to skip or rewind tracks. The Only other button is the sync button used during the setup course of.

Around back, the port options are extremely simple: one Ethernet, one optical and one power. Which Is it. Sonos’ philosophy is to create merchandise that are simple to make use of and It Is exhausting to argue with simplifying port choice … that is until you understand the Sonos Playbase has a horrifyingly huge Achilles Heel (More on that in the Performance part).

Curious in case your TV will match on top of the Sonos Playbase? Sonos claims the speaker can stand up to Seventy Five lbs (about 34 kg) so You’ll Be Able To wish to test the specs for your TELEVISION to peer if it falls under that weight. Additionally, if you wish to slide the Playbase beneath your TELEVISION as an alternative of inserting a TV on high, You Can Additionally want to measure your TV’s feet to look if the Playbase can without problems fit underneath it, too.

Worst-case situation, if it would not fit, there’s at all times the Sonos Playbar as an alternative.

Sonos wants all of its products to be simple and easy to use and, for probably the most section, it succeeds with the Playbase. The included quick start guide offers customers a visual representation of the best way to hook up the speaker. Simply take the incorporated optical cable and fix the Playbase to the optical output in your TV. Then take the ability cable and plug it into the wall. In Case You Have a router near your own home theater, You Could opt to wire in with the incorporated Ethernet cable.

The Ultimate step is to download the Sonos app for Android or iOS to complete the set up. The Sonos app courses you thru the rest of the setup so the Playbase can hop in your community.

Now, you Will Have To note that the Playbase most effective supports the two.4GHz band so don’t be concerned if Which You Could’t in finding your 5GHz network. Sonos did this intentionally for a More dependable connection with higher vary.

It’s Also worth mentioning that even if optical audio out ports are well-liked on Extra modern TVs, certainly one of our reviewers discovered that their TV wasn’t outfitted with one, which made hooking up the PlayBase Extra sophisticated than it needed to be. There Are Methods Round this (like running the soundbase through your cable box or receiver) However setup can be tough.

After your Playbase is connected to your own home network, That You Could start playing Track through including the 80+ Song services to the app. The Sonos app picked up our Google Play Tune, Plex and Soundcloud bills without issue, giving us get right of entry to to common search throughout Song platforms from the Sonos app.

It’s Also worth bringing up that, because of a contemporary Replace, all of Sonos’s lineup is now Spotify Join enabled. Choose the Playbase from the Spotify app, and You Could keep watch over each track playback and quantity from within the comparable piece of software. It’s straightforward and intuitive, and we discovered ourselves counting on it excess of Sonos’s personal software.

For iOS customers taking a look to squeeze every ultimate drop of Efficiency out of the Playbase, there is the Trueplay calibration situated in the settings of the app.This calibration detects objects in your room to assist jump sound off of to create a More immersive digital encompass machine. The Entire course of takes a few minute However we bumped into a subject where Trueplay calibration would fail. After speaking with Sonos enhance, we had been urged to remove any instances from our iPad, after which Trueplay labored like a attraction.

Sadly for Android customers, Trueplay is most effective to be had for iOS customers and it doesn’t appear to be Sonos goes to carry the function to Android gadgets any time quickly. Sonos says there are simply too many forms of microphones on Android phones to make Trueplay calibration work throughout so many units. Bummer.

Efficiency

None this is able to matter if the Playbase failed to sound just right However we’re chuffed to report that it does in reality sound quite excellent. Even without Trueplay calibration, the Playbase provided punchy bass, crisp vocals and a excellent experience of soundstage depth and height.

Looking At Revenge of the Sith’s opening house battle, as an instance, created an unbelievable sense of explosions and detritus flying to our left and our proper, together with the satisfyingly low rumble of Superstar Destroyers within the distance. For Many customers, we feel the bass high quality and quantity is excellent sufficient from the Playbase itself. Gazing On Line Casino Royale, explosions and foot steps sounded much more reasonable and visceral than taking part in off the TELEVISION’s speakers.

The bass used to be sufficient to rattle your complete room, which is something that cannot be stated of most soundbars that don’t have an external subwoofer. When You reside in a flat or find irresistible to do your film Staring At late at evening then it’s important to be careful with the PlayBase’s volume ranges. Will Have To you decide you wish to have even more bass, though, Sonos deals a subwoofer add-on for another $699 (£699, AU$999), which adds even more visceral impression and will no doubt upset the neighbors.

Song sounded very good from the Playbase at any extent. The Playbase will get shockingly loud and Will Have To haven’t any problems filling any room. Likewise, films just right However Don’t are expecting a encompass sound experience from the Playbase. Even with Trueplay calibration enabled, the Playbase sounded restrained compared to Proper surround sound systems.

On The Other Hand, there’s good stereo separation which may also be heard all over scenes with vehicles shifting throughout the display, but the Playbase is unable to seize the at the back of-the-head sound that a true surround sound is in a position to. Because Of This, the sound processing to get faux encompass is slightly synthetic with sounds being projected wider However no longer necessarily Round your head.

However, the Playbase has the power to sync with further Sonos audio system (like the Play:1 and Play:Three) to create a real surround sound setup.

It’s a neat feature However it may possibly get beautiful expensive as Sonos’ least expensive speakers, the Play:1, value $199 (£169, AU$299) each and every. A Playbase and two Play:1 speakers will run you $1100 (£1,037, AU$1597) earlier than you even think about adding the $699 Sonos Sub (£699, AU$999).

Extra not easy than the surround is the fact that the Playbase features an optical-best connection. This Implies the Playbase handiest supports Dolby Digital 5.1 and stereo PCM. We had trouble getting Netflix and Amazon to play its 5.1 audio tracks the usage of our Nvidia Shield. It wasn’t except we switched over to the usage of an Xbox One that we had been able to get the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio monitor to play. The Xbox One used to be able to transcode Dolby Digital Plus and DTS to Dolby Digital on the fly not like the Nvidia Protect TELEVISION. You’ll Be Able To Also have to check in case your TV is in a position to bypassing a Dolby Digital sign to the Playbase, which now not all TVs do.

For a gadget that used to be designed to be easy to use, it positive took a number of considering, tinkering and travelling the Sonos strengthen forums to get a Dolby Digital 5.1 sign.

Final verdict

The Sonos Playbase is an efficient-sounding speaker for individuals who Do Not need to fumble with a true encompass sound machine or just do not need the room for one. There’s No need for a receiver, making it truly plug-and-play. Sonos’ philosophy of making Track enjoyment as frictionless as possible continues with the Playbase – the Sonos app is straightforward to use and the built-in common search across Tune services and products is something we wished every speaker had.

However with regards to Staring At movies, the Playbase leaves something to be favored. Its optical-best connection limits you to Dolby Digital 5.1 and excellent luck trying to get your more than a few sources to output that structure. That You Could theoretically hook up the Playbase to a receiver to transcode Dolby Digital to the speaker But That’s now not what the Playbase is designed for.

Total we loved our time with the Sonos Playbar and ended up liking it lots. It made taking part in Music so easy that we wanted to have Tune enjoying at dwelling at all times. It Might no longer sound as excellent because the Focal Dimension soundbar and sub, however the Playbase is half the associated fee.

The Underside line? In The Event You Do Not mind the fact that most of your listening shall be in stereo, the Playbase is a superb solution to give a boost to your Tune listening and movie Gazing experience.

Jon Porter contributed to this evaluate.