When it comes to reputation, Sonos is unsurpassed in the sand multi-room wireless speaker. Having always been positioned as the go-to speaker setup for music lovers, which is now trying to take control of your TV with soundbar first, the playhead Sonos.
The company calls the play bar sound bar for music lovers, with the promise that offers all the music of the world (via compatible apps Spotify, Rdio and others) wirelessly and give your flat-screen TV an auditory stimulus.
But can satisfy both at once? Sitting opposite the playhead will give the best experience – as is the case with any soundbar. Watching great action sequences, there was definitely a nice depth to the audio and not a very remarkable movement, but still evident in the sound.
The playhead resisted slightly when audio was a lot going on at once – so I was kicking action but the characters were talking (well, shouting), the dialogue tends to be a bit lost.
With television, music playback can be described with one word: high. The music I listened through the playhead just sounded quite large and while hardcore music fans may be left wanting a little more clarity of reproduction, for everyday users of quality is more than enough.
Things get a little more interesting when you add the Sonos Sub in the mixture, the Sonos playbar levels automatically adjusted when you know you are using the sub for bass does not overwhelm the sound, be it music or cinema.
But it is reassuring Embassy – and when listening to dubstep point, for example, the playhead alone does not judder us enough to make us feel bad physically, but the playhead and Sub duo made sure.
The last pieces of the puzzle are surround the two play 3 units that have to faff around with a bit to install – Sonos has tried to simplify the process as much as possible, but there is still a certain amount of the estimated measurement treat.
Unfortunately for anyone playing 5s hoarding, created surround sound only works with smaller consoles.
Once up and running, however, the surround sound is impressive running smoothly around the room – we saw the train wreck of Super 8 and destruction was everywhere.
The fact that this is a wireless surround sound set-up is even more impressive – but it comes with a price – around $ 2500 (about £ 1600) for the whole lot, and that’s before you’ve thought in his flashy TV.First slender looks. Not much to play on the sound bar design department – you’re basically looking at a bar full of speakers.
That said, the effort Sonos is not bad, is modest enough to sit almost imperceptibly below the screen, while the rounded edges and matte casing are aesthetically pleasing when you notice it.
Some might think it a little chunky compared to slinky challenged televisions bezel around at the time but the fact that you can place the bar anywhere you want help on that front.
In the traditional style of Sonos, not many buttons or ports to speak at the playhead, only one Ethernet port, power input and optical audio-in to connect up, and three discrete volumes and matching buttons.
Inside, there are nine speakers – six three midrange tweeters, which are placed under the mesh to provide a wider soundstage and angled so that the audio broadcast is uniform no matter where you place the playhead. So you can choose the TV above, below it, on the wall or on a table in front of the television and detect the different positions that put you in the use of an accelerometer and automatically calibrate the speakers accordingly. Very clever – and you never know it is still doing.
Linking playhead to a Sonos bridge is very simple – just put the bridge in pairing mode, press and hold the volume up and sync button on the play bar and go.
Once paired, the playhead is in the same network as any other Sonos speakers you have in the house so it is part of multi-room settings (you can play different songs in different rooms or the same song in every rooms, as you wish).
It also means that the playhead can play any of your MP3 music library or just about any song ever using Spotify Controller application (and Rdio etc) applications. There are also Internet radio, if you are struggling to decide what they want to hear.
The playhead does not come with a remote control – shock horror. Instead, use the TV remote and Sonos Controller (iOS and Android) – and well, one less remote cluttering the place is fine with us.
But we were impressed with the Sonos playbar on first listen and love the fact that its uses extend beyond just watching movies and TV.
We would like to see a little more clearly in the reproduction of the film, though – not everyone sees massive action movies in his spare time – but it is certainly a big improvement over what most TVs offer.