Sonos just announced PLAYBAR, a wireless speaker that doubles as soundbar for placement in front of a TV, effectively replacing your TV’s speakers. The PLAYBAR’s nine-speaker design floods any room with immersive audio for games, movies or music. Like any Sonos speaker it plays digital music from the Internet or on your home network — all controlled from any iPhone or Android smartphone (with app).
The sophisticated all-in-one package combines exposed aluminum with high performance speaker fabric for a look that’s timeless, understated and because it does not require a subwoofer or speaker wire, easily fits into any room and setup. Its built-in sensors help PLAYBAR automatically adjust EQ and channel orientation so it can lie flat on the TV stand or rotate for low profile wall-mounting above or below the TV.
Under the hood, PLAYBAR gets its punch from nine individually amplified speakers: six mid-woofers to deliver deep, rich low-frequency sounds, and three tweeters for crystal clear high-frequency detail. PLAYBAR’s advanced speaker array technology combines hardware and software to create a surprisingly wide soundstage beyond the physical soundbar, while maintaining crisp, centered vocals. Whether you are watching a movie, playing a game or streaming a song from Pandora or Spotify, PLAYBAR will always sound much clearer, not just louder.
Designed for easy setup and use, PLAYBAR connects to the TV with a single optical cable, playing everything that is connected to it, including cable boxes, Blu-ray players and game consoles. It understands common audio formats output by TVs including Dolby Digital. Customers can control the volume or mute with a regular TV remote or with one of the free Sonos Controller apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac or PC. PLAYBAR works seamlessly within the Sonos wireless audio family: Pair PLAYBAR with the award-winning SONOS SUB for deep waves of spine-curling, jaw-dropping sound and add a pair of PLAY:3 wireless speakers to act as surround speakers for an immersive 5.1 home theater surround sound experience.
- Complements HD television screens with richly textured HiFi sound.
- Wirelessly streams all the music on earth.
- Simple to set up, control and expand.
- Requires just two cords: one power cord, one optical cord (both included).
- Syncs with other Sonos speakers wirelessly.
- Understands and speaks most IR remote’s language and can be controlled by free apps for your Android, iPhone or iPad.
- Plays all sources plugged in to your HDTV: Cable/SAT boxes, Blu-ray players, and video game consoles.
Sonos also released a free software update for the Sonos Wireless HiFi System. Sonos System Software 4.0 introduces enhancements that make it faster and easier to play all the music on earth. Sonos Favorites provides one-touch access to your favorite music from any Sonos source (music library, streaming services and radio stations), right from the music menu. The Sonos Controller for Android features a new widget that allows you to control Sonos directly from your Android home screen. Plus, the Sonos Controller for iPhone has been optimized for the larger screen of the iPhone 5. The free one-button software update is available now.
Sonos works seamlessly with Amazon Cloud Player, AUPEO!, Deezer, iHeartRadio, JB Hi-Fi NOW, JUKE, Last.fm, MOG, Pandora, Rdio, Rhapsody, SiriusXM Internet Radio, Slacker Radio, Songl, Songza, Spotify, Stitcher SmartRadio, TuneIn, Wolfgang’s Vault, WiMP, and downloads from any service offering DRM-free tracks. (Service availability varies by region.)
Price and Availability
The Sonos PLAYBAR will be available March 5, 2013 for $699 USD (€699, £599).
Photo: A single Ethernet port can connect PLAYBAR to a wired home network. A second Ethernet port can be used to share wireless control.