Sonos introduces the Playbar: Smart sound for your home theater

By on February 12, 2013, 12:30 PM

Earlier today Sonos unveiled a new speaker designed to be used with your television. The aptly-named Playbar is a 4-inch deep by 3-foot long soundbar that consists of nine independently driven speakers. It’s unique in the fact that it doesn’t require the user to manually adjust the volume using a remote control as you would with a traditional stereo receiver.

Instead, when the Playbar is connected to your television or any other device like a DVD player or game console, all of the functionality is transferred to your television’s remote control. The soundbar will even turn itself on automatically alongside your television set when an audio source is detected.

Each of the nine speakers - three tweeters an six midrange speakers - inside the Playbar are driven by a Class D amplifier. The unit even includes dedicated left and right tweeters in the event you aren’t sitting directly in front of the soundbar. Furthermore, a built-in accelerometer detects the orientation of the speaker (if mounted on a wall, for example) and adjusts the output accordingly.

Sonos is a pioneer in the wireless speaker movement so it only makes sense that they would integrate some of that functionality into the Playbar as well. The speaker system comes pre-loaded with more than 100,000 free radio stations, shows and podcasts – all for free. It also works with a plethora of popular online music services including Spotify, iHeartRadio and Pandora, just to name a few.

If that weren’t enough, the soundbar can be connected to your home network to stream audio directly from your computer. By downloading the free Sonos app for Android or iOS, users can wirelessly control the Playbar right from the palm of their hand.

The Sonos Playbar is expected to ship on March 5 and is priced at $699 alongside a 45-day return policy.

User Comments: 1

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1 person liked this | Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

"a built-in accelerometer detects the orientation of the speaker (if mounted on a wall, for example)" Perhaps I'm missing something here, but how does the accelerometer know its on the wall? Once wall mounted I'm pretty sure its going to be just as level as if it was on a TV stand, and certainly won't be moving while on the wall. And besides having a Class D amplifier there's no mention of how many watts this thing puts out and beyond that there isn't actually any real specs, just BS "Not louder. Clearer." Good luck getting actual Bass out of little 4" speakers, but wait they recommend pairing it with their SUB which also lacks any real specs. Looks like a marketing company, not a HiFi Audio company... Unless they think its okay to take the Rolls Royce "Its Adequate" approach. I'll be sticking to amps and proper speakers, not this overpriced junk.

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