Give this one a chance, though, because Sonos is doing something really wicked cool in the category — the sort of thing that only Sonos is really positioned to do. You’re familiar, of course, with the company’s streaming audio players, which vastly simplify the installation and control of whole-home distributed digital audio. The Playbar soundbar fits right into that family, and in fact is controllable via Sonos’ control app. In one respect, you can think of it as a really fancy integrated Sonos Wi-Fi Player, to which you can wirelessly stream your personal library, all of your favorite internet radio stations, and services like Spotify, Pandora, and Rhapsody.
But I do mean really fancy. It boasts six high-quality mid-woofers and six tweeters, to give you a nice, compact, super-connected LCR soundbar for home theater listening, and setup couldn’t be easier: built-in sensors automatically tweak EQ settings and channel orientation, so you can place the soundbar flat on the TV stand in front of your set, or mount it on the wall above or below the screen.
The Playbar is designed to sound great without a sub, but here’s where things get really neat: since the speaker is fully integrated with the Sonos ecosystem, you can easily add a Sonos Sub, and if you want the full 5.1-channel home theater experience, simply drop a pair of Sonos PLAY:3s at the back of the room, and the system will configure them as wireless surround speakers.
Wireless sound sound, unparalleled installation flexibility, and full integration with one of the simplest and easiest-to-use whole home distributed music systems on the market? Sign me up!
Perhaps the most shocking thing about the Playbar, though, is the price: $699. Expected ship date is March 5.