Sonos – The Wireless Hi-Fi Speaker Company – Can Now Plug Into Your TV
Sonos is finally making a serious move to the living room with its new Playbar soundbar. As with all Sonos products, the playbar is easy to install. With no wires and mounting or stand-alone options, Creative Stereo HD can have your Sonos Playbar up and running in minutes. And because it’s Sonos, it will easily integrate with music on your local network or streaming services like Rdio, Spotify, Pandora, or even internet radio. Do you stream over your Xbox? Apple TV? Roku? Not a problem. The Sonos iPhone/Android app works with them all. Want to expand your sound? Sonos provides many add-on speakers allowing you to build your 5.1 surround sound over time or even expand into every room in your house. All your speakers wirelessly connected from your handheld device.
While Sonos speakers are generally pricier than a regular set of speakers, the company is known for excellent sound, easy setup, and a huge range of local and web audio sources. Sonos speakers aren’t just speakers; they’re networked devices that regularly receive updates with new functionality and services. Sonos has generally been better known for streaming music throughout your house than for watching movies on your couch but its new Playbar packs a punch for its size.
The Playbar has an attractive design, mostly matte aluminum highlights around the mostly fabric exterior. It performs extremely well. Dialogue-heavy shows and most movies sound far better than on your TV’s built-in speakers. The Playbar does an excellent job processing audio, separating out different channels. Explosions coming from the right side of the screen really sound like they should. The speakers fakes surround sound extremely well. The Playbar also has a “speech enhancement” option and “night sound” (both enabled from the Sonos app). The former emphasizes the human voice, while the latter compresses the audio, quieting louder noises and bumping up the levels on quiet sounds and speech.
When paired with expansion speakers from Sonos, your playbar can provide you with genuine 5.1 surround sound. There are a few limitations to note. First, the Sonos requires you connect the Playbar to your TV via optical cable. If you have an older TV, you probably won’t have an optical-out port, which leaves you moving the cable between your cable box and Xbox in a very clunky, non-wireless setup. It totally defeats the point of this speaker. Creative Stereo HD carry televisions with optical-out connections.
Also, Sonos can only accept a Dolby Digital Signal as 5.1, which means that any DTS mix simply won’t work. Achieving 5.1 out of your TV is probably going to be a headache even if your Blu-ray player supports it, because many TV’s downgrade the audio signal output from Dolby Digital to a traditional stereo mix. Creative Stereo HD can ensure you have a TV that supports both Dolby Digital and optical out to provide easy setup and day-to-day playback.