Sonos has announced the launch of the Playbar, a HiFi soundbar whose existence was rumoured after having cropped up on US Federal Communications Commission documents late last year.
The soundbar joins Sonos’ existing line of wireless music players for the home, part of what the Santa Barbara, California-based company describes as a mission to “fill every home with music.” But whereas previous offerings targeted casual music streaming, the Playbar is designed to provide high-quality sound to match the increasingly high definition images offered by current- and next-generation televisions.
With dimensions of 85 x 140 x 900mm and a weight of 5.4kg, the Playbar can sit flat below your TV or be mounted on a wall in three different orientations, each of which is recognised by a sensor that will appropriately change its settings for ideal audio configurations. It features an aluminium and plastic casing that highlights its sleek, modern design, in line with other Sonos products.
Under the hood, the Playbar features six midrange speakers and three tweeters, which promise to automatically adjust to a variety of audio styles - from nuanced movie scores to different kinds of music. An early demo of the Playbar revealed an immersive, cinematic experience with crisp, warm sound that did justice to film scenes as well as tracks from different genres.
On the connectivity front, the Playbar features two Ethernet ports - to connect the device to a wired network and to allow users to share wireless control - and an optical cable for connecting it to your TV. Like other Sonos products, it can be controlled wirelessly via an AES-encrypted wireless network and through the existing Sonos app, which is available for iOS, Android and Mac and Windows PCs. The Playbar can also connect to other Sonos products, with a demo of it playing with a Sonos Sub and two Play:3 speakers filling the room with lush, natural sound.
“Sonos has transformed the way people listen to music throughout the home and now we’re bringing our wireless HiFi approach to home theatre,” said Sonos CEO John MacFarlane.
“Playbar will change everything about the sound experience in your living room, bringing together amazing HiFi sound for your TV and wireless access to the world’s music in a radically simple way,” MacFarlane added.
Playbar will retail for £599 and will be available in the UK from 5 March. Stay tuned to ITProPortal for an in-depth review of the soundbar.