Sonos Debuts New 'PLAYBASE' Home Theater Speaker

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Sonos today announced the PLAYBASE, its newest speaker designed for home theater sound systems. According to Sonos, the PLAYBASE is a thin, powerful speaker that sits under a television set to offer enhanced sound for TV shows, music, and movies.

The PLAYBASE measures in at just 58mm tall, but it includes 10 drivers (six mid-range, three tweeters, and one woofer) for what Sonos says is great sound. Design wise, it's meant to meld into a home's decor, with a polycarbonate body that features clean lines, no visible seams, and 43,000 holes for a transparent grill.

"We have built a product that can not only handle the complexities of home theater - delivering open and natural sound, clear dialogue, and immersive bass that fills the room - but also fits perfectly in any home environment," said Giles Martin, Sound Experience Leader at Sonos. "The challenge with PLAYBASE was upholding the desire for it to be beautiful from all angles without compromising any of our design, acoustics or engineering principles. We were obsessive in our approach and decisions, resisting every urge to pack anything in here that wasn't needed, and custom built everything else to find the perfect fit - it's our thinnest, most beautiful speaker yet."
PLAYBASE is specifically meant to be used with TVs that sit on furniture rather than those that are wall mounted. It includes two cords and connects to other Sonos speakers for a whole house sound solution. Like all Sonos products, it can be used with more than 80 music services.


Sonos will begin selling the PLAYBASE on April 4, 2017. It will be priced at $699 and it will be available in black or white to match any home decor. Existing Sonos owners will be able to pre-order the PLAYBASE starting today.

Article Link: Sonos Debuts New 'PLAYBASE' Home Theater Speaker
 

Marshall73

macrumors 68000
Apr 20, 2015
1,606
1,330
That's horrific. If you had the cash to splash on that I would assume you would have a decent TV so why would you want to spoil the look of the TV by putting that under it?

Meld into the decor???? Just look at their example pic, it stands out by miles and matches nothing, plus, loads of holes = dust trap.
 

scotty588

macrumors 6502
Jan 2, 2007
463
55
Carlsbad, CA
This looks just like the stuff ZVOX makes. Basically a "sound shelf". They are perfect for a non audiophile and someone without a ton of space just want something better than the built in speakers.

I looked at sound bars and none of them seemed to really work great with my setup. I just have a basic TV stand with the TV sitting on top of it. Most of the sound bars I saw looked like they would be too tall to rest under the TV. I could put it on the shelf below but it would be pretty low. A sound shelf was a better solution. I own 2 of them. One at my parents and one for me. Super easy setup.

The models I got are half the price of this Sony. They one I bought for myself I bought as a refurb through their official eBay store. Works perfectly and didn't even look like a refurb.
 

scotty588

macrumors 6502
Jan 2, 2007
463
55
Carlsbad, CA
Sigh. Again, no HDMI.
Agreed. I think HDMI is far more consistent with higher quality audio than optical. And most home theatres/Sound bar should offer both optical an HDMI.
Optical out of my TV into sound bar/shelf. Never had an issue with anything I throw at it. OTA antenna, Roku, computer. Really doubt it will matter for a soundbar.

Quick Google says HDMI supports hifi, loseless audio such as TrueHD and DTS-HD Master where optical can't. Like I said, it's a soundbar, I wouldn't expect amazing results. I don't think people buy them looking for a true surround sound experience. I just wanted front facing speakers so I could hear the audio vs built ins firing into the wall and the sound bouncing off that.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
31,328
31,705
Optical out of my TV into sound bar/shelf. Never had an issue with anything I throw at it. OTA antenna, Roku, computer. Really doubt it will matter for a soundbar.

Quick Google says HDMI supports hifi, loseless audio such as TrueHD and DTS-HD Master where optical can't. Like I said, it's a soundbar, I wouldn't expect amazing results. I don't think people buy them looking for a true surround sound experience. I just wanted front facing speakers so I could hear the audio vs built ins firing into the wall and the sound bouncing off that.
And Most of these sound bars are offering HDMI Arc passthrough. Which is still evolving, but makes it more efficient when cycling through the different media units you have.
 
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Mike Oxard

macrumors 6502a
Oct 22, 2009
802
446
If there's still no AirPlay support then I'm not interested. Why spend all that money to only be able to listen to music, and have to pay for a subscription service to be able to do so? I listen to audio from many different sources (podcasts, iPlayer, YouTube) not just music.
 
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sidewinder3000

macrumors 6502a
Jan 29, 2010
930
1,019
Chicagoland
I keep wanting to love Sonos, to finally take the plunge and "go all in". But my current setup of an Apple TV hooked up to my A/V system and 5.1 speakers does everything I need in my loft. And this addition to their lineup, which I was kind of anticipating, does nothing to change my mind. In addition to not having HDMI, it is butt ugly and wayyyy too light colored to be near my TV. There's a reason TV's are black—the focus should be onscreen. Anything that takes away from that is bad design.
 

mw360

macrumors 68000
Aug 15, 2010
1,547
1,298
I keep wanting to love Sonos, to finally take the plunge and "go all in". But my current setup of an Apple TV hooked up to my A/V system and 5.1 speakers does everything I need in my loft. And this addition to their lineup, which I was kind of anticipating, does nothing to change my mind. In addition to not having HDMI, it is butt ugly and wayyyy too light colored to be near my TV. There's a reason TV's are black—the focus should be onscreen. Anything that takes away from that is bad design.
You know there's a black version?
 

Icaras

macrumors 603
Mar 18, 2008
5,894
2,356
California, United States
Optical out of my TV into sound bar/shelf. Never had an issue with anything I throw at it. OTA antenna, Roku, computer. Really doubt it will matter for a soundbar.

Quick Google says HDMI supports hifi, loseless audio such as TrueHD and DTS-HD Master where optical can't. Like I said, it's a soundbar, I wouldn't expect amazing results. I don't think people buy them looking for a true surround sound experience. I just wanted front facing speakers so I could hear the audio vs built ins firing into the wall and the sound bouncing off that.
I bought my 2016 Vizio sound bar with rear speakers looking for a true surround sound experience and I got it, although there is an odd quirk of dialogue coming out of all three front channels. Other than that minor annoyance, I find the sound quality for the price impressive and replacing my messy spaghetti cable setup of a traditional receiver + 5.1 speaker system a big plus.

In addition, several companies including Bose, Denon, Definitive Tech, Panasonic, Sony, LG, Samsung, and Philips have already all released impressive sound bar surround sound systems, all with HDMI-Arc support. LG and Samsung are even going one step further including Dolby atmos support within the sound bar itself so I think sound bar quality has come a long ways since their introduction. I was never a believer of sound bars myself until I read the reviews of the Vizio system and got it for myself.

I don't see myself ever going back to a traditional receiver surround sound system so Sonos' lack of HDMI is an immediate deal breaker for me.
 
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mw360

macrumors 68000
Aug 15, 2010
1,547
1,298
If there's still no AirPlay support then I'm not interested. Why spend all that money to only be able to listen to music, and have to pay for a subscription service to be able to do so? I listen to audio from many different sources (podcasts, iPlayer, YouTube) not just music.
Each to their own. AirPlay doesn't scale well to multi-room/multi-user. I'm very happy to have paid all that money to only listen to music. I used to have...

Airport express x2
Denon Hifi
Sony Hifi
Mac Mini as iTunes server

Total cost: £1500 for two rooms, decent quality, absolute garbage reliability and usability. Wife refused to use it and stuck with CDs.

Replaced with...

Sonos Play:1 x 10, Play:3, Apple Music

Total cost: £1700 + £99 per year for 6 rooms. Seamless operation, simple to use, sounds way better and the family all use it enthusiastically. Also Plex support is in beta so I guess I could revert to CD rips if the money ran out.
 

greg1975

macrumors newbie
Sep 22, 2015
26
38
I would love to buy one to compliment my existing Sonos equipment and can even live with the lack of HDMI. Looked to preorder and checked the dimensions to discover that my Samsung 40" Curved TV has a long boomerang shaped stand that would hang of the edges of the PlayBase. The Sonos marketing site goes on about it supporting the weight of most known TV's that have a stand, but weight is not the issue if the TV stand will not sit on the PlayBase.

I Was not aware that I had a particularly radically designed TV or excessively large by todays standards. Given the abundance of Samsung TV's I imagine Sonos have eliminated a large number of customers. A quick look on a large electrical retailers site shows that the vast majority of the current Samsung range have a similar stand to mine so I imagine that any 40" or larger will not work with this.
 

pukrnukr

macrumors member
Dec 16, 2010
95
20
Roc
If there's still no AirPlay support then I'm not interested. Why spend all that money to only be able to listen to music, and have to pay for a subscription service to be able to do so? I listen to audio from many different sources (podcasts, iPlayer, YouTube) not just music.
You don't need a paid music service to use Sonos. It works with most services, but you can play music and podcast from your library from the Sonos app. You can also plug a airport express into certain Sonos speakers and then they all can play the source much more reliably. If your talking about two airplay speakers it's not much of a difference. But when you add 5+ in different room I was getting constant dropouts that Sonos mesh network fixed.
I agree they should have added HDMI into this as well as their older soundbar.
 
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lowercaseperson

macrumors 6502
Oct 5, 2006
294
87
Sooooooo underwhelming.

No HDMI.
No mic for use with virtual assistants.

I have a playbar, play 1 and play 5 - there is a lot to love and a lot to hate about the system. For $700 they should include HDMI and a mic to talk to Siri/Alexa
 
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BrentD

macrumors 6502
Jun 25, 2010
270
161
I already own and have been an all-in believer in Sonos for a few years now. But this thing is at least $300 overpriced. Unless they somehow managed to pack the huge sound of their Playbar and Sub into this single unit, there's no way I'd ever pay $699 for it.
 

npmacuser5

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2015
1,226
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Agreed. I think HDMI is far more consistent with higher quality audio than optical. And most home theatres/Sound bar should offer both optical and HDMI.
TV converting HDMI to optical all over the map, No real standard too rely on. I have a Sonos sound bar. Overall a good experience but, the conversion of sound more then challenging at times. Especially when dealing with surround sound conversion. Stereo conversion more consistent. Nice too have more choices then just optical.
 

Santabean2000

macrumors 68000
Nov 20, 2007
1,787
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I already own and have been an all-in believer in Sonos for a few years now. But this thing is at least $300 overpriced. Unless they somehow managed to pack the huge sound of their Playbar and Sub into this single unit, there's no way I'd ever pay $699 for it.
It's meant to be comparable to the Play:5
 

fbglima

macrumors newbie
Sep 25, 2015
10
7
I already own and have been an all-in believer in Sonos for a few years now. But this thing is at least $300 overpriced. Unless they somehow managed to pack the huge sound of their Playbar and Sub into this single unit, there's no way I'd ever pay $699 for it.
They've described it to me exactly like that -- essentially Playbar and Sub combined!