Sonos Playbase Review: Raising The Bar For Audio From Under Your TV
Being able to actually hear the audio of your favorite television show, film, music or video game inarguably adds a deeper dimension to the experience. Sonos Playbase, the latest product from venerable sound system manufacturer Sonos, is a readymade device that can provide a quality experience in a convenient package.
The compact design of the Playbase allows you to easily place it underneath your television. Sonos insists TVs that are as high as 60 inches or up to 77 pounds can be supported by the Playbase. This, in fact, is one of its strengths: placing a TV upon the Playbase will not adversely affect its audio.
Setting up the device is painless to do, as iOS and Android devices both support a helpful installation app. (The app will require a Sonos account to use, but creating one is a short affair.) Using your Wifi, the app will then search for Sonos speakers. Then, the app will present you with directions.
The Trueplay component returns, which helps adjust the Playbase’s settings to produce the best possible audio in the room it’s in. While the effectiveness will vary depending on the interior of the room housing it, it can enhance the sound. Unfortunately, Trueplay is an iOS-exclusive luxury.
The Sonos Playbase’s subwoofer is of high quality. Engadget’s reviewer noted how it beautifully expressed the dynamic sound effects in the movies he watched, from explosions to a helmet landing on the ground. He added how they exceed the quality of his TV’s speakers by a vast margin.
The dialog heard through the Playbase gain an air of clarity, too, to the extent that it sounds like the characters being observed onscreen sound as if they’re occupying the same space as the listener. Additional details that standard speakers fail to capture are recorded, such as “the scratchy, amplified characteristics” of a megaphone.
Naturally, these enhancements translate well into music, with the vocals being clear. Despite being built for home theaters, the Sonos Playbase is adept at playing your playlist, too. Another feature is compatibly with Sonos’s Sub and two Play:1 speakers. When synced together, these offer 5.1 surround sound.
In terms of its aesthetics, the Sonos Playbase is a pleasant looking device. It comes in white or black, although you’re advised to use caution: they can be marred easily with scratches. The logo on front of the device can function as buttons to control the Playbase. Pressing the left button will decrease the volume, pressing right will increase it, and swiping in either direction will allow you to move through your playlist. Furthermore, tapping above the logo will pause or un-pause your music. There’s also a button on the left of the machine, which connects the Playbase to your Wifi network.
Overall, the Sonos Playbase is a worthy addition to your household if you’re looking for higher-quality audio. The biggest drawback, as expected, is its price: $700. However, if you’re looking to upgrade the audio emitting from your TV, it might be worth it to splurge.
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