Published: Fri, March 10, 2017
Electronics | By Lorenzo Hawkins

Sonos aims to revitalize the sound base category with the Playbase

Sonos aims to revitalize the sound base category with the Playbase

Thus, they launched the Sonos Playbase providing both an incredible sound experience and eye pleasing design to the customers.

Sonos said its PlayBase, which is an advance on the company's PlayBar, is aimed at the 70 per cent of people who choose to have their TV on a stand rather than mounted to a wall.

You can adjust the height too, and it swivels through 40 degrees left to right, which means it should suit your lounge, regardless of your set-up.

It's Sonos' take on a soundbar, except it's more of a whole base than a thin bar.

The Sanus Swiveling TV Base is available now in the U.S., priced $150, and will sell through Sonos.com in the United Kingdom in April for £150. Or if you have existing Sonos Play:1 speakers, you can use the app to make them work with the Playbase in a simple surround sound setup. Instead, the PlayBase has a premium and considered finish that would fit in most homes.

We will of course test the PlayBase in a less controlled environment when we have it in for review, but based on our first experience with it, we were impressed with it in both music speaker terms and as a home theatre speaker. All of this would be pointless if the components sounded disparate, but they don't - the Playbase integrates nicely with the Sub and the Play:1, so don't you worry about upgrading. Second, since optical is your only choice for audio input, there's no HDMI ARC or CEC functionality to be found. Sonos reasons this by saying it went with the more prevalent, popular connector. These TVs include all Vizio TVs, most Sony TVs, and a growing number of Samsung and LG TVs, they said.

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Sonos' Playbase will appear in Sonos listening rooms in West Elm furniture stores. This year Sonos has announced its new product, but surprisingly it is not connected with the voice control technology. "The more content that is streaming to a [smart] TV, the less relevant HDMI becomes", he added.

But home theater enthusiasts might be disappointed with some of the technical details. The woofer's exhaust also blows over the Playbase's internal electronics to keep it cool.

Ian Popken, product creation leader at Sonos, was in charge of bringing the Playbase to market from start to finish and, during a tour of the firm's Boston HQ, the engineer recently gave WIRED an exclusive look at each design stage of its flagship product. Inside, there are 10 amplified speaker drivers-six midrange, three tweeters, and one woofer. Current Sonos owners will be able to preorder the new speaker on the Sonos website in order to ensure delivery on launch day.

Before I get into that, I should point out my demo of the Sonos Playbase didn't feature Playbase calibration, so the sound wasn't optimised for the room. But for that money you're getting a speaker with an elegant, built-to-last design, and one that can easily stream your favorite songs from Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, and other services when it's not being used to heighten the immersion of Netflix, Blu-rays, or video games.

But there's yet another confounding design choice that Sonos made with the Playbase as the company readies support for Amazon's Alexa and (hopefully) other voice assistants.

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