Sonos Playbar

Last updated date: July 26, 2019

DWYM Score
9.1

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is your trusted product review source. Along with our in-house experts, our team analyzes thousands of product reviews from the most trusted websites. We then create one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in the category.

We looked at the top 1 Soundbars and dug through the reviews from 8 of the most popular review sites including Tech Radar, Trusted Reviews, Top Ten Reviews, CNET, Wired, Consumer Reports, BestReviews, New York Times Wirecutter and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Soundbar you should buy.

Overall Take

Sonos is a respected name in soundbars and the Playbar is an impressive unit. You'll get great sound, but perhaps the best thing about the Playbar is its easy connectivity to the other speakers in the line, making it a breeze to set up surround sound. In our analysis of 52 expert reviews, the Sonos Sonos Playbar placed 1st when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note August 12, 2019:
Checkout The Best Soundbar for a detailed review of all the top soundbars.

Expert Summarized Score
8.5
8 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.6
1,140 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
One bit of cleverness we unequivocally like, though we weren't able to test it, is that as well as adding the Sonos Sub to bolster the bottom end, you can also add two Sonos Play:3 speakers behind you wirelessly, giving you a decent crack at 5.1 surround sound. (Play:5s don't work.)
- Tech Radar
October 15, 2018 | Full review
This functionality could arguably have been implemented more easily with an Arc-enabled HDMI port, which can pass on remote-style commands.
- Trusted Reviews
August 3, 2018 | Full review
This sound bar doubles as an Alexa smart speaker.
- Top Ten Reviews
October 10, 2018 | Full review
The Sonos Playbar integrates the company's best-in-class digital music software into a thoughtfully designed sound bar. It's dead simple to set up and works seamlessly with other Sonos products, and can even be expanded to a true wireless 5.1 system by adding the Sonos Sub and two Play:3 speakers. The Playbar itself also does an excellent job with virtual surround effects, making it sound like you have more speakers than you actually do.
- CNET
February 1, 2013 | Full review
With more mid-woofers, it delivers deep bass and has more balance and depth than the Beam or Playbase. It's also built to hang on a wall, but at just over 3-inches tall and 5-inches thick, it can also sit in front of most TVs without hassle.
- Wired
August 1, 2018 | Full review
The Playbar is compatible only with TVs with optical digital audio outputs. The Playbar is just 3.3 inches tall, so it can be placed beneath most TVs without blocking the screen or IR sensor, and the speaker can be rotated horizontally for wall mounting, with a sensor that recognizes the speaker's orientation and adjusts the sound output accordingly.
- Consumer Reports
Produces crisp, clear sound with its perfectly engineered interior components – 9 amplified drivers, 3 high range tweeters, and 6 mid-woofers balance sound precisely. Sonos app makes it easy to stream sound throughout your home.
- BestReviews
This model is a great soundbar for your TV that also happens to be a part of the Sonos ecosystem.
- New York Times Wirecutter
What experts didn't like
There is no remote in the box and requires particular TVs.
- Tech Radar
October 15, 2018 | Full review
However, it fails to deliver low bass and sub-bass sound.
- Trusted Reviews
August 3, 2018 | Full review
The bass response is lacking compared to sound bars that come with a subwoofer.
- Top Ten Reviews
October 10, 2018 | Full review
The Playbar's heavily processed sound won't please purists. It's also expensive and there are considerably better-sounding alternatives in its price range. Many buyers would be fine with cheaper AirPlay or Bluetooth alternatives.
- CNET
February 1, 2013 | Full review
It is very expensive
- Wired
August 1, 2018 | Full review
This is pricey and it doesn't have its own remote.
- Consumer Reports
Expensive. Reports of difficulties switching from the soundbar to regular TV sound. A bit difficult to pair to non-Sonos equipment. Requires internet connection to activate many of its features.
- BestReviews
This is a bit costly compared to other soundbars
- New York Times Wirecutter

From The Manufacturer

PLAYBAR´s nine–speaker design floods your home with huge waves of epic, full–theater sound for TV, Web, Movies and Video Games. It is also a stand–alone all–in–one Sonos player that allows you to wirelessly stream all the music on earth—your iTunes library, your favorite music services, and thousands of Internet radio stations, shows and podcasts.PLAYBAR connects to your TV using a single optical cable and power cord and plays everything that is connected to your TV, from cable boxes to gaming consoles. Connect PLAYBAR or BRIDGE to your wireless router and link all Sonos players wirelessly with one touch. NOTE: To get started, you must wire either one player or BRIDGE to your home network using a standard Ethernet cable.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Sonos Playbar
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 8
2. Sonos Playbase
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 4
3. VIZIO 28-Inch Sound bar
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 2
4. LG High Resolution Audio Sound Bar
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 4
5. Sony Sound Bar Speaker
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 4
6. Samsung Soundbar with Dolby Atmos
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 5
7. Sony Ultra-slim 300W HTCT290 Sound bar
Overall Score: 7.7
Expert Reviews: 2
8. Bose Solo 5 TV Sound System
Overall Score: 7.7
Expert Reviews: 3
9. TaoTronics Sound Bar
Overall Score: 7.5
Expert Reviews: 2
10. Polk Soundbar
Overall Score: 6.9
Expert Reviews: 10

An Overview On Soundbars

Now that you can order a film at the press of a button, movie night has moved from the cineplex to living rooms. For that reason, it’s likely no surprise that consumers report they’d rather watch a movie at home than leave the house. But getting the same experience at home as you do in a theater can be challenging.

Even if you take advantage of the low prices on high-quality big-screen TVs, duplicating true movie theater surround sound can get expensive. In recent years, soundbars have advanced to the point where they now can simulate surround sound for a fraction of the cost of a speaker set. But one soundbar can differ dramatically from another, so it’s important to do your research before you buy.

Soundbars can range in price, but you’re sure to find one that fits within your budget. When shopping for soundbars, pay close attention to the range of tones you’ll get. Some soundbars can’t handle bass as well as others, even when they’re promising the best sound quality.

Once you get your soundbar home, you’ll generally be on your own to make it work with your existing systems. One of the best things you can do is take note of the equipment you already have and make sure the soundbar you choose is compatible. Many of today’s speakers use Bluetooth connectivity to allow you to eliminate unsightly wires. So if you have an older TV or receiver, you may find the soundbar you’ve bought won’t connect.

Finally, stop to think about where you’ll set up your new soundbar, as well as any speakers you plan to add on to it. There are soundbars you can mount on the wall, while there are many others that can set on your furniture in front of your TV. Whichever option you choose, note the dimensions of your soundbar in advance to ensure you know how much room it will take up.

DYWM Fun Fact

As you set up your home theater, it’s important to consider the size of your room. Soundbars are more than adequate for smaller rooms. But if your home theater is in a large basement or an oversized bonus room, you’re likely going to find that you need additional speakers to truly immerse your audience with sound. This is also true if you’re a movie buff who expects to feel like you’re on the Millennium Falcon, not just watching it on a screen. But many soundbars are designed for add-ons, so you should be able to build your home theater gradually if you aren’t quite ready to jump in fully just yet.

The Soundbar Buying Guide

  • If your soundbar doesn’t sound good, there’s no point in even having one. If you’re going for the best sound, consider either the Sonos Playbar or Sonos Playbase. Both have great sound and great ranges. However, the Sonos Playbase performs better in the deeper ranges, with bass you can feel in your chest.
  • For those interested in building a true home theater, adding on extra speakers is the key to success. Sonos allows you to easily buy extra speakers to connect to your soundbar. The Sonos Playbar does best with this, letting you expand to a true 5.1 wireless sound system. Even without extra speakers, though, Sonos does a better job at simulating surround sound, while VIZIO’s soundbar struggles with that.
  • Setup can be intimidating if you don’t consider yourself a tech guru. The TaoTronics soundbar is among the easiest to use, whether you’re wiring it up or using its Bluetooth-pairing capabilities. Sonos can be tricky to set up, especially when it comes to pairing with other equipment.
  • One of the biggest concerns when shopping for any speaker is where it will be. The Sonos Playbar is designed to hang on a wall, but it can also rest in front of your TV. The Sonos Playbase can be mounted, but it looks great in front of your TV. If you’re limited on space, you may want to avoid any soundbar that comes with a separate subwoofer that you’ll need to place.
  • If you’re looking for the smallest soundbar, the Sonos Playbase is the shortest, at only 2.28 inches tall.
  • One size benefit to the Sonos Playbar is that it can be easily mounted horizontally or vertically, with the sensor automatically adjusting the sound depending on how you’ve oriented it.
  • If you have an Amazon product that uses Alexa, Sonos soundbars have an additional benefit in that you can connect them to your device and play music on command.
  • With Sonos soundbars, you’ll have access to an app that you can then use to control your speakers. However, the Sonos Playbar and Playbase don’t come with a remote control, which means you’ll need a universal remote if you can’t connect it to an existing smart remote. The TaoTronics soundbar comes with a remote, but it’s a bit bulky. You’ll also need to have two AAA batteries on hand since they aren’t included in the box.
  • If you plan to regularly switch the sound from your soundbar to your TV, note that there have been some complaints with the Sonos Playbar that the shift can be tricky at times.
  • The TaoTronics soundbar is built to last with durable ABS plastic beneath the soft cloth cover. Although the Sonos soundbars are durable, if you choose the white model of the Playbase, be aware that it can scratch easily.
  • When it comes to price, you’re going to pay much more for some soundbars than other speakers. Be sure to consider whether you’ll also need to pay for separate speakers. In some instances, the price may also include a subwoofer, so keep that in mind.