Sonos Playbase

Last updated date: July 26, 2019

DWYM Score
8.8

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We looked at the top 1 Soundbars and dug through the reviews from 4 of the most popular review sites including Tech Radar, Trusted Reviews, Engadget, The Verge and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Soundbar you should buy.

Overall Take

If you're looking for easy connectivity to streaming apps, the Sonos Playbase is a great choice. It comes with crisp, high-quality sound for a true home theater experience. Setup is also fairly straightforward as long as you have the app. In our analysis of 48 expert reviews, the Sonos Sonos Playbase placed 2nd 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
8.4
4 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.2
681 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
We’re happy to report that it does in fact sound quite good. Even without Trueplay calibration, the Playbase offered punchy bass, crisp vocals and a good sense of soundstage depth and height.
- Tech Radar
July 11, 2018 | Full review
Sonos supports every major music streaming service and the Sonos app is easily the slickest, smoothest and most user-friendly piece of software I’ve ever seen with an audio product.
- Trusted Reviews
June 12, 2018 | Full review
Clear, powerful audio regardless of whether you're watching a movie or listening to music. Music streaming is a unique feature in the home theater speaker market. Easy to setup and convert to a wireless 5.1 surround sound setup by buying extra speakers.
- Engadget
April 4, 2017 | Full review
Setup worked flawlessly for me. You open the Sonos app, plug the Playbase in, and follow a few screens to get started. Sonos guides you through the steps of turning off your TV’s built-in speakers and programming your regular remote to control volume on the Playbase, which takes just a few seconds.
- The Verge
April 4, 2017 | Full review
What experts didn't like
TruePlay calibration for iOS only and virtual surround sounds artificial.
- Tech Radar
July 11, 2018 | Full review
No HDMI and too expensive if you want to build a system.
- Trusted Reviews
June 12, 2018 | Full review
Expensive, particularly if you're building a 5.1 setup. The lovely white finish scratches and scuffs easily. Stereo separation isn't as good as you'll get with a true multi-speaker setup.
- Engadget
April 4, 2017 | Full review
It only uses optical audio. It doesn’t support DTS surround sound. It’s expensive — and that’s even before you consider adding in a Sonos Sub or two Play:1 speakers for a 5.1 arrangement.
- The Verge
April 4, 2017 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Your TV’s got the video part nailed. But the audio? That leaves a lot to be desired. Especially when it’s movie time. Game time. Music time. Come to think of it, any time. The all new PLAYBASE adds pulse-pounding, full-theater sound to all your movies, TV shows, sports and games–and it wirelessly streams your favorite music, too. Its slim, low profile design practically vanishes beneath your TV, yet it fills your entire viewing room with spectacular widescreen sound you just can’t miss. It is part of Sonos, the wireless Home Sound System that fills as many rooms as you want with great-sounding tunes. It’s a new, better way to fill each day with the sounds you love.

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.