Gadgets

Sonos Takes Home Theater Market With Wireless Soundbar

Sonos Playbar Wireless Speaker | Official Website

Sonos Playbar Wireless Speaker | Official Website

While NuVo Technologies and Pure are expanding their market reach to consumer multi-room audio market, Sonos opted to take on the home-theater audio market. They recently announced the new Playbar, a wireless speaker bar designed to be deployed at the bottom of a flat-screen HDTV.

Features and Availability

Set to be released on March 5, the $699 wireless speaker bar looks like a typical self-amplified home-theater soundbar. It is a single-cabinet speaker system that houses nine drivers—six mid-woofers and three tweeters—each of which has a discreet amplifier.

The wireless soundbar connects to a TV’s digital-audio output using an optical cable, and it can also play the audio from whatever source is sending the sound to the TV. Moreover, Sonos Playbar can decode a number of common audio streams like Dolby Digital. However, it cannot decode high-definition audio streams used in Blu-ray discs such as Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio.

Aside from the wireless speaker bar, users can also add Sonos Sub subwoofer for $699 to add low-frequency effects on its bass performance. They can also build out a complete 5.1-channel audio system by adding the Sub and a pair of Sonos’ Play:3 self-powered speakers, which costs $299 each, for surround channels.

Entering the Home Theater Market: What it Means for Sonos

Since a complete surround-sound system from Sonos would cost about $2,000, it might be difficult for the company to convince their potential buyers. However, the Playbar alone could be a hit if it will play great. That’s because this is not the type of speaker that home-theater enthusiasts will buy. Not to mention that it does not support Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD MA.

But it appears that they are not the type of customers that Sonos is trying to cater. Single-cabinet home-theater speakers are very popular, and the Playbar is the only one that can play music as part of Sonos’ multi-room audio system.

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