The Sonos Playbar is a product that filled us with excitement when it was announced, and we are back with our Playbar review. With the Playbar, Sonos enters the home theater market with a pretty sound strategy--provide a soundbar that puts out a 3.0 sound signal, and allow it to be paired with the Sonos SUB for those who want 3.1 sound…then, make it even better by allowing two Sonos PLAY:3 speakers to be used as a full on 5.1 surround sound system.
Of course, for the ultimate Sonos 5.1 setup, you'll have to pay an additional $699 for the SUB and $598 for the two PLAY:3 units, an additional $1,397 above the $699 price of the Playbar. So, while we will touch on the 3.1 and 5.1 configurations, we are here to bring you a Sonos Playbar review that focuses on the standalone abilities of the ambitious soundbar. Has it been worth the wait? We explore the answer in our full Playbar review--read on.
Gear Live's love affair with Sonos is no secret - we love the product dearly, and with today's introduction of the Playbar, it's grown even more. With the Sonos Playbar, the company is effectively entering the home theater space, providing a soundbar that's capable of pumping out massive sound through its nine drivers (size mid-range drivers and three tweeters.) Simply connect it to your television through optical TOSlink, and you are ready to go.
The Playbar isn't just a typical soundbar speaker--it's a Sonos product, and that means it ties right in to the Sonos ecosystem. You can use it to play music streamed from your iTunes library, streaming music subscription services like Rdio and Spotify, Pandora, and many more.
It gets better, too. Sonos says you can pair the Soundbar with the Sonos SUB and/or a couple of Play:3 or Play:5 units for a full-on 5.1 surround sound experience. It'll be expensive, but it leaves us salivating. You can pick up the Sonos Playbar next month for $699, and it's available for pre-order right now.
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[Editor's Note: Andru Edwards of Gear Live and the Ask Andru column joined us on this week's GeekWire radio show and podcast to share his top picks for technology gifts this holiday season. Here's a rundown of his choices, just in time your last-minute shopping.]
Kindle Fire: Amazon's $199 tablet is often compared to the iPad, but in many ways it's more appropriate to compare it to the iPod touch, based on the price and feature set. If you want a cheap tablet that can ship to you by Christmas, the Kindle Fire is it. There are some bugs. In terms of responsiveness and the accuracy of its touch interface, the Kindle Fire doesn't always live up to Apple iOS devices, but for $199 you're not going to find anything else that has this feature set, and many of the bugs will be fixed by software updates.
Crayola ColorStudio HD: This $29.99 accessory is a digital marker for the iPad, turning the Apple tablet into a virtual coloring book when used in conjunction with a companion app, with music and animations. With the digital marker, kids can do more with the iPad than just play games. They can be color, they can make their own coloring book pages. Input styles include crayons, markers and paint. Features include Facebook sharing and printing through Apple AirPrint.
In this episode we open up the Sonos PLAY:3, the latest wireless Hi-Fi speaker system from Sonos. The PLAY:3 is the smallest wireless speaker system that Sonos offers, allowing you to plug it in and set it up just about anywhere, but still getting big sound. You can pair two of them together for a wide stereo sound stage, and you can also turn it vertical and it will automatically go into mono sound mode. We open up the PLAY:3 and show you how it looks - be on the lookout for our PLAY:3 review over on Bleeding Edge TV!
You can get the Sonos PLAY:3 now for $299.
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If you don't know, we're huge fans of Sonos here at Gear Live. There's nothing else like it if you're a music lover for managing and listening to just about anything you can think of, in any room of your home, wirelessly. Today, Sonos is introducing a new product aimed at lowering the cost of entry into Sonos ownership with the PLAY:3. The PLAY:3 is a small, Hi-Fi streaming unit that sports three integrated speakers (a tweeter and two mid-range) and three digital amps, offering big sound. There's no subwoofer (save that for the PLAY:5, formerly known as the Sonos S5) on board, but the PLAY:3 does rock a passive bass "radiator" to make up for it, and we hear it works well. You can pick up the PLAY:3 for $299 from Sonos directly, or in stores. If you're new to Sonos, you'll also need to pick up a $49 Bridge to create the Sonos wireless network in your home. Once you have that, you can then just add more Sonos zones to any room in your home, and they'll automatically pick up the network and start working. It's good times.
We expect to get a test unit of the PLAY:3 in tomorrow, and we will start testing and let you know our thoughts.
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