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For Mind-Blowing Audio, Sonos Playbar is Worth the Price

There’s no denying that a sound bar isn’t the ultimate solution to a home theater system. But a growing market, accessible pricing and lack of complexity have all contributed to leading many to walk the bar-shaped path to better audio.

Sonos, the brand that’s best known for its rather amazing, wireless speaker systems, has now entered the market with the Playbar. I’ve spent a couple of weeks with the device, and I can tell you that it’s worth every dollar that the company is asking and then some.

The first thing to note is that the Playbar system (like all others in the Sonos line) requires that you either hard wire it over CAT-5 or use the Sonos Bridge to control it wirelessly. If you already have a Bridge, adding the Playbar is simple. If you don’t have one, buy one. They’re cheap, at around $50, and allow you to have easy addition of other Sonos speakers down the road.

Once you’ve hooked up the Bridge to your router, add the Playbar to the system. (It requires pressing 2 buttons. Literally.) You’ll need to make sure that you have a source of audio hooked in from your TV. This is my only niggle with the Playbar — The company provides only an optical input, which can rule out some older TVs, even if they’re flat-panel.

I spoke to Scott Fink, one of the Product Managers for the Playbar, and he explained the choice to me.

“We wanted the Playbar to be ruthlessly simple; an extension of the television. When you look at the market today, the choice to go with optical versus HDMI switching or even RCA inputs was fairly straightforward because that’s what’s available in the majority of televisions.”

Read More: Brad McCarty

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