Sonos Playbase: Who's it for?
The Sonos Playbase offers an interesting solution for an increasing problem the consumer faces. The continual degradation of audio quality from ever decreasing TV speaker sizes. The construction of speakers haven't varied that much of the last fifty years, yes more efficient and better quality speakers are built but the composition of speakers broadly remain the same – a magnet and a diaphragm. My own LED television has a very narrow depth so there comes a point where you have to question the size of the speaker inside these units.
Now as we all know the larger the diaphragm the wider the frequency response range. So when consumers start to complain that they can’t hear newly recorded TV shows it’s probably not down to the audio on the TV show but the quality of audio coming from your super slim TV! Here’s the kicker – TV’s are only going to get more and more narrow. At some point the consumer is going to have to think about a separate audio solution.
This is where the Sonos line of Speakers steps in. Much like the excellent Playbar that we’ve all grown to love the Playbase is a speaker for those of us (like myself) who have they’re screen sitting on a table in the corner of the lounge. The idea is that your screen sits on top of the Playbase and voila you have yourself a decent pseudo surround sound speaker.
The Playbase works in a very similar fashion to the Playbar in that it uses the environment of the room to give the user a surround sound affect, which it does very well. However if you wanted to go for a proper 5.1 surround sound feel this can be achieved by adding other Sonos speakers or a Sonos amp to power an existing pair of speakers you may already have.
With the Sonos app allowing you to configure most speaker setups the installation itself it usually pretty straight forward. If you’re an iPhone user the app will also allow you to tune the system, which is highly recommended. I would also recommend the Sonos sub when purchasing a speaker of this type just to give that full deep bass experience when watching movies.
The cost of the Playbase is £699, so it sits in the middle of the price range for speakers of this type but the sleek design and robust construction will mean many years of use. As with all Sonos speakers you get the added advantage of limitless musical content options and if you were to get some Sonos speakers or a sub for the 5.1 configuration all that is required is power.