Convince me to buy Sonos Playbar over Bose 300

  • 21 April 2017
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I'd recommend two things:

1) Keep audio and video systems requirements separate. Very rarely is the best music solution also the best TV sound solution.

2) From the choice of these, take the Bose - purely for DTS support.

For the money though, I wouldn't buy either, I'd go with a Denon AV receiver and separate speakers.


1) Keep audio and video systems requirements separate. Very rarely is the best music solution also the best TV sound solution.

I agree;

Further, for pure audio/music, Sonos is a no audible compromises solution, even compared to others at any price point for any home - with its Connect interface, Sonos can integrate even the USD 50K + set ups that have monster speakers that are taller than most people. And have these play in perfect sync with a play 1 unit stashed in a small room in the same home - if required.

For video on the other hand, apart from the format issues, Sonos offers the compromised solution needed to deliver the benefits of reduced clutter/footprint/cabling. Almost any decent AV receiver, wired to a minimum of 5.1 quality speakers, will deliver better sound for TV/Movies, as close to the multiplex as possible in the home. The price to pay would be wires running to all speakers, including the surround pair at the rear. But running in stereo 2.0 mode, or 2.1 mode if possible, this set up would also sound better for music than the Sonos playbar/base solution.
I have 2 play 1 and 2 player 5. Currently considering a soundbar. I have the same question regarding if I should buy Bose 300 or Sonos. I tried demo in the store for both and both sound nice. I like Bose has bluetooth. But if I bought Sonos, I could have the surrounding system when I connect my players. I feel like being tied up...
My $0.02. I own many sonos products for music streaming and do believe they are the most complete solution for this application. I also have two home theater set ups (neither uses a soundbar). I have considered converting one of the setups to a sound bar with surround speakers (for aesthetics). Looking at current options, I have not made this switch. Regardless, I have looked at the options and I think Sonos dropped the ball with playbase and playbar.

1) audio connection is via optical output. Their competition (Bose, Polk, Yamaha, Paradigm) support HDMI with audio return channel (ARC) and CEC. HDMI is a superior connection and with CEC capability the sound at would only be enabled when you wanted it.
2) Sonos relies on TVs optical output transmitting Dolby digital 5.1. FYI: some TVs convet Dolby digital 5.1 to 2.0 PCM on the optical output. Since Sonos only support optical output you may be limited to stereo output.
3) No Dolby pro logic. Sonos uses a proprietary algorithm for stereo to multichannel output. Since most of the output will be stereo (see comment #2) you will be relying on Sonos’s algorithms for surround sound. This is not necessarily a negative but an unknown. I have no idea if Sonos propriety algorithm conveys effective surround.
4) TOSLINK only support DTS 5.1 or Dolby Digital 5.1. If you want uncompressed (e.g Dolby truadio) or Dolby atmos you are out of luck. FYI: This comment applies to Sonos and its’ playbar competition.

For me personally, I have multiple home theater receivers so I know the limitations of soudbars. However if you are considering a sound bar due to the high WAF (wife acceptance factor), do your research. If your TV outputs DD 5.1 the Sonos May make you very happy. If. It does not or you are looking for future capabilities (7.1, atmos, etc...) look elsewhere.


If you are looking for music capability. Stop buy Sonos.
Like someone else said in a much earlier reply, happy customers dont post in the community that often. I am a happy customer of sonos products for a long time now, probably about 8-10 years. Lets start with the angst. The only thing i wish there was more support for is higher surround sound profiles but thats from a GAS outlook, in reality the basic surround sound is sufficient and if i was inclined to purchase equipment that gave me the higher profiles i would ask myself at what cost and what sychronisation loss? The main reason for sonos is sychronisation and the fact that it bridges other gaps is a bonus. The hardware is top notch, the software is top notch and 99% bulletproof. The support is second to none, ignore the endless online posts, all you need to do is raise a support query and the ball will roll. Yes the lack of inputs apart from on the play5 and connect are a pity but thats where the strength of your wifi router and wifi mobile device comes into play, nuff said. As for wiring your entire house to accomodate a sonos system, nonsense to put it bluntly, i live in an old stone house built in 1880 with solid stone walls and all i needed in one part of the house was a sonos bridge and that was the old bridge, the new bridge is miles better and now i can get sonos wirelessly in the garage! The sonos mesh wireless works extermely well in my home with a ton of other electrical appliances and wifi devices messing up the airwaves. I dont mind saying im an advocate for sonos but i also dont mind saying that i have been put off buying more because of the increase in prices, the sub and bar have gone up an extra £100! Building a system under the new aggressive price range is growing to be too much!
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You likely have your system now but here is my experience so far. I have had sonos for almost 5 years. I started with a play 5. I loved it. I then got a playbar ...because I wanted to clean up my livingroom with all the wires. Later I added a sub and then latter again I added two play one....now I am looking for something else.....and it is hard to find. I like waking up to my favorite radio station and setting it up is easy and reliable. Yes I did have an issue with dropped packet but I resolved that with a new router. Most people use what they get from their ISP...they don't understand much else. They don't realize all the connections to it and they don't understand wireless and that you can change your channels ( I did that my issue went away on my old router) if need be in the router. Yes I pay 400 for my router but it is the heart and soul of my network. It run sonos, google home my lights, my chromecast etc. Now back to sonos...the most it will ever do is DTS5.1 assuming your TV passes it. If you are connecting a bluray or others to your TV ATmos is out ..along with other formats ( and their are lots) . I had to buy a box to connect to and then pass out to my TV....here I am getting back into more crap. My New Tv passess it fine, but still it is by TV. Optical just can't pass enough bandwidth to do other audio formats...period. The bottom line is you want good sound and you want convenience.In the end my setup is like 2000.00 bucks.......that's crazy....for what it is. Better audio on my TV and play music. ...I got kinda excited when they came out with a playbase......... that in my opinion is garbage ...same tech different design...In fact my wife didn't notice when I added it until she tried to control volume...it changed how it presented itself on the screen.....she actually said honey that really is not 800 dollars better......and I have to agree (bedroom TV) If you do a search for great soundbars...Sonos simply does not come out on top and there is a whole lotta reasons why.It had it's time but until they switch from optical and having to have the right TV to pass the signal...they are doomed in the home theater space. There is a lot of ways to cast audio today and it continues to grow.


NOTE1: only one of four friends appears to have Sonos working reliably (probably because they have just a Playbar located right next the wifi router and only play Spotify or their phone content).

NOTE2: it's all about the customer support, and the large number of customers with unresolved issues on this forum suggests this is not a priority for Sonos.

#KeepItSimple

P.S. I'm now saving up to hardwire the house, thus am willing to sell all of my four month old Sonos equipment at pre-March prices ;-)
You cant blame sonos for your poor WiFi signal
How does the Playbase go with DTS-HD and TrueHD, the missing HDMI is only reason I holding off with Playbase, would I notice any difference without it? It sounds great in store, wondering if I should keep holding off for playbase with hdmi (hopefully not too far away)
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How does the Playbase go with DTS-HD and TrueHD, the missing HDMI is only reason I holding off with Playbase, would I notice any difference without it? It sounds great in store, wondering if I should keep holding off for playbase with hdmi (hopefully not too far away) If I were a betting man - Sonos and HDMI will be at least 2-3 years away. They just released there new playbase...I was very disappointed in it...no HDMI. In fact you might start looking now for other options and perhaps one that includes rca then just use a Sonos connect. Even those don't have hdmi since they are audio only devices. Maybe a RCA to hdmi would help the sonos connect, just leave out the yellow cable in connecting.Also some soundbars now have Atmos and for sure sonos will be way behind the curve on that. Don't get me wrong bI love sonos but if they are not going to adapt to the market and what people want then they will loose in the end. Example I love the fact I can wake up to my own radio station - well apparently Alexa devices can do that for me now as well. In all honesty if sonos waits to bring features too long...people won't renew their devices they will switch devices. At the end of the day they want to listen to their music system and have better sounding TVs. Personally I don't think they can wait another 2 or 3 years to come out with a better sound bar ...meaning better connection options than optical and going through a TV and that TV having to be able to pass sound formats to the play bar/base without using a middle device...Just my thoughts
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agree with wolfman comments I wanted to make a correction though.... he had typo saying most it will do is DTS5.1 .... actually it won't do DTS5.1. I'm sure he meant DD 5.1. Playbar and Playbase ONLY do Dolby Digital 5.1 (DD 5.1). For bluray since there are a lot of titles that are DTS your player device needs to be able to transcode on the fly from DTS to DD (there are many players that will for this very reason).
Buy Bose.
Sonos just appears to stop working randomly.
Surf the net. Check other peoples forums.
But Sonos has epic software issues despite a great sound if (and it is a big IF) you can ever get it to work AND to stay working consistently.


I agree I sold my Playbar Sub due to frustration, sub not found play 1 not found, etc etc but when all was going Awesome
You all have helped me, thank you!

Here is where I am at....

I like the Bose. I think it just sounds better. My wife likes the Sonos. But......

What is holding me back honestly is the Bose software.
Just basic things that get reported not working.
The software was rolled out just to immature and they are scrambling to get it working besides adding meaningful new features.
I realize the moderators are doing their best to communicate between the user community and the developers but the feedback to the users is poor. The lack of real progress on the issues is disappointing.

I am a software developer and this would NOT be acceptable to me or any company I have worked for.

The Sonos is a more mature product that is mostly stable and has many more features. Sonos sounds great with True multi room sound.
My issue with them is the lack of bluetooth and HDMI. Seems limited for the future.

For now I am going to see who wants the premium sound bar market the most.
If Bose can dedicate the resources into fixing the software I am all in. Bose it is.
If Sonos comes out with a new model that has HDMI than I will be a Sonos man.

Honestly, I do think I can go wrong with either choice. Both sound fantastic.


Hii .. could u please let us know what u purchased at the end. Playbar or Bose .. and how are you finding it? Any recomendations or feedback. Great if u could update us..
Sonos are a clear leader in the innovation of multi room and have shaken up those such as Bose. Looks like Bose have been struggling to understand and adapt to that (and there'll undoubtedly be more from Sonos and others.)

What Sonos seem to have done well is capture the multi-room idea and have created a very cool and flexible system.
They have done a good job of the apps and software and clearly have created quality soundgear.

Bose have not adapted well, have not done well with their software (usability nor quality, from what I can make out). They are a solid performer over many years but are seen as dated and standing on their laurels from the past. Will they survive?
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I can't fault our Sonos multiroom setup for music (apart from the Deezer outage) but I wish they would bring out a "breakout box" for the Playbar/ Playbase.

A box that can be updated to decode DTS/ Atmos etc and pass through 5.1 info to the Playbar. Could use the LAN connection, would have HDMI port etc.

I have a lot of money in our 5.1 Setup alone, holding out on buying a new TV just because if I get it wrong it will cripple our Playbar Home Theatre setup.

Samsung are stopping production of their Blu-ray players, I use one of these as it decodes DTS to DD5.1 on the fly and it does the same for Netflix as well via its app. With the convenience gone I'd have a ton of money in a Stereo setup.

As said above, it's ironic what people have come up with to get around the "simplicity" of the optical input on Playbar, HDMI switches with optical pass though etc..

I spent hours with EDID emulators to get our setup to pass through 5.1 seamlessly, my family don't want to be messing around with multiple controllers and menus, just turn the TV on and go..

No doubt this will fall on deaf ears but a breakout box with DTS Atmos decoding/ transcoding would be godsend for many Playbar / Playbase users.

Would be a shame to see a new TV causing the death of our Sonos HT but I don't think I've the time or patience to wrestle with it all again, shame as the hardware really is top notch.
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I can't fault our Sonos multiroom setup for music (apart from the Deezer outage) but I wish they would bring out a "breakout box" for the Playbar/ Playbase.

A box that can be updated to decode DTS/ Atmos etc and pass through 5.1 info to the Playbar. Could use the LAN connection, would have HDMI port etc.

I have a lot of money in our 5.1 Setup alone, holding out on buying a new TV just because if I get it wrong it will cripple our Playbar Home Theatre setup.

Samsung are stopping production of their Blu-ray players, I use one of these as it decodes DTS to DD5.1 on the fly and it does the same for Netflix as well via its app. With the convenience gone I'd have a ton of money in a Stereo setup.


Which Samsung Bluray player are you using, could you share pls?
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I use a Samsung bd-h6500 at the moment but that is not native 4k, will be buying a newer version while there are some still available.
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I use a Samsung bd-h6500 at the moment but that is not native 4k, will be buying a newer version while there are some still available.
Thanks Keith, will have a look

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