New Playbar Release Any Indication ?

  • 12 November 2016
  • 23 replies

I bought Play 5 three years ago with objective to expand to home theatre. Its time to buy Playbar, however holding off my purchase for the new release specially HDMI ARC connectivity. tempted dramatically with Bose 300 series which suits my purpose. Some indications on release will assist my itch

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23 replies

Hi. I'm sorry but Sonos have never said that there will ever be a new Playbar and always refuse to give a roadmap for developments. You had better buy Bose - shame about the sound, though. Or use a switch, as many of us do, to get round the connectivity issues with the Playbar.

You are aware that gen 1 Play:5 speakers cannot be used as surrounds with the Playbar?
Hi John, bit disappointed to hear that. What switch do you use to make gen 1 Play 5 to work with Playbar ? The only reason why I waited so far was to build on my investment on Sonos. If I can't build then my decision going forward would be a no brainer. Its hard believe that Sonos is not providing integration with with older products.
PLAY:5 Gen1 lacks a 5GHz radio, which rules it out for use as surrounds with the PLAYBAR. The point-to-point 5GHz wireless links are key to PLAYBAR maintaining low latency comms with its surrounds/SUB.

I guess that in theory Sonos could make a firmware build for PLAY:5 Gen1 which allowed it to operate in wired-only mode as surrounds. They did so for CONNECT:AMP, but that was to address the market of users wanting to use in-ceiling passive speakers as surrounds. The demand to do something similar with PLAY:5 Gen1 must be virtually non-existent; a PLAY:5 is generally regarded as overkill for surround duties.
Its hard believe that Sonos is not providing integration with older products.

This really isn't the case at all. The Play:5 gen 1 can still be used in any Sonos system. It cannot be used as a surround speaker with the Playbar in a 5.1 or 5.0 setup for the reasons given by @ratty. The Sonos website was always clear, in the Play:5 gen 1 days, that P:1s and P:3s could be used as surround speakers, but not P:5s.

The switch I referred to was to allow multiple devices to use the Playbar and produce 5.1 sound, for TVs that don't passthrough 5.1 sound. That may not even be an issue for you, depending on the make and model of your TV.
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Given that Sonos' product cycle on the Play:5 was about 6 years before the second generation model appeared, there are a little less than two and a half more years before we expect that they come out with a new version of the Playbar. That will give them time to see what's going on with the audio formats used in new 4K media, and hopefully support such formats in the new version.
Appreciate all of you for assisting and answering my questions.I think it provides me with all the information I was looking for.
I have never used BOSE systems before. DO you guys reckon a big difference after listening to Play 5 for over 2 years now ?
I have been deeply unimpressed with every Bose speaker I have heard.

I am still unclear what it is you want the Playbar to do that you believe it cannot do??
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found this on the web
"I don't have an exact date, I'm a dealer and our rep said existing playbar is scheduled to reach EOL in 16 with a replacement coming in 17. "
found this on the web
"I don't have an exact date, I'm a dealer and our rep said existing playbar is scheduled to reach EOL in 16 with a replacement coming in 17. "

The world is awash with rumours and misinformation. Sonos just don't release this sort of information to dealers, and probably not to their own reps. I speak as an ex Sonos dealer. If this is correct it will be purely by accident.

In fact, if a rep did know this and revealed something that Sonos have always refused to comment on, he/she would probably be dismissed. But then given Sonos' public stance they wouldn't tell the reps in the first place, because Sonos might as well shout it from the rooftops.
Really irritated by the lack of developments on this. Bought two SONOS speakers a couple of years ago now, and haven't added to them simply because of the inferior soundbar. Unfortunately, it's time to upgrade my setup and this is now in danger of dictating the type of television I'm going to buy, as only specific brands output 5.1 from their optical out, and so many of my films are on AppleTV/NAS.

The market is moving away from physical media like DVD and BD, and I'm doubtful BD4K will catch on. SONOS need a 5.1 Home Cinema solution for the future - and that means an HDMI pass-through.
SONOS need a 5.1 Home Cinema solution for the future - and that means an HDMI pass-through.
If the TV doesn't pass through 5.1, just use an HDMI audio extractor/de-embedder.
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While typical Sonos unit life cycle for replacement may be 6 years or so.

The Playbar to me is a little different in that there have been so many changes since it was released when it comes to TV and 5.1 that it will be in need of replacement much more quickly.

Either a Playbar Gen:2 or another surround method (like a connect with digital input) will have to be on the horizon primarily because TV manufacturers failed to properly implement the standards for optical output from their TVs. I can't see Sonos abandoning this market (as sticking with the Playbar in its current form would be).
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I think they would be better making some kind of 'super connect' with a whole bunch of inputs and outputs and surround formats (with plenty of memory for format upgrades) where it can wireless send content to any combination of newer (5ghz) speakers - playbar, 1,3,5 and sub. Users can configure them any which way they like.
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Playbar to me limits their speaker sales. Playbar a sub and a couple play surrounds. (buy 4 components)

Superconnect, sub, fronts and center, rears (up to 4 for 7.1) ...... (that is is 9 component sold)

There are so many competing soundbars out there but there is no true 7.1 completely customizable wireless system out there (and especially works for projector owners who have no wires going to front of room).
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and a new Play:ATMOS speaker

I got out of 5.1 really when I went Sonos (used to be big on my 5.1 system and movies). I have a playbar but really don't watch movies with it much.

Super Connect and Play:Atmos speakers - - that would get me back into surround sound (and cost me a pile of money going Sonos way too).
I'd certainly be a fan of them supporting/going ATMOS as well, and would be spending some funds to support my habit.
I agree with most of you that Sonos needs to keep pace with technology. One product in market for over 2 years is too long!!! I am myself in technology industry and have found so many companies who have lost market because of speed of innovation. Products they made were of excellent quality but lost the market over the years. I really hope its not case with Sonos. I really want to stay with it but I am finding very difficult to stay away from Bose as I am not a music fanatic, while still want to have good music and make full use of current investment. I would have had a Sonos Playbar with me by now if it had just an HDMI ARC, don't care about bluetooth etc.
Going by what has been said by Sonos, priority is streaming services and voice control. I doubt therefore that the video side is a present priority. And in that application, it has always been a compromise solution, unlike in audio where it can go head to head with any other audio solution, on all counts - including against legacy hifi wired kit.
I am part of Sonos beta program. I agree with you Kumar. Recently I am testing integration with Spotify. I thinks its pretty good. I am only concern is HDMi ARC will offer a better sound quality as compared to current optical connectivity.
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I am only concern is HDMi ARC will offer a better sound quality as compared to current optical connectivity.
Digital is digital. Whether the bits travel over HDMI or optical is irrelevant. The audio quality in digital audio is affected by the resolution (i.e. 16 or 24 bit) and sample rate (i.e. 44, 48, 96, 192 KHz), as well as any compression that may be applied to the audio (i.e. MP3, AAC, etc.). And yes, Dolby Digital is considered to be a compressed format, as it runs as high as 640 Kbps for 5.1 audio (source), compared to uncompressed PCM stereo (2.0) audio that uses about 1.4 Mbps.

I think the next Playbar refresh will need to support 7.1 if Sonos plans to stay in the home theater game. 24-bit audio support might need to come with that, as I know DTS uses 24/96 audio (which is likely why it wasn't included in the current Playbar), and I would expect that Dolby's 7.1 encoding probably does as well, though I have nothing to confirm that yet (I think DD+ and TrueHD, which support 7.1, are likely still 16/48, but I would be surprised if Atmos wasn't 24-bit).
Looks good.
Well I to love Sonos but I think sometimes my vision is too narrow on when it comes to what I am using it for. .. I am not terribly big on rumors or speculations when the market if full of possible alternatives. .Sound bars are different now then what they were when teh playbar came out. For me I think Sonos is resting on past lorals and fans. Don't get me wrong I love their stuff dispite the price increase which is because i live in Canada and the exchange sucks. But I also don't like all the things that I must do to make things work..example buy a new switch because my Tv doesn't pass the audio right. So the playbar came out in Feb 2013 fast forward 4 years and now we are seeing soundsbars with Atmos built in. (I know there's not much if any content but my point is at a cheaper price point I get some pretty rich features) Sonos to me is like Apple...they really are relying on the fans to remain loyal. Really all the play bar is for me is a way of cleaning up all the audio gear I had in my living room so that my room is tidier. By the way that cost was almost 1800 dollars (Now over 2300 with taxes) to do and has so many limitations that sometimes I think I must have been crazy. . Sonos can never replace my home theater gear. ..sorry to say doesn't come close to sound when watching movies.
The new play 5 what did it do.... it does sound better than the old play 5 but really plays nothing more. I would have thought about it if it had of had some other innovation such as siri integration or I guess for people in the US google home or Alexia. Don't get me wrong I am all for better sound but that better sound has to be subtancial. I mean the price increase for me was 200 bucks in canada. I lost the portal handle for carrying out to my back deck and I lost the headphone jack...hmmmm and I pay (old)play 5 is a bedroom speaker and it's still awesome.

So now I will look at possibly something else because sonos is is slow to deal with what is in the modern world. Does it mean I will abandon sonos...likely not ..What it does mean is I may look for a more advance (feature rich) sound bar and then connect a Sonos Connect. If MY soundbar has auto sensing then it should still be able to play my sonos when in like by alarms I have setup.
Now you may see why I think my vision is tooooo narrowly focused on Sonos for my entertaiment system in my living room.

Some times we need to reevaluate why we bought something and what has changed since that time in the just may make some new discoveries.
I made a I age I have discovered my hearing is not as good as when I was young...that's life or should I say biology i guess....LOL