Next Generation Playbar! 2017

  • 12 January 2017
  • 28 replies

Will Sonos come out with an upgraded Playbar that supports multiple HDMI inputs or does away with optical playback through TV?

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28 replies

No indication this is in the works, and Sonos wouldn't say if it was.
They should it is the reason why I have not purchased a playbar. Looking for a 5.1 that has wireless sournd speakers without having to go through tv. I would probably settled for hdmi playback from tv rather than optical.
They should it is the reason why I have not purchased a playbar. Looking for a 5.1 that has wireless sournd speakers without having to go through tv. I would probably settled for hdmi playback from tv rather than optical.

I held off buying a playbar for years due to no HDMI - but I bought one last week and regret not picking one up earlier. I love this thing, turns out I don't actually need HDMI, not having it simplified things for my set up.

Anyway, I urge you to try it out (buy from Sonos, return it if you don't like it) - personally I think the whole package out weighs not having HDMI.
I'm not sure how you "simplified your setup" unless you removed your devices? HDMI is easy and a universal standard for hi def sound and video. Unfortunately won't be interested until that capability becomes a reality. I hope they redesign the playbar or come up with another system to use play 1s as suround on a standard receiver. That would be worth every peny.
I'm not sure how you "simplified your setup" unless you removed your devices? HDMI is easy and a universal standard for hi def sound and video. Unfortunately won't be interested until that capability becomes a reality. I hope they redesign the playbar or come up with another system to use play 1s as suround on a standard receiver. That would be worth every peny.

I was skeptical too. But Taking the receiver out of the equation was huge-, dumping it and the old 5.1 speakers, speaker cables, switching inputs to turn on and play music with a connect, even with a universal remote it wasnt easy for others in my house to manage. Freaking cable mess, clutter, having to manage it, space it took up. Gone, good riddance. Kicker is the playbar sounds so good.

HDMI still goes to the TV, so HD video- I dont worry about the sound format - DTS, DTS-HD or whatever, my sources convert it for me to DD5.1 automagically. Like i said, simple.

Sounds like its not for you though if you want hdmi on your sound bar. Why not pick up a different brand and add a connect for sonos zone?
Condensing your sound field is not what you want which is the limitation of a optical connection. As someone who both owns and sells this product a update is much needed. A HDMI connection allows for two way communication between both products limiting the need for the extra remote or using a universal. HDMI will also allows for increased soundbfields or channels 5.2, 7.1, 7.2. The current 5.1 with an entra sub or a pair of play 1, 3 or 5's up front would sound top level. The increased sound channels will help with the desired dome effect for movies. For music the performance increase would be noticeable on all levels
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I am uncertain if Sonos will ever go towards augmenting the current abilities of 5.1 to 5.1/7/1/7.2 I/

To be clear, I'm on record as saying the SoundBar needs to have an update in the future to incorporate an HDMI input... but the way my 2 home theatre audio systems (5.1 and 3.1) augment my home *audio* systems makes it a clear winner for functionality and delivering on the theatre experience.

Given the amount of *noise* I have seen on this forum from people expecting different audio from simple surrounds (that are actually working properly), it has led me to wonder if any serious amount of market share will ever actually consider anything else beyond 5.1. For the record... I don't believe so.
Sadly, I agree with SHARKB8T. While there are a lot of us who are fairly vocal here on these boards, I'm not convinced that a true upgrade to the PlayBar to include HDMI inputs and a true 7.1 speaker system would garner a significant increase in market share for Sonos. Which is sad, as I'd really like it to occur. And hopefully, we're both wrong, and some smart marketing person over there is pushing the case (or has already done so, successfully). However, I suspect implementing such would be a fairly intrusive change to manufacturing. Do they need to license the HDMI tech? Or DTS, or Atmos, or whatever, in order to make such a device? What's the correct number of HDMI inputs and outputs? And how much change would there be to the current production line that makes the Playbar in order to make these changes? How many new items would need to be sold in order to pay for all of these things?

I think it's not as easy a decision for them as I'd like it to be.
For me, the main issue is not wanting HDMI for 7.1 but for 5.1 support. The problem, as the Playbar sits today is two folds:

1) It relies on the TV to pass 5.1 though optical, and not all TVs do this. And not all TV manual tell you this. Either someone has tried it or you have to buy the TV and try it yourself. If the TV does not pass 5.1, then you will get Stereo. Since I already owned my playbar, when I upgraded my TV two years ago, I made sure the new TV passed 5.1 through optical. If I were to buy the playbar today and not knowing what my TV will do, I would skip the playbar.

2) TV's will pass AC3 (Dolby Digital) and DTS through optical. Yes, optical has the bandwidth to support DTS...but playbar doesn't support/decode DTS. The new optical standard now even supports 7.1 compress it.

For me...ok, keep the optical, no problem. But add DTS support...heck, for playbar Gen 2, add Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD 7.1 support. It is not a bandwidth issue...can't think of anything else but a license issue.
Sonos make speakers to make money. The product does not meet your requirements, therefore you are not the target market. When the extra revenue from an upgrade increases profit more than alternative uses for the development resource, Sonos will do it. If that point ever comes.
Respectfully disagree. Sonos knows how to make great room music filling speakers that I cannot find fault in. Having said that, just that it's a Sonos does not mean its company is that They need to rethink the playbar. A surround sound speaker system that only supports AC3...come on.
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All your nightmares have come true. Sonos just announced the Playbar with only optical input. A plus is that it has a woofer.
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Well my search for a Soundbar has led me to the Yamaha YSP-2700, I would have bought a Playbar v2 with HDMI/DTS without a doubt. Now the Yamaha has MusicCast which looks pretty good and much cheaper units than Sonos!
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seeing the playbar as an upgrade tends to depend a lot on what your'e coming from. If you're upgrading from a home theater in a box then you'll absolutely see improved performance and "look ma... no wires!!". But if you're comparing it to, say, a full 7.1 (or larger) home theater setup then you'll likely be disappointed.

While I don't have Sonos 5.1 anywhere in my house I do have 3 playbars and, in my media room, a full 7.1 with some Mid to high end components. I'm not what many would consider a full audiophile but I do enjoy have good sound.

The Playbar, as an upgrade for the HTIAB users or from stock speakers is definitely worth it. If you're in the Sonos Ecosystem then it should be a no-brainer. I scoffed at the $700 pricetag for a LONG time until I realized that to get any kind of decent soundbar would cost at least $400 and then I'd have to somehow get Sonos in there. The streamlined solution having Sonos Streaming and a quality soundbar just makes sense.

DTS would be nice I suppose but many of my TVs don't pass DTS (or even 5.1 for that matter) so it would be PCM either way.

I haven't run into any problems of content not playing as needed but everyone's setup is going to be different. If DTS is REALLY important to you then I would stay away from Sonos. Bose has a comparably priced option - I hate how Bose stuff sounds so I'll never buy it.

For now, I'm happy with my Sonos.
Stumbled across this thread from a google search.

I'm no hardcore home entertainment fanatic, I'm not after anything more than 5.1 but it's fairly obvious to me that the Sonus Playbar is significantly outdated. Where the hell is HDMI let alone HDMI ARC?

It's a no brainier, there are just too many comprises to justify a purchase decision.
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I think some people don't need DTS. Some people can't tell the difference between a ripped CD and a mp3 stream. That's who the playbar is for.
Been thinking of investing in a playbar for some months now but been holding back in the hope of a new improved release. I was starting to give up hope until i watched a you tube video on the development of the playbase when i spotted a new "soundbar" looking item in the background of this shot! fingers crossed as i dont know what else to put on the christmas list!

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Hi Njdesign, I like where your heads at, always interesting to see if you can find something hidden in those videos. What you're looking at there are some sample front designs for the PLAYBASE. Here's a closeup picture.

And to pile on, I'd suggest that Sonos has probably announced everything that will be available this year. I wouldn't expect anything else new until sometime next year, if then.

But I also like the concept. I'd replace both PLAYBARS I have in a flash if that were to come out 🙂
Thanks for the insight Ryan, Looks like ill have to rethink the Christmas list after all!!
In order to by a sub, two Play:5, two Play:1, and a Playbar (or a center speaker with all the electronics to coordinate a home theater system): I am waiting for Sonos to update the Playbar or launch a product that is compatible with the latest Dolby formats, thus allowing the Play:5 to be used as Front L and R in a home theater setup. I want to be able to choose whether I want the Playbar to play L, R and Center channels, or just the Center channel (and in that case I would have another 2 Sonos speakers be the R and L). If that in the picture above is a new Center channel with all the electronics to coordinate/control a R, L, SR, SL, and subwoofer according to the latest Dolby standards, this would be amazing. Great music and great movie theater sound. Otherwise, I'll wait or buy another solution (Axiim?) which would not be ideal because Sonos offers better sound and quality (my father has two Play:5...).
I'm still waiting for a new updated soundbar. The current soundbar looks outdated compared to the rest. Hope something will happen soon 😉
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I am new to Sonos and have bought 2 Play Ones setup in a stereo pair and a Sub, I am using this to play my music which to my ears sounds fantastic so much better than through the old 5.1 setup I have. I am holding off buying a sound bar like some others here in the hope Sonos will bring out a updated one, I await with fingers crossed.
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We might finally get a new one. Including HDMI 2.1.

The guy who posted the topic on reddit soon deleted it after it was posted possibly because he actually wasnt allowed to post it?

If you click on his profile you'll find posts where he do everything in his power to make the post "less likely" and told people it was false. I think he fucked up revealing sensitive information. (since Sonos is too private about their releases and upcoming stuff)

Rumoured source:

I found this quote in the cached version of the post to confirm what I've been thinking for a long time:

(talking about receivers)... not only must they have licences for a bunch of audio codecs (Dolby Atmos, DD, DTS X, DTS-HD etc), they also need to distribute video, supporting Dolby Vision, 4K, HDR10. The licences for these are quite expensive and it seems there’s more and more each year that they need to support, particularly for video. They then need to support Bluetooth, AirPlay, DLNA, multiroom...and all at the same price point from the year before.

I see that as an obstacle for Sonos as well. And will continue to do so. Paying for these licenses for each codec (and I believe some of them are per speaker used, not just for the device interpreting the data) will be a challenge.

And the implementation with eARC (in HDMI 2.1) will present a confusion for the consumer buying the product. We'll see a bunch of increased "it doesn't work the way it was advertised" posts from people who don't understand the system. I have to wonder how many TVs will be able to be firmware updated to this. Probably not many. Something to be thinking about when replacing my current sets.

I predict the need for a "Can my TV be updated to HDMI 2.1" thread :)

Assuming this guy is right. But it's also an eloquent post explaining the backstory about the optical connection.