Playbar vs Playbase

  • 5 November 2017
  • 11 replies
  • 10155 views

Userlevel 1
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Hello, can anyone that have tested both, tell me if playbar is better or not compared to the playbase, in terms of sound quality? Except for the obvious installation difference, I have more or less a 50m2 living room, with a sofa in the center, and a TV with a central stand. Playbase seems to be the most reasonable choice, but I'm still not 100% convinced since I've read several opinions related to sound quality difference. Is this difference so huge, or can be left apart taking the installation as the only choice parameter?
Thanks

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11 replies

Userlevel 7
Opinions on sound such as Product A vs Product B are just that..Opinions. At $699 (USD) I wouldn't trust anyones opinion on what will sound better in my environment to my ears. Everyone hears sound differently. Personally, I like the sound of the Playbar over the Playbase but that is based upon my listening environment. The Playbase to my ear is a bit more open but that can be good or bad depending upon the source material. The Playbar IMO is a bit more centered and I find that to be a more natural sound reproduction. However, both can utilize Sonos Truplay to compensate for room acoustics. Adding a sub changes the conversation again. I could write paragraphs on this subject so I'll cut to the chase.

Sonos has a 45 day return policy. Most reputable retailers offer at least 30 days. In reality you should be able to make a decision in about two weeks listening to both. So if your budget can handle $1400 for a few days my suggestion is to buy both for an in-house comparison. If not you'll have to just go with your gut.

FYI, my setup for home theater is:
-Playbar
-Sub
-Play 3 x 2 Surrounds

I use Play 5 (2nd gen) x 2 with sub for music.

Good Luck with your decision. Cheers!
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I personally like the playbar but it is definitely a personal choice as I couldn’t tell mich of difference in store. But Ajtrek had good advice to try both if u can afford it that is best route for sure.
Userlevel 1
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I don't know if you made the purchase already or not, but as an owner of both, I will say the Playbar is the superior sounding product. My family room is 15' x 40'. Despite what Sonos tells you, playing both side-by-side with the same source, they're very different. As reported by several review sites, the treble on the Playbase is harsher, although not uncomfortably so. The bass isn't nearly as good as most of the reviews suggest, although this could be because of the size of the room it's in. The Playbar's biggest issue for me is that it doesn't sound as balanced. Some bass frequencies sound louder, whereas the Playbase sounds like it has a flatter response.

Keep in mind that you can find faults with any speaker system. Neither of these have critical problems in my opinion. I still like them both. I would still suggest you try both for yourself, but there's my opinion for what it's worth.
Userlevel 1
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Thanks to all of you for your answers. I purchased the Playbar at the end Andy the sound was awesome. Additionally I recently purchased also the Sub... I have no words. Simply amazing
Userlevel 1
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Glad to hear it! I just bought a SUB (20% off coupon) to go with the Playbase, arriving Friday. Some people claim the addition of the SUB cleans up the mids and highs for the Playbase. I'll see if that's true or not soon.
Userlevel 1
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Glad to hear it! I just bought a SUB (20% off coupon) to go with the Playbase, arriving Friday. Some people claim the addition of the SUB cleans up the mids and highs for the Playbase. I'll see if that's true or not soon.

Have you tried Playbase + sub?
Opinions? How does it work with the Playbase integrated woofer?
Userlevel 1
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When I first setup the Playbase+SUB, I was not impressed. The SUB was powerful but poorly balanced with the Playbase. But trueplay tuning fixed it immediately. Previously, I always felt trueplay only made small EQ improvements in sound, but in this case it almost sounded like different speakers. I am very happy with the combo. Surprisingly, much of the harshness has been toned down, and the crossover is well balanced. Playing a frequency sweep results in a decently smooth transition from SUB to Playbase. I am now looking to pick up another sub to go with the Playbar because I don't like listening to it as much anymore. I am waiting for another discount opportunity though, as it is an expensive purchase.
Userlevel 1
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Just wondering how the integrated woofer in the playbase, works together with a Sonos SUB paired. I mean. Playbar has 9 speakers inside. Without a SUB, bass are managed by I suppose the midrange inside the playbar. With a SUB paired, all the low frequencies are managed by the SUB, and you have almost a real 3.0 with the playbar (1 midrange + 2 tweeter for each channel, Left, Center and Right), and a .1 with the SUB.
Assuming same behaviour with the playbase + SUB paired. So, 10 speakers inside: 3 midrange + 6 tweeters + 1 woofer. You will have again 1 midrange + 2 tweeter for each channel, Left, Center and Right.... And the integrated woofer? What does it manage now?
Userlevel 3
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Well, even if Sonos call it a “woofer” inside the PlayBase, it is still quite a small speaker. They are basically squeezing the maximum amount of bass they can when you use the PlayBase without Subwoofer.
When you use the Subwoofer, you will get real, low bass with loads of volume reserves. The Subwoofer will probably take care of the really low frequencies (like 25hz to 100hz), which are the ones that really need a larger speaker than what is inside the PlayBase. Whatever bass the PlayBase, PlayBar, Play:1 produce is not real low bass, the real thing can only be done with a big Subwoofer - it’s pure physics. The so-called woofer inside your PlayBase will still take care of upper bass and low midrange frequencies.
Userlevel 1
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Speaking of the soundstage, I think thai Playbase should have a wider One since the speaker are pointed directly to the user (90 degrees with ground). Playbar instead has 45 degree speakers so I assume that for large rooms, the sound don’t fully arrive to the listener compared to the Playbar. Can anyone confirm this?

Thanks
Userlevel 1
Badge +6
I’ve tested the PlayBase over the Playbar. In a Sonos 5.1 setup with sub and play1 as rears. And I found a disappointing aspect that seems to be due to the playbase woofer over the sub. In some occasions the two subs go in redundance with an effect that is not good to the ears. PlayBase soundstage is wider for sure but in a 5.1 setup Playbar is for sure better IMO.