I currently have a couple of Play 1's around the house and a Playbar in the living room, with two Play 1's as rear surrounds. As has been covered to death on this forum, Sonos will not (or cannot due to hardware limitations) support any surround formats other than Dolby Digital 5.1. As is also well understood, the vast majority of Blu Ray discs and streaming services output in DD 5.1 HD or DTS, and most TVs do not transcode, which makes my rear speakers pretty much useless as far as true surround sound goes.
I've looked at Heos in the past but never took any real interest as although it had everything the Playbar lacked, the one thing it couldn't do was support rear surround. It appears that the recently released Heos Bar can pair with any of the other speakers in the Heos range to use as rear surrounds. On paper, it looks perfect, as it has the two things that the PlayBar has always lacked: HDMI and support for modern audio codecs.
In practice though, have any Sonos owners actually heard the new Heos Bar and can compare it to the PlayBar? I've always been very impressed with the PlayBar's sound, even without a sub, and need to know if Heos can match it. Also, how do the two apps compare? The Sonos app is generally very good, and I have heard in the past that the Heos app is a bit klunky by comparison, but that was at least a year ago. Maybe I should be asking this on a Denon forum and not Sonos, as anyone who has jumped ship will likely not be reading these forums any more, but I thought it worth a shot.
While I appreciate any and all comments, I'm really only interested in hearing from people who can give an honest comparison between the two systems based on personal experience.
With respect, what I don't need to hear is how I can fix my existing system. Yes, I know that Blu Ray players are available that will transcode to Dolby Digital 5.1. Yes, I know that HDMI to optical converters are available. Yes, I know that the PlayBar will do virtual surround. However, like many others, I have been patiently awaiting to release of an upgraded PlayBar with the basic features (i.e. HDMI and more codecs) that are a necessity when using the PlayBar for surround sound in 2017, and to me at least, the SoundBase release was a huge disappointment.
The truth is that I can't really afford to replace my system right now, but I have lost faith in Sonos to release a new PlayBar any time soon, and I can see the resale value of my system completely tanking over the coming year as competitors have caught up with and even overtaken Sonos, so now is the time to act. If, from a sonic and UI perspective, Heos is a realistic competitor to Sonos, I will probably end up buying it.