Beam + Sub VS Playbase + Sub: Worth it?


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Hi guys! I am new here. I am gonna buy sonos speaker to use in the living room (6x4 meters). I will use it for TV shows, cinema (mainly) and Videogames (exceptionally for music). I am interesting mainly in sound quality, so I would like to ask you if you consider that in my case Playbase + Sub clearly outperform Beam + Sub, or may be only a subtle difference.

Thank in advance!

9 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +21
That's a medium size room to me, about the same size as my game room. And the beam is wonderful there for me. I would recommend gong with the Beam and using the savings to get a pair of play:1s for surround sound.
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Thanks Danny! I think is good option for me. I do not konw is playbase is only more watts or better quality of sound. I got surprised as I tried both with music, and I liked most the sound from the beam (vs playbase).
Userlevel 1
Badge +2
I didn't try playbase before but I'm very happy with beam + sub + 2 x play 1 or one (as surround speakers)... It's really good for small to medium size room!
Userlevel 6
Badge +22
Hi Fantspak

OK...you have two votes for the Beam and I may be too late as your post was 7 days ago. Now I'm going to muck things up and present an alternate opinion :8

I have a Beam and Playbar. If you were speaking of a Bedroom I'd definitely suggest the Beam. Although the Beam at this point versus the Playbar or Playbase is more technologically advanced I can squarely say (IMO) to get the most out of a HT setup the Playbar or Playbase would be my choice. In fact I prefer the Playbar over the Playbase as the former IMO does a better job with the center channel.

However, as melvimbe suggested by purchasing the Beam you'll save some money that you might invest in Play:1's x 2 for surround. You'll still have a great HT setup but IMO not to the level of one with a Playbar or Playbase; if cinema is the main focus.

To be sure of your choice you might audition both and keep the one you prefer assuming cost doesn't play a significant factor; then of course the Beam is the clear winner. :)

Just curious... if space and/or aesthetics is not a concern...why did you pick the Playbase over the Playbar to compare against the Beam.:?

Cheers!
Badge +1
Hi Fantspak

OK...you have two votes for the Beam and I may be too late as your post was 7 days ago. Now I'm going to muck things up and present an alternate opinion :8

I have a Beam and Playbar. If you were speaking of a Bedroom I'd definitely suggest the Beam. Although the Beam at this point versus the Playbar or Playbase is more technologically advanced I can squarely say (IMO) to get the most out of a HT setup the Playbar or Playbase would be my choice. In fact I prefer the Playbar over the Playbase as the former IMO does a better job with the center channel.

However, as melvimbe suggested by purchasing the Beam you'll save some money that you might invest in Play:1's x 2 for surround. You'll still have a great HT setup but IMO not to the level of one with a Playbar or Playbase; if cinema is the main focus.

To be sure of your choice you might audition both and keep the one you prefer assuming cost doesn't play a significant factor; then of course the Beam is the clear winner. :)

Just curious... if space and/or aesthetics is not a concern...why did you pick the Playbase over the Playbar to compare against the Beam.:?

Cheers!


Hi! Thanks for your answer. I picked the playbase cause my TV is not wall-mounted and the Playbar will stuck in front of the TV. Moreover, I am an Apple´s user and Airplay 2 support means a lot for me.
Right now, my only concern about Playbase is the lack of HDMI, and hence, DD+ support. By contrast, I do not know if quality sound between DD and DD+ is clearly noticeable.

A playbase with HDMI-ARC and supporting DD+ would be the perfect speaker to me. Soon?
No Sonos devices currently support DD+.
Badge +1
No Sonos devices currently support DD+.

I know, the point is why??? IMO, sonos’ drivers have enough quality to make patent the difference between DD and DD+. I also know that Sonos’ spirit is streaming, but... well, all streaming platforms stream in DD+!!!!
Is really so difficult to upgrade playbar/base with HDMI-ARC and DD+????
Since I'm not a Sonos employee, I don't know. I have guesses, but they're worth every penny you paid for them.

I suspect is that because the majority of their soundbars work off of an optical input, they maximize for that. It's only with the Beam that they've gone with HDMI-ARC, which can accept a wider bandwidth of signal. There's lots of discussion that suggests that they should be looking at going to eARC for their next soundbar.

And Sonos, for better or worse, isn't so much a cutting edge company. From my perspective, at least, they're much more interested in the mass market than they are in the bleeding edge. This makes sense from a stockholder perspective, I would think. So they're not going to be introducing an expensive bet, but instead bring out something that already has significant market penetration that will attract a majority of people to purchase a piece of hardware, which is where they actually make their money.

I tend to think of Sonos as a company that is trying to appeal to my parents much more than one that's trying to appeal to the avant garde of sound / AV enthusiasts.

I do expect that at some point, they'll update the software where they can. But then the question is, are there hardware limitations in the current soundbars that will restrict their ability? Sonos has exhibited a penchant for not obsoleting any of the speakers they've got out there, which I appreciate that. But what's the possibility that the chip that is installed on the PLAYBAR, which I assume has the greatest number of installed pieces, based on length of availability, has a processor in it that can't handle DD+? Or the restrictions involved with an optical input?

Everyone has an opinion. Mine is worth just as much as yours. I can't every guaranty what Sonos will or will not do, I can only project my business experience on what I perceive they do.
Badge +1
Since I'm not a Sonos employee, I don't know. I have guesses, but they're worth every penny you paid for them.

I suspect is that because the majority of their soundbars work off of an optical input, they maximize for that. It's only with the Beam that they've gone with HDMI-ARC, which can accept a wider bandwidth of signal. There's lots of discussion that suggests that they should be looking at going to eARC for their next soundbar.

And Sonos, for better or worse, isn't so much a cutting edge company. From my perspective, at least, they're much more interested in the mass market than they are in the bleeding edge. This makes sense from a stockholder perspective, I would think. So they're not going to be introducing an expensive bet, but instead bring out something that already has significant market penetration that will attract a majority of people to purchase a piece of hardware, which is where they actually make their money.

I tend to think of Sonos as a company that is trying to appeal to my parents much more than one that's trying to appeal to the avant garde of sound / AV enthusiasts.

I do expect that at some point, they'll update the software where they can. But then the question is, are there hardware limitations in the current soundbars that will restrict their ability? Sonos has exhibited a penchant for not obsoleting any of the speakers they've got out there, which I appreciate that. But what's the possibility that the chip that is installed on the PLAYBAR, which I assume has the greatest number of installed pieces, based on length of availability, has a processor in it that can't handle DD+? Or the restrictions involved with an optical input?

Everyone has an opinion. Mine is worth just as much as yours. I can't every guaranty what Sonos will or will not do, I can only project my business experience on what I perceive they do.


I Quite agree with you in so many aspects. I guess that selling a seven years old’s chipset and connection rises margins, and at the end, all is about money. If playbar/base sells dropped, now the Beam is available, probably they will upgrade playbar/base with a new chipset and hdmi. But, it is a pitty, cause IMO, playbar/base with hdmi and DD+ support, will beat almost any sound system.

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