Does the Playbar significantly improve the sound experience for playing music?

  • 3 February 2018
  • 5 replies

I'm playing on buying two Ones. I know for home theater, adding a Playbar and Sub will provide 5.1 sound but I'm wondering how much better music will sound by adding the 5.1 package. That an extra $1,400. Is it worth it? Or asking a different way, if the music will truly be much better with the 5.1 package, would two Play:5s be better choice than the 5.1 package? Thanks

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5 replies

Gosh this is so subjective. For music, I don't actually like it coming at me from all angles, I prefer a stereo image. So to me, 5.1 isn't necessarily 'better' at all, even though it may be richer and more powerful, especially with the Sub. And music is much more important to me than the TV sound - which is more important to you? So if I had to choose, personally I would get two Play:5s, because they are superb for music, and don't really need the Sub, IMO.

How important is the surround sound for you? If you want that, and you want Sonos, then it has to be the Playbar/base as part of the package.

If you just want better sound for the TV than its own speakers, then you could just get a relatively cheap conventional soundbar. Or you could try out the P:5s as TV speakers. They are not really designed for this, and there is a smsll audio lag that seems to trouble some people and go unnoticed by others. You would need an analog out from the TV or a Digital-Analog Converter to use the P:5s for the TV.

That is just my view and it really depends on your priorities.
Another option that can work well for a very reasonable price: Get a stereo amp and a pair of budget HiFi speakers placed flanking the TV. Wire the audio outputs of the TV to the amp and you will get very decent sound for TV, and, by wiring a Connect to the stereo amp, ditto for music if you must have a Sonos front end; if you don't, a Chromecast Audio puck will also serve well. With a reasonably good and bass capable speaker pair, surround sound will be the only missing piece, but sound will be much better than from the TV speakers.

If you can access the used kit market for the HiFi components, where audiophiles deliver the supply necessary for the rest of us to get excellent bargains, this should cost somewhere between USD 500 and USD 1000 in all; which one will also depend on whether you choose Connect or Chromecast.
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I enjoy a 5.1 system with PLAY:1’s & to I get excellent stereo separation. There is a feeling of being immersed in the soundstage.

The PLAYBAR seems to accentuate the stereo separation. And the entire system gets REALLY loud.
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Today I have tried my playbar with and without sub. The sub is compulsory🆒
Laugh. Only once you've heard it, yes. But I lived in ignorance for about 18 months before I made the purchase, and was quite happy 🙂