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Sonos introduces Playbar, an iOS-controlled, nine-speaker TV sound solution

Mel Martin

Sonos, the popular wireless whole-house music system, is moving into video in a big way, with a new product called the Playbar. The Playbar is designed for all those TVs that are using the low-fi built-in internal speakers. Sonos' solution, which integrates with the Sonos music systems, provides an iOS-controlled sound bar that is mounted over or under a flat-screen TV.

To set up PLAYBAR, all you have to do is connect an optical audio cable to your TV and apply power. You can place it in front of your TV or mount it on the wall and Playbar's built-in sensors will automatically orient the audio channels and adjust the EQs for the perfect sound. When you add a Sonos SUB or two PLAY:3s, you can get a full 5.1 experience without the need for messy wiring or complex audio set-up. Control the volume with your existing TV remote or via one of the free Sonos Controllers for iOS, PC or Mac.

The Playbar consists of nine individually amplified speakers -- six mid-range and woofer modules, and three tweeters. The company claims a very side soundstage, while keeping vocals centered.

The Sonos Playbar has full access to your existing Sonos system, if you have one, meaning your iTunes Library, and hundreds of Internet radio stations, along with Pandora and other subscription music offerings are available.

Also today, Sonos updated its controller software for iOS, offering a new unified favorites menu and optimizations for the iPhone 5. The software is a free update.

For more information about the new Sonos Playbar, shuffle on over to the Sonos website. The Playbar will retail for US$699 from Amazon, Best Buy, Magnolia and other retailers the first week of March.

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