If are looking for a comparison of the Sonos Playbar vs Beam vs Playbase, check out our post.
Have you been considering buying a Sonos soundbar? You have plenty of choices. Finding the right speaker may not be much easy. We thought of assisting you in addressing the concern. We will explore the three speakers – Sonos Playbar, Sonos Beam and Sonos Playbase in today’s post. These three speakers come under the multi- room family of speakers and have been offering different functionalities across devices.
Sonos Playbar – An Overview
The Sonos Soundbar is not completely what belongs to what Sonos has stood so far for. It isn’t the closed world of Sonos Wireless. It can be used for use with a surround set up and can be plugged into the TV as well.
It comes with a slimmer design. It can either be placed under the TV, mounted on the wall or even used as a table top. The wider design would be useful for use with the TVs as larger as 42 inches. It has a good look and appearance and comes with an excellent looks and aesthetics.
The connectivity may be quite limited as with the most of the Sonos products. You have two ethernet ports, a power outlet and optical input. Lack of the HDMI connectivity may be a serious concern, and you may need to ensure that the TV you buy or have comes with an optical input.
Plugging it in is easy, but configuring it up may be a little difficult. You would also need to use a smartphone app for working through the setup process. You can even use the app to replace the TV remote. Of course, you can skip the option if needed. Once set up, you can control both your TV and Sonos Playbar with the mobile app, which is available on iPhone, iPad and Android device.
The Sound Quality offered by the Sonos Playbar is quite efficient and good enough. While Sonos never shares the driver information in most of the cases, it has disclosed that the Sonos Playbar comes with a set of six mid range drivers and three tweeters. That would mean each of the left, right and mid channels receive two drivers and a tweeter. You can experience a wider and detailed soundstage.
The sound is quite crisper and detailed. Even the bass performance is up to the mark.
- Excellent design and build quality
- Better detailed sound
- Easy streaming functionality on services like Spotify
- No HDMI connectivity
Sonos Beam – A Concise Review
This is the latest entrant among the Sonos range of soundbars. It can be considered to be the smaller and cheaper TV speaker option. There are a few extra additions that would make it one of the prominent options.
The addition of HDMI connection is indeed an added advantage. You also have access to a voice control functionality as well. While initially the speaker supported Amazon Alexa, but now support Google Assistant and Siri as well. The soundbar is significantly lighter than the Playbar.
The speaker comes with touch controls to perform a few select operations. The controls can handle functions like volume up/down, previous/next track, play/pause and microphone mute. As for the connections, you will find an HDMI connection, an Ethernet port, a power connection and a button for pairing. The smaller design would make it one of the best options for easily moving across living rooms or other rooms.
You have access to four full range drivers one tweeter, a passive radiator and five class D amplifiers. The drivers are placed in such a manner that you have access to a room filling sound that tends to be immersive enough. The speaker is an excellent multi room speaker options and can play practically on any source. Some of the devices supported would include Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, Amazon, Google Play, and Deezer. The Sonos Beam can talk with other Sonos products and provide you with a complete compatibility.
- Support for Alexa and other voice assistants.
- An exemplary look and aesthetics.
- The premium level of sound quality
- We could not find any con.
Sonos Playbase – The Introduction
Looking for an option that sits between a Sonos Playbar and Sonos Beam, the Sonos Playbase is an excellent alternative. If you want a Sonos speaker that sits comfortably beneath your TV, this can be a perfect option for all your needs.
It is an excellent neater and stylish option you can go with. It is completely minimalistic in every manner. You will find a single button for linking with your network and other Sonos speakers you may have. There are other touch sensitive buttons for playing or pausing the tracks of your choice. However, it may not be necessary to use these buttons as you can control the speaker from your phone using the Sonos app.
Once again, you have access to only one connection option – the optical input. That would make it easy and simple to work with the connection. However, the actual setup can be quite tricky. In fact, the connectivity to set up Dolby Digital 5.1. The sound performance is quite impressive. The three dimensional functionality should ideally make it one of the most preferred options. The bass is much impressive and natural. The sound performance offered by the speaker would provide you access to a punchy, detailed and dynamic sound performance.
- An impressive and bigger soundstage functionality
- A minimalistic, yet sturdy construction
- You can use it either as a multi room or surround system as well.
- Setting it can be a little difficult
- There is no HDMI connectivity available
Comparison between the Three Speakers: Sonos Playbar vs Beam vs Playbase
Having gone through the specific features and functions offered by each of the soundbars from Sonos, let us compare them in a detailed manner. The comparison will be based on the key parameters and functions.
If you are looking forward to the best sound performance, the Sonos Beam should be a perfect choice. The newly designed tweeter ensures that the vocals are quite clear enough. The Sonos drivers provide you access to an excellent bass performance.
The Playbar can be a better option for access to a room filling sound if you have a larger room. It can be a better option for a larger room than Beam and offer you deep bass and wide soundstage. The nine speakers – six drivers and three tweeters can be a great choice for larger rooms.
The Playbase is yet another option that should ideally meet the larger room requirements effectively. The highest number of ten speakers and an extra woofer will provide you access to a powerful bass.
The Form factor
Beam, once again, is a smarter option when compared to the other two siblings. It is quite compact and compatible with almost every TV. It can perfectly smaller rooms. In fact, it can be a good option for the bedroom TVs.
The Playbar, on the other hand, would suit a TV that is wall mounted. It will look good if you place below the TV. The Playbase is a perfect option for use if you want to mount the TV on it. Thee speaker is made of resin material and can withstand a weight of 35 Kgs.
The Smart Features
If you are looking for the smart features and connectivity options, Beam comes with an excellent functionality. The beam comes with a built in microphone for the voice control. It has five microphones to make it an outstanding performer. All the three speakers come with Alexa enabled.
Beam and Playbase offer you the support for Airplay 2. This can help you send the audio from your iOS devices to the speaker. You will also be able to use Siri on the devices. The Playbar does not offer you any sort of compatibility with the Airplay 2.
Beam offers you the HDMI compatibility. What’s more, you will also have access to ARC functionality with the HDMI. The Playbar and Playbase do not have access to HDMI connectivity option. You have access to the optical input alone on the two speakers. Needless to say, Beam also comes with the optical input option.
The Spec Comparison between the Three Soundbars
After checking out the best speaker options among the Sonos soundbars, here is a tabular comparison that should help you understand the features and functions offered by each of the products.
|Features and Particulars||Sonos Playbar||Sonos Playbase||Sonos Beam|
|Voice control built in||No||No||Yes|
|Voice assistants||Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant||Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant||Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant|
|Connections||Optical Input||Optical Input||Optical Input and HDMI|
|Integrated components||Internet radio||Internet radio||5 microphones array, internet radio|
|Type of amplification||Active||Active||Active|
|Connectivity option||Wired and Wireless||Wired||Wired and wireless|
|Recommended placement||Desktop and wall mounted||Under the TV||Desktop and wall mounted|
|Audio formats supported||AAC, AIFF, Apple Lossless, Audible, FLAC, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, WAV, WMA||AAC, AIFF, Apple Lossless, FLAC, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, WAV, WMA||PCM|
|Physical Control||mute, volume, play/pause||next track, play/pause, previous track, volume||mute microphone, next track, play/pause, previous track, volume|
|Driver type||mid-range driver, tweeter driver||mid-range driver, subwoofer driver, tweeter driver||passive radiator, tweeter driver, woofer driver|
|Quantity of drivers||Three tweeters and six drivers||Three tweeters, six drivers and one subwoofer||Three tweeters, four drivers and one subwoofer|
|Physical Dimensions||35.43 x 5.51 x 3.35 inches||28.3 x 14.2 x 2.3 inches||25.6 x 2.7 x 3.9 inches|
|Weight||11.9 pounds||18.85 pounds||6.17 pounds|
Which is the best among them?
Each of the speakers come with their own advantages and benefits. The Sonos Playbar is quite robust enough, but comes at a price. It can be a perfect choice for all your needs in a larger room or, for a room filling soundstage experience. The Sonos Playbase comes with a plenty of features, a sturdy build and an integrated subwoofer performance. What makes it one of the prime choices is that it provides you access to a compatibility of sitting right under your TV.
The Sonos Beam is a great choice for most of your requirements. It comes with a huge number of features and functionalities than the other two alternatives outlined here. Our choice is Sonos Beam for the obvious reasons that we have featured in the above discussion. However, it may not be the right choice for a larger room.
In essence, we would advise you to check out the options based on your preferences and actual ground level needs.
The Concluding Thoughts
That was a complete comparison between the three soundbar options available from Sonos. The choice between the three may not be easy and should be dependent upon the exact parameters you are looking for. We would understand that the tips outlined in the above comparison would help you arrive at the best results.
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