The incredibly thin Playbase is designed to sit underneath a flat-screen TV, connecting to it via an optical cable. As with Sonos’ earlier Playbar, the $699 USD Playbase can connect wirelessly to the company’s subwoofer and any pair of wireless speakers to form a 5.1-channel home theater audio system.
Inside there are 10 custom-designed drivers and amplifiers: three tweeters, six midrange drivers, and a woofer for those bass notes.
The Playbase looks compact, light and almost delicate in the flesh, especially in white (or black), but it’s been built to withstand TV screens up to 60 inches in size and weighing up to 35kg (which is about twice as heavy as the average 50in+ 4K TV in 2017).
It’s all very simple, but that’s not to say the PlayBase isn’t a precision-engineered piece of kit. The chassis is seam-free and super-solid. It doesn’t vibrate, no matter how much you pump up the power, and it doesn’t flex or bend, even when supporting a behemoth of a television. For what it’s worth, the PlayBase will support TVs that weigh up to 34kg, which these days are practically unheard of.
It isn’t the cheapest sound base on the market and the decision to use optical instead of HDMI is certainly questionable, but the PlayBase has the advantage of being part of the Sonos system, allowing those who already have speakers to gain the full package.
The Sonos Playbase offers great sound out of a surprisingly compact speaker. While it doesn’t appear to have improved much upon the company’s Playbar soundbar, it will offer you another form factor to choose from for your living room.
Playbase will launch globally on April 4, which includes Canada, priced at $699 USD, or $899.99 CAD (according to Sonos PR via email), which is the same price as the company’s Playbar.