The answer is not the Playbar, which has serious sound issues as I’ve outlined in a recent post. The Play:1 has a far more natural sound, as long as you don’t use Trueplay, Sonos’ automatic room equalization system. My proposal is a kluge set-up, I’ll warn you. As with some other articles I’ve written, my goal is to show the path to the best sound, to show that the technology is there. Perhaps this will have a small influence on future product decisions. Here’s part 3 of my series on the Playbar… Continue reading
Tag Archives: Sonos
Sonos Playbar: How to Make it Sound Better
Without a doubt the Sonos Playbar sounds better with added surround speakers (and subwoofer) that it does solo. But the Playbar is still hobbled by a design limitation it shares with most other soundbars. Unless you are the rare person who uses your HDTV to receive off-air digital television with a real antenna receiving signals from through the air, you are most likely feeding dumbed-down 2-channel audio from all your sources to your shiny new Playbar. Continue reading
Sonos Playbar: Good News and Bad News
The good news is that the Sonos Playbar, on the market for several years now, is a superbly finished and packaged TV soundbar product. Set up is pretty easy, compatibility with your TV’s remote is straightforward, and its simple connectivity will make it an easy hookup with the majority of TVs. It’s easy for a Sonos fan to recommend to a friend who asks about soundbars, as long as that friend is upgrading from the TV’s own speakers.
The bad news is that the Sonos Playbar is a mediocre Continue reading
How to Play Hi-Res Audio Files on Sonos
It is possible to play high resolution 192 kbps 24 bit (or 96 kbps 24 bit) files on your Sonos system, sort of. This depends on downsampling the files, but more importantly hinges on the unpublished capability of Sonos to support 48 kHz / 16 bit / 1536 kbps, higher than the officially stated 1411 kbps. So why does this matter? It matters because 1.088435374 is an ugly number. Continue reading
Sonos gets beaten up because it lacks a battery-powered product. Well known for its focus and a conservative product line-up, Sonos requires you to take a plugged-in extension cord wherever you want to enjoy the system – such as on your deck or by your back-yard pool. My own experiments with battery-powering a PLAY:1 give insight on why Sonos is stubborn, besides just their determined desire to own the domestic space (rather than audio in the car, or on the beach for that matter). Continue reading
Why I like the Sonos PLAY:1 … (part 3 – computer speaker system, and THREE-channel stereo!)
In this blog series on the Sonos PLAY:1 I’ve been describing observations and experiences with the product in a variety of configurations, so far concentrating on stereo usage and adding a subwoofer – either Sonos’ own SUB or any sub you want, using my vintage ZonePlayer (similar to the current “CONNECT” or “CONNECT:AMP” products).
Used in its purest form, the PLAY:1 already does a great job in several very different (but more routine) applications. Most people will just use 1, or maybe 2, of the speakers on a shelf or kitchen counter or nightstand. Custom installers will find applications for PLAY:1 units around the house, owing to its humidity resistance (important in a bathroom or covered porch), small size, and integral threaded insert on the back (for wall mounting with an Omnimount 10.0 W/C or equivalent). This time around I want to show two usages a bit more off the beaten path – using the PLAY:1 as a desktop computer speaker and also building a three-channel stereo system. Continue reading
Why I like the Sonos PLAY:1… (part 2 – adding stereo and bass)
In my earlier blog article I commented on the first rate fit and finish of the new Sonos PLAY:1. This time I want to share some of my experiences combining different Sonos pieces – I wanted to configure different systems for more functionality and performance compared with typical usage of the Sonos products. What I found was that the products were surprisingly configurable. This aspect of Sonos system capability is admirable and probably not accidental – I think it a result of their considering all the possibilities and testing them exhaustively.
In this article I will share my experiences setting up a Sonos 2.1 system (pair of speakers plus a subwoofer) including some less-than-obvious configurations combining Sonos and non-Sonos equipment. Continue reading
Why I like the Sonos PLAY:1 (part 1)
Sonos products are heavily reviewed so I won’t comment on the usual things like sound and set-up, even though these are well-done and fully in line with the Sonos experience.
What really strikes me about the PLAY:1 is the attention to fit and finish, especially the subtle design details that – I suspect – many people would take for granted. For instance, Continue reading
Passive loudspeakers – why do they still exist?
A walk around last week’s135th Audio Engineering Society Convention at the Javits Center New York reminded me again of how passive (non-self-amplified) speakers seem like antiques, despite their continued dominance in high end home audio. Studio monitor speakers are pretty much all self-amplified “active” designs.
At a basic level, amplified sound consists of electrical amplification, to make the electrical signal “bigger,” and speaker transducers, to turn that signal into sound waves. The first step is purely electrical; the second is electrical and mechanical. There is no law that says these must be together or separate, so why does it matter? Continue reading