Recent research shows that up to 70 percent of TVs are placed on furniture and not mounted to the wall. This simple insight has inspired Sonos to create its PLAYBASE soundbar, a thin speaker that stands only 2.28 inches (58mm) tall and is designed to sit on a shelf discreetly under a TV.
“When we think about what product we’ll invent next, we think first about the home, and the role each of our products play in the home. What we realized is that [Sonos’ previous product] PLAYBAR only met the need of the small percentage of homes where people mount their televisions on the wall,” says Patrick Spence, CEO, Sonos. “We saw a tremendous opportunity to deliver great sound in great style for the majority of homes where the TV sits on a piece of furniture. It was a huge challenge where we pushed the boundaries of design, acoustics, materials, wireless and software.”
Available in black and white, the PLAYBASE soundbar is designed to blend into a variety of room interiors.
“It was designed to disappear into the home,” adds Sonos. “Appearing as if it was cut from a single piece of granite … The construction comes together with no visible seams resulting in incredibly clean lines, an ultra-flat top surface, and more than 43,000 holes that make up an acoustically transparent grille.”
Users can slide PLAYBASE under a TV (with the TV directly on top or between split let stands), set in a shelf, or combine the soundbar with a SANUS Swiveling TV base.
Sonos PLAYBASE Features & Installation
At the heart of its audio capabilities, PLAYBASE houses a total of 10 drivers — six midrange drivers, three tweeters, and a low-frequency driver that each feature dedicated amplifiers. Software controls the output of each driver. Through its DSP controlled architecture, Sonos says the speaker produces a wide soundstage.
The speaker is also engineered for easy installation. Setup entails two cables — power and optical — and, like other Sonos products, it integrates into its wireless audio system to form a complete whole-house solution with a choice of more than 80 music services.
Sonos expects users to be able to control their Sonos products using voice control via Amazon Alexa later this year.
“We have built a product that can not only handle the complexities of home theater – delivering open and natural sound, clear dialogue, and immersive bass that fills the room, but also fits perfectly in any home environment,” says Giles Martin, sound experience leader, Sonos. “The challenge with PLAYBASE was upholding the desire for it to be beautiful from all angles without compromising any of our design, acoustics or engineering principles. We were obsessive in our approach and decisions, resisting every urge to pack anything in here that wasn’t needed, and custom built everything else to find the perfect fit – it’s our thinnest, most beautiful speaker yet.”
Sonos’ PLAYBASE will be available on April 4 for $699.