"I like it a great deal however.. Please see my summary."4.5 starson by RickGr4
Pros: SONOS app is easy and works well.
I think it sounds good. If the sound is "highly processed" it still sounds very pleasant.
Design and size work well in my situation.
Cons: Single input. Please see my summary.
Play 5 has slightly better deep bass.
Summary: I already owned a Bridge and a Play 5. I have a Panasonic 42" plasma TV in my living room sitting a Salamander stand that has a perfect space for a soundbar. My girlfriend and I use the Play 5 all the time and I thought the Playbar would be a perfect addition. When I received my Playbar, I immediately encounter two problems. First, like most TVs my six year old Panasonic plasma TV does not pass Dolby Digital audio from the HDMI inputs to the Toslink digital output. It passes PCM two channel audio. A quick A-B comparison pointed out right away (and other reviews have mentioned) that the Playbar sounds notably better when it is being fed Dolby Digital audio. The other problem I encountered is probably more specific to my TV. It does not pass any sound at all from the HDMI inputs to the Toslink audio output unless the TV is switched to the internal tuner first. I started thinking about a way to solve both of these problems and it dawned on me that I needed to have the audio from my cable box and Blu-ray player bypass the TV entirely but that would require a outboard Toslink switch. I needed a three input, one output, remote controlled Toslink switch. I settled on an affordable switch from a company I had never heard of called Nyrius. It certainly helped that Harmony already had Nyrius codes in their database so I updated my Harmony 650 (the best cheap remote on Earth) and it controlled the Nyrius switch easily. By adding the Nyrius switch I solved three problems:
1. The Playbar is now receiving Dolby Digital audio from my TV's internal tuner, cable box and Blu-ray player. It sounds notably better.
2. By bypassing the TV, I no longer have any turn on switching problems. I don't have to toggle inputs anymore. The Nyrius switch and the Playbar are working fine together.
3. Because the audio is no longer on HDMI and is bypassing the TV entirely, the minor lip sync issues I noticed before are gone.
Prior to installing the Nyrius switch, I was happy with the Playbar but I wasn't stark raving wild about it. Since the installation of the switch the Playbar now exceeds my expectations and I am extremely pleased with it. I would agree with the reviews that say it is expensive unless you are already a SONOS owner. I think of it as a $300-$400 soundbar with a $399 Play 5 built in (the Play 5 has slightly better deep bass than the Playbar). At $699 the Playbar is pretty pricy as a stand alone soundbar. I heard a Speakercraft CS3 at a trade show and I walked away thinking it sounded a bit better than the Playbar. Regardless I am very pleased with the Playbar and I can highly recommend it so existing SONOS owners.
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