Sonos Playbar launches assault on the living room

Sonos Playbar - a soundbar for music lovers?
Goes nicely with yellow walls, too

Sonos has set its sights on the living room with the latest addition to its wireless multiroom speaker range, a soundbar dubbed the Sonos Playbar.

Specially designed to sit below, above or parallel to your television depending on what design aesthetic you're going for in the lounge, the Playbar automatically recalibrates its nine speakers based on how you install it.

Those nine speakers feature six midrange and three tweeters, backed up by nine Class-D amplifiers.

Network it

Like all Sonos speakers, the Playbar can be networked wirelessly to the rest of your Sonos-flavoured sound system and controlled from a smartphone or tablet.

When the goggle box is off, the Playbar can play music from your MP3 collection or through Sonos' various additional music apps (including the likes of Rdio and Spotify).

The Playbar offers 3.0 virtual surround sound on its own but when set up in tandem with the Sonos Sub subwoofer and two Play 3 consoles, the Playbar forms the hub of a fairly expensive 5.1 wireless surround sound system.

If you don't fancy shelling out for the two Play 3 speakers for the back, you can add just the Sub in to boost the bass - the Playbar intelligently recalibrates to lessen the bass it plays when the Sub gets involved, then ups it again if you ditch it later.

As you'd expect from Sonos, its Playbar comes at a bit of a price - £599 at launch (scheduled for March) in the UK ($699 in the US) and you'll need a Sonos Bridge (£40/$49) to make use of the wireless networking facilities.

On the plus side, bank account permitting, you can add as many extra Sonos Play 3 and Play 5 speakers to the wireless network as you like, in as many rooms around your house as you like.

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.