Sonos is the company that started it all, having played a huge role in revitalizing a somewhat stagnant home audio market. The company’s wireless speakers offer a seamless way to stream high-quality music in one room or throughout an entire home. With product characterized by sleek, simple designs and crystal clear sound, it’s no wonder Sonos has managed to maintain its position at the top of the market despite increased competition; it seems like every consumer electronics company out there is trying to get a piece of the wireless speaker business, though some companies have fared better than others.
Now, Sonos is turning up the heat yet again with a first-of-its-kind addition to the Sonos lineup: The Sonos PLAYBASE.
It might not come as a surprise to savvy gadget fans who saw the unit leak in late February, but now it’s official — the Sonos PLAYBASE is the newest addition to Sonos’ portfolio of home speakers. The new PLAYBASE becomes the third Sonos speaker aimed mainly at enhancing the TV watching experience, joining the Sonos PLAYBAR sound bar and Sonos SUB wireless subwoofer. It should come as no surprise, then, that the new PLAYBASE will be sold at the exact same price point as the PLAYBAR and SUB.
Sonos says that roughly 70% of TVs are not mounted on a wall, instead standing on various furniture. For that reason, the addition of a sound base-style speaker seems like a no-brainer. As is the case with similar offerings from the likes of Bose, the PLAYBASE is designed to sit on a TV stand or media center, and then the TV is placed on top of it. This is obviously the perfect location from which sound should be projected, and the PLAYBASE can be combined with Sonos’ wireless subwoofer to complete the experience.
The new Sonos PLAYBASE packs 10 drivers (six mid-range drivers, three tweeters and one woofer) into a device that is 58mm high, and the front grille sports more than 43,000 holes for a design that Sonos says is “acoustically transparent.” The device acts as a sound bar when users are watching TV, but it can also function just like any other Sonos speaker to stream music from any of the sources currently supported by Sonos.
“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 PLAYBAR only met the need of the small percentage of homes where people mount their televisions on the wall,” Sonos CEO Patrick Spence said. “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, and we can’t wait for people to bring it home.”
The Sonos PLAYBASE will be released on April 4th, and it’ll cost $699 in either black or white. Current Sonos owners will be able to preorder the new speaker on the Sonos website in order to ensure delivery on launch day.