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Sonos embraces surround sound with Playbar

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Sonos Playbar.

Sonos Playbar.

Sonos multi-room audio adds a beefy soundbar designed to sit under your television.

The Sonos Digital Music System is the gold standard when it comes to multi-room audio, with speakers around your home creating their own private wireless mesh network. While the sound from a single speaker is impressive, you can use two Sonos Play:3 or Play:5 speakers as a stereo pair and also add the Sonos Sub for some extra low-end power.

Using your smartphone, tablet or computer as a Sonos remote control, it's easy to play the same song in every room or send different songs to different rooms. You can listen to music from your home digital music library, subscription music services, internet radio stations or local devices such as CD players. It's possible to cobble together similar functionality with Apple Airplay gear, but it still can't match the elegance and features of a Sonos system.

The release of the Sonos Sub last year highlighted one of the few frustrations with a Sonos system; it's only designed for music and won't hook up to a home theatre to offer surround sound. Admittedly purists want to keep their hi-fi and surround systems separate rather than compromise on a hybrid system, but that's a financial luxury that many of us don't have. If you want more from the Sonos system, or simply need a standalone soundbar to boost your television's sound, the Sonos Playbar could be just what you've been waiting for.