June 15, 2016

How To Set Up A Sonos Playbar

Setting up a Playbar is extremely easy.  Sonos has built all of their speaker line to essentially be “plug and play”.  Even though the set-up is a breeze, there are a couple of things that you should be aware of in order to maximize the performance that you get from it.  Here is our easy setup guide:

Step One- Take the Playbar Out of the Box

Ok this is obvious and is very easy, but we wanted to show you what the packaging looks like and how easy setup is coming right out of the box.  Here is what the box and packaging currently look like:

playbar box
A Sonos Playbar Box showing the current packaging.

Inside the box you will find a very simple couple of items:

  • A power cord
  • An optical cord to hook up to a television.
  • A user manual
  • Your actual Sonos Playbar soundbar unit.

Step 2- Mount Your Soundbar

This is the most important step of them all, and one that is easily overlooked.  If you are going to spend any time setting up your system, spend it on proper mounting.  Both from a sound quality and aesthetic viewpoint, you won’t regret it.

The Location has a BIG Impact on the Sound

Where exactly you put your device will have a direct impact on the quality of sound being heard by listeners.  While Sonos has made the speakers capable of getting loud, you wouldn’t want to set it up 50 feet from where your listeners will be for instance.  You also don’t want to do something like mount it high on the wall almost touching the ceiling because of how the acoustical waves will bounce from the ceiling and change the sound.  You also don’t want it mounted close to the floor for the same reason, and ideally you won’t have it inside or behind any other cabinets or structure such as a desk, flowerpot, or vase.

While it seems like it won’t have a big impact on sound, any obstruction that will bounce or distort a sound wave will impact the quality heard by listeners.  And why spend $700 on a speaker if you are not getting the absolute best sound quality from it.  Take our advice and set it up so that sound waves can pass uninhibited directly to where people are going to be listening to it.  You’ll be glad you did, and the speakers really do look nice and high tech.  You won’t regret it.

Mounting Options

You have a couple of options when it comes to mounting.  The simplest and easiest is to put it on a shelf, desk, or cabinet.  If you don’t mind the occasional rattle or sound distortion, this is a possibility.  We don’t really recommend it but it takes 2 seconds to set it on a shelf and plug it in.

A better option is to use a soundbar specific mount.  You can get one specifically for a Playbar for $50-$150, or you can get a universal one for less.  Some TV mounts also have soundbar mounts included.  We recommend one specifically made for your device, no matter which brand of soundbar you use, because you will not see the mount it it will look a little bit nicer than a universal one most of the time.  The good news is that the Playbar isn’t heavy (just under 12 pounds), but if you are mounting it to a wall you will want to screw the mount into a stud so it doesn’t erode the drywall over time.

Most people mount a soundbar directly under or over a television.  This tends to look the best and lets you direct sound in a straight line to listeners that syncs with the screen to give the impression of sound coming from the right, left, and center.  So to keep it proper, mount your playbar directly in front of listeners.

Step 3- Plug In The Cords

You have two cords to plug in, and this is relatively easy except you should give some thought when you mount as how to visible you want the cords to be.  This device acts as both a speaker and a receiver, so you plug the optical cable directly into your TV.  The other cord is the power cord, and this obviously gets plugged into the wall.  You really should use a power conditioner between the power socket and the device so that you have surge protection and so that you don’t get electrical noise over the line.

Step 4- Download the APP

Sonos has a controller app that is the heart and soul of your system.  You can find the app in any app store such as the Itunes store, or download it from their website here.  Make sure that your home WiFi network is working, and you will have an easy time setting up your system.

After you download the app, open it, and select “setup new system”.  Simply follow the guide through setup where it will ask you to choose your device and whether you have any additional devices.  Then, you are done!

You your app to connect to your Itunes library, streaming music services, or pretty much any electronic music source you can imagine.  For an in depth review of the app (which really doesn’t require one because it is very intuitive), you can read the iPhoneGuide_EN.

Step 5- Enjoy

You are all ready to go!  Enjoy your favorite music from services like Spotify, Sirius, or Pandora, or listen to kicked up sound as a part of your home entertainment system.  We have to admit listening to music on your Sonos while controlling it from your couch gets pretty addicting, and you’ll love how it gives you the impression of surround sound from your TV.  Happy listening!

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