Sonos Just Invented a New Speaker-Bar Category

Sonos’ latest soundbar is dubbed the Playbase. It’s a speaker bar that does NOT get mounted under or above your TV. In fact, you sit the TV on top of it. Sonos says that its research showed that over 70 percent of people who buy flat-panel TVs never mount them (include me in that count, in fact), opting to set them on a cabinet shelf or inside of something.

So, enter Playbase. Playbase is 2.28 inches tall, 28.35 inches wide and 4.17 inches deep. And, it’s designed to have the TV sit on top of it – at least a TV up to 77 pounds (thus, nearly all of them). It acts as both a theater-sound bar (like their own Playbar sound bar speaker) as well as a streaming music speaker like all other Sonos speakers. Inside of the Playbase are 10 amplified speakers (six mid-range, three tweeters, and one woofer) and all use Class-D digital amplifiers. The entire thing is meant to sit on any piece of furniture — including the TV — thus, it raises the height of any TV about 2 inches. The Playbar weighs 19 pounds.

Inputs include both optical audio and line audio as well as Ethernet – it connects to a WiFi network with any 802.11b/g, 2.4 GHz broadcast-capable router for uninterrupted wireless streaming. It will ship in April and cost about $700.

All the detailed specs are here.