After testing a Sonos, I realized I’m better off with a dumb soundbar

A closeup of the Sonos Playbase in black

Credit: Soundguys

Opinion post by
Roger Fingas

It’s almost hard to believe now, but soundbars used to be a novelty. The idea of merging stereo and/or subwoofer components into a single unit seems obvious in retrospect, and many people don’t need anything more if they’re going to upgrade their TV’s audio. A soundbar simplifies setup and wiring, and more advanced models simulate spatial audio formats like Dolby Atmos without the cost (or hassle) of satellite speakers.

Smart soundbars are increasingly common, with the natural appeal that they kill two birds with one stone — boosting TV audio while putting a smart speaker in your living room or bedroom. Even models without onboard voice controls still support varying degrees of smart home integration, such as automations, or casting technologies like Google Cast and AirPlay.

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