Sonos PLAYBASE Wireless Home Cinema Sound Base
A mighty ten speaker unit concealed in a slim base which can be popped under your telly or on the display unit. This sound base from Sonos packs a powerful punch which really enhances your viewing pleasure.
Three tweeters and one woofer offer rich detail and deep booms without the need for multiple speakers around your room. You can still pair it to other Sonos devices to create a 5.1 system and control it with the app, however. Setting the entire system up is a breeze. Simply download the app and follow the instructions to set it up. It couldn’t be easier.
When the TV is off, it can stream music straight from the internet thanks to the WiFi connection and Ethernet port, so you can pop your latest Spotify playlist on while you’re doing the hoovering. There are also 100,000 free radio stations.
Our only downside is that it doesn’t have an HDMI connection, but it connects to the TV using a single optical cable which is included. Just double check your TV has this. You will need quite a good internet connection, too.
You may deliberate over the price, but not only do you get a fantastic appliance which delivers perfect sound but for the size, the fact it is all packed in is worth it. And, dare we say it, there is better sound than the majority of soundbars on the market.
- Dimensions: H5.8cm x W72cm x D38cm
- Ports: 1 x Optical Input, 1 x Ethernet Port
- Weight: 8.6kg
- Loading Weight: 35kg
- Sound quality
- Takes up little space
- Wire-free set up
- General sound loudness could be improved
Fab for fully immersive sound when you need it the most, and incredibly easy to control and monitor
Canton DM 100 2.1 Soundstage
For a boost in sound compared to what your telly can give you, this base with six speakers and Voice Intelligibility is one of the cleverest on the market.
This voice boost technology is perfect for helping you to hear the dialogue which falls between scenes, which can sometimes feel very mumbled and fuzzy. Yet, it can be some of the most important scene input. You won’t have to reach for the remote to turn the volume up and then be blown away with the next scene or when the adverts come on. Plus, there are adjustable lip sync settings so you can get it as close to reality as possible.
Two tweeters, two mid-range, and two woofers bring everything else to life. Talking of the volume as well, there is ‘Hotel Mode’. This allows you to set a maximum volume which can only be surpassed by you. You don’t have to own a hotel though – maybe the kids have full control over the telly on a Saturday morning and usually deafen the neighbours, or you don’t want to wake the baby up.
Apt-X Bluetooth allows you to play your favourite music straight from your smartphone and there is easy pairing straight to the source.
The overall design is very welcomed. A glass-topped finish gives contemporary elegance, which is great as seeing it is so large. The size won’t be for everyone, but if you’ve previously been unable to find a soundbar which can convert the output of your huge 60” screen, then we have found the soundstage which could seal the deal.
The lack of HDMI may put some off though. There won’t be any connecting up Blu-Rays or set-top boxes, but it still makes for a clean finish.
- Dimensions: 6.9 x 100 x 33cm
- Ports: Optical x1, Coaxial x1
- Weight: 12kg
- Loading Weight: 40kg
CANTON DM 100 2.1 Soundstage User Manual
- Powerful sound
- Suitable for the largest/heaviest of TVs
- Sleek modern finish
- Slim enough to sit separately as opposed to under TV
Because it is so powerful, no matter how large your TV, it will deliver. Even when it is pushed, you can hear the strain, but it never gets uncomfortable
Q ACOUSTICS M2 2.1 Soundstage
Bass is the number one priority with this soundstage, and it certainly delivers.
The built-in subwoofer can turn your movies from weak, boring watches to powerful, immersive booming hits which rival the magic of the cinema. 180° speaker technology will fill the entire room, so whether you’re huddled on the sofa or spread about on your own beanbags and chairs, not a single word or sound will be missed by anyone.
Speaking of movies, it doesn’t get much more dedicated than MoviEQ technology. There is an added rumble of bass during those big scenes. Great for anyone who loves action, not so great for anyone who is often hiding behind the cushion as it is. It can be turned off if you’re watching something a bit more delicate, too.
Bluetooth aptX allows for connecting up your smartphone to stream music or podcasts straight from your favourite app. Just tap your NFC-enabled smartphone to the speaker and enjoy instant pairing.
Your current TV remote will control it for less clutter, and if you use the HDMI or optical inputs, there is special lip sync technology which will keep everything in good time.
There isn’t the super advanced technology which is starting to creep into the higher-end soundbars, but the choice of inputs and notable improvement in sound quality compared to your TV is well worth a go.
- Dimensions: 9.3 x 55 x 33.8cm
- Ports: HDMI with ARC x1, Optical x1, Analogue phono/3.5 mm jack x1
- Weight: 5.8 kg
- Loading Weight: 25kg
- Great level of bass
- Sleek, smooth design
- Decent input options
- Very small, flimsy remote
Fab bass, a good size for most modern TVs and plenty of flexibility over what you want to hear - one of the strongest options if you want to spend under £300
Panasonic SC-HTE80 Speakerboard Bluetooth Sound Base
Panasonic’s fresh take on a sound bar, this base offers the user a clean setup yet powerful sound which can’t be achieved from a TV alone.
It will adjust the equalisers automatically with every scene in your film, boxset show or music channel so you always hear it just how it was designed to be heard. Standard, Stadium, Music, Cinema, News and Stereo give dramas, football matches, radio channels and festival coverage the perfect treatment.
Music which you have previously played through your computer or phone and archived can be played through the base too, so you aren’t just limited to needing the TV on. It has Bluetooth connectivity, and NFC pairing is done by passing your compatible smartphone over the base. It is as simple as that.
You have the choice of HDMI or optical connection, so can fully cater it to your telly and desired setup. Talking of setup, it looks just like a DVD player or set-top box, so can be placed under your TV or on a shelf in your cabinet.
The Bluetooth connection seems reliable so you won’t struggle to change the volume or settings at any point. We would recommend altering your TV and mobile sound settings to accommodate and finely tune the sound, but apart from this, once it is connected you’re good to go. This also applies if you have a Sky box or separate Freeview.
The bass gives out a bit of a rumble so keep the settings low. Or, one user has said that the addition of some acoustic speaker foot pads helps.
- Dimensions: H6cm x W46cm x D28cm
- Ports: HDMI, Optical, RCA
- Weight: 3.2kg
- Loading Weight: 30 kg
Panasonic SC-HTE80 Speakerboard Bluetooth Sound Base User Manual
- Bluetooth enabled
- Space saving size
- Easy to set up
- Needs a high-speed HDMI cable - you may have to buy a new one
- Can be a bit wobbly when on high bass setting
A great sound base if you want a boost in quality and a seam-free setup, but don’t want to pay the earth for the privilege