If you want to assemble a Sonos home cinema system, this is a good day for you. Right now Sonos Playbase is £130 off. Peruse our Best Sonos deals page and you'll also see that a pair of Play Ones can be had for £348 (£50 off RRP) and a pair of Play 5s for £898 (£100 off RRP). Both those speakers can be used in conjunction with the Playbase… or with the smaller Sonos Beam soundbar, which is also on sale, with £30 off. Phew, it really is like Amazon Prime Day has come early, isn't it?
The largest saving to be had, then, is £230 off a white Playbase and a pair of Sonos Play 5 speakers to use as rear surrounds. That should jazz up The One Show a bit, and all these speakers also work as part of a Sonos multi-room setup, of course. Sonos One and Sonos Beam have Alexa and Google Assistant built in; the rest can be voice-controlled via Echo or Google Home devices.
Sonos Playbase (white) | £629 | Was £699 | Save £70
We love the Playbase for its ease of setup and positioning and big, hearty sound with both movies and music. Its soundstage extends well out beyond its physical width, and you can 'tune' the surround sound to your room and favoured seating positions by using Sonos' Trueplay system. Playbase is compatible with every music streaming system under the sun, plus AirPlay 2 for iOS and iTunes fans. It also does a cracking job with movies and TV in Dolby Digital 5.1 making it a great all-rounder.View Deal
What is the Playbase?
We suspect the Playbase might be the least popular of the Sonos line-up because punters are much more keen on soundbars than soundbases. However, it's actually one of our favourite Sonos products.
Once correctly placed on a sturdy TV unit or shelf, it delivers very powerful audio with blockbuster cinema soundtracks, but also a very musical performance with, er, music. It's a fully-functioning multi-room Sonos speaker as well as doing home cinema duties.
Sonos for home cinema
As noted, Amazon has trimmed £130 off the cost of Sonos' home cinema big hitter, the Playbase. This doesn't have Alexa built in, although as with practically all Sonos speakers, if you buy any Echo device (the always-affordable Dot, or the Echo (2nd generation) for instance).
Sonos has delved heavily into the world of home cinema in recent years, and you can combine various of its speakers to make surround systems.
As well as the Playbase, Sonos makes the Playbar which, as you may have guessed, is a soundbar and the Sub, which is powerful subwoofer, for those who are totally addicted to bass (we mean the low notes, not the fish). There's also the smaller Beam soundbar, which is a lot easier to position in front of your TV, has Alexa and Assistant built in, and still sounds great.
You can wirelessly combine a Playbase or Playbar with a pair of Sonos One of Play 5 speakers, with the additional speakers doing duty as rear surround speakers. Any of these combinations muster up a very convincing degree of bottom end but if you want real mega bass, the Sub can supply it.
Sonos only supports Dolby Digital 5.1 – not Atmos or DTS – but it does a very good job with compatible soundtracks. Dolby Digital is still the standard for most broadcast and streamed TV in the UK, although Atmos is creeping on to some platforms and DTS remains popular on Blu-rays.
If a different surround codec is used, or the broadcast is in stereo only, the Sonos system will apply a fairly decent simulated surround effect, but it definitely sounds best with Dolby Digital material. The other thing to note here is that if you use an external box to watch movies and shows, your TV will need to support Dolby Digital passthrough if you want to plug your Sonos in to your telly via optical digital or HDMI.
There's no way we can give a comprehensive guide to which TVs do or do not support passthrough but on the whole, older TVs and cheaper TVs do not, while newer, more premium TVs do. Get your manual out, or search online.