Sonos PLAYBASE soundbar sits under your TV

Sonos has revealed its latest streaming speaker, the Sonos PLAYBASE, designed to slot underneath your TV and deliver better audio than your flatscreen's integrated speakers. While the company already has a speakerbar, the PLAYBAR launched a few years back, PLAYBASE is being described as a reaction to how the majority of people actually install their televisions. Rather than hang them on the wall, almost three-quarters of homes have them standing on a table, sideboard, or other piece of furniture.

Now, there's a PLAYBASE to slot underneath. The speaker is broad but shallow, standing 58 mm (2.28 inches) high. Sonos manufactures it from glass-filled polycarbonate, injection-molded to make a single solid block. That way, not only are vibrations minimized – and seams hidden – but it can withstand the weight of a TV on top.

At the front, meanwhile, there are 43,000 tiny holes that form an acoustically-transparent grille. Behind it, there are ten drivers: six mid-range, three tweeters, and a single woofer. Each driver has its own amplifier, and Sonos promises a wider-than-expected soundstage courtesy of software processing.

As per other Sonos hardware, ease of setup is the name of the game. PLAYBASE connects wirelessly – either via regular WiFi to your home router, or using Sonos' proprietary network – and hooks up to a TV using an optical digital input. Unfortunately that does mean there's no HDMI input, or indeed the ability to switch between multiple digital sources without unplugging and plugging them in manually.

Later in the year, Sonos' promised Alexa integration will arrive, assuming you have an Alexa-enabled device – like an Echo or an Echo Dot – installed. Though built with TV in mind, PLAYBASE will be just as happy with music. The PLAYBAR will stay on sale alongside it for those wanting an easily wall-mounted TV speaker.

As with the existing PLAYBAR and other Sonos speakers, the PLAYBASE supports the company's Trueplay tuning. By playing various different tones as you wander the room clutching your iOS device, Trueplay adjusts the EQ settings automatically to deliver the best possible sound given the acoustic environment. Meanwhile, there's also Dialogue Enhancement to pull out the frequencies associated with speech and make them more audible, together with Night Mode, that takes the oomph out of bass and other loud sounds to avoid waking the rest of the house while you're watching an action movie.

Also like the PLAYBAR, a single PLAYBASE can be linked with other Sonos speakers for a home theater setup. That could include a Sonos SUB for extra bass, or a pair of PLAY:1 or PLAY:3 satellites to act as rear stereo channels.

Sonos PLAYBASE will begin shipping from April 4. However, existing Sonos owners can preorder the new speaker from today. It's price at $699.