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Sony HT-ST5000 Soundbar (2018) (HTST5000.CEL)
Sonos Playbase (2017) (PBASEUS1BLK)
See Top Ranked Soundbars

Sony HT-ST5000 Soundbar (2018) vs Sonos Playbase (2017)

Analysis:

The Sony HT-ST5000 Soundbar (2018) (HTST5000.CEL) and Sonos Playbase (2017) (PBASEUS1BLK) make for very strong choices and are great Soundbars for their respective $1299 and $540 asking prices. Depending on how much you're willing to spend, either of these options will serve you well.

The Sony HT-ST5000 Soundbar (2018) (HTST5000.CEL) was loved by reviewers at Rtings, a highly trusted source that performs reliable in-depth testing. It did great in its "The 3 Best Sony Soundbars of 2020" roundup where it was named its "Best Sony Soundbar", which, in itself, makes it a product worth considering.

As for the Sonos Playbase (2017) (PBASEUS1BLK), it was really well-received by reviewers at SoundGuys, a reliable source that's known for conducting its own, high-quality, in-depth testing. It performed great in its "Best Sonos speakers" roundup and was named its "Best for TV's", which, on its own, makes it a product that warrants a closer look.

To get a better idea of how they fare when compared directly to each other, we analyzed review scores of sources that tested both. What Hi-Fi? and Techradar, for example, preferred the Sony HT-ST5000 Soundbar (2018) (HTST5000.CEL), while Pocket-lint, Tom's Guide, TrustedReviews, CNET, and Expert Reviews rated both of them the same.

We also took a look at which sources had the best things to say about them. We learned that the Sony HT-ST5000 Soundbar (2018) (HTST5000.CEL) got reviewed the highest by What Hi-Fi? - it gave it a rating of 10, while the Sonos Playbase (2017) (PBASEUS1BLK) most impressed reviewers at TrustedReviews, which gave it a score of 9.

Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Soundbars on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Soundbars being 7.6 out of 10, whereas the Sony HT-ST5000 Soundbar (2018) (HTST5000.CEL) and Sonos Playbase (2017) (PBASEUS1BLK) managed averages of 9.0 and 8.1 points, respectively.

Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct Sony HT-ST5000 Soundbar (2018) (HTST5000.CEL) vs. Sonos Playbase (2017) (PBASEUS1BLK) comparison might not be entirely fair - some sources don't take value for money into account when assigning their scores and therefore have a tendency to rate more premium products better.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
Rtings
Tom's Guide
AVForums
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
SoundGuys
PCmag
CNET
TrustedReviews
Techradar
Expert Reviews
Tech. Specs Comparison
Sony HT-ST5000 Soundbar (2018) (HTST5000.CEL)
$1,299
Sonos Playbase (2017) (PBASEUS1BLK)
$540
Amplification
Active
Active
Channels
7.1.2
3.0
Dolby Atmos
Yes
No
Voice Control
No
Alexa
Recommended by trusted experts
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The 3 Best Sony Soundbars of 2020” 
Last updated: 23 Apr 2020
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best simulated surround bar
in “Best Dolby Atmos soundbar of 2020” 
Last updated: a month ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #6 out of 9
in “Best Dolby Atmos speakers: your guide to getting amazing object-based audio” 
Last updated: 18 days ago
Gadget Review
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Ranked #3 out of 5
in “Best SoundBar in 2020 (July Reviews)” 
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Soundbar” 
Last updated: 14 May 2020
TrustedReviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Dolby Atmos soundbar: Expand your TV sound” 
Last updated: 1 Apr 2020
TrustedReviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Soundbar 2020: The best soundbars and soundbases” 
Last updated: 2 Mar 2020
Recommended by trusted experts
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best Sonos speakers” 
Last updated: 13 days ago
Tech Advisor
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 9.0 out of 10
in “Best Sonos speakers 2020” 
Last updated: 7 May 2020
Tech Advisor
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 9.0 out of 10
in “The best soundbars 2019” 
Last updated: 2 Jan 2019
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Sonos speaker 2020: Which Sonos should you buy?” 
Last updated: 24 Mar 2020

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