Sonos has brought its audio expertise to an entry-level soundbar in the Sonos Ray.
What’s the deal?
Close to 20 years ago, Sonos released its first wireless speaker, pioneering a unique system that connected multiple Sonos speakers across the home network. While the initial focus was music, in 2013, the company successfully expanded into soundbar technology. Alongside its current range of Dolby Atmos soundbars, the Arc and the Beam, Sonos has just announced an entry-level model, the Ray.
Who’s it designed for?
The two current models in the Sonos range are Dolby Atmos-enabled for premium sound quality, but they also come with a premium price tag to match. The new Sonos Ray is designed for those who want a better sound experience than just TV speakers without incurring the expense of a high-end soundbar. It’s also ideal for upping the ante on an existing wired surround system.
What are the deets?
The Ray is a little smaller than the Beam, making it a good option for homes where space is limited. There is no HDMI output on the Ray – connection is via an optical port. This makes the soundbar more compatible with older TVs in the home while still connectable with the latest range of screens hitting JB. Under the hood are four class-D digital amplifiers, two tweeters, two mid-woofers, and a bass reflex system for the low end – all designed to deliver a room-filling soundstage.
How about the features?
Speech Enhancement, a feature accessed through the Sonos app, will boost quiet dialogue from films and TV shows when it’s needed most. Night owls will love Night Sound, a mode that softens big onscreen explosions without diluting the action and, more importantly, without waking up the entire house. The audio can be tweaked through an adjustable EQ found on the app. The Ray also implements Sonos’s proprietary TruePlay technology that tunes and optimises the soundbar’s best potential according to the size and shape of the room where it’s positioned.
Is it for me?
Big blockbuster movies and TV shows deserve a better audio representation than standard TV speakers. But not every household has the need, or the budget, for a premium home cinema experience. The Ray is designed to fill that gap, offering the technical nous from a company that specialises in audio at an attractive price point. Being part of the Sonos family, the soundbar can be easily augmented to broaden the home theatre experience by adding two Sonos Ones and a Sonos Sub. And when the viewing is done for the day, the Ray doubles as a mighty fine music player for streaming the latest tunes or relaxing with a podcast.