The idea behind the Sonos Ray is basically to appeal to all customers who want to upgrade to a dedicated sound product – instead of using the TV speakers. but they don’t want to spend too much money for it and they don’t have advanced sound knowledge
When people ask me which soundbar to buy, my head always throws the same answer: Sonos Beam. And the reason is simple: offers a fantastic experience without having to shell out, for example, the 1,000 euros of a Sonos Arc.
The problem is that, despite this, not everyone is ready to invest around 500 euros in a soundbar. Especially those who are beginners in this field. For this reason, the North American brand this week presented a new product specifically aimed at this group of people. Your name? We are Ray.
. And that, I have to say, is a pretty smart goal given that the rise of streaming services has prompted more and more people to have better AV equipment at home.
How is the Sonos Ray?
On the outside, the Sonos Ray is, without a doubt, a Sonos product. It’s simple, beautiful, well built… And it also takes up less space. It’s a bit smaller than the second-gen Sonos Beam, and certainly a lot smaller than the Sonos Arc.
All acoustic components of the bar are located at the front, pointing towards the viewer. Why is this important? Because, thanks to it, you can place the Sonos Ray on any piece of furniture. The Sonos Arc, for example, cannot be placed inside the classic TV stand. It has speakers that point upwards to generate the signature effect of Atmos technology. Therefore, placing it on such a piece of furniture would cause the waves to bounce off the inside of the piece of furniture instead of spreading around the room. With the new Sonos Ray, such problems do not exist.
And how does it sound? I must say that the first impression with the Sonos Ray was really good. It produces fairly well-balanced sound for music and movies, and can easily fill a small-to-medium space, like the living room of an apartment. It will need to be evaluated more closely in the future to get a fuller picture, but given Sonos’ history and these first impressions, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this turns out to be the best bar in its you can buy in its .price range.
Obviously, Sonos Ray lacks Dolby Atmos technology. And it doesn’t have HDMI ARC either. To connect it to the TV, you must use the optical cable. According to Sonos, the idea is for this bar to be compatible with as many televisions as possible. Even older ones, which lack HDMI Arc. That’s why they decided to opt for this solution.
When using an optical connector instead of an HDMI ARC you lose HDMI CEC technology, which lets you control the soundbar with the TV remote. However, Sonos has built in an infrared receiver that picks up and interprets signals from the vast majority of TV controls, so you can still control the bar’s volume using your TV’s remote.
Something that caught my attention is that the Sonos Ray has no microphones. It is therefore not compatible with the new voice command that the American brand announced at this same event. This is not at all a notable lack, but it is curious that the company announces both products at the same event and yet they are not compatible with each other.
Compatible with the entire Sonos ecosystem
What you can do, as with any Sonos product, is go further thanks to the ecosystem that the brand has built over the years. Some examples:
- You can pair the Sonos Ray with other Sonos speakers, like two Sonos Ones, so they intelligently complement each other and create even richer sound whether you’re listening to music or watching a movie.
- You can listen to music from various streaming services using the app. Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, etc.
- It is compatible with TruePlay, a feature developed by Sonos that adapts the sound of the bar to the acoustics of the room for the best possible experience. How it works is pretty simple: when you first set up the bar, you just walk around the room with an iPhone in your hand – and the Sonos app open, obviously. Using the iPhone’s microphones and a series of sounds from the bar, the system interprets the acoustics of the room and tweaks certain settings to get the best experience.
- It is compatible with AirPlay 2.