For its most current soundbar, Sonos stripped absent these types of high-conclusion options as Dolby Atmos and side-firing motorists, and it even dropped HDMI. But Sonos nevertheless guarantees major-notch audio from the entry-degree Ray soundbar, which I bought to see–and hear–at an party in New York on Tuesday.
Throughout the celebration, Sonos also shared information about its long-awaited Hey Sonos voice assistant, and it also confirmed off new colours for the transportable Sonos Roam.
Slated to go on sale June 7 for $279, the Sonos Ray costs $170 fewer than the Sonos Beam, Sonos’s now mid-selection Dolby Atmos soundbar, and it’s a total $620 less than the flagship Sonos Arc.
To hit that price tag place, Sonos pared down the quantity of powered motorists in the 3.-channel Ray in comparison to the Beam and the Arc, which pack 5 and 11 motorists respectively.
The Ray comes with a full of 4 motorists, such as two “high-performing” tweeters with break up waveguides that “project audio from wall to wall,” along with two complete-assortment midwoofers each individual of the 4 drivers gets its personal Course-D amplifier. A bass reflex process with a reduced-velocity port design and style supplies the reduced frequencies.
Also missing is assist for Dolby Atmos, which indicates the Ray will not be equipped to supply top outcomes as a substitute, you can be expecting common Dolby and DTS audio.
Finally, the Ray lacks an HDMI connector, a conventional feature for even discount-basement soundbars these times. As a substitute, the Ray would make do with an optical (Toslink) enter, which can supply multichannel Dolby, DTS, and PCM audio, but not Dolby TrueHD, DTS-Hd Grasp Audio, or any of the object-dependent audio formats.
I spoke with report producer Giles Martin, who also serves as Head of Seem Encounter at Sonos, at the New York occasion, and he argued that the Ray’s one optical input is a “quick and exquisite solution” for the entry-level, non-Atmos soundbar.
But whilst Sonos has shaved HDMI, Atmos sound, and further speaker drivers from the Ray, it remaining numerous signature Sonos options intact, namely Sonos multi-area audio, AirPlay 2, and Trueplay, the Sonos room-correction attribute that allows the speaker measure the acoustics of a room with assist from an iPhone’s microphone.
Even better, you can upgrade the Ray’s audio with additional speakers, just as you can with the Beam and the Arc. For example, you could include a Sonos Sub and a pair of Sonos A person speakers to the Ray, which would bring the soundbar up to a 5.1-channel configuration.
Measuring 22 x 3.74 x 2.79 inches and weighing in at 4.29 kilos, the Ray will come with a flat entrance grille and is significantly smaller and lighter than the Beam and (in particular) the hefty Arc, generating it a fantastic applicant for a studio condominium or a 2nd home.
Sonos also says that it created the Ray’s acoustic deal to be forward-struggling with, indicating you can slide it into a Tv set cabinet without stressing about blocking the audio. Of study course, you could also just position it in entrance of your Tv set, or mount the Ray on a wall under your Television utilizing an optional mounting bracket.
The soundbar’s optical enter sits in a rear compartment along with a quickly (10/100 Mbps) ethernet port. On leading of the soundbar are the familiar Sonos contact controls, which let you enjoy and pause tunes as well as swipe to skip tracks.
To clearly show the Ray in motion, Giles and other Sonos execs teed up scenes from Ford v Ferrari, Spider-Gentleman: No Way Dwelling, and Venom. At 1st blush, the compact soundbar sounded fairly extraordinary, with crisp, interesting audio, a first rate amount of bass, and clear, clear dialog.
Of course, I was only in a position to listen to the Ray for a handful of minutes even though sitting down at one aspect of a little, crowded home with a concrete floor–hardly the perfect location for kicking the tires of a soundbar. When I appreciated the little that I listened to, I’ll reserve my last judgment until eventually I have used quality time with the speaker.
Details of the Sonos Ray were being leaked effectively in advance of this week’s formal kickoff event, but one particular of the juciest rumors–that the Ray could be positioned vertically for use as a surround speaker for the Beam or Arc–didn’t pan out, or at minimum not but. When I questioned Giles about the rumored feature, he chuckled and denied that it experienced ever been regarded.
Aside from the Ray, Sonos also unveiled the Hey Sonos voice assistant you can go through additional about Hey Sonos appropriate below.
Ultimately, Sonos introduced that the transportable Sonos Roam is now readily available in 3 new shades: Olive, Wave, and Sunset.
The a few new Sonos Roam versions are on sale for $179 each individual, identical as the unique white and black versions.
I’m hoping to get a test unit for the Sonos Ray shortly, so hold your eyes and ears peeled for a total overview.