I tried Sonos’ CHEAPEST soundbar – it changed the way I watch TV forever

With a range of affordable and cheerful soundbars, it’s easier than ever to IMPROVE your viewing experience.

The gizmos fit snugly under your set and deliver great sound without the hassle of setting up a cumbersome multi-speaker system.

The Sonos Ray is a great starting point for soundbar newbies


The Sonos Ray is a great starting point for soundbar newbiesPhoto credit: Sonos

The latest to throw its hat in the ring is the Sonos Ray, a £279 soundbar that gives you great bang for your buck.

I’ve been trying the Ray for a few weeks now and I think it leads the way when it comes to affordable TV speakers.

The little speaker that could

The Ray is Sonos’ most affordable soundbar to date, and it hit shelves last month.

It offers the great sound of other Sonos speakers without the price tag carried by the rest of its range.

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According to Sonos, the Ray is designed for the nine out of 10 people who still use their TV’s built-in speakers.

On that front, the Ray certainly does its job, delivering a massive sound upgrade compared to anything the average TV can offer.

However, that’s the least you’d expect if you plan to spend upwards of £270 on it.

As far as sound goes, the Ray puts out an assertive, punchy sound that’s well balanced.

It’s not the best soundbar you’ll ever hear, but it does a decent job of enhancing almost any TV or movie.

I had a bit of trouble understanding the dialogue while watching shows like Obi-Wan Kenobi, which forced me to turn up the volume.

I was quickly punished for this as action scenes rolled around and hit me with a wall of noise that probably worried my neighbors.

Luckily, I was able to fix this with Speech Enhancement, a feature you can enable through the Sonos app.

It did what it says on the tin and I haven’t had any issues with dialogs since activation.

Overall I’d say the Ray is a massive upgrade for any TV speaker, making it a great starting point for soundbar newbies.

However, if you’re a true audio or cinephile, you might want to spend a little more for a more expensive kit that sounds better.

Smooth as you like

Aside from the sound, one of the most important things to consider when buying a soundbar is how it will look in your living room.

The Ray knocks that aspect out of the park in my opinion, with a sleek and compact design that looks right at home under my TV.

Available in black or white, it is pilling shaped and approximately 55cm long with a flat front and tapered sides.

On top are touch controls for adjusting volume or playing/pause music.

First and foremost, the Ray does exactly what most people want their living room tech to do – it blends seamlessly with everything else.

The soundbar not only looks good, but also offers a number of practical functions.

I’ve already mentioned Speech Enhancement, which is designed to make speech more audible over other elements.

There’s also a night mode that muffles explosions and makes whispers louder so you don’t wake anyone in the house during a late-night action movie.

If you want to change the EQ, you’ll have to do so through the Sonos app, which can be a bit clunky and difficult to navigate at times.

This is also where you can set your speaker to play Spotify or the radio if you wish.

The price is correct

Aside from the brand behind it, the Ray’s price is what’s most likely to draw gamers in – and with good reason.

At £279 it’s on the cheaper end of the spectrum, with Sonos’ next cheapest soundbar, the Beam, retailing at £449.

However, it’s far from the cheapest on the market.

For example, you can buy Samsung or LG soundbars for under £100 if you look in the right places.

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However, the sound of these speakers is so bad that they are hardly worth your money. They are little better than your TV speakers.

The Sonos Ray strikes the perfect balance between price and quality in my opinion – especially if this is your first soundbar.

You get a guaranteed upgrade to your TV’s speakers without breaking the bank.

If you’re interested in a soundbar, the Ray is a solid choice. I haven’t used a soundbar before and now I can’t imagine watching Netflix without one.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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