Sonos officially announced its Sonos Ray soundbar this afternoon. Matching the specs and design The edge First reported last month, the company’s new entry-level soundbar will cost a little more than originally planned at $279 when it goes on sale on June 7th. (Hey, maybe Sonos is feeling the inflation as much as the rest of us.)
The Ray positions itself as ideal for first-time soundbar buyers looking to upgrade their TV’s lackluster built-in speakers. It can output Dolby Digital audio – there’s no Atmos – and connects to TVs via an optical cable. Sonos is abandoning HDMI and eARC for its more expensive Beam and Arc products. Gamers should note that soundbars that rely on an optical connection can sometimes experience a slight audio lag. But I think Sonos anticipates that anyone who has an Xbox Series X or PS5 hooked up to their TV will likely opt for Beam or Arc instead.
The Ray has two tweeters that handle high frequencies. And as seen in our original rendering, the soundbar has split waveguides on the left and right to direct sound “wall-to-wall.” The focus is on two mid-bass drivers that “ensure a true-to-original reproduction of mid-range frequencies and rich bass”. Sonos says that because its acoustic elements are all front-firing, the Ray is designed to perform well no matter where it’s placed – even when tucked into a media stand.
Despite the lack of HDMI connectivity, and therefore HDMI-CEC, Sonos believes that its full integration with the company’s multi-room audio platform sets the Ray apart from similarly priced competitors. Speak with The edge, product manager Scott Fink also cited other features like TruePlay tuning as differentiators for the Ray. However, the Ray lacks built-in microphones, so you can only optimize the sound using TruePlay with supported phones. The new soundbar shares software features like voice enhancement and night mode with Sonos’ other home theater products.
Like the Beam and Arc, the Ray can be expanded into a fuller surround system by using pairs of Sonos speakers like the Sonos One SL for the rear. It also pairs with the Sonos Sub, although I can’t imagine many people spending $749 on a subwoofer on a $279 soundbar. Unfortunately, the supposedly cheaper Sub Mini isn’t part of Sonos’ announcements today.
The edge originally reported that the Sonos Ray can be mounted vertically and serve as a back surround for Sonos’ other soundbars. However, the company did not mention this feature during its media briefings. When asked if the functionality was still on the way, Fink said he had nothing to say about the rumours. (The edge revealed internal Sonos materials that have proven to be accurate on the Ray’s design, features and release date, so the vertical mounting option may have been scrapped at the last minute.)
The Sonos Ray will go on sale on June 7th in the US, Canada and a variety of other countries.
Alongside the new soundbar, Sonos is also unveiling new colors of its portable Sonos Roam Bluetooth speaker. Red, green, and blue versions of the Roam are available today for the same price of $179 as before.
Photography by Chris Welch / The Verand
https://www.theverge.com/2022/5/11/23065587/sonos-ray-soundbar-announced-features-price-release-date Sonos announces entry-level Ray soundbar for $279, coming June 7th