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The Sonos Ray is a brand new budget-friendly providing from the premium audio maker that now has a extra inexpensive soundbar that sits under the Beam and Arc.
The Sonos Ray is available in at lower than $300, making it one of many extra inexpensive audio system from the corporate. With the recognition of soundbars on the rise, it is an effective way to get into the Sonos ecosystem.
The Sonos Ray is compact and budget-friendly.
Comparatively, the Sonos Beam is close to $500 and the Arc suggestions the scales at round $900. Whereas that makes Ray the seemingly straightforward selection if you wish to avoid wasting money, there are just a few caveats to contemplate.
The Ray itself is simply barely smaller than the Sonos Beam. Nonetheless, it’s kind of narrower and should have no challenge becoming in entrance of your TV.
It is available in black or white colorways, although we selected the previous.
The soundbar has a completely plastic design, together with the front-facing grille. They every look nice although we’ll say the black tends to tackle fingerprints.
On high of the speaker are your primary controls. They’re the identical touch-sensitive buttons you see on all different Sonos audio system. As well as, a multi-control button within the middle controls playback and quantity down and up buttons on both aspect.
Round again, you may discover the facility enter, an Ethernet jack, and an optical audio enter. Sonos consists of the facility cable and an ultra-thin optical cable within the field.
Setup and onboarding
Sonos has a knack for speaker setup that’s emblematic of Apple. For instance, with the Sonos app open, the speaker will robotically be found and seem in a pop-up modal similar to a set of AirPods.
Since we’ve got different Sonos audio system, the app remembered our credentials and Wi-Fi passcode, so it was ready so as to add it to our account and add it to the house community.
With the speaker added, we may immediately begin utilizing it with our tv. One last item it is advisable do, although, is about up your distant.
In contrast to the Sonos Beam and Sonos Arc, the Ray accepts audio through optical. The opposite two depend on the audio return channel (ARC) for audio. With HDMI ARC, quantity instructions are handed through HDMI CEC.
With out ARC, the Ray is pressured to depend on infrared instructions. This is a matter as a result of many fashionable TVs have Bluetooth or RF remotes.
If that is your TV, you will not be capable of management the Ray’s quantity. As a substitute, you may want to make use of the controls on high of the soundbar, the Sonos app, or choose up an inexpensive no-name infrared distant on Amazon.
Luckily for Apple customers, the Apple TV Siri Distant can work simply nice. It may possibly ship audio instructions and management quantity with minimal problem.
In contrast to many different finances soundbars, the Sonos Ray does not embrace a subwoofer. However there’s each good and dangerous information.
Sonos is a really modular system. You possibly can add on a set of further Sonos audio system to go from stereo to encompass audio. We might advocate a set of Sonos One SLs or the IKEA Symfonisk image body audio system.
There’s even a subwoofer possibility. That subwoofer carries a price ticket of $750. You can purchase practically three Sonos Rays for the value of the Sonos Sub (Gen 3).
Latest rumors have pointed to a brand new, lower-cost Sonos Mini Sub. That is on no account official, nevertheless it might be a wonderful possibility for Sonos Ray homeowners who desire a bit extra oomph to the bass.
Audio high quality
We listened to a whole lot of audio on our Sonos Ray over the previous few weeks, together with TV exhibits, motion pictures, and music.
Our takeaway was that — particularly on the worth level — the Sonos Ray sounds nice. It provides a wonderful sound expertise.
In it are 4 drivers — two tweeters alongside two mid-woofers. As well as, bodily wave channels assist route the audio to the edges to extend the perceived soundstage.
We had been particularly impressed by the dialogue readability whereas watching motion pictures and TV. When listening to your TV audio system, dialogue can typically be muddied and exhausting to parse.
There is not any devoted middle channel, but Sonos was in a position to design the Ray to assist enhance audio whereas letting the remainder of the audio come by means of. This was a big distinction from the earlier $300 Soundbar from Vizio, JBL, and others.
The bass was solely okay, although, and left some to be desired. It is not dangerous for the dimensions, however whereas watching motion pictures like Jurassic Park, we wished to really feel these roars in our chest, and we simply did not.
Apple iPhone customers are additionally ready to make use of TruePlay to tune the audio. So, for instance, you stroll across the room, and the cellphone’s microphone adjusts the audio to your private home’s acoustics.
AirPlay and HomeKit
Sonos audio system have supported Apple’s AirPlay 2 for ages and the Ray is not any completely different. That is yet one more function that separates the Ray from different finances soundbars.
Most others on this worth vary will provide Bluetooth audio however not over Wi-Fi — not to mention AirPlay.
As soon as added to the Sonos app, it can instantly be obtainable as an AirPlay vacation spot from any of your Apple gadgets in your house. Solid to it out of your Mac, iPad, Apple TV, or iPhone.
In our house, we are able to solid to the Sonos Ray, our HomePod mini, and our First Alert Protected and Sound unexpectedly for straightforward multi-room audio.
For those who do not use AirPlay, you’ll be able to arrange multi-room audio from the Sonos app too. The Sonos app additionally has a number of direct audio sources, together with Sonos Radio and lots of extra.
For energy sensible house customers, the Sonos Ray may be added to HomeKit. For those who launch the Dwelling app and faucet on the Add Accent button, the Ray will robotically seem.
With it in HomeKit, you’ll be able to management the speaker from the Dwelling app and embrace it in varied scenes or automations.
For instance, you could possibly create a exercise scene that can play your pump up playlist on the Ray on the similar time it closes your front room blinds and adjusts your lights. Or create an automation routine to cease taking part in anytime the final particular person leaves the home.
You can even tie the Sonos Ray to your morning alarm to awaken to your favourite energizing songs.
Do you have to purchase the Sonos Ray?
In our time-testing soundbars, the Ray stands above the remaining. It is extremely succesful, with a terrific array of supply choices, Wi-Fi connectivity, and glorious sound high quality.
Sadly, it is held again by the restricted distant assist and optical audio. Because of this, your TV setup might take the Ray out of the working instantly, no matter how good the remainder of its options are.
In our case, the distant labored simply nice from our Apple TV, so it wasn’t as a setback as will probably be for others. Now, if Sonos would solely hurry up and launch a extra inexpensive subwoofer.
- Compact design
- Nice audio high quality
- Clear dialogue
- Ethernet port for connectivity
- AirPlay 2 and HomeKit assist
- Develop system with different Sonos gadgets
- Optical is simply connection possibility
- Non-obligatory subwoofer is prohibitively costly
Ranking: 3.5 out of 5
If Sonos does, actually, launch a extra inexpensive soundbar, our score would enhance to a 4.
The place to purchase
The Sonos Ray retails for $279 and may be ordered from Sonos instantly, in addition to at B&H Photograph and at Adorama.