The new Sonos Ray is set to be a massive success for Sonos.
Sonos director, Casey Clemens told MobileSyrup that around half of listening on Sonos products is done while watching content on a TV. This statistic shows just how vital the home theatre business has become for the company.
Now that the Ray is releasing with a price point low enough to appeal to a wider market ($350 CAD), it will be exciting to see if it takes off as Sonos predicts and brings more people into the company’s smart speaker ecosystem.
The Ray is a three-channel soundbar designed to be someone’s first Sonos product or a way for existing Sonos users to outfit a second TV with a soundbar that’s cheaper than the Beam Gen 2 ($560 CAD). During my hands-on time with the device, it sounded powerful enough and offered that classic richness you get from Sonos speakers. That said, it didn’t sound as detailed as the Sonos Beam to me.
To help make the soundbar as immersive as possible, Sonos uses new split waveguides to help direct sound equally out from the TV in a wide swath. In my brief tests, the Ray seemed to offer better stereo separation than expected, but the balance of the sound weighs vocals slightly higher than bass and other noises. This will likely be pleasing to people watching content at night, but it didn’t seem to offer the crisp balance you get from more expensive Sonos speakers. All that being said, I didn’t get to spend much time testing, so this could all change when I test it on my own.
As with all Sonos speakers, the Ray works with ‘Trueplay,’ so you can tune it to fit whatever room it’s in as cleanly as possible. Other sound-based software found in Sonos soundbars is offered with the Ray too. This includes ‘Night sound,’ which balances all the sounds so loud noises don’t wake anyone else up in your home and ‘Speech enhancement.’
One interesting thing to note is that since the Ray isn’t Atmos-equipped, it can be placed into a TV stand since there are no upward-firing speakers. It’s also relatively small, so most people shouldn’t have a problem integrating it into their home theatre setup. The Ray will be available in the standard Sonos ‘Black’ and ‘White’ colours.
The speaker will hit the global market on June 7th for $350.
- Four Class-D digital amplifiers
- Two tweeters with split waveguides
- Two full-range mid woofers
- Bass reflex system
- Adjustable EQ in the Sonos app
- Works with Sonos rear surround speakers/subwoofer
- Optical audio only
- Ethernet jack