Sonos makes some of the best soundbars you lot tin buy — its $899 Sonos Arc is our current luxury pick — merely they don’t come cheap. To fix that, the audio giant appear the new $279 Sonos Ray. By offering its nigh affordable and compact Sonos soundbar yet, the company sees the Sonos Ray as a great, and affordable, mode to start building your own Sonos sound system. It’s launching June seven in white and black, and you can pre-order information technology at present.
In addition to the Ray, Sonos is launching new color options for its first-class Sonos Roam Bluetooth speaker, and is getting set up to debut a new vocalisation assistant that will get in easy to control all of your Sonos devices easily-complimentary. Subsequently a behind-the-scenes look at all of Sonos’s new hardware and software, hither are some early impressions.
The Sonos Ray isn’t just the company’southward most attainable soundbar — it’s likewise the smallest. Information technology borrows much of its sleek, understated artful from other Sonos speakers, only within a simplified pattern purpose-congenital for smaller living room setups. At 22 inches wide, information technology’south a bit smaller than the 25-inch Sonos Beam, and a fraction of the size of the premium, 45-inch Sonos Arc.
Whereas the Beam and Arc fire sound out from multiple directions, the Ray has all of its acoustics up front. As such, you can comfortably tuck it within an amusement center without worrying about whatever repeat or distorted sound, as I saw during a brief demo session with the soundbar.
Sonos played a number of music tracks and pic clips, all of which revealed some impressive acoustic chops for a $279 soundbar. The polish vocals of “For Anyone” by H.Eastward.R. came through loud and clear, and it was easy to pinpoint the subtle background chimes of Charli XCX’south “Twice.” I was particularly impressed by just how much bass was generated by such a small speaker, and that information technology never overwhelmed the rest of each vocal.
Watching movies on the Ray was similarly enjoyable. During a hilarious statement in “Venom: Allow In that location Exist Carnage,” the soundbar’due south clear dialogue fabricated it easy to follow both the neurotic timbre of Eddie Brock and the menacing, bassy growl of Venom. When nosotros switched to a chaotic battle between Dr. Strange and Spider-Man in “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” information technology was easy to hear subtle sounds (such as the thwip of Spidey’southward web-blasters) amid the chaos of a collapsing New York City.
Despite its cheaper price, the Ray will work like any Sonos soundbar — meaning yous can pair it to any other Sonos products to create your own home entertainment system or enjoy multi-room sound all throughout your home. You’ll likewise become standard Sonos features like Trueplay, which allows the soundbar to optimize itself to whatever room it’s in; Speech Enhancement for boosting spoken word and Dark Sound, which lowers the volume of louder noises while keeping dialogue audible.
And so what are you giving up at $279? Aside from the fact that the Ray is smaller, it too lacks vocalization command for hands-free streaming. There’s no Dolby Atmos support, nor is there an HDMI eARC port for streamlining the amount of wires in your Telly space. Nonetheless, the Ray’s feature set is pretty impressive for the toll, and we’re eager to run into how it compares to its bigger siblings in the real world.
The Sonos Roam is Sonos’due south near travel-friendly speaker, and we dearest information technology — in fact, it’s our current high-end selection for best portable speaker. So, it made me happy to see that it’s getting iii new colors in time for summer fun, including olive, Moving ridge (bluish) and Sunset (red) variations that all looked great in person (I’m especially partial to the blue).
If you’re in the market place for a Roam and desire something that’ll actually stand up out during your warm weather condition travels, the new colors are available now at the speaker’s usual $179 toll point. Simply note that these new hues are available exclusively for the standard Roam, and not the cheaper $159 Roam SL that forgoes the internal microphone.
Possibly the biggest new addition to Sonos’s lineup is Sonos Voice Control, a new first-party system for controlling the vast majority of Sonos speakers with your voice alone. While Sonos speakers already support pop voice assistants similar Alexa and Google Assistant, the company is positioning Vocalism Control as a faster, simpler and more secure option for those who want true hands-free control over their Sonos sound organisation.
We saw Sonos Voice Control in activity during a brief demo, and the feature seems to work pretty snappily. When a Sonos rep said “Hey Sonos, play ‘Ane More Time,’” the speaker quickly pulled upward the song from the user’due south default music service (in this case, Apple Music). They went on to adapt the book using very natural language such as “plow information technology upwardly” or “quieter.” And when they asked what song was playing, they were greeted by the voice of none other than Giancarlo Esposito (of “Breaking Bad” and “The Mandalorian”), who will be the master voice of Sonos Voice Control for Usa users. Sonos noted that Voice Command is designed specifically to be the best hands-gratis fashion to control music on your Sonos speakers, citing feedback from customers that third-party options tin can sometimes exist slow or inaccurate when pulling up specific songs.
Sonos Voice Control launches on June 1, and will work with all phonation-enabled Sonos speakers. That includes everything from the staple Sonos One to portable Bluetooth options like the Sonos Motion, simply non the new Sonos Ray or the Sonos Roam SL. The company says everything is processed on-device, and that your voice requests will never be stored, transcribed or sent to the cloud in any manner. The voice assistant will work with Sonos Radio, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Deezer and Pandora upon launch, with support for more than services to follow.
Sonos soundbars have long been some of our favorites, and we’re happy to meet the company bring a more than affordable pick into its lineup for those not willing to spend $500 to $800 to upgrade their TV audio. The Sonos Roam’s new colors add together some nice personality to what was already a great Bluetooth speaker, and we’re eager to see how Sonos Voice Command stacks upwards to the likes of Alexa and Google Assistant.
We’ll exist putting the Sonos Ray through its paces to come across how it holds up to the all-time Sonos speakers, and so stay tuned for more.