Following weeks of rumours and leaks, the Sonos Ray is finally official. The audio brand’s newest soundbar, as it turns out, was more or less entirely pre-empted by eager people on the internet. Still, here’s the official word on the brand’s most compact soundbar to date.
For starters, a global launch is just weeks away. And since ‘global’ includes South Africa, 7 June is when we (and everyone else) get access to the Sonos Ray. The price? R6,500 here at home. We’re not too concerned with the price in Azerbaijan or America or those far-flung places.
Sonos Ray of sunshine
The Ray is Sonos’ smallest soundbar to date, measuring 559 x 95 x 71mm and weighing in at 1.95kg. At that size, it’s not really suitable for monster TVs. If you had one of those, you’d be using a Sonos Beam 2 or a Sennheiser Ambeo anyway. This budget soundbar probably wouldn’t be on your radar.
For those who are looking for a spot of audio that bends the bank instead of breaking it, the Ray could be just the thing. It lacks Dolby Atmos support, but it plays nice with Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS Digital Surround. As with all Sonos products, extra speakers may be slotting in to turn the Sonos Ray into a true home theatre system.
The Ray connects via WiFi, with Optical and ethernet connections also possible. Apple Airplay 2 is supported, and there’s a fair amount of audio tech inside. Four amplifiers, two tweeters, and two mid-woofers round out this 3.0-channel soundbar. There are a few other omissions, besides Atmos support. There are no microphones, so voice support is nixed, and there’s no HDMI connectivity. TV setup might prove a little more difficult than usual, but it’s not just the TV market that the Sonos Ray is after.
Sonos CEO Patrick Spence said, “Homes have become movie theatres, fitness studios, gaming hubs, and so much more, all supported by a streaming era that is no longer exclusive to just TV, music, and film. Ray makes it easier than ever to enhance those listening experiences, thanks to its smaller size and impressive sound.”
Toby Shapshak chats to Sonos with Sonos’ Jeff and Joe from New York City about the Ray here.