Sonos Ray soundbar: hands-on |  CNN underlined

Sonos Ray soundbar: hands-on | CNN underlined

Sonos makes among the greatest soundbars cash can purchase — the $899 Sonos Arc is our present luxurious choose — however they do not come low-cost. To treatment that, the audio big introduced the brand new $279 Sonos Ray. By providing probably the most inexpensive and compact Sonos soundbar so far, the corporate sees the Sonos Ray as a fantastic and inexpensive approach to begin constructing your individual Sonos sound system. It launches on June 7 in white and black, and you may pre-order it now.

Along with the Ray, Sonos is launching new colour choices for its wonderful Sonos Roam Bluetooth speaker and is about to introduce a brand new voice assistant that permits you to management all of your Sonos gadgets hands-free. After a behind-the-scenes have a look at all of Sonos’ new {hardware} and software program, listed below are some first impressions.

Sonos Ray: The Most Inexpensive Sonos Soundbar

Mike Andronico/CNN

The Sonos Ray is not simply the corporate’s most accessible soundbar, it is also the smallest. It takes a lot of its smooth, understated aesthetic from different Sonos audio system, however inside a simplified design constructed particularly for smaller front room setups. At 22 inches broad, it is barely smaller than the 25-inch Sonos Beam and a fraction of the scale of the premium, 45-inch Sonos Arc.

Whereas the Beam and Arc hearth sounds from a number of instructions, the Ray has all its acoustics up entrance. As such, you possibly can comfortably tuck it into an leisure heart with out worrying about echo or distorted sound, as I noticed throughout a brief demo session with the soundbar.

Sonos performed a lot of music tracks and film clips, all of which revealed some spectacular acoustic chops for a $279 soundbar. The graceful vocals of HER’s “For Everybody” got here by way of loud and clear, and it was simple to listen to the delicate background noise from Charli XCX’s. “Twice” to find. I used to be notably impressed with how a lot bass was generated from such a small speaker, and that it by no means overpowered the remainder of every monitor.

Watching films on the Ray was simply as a lot enjoyable. Throughout a hilarious argument in “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” the soundbar’s clear dialogue made it simple to comply with each Eddie Brock’s neurotic timbre and Venom’s menacing, bassy growl. After we bought right into a chaotic battle between Dr. Unusual and Spider-Man in “Spider-Man: No Means Dwelling,” it was simple to listen to delicate sounds (just like the bang of Spidey’s net blasters) amid the chaos of a collapsing NY city.

Mike Andronico/CNN

Regardless of its lower cost level, the Ray works like several Sonos soundbar – which means you possibly can pair it with different Sonos merchandise to create your individual dwelling leisure system or take pleasure in multi-room audio wherever in your house. You additionally get customary Sonos options like Trueplay, which permits the soundbar to optimize itself for no matter room it is in, Speech Enhancement for amplifying spoken phrase and nighttime sound, which lowers the amount of louder sounds whereas conserving dialogue audible.

So what are you giving up for $279? Other than being smaller, the Ray additionally lacks voice management for hands-free streaming. There isn’t any Dolby Atmos help, neither is there an HDMI eARC port to streamline the quantity of wires in your TV room. Nonetheless, the Ray’s characteristic set is fairly spectacular for the value, and we would like to see the way it compares to its greater siblings in the actual world.

Sonos Roam will get new colours in time for summer season

Mike Andronico/CNN

The Sonos Roam is Sonos’ most travel-friendly speaker, and we adore it — in truth, it is our present high-end choose for the perfect moveable speaker. So it made me joyful to see it is getting three new colours in time for summer season enjoyable, together with Olive, Wave (blue), and Sundown (crimson) variations that each one appeared nice in particular person (I am a giant fan of blue).

Should you’re after a Roam and need one thing that basically stands out in your warm-weather travels, the brand new colours at the moment are obtainable for the speaker’s normal $179 value. Observe that these new shades can be found completely for the usual Roam, not the cheaper $159 Roam SL that omits the inner microphone.

Sonos Voice Management


Maybe the largest new addition to the Sonos lineup is Sonos Voice Management, a brand new first-party system for controlling the overwhelming majority of Sonos audio system with simply your voice. Whereas Sonos audio system already help common voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant, the corporate is positioning voice management as a quicker, simpler, and safer possibility for individuals who need true hands-free management of their Sonos sound system.

We noticed Sonos Voice Management in motion throughout a brief demo, and the characteristic appears to work fairly easily. When a Sonos consultant mentioned, “Hey Sonos, play ‘One Extra Time’,” the speaker shortly retrieved the track from the consumer’s default music service (on this case, Apple Music). They went on to regulate the amount utilizing very pure language, equivalent to “flip it up” or “quiet”. And when requested what track was taking part in, they had been greeted by the voice of none apart from Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Unhealthy, The Mandalorian), who will probably be Sonos Voice Management’s main voice for US customers. Sonos famous that Voice Management was particularly designed as the perfect hands-free approach to management music in your Sonos audio system, citing buyer suggestions that third-party choices can typically be sluggish or inaccurate when retrieving particular songs.

Sonos Voice Management launches on June 1 and can work with all Sonos voice-activated audio system – that features every part from the flagship Sonos One to moveable Bluetooth choices just like the Sonos Transfer, however not the brand new Sonos Ray or the Sonos Roam SL. The corporate says every part is processed on the system and your voice requests will not be saved, transcribed or despatched to the cloud in any manner. The voice assistant will work with Sonos Radio, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Deezer and Pandora at launch, with help for extra providers.

the takeaway

Mike Andronico/CNN

Sonos soundbars have lengthy been our favorites, and we’re joyful to see the corporate introduce a extra inexpensive choice to its lineup for these unwilling to spend $500 to $800 to improve their TV sound. The brand new colours of the Sonos Roam add a pleasant character to what was already a fantastic Bluetooth speaker, and we’re curious how Sonos Voice Management compares to that of Alexa and Google Assistant.

We’ll be placing the Sonos Ray by way of its paces to see the way it stands as much as the perfect Sonos audio system, so keep tuned for extra.

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