Sonos Ray Review |what we were expecting

Here it is, our Sonos Ray HANDS-ON Review is live and it’s not what we were expecting. After seeing the specs, we had our concerns but the Ray has pleasantly surprised us and we can see how this might be the best choice for certain people and certain scenarios. Check out our review to see if the Sonos Ray might be right for you.

No Dolby Atmos no HDMI no voice
assistance and a price of 279 pounds is
this new sonar soundbar right for you or
are there just one too many compromises
let’s find out
now you guys know I’m always honest in
our articles I’m not gonna say a new
product is great when actually it’s not
and after looking at the spec sheet i
was getting ready to have to make quite
a difficult article for you but the more
I’ve been thinking about it testing it
out unraveling it and talking about it
in the office the more I can see it
making sense for specific people in
certain situations and I think i can now
help you work out whether that might be
you or not before I get into the nitty
gritty in case you need a little recap


The Sonos ray is now the most affordable
route into the Sonos ecosystem for tv
audio and it joins the beam and the arc
in Sonos’s lineup of three soundbars
you can pick one up for 279 pounds i
will put a link the down below that
will take you to the product page and a
QR code should be round about here now
the ray has clearly been designed for
those who have a specific requirement in
mind or have a smaller space where they
want to enhance their tv audio as well
as have a wireless speaker for music now

The Sonos ecosystem for tv audio


because a large percentage of a soundbar
buyers actually shop under the 300
pounds price mark Sonos have clearly
decided to add an option to their
soundbar lineup that fits in this
category while still offering their
premium brand where previously the Sonos
beam at 449 was your best option
now there are a number of caveats to
that which I will definitely be jumping
into a little bit later on, before we do
i want to just take a closer look at the
design of the Sonos ray now you can pick
one up in a color choice of black or
white the same as most of the other


Sonos products and firstly you’ll notice
that actually the ray looks very similar
to the beam in terms of the materials
they both use this sort of polycarbonate
material with a perforated grille which
is great because as with all Sonos
products their design ages really well. i
think size-wise it’s 100 millimeters
shorter than the beam but it shares
almost the same height and depth so at a
glance they don’t look too different but
as a result of that smaller width you.
could get away with using this with a 32
inch tv and above you’ve still got the
same touch control layout that you find
on the other Sonos soundbars in.

No microphone symbol


The range for play pause volume controls
skip track previous track but you’ll
notice that there’s no microphone symbol
because there’s no voice control built
in like you find on the beam or the arc
although you can use a separate google
home or amazon echo device to get music
playing out of your ray with your voice
that does also unfortunately mean you
can’t take advantage of Sonos’s own
voice control service that can only be
done on the beam and the arc soundbars
but for those of you who are maybe
concerned about voice control and its
privacy this is going to be the safest


way because quite simply there’s no
microphones in there to start with on
the back of the ray you’ve got your
power you’ve got your ethernet port and
interestingly only an optical connection
for the tv so more on that later now
guys a really important point here is
that their sensor on the front of the
ray will receive volume controls from
your existing tv remote as there is no
remote supply

Sonos Ray functionality


now as there’s no HDMI support that does
mean there’s no cec functionality but
you can still pair your remote with the
ray as their receiver on the ray works
really well taking a look under the hood
you get four class d amplifiers that are
powering two tweeters for vocals and
high frequencies and then two high
efficiency midwifery for your mid-range
and bass you’ve also got this bass
reflex system which is a proprietary low
velocity port design and all these means
is that it’s going to minimize


distortion and it’s going to round out
those low-end frequencies there’s no
dedicated center website so the soundbar
alone is a two-website soundbar which
can be expanded up to 4.1 if you add a
pair of Sonos speakers at the back and a
subwoofer on the ray all of the drivers
are front-facing there’s no angled
drivers or upward-firing drivers so this
is ideal for those looking to place the
soundbar within a tv stand a media unit
or perhaps within a cavity in the wall
where there’s not much clearance either
side because then you’re not defeating
the object of having those upwards and
sideways firing drivers for those people
that have never had Sonos before

The Sonos ray app

I’d really like to quickly cover setup and
control so Sonos have made the setup as
simple as it can possibly be you simply
just plug the ray into the mains power feed
your tv with the optical cable which is
supplied in the box and then download
the Sonos app and follow the on-screen
instructions you can’t really go wrong
with it in terms of controlling the
Sonos ray you’ve got plenty of choices so
you’ve got Spotify to connect airplay 2 for
any apple device users but also hundreds
of services built into the Sonos app
like amazon music tidal Deezer apple
music tuning radio there’s a long list
of what it supports and that is growing


all of the time once it’s all set up
the beauty of it is that it gets better over
time with free software updates and this
can often add quite a bit of value to
the customer like true play tuning where
you can acoustically optimize the sound
bar for the room and the environment
that it has been placed in although you
will need an Apple device for that
so how does the new Sonos race soundbar
sound then well we’ve spent loads of
hours now watching different content on
the ray from movies to tv shows to music
and podcasts and i think that’s given us
a pretty good idea of its pros and cons

Sonos Ray Pros and Cons


but before i share my thoughts I’m just
going to share some snippets of music
and a movie trailer for you to hear for
yourself a quick disclaimer that this
won’t sound quite as good as it does in
our studio when it’s playing through
youtube and of course the device you’re
watching me on but hopefully, it’ll give
you have a good flavor where do we start
starting off then with where it excels
and that is 100 in the vocals now our
number one concern for budget-friendly
soundbars is that although they might
boost the volume of your audio the
vocals can sometimes get a bit lost in

Sonos Ray Pros and Cons
Sonos Ray Pros and Cons


the content after all the vocals are
the thing that keeps you attached to
the storyline and although it’s nice to have
power in the mid-range and the bass
you’ve got to know what’s going on right
now i didn’t miss a word that was spoken
in the content that we tested out and
the vocals are surprisingly not far off
those of the Sonos beam and the arc so
if you watch a lot of dialogue-heavy
content this will be a massive advantage
for you and this was before I’d even
tried speech enhancement so you can
enable that in the Sonos app and it will
emphasize the vocals and dialogue even
more if you need it in the mid-range and

Distortion at higher volumes


the treble is also really impressive it
was really easy to listen to if you know
what i mean is there’s no harshness there’s
none of that distortion at higher
volumes now in our testing we did find
that it does clip the bass a little bit
to protect the drivers when you’re
listening to those higher volumes but in
reality that’s not going to be
the volume that you’re listening to very
often if at all in all I’m really
impressed with the sound stage
projection and the detail that the ray
offers everything is there you don’t


really miss any of the details now bass
wise it was okay but we weren’t blown
away but it was more than adequate and
it didn’t take away from the performance
however as with all Sonos soundbars you
do have the option to add a separate
subwoofer and as this is a compact
soundbar which needs to retain quite a
slim aesthetic you can’t really expect
huge levels of bass and ultimately if
you want that chest-thumping bass that’s
the job of a dedicated subwoofer anyway

Smaller base option


however, i would be a little bit cautious
about adding the Sonos subgen 3 to the
ray because it does tend to be just
a little bit overpowering and at an added
cost of 749 pounds it kind of feels like
you’re defeating the whole object of the
ray with that setup
to be honest this Sonos ray is just
calling out for a smaller base option
from Sonos now there are rumors all over
the internet about a supposed sub-mini
which would be amazing now if you’re the
sort of person who has a large tv and
you like to sit down and have a true to
life cinematic experience with things
like Dolby atmos then i would either
look towards upgrading to the beam or


the arc now if you do want a full
comparison and an overview of all the
sonar soundbars i recommend you watch
our Sonos soundbar comparison article
which should be up here and I’ll also
put a link to that the down below
for you below you might also be
considering adding rear surrounds to the
rays such as the ones or the 1sl and
this of course adds a new dynamic to
your system where sounds will come from
behind you and then bridge the gap
between the front of your room to where
you sit so you’ll be placed right in the
center of the action and I would say
this is probably the next step of
upgrading your ray if you ever wanted to

Grate option for gamers


i also think the ray will make a great
option for gamers so if you’re thinking
of using this as part of a gaming setup
it’s a great next step up for your tv
audio the same would also apply to pc
gamers who can just plug the ray into
their PC’s optical port and you can save
space, as well as just, go directly under
the screen instead of taking up space
either side of your monitor and you can
still benefit from immersive sound i
actually also want to quickly talk about
how the Sonos ray compares with the
Sonos one


why well i know it’s a highly rated
speaker and one that a lot of you have
in your homes so musically why would i
compare this to the ray well for music
alone the ray offers a better
performance the vocals are more defined
and the separation in the tracks is of a
higher standard resulting in a generally
the better listening experience overall now
the reason i mention this is that I have
a particular situation where I’m looking
to add music to a secondary room in my
home so for me now is the ray worth 100
pounds more to me for music only

A better listening experience


I’d say probably not but i would happily
pay a 50 pounds premium over the Sonos
one sl but the caveat to that is that
In that room i also have a tv so for me to
have a better listening experience than
the Sonos one and have tv connectivity i
feel like my 279 pounds are working
harder for me and it’s getting me better
value for money but i can’t say I’m
going to be replacing the beam in my
living room with the ray anytime anytime
soon personally for me and my
requirements for that room the beam
ticks the boxes so the biggest thing i
would say about the ray is context and


what are your needs from a soundbar
which brings me on nicely to would i
recommend the Sonos ray for you firstly
guys this product is not going to be for
everyone when you look at the
specification of the ray at first glance
it doesn’t tick all of the boxes that
you might look for a new soundbar in
2022 like Dolby atmos hdmi voice control
that sort of thing but you have to ask
yourself why do you want to tick those
boxes are you looking for atmos because you’re
always watching the latest and greatest
films and tv shows and you’re really
after that full immersion

A great speaker for music

when you’re watching your content if not you might
not actually need it in the first place
and if you’re the kind of person that
just wants to upgrade your tv audio with
better vocals with more clarity and
detail plus a great speaker for music
that fits right into a wider system that
can be grouped with your whole home then
the ray might actually be for you and
save you some money over say the Sonos
beam on the flip side if you do want to
tick those boxes there are plenty of other
options out there that will be right for
you and yes you can get a soundbar with


more features for the same money but i
think the overall package that the ray
offers make a great option and one to
consider that a sub-300-pound soundbar
market so make sure you get in the
comments guys and let us know your
thoughts on the new Sonos ray can you
see a place for it in your home
don’t forget guys we do offer an
extended six-year warranty on all Sonos
products as well as a 30-day extended
returns policy.

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