Sonos this afternoon officially announced Sonos Ray Amplifiers. Matching specifications and designing it the edge It was first reported last monthHowever, the company’s new speakers will be priced at $279, slightly higher than initially planned when it goes on sale on June 7. (Hey, Sonos probably feels bloated just like the rest of us.)
Ray is positioned as ideal for first-time speaker buyers who want to upgrade their TV’s lackluster built-in speakers. It’s capable of Dolby Digital audio output – no Atmos – and connects to TVs via an optical cable. Sonos is leaving HDMI and eARC for its more expensive Beam and Arc products. Gamers should note that speakers that rely on optical communication can sometimes display slight audio delays. But I think Sonos is of the opinion that anyone with an Xbox Series X or PS5 connected to their TV would likely choose Beam or Arc instead.
Ray has two high frequency amplifiers that handle high frequencies. And, as we saw in the original rendering, the speakers have splitters of waveguides on the left and right sides to direct “wall-to-wall” sound. In the middle are two tweeters that “ensure accurate playback of mid-range frequencies and solid bass”. Sonos says that because its acoustic elements are all front-facing, the Ray is built to perform well no matter where it’s placed — including when tucked into a media mount.
Despite the lack of HDMI connectivity and thus the lack of HDMI-CEC, Sonos believes Ray stands out from similarly priced competitors, thanks to its full integration with the company’s multi-room audio platform. Talking to the edgeProduct Manager Scott Fink also called other features such as TruePlay settings as a beam splitter. Ray lacks built-in microphones, however, and you can only enhance his sound using TruePlay with supported phones. The new soundbar shares software features such as speech enhancement and night mode with other Sonos home theater products.
Like the Beam and Arc, the Ray can be expanded to a full surround system using pairs of Sonos speakers like the Sonos One SL to swing. It can also be combined with the Sonos Sub, although I can’t imagine many people spending $749 on a subwoofer versus $279. Unfortunately, the rumoredly affordable Sub Mini isn’t part of today’s ads from Sonos.
the edge It originally stated that the Sonos Ray would be able to mount vertically and serve as a rear surround for other Sonos speakers. However, the company did not mention this feature during its briefings. When asked if the job was still on the way, Fink said he had nothing to share regarding the rumours. (the edge It revealed Sonos in-house materials that are proven accurate in terms of Ray’s design, features and release date, so the vertical install capability may have been scrapped at the last minute.)
The Sonos Ray will go on sale June 7 in the United States, Canada, and a handful of other countries.
Besides the new speakers, Sonos is also introducing new colors for the Sonos Roam Bluetooth Portable Speaker. The red, green, and blue versions of Roam are available starting today at $179 as before.
Photo by Chris Welch/The Verge
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