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Sonos Ray review – a tiny and affordable soundbar that produces a big sound

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  • VERDICT

The Sonos Ray might by a tiny soundbar but still offers a mighty sound.

The Sonos Ray is a quality, yet affordable, soundbar that can noticeably improve your TV’s sound and take its place as speaker in your multiroom speaker set-up.

This is the most affordable soundbar in the Sonos range at $399 and sits below the Sonos Beam ($699) and the Sonos Arc ($1,499) which offer more features and audio capabilities.

In a good, better, best scenario, the Sonos Ray is the good but still punches above its weight in terms of providing solid audio quality for users frustrated with the tinny sound of their flat screen TVs.

The Sonos Ray is quite small and will easily fit in front of your television. It’s also small enough to fit inside the shelf normally reserved for your DVD player or set top box if there happens to be a vacancy in your entertainment unit.

You can hear the quality as soon as it’s connected with a more authoritative sound and volume whether you’re watching a movie or playing a game.

The soundbar includes new acoustic innovations that offer clear and crisp dialogue, balanced surround sound and nice bass.

Inside are custom-designed waveguides that can project sound around the room and position these elements throughout your room, so you are at the centre of the action.

We were really impressed with the voice clarity so you can hear precisely what is being said without having to reach for the closed captions.

And the surround sound effect was also above average at this price point.

The Sonos Ray connects to your TV with an optical audio cable.

It does not offer HDMI connectivity which means there is no support for Dolby Atmos.

The more expensive Sonos soundbars offer HDMI connectivity and Dolby Atmos as well.

But that’s not a deal breaker, it still sounds better than the TV’s speakers with clear crisp sound.

And if you happen to own a couple of Sonos one speakers, these can be used with Sonos Ray as dedicated rear speakers to enhance your home entertainment experience.

Same deal if you have a Sonos Sub which will really give you some solid bass.

At this price, you’re not going to get fully enveloping surround sound of more expensive soundbars, but it is still a decent and satisfying result when watching movies and your TV shows.

Even without the Sub, the Sonos Ray has decent bass on its own.

And don’t forget, you can also connect to Sonos Ray through the Sonos companion app to play your music with impressive results.

Now normally, when connecting via HDMI (eARC) that not only enables Dolby Atmos but also provides full control of the soundbar with your televisions remote control.

The Sonos Ray it will only work with infrared (IR) remote controls.

So that means if your TV has an RF radio frequency or Bluetooth remote control, you’ll have to control the volume through the Sonos app on your smartphone or via the touch controls on top of the unit.

In our case, we connected the Sonos Ray to an older Samsung TV that happened to have an IR remote, and part of the setup process was setting up your remote via a couple of tests through the Sonos app.

What we found is that while we could control the soundbar through our remote, we were unable to see a numerical value of the volume, so we had to literally play it by ear to come up with a volume level we were satisfied with.

The Sonos Ray is ideal to use with a TV in a smaller room or perhaps the bedroom and its audio performance is above average.

But for those looking for a better result with Dolby Atmos and virtual surround sound and a dedicated subwoofer will need to spend a bit more money.

The Sonos Ray is priced at $399 and is available now.

VERDICT

The Sonos Ray might by a tiny soundbar but still offers a mighty sound.