The concept of sound bars is associated with a team of considerable dimensions to significantly improve the audio of home television. That’s why it draws attention Sonos Ray, the firm’s soundbar headquartered in Santa Barbara, California; It is a much more compact and affordable device than the second generation Sonos Beam. We have put it to the test for a few weeks and we tell you our impressions about it.
The most recent Sonos Beam already stands out as a proposal that does not occupy the entire cabinet where the screen is placed, so making an even smaller alternative represented a challenge for the high-quality audio company.
The result with Ray – whose sale begins this June 2022 – was a soundbar for televisions below 55 inches that does improve the experience of playing multimedia content and platforms of streaming musicwithout losing the connectivity that the manufacturer usually includes in its equipment.
Inside the bar are four Class D digital amplifiers, two tweeters for clear highs and a pair of elliptical midwoofers for detail and depth in the audio. The link with the screen is through an optical cable, that is, the device does not include an HDMI connection (the other port that it does incorporate is an Ethernet one).
Regarding wireless, Sonos Ray does not stop being compatible with AirPlay 2 and Wi-Fi, which already supposes an interactive advantage, as will be explained later.
Finally, when it comes to its design, the Sonos Ray is similar to the Beam. However, the size difference becomes apparent when one is placed on top of the other.
What happens when I play a series or movie on a television with the Sonos Ray linked? The soundbar itself is capable of delivering outstanding power and clarity, no matter what type of content is being viewed.
We particularly loved the performance it offers in recorded concerts. At times when music is the protagonist, the level of detail is optimal; while when the artist or the band pronounces some words, these are understood as if they were in the place.
Also contributing to the good experience is the fact that through the Sonos app, which is used to configure the system for the first time, you can use technologies such as voice enhancement in order to obtain clearer dialogues and Trueplay, which detects room acoustics and then calibrates the soundbar.
Of course, compatibility with Dolby Atmos should not be expected, one of the sacrifices of the team. The Sonos Ray is only capable of playing Stereo PCM, Dolby Digital 5.1, and Surround Digital DTS formats. From the Sonos app, the type of audio being decoded is displayed.
In general terms, there is no complaint when the Sonos Ray is used as the main system when playing content from a streaming video platform. The dialogues are clear and the music is powerful, in addition to having the extra of being able to control the volume from the control of the screen (a special configuration must be carried out for certain television models).
Regarding music playback, suffice it to say that people will enjoy their favorite songs no matter what platform they play them from. In addition to being compatible with services such as Sonos Radio, Tidal or Apple Music, the Sonos Ray supports standards such as AirPlay 2 (Apple) and Spotify Connect, which will also allow users to stream music content wirelessly (Wi-Fi) from a wide variety of Android and iOS mobile devices.
And what can you expect from the sound quality? The company does not exaggerate in being proud of the work done with Ray in this field, despite having a reduced margin of maneuver (compact size of the bar).
The clarity and sound detail come to the fore in each of the songs, without neglecting the powerful bass when they are protagonists in the compositions.
In other words, sonic balance is more than evident on the Sonos Ray, which extends to cover the entire room (and then some). Whoever puts it in their office or study, for example, can trust that they will get the sound their ears have been looking for.
The other great ally of the Sonos Ray is the Sonos app, which works as a kind of hub to connect the company’s various products. In addition to initial setup, mobile development makes it possible to adjust bass and treble, set Trueplay, and turn the status light and touch bar controls on and off.
Here it is worth clarifying that the Ray does not incorporate a microphone, which means that no digital assistant or Sonos Voice Control -which debuts this June 2022 in the United States-, the first voice experience created specifically for listening, can be installed. according to signature.
Of course, the soundbar does have the ability to link with the rest of the Sonos proposals, such as Beam or Move, with the intention of creating a group listening or stopping the music on all the devices with the voice when using the microphone of the devices that do incorporate it.
The application also allows you to control the volume of the bar, for when you are only listening to music, or to install software updates.
The Sonos Ray becomes the most accessible alternative of its kind from the Californian company, which does not mean that we are facing a team with deficiencies in sound or hardware. Quite the contrary: the soundbar is an excellent option for those who are entering the segment or who want to improve the audio of their entertainment and music experiences.
Its price is $279 dollars or 6,000 pesos for the Mexican market, an amount with which you can buy a “decent” mid-range phone in the Aztec country. That is why we believe its cost is reasonable.
What people should make sure of is that the screen they are looking to improve in sound does have the optical port, the only means of connection between both devices (the cable is included in the audio system purchase package).