The Sonos Ray is a bar with four class-D amplifiers, two mid-woofers, and two tweeters to offer a 3.0 sound. Physically it is similar to the Sonos Beam Gen 2, but the main difference is that in this bar, we do not have Dolby Atmos or HDMI eARC sound. Sonos bets on optical input and relies on technologies such as TruePlay or Bass Reflex System for sound.
At the connectivity level, WiFi will be the way we will connect the bar with music streaming services. It also has an infrared receiver to use the TV remote control. These are the full features of the Sonos Ray.
User experience: easy to configure and with adjustments to your height
Setting up the Sonos Ray doesn’t take much. We will connect it to the current and have to configure it through the mobile. To do this, we will have to download the Sonos App S2 application, available on Android and iOS but also for desktops on Windows and Mac. This application is where we will insert the password of the WiFi network that the device will use. It will predictably ask us for a software update and for us to tell it where the bar will be. After a few simple steps that do not last more than a few minutes, we will have the sound bar ready to play music through the different streaming services or to connect it to the TV through the optical cable.
The mobile will be necessary to be able to configure the Sonos Ray, but the app is straightforward. We also have infrared to link the TV remote.
Another feature that we miss on this soundbar is the microphones. Sonos has recently introduced its voice assistant, but we’ll need a product like a Sonos Roam to make it work. This is not the case.
Yes, we do have an infrared receiver port. This has a straightforward utility and can use the TV remote to control the volume. To activate this option, we must synchronize the command from the application. The link is not very difficult, although we have noticed some latency in the response. Personally, we prefer the control from the mobile, which does work excellently.
Sonos Ray Review : A compact design with high-level finishes
The Sonos Ray is a compact soundbar, about 56 centimeters long, about 9.5 centimeters wide, and 7 centimeters high. The corners are rounded, and in general, it is somewhat narrower than the Sonos Beam, which to date was the most compact model of the brand. Sonos has done an excellent job of compacting this sound bar, which is appreciated when we have to place it in the living room in front of the television.
On an aesthetic level, Sonos repeats its traditional plastic grille that covers the entire front and is riddled with mini holes that completely hide the interior. Our test unit is the matte black one, but it’s also available in white. In these mini holes, it is common for some dust to remain, but unless we get closer, it will not be noticeable.
The finishes are excellent despite being in front of its cheapest device. The sense of continuity and robustness is very present, and we believe it combines very well in all types of spaces. Stability is also ideal, having small stops in the lower area that make the soundbar completely still and vibration-free.
The upper area is completely smooth, in matte black. Where only three touch buttons are striking. With them, we can stop the music with a touch, raise or lower the volume, skip the song, or play it again by sliding to the right or left.
In addition to these controls, the only differential elements are the symmetrical Sonos logo and four warning LEDs that indicate the bar’s status. In general, the bar and its configuration are suitable for all audiences, with all the controls being very logical and requiring excellent knowledge to start it up.
Sonos Ray Connections
Lacking Dolby Atmos, the lack of HDMI eARC isn’t sorely lacking, but it’s a significant cutback from more expensive soundbars.
In the rear area, we will have to connect at least two cables, using the third one if we also take advantage of the Ethernet socket. The Sonos Ray does not have Bluetooth, basing all its use on WiFi 802.11/b/g/n. Since we are using it at home, it seems a logical and standard solution.
The first cable is the power cable, and the second is the optical cable. Unlike other higher category products, the Sonos Ray does not come with HDMI eARC. The company’s arguments are several, but mainly the economic reason weighs. Not being in front of a bar compatible with Dolby Atmos or Dolby TrueHD, Sonos considers HDMI unnecessary. Finally, there is a compatibility issue. Sonos wants this sound bar to be used with televisions of all kinds, including old ones. The optical input is widespread in these, but the HDMI is not.
Sonos Ray Review : No bar in this range has such a well-defined sound.
We come to the most critical section, where Sonos usually shines the most: sound quality. During these weeks, we have tested the bar in many situations and with all kinds of music from the different streaming services. We have also taken advantage of the bar to enjoy recent series such as ‘Prehistoric Planet,’ ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ or ‘Stranger Things 4’.
At the time of its presentation, I had the opportunity to listen to it, and the result was obvious and defined. That feeling has been maintained once I have been able to listen to those songs with which I am most accustomed, and I have come to try them on sound devices of all levels. The Sonos Ray can transmit with the precision of much more expensive machines on most frequencies.
The voice and dialogues detail is sublime, so much so that we would even say it suffers from excessive brilliance. It is also surprising for its good bass level despite not having its own subwoofer.
Its great strength is the dialogue and voices, which have excellent representation and fidelity, but I was especially surprised by the depth of the bass, despite not having a built-in subwoofer. I had many doubts about the effectiveness of its passive bass reflection system, but the truth is that they are very successful. It is not the most potent sound bar, but it is common to see that many sound bars produce a strong bass but are too artificial. As if to gain “claw,” they had to distort the music. Sonos offers a perfect balance.