February 1, 2023

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Sonos Ray soundbar review

Sonos Ray Soundbar Review

In the pursuit of a more immersive television experience, the quality of screens and resolution continues to evolve. However, the sad reality is, the audio in these flatter more beautiful screes continues to degrade with every new iteration.

Most speakers built into high-end televisions don’t live up to the quality of the picture on the screen, and in many cases, purchasing a sound bar to help even out the viewing experience is the remedy.

While there are as many sound bar options as there are TVs, the Sonos Ray is an upgrade your TV, music, and gaming experiences that’s compact, high quality and easy to use.

Where Does Ray Fit In?

For apartments, college dorms, or in our case the master bedroom, Ray is a great addition to the viewing experience.

If you have a 90-inch TV and home theater, Ray isn’t for you. Released in 2022, the Ray entry-level 2.0 is a soundbar you can integrate into your existing Sonos ecosystem using the Sonos S2 app. While it doesn’t support Dolby Atmos content like the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) or the Sonos Arc, it can play back 5.1 surround sound content like Dolby Digital and DTS.

You can upgrade the setup down the line with the Sonos Sub and speakers like the Sonos One SL or the Sonos Five, but we are sticking with just Ray and none of his pals — for now.

Ray won’t shake the walls as Maverick takes on the bad guys, but it will fill your room with very clear, crisp audio that will enhance the total viewing experience.

Setup and Performance

Setup is fairly simple. You do need the Sonos app (a remote option would be a nice touch). Other than that, you can go from unboxing to unbelievable sound in minutes. Plug in the power cable, connect Ray to your TV’s optical port, and open the Sonos app. Before you know it, you can hear the flexing of Kelly Severide’s abs as he takes off his shirt and smolders at the camera. 

With lower quality sound bars, the volume is the factor that defines the audio — the louder the better?  The technology and rich sound quality inside Ray keeps you from having to turn the volume all the way up.

It’s all about balance. You don’t want to be blown away while watching the news, but you do want to feel the bass from the song Drumdown Mambo when you’re watching Hustle on Netflix. The technology in Ray helps you enjoy stereo sound that’s just right. The custom acoustics precisely harmonize high and mid-range frequencies while proprietary anti-distortion technology produces perfectly weighted bass.

Music, dialogue, Halo — Ray helps you feel like you’re at the center of it all. Split waveguides project sound from wall to wall, and advanced processing accurately positions elements in the room.

Ray comes in white or black and is designed to be tucked away or stand alone. All the acoustic elements face forward to minimize interference from nearby surfaces so, even if you place it in your TV stand, Ray always sounds phenomenal.

Sonos photo

Ray can easily connect to Sonos One, Amazon Echo, or Google Nest Home when the TV is off so you can play music, radio (still a thing), podcasts, and audiobooks — you name it.

Talk to pretty much any director and they will tell you the sound is equally, if not more, important than the picture on the screen. At $279, Ray is an affordable option that will enhance your overall audio experience.

By David Wallach

By David Wallach

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