Maximising our home's space constraints would mean choosing appliances and products that can fit well and deliver on quality. A soundbar, for instance, can't be too long, but should still sound much better than built-in speakers on a TV.
Enter the Sonos Ray – the brand’s third (and most compact) soundbar offered through the U.S. home audio maker.
The Sonos Ray soundbar rounds off the brand’s premium soundbar product range, which consists of the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) and massive Sonos Arc. Sonos Ray is the most affordable soundbar out of these three options, retailing at just S$529 through its local official distributor, TC Acoustics.
Measuring just 56cm long (55.9 x 9.5 x 7.1cm), the Sonos Ray is compact enough to be tucked away inside most oblong-shaped cubby holes, under smart TVs, or even wall-mounted for added convenience.
Despite its small build, Sonos said that it offers a “room-filling experience”. In our trials with a demo set, we discovered that the Sonos Ray has a front-facing soundstage (because of its front-firing audio), and is certainly loud yet clear despite its size with decent audio separation.
If you tend to binge your shows during the quiet of the night, Sonos said that the Ray also packs Night Sound to dampen loud, sudden noises from your dramas, on top of Speech Enhancement for clearer conversations between whispering on-screen characters.
It uses the same polycarbonate outer shell that moulded the Sonos Arc, with plastic grilles and plates to keep it just under 2kg.
The reduced pricing on the Sonos Ray comes with a few trade-offs that some homeowners might not mind. For instance, it has fewer drivers than the Beam or Arc; Sonos Ray packs two tweeters on the sides and two midwoofers around the middle, along with a bass reflex system somewhere along its rear.
The Sono Ray also only packs minimal ports for use. There’s one for power, one Ethernet 10/100 port for Internet connectivity, and one Optical In port for TVs. It lacks HDMI or eARC ports like other Sonos soundbars, and also lacks spatial audio since it also doesn’t have Dolby Atmos support. Sonos recommends adding Sonos One smart speakers for a home theatre setup, or adding other Sonos speakers around the house for unified playback.
Support audio formats include Stereo PCM, Dolby Digital 5.1, and DTS Digital Surround, and the Sonos app for soundbar controls let users know which audio type is being decoded as it plays. The built-in Wi-Fi support also lets you source wirelessly or via Apple AirPlay 2, too.
Availability and pricing
The Sonos Ray officially retails at S$529 starting on 24 June 2022. Pre-orders in Singapore are available from 12 May 2022 onwards via TC Acoustic. If you wish to demo the soundbar before buying one, you can head down to the distributor’s flagship store located in The Adelphi Mall.