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Sonos’ next soundbar drops features for a more favourable price

Dubbed the Ray, the new Sonos soundbar will deliver the company's signature sound in a more compact speaker - will it be good?

Sonos‘ speakers are known for offering extremely impressive sounds, but often for a fairly hefty price tag. Be it your home cinema or a speaker in the kitchen, Sonos has a product for almost everyone. One area Sonos has been lacking, is in a more affordable soundbar. The company’s upcoming soundbar looks set to change this.

Sources say the new soundbar will be called Sonos Ray and that the new speaker will be the cheapest soundbar the company has to offer. It’ll sit alongside the more expensive Beam and Arc soundbars, and still offer powerful sound. Now that’s music to our ears. Or is it?

What to expect from the Sonos Ray

This first-look at Sonos’ upcoming soundbar comes courtesy of Chris Welch at The Verge. Welch managed to recreate a render of the Sonos Ray, and shared some details on the soon-to-be-released speaker. Welch previously reported details on the Sonos Roam correctly ahead of its launch, so there’s good reason to trust this new report.

According to Welch, the Sonos Ray will be similar to the current Beam, just in a more compact body and with fewer features. Expect the new soundbar to be 10cm narrower, and exclude popular features such as built-in mics, Dolby Atmos, and HDMI connectivity. The speaker itself will feature fewer drivers, to fit into the smaller form-factor. It will still support Dolby Digital audio, and packs an optical cable port.

Image from The Verge

The design mock-up shows a vertical mount on the rear of the speaker, suggesting you use the Ray as a rear speaker. It seems Sonos is hoping fanatics will pair these up to the more expensive gear, but it could work as a standalone soundbar. When paired with other Sonos speakers, it will fit into a 5.1 setup.

Now, that’s a soundbar seemingly pretty lacking in features. But you must remember, it will be Sonos’ budget offering. The Sonos Ray is expected to retail for $249, and expected to go on sale “in a matter of weeks”. While there’s no specific date in mind, keep an eye out throughout May and the start of June.

$249 (around £200) seems a little on the dear side for such a lacklustre soundbar. There are plenty of other soundbars with more premium features at the same price point and even lower. We’ll have to see how the Sonos Ray sounds if/when it comes out before being able to recommend it over others. Keep an eye out!

Image by The Verge