As rumors grew louder about it, Sonos has officially unveiled a new soundbar. Called Ray, it is particularly compact. At the same time, the manufacturer is also announcing three new colors for its portable Sonos Roam speaker as well as a voice assistant, Sonos Voice Control, to control the playback and distribution of music on the brand’s speakers.
A few weeks ago, the site The Verge had been able to gather several credible information on the upcoming release of a new Sonos soundbar. Known under the code name Fury, she is finally baptized Ray. The Sonos Ray soundbar wants to accompany most televisions with dignity, but in a very compact format (more than the Arc soundbar and the Beam model) and with a design that is still as sleek as ever. Indeed, it measures 55.9 cm wide by 9.5 cm deep and 7.1 cm high for a weight of just under 2 kg. It features extremely simple lines and is available in matt black or white.
Like the brand’s other products, it is extremely easy to install and configure. In terms of connectors, it has the minimum since there is only one optical input to connect it to the television. An Ethernet socket allows it to be connected to a router, but WiFi is also integrated, which limits the number of cables. The Sonos Ray soundbar is compatible with Apple AirPlay 2 technology.
On the audio side, it supports stereo PCM, Dolby Digital and DTS formats. It embeds the Trueplay technology developed by Sonos and already available in several of the brand’s speakers. This allows you to measure the acoustics of the room in order to calibrate the audio rendering of the soundbar. Depending on the brand, it is possible to optimize the rendering of voices via the voice enhancement function available from the application which allows you to configure and control the sound bar. A Night mode is also included for smoother listening without sacrificing the quietest sounds.
The device is compatible with all streaming services offered within the Sonos environment. It can interface with a pair of Sonos One to enjoy surround sound or connect to other brand speakers for multiroom listening.
The Sonos Ray soundbar is equipped with four Class-D digital amplifiers calibrated for the specific architecture of the device. They distribute the signals to the two tweeters and the two high-performance central mid-woofers managing the midrange and bass. Also note the presence of a bass-reflex system to improve bass and limit distortion.
The new soundbar Sonos Ray will be available from June 7 for a price of 299 €.
An assistant vocal “made in Sonos” for control: Hey, Sonos
The other great novelty of the day is the Sonos Voice Control function. It allows voice control of certain functions of the brand’s products. The manufacturer specifies that it works on all Sonos speakers compatible with voice control and that requests are entirely handled by the device itself. This implies that no data leaves the house where the speakers are installed in order to respect privacy. Joseph Dureau, Vice President Voice Experience at Sonos, explains: “Sonos is dedicated to delivering new experiences that easily connect listeners to their favorite content” and he continues: “Voice is one of the most natural ways to connect with music. But talking to users, we found that many were concerned that their privacy was being violated and were unhappy accuracy, speed, and ease of use of existing voice services. Sonos Voice Control gives users the experience they’ve been craving, with no compromises, and one that places equal priority on speed, accuracy, and privacy”.
Sonos Voice Control is triggered in the same way as existing voice assistants: by saying the magic formula: “Hey, Sonos”. The feature will be available for free via an update to the Sonos app and will be immediately compatible with Sonos Radio, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Deezer and Pandora before other services join later. The function will be available in the United States from 1er June and in France by the end of the year. Americans will be able to enjoy the voice of actor Giancarlo Esposito, known for his roles in the series The Mandalorian, breaking Bad or Better Call Saul. The choice of the French voice has not yet been specified for the moment.
Three new fun colors for the Sonos Roam portable speaker
At the same time, Sonos also announced the arrival of three new colored versions of the Roam portable speaker: olive, wave and sunset, including light green, light blue and orange. These colors are inspired by those of nature, sunsets and life in the great outdoors. Remember that the Sonos Roam speaker is WiFi and Bluetooth, waterproof, equipped with a battery allowing you to enjoy music outside your home. The enclosure Sonos Room in its new colors is immediately available for a price of 199 €.
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