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Sonos' new budget soundbar will be called the Sonos Ray new report claims

Grayson Blackmon / The Verge
(Image credit: Grayson Blackmon / The Verge)

The much-rumoured new budget soundbar from Sonos will be called the Sonos Ray, according to a report in The Verge.

The report suggests that the Sonos Ray will be the company's cheapest ever soundbar, priced at $249 (around £198, AU$345) with availability in the coming weeks. Sonos' current entry-level soundbar is the Sonos Beam Gen 2  (£449 / $449 / AU$649) with virtual Dolby Atmos sound, while the flagship Sonos Arc (£899  / $899 / AU$1499) delivers Dolby Atmos with upward-firing drivers.

To achieve the Ray's lower price point, The Verge's internal sources claim that the affordable soundbar will have fewer drivers and won't include hardware features such as built-in microphones or an HDMI port.

Instead, the Sonos Ray will apparently only have an optical input, meaning it will be capable of supporting Dolby Digital 5.1 but not Dolby Atmos. Like the Beam Gen 2 and the Arc, the Ray will be able to form part of a multi-channel surround system through the addition of rear speakers. It's also thought that the Ray will be able to function as a surround speaker when orientated vertically and used in conjunction with an Arc or Beam. 

The Verge had previously revealed mocked-up renders of the Ray based on photos of the device, allegedly codenamed Fury. According to the latest report, new photos were accidentally published in a product listing that referred to the soundbar as the Ray by the retail site Ktronix on Wednesday before it was taken down.

Although not officially announced, multiple new products are expected to be announced by Sonos in the coming months, including its long-awaited wireless headphones. The company is also rumoured to be working on a new Home Theater OS after recently posting job vacancies for roles involved with designing apps and experiences directly for TV.  According to multiple sources, the development follows the company's long-held desire to play a more prominent role in TV streaming.

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Mary is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi? and has over a decade of experience working as a sound engineer mixing live events, music and theatre. Her mixing credits include productions at The National Theatre and in the West End, as well as original musicals composed by Mark Knopfler, Tori Amos, Guy Chambers, Howard Goodall and Dan Gillespie Sells. 

  • manicm
    My guess is it could act as an extremely rudimentary soundbar- no HDMI or WiFi, but is primarily designed as surround speakers mounted vertically on the wall on each side of a TV.
    Reply