An array of inexpensive soundbars makes it easier to control your TV.
These little gizmos can be worn under your existing set and produce great sound without the hassle of setting up multi-speaker systems.
The latest to throw its hat in the ring is the Sonos Ray, a £279 soundbar that nets you plenty of bang for your buck.
The Ray has been my go-to affordable television speaker for the past few weeks.
The tiny speaker that could
The Ray, Sonos’ most affordable soundbar to date, hit shelves last month.
This Sonos speaker offers great sound quality without the high price tag.
Sonos states that the Ray is for people nine to ten who still use the built-in speakers of their televisions.
The Ray does a great job on this front. It delivers a vast sound improvement compared to any other TV.
That’s the least you’d expect, however, if you’re planning on forking out more than £270 for it.
The Ray emits a loud, assertive and punchy sound that is well-balanced in terms of its sound.
While it isn’t the best soundbar ever, it can raise almost any TV and film.
I struggled to hear the dialogue when I was watching shows like “Obi-Wan Kenobi”I was forced to crank up the volume.
I was swiftly punished when action scenes showed up and hit me with a wall that made my neighbours worry.
Luckily, I was able solve this problem. “Speech Enhancement”You can activate this feature through the Sonos App.
It did exactly what it stated on the tin, and I haven’t had any issues with dialogue since activating it.
The Ray is an excellent place to start for new soundbar users.
If you are a true cinephile or audiophile, it might be worth spending more to get a better piece of kit.
Smooth as you want
The look of your living room is as important as the sound quality.
With a sleek, compact design that fits right under my TV, The Ray wins this aspect.
It’s available in black or white and measures 55cm in length with a flat front, tapered sides, and is approximately 55cm long.
Touch controls are located on the top for adjusting volume and playing/pausing music.
Primarily, the Ray does precisely what most people want from their living room tech – it blends in seamlessly with everything else.
It looks great and has many useful features.
Speech Enhancement has been mentioned before. It is designed to make speech more easily to hear than other elements.
A Night Mode can be used to reduce the sound of explosions and increase the volume of whispers so no one is awakened by an action flick.
You can change your EQ through the Sonos app. It is a bit confusing and hard to use at times.
You can also configure your speaker to play Spotify and the radio if you wish.
The price is right
Other than the brand behind it, the Ray’s price is what’s most likely to draw punters – and for good reason.
At £279, it’s on the cheaper end of the spectrum, with Sonos’ next cheapest soundbar, the Beam, retailing for £449.
It is however far from being the most affordable on the market.
You can pick up soundbars from Samsung or LG for under £100, for instance, if you look in the right places.
The sound quality of these speakers is terrible and they are not worth the money. These speakers sound worse than TV speakers.
The Sonos Ray, in my view, strikes the perfect balance between price and quality – especially if this is your first soundbar.
Without spending a fortune, you can get a guaranteed improvement in your TV’s speakers.
The Ray is a good choice for soundbars. I didn’t previously use a soundbar but can’t picture Netflix without one.
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
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