Sonos announced a wealth of good news for audio enthusiasts this week, including announcing a partnership with award-winning artist Lorde, who provided commentary and music selections for a thrilled new radio station, SOLAR SYSTEM, available now on Sonos Radio and Mixcloud. Lorde also collaborated with an eco-conscious designer Everyone.World to design a carrying case for the famous Sono Wander portable speaker.
The ultra-portable, waterproof Bluetooth speaker has also been updated in three new organic-inspired colors: Olive, a muted green, Sunset’s saturated orange, and Wave’s icy blue. Roam automatically connects to your home Wi-Fi network and pairs with your device when you’re away, so you don’t have to switch connections. Roam is priced at $179 and available in the new colors now.
Perhaps the most anticipated news is confirmation that Sonos is expanding its lineup to offer a less expensive but no less powerful soundbar called Ray. Priced at $279 and ideally suited for smaller setups, Sonos Ray will be able to integrate into an existing home Sonos network or serve as your primary listening device.
The Sonos Ray is still compatible with other Sonos speakers, allowing you to wirelessly connect rear speakers and a subwoofer. But it’s designed to stand on its own, including four digital Class-D amplifiers that have been fine-tuned to the soundbar’s unique acoustic architecture, two powerful tweeters for clear highs, plus split waveguides that project sound from wall to wall.
The Sonos Ray also features two centered high-output midrange drivers to ensure faithful midrange playback and solid bass. Complex systems support dynamic, full and even bass output. Two of the coolest features are the speech enhancement setting which boosts vocal frequencies and clarifies dialogue. The Night Sound setting reduces the intensity of loud sounds and increases the level of quieter sounds. Sonos Ray connects to the TV via an optical cable, but you can actually control it with your existing TV remote or the excellent Sonos appwhere you can also change the equalizer settings.
Sonos celebrated the Sonos Ray and the new colors of Roam with a multi-world party in New York, immersing guests in a myriad of experiences, from a lush garden inspired by Roam’s new Olive color to a celestial lounge with sounds from Lorde’s SOLARSYSTYM radio coming from the new Ray soundbar.
The Sonos app is one of the best combinations of radio and system control features, with hundreds of built-in listening sources. You can stream music, podcasts, radio, and audiobooks from hundreds of popular services, including Apple Music, Amazon Music, Audible, Pandora, Spotify, TIDAL, and more. If none of that satisfies you, the Sonos Ray also supports Apple AirPlay 2 for streaming music.
Finally, new to the Sonos range is Sonos Voice Control, launched in early June. Bundled with a software update, the new voice experience will provide fast and precise hands-free control of your music and Sonos system without compromising your privacy. The feature will not record user audio commands or send them to the cloud for processing, which is unique to the system.