Sonos unloaded a bounty of good news for audio-lovers this week, including the announcement of a partnership with award-winning recording artist Lorde, who has provided commentary and music selections for a new, blissed-out radio station, SOLARSYSTYM, available now on Sonos radio and Mixcloud. Lorde also collaborated with eco-conscious designer Everybody.World to design a carrying case for Sono’s celebrated Roam portable speaker.
The ultra-portable, waterproof Bluetooth speaker also got an update in the form of new three new organically-inspired colors: Olive, a muted green, the saturated orange of Sunset, and the icy cool blue of Wave. Roam automatically connects to your WiFi network at home and pairs with your device when you’re away, taking away any fumbling for switching connections. Roam is priced at $179 and available in the new colors now.
Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated news was the confirmation that Sonos is expanding its lineup to offer a less expensive but no less powerful soundbar called Ray. Priced at $279 and ideally scaled for smaller setups, Sonos Ray will be able to integrate into an existing household Sonos network or serve as the main listening device.
The Sonos Ray is still compatible with other Sonos speakers, allowing you to connect rear speakers and a subwoofer wirelessly. But it’s designed to stand on its own, including four Class-D digital amplifiers 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-efficiency midwoofers to ensure faithful playback of mid-range frequencies and solid bass. Complex systems support a dynamic bass output, that is full and even. Two of the most interesting features are the speech Enhancement setting that boosts voice frequencies and clarifies dialogues. The Night Sound setting reduces the intensity of loud sounds and increases the level of quieter sounds. Sonos Ray connects to the TV via optical cable, but you can actually control it with your existing TV remote or the excellent Sonos app, where you can also modify the equalizer settings.
Sonos celebrated the Sonos Ray and the new colors of the Roam with a multi-world bash in NYC, immersing guests in a myriad of experiences, from a lush garden inspired by Roam’s new Olive color to a celestial living room featuring 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 functionality, 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 those satisfies, the Sonos Ray also supports Apple AirPlay 2 for music listening.
Finally, new across the Sonos lineup is Sonos Voice Control, launching at the beginning of June. Integrated into a software update, the new voice experience will offer fast, accurate hands-free control of your music and your Sonos system with no compromise to your privacy. The feature will not record user audio commands or relay them to the cloud for processing, which is unique for the system.