Sonos Ray Soundbar Review & Comments

For me the main advance of this soundbar is the ability to purchase rears (One SL) and a sub (upcoming rumored Mini Sub) later on, which isn't possible on most soundbars especially at this price range.

But the lack of Bluetooth, of HDMI inputs, of Dolby Atmos support, etc. is indeed a big problem for me.
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
At the moment I don't have a television which would support one of the Sonos soundbars with HDMI so the lack of HDMI wouldn't be an issue for me. This could be useful for me for my kitchen TV as it's not easy to hear that when there's cooker fans going!
 
Not sure why Sonos have bothered with this lump. No HDMI inputs in 2022. Really?
There's no much point in adding an HDMI input, all TVs nowadays have an optical input and all formats the Sonos Ray supports can be fully transmitted through Toslink. By experience optical is less of a hassle than HDMI ARC/e-ARC.
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
It depends on what you expect. A toslink connection can’t handle some of the newer codecs. Without HDMI the auto switching facilities are lost, and so on. For me, it’s a weak product, one that I’ll certainly never consider.
 
It depends on what you expect. A toslink connection can’t handle some of the newer codecs. Without HDMI the auto switching facilities are lost, and so on. For me, it’s a weak product, one that I’ll certainly never consider.
The thing is that those codecs aren't supported by the Ray, so that's not really a problem.
 

jdevil

Distinguished Member
Not sure why Sonos have bothered with this lump. No HDMI inputs in 2022. Really?
They could but it probably would have increase the price by another £80-100 taking it closer to the Sonos Beam which will effect the purpose a little.
 
They could but it probably would have increase the price by another £80-100 taking it closer to the Sonos Beam which will effect the purpose a little.
An HDMI input is really cheap so no it wouldn't have increased the price, in an interview they said (and I believe them on this one) that they wanted to keep this product as simple as possible. Which is why there's also a reversible toslink connection - you can plug the cable in upside down. That really makes sense in Sonos' view, just like they didn't add passthrough to the Arc, even if it's not really the best thing for consumers.
 

jdevil

Distinguished Member
An HDMI input is really cheap so no it wouldn't have increased the price, in an interview they said (and I believe them on this one) that they wanted to keep this product as simple as possible. Which is why there's also a reversible toslink connection - you can plug the cable in upside down. That really makes sense in Sonos' view, just like they didn't add passthrough to the Arc, even if it's not really the best thing for consumers.
HDMI is cheap but you're clearly forgetting the Sonos premium here, they've had this principle for years now and you can look back through all their products over the past 4-6 years. The ones that had HDMI or multiple connections all came at great prices.
 
HDMI is cheap but you're clearly forgetting the Sonos premium here, they've had this principle for years now and you can look back through all their products over the past 4-6 years. The ones that had HDMI or multiple connections all came at great prices.
I think it's again more of a simplicity thing. The Ray doesn't need HDMI input, although it would be more convenient to have HDMI-CEC it's not an extremely important feature and it helps keeping the things clean and simple - you plug a cable from your TV to your soundbar, change a setting, and that's it. No need to check if your TV is ARC/e-ARC compatible, no HDMI handshakes issues, it works in the simplest possible way. Which is a very Sonos thing to do, even though it also sacrifices some features like CEC.
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
In my case it's plug the optical cable from ny virgin box to the soundbar as none of my tellies have optical out as well as not having hdmi out 😁
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
Forgive me what switching capabilities are you talking about
The fact that with HDMI ARC powering-up the TV will also power-up the soundbar, and when the TV is put into standby, the bar joins it. Optical does not have those capabilities by default. Perhaps Sonos have done something fancy to get round the issue.
 

Jules Tohpipi

Well-known Member
I can see a place for this in well-heeled homes where the big AV system is too complex for other family members to use. Or when you don't want to fire up the big audio system.

The e-ARC might already be in use for the AV receiver, for example. The optical in is not a problem for compatibility because the Ray is a stereo soundbar only - so set the TV's optical out to stereo then all exotic formats will be converted and play fine.

But you get to keep the Trueplay setup, Night Mode and other useful stuff.

I think it's got its niche. Not least because Sonos was never going to be the bargain basement cheapest option given the style, build quality, and the other necessary inclusions for integrating into the Sonos ecosystem.
 
Last edited:

scarty16

Well-known Member
The fact that with HDMI ARC powering-up the TV will also power-up the soundbar, and when the TV is put into standby, the bar joins it. Optical does not have those capabilities by default. Perhaps Sonos have done something fancy to get round the issue.
.
 

MAX1210

Well-known Member
Sonos products are never "off" so when you switch your TV on, the Ray will already be on ready to accept the audio signal via Optical. Also, the Ray will learn your remote controls IR code (like the Sonos Playbar used to do) so that will be how you will change the volume, so no need for HDMI control there either.
 

craigae

Member
We've had a playbar in the kitchen for years now, with all the same "limitations" of this new one, and it's never been a problem. The sounds always come on with the TV, and we can use the TV remote to change the volume. It is indeed simple enough for everyone to use, which can't be said for the bigger systems.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
SONOS don't have an 'HDMI' Input on any of their Soundbar products - they have an eARC/ARC Input only and that choice is all about costs, or more accurately licensing costs which are far from trivial.

Optical makes a lot of sense on a budget Soundbar.

Joe
 

flashf1

Active Member
For me the main advance of this soundbar is the ability to purchase rears (One SL) and a sub (upcoming rumored Mini Sub) later on, which isn't possible on most soundbars especially at this price range.

But the lack of Bluetooth, of HDMI inputs, of Dolby Atmos support, etc. is indeed a big problem for me.
Get the Beam then!
 

The latest video from AVForums

Samsung S95B QD-OLED Review - A Quantum Leap for OLED!
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

PSB Speakers unveils Passif 50 loudspeaker
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Samsung Gaming Hub goes live
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Huawei unveils FreeBuds Pro 2 true wireless earbuds
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Sony unveils Inzone gaming brand
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom