what are the new features announced by Sonos?

Sonos announces the arrival of a new speaker within its home cinema range. The brand is launching the Sonos Ray, a compact soundbar offered at an affordable price. It comes with new colors for the Sonos Beam and Voice Control, a voice assistant.

Mentioned since a few weeks, the Sonos Ray has just been formalized by the audio specialist. The American brand, often compared to Apple, is expanding its home cinema range with a new compact and accessible soundbar. The Sonos Ray has dimensions of 559 x 95 x 71 mm for a weight of 1.95 kg, a more compact format than the Beam (Gen 2). This should allow the Ray to fit better into the home, finding its place more easily on a shelf or in a TV stand.

The new Sonos soundbar is aimed at the entry level and its size forces it to make some concessions. The Ray is limited to two tweeters for the treble and two “midwoofer” speakers for the midrange and bass. There is also a bass-reflex system for the bass.

Sonos Ray: a new compact and accessible soundbar

The manufacturer specifies that its soundbar has been calibrated on the advice of the Sonos Soundboard and has the Trueplay function for automatic calibration. The objective is to “to create the best listening experience possible, in any room “. The Ray does not offer Dolby Atmos compatibility and is limited to Dolby Digital, DTS Digital Surround and PCM stereo.

Sonos Ray
© Sonos

The soundbar can be controlled with the remote control of its TV, the Sonos application or even Apple AirPlay 2. As usual, Sonos relies on a certain ease of use and promises a versatile bar. The Ray can also be the starting point for an audio system, which can be combined with a pair of Sonos One or other brand speakers for multiroom listening.

The Sonos Ray will be available worldwide on June 7, 2022 at a price of 299 euros.

With Voice Control, Sonos offers its own voice assistant

Currently, it is possible to use Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa on Sony speakers. Nevertheless, one has to be satisfied with a limited experience and the brand seeks to emancipate itself from these solutions. The firm has just unveiled Sonos Voice Control, a home voice assistant that promises to respect your privacy. The feature is touted as the easiest way to control your music and Sonos system using just voice. “Sonos is dedicated to delivering new experiences that easily connect listeners to their favorite content”explains Joseph Dureau, Vice President Voice Experience at Sonos.

Sonos Voice Control
© Sonos

He adds : “Voice is one of the most natural ways to connect with music. But talking to users, we found that many were concerned that their privacy was being violated and were unhappy with the accuracy, speed and ease of use of existing voice services. Sonos Voice Control gives users the experience they’ve been craving, without any compromises, and one that puts equal priority on speed, accuracy, and privacy.”.

What does this voice assistant bring?

The audio specialist mentions the possibility of finding the music that the user wants to listen to. Just say “Hey Sonos” and follow up with a command; without having to repeat the wake-up word. The brand evokes functions similar to the application, including the possibility of controlling music and speakers in all rooms. It is possible to switch from one song to another, to record and “like” a song.

Sonos promises its assistant understands the nuances of human communications. He can, for example, understand the command “turn up the sound!” “. In the United States, Sonos has set its sights on the voice of actor Giancarlo Esposito; known for his roles in Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul and The Mandalorian. He will be the voice of Sonos Voice Control for US users.

Sonos Voice Control
© Sonos

Sonos Voice Control works on all Sonos speakers that support voice control. The American brand specifies that its assistant processes requests entirely on the device. Also, no audio recordings and no transcriptions “are not sent to the cloud, stored, listened to or read by anyone”. The tool will be available for free via an update to the Sonos app.

At launch, it will be compatible with Sonos Radio, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Deezer and Pandora services. Subsequently, the manufacturer specifies that “other services and markets will be added”. Finally, Sonos Voice Control will be available in the United States starting 1is June and in France ” by the end of the year “.

Other new features from Sonos

Finally, the brand also announced that its portable Roam speaker is now available in three new colors: Olive, Wave and Sunset. Behind these names and the description of Sonos, we now find the speaker in olive green, light blue and coral. These three new colors are now available at a price of 199 euros.

Sonos Roam
© Sonos

Sonos ends by announcing a collaboration with artist Lorde. It materializes with the launch of SOLARSYSTM on Sonos Radio, a radio station programmed by the artist; as well as a limited edition bag specially designed by the artist for the Sonos Roam.

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