Recent weeks have seen new Sonos products leak eight ways to Sunday, but the company has finally made all of them official. Announced today are the Sonos Ray soundbar, Sonos Voice Control, and the most recently leaked new colors for the Sonos Roam portable speaker.
Leaks don’t usually tell the full story but in this case, what was expected is basically what we got. Starting with the Sonos Ray, which will launch on June 7 for $279. This is Sonos’ most compact and affordable soundbar, in part thanks to its lack of smart features. There are no microphones on the Ray and as a result, no support for Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. It hooks into Sonos’ hardware ecosystem at the core — great audio.
There’s actually very little in the way of connectivity on the Sonos Ray, with just an Ethernet port and Optical Audio on the back. This means you can’t use it alongside the likes of an Xbox Series X, but you could with older games consoles. The Ray does of course fit seamlessly into existing Sonos setups to deliver multi-room or surround sound audio. It delivers Dolby Digital, but no Atmos, and hooks up to your TV over that Optical connection. It also comes with AirPlay 2 support if you also use an iPhone or iPad.
The other hardware announcement was the previously leaked arrival of some hot new colors for the portable Sonos Roam. Besides the stock colors you’ll now be able to get the Roam in Wave, Sunset and Olive, otherwise known as blue, red and green. These are on sale immediately for $179.
Sonos Voice Control is the company’s first attempt at an in-house assistant. It’s designed to run alongside Alexa and Google Assistant if you wish, at least for now, and has a focus on just the core Sonos experience.
““One of the most natural ways to connect to your music is with your voice, but when we speak to our customers, we hear that privacy concerns mean many are choosing not to use voice control. Created purely for listening on Sonos and designed with privacy at its core, Sonos Voice control delivers the Sonos app experience using only your voice””
“Sonos Voice Control finds the music you want to listen to, processing requests entirely on the device. Local processing delivers faster response times, and effortless follow-ups. All you need is one “Hey Sonos” and you can follow up without the need for additional wake-words.”
Sonos Voice Control will work on any voice-enabled speaker and will be rolling out initially in the U.S. from June 1, with France following later this year. Other markets, including the UK, will follow at a later date. The icing on the cake is the voice that Sonos chose for its new system. After a “careful search” they settled on Giancarlo Esposito. That’s right, Gus Fring is the voice of Sonos. As the system expands over time, other voices will be joining, but would you really want to swap?
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