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Sonos Ray revealed: its cheapest and smallest soundbar yet

Plus: Sonos also unveils the coolest voice control service around.

Sonos Ray revealed: its cheapest and smallest soundbar yet

The Sonos Ray is here and it could well be the budget-friendly soundbar you've been waiting for. The smart-speaker giant showed off its laster creation this week and it's an affordable option for those that want to enhance their TV audio without breaking the bank, with the added bonus of being able to jump into the Sonos eco-system.

The new Sonos Ray looks a lot like its bedfellow, the Sonos Beam (albeit if the Beam was laid on its side) but it's notably smaller, measuring 70x560x100mm which is about 90mm thinner than the Beam width wise.

The Sonos Ray has also been slimmed down when it comes to the features. It has four drivers, two mid-woofers and a pair of tweeters. There's no actual woofer on board, but there should be enough bass in the low end thanks to a Bass Reflex System.

Sonos Ray revealed: it's cheapest and smallest soundbar yet

Interestingly, another thing missing is HDMI. You have to use the optical out to connect the thing to your TV. The Sonos Ray isn't compatible with Dolby Atmos and other newer fancy audio formats (though it will offer Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS Digital Surround) and there's no voice control on board, either.

Sonos has expertise in making big soundscapes from smaller speakers, though, and that's exactly what you will get with the Ray thanks to its Trueplay functionality. There's an Ethernet cable on board for hard-wiring into your internet setup and you also get a whole bunch of Sonos smarts, with the Sonos Ray fitting right into any Sonos multi-room setup.

The Sonos Ray will be available from 8 June for $279/£279.

Sonos finds its voice

While the Sonos Ray has no voice control, a new voice system is coming soon to all voice-enabled Sonos speakers - and it sounds like it's going to be the coolest service of its kind.

To give the likes of Alexa a run for its money, Sonos Voice Control is set to offer "is the simplest way to control your music, offering complete command of your Sonos system using only your voice."

Now, this also sound very Alexa like but the USP here is the voice being used is none other than Giancarlo Esposito, Gus Fring from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.

Sonos Ray revealed: it's cheapest and smallest soundbar yet

According to Sonos, they used Esposito's voice as, "with careful recording, advanced processing and mastering, the voice is natural, unobtrusive, yet confident and engaging."

He's also the voice behind one of the best TV villains of all time so it gets the thumbs-up from us.

Interestingly. Sonos notes that other voices will be added over time. And while you can use the voice controls to control your entire Sonos system, it does limit the voice to Sonos Radio, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Deezer, and Pandora apps at launch.

Sonos Voice Control is available in the US starting 1 June and in France later this year, with additional markets including the UK to follow.