Which soundbar is the right choice?

Soundbars used to be considered a worse than good replacement for a hi-fi TV system. Meanwhile, they have already proven to be the center of many people. And that’s also because the sound quality is getting better and better, and the connectivity options now go far beyond a subwoofer. Because with modern soundbars in the cheap 300-euro class, you can set up a smart TV sound system. The same goes for the two main characters in this comparison: the fairly new Sonos Ray for 300 euros and the Bose TV speaker for 250 euros.

Sonos Ray and Bose TV speaker in the audio check

Bose, the classic among hi-fi manufacturers, and liaison manager Sonos are fighting a duel in the lower price league for both companies. But that does not have to mean that you have to do without good sound. And here we come to the first difference. In the basic setting, the two have a completely different sound character.

While the Sonos Ray gets a great start right from the start and plays very dynamically and with a heavy bass, the Bose TV speaker takes a bit of a begging. But this is done quite well via the Bose app. You can add some culture to the Sonos Ray via a similar one and tune both to a balanced and powerful sound. Admittedly, the volume is not comparable to a soundbar like the Arc, which also costs three times as much and is just as many times heavier.

This to some extent limits both soundbars in their recommended environment. The space must not be too large. If you have a fairly large room, we recommend the Sonos Ray. She plays with more volume and a little richer. In a room below 25 m² you can also use the Bose TV speaker without worrying. The great thing about both is that they can expand and therefore grow with you as you move.

Setup and connection

When it comes to setup and communication with the soundbar, the Sonos Ray is something special. The Bose TV speaker can, as usual, be supplemented with other speakers and subwoofers via Bluetooth. But Sonos has a few more tricks up its sleeve here. Because: It connects directly to your home network via WLAN and also communicates with other Sonos devices that e.g. sounds in other rooms. This becomes apparent as soon as you set it up: when you connect the Sonos Ray to the WLAN using a smartphone and acoustic coupling. This works exceptionally well and probably does not pose any real obstacles for anyone. You can then use the Sonos app to add your Ray to groups and define spaces and rules. In this discipline, the Bose TV speaker stinks a bit because it does not make a really smart connection to the home network.

design and control

An often underestimated value of soundbars is designed. Of course, the sound must be rich, but especially in the compact class, the bar must also fit sensibly into the living room atmosphere. And here are two options: Either you put the Sonos Ray in a TV cabinet, because it does not bother Ray, who only plays forward. Or you can place the elegant Bose TV speaker under the TV as a small visible jewel. The reason: Sonos Ray’s conical shapes certainly do not appeal to everyone. In our opinion, the Bose TV speaker has the edge here. For its matte surfaces and linear design often go better with modern living rooms than the more playful Sonos design.

One round, the other with rounded corners: Sonos Ray and Bose TV speaker in comparison.

There is also a big difference in control. Sonos solves everything via the app, but here you can control the soundbar at least rudimentarily with your own TV remote control. Bose bypasses the TV remote control by simply including a separate remote control.

Conclusion on the comparison between the Sonos Ray and the Bose TV speaker

It’s the same with the remote as so often in this comparison: Sonos uses more digital and smart elements, while with Bose you are still a bit stuck in the classic hi-fi world. Both have their charms. If you want to spice up your TV sound economically, simply and elegantly, the Bose TV speaker is the better choice. In terms of sound, however, we would give the Sonos Ray an advantage in larger spaces. In addition, it sounds a bit more bass heavy and is the better choice for blockbusters. If you want to make the soundbar a part of your smart home, you should use Sonos Ray.

→ Buy Sonos Ray at Saturn
→ Buy Bose TV speaker at MediaMarkt


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