We are reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Sonos Ray vs Arc (2023): Which Sonos Soundbar Is Right For You?

If budget is the most important factor when choosing a soundbar, then the Sonos Ray is the better option as it is the more budget friendly of the two. The Sonos Arc, in comparison, is a premium soundbar with a steep price tag. Now, if money is not a factor, and you just want to know which soundbar is better for your needs, then this article is for you. Below is our Sonos Arc and Sonos Ray soundbar review and comparison, taking into consideration their design, features and performance.

Sonos Ray vs Arc Comparison Chart

ModelSonos Ray Sonos Arc
 
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Dimensions2.79 x 22 x 3.74 inches3.4 x 45 x 4.5 inches
Weight4.29 lbs13.78 lbs
ConnectivityWiFi
IR Receiver
WiFi
IR Receiver
PortsOptical
Ethernet
HDMI eARC
Ethernet
Speakers2x tweeters
2x midwoofers
3x tweeters
8x elliptical woofers
Sound FeaturesAdjustable EQ
Trueplay
Speech Enhancement
Night Sound
Microphones
Adjustable EQ
Trueplay
Speech Enhancement
Night Sound
AppSonos AppSonos App
Audio FormatsStereo PCM, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS Digital SurroundStereo PCM, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos (Dolby Digital Plus), Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos (True HD), Multichannel PCM, Dolby Multichannel PCM, DTS Digital Surround
FinishMatteMatte
ColorsBlack, WhiteBlack, White

Design

The Sonos Ray is compact and lightweight while the Sonos Arc is wide and heavy.

sonos ray vs arc design
The Sonos Ray (top) is about half the length of the Sonos Arc (bottom).

Of all of Sonos’ soundbars, the Ray is the most compact and lightweight. It measures 2.79 x 22 x 3.74 inches and it only weighs 4.29 lbs. In comparison, the Sonos Arc is the brand’s biggest and heftiest model, measuring 3.4 x 45 x 4.5 inches and weighing 13.78 lbs. The Sonos Ray is half the size of the Sonos Arc, thus, it can fit between the legs of smaller TVs.

As for looks, the two soundbars have a similar aesthetic that Sonos is known for. They look clean, simple and modern, and they will fit nicely in any modern living home aesthetic. You can get them in either black or white with a matte finish.

Both soundbars can be placed on top of your TV rack or wall mounted, depending on your preference. The compact size of the Sonos Ray, along with its front firing speakers, allow you to slot it inside your TV cabinet without affecting its performance. On the other hand, the Sonos Arc, due to its larger enclosure, and up- and side-firing speakers, can only be wall mounted or placed on top of your TV cabinet.

The Sonos Ray has an optical input at the back, along with an ethernet port. An optical input means that it will work with 99.99% of TVs, however, the audio formats supported is limited. Meanwhile, the Sonos Arc has an eARC HDMI port, and it comes with an HDMI to optical adapter. There’s also an ethernet port if you want to connect it to your network wired. Both soundbars have WiFi connectivity.

Features

The Sonos Arc supports more audio formats and it has built-in microphones for voice controls.

sonos ray vs arc features
You can connect the Sonos Sub or Sub Mini and Sonos One speakers to the Sonos Ray (left) and Arc (right) for a surround sound setup.

When it comes to features, both the Sonos Ray and Sonos Arc come with multiple sound enhancements. They support Trueplay room correction (iOS only), manual EQ adjustments, Speech Enhancement and Night Sound. Trueplay adjusts the sound output of the soundbars depending on your room acoustics, but you can also manually adjust the EQ using the Sonos app. Speech Enhancement, as the name implies, enhances speech/dialogue while Night Sound normalizes the output so that loud and quieter sounds are equally audible.

Aside from those features, the Sonos Arc also comes with built-in microphones for voice control. Also, it supports more audio formats due to having an eARC HDMI port. The Sonos Arc supports stereo PCM, Dolby Digital (Plus), Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos (Plus, TrueHD), DTS and Dolby multichannel PCM. On the other hand, the Sonos Ray only supports stereo PCM, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS Digital Surround.

For controls, both soundbars have touch controls on the soundbars themselves, but you can also control them using the Sonos app on your smartphone, or sync them with your TV remote using their IR receiver.

Performance

The Sonos Arc is able to deliver a more immersive experience due to its Dolby Atmos support.

sonos ray vs arc performance
Both soundbars are wall mountable, but due to the compact size of the Sonos Ray (left), it’s more versatile than the Sonos Arc (right) when it comes to placement.

When it comes to audio performance, both are able to deliver satisfying results. However, the Sonos Arc is definitely the better performer as it is the more expensive soundbar with advanced engineering. It features three silk dome tweeters and eight elliptical woofers for a wider and taller soundstage. Two elliptical woofers are dedicated for the height channels, two are on the side for surround and the rest are pointed towards the listener.

Meanwhile, the Sonos Ray features two tweeters and two midwoofers for a simpler setup. Even though it has less drivers, the Sonos Ray puts out an impressively wide soundstage, but not at the level of the Sonos Arc. As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of sound enhancement features that you can adjust on both soundbars to get your preferred performance, but the Sonos Arc definitely has the advantage due to its more advance build and design.

Verdict

The Sonos Ray is a good upgrade if you want better sound from your TV, but if you want a more immersive experience when watching shows and listening to music, the Sonos Arc is the better choice.

Sonos Ray

Sonos Arc

Choosing between the two soundbars is easy as they cater to people with different needs and preferences. If you want something that’s better than your TV speakers without costing a fortune, the Sonos Ray is one of the best performing soundbars in the market. It’s also compact and it comes with a host of useful features that will enhance your viewing and listening experience.

The Sonos Arc, on the other hand, is a premium soundbar that will outperform the Sonos Ray, and any other soundbars in the lower price bracket. It’s a Dolby Atmos soundbar with dedicated height channels, so it can provide a more immersive, and better overall watching and listening experience. If you have the budget for it, we recommend that you get it.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Sonos Ray Dolby Atmos?

No, it doesn’t have Dolby Atmos support.

๐Ÿ“Œ Do I need a subwoofer with the Sonos Arc?

You don’t need one, but adding one will definitely improve your sound system.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does the Sonos Ray have HDMI ARC?

The Sonos Ray has an optical input—no HDMI ARC.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does the Sonos Arc have Dolby Atmos?

Yes, the Sonos Arc supports Dolby Atmos.

RELATED  Sonos SL vs Sonos One (2021): Which Smart Speaker Is Right For You?
Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.