Sonos Ray and Roam are perfect for the hearing impaired
The $399 Sonos Ray soundbar has become one of the best low-cost add-ons to improve any TV’s sound. A CyberShack reader has revealed how using Sonos Ray and Roam has immensely helped his hearing impairment and bought joy to his TV viewing.
First, a word of warning – Sonos Roam – Is this the best BT/Wi-Fi portable speaker ever? (review) does not support becoming a pair of rear home-theatre speakers to:
- Sonos Ray, Small dog, big bark (review),
- Beam Quality Dolby Atmos compatible soundbar (review)
- Arc Dolby Atmos soundbar with optional Sub and surrounds (review).
For that, you need to use a pair of Sonos One (or SL version sans voice assistant); Sonos Play 1, 2, 5, Sonos Five Superb Hi-Fi over Wi-Fi (review); or Sonos Move Big and bold BT/Wi-Fi portable speaker (review). These then become part of the overall home theatre and surround sound experience.
Wily reader Angus tells how he uses the Sonos Ray and Roam
The Sonos Roam is part of the Sonos multi-room system. You can set up one in mono (or a stereo pair) in the S2 app and multi-room group, it/them, to the room you have your Sonos Ray (Beam or Arc in). I place it/them on the bedside table/s and bring up the volume to just above the soundbar to help my hearing. I can even grab a Roam and head off for a pit stop or tea break and still hear his TV show.
(Ray’s note – the Sonos Ray is a 3.0 forward-firing soundbar with a very effective clear voice and night modes (that you can use together). A single Roam downmixes the 3.0 to mono. A stereo pair of Roams make one the left and one the right channel.
Angus also says he has tried other brands of multi-room Google Assistant speakers, but sometimes there is a lag which he has not experienced with the Roam. He puts that down to the Trueplay room tuning function, and Sonos speakers mesh with each other and Wi-Fi for more reliable sound.
Angus does not stop there praising Sonos
“You were right about the Sonos Ray. After your review, I trotted off to Hardly Normal and took the plunge. It is all I need – none of that fancy Dolby stuff here. And I bought a Roam to use around the house.”
I reminded Angus that he could have bought a pair of Sonos One SL for $549 (usually $578) for real home theatre rear pairing. His response was he knows Roam costs an arm and leg at $299 each, but he wants Bluetooth and portability when walking (he hates earbuds) and an IP67 rating when gardening. The S2 app makes it so easy to group/un-group as well.
He felt the sound was perfect for him – with or without clear voice mode. Standing it upright near ear height (on the side table) gave the best ‘focus’. He uses a Qi charge pad (Roam is Qi capable), so he never needs to worry about USB-C charging. He also said that laying it on the side in the garden gave a better music experience there.
CyberShack’s view – Sonos Roam can multi-room group with any Wi-Fi-capable soundbar
Not that we doubted Angus, but we tested and yes, the Roam’s work singly or in stereo pair mode via the S2 app. It is particularly good and ‘blends’ nicely with the Sonos Ray sound as it is not a Dolby Atmos-capable device. When we tried it with the Arc and Beam Gen 2, it was good but more noticeable as it has a different sound signature.
But as a portable speaker and sound reinforcement placed near your ear – it is a winner.
Interestingly, you can use the Roam’s with any Wi-Fi-compatible soundbar, at least in Google Assistant.