The next Sonos soundbar may have just been revealed in a leak - and it could be the company's cheapest and most versatile home cinema speaker to date.
According to The Verge, which cites "internal documents and people familiar with the company’s plans", the Sonos Ray will go on sale in "a matter of weeks" and is set to cost around $249.
That works out at about £200 / AU$350, and would make the Sonos Ray the most budget-friendly soundbar ever released by the high-end multiroom-audio company. Apparently, Sonos has managed to keep costs down by eschewing quality-of-life features such as Dolby Atmos, a built-in voice assistant, and HDMI connectivity - instead, it will use an optical connection to hook up to your TV.
It's possible the Sonos Ray will lean on the new Sonos Voice assistant, set to launch in June -- and an obviously terrible idea, according to TechRadar's Lance Ulanoff.
Home cinema with a twist
The Verge also revealed images of the Sonos Ray, which were apparently posted prematurely in a product listing by retailer Ktronix. The pictures look fairly legitimate to us, showing a compact black soundbar with curved sides, touch-sensitive control buttons, and the Sonos logo.
While these images - and the claims made by The Verge's sources - sound credible, it's important to take these details with a pinch of salt. Sonos has yet to confirm the existence of a new soundbar, so there's no official word on a release date, specs, or price. We reached out to Sonos for comment, who told us that they "don't comment on rumor or speculation".
The leak follows a previous report by The Verge, which claimed the next Sonos soundbar will be much smaller than its Arc and Beam siblings, measuring 550 x 69 x 100mm (WxDxH). That report also suggested that the Sonos Ray will contain two front-facing drivers.
Most interestingly, a pair of Ray soundbars can apparently be used as rear speakers if you already have a Sonos Arc or Beam at home. Putting a literal twist on the way we normally use soundbars, the Ray can be fixed to your wall vertically to boost the sound of your existing Sonos soundbar.
The Sonos Ray can apparently be used as part of a more conventional home theater setup, with the ability to pair to other Sonos speakers.
These features certainly sound interesting, especially if the Sonos Ray is as versatile as The Verge's sources claim; we've liked all of Sonos' soundbars so far, with the Arc taking the top spot in our guide to the best Dolby Atmos soundbars you can buy today.
Of course, we'll reserve judgement until we're sure that the Sonos Ray actually exists... but don't blame us for getting a teeny bit excited at the prospect of a new soundbar from the multiroom audio giant.