Home Tech Sonos soundbars and speakers are on sale just in time for March Madness

Sonos soundbars and speakers are on sale just in time for March Madness

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If you’re looking for a home theater upgrade to amplify the screaming crowds, court squeaks, and other signature sounds of NCAA basketball throughout March Madness, you should check out the sale going on at Sonos right now. Through March 25th, you can save 20 percent on select soundbars and speakers.

For example, the entry-level soundbar in its lineup, the Sonos Ray, is down to around $223 (about $57 off) at Amazon, Best Buy, and Sonos. If you need a little bit more power, you can go for the Sonos Beam (Gen 2), which is also on sale for around $399 ($50 off) at Amazon, Best Buy, and Sonos. Both are compatible with the Sonos Sub Mini, which is down to about $343 ($86 off) at Amazon, Best Buy, and Sonos. The Sonos Move 2 is also on sale for anyone in need of a great portable Bluetooth speaker — it’s going for around $359 (about $90 off) at Amazon, Best Buy, and Sonos.

Which of the two soundbars should you go for? If you have the budget for it, we’d favor the Sonos Beam. It’s much better equipped for the modern home theater compared to the Ray. It has HDMI eARC, and it’s also technically a Dolby Atmos soundbar with a center tweeter, four woofers, and three passive radiators. But there are no upfiring speakers to help simulate the enveloping soundstage needed to really sell the effect. 

The Beam’s sound is noticeably more powerful than the Ray’s, but it’s still outshined by the Sonos Arc with its two upfiring speakers (which is expected considering the latter is larger and comes with a substantially higher price tag). You do get newer features, however, like voice-activated Alexa and Google Assistant (and technically Siri, but only while using Apple AirPlay 2). And both support Trueplay, which uses your phone’s microphones to tune the sound specifically to your room’s acoustics.

The Sonos Beam (second-gen) is a compact soundbar that supports Dolby Atmos and can stream music from a plethora of services. Read our review.

The Sonos Ray is inexpensive (relative to other Sonos soundbars, anyway) and sounds pretty good for a simple stereo soundbar, but it’s lacking HDMI and only accepts optical audio from your TV. That means you’ll miss out on eARC and HDMI-CEC functionality that can help you cut back on the amount of remotes you’ll need to keep up with. 

The Ray can receive direct infrared input from some compatible universal remotes; however, we’ve found it spotty enough that the experience can be a little frustrating. It also doesn’t allow you to play back music via Bluetooth. It’s a solid starter for a first-time Sonos user, but it’s quickly falling behind the times.

The Ray is Sonos’ entry-level soundbar that’s best for bedrooms and smaller apartments. It only connects to TVs via optical cable, thus missing out on HDMI-CEC functionality. It also produces balanced, dynamic sound despite its small size, easily besting built-in TV speakers. Read our review.

No matter which you get, the Sub Mini pairs well if you want to satisfy a thirst for theater-like bass. At its core, the Sub Mini is meant to do all the things its full-size brethren can, only a little quieter. 

The sleek cylindrical speaker is easy to set up and integrates well with the rest of the Sonos lineup — including the Sonos Arc, Sonos Ray, Sonos Beam, and Sonos Era 300 — making it a solid choice if you want to add some low-end rumble to a small or midsize room without shelling out for the larger model. 

Acoustically, it’s not as powerful, though it can still reach a floor-rattling 25Hz with its dual six-inch woofers, which is plenty low if you’re primarily going to use the Mini to watch movies and TV. Plus, it’s more discrete than the standard Sub, making it (slightly) easier to hide, even if it’s not all that “mini.”

It can’t fully match the loudness and sheer power of the flagship Sub, but the more compact Sub Mini still kicks out plenty of boom that will make you feel the low-end bass from your couch. Read our review.

The Sonos Move 2 is a great pickup if you like the idea of a rugged and portable (but still kind of chunky) Sonos speaker that produces satisfying tunes on its own and can seamlessly reintegrate into your multiroom audio system once you’re back home. It’s one of the best portable speakers we’ve reviewed and a solid upgrade from the original.

It builds on the formula by adding stereo speakers and improving battery life considerably, with runtimes up to 24 hours. It’s also one of the few Sonos devices with Bluetooth, so it can accept playback directly from smartphones, tablets, and the like. (Sadly, you can’t use it as a speakerphone.) 

Sonos also excluded Google Assistant due to ongoing disputes, but it still supports Amazon Alexa. You can use the USB-C input on its rear with a line-in adapter to connect analog devices, too, in addition to 7.5W reverse charging.

A photo of the Sonos Move 2 portable speaker.

With double the battery life of its predecessor and better-sounding stereo audio, the Sonos Move 2’s improvements don’t stop there. It supports line-in audio, can stream Bluetooth audio to other Sonos speakers, and more. Read our review.

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