The Wrap – Sonos Ray tested and new PCs – Pickr

This week on The Wrap, dive into a review of the $399 Sonos Ray, plus what’s new in PCs from Microsoft and LG, and more, all in five.



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Transcription

It’s the early days of June and near the middle of 2022, and you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest-paced tech roundup, and with the last two weeks pretty much dominated by TV news, this week has been more than one grab a bag of things that connect.

While Philips and LG and Bang & Olufsen and Anker have offered news for Aussies keen to project aspirations onto the big screen, this week has included things that improve the way you hear these gadgets, plus a slew of others. things, so let’s get stuck.

Starting with the computers, because there are others on the way.

While Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference this week will likely give us a taste of a new MacBook Air, perhaps rather than likely in fact, it’s not just rumors and hardware speculation. ‘Apple who have made their way.

LG has announced that it has three styles of laptop refreshes on the way, coming in its “Gram” ultra-lightweight laptops, which are essentially MacBook Air competitors designed to be very light.

The new models will get the latest from Intel starting with the 12th Gen Core i5, and they’ll come to 14-, 16-, and 17-inch computers. Where they get interesting is how light they are, with the 16-inch and 17-inch LG Gram laptops coming in at just over a kilogram, while the 14-inch Gram model manages to come in at a little less than one kilogram, with a weight of 999 grams.

We don’t know how many people specifically count those grams, but if you’re used to carrying a big chunk of laptop around with you, this might just be a computer to consider.

Alternatively, there’s what Microsoft has that claims to be a competitor to the MacBook Air, and might be, but might not be either. It’s coming in the Surface Laptop Go 2, a generation of its Surface PCs that comes with the built-in keyboard — already a plus point over the keyboard-less Surface Pro — and offers a 12.4-inch display with screen resolution slightly lower. That’s something we weren’t thrilled about in last year’s model, the Go 1, but Windows 11 is on the way up, as are newer chips, just not as new as the 12th gen. Intel, offering the 11th generation instead.

Pricing is where things get confusing, because in America the Laptop Go 2 starts at $599, which should peak here, but instead starts at $1200, which is similar to the Australian tax in stock.

We’re not sure Microsoft is really getting value here, but we’ll know for sure when they arrive for review.

In the meantime, let’s talk about TVs, or more specifically equipment designed to connect to one, as that’s an area we don’t always think about.

Big screens and projectors are one way to see something, but if your sound isn’t loud, the experience can be less than impressive.

Two options have presented themselves this week to take this into account, and they are totally different.

On the one hand, there is what comes from Sennheiser, in the TV Clear. It’s a way to personalize the sound experience of watching TV so that the whole thing is louder for a person, possibly if they are hard of hearing.

It’s like yet another pair of truly wireless headphones, something Sennheiser makes a few of, but these connect to your TV by way of a transmitter, letting you listen to your TV sound regardless of regular volume, while letting someone else just listen through the speaker.

We’ve seen Sennheiser dabbling in headphones like this before, but never truly wireless headphones, and in an interesting twist, they’ll also work with phones and tablets.

They won’t be cheap, costing just over $600 in Australia when they arrive later this year. We don’t know if Sennheiser’s TV Clear will work with an audio system, but speaking of audio systems, there’s also one this week, which we’re reviewing now.

And it’s something much cheaper, a soundbar that costs $399 in Australia. It’s inexpensive, and on purpose, as Sonos looks to take care of people who might be looking for a sound upgrade without extras like Dolby Atmos Spatial Sound.

It’s a pretty basic, but easy soundbar, producing good balanced sound in a minimalist design, while supporting most of what makes a Sonos a Sonos. It will sync music across multiple speakers, play music from services, and support AirPlay, all in a three-channel sound system.

There are no secondary or rear speakers, but you can add them later if you want, as it’s compatible with other Sonos speakers.

Even without them, the Sonos Ray is a good balanced soundbar designed for people who want an upgrade without necessarily spending an arm and a leg. Decent soundbars usually cost upwards of $500, and this one doesn’t. You don’t get the really cool 3D sound, and there’s no voice assistant, but even without them it’s still a solid value.

Great sound is really the point, and great value at that. You can get cheaper soundbars, but few with this level of balance. If you don’t need the extra stuff, this is a soundbar to check out.

And for this week you’ve checked out The Wrap, Australia’s fastest tech roundup. A new episode is available every week on Listener, Spotify and Apple Podcasts. For now, have a great week, and see you next time on The Wrap. Stay safe, stay sane and take care of yourself.

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