Sonos One Review
- Excellent audio quality for the price
- Attractive, inconspicuous design
- Good voice microphones
- Combines best of Sonos
- Alexa well integrated
- Voice commands only have full functionality with a few music services
- Alexa can’t play Spotify at launch
- You can’t use voice commands to stream music from your own local server
- Still no hi-res audio
Sonos One Review – The smart speaker for music lovers.
Built on the mini-but-mighty blueprints of PLAY:1, Sonos One is backed by a pair of Class-D amplifiers and custom-built drivers, meticulously tuned to the speaker’s unique acoustic architecture.
Sonos One wirelessly connects to Sonos speakers in additional rooms, allowing you to expand your Home Sound System when you’re ready.
Enjoy surprisingly rich, room-filling sound from a smart speaker with future-ready voice control.
Pair two Sonos Ones together in the same room for instant stereo sound; add a SUB for deep bass. Or pair with your TV’s PLAYBAR or PLAYBASE for epic home theatre surround sound.
Sonos One allows you to start and control your music with your voice. Use your voice and the Sonos app to control and manage all your music in one place: Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, radio, podcasts and much more. (Voice control for Sonos is not supported in your country, yet. These features will be available when Sonos and a voice service launch together in your region.)
competitors: Google Home Mini
The Play:1 has been Sonos’ best-selling speaker, and with good reason. It offers significantly better music quality than your average Bluetooth or smart speaker, at a reasonable price. It’s also a great first step into a multi-speaker setup for your home. The Sonos One does all of that and adds voice controls without raising the price. Those voice controls may have a few bugs to work out, but aside from one frustrating afternoon, it worked well for me.
Anyone who is considering an Echo or Google Home would do well to consider the Sonos One as well. In a world where white earbuds, laptop speakers and Bluetooth devices have come to dominate the music-listening experience, a lot of people have forgotten how good a dedicated music speaker can sound.
The Sonos One is a great way for most people to significantly upgrade their audio setup while also getting the convenience of voice controls. I wish that both Spotify voice commands and the Google Assistant were supported at launch, but this speaker will keep getting more features through upcoming software updates. Given that, I have no problem recommending it now. It’ll work right out of the box as an Alexa-enabled device, it’ll support more music services over time and it’s a great way to dip your feet into the Sonos ecosystem. Just don’t be surprised if you end up wanting to buy a few more.
Next year, the Sonos One is supposed to evolve into something much bigger than the thing that goes on sale October 24th. Google Assistant support will somehow be added and live alongside Alexa, though the company hasn’t spelled out how it plans to cram those two onto a single product. And at some point, the One will also work with Apple’s AirPlay 2, so you’ll be able to tell Siri on your iPhone or iPad to play music on your Sonos system. But that’s all coming later, and you shouldn’t spend $200 on promises. For now, and probably over the next few months, the Sonos One will remain a very nice Sonos product with Alexa built in. Once the Spotify thing gets sorted out, that still makes for a fantastic gadget.
The Sonos One lives up to the company’s reputation for excellent sound quality in a compact speaker, and the addition of Alexa voice features changes the game completely. If you’re OK with the sound of an Echo or Google Home it’s not worth the investment, but for people who want to hear their music (and Alexa’s voice) shine, the Sonos One is an excellent first step.
It feels as though the Sonos One could eventually end up being the perfect Alexa speaker. Fundamentally this is because it’s underpinned by audio quality that’s a step above what’s available on Amazon’s current generation of Echo hardware, but it’s a speaker that also integrates fantastically well with the rest of Sonos’s multi-room lineup.
It’s just a shame that it’s launched without support for the most popular streaming service in the world, Spotify, as this seriously hinders its functionality (unless you’re willing to subscribe to a different service like Amazon Music).
However, Sonos has always been good at keeping its products updated with new features for years, and we expect this to be the same with the Sonos One. Spotify support should be arriving before the end of the year, Google Assistant is expected in 2018, and no doubt Amazon’s development resources will mean Alexa will continue to see numerous additions to its functionality over time.
Ultimately, the foundation of great design and sound quality is present here, we just need to wait for Sonos to complete the software side of the equation.
The Sonos One sounds great, it gives you access to a tried-and-tested multiroom ecosystem, and it is beautifully integrated with the super-useful Amazon Alexa assistant. If you crave AI convenience and you’re not willing to sacrifice sound quality, this is what you need. Especially when the Sonos One costs the same as the standard Sonos Play:1. If you’re already looking at one of those, this is a no-brainer.
Then there’s the upcoming Google Assistant compatibility, which caters for a whole other crowd. The fact that this speaker is agnostic when it comes to smart services isn’t just a good thing; it’s entirely necessary. As speakers seem to be getting smarter, the only way to keep everyone happy is to run an open platform, and Sonos is currently the only one doing that.
Should you upgrade if you already own a Sonos Play:1? That will depend how strongly you feel about the smart element, because the Sonos One offers no sonic upgrades – just one of intelligence. You could probably hold off on upgrading and instead buy an Amazon Echo Dot. The Sonos skill in the Alexa app lets you voice-control existing Sonos devices.
Unless you find the drawbacks I’ve described to be deal breakers, the Sonos One is a no brainer. That goes double for anyone who already owns Sonos components, and triple for Amazon Echo users. We’ll have to wait and see if Sonos executes as expertly with its Google Assistant and Apple AirPlay 2 efforts, but I’m optimistic on those counts based on past experience. The Sonos One is the best smart speaker I’ve heard yet.
Because a) you’re unlikely to unplug the One regularly and b) we believe it’s related to the beta software, we’re not going to dock the One a star. However, we will monitor the situation after its launch and adjust this review if the issue seems widespread.
But that software niggle aside, the Sonos One is one of the best £200 wireless speakers made smarter and, therefore, even better.
As a speaker, Sonos One is pretty great. And it should be — it’s basically a Play:1, which is where I’d point anyone looking to get into that ecosystem.
As a smart speaker, Sonos One still has plenty of room to grow. That’s not necessarily the speaker’s fault — this is the sort of thing that gets better as it reaches critical mass. The more people using it, the better Sonos and Amazon understand how it’s being used.
The wireless, all-over-your-house music aspect of Sonos is still among the best I’ve used. Better than Google. Better that Amazon. And the Sonos app makes it easy to parse content through any of your music services. (That includes podcasts, by the way.)
The Alexa end of the equation still needs some work. At this point it’s hard to recommend a $199 speaker as your sole source of Alexa when you can buy a $50 Echo Dot to do the same thing — and also control any other Sonos speakers you already own. (That Sonos is offering up the Play:1 at a rare discount and giving current owners $25 of an Echo Dot may be the company trying to tell us something to that extent.)
For my money, though, I’d have no qualms about buying a Sonos One over a Play:1 right now. Out of those two speakers, one has more potential than the other.
It’s just that Sonos and Amazon still have some things to work out.