The Sonos One is one of the best smart speakers you can buy right now thanks to a combination of great features we've come to expect from this audio brand. Sonos was all about multi-room functionality when it launched and that's still a big appeal here, with easy adding of more speakers and lots of control functionality from multi-room play to select groups. But the smart assistant features are now better too.
Unlike a dedicated brand, this allows you to pick the smart assistant you want with both Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant available as options. So you do get all the smart home controls and voice assistant features you'd expect from a dedicated smart speaker, only now with added audio performance.
Thanks to two Class-D amps and far-field noise-canceling microphones, this offers some superb voice pick-up but also powerful and bassy, yet well-balanced, sound. You can even add more to create a 4.1 system, making this a viable home stereo or surround sound system. Sure, it's not cheap, but you get a lot for your money here.
Sonos One: Design
- Two Class-D amps
- Far-field noise cancelling mics
- Mid-range woofer
The Sonos One is a compact and attractive speaker that stands 6.3-inches tall surrounded by a permeable grille and topped by touchscreen controls. These allow you to play, pause, change tracks and volume control the speaker while the white LED lights show you if the speaker is listening. If these lights are off then you know mute mode is on and the speaker isn't listening.
On the back is an Ethernet port allowing you to wire the speaker into your network directly if you have that option.
The speaker comes with a six microphone array to pick up voice commands using smart echo cancellation tech.
Inside are two Class-D amplifiers with a mid woofer and tweeter for enough hardware to create a balanced sound.
Sonos One: Features
- AirPlay 2 support
- Google Assistant and Alexa
- Multi-room support
The Sonos One is all about the smart voice controls although you do have to pick a side, be it Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. You can't just call out to the one you want, it needs to be setup with that assistant. Of course you can change if you want and it's nice to have the option of both, but likely you'll stick with the one you use on your phone or the one you already have smart speakers for, that allow this to multi-room with.
The multi-room functionality of Sonos is something that's a huge appeal here since it works so well. With a single Spotify account you can sling music to all the speakers in your home, a certain group you've sectioned off, or separate songs to separate speakers. Despite advances from Google and Alexa, this is still the best multi-room speaker system out there. You even get AirPlay 2 support that you can control from Siri on your iPhone.
Want to use the speaker for more than music? Sonos has you covered there too as this can be used as part of a stereo pair or, if you use the Sonos Amp, you can make a 4.1 surround system adding a subwoofer into the mix too.
Sonos One: Performance
- Excellent bass
- TruePlay auto calibration
- Great voice detection
The Sonos One is sonically superb, one of the best sounding speakers at this price bracket thanks to the broad range of hardware inside the unit as well as professionally tuned composition. The addition of TruePlay means you can adjust it to suit the space the speaker lives in too. While it's not as easy as some of the competition that can do it automatically - this requires a smartphone app to tune - it can adjust audio well.
When it comes to bass, the power is remarkable for a speaker of this size, pumping out rich and full-bodied beats without overshadowing the rest of the audio. That is thanks to a broad soundstage that allows you to hear the variation between the surprisingly clear vocal and the drums and guitars of a band, for example.
The voice clarity is fantastic which is a real draw here for anyone looking to create a stereo pair that they use with their TV to enhance listening of shows.
On the subject of voice, those six microphones pick up vocal commands really well making this a very capable Google Assistant or Alexa powered smart speaker. Control the smart home, play music, ask questions, track meetings, check the weather - it does the lot. Worth a mention is the One's ability to hear you even when music is loud, which is something not all smart speakers manage and can otherwise be annoying.
Should you buy the Sonos One?
The Sonos One is of the best sounding smart speakers on the market. It also offers multiple voice assistants, lots of smart home control, great looks and a fantastic way to expand and add more speakers. It's not cheap, but we think the price is justified.
It is a really capable speaker for its size and price and the ability to pair it with more makes it a real home system centerpiece. The smart assistants work really well allowing you to get a high-end speaker with the latest voice controls without the compromising on quality.
If this product isn't for you
As one of the most affordable smart speakers out there, the Amazon Echo Dot really does offer a lot for the price. It's not going to sound as good as more expensive speakers but it still offers loud sound and superb voice recognition. You don't get Zigbee on here but can still control the smart home well using that Alexa smart assistant. A top affordable choice for filling your home with smart speakers.
If you want to use the Google Assistant and don't want to break the bank then the Google Nest Audio is a great option. This well-designed smart speaker fits into any room's decor well, while the far-field microphones make for excellent voice recognition and controls, even in larger and noisier spaces. The audio isn't the best but for the price this does offer a lot.
If you're on team Apple and want a Siri-based smart speaker then look no further than the Apple HomePod. Sure, you're limited to the Apple ecosystem more than other smart speakers but if that and the price aren't an issue, you're getting a serious setup here. Not only does this look fantastic but the audio performance is superb and voice recognition works fantastically.