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Sonos One review: A smart speaker you’d be stupid not to buy


Our Sonos One review in a nutshell: don’t hesitate, this is a phenomenal smart speaker (Image: SONOS • GETTY)

Sonos One (Gen 2) review: The Verdict

Sonos One is a brilliant speaker that packs amazing sound, plenty of smart features, a phenomenal smartphone app, and a healthy ecosystem of mounts and accessories. For its size, the second-generation Sonos One packs real oomph in the bass, while ensuring that everything else in the mix remains perfectly clear. Whatever genre makes up the majority of your playlists, Sonos One will be able to handle it with aplomb. And thanks to the regular discounts from online retailers, this is undoubtedly one of the best Sonos deals you can find.

The ability to summon either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant makes the Sonos One future-proof. Even if you decide to switch to a new smartphone or decide to replace some of the Amazon Echo smart speakers in your home with the latest Google Nest hardware, your Sonos One will work seamlessly with the rest of your smart home kit. And that’s simply not true for every voice-activated smart speaker in this price range. Regardless of which chatty AI assistant you pick for now, you’ll be able to request songs, albums, podcasts, radio stations, and playlists with a quick voice command.

Sonos One review – at a glance

What We Loved

  • Great Sound Quality, Especially For The Small Footprint
  • Nice Design Will Fit With Any Home Décor
  • Works With Your Existing Smart Home Kit
  • Can Be Expanded In Future With Extra Speakers
  • Great App For iPhone And Android

What We Didn’t Love

  • Limited Choice Of Colours
  • Touch-Sensitive Buttons Can Be Accidentally Triggered

On the subject of flexibility, Sonos One is also compatible with Apple’s AirPlay 2 standard, which means you can beam lossless audio wireless from an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or Mac. If you have other AirPlay 2-compatible speakers at home, even those built by rival brands like Bose, you’ll be able to group them together from your Apple kit to synchronise playback of your favourite track across different rooms.

And let’s not forget the stellar Sonos companion app on iPhone and Android, which brings together a dizzying number of music streaming platforms, radio stations, podcast services, as well as an iTunes library and any music stored on a local hard-drive on your network. You can mix-and-match between all of these rival services into a single Up Next queue of songs – jumping between an album on Apple Music, to a Spotify-exclusive podcast show, and settling on a playlist from your iTunes library.

Everything is streamed over Wi-Fi so you’ll never need to worry about the ping of an incoming text message interrupting your music …like those with Bluetooth speakers have to ensure. It also means tracks and podcasts are played at a higher quality too. If you decide to expand from a single Sonos One in the future, you’ll be able to play different tracks on each speaker in your house – or group them all together and synchronise playback, setting the volume for each speaker independently or cranking it to 11 in every room with a single tap! For those who invest in a Sonos Beam, Sonos Arc, or Sonos Ray, the Sonos One can double-up as a supreme rear speaker in a surround sound setup too.

Coupled with a solid range of mounts and accessories to ensure it fits into your home and the ability to pair extra speakers down the line to create a whole-home audio solution, Sonos One is an easy recommendation for anyone looking for a new smart speaker. Simply put, it might just be the smartest smart speaker out there.

Sonos One is one of the best deals around right now as online and high street stores regularly discount this excellent smart speaker from its RRP of £199. Whether you’re just starting out with a home audio system or looking to expand an existing AirPlay 2 setup, Sonos One is a phenomenal choice.

It sounds brilliant considering its compact size, you can add additional speakers at a later date to create a home cinema or multi-room set-up, and most importantly of all, Sonos doesn’t make you permanently pick between Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa as the AI voice assistant that will dictate every other smart home gadget or speaker that you buy for the next five years.

Find our in-depth impressions of this feature-packed speaker below…

Sonos One Review Design

Sonos One has a simple, boxy design that should fit with any home décor (Image: SONOS)

Sonos One (Gen 2) review: Design

Sonos One is a pretty nifty looking speaker. It has elegantly rounded corners and a truly minimalist design – there’s only one physical button on the entire thing. For our money, it looks better in black than the White version, but your mileage may vary depending on the decor you’re trying to match at home.

That minimalism can work to its detriment. While there are touch-sensitive buttons at the top of the Sonos One to play or pause, change volume and more – these aren’t as tactile as physical buttons. Although, admittedly, they do look cooler.

Quickly brushing dust from the top of the speaker will accidentally pause music or drop the volume. Thankfully, you can switch off the touch-sensitive buttons in the Sonos app.

The design of the Sonos One – not to mention the success of the brand – means there are a swathe of third-party wall mounts and stands available for the speaker. Compared to other similarly-priced speakers, like the Amazon Echo Studio, Sonos One owners will find a much wider choice of brackets to mount onto your walls, or have freestanding in the living room.

Sonos One review sound quality

Sonos One plays music from Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, YouTube Music, Amazon Music and dozens more (Image: SONOS)

Sonos One (Gen 2) review: Sound

The second-generation Sonos One delivers where it counts: sound.

Sonos One can really crank out the bass without drowning out anything else in the mix. Everything sounds clear and finely-balanced whether you’re listening to acoustic singer-songwriters, heavy metal, or talk radio. Despite the compact footprint – the Sonos One can really deliver a punch when it comes to volume. Although you can add a number of additional speakers to your set-up – you won’t need to.

But the real genius of the Sonos One is the flexibility to build a connected set-up over time. While most other smart speakers, like the Google Home and Amazon Echo, let you add extra speakers to bring stereo sound, or wireless audio across different rooms – Sonos One simply has more options. You can have multiple Sonos speakers playing the same audio in different rooms, or you can use the Sonos One to start building a 5.0 surround sound system for your television for a true home cinema experience.

Sonos One (Gen 2) review: App And Connectivity

One of the biggest benefits of picking Sonos over its rivals is that it won’t make you pick between one of the many competing voice assistants on the market – Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa. That might not seem like a big deal, but if you invest £189.99 in an Amazon Echo Studio, you’re unlikely to buy a Google Home Hub as a smart bedside clock as it won’t be able to sync with your Amazon-powered sound system.

Likewise, buying a rare album on iTunes might feel like a poor investment if you’ve got multiple Google Home smart speakers dotted around the house.

Sonos One works with Google Assistant or Alexa, so you can switch based on the other connected devices you buy further down the line. And it’s not just voice-activated assistants that Sonos One is agnostic about.

Sonos One App

You can customise the sound and queue-up tracks for the Sonos One using the fab iOS and Android app (Image: SONOS)

Sonos’ app lets you bring in songs from a plethora of different music services – from Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, a good ol” fashioned iTunes library, Audible, Deezer, Global Radio Player, Google Play Music, Plex, SoundCloud, TIDAL, TuneIn, YouTube Music, and many, many more.

With tracks, playlists and radio stations from all of these services at your disposal – there’s no way you won’t be able to build the ideal queue of songs. Sonos recently launched its own Sonos Radio service that curates songs around a theme – from dinner parties, to quiet nights-in.

Sonos’ app is a little dated, especially on macOS. But that criticism is a little moot as the company has already announced an overhauled app with a more modern user interface.

Sonos One (Gen 2) review: Price And Availability

Sonos introduced the second-generation of its popular Sonos One in March 2019 and is now widely available from high street stores and online retailers. As it’s been available for a few years, retailers often drop the price of this smart speaker, so there are some brilliant deals to be had…

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