Sonos One review: Better Than Sony Speakers

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The brand new Sonos S2 iphone app also brings an attribute called ‘room groups’ – this implies your wireless speakers can remember frequently grouped players (like your bedroom speakers as well as your living room speakers). This will permit you to get entire regions of your house – downstairs, for instance – playing music a lot more quickly than before.

Even while Google and Amazon are making better and better sounding speakers in-house (see: Amazon Echo Studio and Google Home Max), the Sonos One remains the very best wireless speaker of 2020.

What Sonos has attempting to its advantage, though, is its multi-room ecosystem that goes an extended ways toward filling the gaps left in Alexa and Google Assistant’s ecosystems.

1 day Amazon and Google’s Hi-Fi speakers might overtake the Sonos One – but, until that day comes, you can be confident knowing that Sonos, using its wealth of experience and brilliant inter-connectivity, still holds the most notable spot.

Note: Our original review was written prior to the S2 update brought Hi-Res Audio. For an in-depth consider the latest in Sonos tech, have a look at our Sonos Arc review.

Design


Although the Sonos One’s design is broadly predicated on the company’s existing Play:1 smart speaker, there were several improvements made.

At the top you’ll discover a touch-sensitive surface that’s a good deal sleeker compared to the Play:1’s trio of volume and play/pause buttons. Swiping right or left skips forward and backwards through your present playlist, while tapping in the heart of the top plays and pauses your music. Finally, tapping the left and right halves of the panel raise and lower the quantity.

It may be a straightforward group of controls but, as is definitely just how with Sonos speakers, you’ll spend almost all of your time and effort controlling them via the app. The physical controls are nice when you wish to quickly skip a track, but you’re unlikely to utilize them much, especially given that voice control can be an option.

To facilitate this voice control, Sonos has equipped the speaker with six internal microphones to permit it to listen to you drunkenly ask to play ‘Hey, Jude’ just one single more time, and they are joined by pretty much the same guts as the Sonos Play:1; namely its couple of Class-D amplifiers and a tweeter / mid-woofer driver combo.

At the top of these devices you’ve also got a power-indicating LED alongside a tiny light to inform you when Alexa is listening. This second LED is hardwired to the microphones, and Sonos promises that the microphones cannot pay attention to you if it’s not illuminated.

Setup

A little LED light illuminates showing you that Alexa is enabled, which turns off when you stop it hearing you. It’s a long way off from the Echo’s scarlet ring, and ensures that the speaker still looks the part regardless if you’d prefer to disable its voice recognition.

Thanks to the blend of Amazon’s and Sonos’ services, the setup of the Sonos One is a bit more involved than your average Echo device, but thankfully not horrifically so.

The procedure involves installing the Sonos and Alexa apps, and you’ll have to sign into both your Sonos and Amazon accounts, and any other music streaming services that you’ll want to hear using the speaker.

You’ll also be encouraged to undergo a ‘Trueplay Tuning’ process, which requires you to walk around your room together with your phone as your speaker plays several test sounds. Your phone listens to the way the speaker sounds in its environment, and tunes its sound accordingly.

Of course, also you can manually adapt the treble and bass degrees of your speaker for those who have more specific preferences, although we were content to leave them at their default levels.

You’ll also have to assign the Sonos One an area to permit you to identify it from the Sonos app, and it’s here that you’ll likewise have the opportunity to pair the Sonos One up with another speaker to keep these things play music in stereo. Unfortunately you can’t pair it with a Sonos Play:1, regardless of the similarities in form-factor.

Sound quality


Given that that is a Sonos speaker, you won’t be surprised to listen to that the Sonos One sounds pretty fantastic.

Throw Elegie by Mouse on the Keys at the speaker, and sound has real punch and energy to it. The song’s kickdrum…well…has kick to it, and drives the energy of the song. It’s an extraordinary amount of power from such a tiny speaker.

The speaker even deals admirably with an increase of complicated bits of music. Silent Earthling by Three Trapped Tigers sounds clear and crisp, regardless of the multiple layers of instruments circulating through the entire song.

Having said that, the speaker doesn’t provide separation of a set of stereo speakers with what sort of music is squashed right into a single channel, nonetheless it does a good job at its size and price, and naturally its capability to be paired with an increase of Sonos speakers enhances its sound further still.

Competing multi-room

Sonos is called the business that invented the multi-room system however in the years because so many others have thrown their hats in to the ring, including Amazon itself. Its Amazon Echo speakers could be grouped together right into a multi-room system, but sadly – and weirdly – the Sonos One can’t join them to sync music across different types of hardware.

Of course, a lot of what’s written above may possibly also have already been said of the initial Play:1 when it had been first released back 2013. The true story here is about how precisely voice control is integrated – it really is simply wonderfully executed.

Almost, almost perfect.

While at launch the functionality appears a bit more limited than we were expecting as a result of lack of its integration with Spotify, it has now been rectified with a software update.

It’s great news, as Spotify is probably the popular streaming services out there. Having the capacity to simply request songs through the use of your voice is a lot more convenient than needing to dig into an iphone app on your own phone.

With Spotify now added, the Sonos One can be an impressively featured multi-room speaker. It’s backed by the same great Sonos iphone app which has seen continuous improvement and development through the years, and today integrates with all major music streaming services.

I built a surround audio system using our phone which creepy radio drama

Otherwise the speaker acts just about as you’d expect a good speaker to. It integrates with the same smart home products, you can ask it about the elements, or simply own it let you know stupid facts and jokes.

You can also, because of the recently released Sonos Alexa skill, use voice commands to get music playing on other Sonos speakers during your home. The skill continues to be in beta and is hence just a little buggy (it refused to play the air on “kitchen speaker”, but was fine with “kitchen”), however when this sees a complete launch it’ll be another helpful feature.

Final verdict


Essentially, we think the Sonos One may be the best Alexa speaker on earth – and the very best Google Assistant speaker, too. Fundamentally simply because it’s underpinned by audio tracks quality that’s a step above what’s on Amazon’s current generation of Echo hardware, but it’s a speaker that also integrates fantastically well with the others of Sonos’s multi-room lineup.

Yes, it had been certainly a shame that it launched without support for typically the most popular streaming service on earth, Spotify, but kudos to Sonos for offering the update in good time. The speaker is currently just as effectual as

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