Our VerdictUnfazed by time, the entry-level Sonos is just as effective as we remember ForImpressively…
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Essentially, the main one is a Play:1 with voice control built-in, and that’s an excellent mixture inside our book
Stylish and unobtrusive
Solid, advanced sound
Alexa and Google Assistant
The £179/$179 Sonos One, the first Sonos smart speaker, premiered amid scores of completely new clever speakers, as Apple, Amazon, Google and more all got in a single the AI action.
But we were holding all speakers created by companies that are smart, however, not first and foremost authorities in audio. That’s why, for hi-fi fans, the newer trend for music companies licensing smart technology is a lot more interesting.
The Sonos One is actually a Play:1 with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built-in, and that’s an absolute mixture inside our book.
Sonos: all you need to know
In conditions of condition and size, the One’s looks are practically identical to those of the Play:1. The only significant aesthetic departure may be the replacement of the Play:1’s grey wraparound grille with a black or white grille, according to the color of speaker you’ve chosen.
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Overall, the main one blends into its surroundings a lot more effectively than its predecessor.
Things have changed at the top plate, where in fact the three buttons of the Play:1 have already been replaced by a touch-sensitive panel decorated with a circle of tiny, white LEDs and symbols.
These represent play/pause, the microphone and Sonos’s now-familiar context-sensitive actions, as the white LEDs illustrate whether voice control is started up.
Sonos is keen to indicate that switching voice control off is a matter of tapping the microphone symbol, as well as your total privacy is represented by the lights being off altogether.
Unlike the Play:1, the main one also gets a dedicated Pairing button, right above the ethernet socket.
You no longer require to have among your Sonos units wired into your router, although we’d still recommend using cables for the most stable and reliable connection. Sonos’s wireless network is among the finest around, which means you are unlikely to face way too many problems with the wi-fi route.
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Although you can switch Alexa and the Google Assistant off entirely, it’s often worth having them listening, particularly as they’re deeper integrated here than with many rivals.
Alexa is specially well implemented, for the reason that you can speak to the One specifically as you’ll Amazon’s own Echo, so rather than needing to say “Alexa, play Bowie on Sonos”, you just say “Alexa, play Bowie”, and one of is own classics will spring forth from your own One. That might appear to be a tiny detail but, regarding regular interaction, it’s a huge difference.
If you wish to voice-control music in other rooms, specify where (eg. “Alexa, play Bowie in the lounge”) and the main one will send music to the Sonos kit you’ve ascribed compared to that ‘zone’ – a good non-Alexa-enabled Sonos speaker, for instance a PlayBar or Play:5. “Alexa, play Bowie everywhere” sets your Sonos speakers to synchronised Ziggy Stardust mode.
If you’re worried that having Dancing IN THE PUB blaring from your own One will prevent Alexa or the Google Assistant from hearing your request to skip Dancing IN THE PUB, a blend of noise cancelling, something called “smart voice capture” and a custom-designed six-microphone array means that you can continually be heard.
The Sonos One launched only supporting Amazon Music but has added Spotify, Deezer, TuneIn and Audible voice control in to the mix, which is quite welcome.
Of course, also you can use Alexa or Google Assistant on the main one accurately as you do on an Amazon Echo or Google Home, in order well as playing music you can set timers and alarms, check the elements, add what to your grocery list – all small features, but useful nonetheless. We’d advise the One is specially good as a kitchen speaker.
We’ve loud music playing from the main one in the kitchen and may still get Alexa’s attention from the adjoining room with only a slightly raised voice.
You know whenever your chosen voice assistant has heard you, too, as any reference to her name is met with a chime of acknowledgement, signalling that one could continue your request. That may make the knowledge sound disjointed, but it’s quick and natural.
With an Echo Dot you choose a visual clue that Alexa is listening. The One’s chime is quicker and more commensurate with sound communication, so that it brings about more natural-feeling interactions.
The caliber of the microphones make the main one less inclined to mis-hear your requests and instructions – we think it is makes fewer mistakes than our Echo Dot. Correctly hearing the request is merely half the battle, though, and Alexa continues to be capable of misunderstanding.
The most frequent issue is when you say, for instance, “play Ladytron”, and she instead starts playing a song with those words in the title. Which can be annoying at first, nevertheless, you can avoid that by saying “play some music by Ladytron” instead.
It’s worth remembering that, while voice control is actually the big headline for the main one, you can of course still put it to use as you’ll any other Sonos speaker. Sonos’s own iphone app remains the best available because of its usability and for bringing practically every streaming service (as well as your own placed tunes) together under one roof, and the fresh addition of AirPlay 2 means Apple device users can send audio tracks from almost any iphone app they use. Spotify Connect is up to speed, too.
You might find references to Gen 1 and Gen 2 versions of the Sonos One. The Gen 2 gets an upgraded processor, more memory and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), but both models apparently perform and sound identical. With time, only the Gen 2 will be accessible, but you could possibly be able to discover a Gen 1 at less price (£179) while stocks last). Not to mention there’s now the Sonos One SL, which is supposedly identical to the Sonos One but without the built-in microphones and voice assistant support.
Whenever we first heard the main one we suspected it had been hook sonic upgrade on the Play:1 but, having paid attention to both inside our testing rooms, both speakers sound just about identical.
That’s no bad thing, though, for the reason that Play:1 was already near to the the surface of the sonic charts for wireless speakers as of this price point.
We’d recommend likely to your time and effort of TruePlay tuning the main one with an iPhone (in case you have one), since it opens the sound up. We choose the sound with the Loudness setting left on, but experiment to find which mixture is most effective for you as well as your room.
We arrange it just how we like, and get yourself a delivery that’s weighty, full-bodied and loud – not traits you’d generally expect from a radio speaker of the size. The soundstage is spacious and impressively organised, with vocals given a good amount of breathing room, making them quickly more engaging.
That’s not saying that instruments are overlooked – they emerge within an impressively stereo-like way from either side of the singer. It’s rather superior and natural for the reason that regard.
The One’s weight produces deep, solid bass for a speaker this size, and there’s enough rhythm to nearly match Trivium’s Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr, and enough tonal shading to help make the almost all of Flea’s finest Red Hot Chili Peppers basslines.
Treble is crisp and clear, but treads an excellent line between excitement and harshness. You’ll occasionally spot the odd sharp edge or hint of sibilance, but it’s insufficient to be bothersome. More regularly, it’s simply clear and sparkly.
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Much like the Play:1, two Sonos Ones could be combined to produce a stereo pair with the capacity of filling an area with hi-fi-like focus, and your money can buy that might be quite an accomplished little system.
Given the sonic similarities, it’s a shame you can’t form a stereo pair comprising one One and one Play:1. Buying two Alexa-powered speakers for just one room just feels as though overkill, especially if you curently have a Play:1.
Unsurprisingly, you may also utilize the One as a surround speaker for a Sonos Beam, PlayBase or PlayBar-based system, with or with out a subwoofer. The brand new Sonos Amp also permits you to create a 4.1 system, with a phantom centre channel, from some wired front speakers and a couple of Ones acting as surrounds.
The One isn’t the only method to include voice Alexa to a Sonos system – you can include an Echo or Echo Dot to your multi-room system, which brings with it the opportunity to send music to your Sonos speakers.
That’s much less neat, though, as you will need to specify which room or speaker you need to listen on. Something made up of Sonos Ones, alternatively, will respond predicated on proximity – if you don’t instruct otherwise.
The blend of the Sonos Play:1’s audio tracks talents and Alexa’s usefulness and intelligence is a genuine winner, particularly as the main one costs broadly exactly like its predecessor.
After ironing out a number of the initial software bugs, and adding features such as for example Alexa control of Spotify and AirPlay 2, the Sonos One cements its place as among the finest smart speakers in the marketplace.
Unless you value the voice assistant you could be happy with a genuine Play:1 (which continues to be available and today cheaper) and there’s now also the main one SL and Beam speaker to con