Sonos One evaluate: Alexa will get the sound high quality she deserves

Ever for the reason that launch of the unique Amazon Echo, the sensible speaker has been extra sensible than speaker. With the ability to ask Alexa — or, on House audio system, Google — for a climate report or a timer is nice, however the primary use for these audio system for most individuals is enjoying music. And till now they’ve all sounded mediocre when requested to belt out the tunes.

The Sonos One ($199.00 at Lowes.com) is the primary sensible speaker I’ve heard that really sounds nice with music. Primarily based on the corporate’s Play:1, a Four-year-old multiroom speaker that also outperforms just about something at its value, the Sonos One sounds even higher. It will possibly be part of an present Sonos whole-home audio system or function the start of 1. And with Alexa constructed proper in, the Sonos One can do virtually every little thing an Echo can. And her voice sounds extra pure than ever.

Amazon’s assistant is just the start. Sonos is the primary firm to vow compatibility with each Alexa and Google Assistant, the opposite main dwelling voice management system. Someday in 2018 the One will work similar to a Google House speaker. Additionally coming to Sonos is Apple’s AirPlay 2, permitting management of the speaker from any Siri-enabled gadgets like iPhones ($699.00 at Apple) and iPads.

Even with out these future additions, the Sonos One is a superb sensible speaker at present. In fact it additionally prices twice as a lot as the brand new Echo, and Amazon has multiroom audio assist too. Quickly the higher-end Apple HomePod and Google House Max audio system will hit the market too, promising improved audio high quality of their very own. We have not examined these audio system or the Amazon Echo Plus but so we won’t say how properly they examine to Sonos. 

Both approach the Sonos One gives an superior mixture of versatility, sound high quality and affordability proper now. For those who’ve been trying to soar on the sensible speaker bandwagon, however been delay by poor sound high quality, there is no extra purpose to hesitate. 

The Sonos One is out there for $199, £199 or AU $299.


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Three issues Amazon Echo can do this Sonos One cannot (but)

The Sonos One behaves just about precisely like an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot speaker, however at launch it lacks just a few of the capabilities of these audio system. This is a rundown.

  • Set Sonos as default: If in case you have multiple Echo within the dwelling, Amazon makes use of a system referred to as Echo Spatial Notion to find out which speaker you’re speaking to and which to then play again for you, a characteristic Sonos says it has tailored into its speaker. Nevertheless, if you use the One as a part of an Echo system, there isn’t a present option to default to the Sonos when enjoying music — even when it is the closest to you. As an alternative, if you happen to even have a number of Echos you’ll need to say one thing like “play on the Sonos” every time. This is not a problem if you happen to solely have Sonos audio system.
  • Alexa Calling: Echo audio system can name different Echos and most telephones inside Northern America without spending a dime. Sonos isn’t ready to do that. In reality, requesting it hilariously causes the speaker to say “Alexa,” which units the unit again into listening mode once more. A Sonos consultant mentioned it’s one thing the corporate is wanting into.
  • Zigbee: The brand new Amazon Echo Plus permits for customers with Philips sensible bulbs and different Zigbee-based gadgets to function with out the necessity for an exterior hub. In fact Sonos can management the entire sensible dwelling gadgets that a normal Echo or Dot speaker can.

Acquainted design

Sonos One

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Sonos audio system have been round for 15 years and we have appreciated just about all of them. The One appears virtually precisely just like the Play:1, and retains the identical dimensions: shorter and wider than the tall, slim authentic Echo. Sonos’ prime panel has a very flush floor with a cluster of touch-sensitive buttons, lights and a dotted ring. Above the central gentle is a “mic” button that allows you to mute the onboard microphone array of that dotted ring.

Identical to the Play:1, the Sonos One is out there in white or black (pictured, although the black coloration scheme is completely different than that of the Play:1).

Sonos One

The Play:1 (left, in white) and the One.


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The devoted Sonos app incorporates dozens of streaming music providers, from Spotify to iHeartMusic to Google Play Music. It allows you to use the speaker in a whole-home, multiroom Sonos setup, as a part of stereo pair or as rear audio system for a Playbar or Playbase. The multiroom capabilities of the Google House and Chromecast Audio come shut, however Sonos remains to be the king of whole-home audio.

For those who’re an present Play:1 proprietor I’ve some dangerous information. Proper now the One can’t type a stereo pair with a Play:1, so if you happen to already personal a Play:1 you’ll be able to’t simply purchase a One to get the broader soundstage of stereo. To pair the One up for stereo listening you may have to purchase a second One speaker. Sonos would not inform me if they’re going to ultimately add One-Play:1 pairing functionality.

Sonos One

Sarah Tew/CNET

The most important draw for this speaker over the Play:1 is the digital assistant which brings not solely sensible dwelling capabilities however the notion of controlling music together with your voice. Customers can between Spotify or Amazon Music as their default music service — along with radio providers — and play songs, albums or playlists simply through the use of their voice.

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