What We Love
- Amazon Alexa integrated
- Multi-room audio capability
- Rich sound quality
The Smart Sonos One Speaker packs all the features you would need in an awesomely priced speaker: Best sound quality and Amazon's Alexa voice-activated assistant. The Sonos One brings to your home the multiroom audio capabilities, great sound quality and all the amazing features of Amazon's Alexa. It's a major upgrade from the Sonos Play One which didn't have the Alexa integration and many other apps. With planned future updates to its software, the aptly named Sonos One will be "the one" smart device to control all your smart home devices across multiple platforms. Out of the box, the Sonos One comes integrated with Alexa. However, Sonos plans to add all the functionalities of Amazon Echo, and support for Google Assistant and Apple's AirPlay 2 later in the year. Nevertheless, we found this incredible piece of hardware to serve us well. Let's dive into a detailed review.
The Sonos One is available straight from the Sonos website. From the time you receive your package after ordering, you will feel some good weight thanks to a pair of Class-D amplifiers built inside the piece. That said, the speaker comes in a nice box, packaged like a gift. In the box you will find the startup guide, power cable, Ethernet cable, and the Sonos One safely tacked inside a fabric pouch. The startup guide only tells you to download the Sonos app which will guide you through the setup with onscreen instructions.
Out of the box, the Sonos One is cylinder-shaped, with two color options: black and white. I prefer dark colors, so if you guessed I'd pick black, you are right. The top of the Sonos One hosts a touch-sensitive surface that has the player controls. Swiping right skips forward, while swiping left skips backward through your current playlist. Tapping in the center plays or pauses your music. Tap the right side of the surface to increase the volume and the left side to reduce the volume. Since the Sonos One has an accompanying mobile app, you are unlikely to use these physical controls except when you are near the speaker and want to quickly skip a track.
On the top of the device, you will also find a LED indicator and a small light that shows when Alexa is listening. For better listening capabilities, the Sonos One has six internal microphones so it can hear everything you say. The second light on the top of the device is hardwired to these microphones, and Sonos says that when it is off, then the microphones are not listening.
The speaker grills go around the Sonos to bring about an immersive 360-degree audio. To one of the sides you will find the powering button and the Ethernet port for a wired connection if you would prefer. However, it's worth noting that the Sonos One fully connects to your Wi-Fi wirelessly. Underneath the Sonos One, you can connect the removable power cable. That sums up our tour around the device.
The initial setup of the Sonos One involves installing the Sonos and Alexa apps, and then signing into your Sonos and Amazon accounts. If you have music streaming services that you would want to use, then you can as well sign in at this phase. Once you are signed into the Sonos app, the app gives screen prompts to help you in finalizing the setup. The app enables you to pair your Sonos one to your Wi-Fi connection or any other Sonos One device, if you have one. The Sonos One does not have Bluetooth, it only works with Wi-Fi. Read on to find out why Sonos does not work with Bluetooth.
Sonos is based on a multi-speaker ecosystem; it's designed to scale multiple devices seamlessly. To do this, it needs to create a mesh network of its own with a central controlling device. Any of the Sonos One devices in the network can be a controller. The network is automatically created when any of your Sonos devices is connected to your router, either through the Ethernet cable or just Wi-Fi. This ensure a stable audio synchronization on all your Sonos devices. Such capabilities are beyond Bluetooth, also Wi-Fi is known to have a stronger and wider coverage. Bluetooth is generally used to send audio from a mobile device to an audio amplifier. You can still do the same with the Sonos app and stream directly from your signed in music services like Spotify. Bluetooth often has some audio delays, with video out of sync. Thanks to Sonos use of Wi-Fi, you won't experience such a scenario.