The Amazon’s Echo line of speakers proves that smart speakers are currently in high demand. It encouraged many manufacturers to put out their own Alexa speakers. Sonos recently came up with the Sonos One, a smart speaker featuring built-in Alexa. At $199, it’s claimed to deliver better sound quality than other Alexa speakers. Rumor has it that the company is also preparing to add Google Assistant to this device.
The Sonos One has a similar design to the Sonos Play 1 which was introduced in 2013. It comes with separate tweeters and woofers. Another striking resemblance is the cabinet. It looks quite identical to the older sibling. If you’re looking for the differentiating factors, look at the top because it looks nothing like the predecessor. It’s now flat and feature touch-sensitive controls for adjusting volume and playing/stopping track.
There is also a dedicated mute button as well as an LED that lights when mic is on. It operates similarly to other Alexa speakers. You need to say a word to wake the assistant. However, the speaker generates a sound whenever it hears the wake word. It can be annoying mainly because there is no option to turn it off. It comes in two colors, black and white. It’s pretty large, so you won’t mistake it for your air freshener. Besides, it looks stylish enough to be placed in the kitchen or living room.
The setup is straightforward although it takes a while. All you have to do is tap a few prompts that show up on the phone. The thing is, you will be required to maneuver through apps repeatedly to link streaming services to each account. In other words, the setup can be tedious due to the long process, but we’re sure you can do it all by yourself. Once it’s properly set up, you can start talking to the Alexa voice assistant. It’s also easy to control everything from the app. The interface hasn’t changed much, but you’ll see a black bar across the bottom of the page which contains several menus like, My Sonos, Browse, Rooms, and others. Just tap on a menu if you want to find out what it’s linked to. Aside from the mobile app, there is also the PC version. Thankfully, they are both intuitive and easy to use.
The Sonos One is not just the Play:One with some extra additions, like new firmware and mics. It receives a major overhaul in the sound department. Surprisingly, you’d probably prefer it than other smart speakers because there’s a sense of clarity in the audio. The mids are well-maintained and crisp. It also sounds very loud even before you turn it up to the maximum volume.
Another highlight is it delivers more bass and improved midrange. So if you find the previous models too light in their sound production, this will please you more. You should compare it to the predecessor to get a better idea of the new Sono’s audio quality. The Alexa performance is also terrific. Some would say that the mic array is overly sensitive, but it’s actually a good thing because the speaker will be able to hear your voice even when music is playing loudly.