Sonos One speaker test

Sonos One, the first Sonos smart speaker to appear in the audio-hi-fi market in 2017. If voice control isn’t important, you might want to opt for the cheaper Sonos One SL model, which has been available since 2019 and is essentially the same as the One speaker, only without built-in microphones and audio assistant support.

Features

The Sonos One speaker has built-in music streaming features, is moisture resistant, making it ideal for use in the bathroom or garden. It also has a Wi-Fi connection and an Ethernet port. Like the Play: 1, the Sonos One is powered by a pair of Class D amps. The far-field microphone array provides intelligent sound recording and noise reduction.

Multiroom system

The Sonos One connects wirelessly to other Sonos speakers, allowing you to expand your Home Sound System.

Two speakers at a time

Two Sonos One together in the same room provide excellent stereo sound; we can further enhance the sound quality by adding a subwoofer for deep bass.

Voice control

Sonos-speaker-control

Sonos One allows you to control your music with your voice. With the Sonos app, you can control all your music in one place: Amazon, Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, radio, podcasts, and more. The Sonos One has a touch screen.

The Sonos One can also be placed on a wall, ceiling or a speaker stand. Its small size is even perfect for placing on a bookshelf. The illuminated LED ensures that we always know when the speaker microphone is working.

Supported audio formats: MP3, AAC (without DRM), WMA, AAC (MPEG4), AAC +, Ogg Vorbis, Apple Lossless, Flac music files, as well as uncompressed WAV and AIFF. Power supply: 100 – 240 VAC, 50/60 Hz. Dimensions: 119.70 mm x 161.45 mm, weight: 1.85 kg.

Sonos-One-speaker
In terms of shape and size, the One looks virtually the same as the Play model. The only significant aesthetic difference from Play: 1 is that the gray speaker grille on the Play has been replaced with a black or white grille, depending on the color of that particular speaker. It blends in more effectively with your environment than its predecessor. The three buttons on Play: 1 have been replaced by a touch-sensitive panel for the Sonos One, with tiny white LEDs and symbols on it. These display play / pause, microphone and certain settings, while white LEDs indicate whether voice control is on. Unlike Play: 1, the One also gets a dedicated pairing button directly above the Ethernet jack. Sonos ’wireless network is extremely reliable, so you’re unlikely to encounter too many problems with your Wi-fi connection. Alexa and Google Assistant can be turned off completely if you don’t want to use it.

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Alexa works particularly well, with very simple voice control. If you want to control the music with sound in other rooms, you need to determine where (e.g., “Alexa, play Michael Jackson in the bedroom”) and One sends the music to the Sonos speaker, or even a non-Alexa-compatible Sonos also for a speaker such as PlayBar or Play: 5.

Sonos One also supports Amazon Music with voice control, as well as Spotify, Deezer, TuneIn, YouTube Music, Apple Music, and Audible.

In addition to playing music, you can set timers and alerts, check the weather, and add items to your shopping list.

It’s worth noting that while voice control is obviously one of the main attractions of the One, we can of course still use it like any other Sonos speaker. Sonos ’own application remains the best in terms of usability and virtually any streaming experience, with AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect also available.

Sound of Sonos One

We tested the speaker in a smaller room where the acoustics were not yet perfect. In a small, square room, the biggest problem is echo, so it is imperative to acoustically treat the walls, ceiling, and corners. With double wood membrane panels and the use of acoustic diffusers, we can significantly improve sound problems. It is recommended to place bass traps in the corners, so that we can effectively correct acoustic errors even in the most problematic areas. Without proper acoustics, even the best quality hi-fi system will not sound good.

We also tested the Sonos One in several musical styles. The stage was spacious and impressively accurate. The sound was natural and realistic, the stereo sound picture was also good.

The One produced massive bass, which is a pleasant surprise for a speaker of this size. The rhythm and dynamics also proved to be quite excellent. The treble sounded sharp and clear, sometimes we experienced excessive sharpness, but for the most part it radiated shimmering and subtle treble.

As with Play: 1, two Sonos can be combined to create a stereo pair that can fill a room.

Not surprisingly, you can also use the One as a surround speaker for Sonos Beam, Arc, PlayBase, or PlayBar-based systems, with or without a subwoofer. The Sonos Amp allows you to create a 4.1 system with a phantom center channel from a wired front speaker.

In summary

Overall, despite the size of the Sonos One, it’s surprisingly good, though not capable of outstanding sound, and the voice control is an extra extra feature. The price is also affordable. Configuring it was a bit cumbersome.

Written by Róbert Polgár