Sonos One is arguably the best sounding smart speaker with Alexa [Review]

I been rocking with Sonos for quite some years now looking all the way back to the Sonos PLAY:1. I was fond of the PLAY:1 based on its ease of use and its integration with apps. Also it had a clean and minimal look. Sonos introduced its One speaker which mirrors the PLAY:1 in just about every way with some new bells and whistles. Is it wise to step up from PLAY:1 to One?

Style

If you have a PLAY:1 in the home you feel right at home with the One. It has cylinder shaped and come in at a little over 6 inches tall and weighs 4lb. With the style im covering it comes in a all black finish with a black matte style grill. One differs from the PLAY:1 as it now has capacitive touch controls for volume controls, play/pausing and mic controls. Touch controls are very responsive and give the top of the One a smooth clean looking finish. As with most voice control devices you can mute the mic on the One if you don’t want it to pick up any commands.

Setup / Features

With the Sonos One you can set it up to be connected either via ethernet or WiFi and I have it connected via ethernet. It’s a force of habit as I’m used to the other older Sonos that are usually just ethernet based. Setup for the One is easy if you already have a Sonos system as it will sync up to your system in a few minutes. Otherwise if you don’t Sonos will walk you through setup on the app that usually takes no more than five minutes.

The biggest feature of the Sonos One is of course voice controls. It makes a world of difference having your Sonos system being controlled via Alexa. You can simply say “Alexa” and have it fire up your Spotify playlist, do volume controls and control over devices in the home. While playing content it will lower the volume so it can hear your commands. I was glad to see Sonos supports ESP aka Echo Spatial Reception. In short this means if you have multiple “Alexa” devices only one of them will respond. This was a major gripe with the Harmon Kardon Allure and I ended up having to mute one.

Since having the Sonos One with Alexa enabled in my Sonos system I can even use my Amazon Echo Spot to control my Sonos devices which is something I couldn’t do before without the One.

I’m surprised that Google Assistant hasn’t arrived on the One ever it being stated by Sonos that they would be supporting both Alexa and Google. I guess time will tell if it pans out.

Sound

On the audio side the One has just about the same components as the PLAY:1 with two amps, tweeter and woofer. Now not saying the PLAY:1 didn’t sound good but the One seems to have taken a step forward providing a slightly more balanced sound and filling up a room more. One gives a nice amount of bass without being too heavy or off putting. If you want to get the best out of the One sound wise is pairing it with another One speaker for stereo.

Verdict

Sonos One is one of the best sounding Alexa speakers on the market. It has a great balanced sound and can easily fill up a room. If you already have other Sonos devices in the home it’s great to pair up and enable voice controls over your whole system. Sonos One is retailing for $199.99 and comes in black or white while PLAY:1 are going for $149.99 or probably less if you look around. Personally at this point in the game I’d say to pickup a One if you are looking forward to the future.