The Sonos One, the first-ever Sonos good speaker, was launched amid a mass of name new intelligent audio system in 2017, as Apple, Amazon, Google and extra all received in a single the AI motion with its HomePod, Echo and Residence choices respectively.
However these had been all audio system made by corporations which are good, however not before everything consultants in audio. That’s why, for hi-fi followers, the more moderen development for audio corporations licensing good know-how is far more fascinating.
The Sonos One is basically a Play:1 (do not forget that?) with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built-in, and that’s a profitable mixture in our ebook. When you do not look after voice management, you must know that the cheaper Sonos One SL, which adopted in 2019, is similar to the One however with out the built-in microphones and voice assistant help.
When it comes to form and dimension, the One’s seems are virtually similar to these of the late Play:1. The one important aesthetic departure is the substitute of the Play:1’s gray wraparound grille with a black or white grille, relying on the color of speaker you’ve chosen.
Total, the One blends into its environment much more successfully than its predecessor.
Issues have modified on the highest plate, the place the three buttons of the Play:1 have been changed by a touch-sensitive panel embellished with a circle of tiny, white LEDs and symbols.
These symbolize play/pause, the microphone and Sonos’s now-familiar context-sensitive actions, whereas the white LEDs illustrate whether or not voice management is switched on.
Sonos is eager to level out that switching voice management off is a matter of tapping the microphone image, and your complete privateness is represented by the lights being off altogether.
Not like the Play:1, the One additionally will get a devoted Pairing button, simply above the ethernet socket.
You now not must have one in every of your Sonos items wired into your router, though we’d nonetheless advocate utilizing cables for essentially the most secure and dependable connection. Sonos’s wi-fi community is likely one of the finest round, so you’re unlikely to come across too many points with the wi-fi route.
Though you may change Alexa and the Google Assistant off solely, it’s usually value having them listening, notably as they’re extra deeply built-in right here than with many rivals.
Alexa is especially properly carried out, in that you could discuss to the One precisely as you’d Amazon’s personal Echo, so as an alternative of getting to say “Alexa, play Bowie on Sonos”, you merely say “Alexa, play Bowie”, and one in every of his classics will spring forth out of your One. Which may sound like a small element however, by way of common interplay, it’s an enormous distinction.
If you wish to voice-control music in different rooms, specify the place (eg. “Alexa, play Bowie within the lounge”) and the One will ship music to the Sonos package you’ve ascribed to that ‘zone’ – even a non-Alexa-enabled Sonos speaker, similar to a PlayBar or Play:5. “Alexa, play Bowie in all places” units all of your Sonos audio system to synchronised Ziggy Stardust mode.
When you’re anxious that having Dancing In The Avenue blaring out of your One will stop Alexa or the Google Assistant from listening to your request to skip Dancing In The Avenue, a mix of noise cancelling, one thing referred to as “good voice seize” and a custom-designed six-microphone array ensures that you could at all times be heard.
The Sonos One launched solely supporting Amazon Music with voice management however has since added Spotify, Deezer, TuneIn, YouTube Music, Apple Music and Audible into the voice management combine, which may be very welcome.
Having held out on hi-res music help for thus lengthy, Sonos lastly introduced hi-res functionality with its Sonos S2 platform replace final summer season. That allowed Sonos S2 app customers to play 24-bit recordsdata from an area drive, and now there’s additionally help for 24-bit streaming through Qobuz. To learn you will want a subscription to both of Qobuz’s tiers, Studio Premier or Studio Chic, plus the Sonos S2 app, which helps 24-bit 44.1/48kHz for FLAC. For Tidal customers’ sakes we hope Sonos will quickly help Tidal Masters too.
In fact, you too can use Alexa or Google Assistant on the One precisely as you do on an Amazon Echo or Google Nest speaker, so in addition to taking part in music you may set timers and alarms, test the climate, add gadgets to your buying listing – all small options, however helpful nonetheless. We’d counsel the One is especially good as a kitchen speaker.
Now we have loud music taking part in from the One within the kitchen and may nonetheless get Alexa’s consideration from the adjoining room with solely a barely raised voice.
You already know when your chosen voice assistant has heard you, too, as any point out of her title is met with a chime of acknowledgement, signalling that you could proceed your request. Which may make the expertise sound disjointed, however it’s fast and pure.
With an Echo Dot you search for a visible clue that Alexa is listening. The One’s chime is faster and extra in line with audio communication, so it results in extra natural-feeling interactions.
The standard of the microphones make the One much less prone to mis-hear your requests and directions – we discover it makes fewer errors than our third-generation Echo Dot. Accurately listening to the request is barely half the battle, although, and Alexa continues to be able to misunderstanding.
The commonest challenge is whenever you say, for instance, “play Ladytron”, and she or he as an alternative begins taking part in a tune with these phrases within the title. That may be annoying at first, however you may keep away from that by saying “play some music by Ladytron” as an alternative.
It is value remembering that, whereas voice management is clearly the massive headline for the One, you may after all nonetheless use it as you’d some other Sonos speaker. Sonos’s personal app stays one of the best within the enterprise for its usability and for bringing virtually each streaming service (and your personal saved tunes) collectively below one roof, and the addition of AirPlay 2 means Apple system customers can ship audio from nearly any app they use. Spotify Connect is on board, too.
It’s possible you’ll discover references to Gen 1 and Gen 2 variations of the Sonos One. The Gen 2 – the one one accessible now – will get an upgraded processor, extra reminiscence and Bluetooth Low Power (BLE), however each fashions apparently carry out and sound similar. Once more, those that would like to avoid wasting a couple of bucks over having voice management performance can get the Sonos One SL as an alternative; it is similar to the One however forgoes built-in mics and voice assistant.
Once we first heard the One we suspected it was a slight sonic improve on the Play:1 however, having listened to each in our testing rooms, the 2 audio system sound just about similar.
That’s no dangerous factor, although, as a result of the Play:1 was already close to the highest of the sonic charts for wi-fi audio system at this worth level.
We’d advocate going to the hassle of TruePlay tuning the One with an iPhone (you probably have one), because it opens the sound up. We desire the sound with the Loudness setting left on, however experiment to find which mixture works finest for you and your room.
We set it up the best way we like, and get a supply that’s weighty, full-bodied and loud – not traits you’d usually count on from a wi-fi speaker of this dimension. The soundstage is spacious and impressively organised, with vocals given loads of respiratory room, making them immediately extra participating.
That’s to not say that devices are neglected – they emerge in an impressively stereo-like method from both facet of the singer. It’s fairly refined and pure in that regard.
The One’s weight makes for deep, stable bass for a speaker this dimension, and there’s sufficient rhythm to only about sustain with Trivium’s Pull Tougher On The Strings Of Your Martyr, and sufficient tonal shading to profit from Flea’s best Purple Sizzling Chili Peppers basslines.
Treble is crisp and clear, however treads a superb line between pleasure and harshness. You’ll often discover the odd sharp edge or trace of sibilance, however it’s not sufficient to be bothersome. Extra usually, it’s merely clear and sparkly.
As with the Play:1, two Sonos Ones will be mixed to create a stereo pair able to filling a room with hi-fi-like focus, and for the cash that may be fairly an completed little system. When the One launched, we thought it a disgrace that you simply could not type a stereo pair consisting of 1 One and one Play:1 – in any case, shopping for two good audio system for one room appears like overkill – however now at the very least now you can pair a One and One SL in stereo.
Unsurprisingly, you too can use the One as a encompass speaker for a Sonos Beam, Arc, PlayBase or PlayBar-based system, with or with no subwoofer. The Sonos Amp additionally lets you create a 4.1 system, with a phantom centre channel, from a pair of wired entrance audio system and a pair of Ones performing as surrounds.
The One isn’t the one method so as to add voice Alexa to a Sonos system – you may add an Echo or Echo Dot to your multi-room system, which brings with it the power to ship music to your Sonos audio system.
That’s not as neat, although, as it is advisable to specify which room or speaker you wish to pay attention on. A system comprised of Sonos Ones, alternatively, will reply primarily based on proximity – until you instruct in any other case.
The mixture of the Sonos Play:1’s audio skills and voice management’s usefulness and intelligence is an actual winner, notably because the One prices broadly the identical as its predecessor.
After ironing out a few of the preliminary software program bugs, and including options similar to Alexa management of Spotify, AirPlay 2 and 24-bit streaming through Qobuz, the Sonos One cements its place as among the best good audio system available on the market.
When you do not worth the voice assistant chances are you’ll be completely proud of the One SL, and there is now additionally the Sonos Move and Roam transportable Bluetooth/wi-fi audio system to think about after all, however for compact comfort and high quality, the Sonos One nonetheless comes extremely advisable as an excellent entrance into Sonos.