Product review: Sonos One Smart Speaker

Adding Alexa voice command technology to a critically-acclaimed design, Sonos make a beloved favourite even better.

The chances are, if you’ve ever looked into getting some sort of wireless music system for your house you’ve come across Sonos. It’s literally everywhere. From way back in 2005 when the first Sonos equipment was released up until the present day, its been a massive success and has changed the way we listen to music. They released their first stand alone powered speaker in 2009 and ever since then they’ve taken over the market and quite frankly, dominated it.

But like many technology giants, they haven’t rested on their laurels. Quite the opposite, as with every new Sonos product that gets released they seem to get better and better, including their latest offering: the Sonos One.

Now, if you’re familiar with Sonos speakers you might be thinking this is a warm over of the original Play 1 released back in 2013. Well, you’d be wrong. Sure, it’s got the same size and has the same feel to it but there’s quite a bit more going on inside. But before we see what the difference is I must mention something about the appearance. It’s a pretty simple yet effective change over the original Play 1. Gone are the physical buttons and in their place are touch sensitive controls that are a breeze to use. Just like other Sonos speakers, you can turn the volume up or down and pause the track just with a simple touch, and if you wish to turn the Alexa feature on or off (more on that later), then again it’s just a little press of a button. And by making the whole speaker a uniform colour of black or white, Sonos have somehow made it look completely modernised, minimalist and revamped.

But what if beauty is only skin deep with the new Sonos One? Well, I’m pleased to say this isn’t the case whatsoever.

You can use the One like any other Sonos speaker using their improved smart phone app, but they’ve added something new inside this little beaut with Amazon Alexa voice control. With voice recognition technology becoming more and more popular, it makes total sense to integrate it into your wireless music system. Want to listen to your favourite radio station but your phone is out of reach? Then simply shout for Alexa and she will come running. Well, not literally but she’s there to help out.

So I think I’ll ask Alexa to play me some trusty radio and she’s proceeds to play whatever station I want without any issues. Perfect. What about music from streaming services like Spotify and Amazon Music? Well she’s got that covered now too, as the latest update allows you to be able to do this.

Even the sound seems to have improved over the Sonos Play 1. From what I can tell it seems to have been tuned slightly better, and with the ability to easily pair two Sonos One speakers together to make a stereo pair, it offers a fantastic opportunity to people who want the ease of wireless streaming without sacrificing sound quality. The original Sonos Play 1 speaker is so good it hardly needed improving, but it seems as though Sonos have managed it. Add in the fact it’s got a stylish makeover and Alexa support then it’s definitely worth the extra bump in cost. Amazon Alexa-enabled products are absolutely everywhere at the moment and to add this to an already brilliant speaker is going to keep Sonos ahead of its competition (again).

If you want to see how voice automation can work in your home then call or come down to your local Richer Sounds and we can talk you through it all. We can even offer you a free on site survey in some cases.

Click here to learn more about the Sonos One

Author: Bradley, Plymouth store

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