Sonos is one of the biggest names in the world of home audio, offering everything from smart speakers to sound bars and professional amps.
However, when it comes to buying a Sonos speaker for your home, it can be difficult to work out which one is the best fit for you.
That’s why we’re here: To show you where each Sonos speaker excels, find out which ones have the best features and help find the best Sonos speaker for you.
Which Sonos Speaker is Best?
Sonos currently offers three speakers and, if we’re being honest, you’re unlikely to be disappointed in the audio quality from any of them. Even the cheapest Play:1 model sounds great.
All of the models are able to stream content from your phone, tablet or computer with the excellent Sonos app. This includes music from Spotify, internet radio, podcasts, audiobooks and more.
Sonos Play:1 – The cheapest Sonos model will fill a small-ish room with crisp sound, but works best in a pair or multiroom set-up.
Sonos One – Similar to the Play:1, but adds voice control and Amazon Alexa support. Think of it as a better-sounding Amazon Echo that doubles as a multiroom speaker.
Sonos Play:5 – Sonos’ most expensive speaker. Its excellent stereo sound will fill any room, and you can also use it with peripheral audio devices.
And if you’re still not sure which Sonos is right for you, we’ve rounded up which models have the features that you want.
Sonos Play:1 Speaker
Launched way back in 2013, the Sonos Play:1 is still a brilliant and relatively affordable home speaker. It costs $149 and, while it doesn’t offer full stereo sound, it’s more than capable of filling moderately sized rooms with crisp, accurate sound.
There’s little distortion at high volume and, while the bass won’t knock you over, it’s certainly present and well-managed for a speaker of its diminutive stature. And it is small, standing at less than six-and-a-half inches tall, so it’ll easily fit onto a bookshelf or side table, for example.
Despite its size, you won’t be taking the Play:1 out-and-about with you – the speaker relies on mains power, and is surprisingly heavy at just over 4 lbs.
As a standalone speaker, the Play:1 works well. However, its true brilliance shines through when used in a pair to create full stereo sound, or as part of a multiroom set-up. When paired with another Sonos speaker, you’ll be able to position the Play:1 to fill larger rooms or houses without losing sound quality and volume, or to turn it into a surround sound set-up.
Still, this shouldn’t put you off buying the Play:1 as a standalone speaker. Its small size but big sound make it a perfect choice for most homes.
Buy the Sonos Play:1 on Sonos.com
Lacks stereo sound
Doesn’t show its best qualities in isolation
Sonos One Speaker
Sonos’ One speaker is essentially the same as the cheaper Play:1, but with Amazon Alexa built in. This means that the One can play all your favorite tunes and turn the lights off when you go to bed.
You get the same great sound as the Play:1, which is better than that offered by the Amazon Echo Plus for example, as well as the convenience of voice control and smart home controls. It also offers support for Apple AirPlay 2, which will make it super easy to play content from your iPhone and other Apple products. Google Assistant integration should be arriving this later in 2019, as well.
Similarly to the Play:1, the One does its best work in a pair or multiroom set-up. However, the Sonos One is still an excellent speaker on its own, and it can make your life easier with smart home controls and Alexa integration.
Buy the Sonos One from Sonos.com
Impressive smart home hub capabilities
Voice control convenience
Better sounding than Amazon alternatives
More expensive than Amazon Echo hubs
Sounds better when paired
Sonos Play:5 Speaker
The Play:5 is the most expensive regular speaker made by Sonos, costing $499. It’s aimed at serious audiophiles, with improved internals; its six digital amplifiers, three tweeters, and three mid-woofers for designed for clearer high-end and mid-range sounds, as well as better bass.
Unlike the cheaper models, the Play:5 offers full stereo sound in a single unit, and is perfectly capable of filling larger rooms with full-bodied, rich and bassy sound. However, you can also pair the Play:5 with other Sonos speakers, and it serves brilliantly as the central unit in a multiroom speaker set-up.
The Play:5 also offers an audio line-in for 3.5mm connections. This seemingly low-tech addition transforms the Play:5 from a speaker you control with your phone to a speaker which can work with turntables, among other audio accessories.
Buy the Sonos Play:5 from Sonos.com
Incredible sound quality
Extra versatility from line-in connection
Room filling sound and rich bass
Lacks voice control
Sonos Features to Look For
When it comes to choosing your Sonos, it’s worth having a think about the features you need the most in order to narrow down your options.
Voice Control – At the moment, only the Sonos One has voice control. You can connect an Echo Dot to Play:1 and Play:5 to give it voice control, though.
Multi-speaker linkup – Your luck’s in: All three Sonos speakers can be paired together. We’d probably opt for a Sonos One and a Play:1 to start building your Sonos collection.
Connects to non-Sonos peripherals – There’s only one choice here: The Play:5, with its 3.5mm line-in connection.
Compactness – Short on space? You’ll need the Play:1 or Sonos One.
Bass – If you’re after serious bass, we’d opt for the Play:5 with its built-in subwoofer. Sonos does offer a wireless subwoofer, but this costs an extra $700.
Wall-mounting – If you want to put your Sonos speakers up on the wall, we’d opt for the Play:1 – it’s small and won’t dominate your living room. You can wall-mount the One and Play:5 as well, but shouting at the ceiling to change the song doesn’t seem right, while the Play:5’s extra bulk might be a bit much for some.
Bluetooth connectivity – If you’re looking for a Bluetooth speaker, look elsewhere. These Sonos speakers connect to your home Wi-Fi network.
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