The Sonos One smart speaker has been on my radar for quite a while now, and I’m glad I finally got to review one. I’ve been a huge fan of wireless audio, and I hate pesky cables messing up the entire experience. Transitioning from 3.5mm audio jack cabled earphones to TWS earbuds was the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And now with the Sonos One, I think it’s time to transition to a unified wireless speaker system.
The Sonos One looks similar to the company’s existing Play 1 speaker, but it does have a few upgrades here and there. On the back, there’s the Ethernet port and the WiFi button, while the bottom has the power port.
On the top, there are the touch-capacitive surface with all the audio controls, LED status light to let you know when Alexa/Google is listening, and mute button. Swiping left or right skips your music playlist forward or backward, while tapping in the center will play/pause your music. Tapping on the left and right halves of the panel will raise or lower the volume.
These controls are simple, but great to have, because most of the time you’ll be controlling your speaker from the Sonos app. Even so, if you’re nearby the speaker and you’re away from your phone, you can easily skip a track or lower the volume using the touch buttons. On top of that, you can also control playback using your voice.
That’s right, the Sonos One now has voice control, where it is equipped with six internal microphones to determine voice. The microphones are also paired with the Class-D amplifiers, as well as a tweeter and mid-woofer driver combo.
Setting up the Sonos One was a breeze. After taking it out of its box, it took me only two minutes to get it connected to my WiFi. Just download the Sonos app, turn on your speaker, and the app will discover all the compatible Sonos speakers in your home. Next, press the Wi-Fi button on the back of the speaker to pair them up and assign the speaker(s) to your rooms so the app knows which speaker is positioned where. We placed the Sonos One in the bedroom, while the Sonos Beam we had was placed in the living room acting as our soundbar.
Part of the setup process also involves “Trueplay Tuning”. This is where you walk around your room with your phone as your speaker plays a couple of test sounds. Your phone will listen to how the speaker sounds in the environment, and adjust the sound quality accordingly.
Do note that the TruePlay feature is only available on iOS for now.
If you’d like, you can also go into the settings part of the app, and adjust the bass and treble levels of the speakers manually. For me, I’m a fan of thumping bass, so I’ve adjusted them to have +10 bass and +5 treble. The sound turned out amazing, better than default even, but more on that later.
The Sonos One does have Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built right in, so you can also add a voice assistant to your Sonos One in the settings via the app. Unfortunately, both voice assistants aren’t available in Malaysia for now, so you’re not able to add them. But, there is a workaround for this right here.
The Sonos One has been a real treat to use on a daily basis. With the Sonos app, I’ve scheduled it to play music in the morning at 8am to wake me up. From 10am onwards, it would switch to some lo-fi beats to accompany me while I’m working. From 5pm to 7pm, the playlist would change to some jazz music to soothe the mood after a long day’s work.
Voice control works great too, and it opens up so many possibilities because it can also act as a hub to control all your other smart home devices in your home, as long as it has been connected to Google/Amazon prior.
The Sonos One also supports Apple AirPlay 2. Before this, I was using an Android device to do the setup, and recently I’ve switched over to the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max. Because the speaker is already connected to WiFi, Apple could immediately detect the speaker and I can start playing music on it right away from the control centre, no additional pairing needed!
We’re not at all surprised that the Sonos One speaker sounds so good, because this is a Sonos speaker after all. The Sonos One speaker has a very rich sound with great isolation, despite only being just one speaker. It has a tonne of power, and can go really loud.
The highs are bright, and the mids are awesome for amazing vocal performance. As mentioned above, the bass is extremely impressive for a speaker that is so small. It can handle lows excellently, without any rattle or crackling even at loud volumes.
To make it even better, you can pair it with another Sonos One speaker for better stereo separation and detailed audio. Pairing the two Sonos One with the Sonos Beam will then give you a more immersive home theater experience.
Sonos One – Conclusion
The Sonos One is already an amazing speaker on its own with great sound quality and ease of use. But because it now has Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built right in, it just made the speaker a whole lot better. The Sonos app also makes for a buttery smooth experience. You can schedule music, individually tune each connected speaker, the entire flow is just seamless.
Priced at RM1,199, the Sonos One packs a real smart punch and it is definitely at the top of our recommendation list for anyone wanting to get a smart speaker system for their home. Forget the Google Home/Home Mini, the Sonos One is what you want. But beware, once you’ve heard and experienced how good the Sonos ecosystem is, you’ll be adding more Sonos speakers to your home in no time.