Sonos One (Gen 2) review: a smart speaker you’d be stupid not to buy

If you're short on time, here's what you need to know: if you want to buy a smart speaker, you should probably buy the second generation Sonos One. It looks phenomenal, considering its compact size, you can add additional speakers later to create a home theater or multi-room setup and, most important of all, Sonos doesn't make you permanently choose between Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa or the Siri as an AI voice assistant that will dictate any other gadget or smart home speaker you buy in the next five years.

If you have time to read some more, we have a few more ideas about this brilliant wireless smart speaker. Read…

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Sonos One (Gen 2) Review: Design

Sonos One is a very cool speaker. It has elegantly rounded corners and a truly minimalist design – there is only one physical button on the whole thing. For our money, it looks better in black than in the white version, but your mileage may vary depending on the decor you are trying to match at home.

This minimalism can work to your detriment. While there are touch-sensitive buttons on the top of Sonos One to play or pause, change the volume and more – they are not as tactile as the physical buttons. Although, admittedly, they look nicer.

Quickly brushing the dust off the top of the speaker accidentally interrupts the music or lowers the volume. Fortunately, you can disable the touch buttons in the Sonos app.

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The Sonos One's design – not to mention the brand's success – means that a variety of third-party wall brackets and wall brackets are available for the speaker. Compared to other similarly priced speakers, such as Amazon Echo Studio, Sonos One owners will find a much wider range of brackets to mount on the walls or stand alone in the living room.

Alternatives to Sonos One

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Sonos One (Gen 2) Review: Sound

The second generation of Sonos One offers where it matters: sound.

Sonos One can really increase the bass without drowning out anything in the mix. Everything seems clear and well balanced, whether you're listening to singers and acoustic composers, heavy metal or talk radio. Despite the compact size – Sonos One can really punch you when it comes to volume. Although you can add multiple speakers to your setup, it is not necessary.

But the real genius of Sonos One is the flexibility to create a connected configuration over time. While most other smart speakers, like Google Home and Amazon Echo, allow you to add extra speakers to deliver stereo or wireless audio in different rooms – Sonos One simply has more options. You can have multiple Sonos speakers play the same audio in different rooms, or use Sonos One to start creating a 5.0 surround sound system for your television for a true home cinema experience.

Sonos One (Gen 2) Review: App And Connectivity

One of the biggest benefits of choosing Sonos over its rivals is that it won't make you choose from one of the many competing voice assistants on the market – Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. This may not seem like a big problem, but if you invest £ 189.99 in Amazon Echo Studio, you are unlikely to buy a Google Home Hub as a smart bedside clock as it will not be able to sync with your Amazon-powered sound system . Likewise, buying a rare album on iTunes can seem like a bad investment if you have several smart Google Home speakers around the house.

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Sonos One works with Google Assistant or Alexa, so you can switch based on the other connected devices you purchase later. And it's not just voice-activated assistants that Sonos One is agnostic.

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The Sonos app allows you to bring music from a multitude of different music services – from Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, a good old iTunes library, Audible, Deezer, Global Radio Player, Google Play Music, Plex, SoundCloud, TIDAL, TuneIn , YouTube Music and many, many more.

With tracks, playlists and radio stations from all of these services at your disposal – there's no way you can't build the perfect music queue. Sonos recently launched its own Radio Sonos service, which selects music around a theme – from dinners to peaceful evenings.

The Sonos app is a little dated, especially on macOS. But this criticism is somewhat debatable, as the company has already announced a revised application with a more modern user interface.

Sonos One Review (Gen 2): Final verdict

  • Pros: Great sound, nice design, works with your existing smart home kit, can be expanded in the future with extra speakers, great app
  • Cons: The microphone array you always hear is not as accurate as some rivals, touch sensitive buttons can be accidentally triggered

The second generation of Sonos One looks great. It has real bass power, keeping everything else perfectly clear. Whatever the genre that makes up most of your playlists, Sonos One can handle it with ease.

The ability to call Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant with your voice or broadcast from an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or Mac using Apple's AirPlay 2 technology – means that it will always fit your smart home setup, regardless whether you switch from an iPhone to an Android, MacBook to ChromeBook or decide to abandon Amazon Echo in favor of a Google Home.

And this is simply not true for all voice activated smart speakers in this price range.

Along with a solid range of stands and accessories to ensure it fits in your home and the ability to pair extra speakers on the line to create an audio solution for the entire home, Sonos One is an easy recommendation for anyone looking a new smart speaker. That's because it's the smartest smart speaker on the market.

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