Sonos One Review

Updated on December 12, 2017
Ariel Laur profile image

Ariel Laur is a music aficionado, but not quite an audiophile, who specializes in product reviews.

The Sonos One has an elegant design and is offered in white and black.
The Sonos One has an elegant design and is offered in white and black. | Source

The Sonos One is the latest Wi-Fi speaker from Sonos, a company well known for quality smart speakers. A smart speaker is a wireless and smart audio device that uses various ways to connect. The unique feature that sets the Sonos One apart from other speakers is that it included Alexa, the voice activated service provided by Amazon. While the speaker offers excellent sound and can be paired with other Sonos One speakers to make a stereo pair, the Alexa feature has interface problems which create frustration for the user.

Why Buy Sonos One?

My experience with Sonos began inadvertently when I was looking for a way to turn my new LED lights on and off in my kitchen without using the lighting app. While researching possible ways to switch these lights on and off I discovered, the Alexa, Amazon’s voice activation system, seemed like the perfect way to go. With Alexa I would be able to control my lights with only a verbal request, how great is that?

Sonos One Includes Alexa

I was excited to use Alexa to control my new lights as well as gain a large amount of other features such as playing music, getting the weather forecast or calling my Mom, all through voice activation only. My concern was that if I was going to get any kind of speaker, I wanted it to have quality sound. This brought me into considering purchasing the Sonos One – Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built In, a product which combines quality sound and Alexa. I was simply thrilled to have found this!

Sonos One has Issues with Implementing Alexa

My thrill ended quickly after hooking the speakers up through the Sonos app. The problem was that the Alexa voice activation is simply lacking. Alexa wouldn’t always understand my commands and this would frustrate me. I was able to compare the Alexa function to the Echo Plus that I also purchased for a separate room. The Alexa, working through the Echo Plus, was essentially seamless. For instance when listening to music, I like to ask Alexa to skip to the next song. The Echo Plus does this seamlessly while the Sonos struggles. I also found myself yelling “Alexa” to get the Sonos One to activate or hear my commands, plus she misunderstood many of my commands. It made me feel like I was using the beta version of the product rather than a product with the kinks already worked out.

I was sad to have to send the speakers back since the sound was so beautiful, especially for the size of the speaker. The quality of sound was clear and crisp with a good quality base. Overall it was very pleasing to the ear.

Unmatched Elegant Design

The Sonos is also an elegant looking speaker, it has clean lines, it comes in white and black and doesn’t take up much space. This also made it difficult to send the speaker back.

Sonos One is a beautiful looking speaker with excellent sound quality.
Sonos One is a beautiful looking speaker with excellent sound quality. | Source

Sonos App is Easy to Set Up

The Sonos app was very thorough in setting up the speakers, the speakers are set up specifically for the room that you will use them in. It was also easy to set them as left and right, for the stereo experience.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Beautiful sounding speakers
  • Elegant minimalist design
  • Sonos app offers many options
  • Two speakers can make a stereo pair
  • Will be getting Audible and Google Assist soon

Cons

  • Alexa voice commands inconsistent and spotty

Trying the Bose Touch 10 Wireless Speaker Instead

As a result of the negative aspects of this speaker, I decided instead to try out the Bose Sound Touch 10 Wireless Speaker and use it in conjunction with the Echo Dot. Using the Echo Dot and connecting it via a cord seems to be a better option so that I can use Alexa in its most proficient version and have excellent sound too. I have just ordered this unit as well as the 3.5mm wire connector as I prefer not to use a wireless blue tooth connection.

The back of Sonos one has a HDMI port, but no 'line in' for audio.
The back of Sonos one has a HDMI port, but no 'line in' for audio. | Source

High Hopes are Shattered

Although the Sonos One speaker has excellent sound quality, beautiful and clean styling, and seems like a very well made product and comes from a company with an excellent reputation, it didn’t serve my purposes, especially the music voice activation requests that I like to make using Alexa. I hope that in the future these kinks can be smoothed out and the Sonos One can seamlessly combine Alex and great sound in one product. For now, I am looking elsewhere.

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