Audio speakers are essential for creating a working sound system. There are several manufacturers who promise to create the best devices on the market.
Sonos is one of the leading brands and has released several best-selling speakers. Sonos One and PLAY:1 are two of their best-selling audio speakers that have thousands of positive reviews and high ratings.
If you’re looking for a functional, reliable and durable speaker, Sonos offers one of the best options on the market.
Sonos One vs Sonos PLAY:1: Pros & Cons and Verdict
Table of Contets
- 1 Sonos One vs Sonos PLAY:1: Pros & Cons and Verdict
- 1.1 1. Setup Process
- 1.2 2. Design
- 1.3 3. Features
- 1.4 4. Sound Quality
- 1.5 5. Mobile Application
- 1.6 6. Advantages and Disadvantages
- 1.7 7. Support
- 1.8 8. Comparison Chart: SONOS ONE vs SONOS PLAY:1
- 1.9 The Bottom Line
In this Sonos PLAY:1 vs Sonos One article, we’ll discuss, rate and compare the most important aspects of both audio speakers. We’ll also create a few detailed charts and, lastly, we’ll come up with a reasonable verdict and crown either of these two as the leading product.
1. Setup Process
It’s crucial for a device like this to have a simple setup process since no one likes spending hours reading manuals and watching YouTube guides. If Sonos One or PLAY:1 required hours of intensive work for their setup, this would be off-putting for many potential purchasers.
Sonos One and PLAY:1
Since both of these speakers are from Sonos, their installation process is the same. Setting up either of these two is pretty simple and takes about five minutes to complete.
Sonos has uploaded a wonderful video guide that explains the whole thing. If you’re interested how it’s done, take a look:
Just in case you don’t want to watch the video or can’t understand the process, I’ve written a short guide to help you complete the required steps:
- First, connect the speaker to the power source
- Then turn it on
- Connect the speaker to Wi-Fi using the mobile application
- Do the wavy-wavy-hand-dance
- Done. You can start playing music.
That’s it. The Sonos mobile application will guide you through the setup; if you follow the instructions, there’s no chance of messing it up. You can also refer to the user manual for further guidance. Alternatively, you can reach out to the Sonos support team — they’re superb and very helpful.
It’s critical for modern devices to have eye-pleasing and apt designs. The Sonos One and Play:1 will be somewhere indoors and, ideally, they will blend with the surroundings.
All Sonos speakers have a good reputation for their visual appearance. Compared to other speakers on the market, Sonos are the best visually.
The Sonos One and PLAY:1 have identical looks, weight and dimensions. However, while they look the same, there are small updates in the Sonos One design.
Sonos states that the One model follows in the footsteps of the PLAY:1. The main difference is that the Sonos One has capacitive control buttons on top and Play:1 has physical buttons.
The Sonos One is also available in black and white, and, unlike the Play:1’s metal finish, the One model has a matte grille. As for the rest, both have Ethernet and a power input underneath.
I’ve met both Sonos One and PLAY:1 owners and everyone reports being happy with their looks. Importantly, they blend with a room’s interior finish and attract positive comments.
It’s important to know the features of both speakers. Since these two are similar, we need to know if there are any upgrades in the Sonos One. In order to find out, we’ve created a detailed chart which lists all the main features of Play:1 and Sonos One.
|SONOS ONE||SONOS PLAY:1|
|Full Amazon Alexa Integration||Amazon Alexa Integration|
|Multi-Room Music||Multi-Room Support|
|5-Minute Setup||5-Minute Setup|
|Wireless Stream||Wireless Stream|
|Wall Mountable||Wall Mountable|
|Wi-Fi Support||Wi-Fi Support|
|Mobile Application||Mobile Application|
|Two Amplifiers||Two Amplifiers|
|Custom-built Drivers||Custom-built Drivers|
While these two share a majority of features, Sonos One allows you to control your music with your voice. Plus it’s a more future-oriented speaker and has resolved a few bug issues that were present in the PLAY:1.
4. Sound Quality
This is the crux of our article as the main reason people purchase these speakers is for their sound capabilities.
Sonos One is the successor of the PLAY:1 model. We tested the One model in our living room, which is 45m2. While you can’t expect the Sonos One to deliver a similar experience as the Play:3 or Play:5, this particular speaker sounds amazing.
Firstly, the speaker had zero trouble filling the room with sound. If you turn the volume up, it’s quite possible your neighbours will knock for you to turn it back down.
The bass is rich, the sound is clean, and if you think that something isn’t right, you can adjust the bass, loudness and treble using the mobile app.
We tried playing a few tracks on the speaker to fully test its capabilities. Beyonce, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Moby and Drake all sounded good.
I really loved how well the speaker handled Moby’s ‘Go’. Since it’s one of my favourite tracks, I’m quite sceptical when testing it on specific devices. As expected, Sonos One was flawless and made zero mistakes.
You might encounter a small distortion at higher volumes — but that’s nothing to be alarmed about since this is the case even with the Play:3 and Play:5.
Luckily, you can easily solve the issue by purchasing a pair of the One speakers. Be aware that you can’t pair a Sonos One with a Play:1 and vice-versa.
Compared to the Play:1, the bass of the One sounds more balanced. The main advantage of the Sonos One is its voice control. Besides that, there hasn’t been any major change.
In terms of Amazon Alexa, Sonos One was pretty good. It doesn’t lag, listens well and rarely fails to carry out a command.
The trick the speaker uses to fully understand what you’re saying is the following: whenever you say ‘Alexa’, Sonos will lower the volume of the music so that it understands your words.
If you’re curious, the Sonos One can do literally everything an Echo does. On top, the voice of Sonos One is more natural than ever.
With the recent update, you now have the Spotify voice control. If you’re an active user, that’s a wonderful addition. Sonos One has great plans ahead. It’s the first speaker to ever promise compatibility with both Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
In 2018, Sonos One will announce that it officially supports Google Home voice commands. There’s more: Apple’s AirPlay 2 is also on the horizon. Soon, you’ll be able to give commands from every Siri-enabled device.
The only drawback is that we don’t get the ‘Alexa Calls’.
In short, The Sonos One is the most affordable speaker with the best features and capabilities. If you can afford a pair (for stereo sound), two Sonos One’s will produce unbelievably good sounds.
- Sonos One - The powerful smart speaker with voice control built in.
The Play:1 is another cool speaker that exceeds the capabilities of the majority of the speakers in its price range. It’s the smallest speaker (along with the Sonos One) in the Sonos family, but it’s quite powerful and compact.
Don’t let the size of the speaker fool you. Play:1 sounds amazing. As a standalone speaker, it has a rich sound and, for its size and price, it delivers an out-of-the-box experience.
The sound produced by the speaker is room-filling and it’s quite possible to use it as the main source of music. We tested the Play:1 in the same room (which is 45m2). The results weren’t as promising as the Sonos One but it wasn’t disappointing, either.
The thing is that the Play:1 and One can’t be considered as direct competitors since they’re priced quite differently. The Play:1 is the cheapest Sonos speaker on the market and sounds fantastic.
Techno and House music sound amazing on medium volume. On max volume, the PLAY:1 had trouble properly reproducing the bass. You can easily solve this by adding another Play:1 speaker and using the TruePlay feature (if you have an iOS device).
As for the insides of the speaker, a single Sonos PLAY:1 has two drivers, a mid-range/bass driver and a smaller tweeter. What makes the sound of the speaker exceptional is the stronger driver magnets it uses.
The significant drawback of the Play:1 is its inability to fill a room with high ceilings. If you happen to live at a place like with high ceilings, try getting a pair of the Play:1.
Note: the Play:1 is sensitive to placement. According to our tests, it works best if placed in a corner.
Lastly, you might hear it said that the full potential of the speaker is unlocked if two speakers are paired to unlock the stereo sound. That’s pretty much true. We paired two Play:1 speakers and the results were much better.
- Small yet powerful speaker for streaming music and more. Get rich, room-filling sound with Play:1, and control it with the Sonos app.
5. Mobile Application
It’s essential for Sonos speakers to have a functional mobile application since we’ll be using it to control our devices. If the app is hard to use, buggy and glitchy, it’ll lower the user experience and upset a lot of people.
Sonos’ mobile application is wonderful. It’s straightforward, intuitive and well-built. It has a lot of useful features and offers some good streaming services.
You can stream music directly from Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Pandora, Groove and 31+ more services. On top of this, you can stream directly from your private collection using a drive or your computer.
If you’re interested how the app looks on the inside, we took some pictures of it:
The only issue here is that the TruePlay is uniquely available on iOS devices. If you’re an Android fan, you’ll have to borrow an iPhone/iPad from a friend to tune the sound.
The one thing that would have made the app an out-of-the-box experience is if it could stream music, YouTube clips or video game sounds directly from your smartphone. It can still do these things by having a cable and the 3.5mm jack, but it would be great if these were as directly accessible as Apple Music or Spotify.
Compared to what the competitors of Sonos offer, this mobile application is way ahead. It rarely bugs, doesn’t glitch and never freezes.
6. Advantages and Disadvantages
It’s important to know the pros and cons of both speakers. In order to make an informed purchase decision, we need to find out all the advantages and disadvantages of Sonos One and Play:1.
|Well-Balanced Bass||No Bluetooth|
|Full Amazon Alexa Integration||Proprietary system|
|Multi-Room Audio||No High-Res Support|
|Works with Streaming Services||No Google Home Yet|
|Capacitive Control Buttons|
|Straightforward Mobile Application|
|Clear Mids||PURCHASE SONOS ONE|
|Well-Balanced Bass||No Bluetooth|
|Wall Mountable||Proprietary system|
|Multi-Room Audio||No High-Res Support|
|Works with Streaming Services||No Aux Input|
|Amazon Alexa Support|
|Straightforward Mobile Application|
|Clear Mids||PURCHASE SONOS PLAY:1|
So the main difference between these two is the minor design upgrades and the full Amazon Alexa integration. As for the rest, the Sonos One sounds a bit better than the Play:1. The rest of the upgrades are in progress and, in a few months’ time, the One will be a lot better.
If you ever encounter any issues with your Sonos speaker, simply contact Sonos customer care. I’ve reached out a few times and always received professional answers and tips.
They’re responsive, friendly and caring. So if something bad happens or goes wrong, don’t hesitate to contact them. They’re always ready to help.
8. Comparison Chart: SONOS ONE vs SONOS PLAY:1
Before concluding our Sonos Play:1 vs Sonos One article, we’d like to present a detailed chart where we compare the two directly.
|NAME OF AUDIO SPEAKER||ONE||PLAY:1|
|Amazon Alexa Support||Yes (built-in)||Yes|
|Wall Mountable||Yes (from Sanus)||Yes|
|Easy to Set Up||Yes||Yes|
|Dimensions Of The Product||4.7 x 4.7 x 6.4 inches||4.7 x 4.7 x 6.4 inches|
|Problems||No ‘Alexa Call’||Sound Distortion|
|Audio Speaker Name||ONE||PLAY:1|
Sonos One and Play:1 are nearly identical in features. The main difference we find between these two is One’s built-in Alexa, design upgrades and future promises.
While the sound is similar, the One seems slightly superior. Plus, it’s a more future-oriented speaker since it’s quite possible for Sonos to discontinue the Play:1 line.
The Bottom Line
Both speakers are powerful and have thousands of positive reviews and high ratings. Both Sonos One and Play:1 perform much better when paired with an identical speaker. The stereo sound makes everything more clear and rich.
Visually, the One model feels like a stronger-built speaker. The controls and the matte grille look more pleasing and eye-catching. Plus, if you’re an active Alexa user, you’re going to love those new features.
Remember: You can’t pair a Play:1 with a Sonos One. So if you already own a One/Play:1, be sure to purchase an identical speaker. Otherwise, you won’t be getting stereo sound.
We recommend getting the Sonos One over the Play:1. The One model is the latest release, it’s more powerful, functional and smart. It’s quite possible for Sonos to discontinue producing the Play:1 model so it’s smart to spend a little more and purchase the Sonos One.