Audio speakers are essential for creating a working sound system. There are several manufacturers who promise to create the best devices on the market.
If you're looking for a functional, speaker for your smart home, Sonos offers one of the best options on the market.
Table of Contents
- Setup Process
- Sound Quality
- Mobile Application
- The Bottom Line Sonos One vs Sonos Play 1
It's crucial for smart home devices to have a simple setup process since no one likes spending hours reading manuals and watching YouTube guides.
Since all of these smart speakers are from Sonos, their installation process is the same. Setting up a Sonos Speaker 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 in 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 to Wi-Fi using the mobile application
- Do the wavy-wavy-hand-dance
- Done. You can start asking Alexa or Google Assistant to play your favorite 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.
All Sonos speakers have a good reputation for their visual appearance. Compared to other smart home speakers on the market, Sonos is the best visually.
The Sonos One and Sonos PLAY:1 have identical looks, weight, and dimensions. However, while they look the same, there are small updates in the Sonos One design. However, the Sonos One is the exact same design as the Sonos One SL.
Sonos states that the One and the SL model follow in the footsteps of the PLAY:1. The main difference is that the Sonos One and the SL version have capacitive control play pause buttons and no physical buttons on top and Play:1 does have physical buttons.
The Sonos One and Sonos One SL are 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.
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 that lists all the main features of Play 1 and Sonos One. Surprisingly, Sonos One and PLAY:1 have a lot in common:
Sonos One, Sonos Play 1, Sonos One SL Features
Sonos One vs Sonos one SL
The new Sonos one SL is almost exactly the same as the Sonos One, except it’s a little less voice-assistant ready because it doesn't have a built-in microphone, the voice control goes through the app.
Also if you want to use the Stereo Pair For Surround Sound or for Multi-Room Music that needs to go through the Sonos app as well.
Sonos One SL vs Sonos Play One
While these two share a majority of features, the Play 1 did not have airplay 2 support while the new Sonos one and SL can connect to Apple's airplay 2. And Sonos fixed some bug issues that were present in PLAY:1.
This is the crux of our article as the main reason people purchase these wireless speakers are for their sound capabilities.
Sonos One is the successor of the PLAY:1 and the One SL wireless speakers. With a slightly higher price.
Sonos one Test
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 neighbors 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 favorite tracks, I'm quite skeptical when testing it on specific devices. As expected, Sonos One was flawless and produced high-quality audio.
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.
Sonos Stereo Pair
Luckily, you can easily solve the issue by purchasing two Sonos One speakers and connecting them. It can also be connected for multi-room audio.
Be aware that you can't connect all Sonos speakers with all Sonos products. Stereo pair would only work if connected with the same model, like the Sonos One with another Sonos one.
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.
Connect to Amazon Alexa
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 speakers use 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 do everything an Echo dot does. On top of that, the voice control of Sonos One is more natural.
With the recent update, you now have Spotify and a ton of streaming services. If you're an active user, that's a wonderful addition.
Sonos One has great plans ahead. It's the first speaker system to ever promise compatibility with both Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
In 2018, Sonos announced that it officially supports Google Home voice control. The app supports Apple's AirPlay 2 with the airplay 2 you can 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 two speakers (for stereo sound), two Sonos One's will produce unbelievably good sounds.
Sonos One in bedroom
Sonos PLAY:1 – Sonos One SL
The Play:1 and SL exceed the capabilities of the majority of the speakers in their price range. They are the smallest speakers (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. They sound 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 Play 1 Test
We tested 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 Sonos Play:1 and Sonos 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 sounded 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).
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.
Play 1 Drawback
The significant drawback of the Play:1 is its inability to fill a room with high ceilings. If you happen to live in a place 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, the full potential of the speaker is unlocked if two speakers are paired to get the stereo sound. That's pretty much true. We paired two Play:1 speakers and the results were much better.
PLAY:1 Bedroom when the problem appears
The Sonos One SL test
We tested the Sonos SL in the same room too. The SL version was the exact same as the One version. I think it is the same Speaker just without the microphone, which means it doesn't work well with Alexa or google assistant.
You can control the Sonos One SL with a voice assistant such as Google assistant but only through the mobile application. And for Alexa, you would need an Echo dot.
Sonos' mobile application is a wonderful addition to the Sonos system. It's straightforward, intuitive, and well-built. It has a lot of useful features and offers some good streaming services.
You can stream audio 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 in how the app looks on the inside, we took some pictures of it:
The only issue here is that 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.
Sonos One is a powerful wireless smart speaker with built-in voice control. Get rich, room-filling sound with Sonos one, and control it with voice, the Sonos app, Apple Airplay 2, and more. Amazon Alexa is built right in so you can play music completely hands-free.
If you ever encounter any issues with your Sonos system, 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.
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 Sonos One vs Sonos Play 1
Both speakers are powerful and have thousands of positive reviews and high ratings. The Sonos One, SL, and Play:1 perform much better when paired with an identical speaker.
The stereo sound makes everything more clear and rich. And makes your home feel like a smart home.
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 One SL it's a more powerful and functional smart speaker. And it has the ability to use google assistant straight from the speaker.
We would definitely not recommend the Play:1, Sonos discontinued producing the Play:1 model so it's smart to spend a little more and purchase the Sonos One.
Sonos One is the powerful smart speaker with built-in voice control. Get rich, room-filling sound with Sonos one, and control it with voice, the Sonos app, Apple Airplay2, and more. Amazon Alexa is built right in so you can play music, check news, set alarms, get your questions answered, and more, completely hands-free.