Sonos One (Gen 2) – A true speaker at heart with a smart mind too.
Table of Contents
The design is sleek and almost cylindrical, resembling Sonos Play 1. Its compact countertop design looks elegant on the kitchen counter, bedside table, on the pool deck or office space. I even saw it in a couple of bars and restaurants. Looks so classy, you will agree. It has a perforated mesh matching the top and bottom panel. So, it is either black or white depending on what you choose. The top has far-field mics, touch-enabled to play/pause/skip tracks and mute the mic options. Inside it has a 4-core processor and is BLE (Bluetooth low energy) enabled. This is not the Bluetooth you use for streaming. This Sonos Wi-fi only speaker has a rubber bottom to prevent slips and a power socket. It has the ethernet port and pairing button at the back.
How to install/use Sonos One Speaker
You need to install Sonos App on your smartphone and it guides you through the rest of the setup. And you can use it as a standalone or pair it with another Sonos One, Sonos one SL, or Sonos one (gen 1) speakers. Check this link for the list of compatible and in-compatible Sonos products with Sonos One (Gen 2).
Are you thinking of the Pros and Cons too? Then let’s go…
- You have a choice of 2 voice assistants to choose from and with these in-built, you do not have to invest in a separate smart home speaker.
- It also has Apple’s Airplay support. You can watch on your iPhone, iPad or any Apple airplay enabled device and listen to the audio on the Sonos One.
- Sonos has integration options with Samsung Smart Things, IFTTT, Home Automation and Hubitat. (More on this later…)
- You can tune into several music providers – Spotify, Deezer, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneinRadio, Amazon Music, Apple Music, YouTube Music.
- Automatic updates happen without you bothering to update them.
- Doesn’t support audio streaming through Bluetooth.
- Is not portable speaker, unlike Sonos Move.
- Cannot use it as a speaker for your smart TV, unless it has Apple Airplay.
- There are cheaper options with similar features.
Here’s a table comparing Sonos One detailed specs with Apple Home Pod, Amazon Echo Studio and Google Home Max.
Comparison with other top brands
|Brand||Sonos One-Gen 2||Google Home Max||Amazon Echo Studio||Apple Home Pod|
|Distinguishing feature||Supports Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple’s Airplay 2.||Is bilingual and has a vocabulary of 48 languages.||Dolby ATMOS 3D audio experience.||360 surround audio, fares best among the competition.|
|Microphones||6 far-field mics with noise cancellation.||6 mics in a Circular array||7 far-field integrated mics||6 mics in the ring|
|Speakers||Two Class-D digital amplifiers in tune with the speaker drivers and acoustic architecture. One tweeter for high-frequency audio. 1 mid-range woofer.||Two 114 mm high dual voice coil woofers with high excursion (+/- 11 mm) with 2 custom 18 mm tweeters.||Three 51mm mid-range speakers, 25mm tweeters, 133mm woofers||• One High-excursion woofer and an array of seven horn-loaded tweeters, each with its own custom amplifier|
|Home controls(Lights, fans, Thermostat, |
Security system, coffeemaker and
many smart home appliances and devices)
The complete list is here
The complete list is here
The complete list is here
|Wifi & Bluetooth||802.11b/g, 2.4 GHz, |
|802.11b / g / n / ac and with 2.4 or 5 GHz. Bluetooth® 4.2|
• Supported Bluetooth profiles:
• AVRCP controller
• and target
• A2DP sink
• and source
• GATT server
|Dual-band Wi-Fi supports 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 and 5 GHz) networks.|
Bluetooth profiles supported:
A2DP and AVRCP
|802.11ac WLAN with MIMO. Bluetooth 5.0|
|Voice assistant||Google Assistant and |
|Ok Google, Hey Google,||Amazon Alexa||Hey Siri|
|Stereo function with pairing||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Intercom function in the space||No||Yes with broadcast feature||Yes||No|
|Colours||Black/White||Chalk, Charcoal||Charcoal grey||White, Space Gray|
|Physical Connectivity port||One 10/100 Mbps Ethernet port and Power supply||3.5 mm||3.5 mm and mini-optical Toslink line [to turn it into a speaker]||3.5 mm|
|Weight (in kg)||1.85||5.3||3.5||2.5|
|Dimensions (in mm)||161.45 x 119.7 x 119.7||336x190x154||206×175||172×142|
|Check Now||Sonos One (Gen 2)||Google Home Max||Amazon Echo Studio||Apple Homepod|
For a detailed overview of the Amazon Echo 3rd Gen, Amazon Echo Studio, Amazon Echo Dot, Google Home Max, Google Home, Google Nest Mini and Apple Home pod, refer to my previous article.
Why Sonos One?
So, what else is packed in the Sonos One-Gen 2 that could possibly make it a better choice for you?
Firstly, if you already have Sonos speaker system or intend to have a Sonos home-theatre set upin your space sometime, this one’s tailored for you. You can completely avoid investing in a separate smart home device. Sonos One connects seamlessly to other pairable Sonos devices, or other speakers you care about.
Keep in mind that for Smart Home lighting, if you want to use Philips Hue Lamps, which is by far the best, you will need a Philips Hue Hub (available in the starter kit) to manage the lights and use advanced features of Philips Lighting. For basic power off and power on of lights though, just using the Alexa, Google Home or any 3rd party home automation platform works. Philips Hue comes with a powerful bunch of accessories too. Like a Lamp for your study, TV, bedrooms, bathrooms, ceilings, outdoor, light strips. Check out their entire smart lights catalogue here.
LIFX is a competitor for Philips Hue and the clear advantage is, it does not need a smart hub for advanced features. But on the other hand, you will have to connect each bulb separately to the Wi-fi when you want to add a new bulb unlike Philips Hue where you can just do a search and add it where you want to. However, the LIFX is much more affordable and decent range of options. Like Mini LED, Smart White Light, LED strips.
More ways to make your Sonos One speaker Smart
If you are super techy sorts, this might excite you. You can convert Sonos One as a smart speaker in many different ways as well. Yes! you heard it right. I found these interesting ways. Check it out.
1. IFTTT – It stands for If This Then That. You download their app, sign-up for an account (It’s free!) and start using the applets(rules) there or create your own. For instance, with just a button click, you can start Sonos with your favourites, turn on Philips Hue to the pre-set brightness in a room and lock the door too. You have set them all in the IFTTT app, which means you can create your own custom rules that trigger how your smart home speakers, devices and accessories should behave. They are called Applets with triggers in the IFTTT world.
All applets work with the IFTTT app installed on your smartphone as a standalone, and also as an add on to your other smart speakers (Like Google Home, Amazon Echo) or smart speaker supported devices(Like Sonos One or Sonos Beam). Installing App on your smartphone is necessary though. I find it pretty straightforward to use.
2. Smart Things from Samsung is also a smart hub. It also allows integration of your Sonos One with it or any voice enabled smart assistants. So, this works with or without an actual smart speaker. You can use it just with Sonos One and you don’t have to have Google Home App or Alexa App installed to get this working. You need to get the Smart things hub though.
Smart things also allows control of lights, thermostat, smart locks, smart doorbells, allowing video monitoring(1080P) of your home when you’re away.
3. Home Assistant is yet another smart home provider and integrates well with Sonos One. The platform is on Raspberry Pi. Go for this if learning and following tech come easy to you and you are willing to experiment and have time.
4. Hubitat is also a powerful home-automation platform. It integrates with Sonos with/without the Google/Alexa app installed. One reason this stands out is it can help you control your home even without internet after the basic set up.
Sonos Boost Setup
Also if you live in a huge space, Sonos offers Sonos Boost for un-interrupted music streaming. It creates a private network for Sonos devices. It enhances the wi-fi reception to the Sonos and if there are too many wi-fi interferences from inside or outside your home, the Boost aids in giving you a better listening experience. This is completely optional.
Sonos One SL – Microphone Free.
Sonos One SL is a $20 cheaper option without the microphone. So, no voice capability in that. At least, I wouldn’t recommend it when you can get a voice-enabled smart speaker with just an extra $20. In fact, that’s an extra $200-$300 upfront savings for you if you intend to go for a smart home speaker later on. But if you are against voice enabled speakers and love your privacy, Go for it!
Fancy a speaker in your bathroom, kitchen or gym but short of space? Then these shelves with a sophisticated look would be perfect. It is wide enough to hold the speaker and even minor additional stuff. Like, say your smartphone and keys as well. These durable shelves are made of sturdy yet lightweight plastic and you would feel a world of difference when you buy them instead of other un-branded shelves or stands. Most reviews say that. Go check. The shelf saves valuable floor or room space as you can wall mount and set it up in 5 minutes.
Home theatre setup warrants a surround of speakers around your space. Enhance the aesthetic feel of your home theatre set up with a pair of these stands. The clever design lends itself more as a piece of furnishing and also does well to hide the un-sightly wires out of sight.
You would love to feast your eyes on the entire speaker range of Sonos even if you are not a music lover.
To conclude, let me tell you Sonos One – Gen 2, does a fairly decent job in the audio department. It sounds almost like Sonos Play 1(if you’ve heard it before!). A pair of Sonos One Gen 2 makes a great stereo pair for home and pool parties or for two separate rooms in your house. The Sonos One pair is also available at a discounted sale price often. Prices are subject to change as per Amazon’s policy. The utility of Sonos One into a full-fledged smart home system is a possibility. Either through Google, Alexa App, or through 3rd party smart home automation providers discussed above.
There are certain features still unavailable when integrated just with Google or Alexa (like broadcast feature). Also, as a workaround you can achieve the same with some of the free or paid smart home providers listed above. I can bet on IFTTT for sure. You also can choose to first integrate it with Google or Alexa app and then extend the benefits from other smart home automation providers too.
The lack of Bluetooth in Sonos One can be excused (who still uses it anyway?) and integration with Apple Airplay2 is appreciable. And not to forget the freedom of streaming from your favourite music providers is a bonus too. So, for me Sonos One, Gen 2 is a grand Winner. Hope you loved reading this Sonos One review. What do you think?
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