Sonos is one of many earliest pioneers of multi-room audio setups and wi-fi house audio streaming. Though the corporate’s product vary now covers even moveable audio merchandise, it is nonetheless finest identified for its linked good audio system, such because the Sonos One, which I am reviewing at present. Now formally obtainable in India by means of a distributor, Sonos hopes to tackle current good speaker manufacturers similar to Amazon and Google with a serious differentiator – a deal with sound high quality.
Priced at Rs. 21,999 in India, the Sonos One (Gen 2) is a Wi-Fi speaker with assist for Apple AirPlay 2, and has the power to stream music instantly off the Web. Though it’s costlier than choices such because the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo series, the Sonos One guarantees higher sound high quality. Does this good speaker dwell as much as the hype? Discover out on this evaluate.
Sonos One (Gen 2) design and specs
Sonos is finest identified for its high-end audio system and residential audio options, however among the firm’s newer merchandise are positioned as extra inexpensive one-box options which are simpler to put in and use. The Sonos One (Gen 2) is like lots of the different good audio system at present available on the market, within the sense that it is a single machine that have to be linked to an influence socket and is meant to stay in a single place.
The Sonos One (Gen 2) speaker has an oblong block-like form, with a metallic grille on round it, and a plastic base and high. The underside of the speaker has a socket for the included energy adapter. The again has an Ethernet port for wired connectivity and a single button that controls some pairing-related capabilities. The speaker weighs 1.85kg, and is kind of heavy for a product of its measurement.
The highest of the Sonos One (Gen 2) has a touch-sensitive zone, which is used to manage playback and the amount. There’s additionally a microphone button if you must mute the mic. The play/pause button and quantity controls work with single faucets, whereas swiping from left to proper or proper to left on this space will skip to the subsequent or earlier monitor respectively. You can even management these capabilities out of your smartphone.
The audio drivers on the Sonos One (Gen 2) consist of 1 tweeter and one mid-woofer. The speaker is powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core processor and has 1GB of RAM. The Sonos One (Gen 2) doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity, and makes use of solely Wi-Fi to stream music off the Web by means of linked companies. Google’s Chromecast protocol isn’t supported on the Sonos One (Gen 2) both, so you will not have the ability to solid music to the speaker from an Android cellphone, even with supported apps.
Though the corporate mentions that each 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi are supported, I had varied connectivity points with 5GHz Wi-Fi and had to make use of a 2.4GHz connection to make use of the Sonos One (Gen 2) correctly. Sonos’ well-known multi-room implementation might be arrange by means of the app when you’ve got a number of audio system in your house, and you may also arrange a stereo pair with two Sonos One audio system in the identical room.
For the reason that Sonos One (Gen 2) is a Wi-Fi-enabled speaker, you want the Sonos app to set it up (obtainable on iOS and Android). The method took round 10 minutes in complete, together with connecting the speaker to my Wi-Fi router and linking my streaming companies to it. You can even undergo the ‘TruePlay’ tuning course of which is alleged to optimise sound based mostly on the acoustics of your room.
The app is kind of easy to make use of as soon as totally arrange, with tabs for fast entry to not too long ago performed tracks, playlists and curations in your linked streaming companies, and settings for the Sonos One itself. There’s additionally a helpful Search tab that allows you to search throughout all linked companies and your personal playlists with key phrases.
Companies that may be linked with the Sonos One (Gen 2) embody Apple Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible, Gaana, and JioSaavn. You additionally get free, pre-authenticated entry to Sonos Radio, which helps you to stream curated Web radio stations and playlists on the speaker.
In the event you’re utilizing the Sonos One (Gen 2) with any AirPlay-compatible machine similar to an iPhone or iPad, you may play audio instantly on the speaker utilizing any of the supported apps on the machine itself, due to AirPlay 2 assist. This naturally makes the Sonos One significantly well-suited to be used with Apple units. The Sonos One helps linking Google Assistant or Alexa for hands-free voice instructions in some nations, however disappointingly, this function was not supported in India on the time of this evaluate.
Sonos One (Gen 2) efficiency
The Sonos One (Gen 2) is a great speaker for all intents and functions, however the incapacity to arrange a voice assistant in India is a substantial downside. As of now, it is not attainable to simply ask the speaker for the content material you need. It is a very fundamental and basic function for any good speaker such because the Amazon Echo vary or the Apple HomePod mini. Nonetheless, the Sonos One remains to be very usable even with out this function, albeit with a number of extra steps wanted to play what you need.
You would possibly surprise why consumers ought to even think about this machine over competing good audio system, given this important downside and its excessive worth, however I feel this may be answered with one very sturdy level – sound high quality. The Sonos One could be very spectacular in terms of sound high quality, delivering loud, satisfying, and refined sound that’s comfortably superior to what I’ve heard on every other mainstream good speaker, together with the equally priced Amazon Echo Studio.
I used the Sonos One (Gen 2) with an Apple iPhone because the controlling machine. I discovered that utilizing AirPlay from inside apps similar to Apple Music, YouTube Music, and Audible was quite a bit simpler than utilizing the Sonos app. The latter works decently properly for fetching content material, and this will likely be your solely choice should you’re utilizing an Android cellphone. There have been a few events on which the apps weren’t in a position to detect the speaker by means of AirPlay, however this was simply fastened by rebooting both the speaker or my router.
As soon as linked utilizing AirPlay, streaming was steady and lag-free, sound high quality was nearly as good because it may very well be, and playback and quantity controls had been fast and responsive. Whereas all of this might have been quite a bit simpler with a voice assistant, not one of the different performance of the speaker is crippled so it is not a complete loss.
Apple’s Siri voice assistant is often in a position to hand music off from one machine to a different utilizing AirPlay protocols, however all of my makes an attempt to do that with audio from my AirPods Pro to the Sonos One utilizing voice instructions had been met with errors. This did work correctly when utilizing AirPlay throughout the Apple Music app; the music paused on my earphones and resumed on the Sonos speaker after a second. As soon as once more, voice instructions do not appear to work with the Sonos One (Gen 2) in any respect.
Sound high quality on the Sonos One (Gen 2) is, as acknowledged above, distinctive for a sensible speaker of this worth and measurement. The speaker is loud, refined, cohesive, and detailed with all genres, and the sonic signature is versatile sufficient to adapt properly to simply about any form of audio content material being performed. Even at excessive volumes, there wasn’t a lot distortion or wrestle to be heard from the speaker, and it fairly simply delivered highly effective sound that may very well be heard clearly even from totally different rooms in my house.
Listening to Let’s Groove by Earth, Wind & Fireplace, the Sonos One supplied up tight, refined bass, whereas permitting for loads of sparkle within the highs and definition within the mid-range of this disco monitor. The sound was vigorous and satisfying, with far more vitality being delivered than what I anticipated from a speaker of this measurement. The flexibleness of the sound was noticeable even with various kinds of music, together with the punchy and aggressive Growth by Tiesto, with the speaker delivering precisely what was wanted.
Even with gentler tracks similar to Reality by Kamasi Washington, the Sonos One allowed element to shine by means of. With audio books, I used to be in a position to hear Ray Porter’s glorious narration of Heaven’s River by Dennis E. Taylor clearly and attentively even from about 10 ft away. The Sonos One is a well-tuned good speaker that simply outperforms all of its opponents in terms of sound high quality.
TruePlay tuning on the Sonos One (Gen 2) is kind of a tedious course of, because it requires you to maneuver across the room together with your cellphone for round 10-Quarter-hour to measure sound utilizing its microphone, all whereas retaining issues quiet. The method failed and wanted to be began over a few instances once I tried this, due to even the slightest disturbance similar to somebody talking in a unique room, or a doorbell ringing. Nonetheless, as soon as accomplished, I discovered the sound a bit extra vigorous and open with TruePlay energetic, and would advocate going by means of these steps for finest outcomes.
Sensible audio system usually have to verify some packing containers in terms of options similar to Web connectivity, the power to hyperlink with standard streaming companies, and entry to voice assistants. As of now, the Sonos One (Gen 2) solely fulfills two of the above necessities, though it’s attainable that the corporate may roll out assist for voice assistants in India sooner or later. Nonetheless, on all different counts similar to connectivity, usability, and sound high quality, the Sonos One is a superb good speaker.
Though costly at Rs. 21,999, the Sonos One (Gen 2) sounds significantly higher than every other good speaker I’ve heard, and this alone makes it value contemplating when you’ve got the finances. It may also be value contemplating the Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen), which though not nearly as good when it comes to sound high quality, does have a superb 10-inch display screen and full-fledged entry to Alexa, for a extra full good expertise.