Sonos One (Gen 2) Smart Wi-Fi Speaker Review: Best Alternative to the HomePod?


Sonos is one in all the earliest pioneers of multi-room audio setups and wi-fi house audio streaming. Though the firm’s product vary now covers even transportable audio merchandise, it is nonetheless finest identified for its related good audio system, akin to the Sonos One, which I am reviewing right now. Now formally out there in India by means of a distributor, Sonos hopes to tackle present good speaker manufacturers akin to Amazon and Google with a significant 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 means to stream music immediately off the Web. Though it’s dearer than choices akin to the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo series, the Sonos One guarantees higher sound high quality. Does this good speaker reside up to the hype? Find out on this evaluation.

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The Sonos One (2nd Gen) works with the Sonos app, which is offered on Android and iOS

 

Sonos One (Gen 2) design and specs

Sonos is finest identified for its high-end audio system and residential audio options, however a few of the firm’s newer merchandise are positioned as extra inexpensive one-box options which are simpler to set up and use. The Sonos One (Gen 2) is like lots of the different good audio system presently on the market, in the sense that it is a single machine that should be related 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 dimension.

The highest of the Sonos One (Gen 2) has a touch-sensitive zone, which is used to management playback and the quantity. There’s additionally a microphone button for those who want to 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 observe respectively. You too can 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 providers. Google’s Chromecast protocol will not be supported on the Sonos One (Gen 2) both, so you will not have the opportunity to solid music to the speaker from an Android cellphone, even with supported apps.

Though the firm mentions that each 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi are supported, I had varied connectivity points with 5GHz Wi-Fi and had to use a 2.4GHz connection to use the Sonos One (Gen 2) correctly. Sonos’ well-known multi-room implementation might be arrange by means of the app if in case you have a number of audio system in your house, and you can too arrange a stereo pair with two Sonos One audio system in the identical room.

Since the Sonos One (Gen 2) is a Wi-Fi-enabled speaker, you want the Sonos app to set it up (out there 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 providers to it. You too can undergo the ‘TruePlay’ tuning course of which is claimed to optimise sound primarily based on the acoustics of your room.

The app is kind of easy to use as soon as totally arrange, with tabs for fast entry to just lately performed tracks, playlists and curations in your linked streaming providers, and settings for the Sonos One itself. There’s additionally a helpful Search tab that allows you to search throughout all linked providers and your individual playlists with key phrases.

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The Sonos One (2nd Gen) helps varied streaming providers, together with Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube Music

 

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 case you’re utilizing the Sonos One (Gen 2) with any AirPlay-compatible machine akin to an iPhone or iPad, you’ll be able to play audio immediately on the speaker utilizing any of the supported apps on the machine itself, thanks 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 international locations, however disappointingly, this characteristic was not supported in India at the time of this evaluation.

Sonos One (Gen 2) efficiency

The Sonos One (Gen 2) is a great speaker for all intents and functions, however the lack of ability to arrange a voice assistant in India is a substantial disadvantage. As of now, it is not potential to simply ask the speaker for the content material you need. This can be a very fundamental and basic characteristic for any good speaker akin to the Amazon Echo vary or the Apple HomePod mini. Nonetheless, the Sonos One remains to be very usable even with out this characteristic, albeit with a couple of extra steps wanted to play what you need.

You would possibly marvel why patrons ought to even think about this machine over competing good audio system, given this important disadvantage and its excessive value, however I believe this may be answered with one very sturdy level – sound high quality. The Sonos One could be very spectacular when it comes to sound high quality, delivering loud, gratifying, and refined sound that’s comfortably superior to what I’ve heard on some other mainstream good speaker, together with the equally priced Amazon Echo Studio.

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You may join an Ethernet cable to the Sonos One, in its place to Wi-Fi

 

I used the Sonos One (Gen 2) with an Apple iPhone as the controlling machine. I discovered that utilizing AirPlay from inside apps akin to Apple Music, YouTube Music, and Audible was so much simpler than utilizing the Sonos app. The latter works decently nicely for fetching content material, and this shall be your solely choice for those who’re utilizing an Android cellphone. There have been a few events on which the apps weren’t ready to detect the speaker by means of AirPlay, however this was simply fastened by rebooting both the speaker or my router.

As soon as related utilizing AirPlay, streaming was steady and lag-free, sound high quality was pretty much as good because it could possibly be, and playback and quantity controls have been fast and responsive. Whereas all of this may have been so much simpler with a voice assistant, none of the different performance of the speaker is crippled so it is not a complete loss.

Apple’s Siri voice assistant is usually ready to hand music off from one machine to one other 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 have been met with errors. This did work correctly when utilizing AirPlay inside 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.

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The controls of the Sonos One (2nd Gen) are at the high, as is the microphone

 

Sound high quality on the Sonos One (Gen 2) is, as said above, distinctive for a sensible speaker of this value and dimension. The speaker is loud, refined, cohesive, and detailed with all genres, and the sonic signature is versatile sufficient to adapt nicely to nearly any form of audio content material being performed. Even at excessive volumes, there wasn’t a lot distortion or battle to be heard from the speaker, and it fairly simply delivered highly effective sound that could possibly be heard clearly even from completely different rooms in my house.

Listening to Let’s Groove by Earth, Wind & Fire, the Sonos One supplied up tight, refined bass, whereas permitting for loads of sparkle in the highs and definition in the mid-range of this disco observe. The sound was full of life and gratifying, with rather more vitality being delivered than what I anticipated from a speaker of this dimension. The pliability of the sound was noticeable even with various kinds of music, together with the punchy and aggressive Increase by Tiesto, with the speaker delivering precisely what was wanted.

Even with gentler tracks akin to Fact by Kamasi Washington, the Sonos One allowed element to shine by means of. With audio books, I used to be ready to hear Ray Porter’s wonderful 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 rivals when it comes to sound high quality.

TruePlay tuning on the Sonos One (Gen 2) is kind of a tedious course of, because it requires you to transfer round the room together with your cellphone for round 10-Quarter-hour to measure sound utilizing its microphone, all whereas maintaining issues quiet. The method failed and wanted to be began over a few instances once I tried this, due to even the slightest disturbance akin to somebody talking in a distinct room, or a doorbell ringing. Nonetheless, as soon as accomplished, I discovered the sound a bit extra full of life and open with TruePlay lively, and would suggest going by means of these steps for finest outcomes.

Verdict

Smart audio system sometimes want to test some packing containers when it comes to options akin to Web connectivity, the means to hyperlink with in style streaming providers, and entry to voice assistants. As of now, the Sonos One (Gen 2) solely fulfills two of the above necessities, though it’s potential that the firm might roll out assist for voice assistants in India in the future. Nonetheless, on all different counts akin 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 some other good speaker I’ve heard, and this alone makes it price contemplating if in case you have the funds. It may also be price contemplating the Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen), which though not pretty much as good when it comes to sound high quality, does have a wonderful 10-inch display screen and full-fledged entry to Alexa, for a extra full good expertise.


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