Sonos is one of the earliest pioneers of multi-room audio setups and wireless home audio streaming. Although the company’s product range now covers even portable audio products, it’s still best known for its connected smart speakers, such as the Sonos One, which I’m reviewing today. Now officially available in India through a distributor, Sonos hopes to take on existing smart speaker brands such as Amazon and Google with a major differentiator – a focus on sound quality.
Sonos One (Gen 2) design and specifications
Sonos is best known for its high-end speakers and home audio solutions, but some of the company’s more recent products are positioned as more affordable one-box solutions that are easier to install and use. The Sonos One (Gen 2) is like many of the other smart speakers currently on the market, in the sense that it’s a single device that must be connected to a power socket and is intended to remain in one place.
The Sonos One (Gen 2) speaker has a rectangular block-like shape, with a metal grille on around it, and a plastic base and top. The bottom of the speaker has a socket for the included power adapter. The back has an Ethernet port for wired connectivity and a single button that controls some pairing-related functions. The speaker weighs 1.85kg, and is quite heavy for a product of its size.
Sonos One (Gen 2) performance
The Sonos One (Gen 2) is a smart speaker for all intents and purposes, but the inability to set up a voice assistant in India is a considerable drawback. As of now, it isn’t possible to just ask the speaker for the content you want. This is a very basic and fundamental feature for any smart speaker such as the Amazon Echo range or the Apple HomePod mini. However, the Sonos One is still very usable even without this feature, albeit with a few more steps needed to play what you want.
You might wonder why buyers should even consider this device over competing smart speakers, given this significant drawback and its high price, but I think this can be answered with one very strong point – sound quality. The Sonos One is very impressive when it comes to sound quality, delivering loud, enjoyable, and refined sound that is comfortably superior to what I’ve heard on any other mainstream smart speaker, including the similarly priced Amazon Echo Studio.