Sonos One With Alexa – The Future of Sound
(Update: This post was originally written for the Play 1, but has since been updated as a review for the Sonos One, as of Jan. 2018.)
As technology continues to advance, there are always new gadgets to help make our lives more and more convenient. The Sonos One with Alexa integration really is the future of sound. There’s absolutely zero Bluetooth involved and you’ll be able to integrate your favorite media, whether it’s music, podcasts, or answers to your questions, into every single room in your house.
All this will be made possible with the assistance of this truly smart wireless speaker called the Sonos One.
What Is The Sonos One?
The Sonos One is a mini, completely wireless smart speaker that responds to voice activated questions and commands. It’s similar to Amazon’s Echo Dot but instead of operating over a Bluetooth transmission, it uses your WiFi connection to stream your favorite songs.
Streaming Over WiFi vs. Bluetooth – It’s More Convenient Than You Think
This difference might not seem like a big deal but it is. The main difference between streaming over WiFi vs. Bluetooth is that you will have a stronger connection that experiences minimal (if any) interruptions. It’s also helpful that Sonos chose to integrate the speaker this way because you can receive calls on your smartphone and the music never stops.
When you’re using a device like the Echo Dot (streaming music from your phone) and you get a phone call, all the music stops and you have to go through the process of starting everything up again.
Basic Features of This Device
- Small, compact design that’s perfect for any room and easy storage
- Packs a big punch (despite it’s tiny size)
- Humidity resistance makes it ideal for outside, the bathroom, or a steamy kitchen
- Uses WiFi streaming instead of Bluetooth (for a more seamless streaming experience)
- Can be mounted on a wall or speaker stand
- Features 6 different microphones (to make sure you’re heard the first time)
- Controller app streamlines the entire process
- Compatible with Apple and Android devices (including Mac/Windows desktops)
- Adds convenience to your busy lifetstyle
- Each speaker contains individual woofers and tweeters (for Hi-Fi audio quality)
- Allows you to listen to Hi-Fi audio in any room
- Available in either Black or White
- Product Dimensions: 4.7 x 4.7 x 6.4 in.
- Weight: 4.08 lbs.
Hi-Fi Audio Quality – Woofers and Tweeters
One feature that sets this wireless speaker apart from some of the others, is it’s quality of sound reproduction. Each speaker comes with it’s own mid-woofer and tweeter. The two separate components work together to create a rich, balanced sound profile.
Basically, the mid-woofer supplies your ears with strong mid-range frequencies. The tweeter produces upper-range frequencies that then balance and blend with the mids. These two work together to provide a smooth Hi-Fi sound that’s hard to compete with (especially for a speaker of this size).
Which Streaming Services Can I Use With The One?
Another great feature that this speaker offers is the ability to stream from over 30 different streaming apps. Chances are, you’re favorite service is included on that list.
Whether you use an on-demand service, Amazon Music Unlimited, Spotify, or podcast streaming service (Audible/Podcast Addict) you’ll be able to listen to what you want, how you want.
We’ve already established that you’ll be experiencing Hi-Fi audio quality, and streaming services like Tidal can even further enhance your music. Overall, unless you only listen to vinyl, there’s no excuse for not indulging in this technology.
Power & Networking Features:
Is There a Built-In Battery?
For some of you, this could be a key deciding factor. This particular smart speaker does not contain a built-in battery. What you have instead, is an 50-60 Hz AC universal input.
This was most likely done to conserve the space that your speaker will take up on your shelf (or wherever else you decide to put it). It’s an already compact device, and the additional built-in battery isn’t totally necessary (as long as there’s an outlet nearby).
Basic Setup: How To Connect Your Speaker To Alexa
The Sonos One comes with the built-in Alexa feature and you can also connect multiple speakers and use the voice-activation features that we all love. This feature is especially useful for listening to the same (or different) music in each room of your house.
The simple process of connecting Alexa to your WiFi speaker is extremely easy and intuitive. Once you download the app, it will walk you through the entire process from start to finish.
After Your Device Is Connected – WiFi Setup and Controller App
After you connect your device to the Sonos One, you’ll need to download the Sonos Controller app. Within the app, you can then connect your speaker to your WiFi network. The video below explains the full process from start to finish.
The Controller app is available for Android and Apple devices. You can also download the application for your desktop computer (Mac/Windows).
Remastered Version of the App
The Controller app has seen many updates over the years, as any app would, and now allows you to have faster access to your favorite songs. Overall, it’s a more-intuitive user experience than ever before.
Trueplay For iOS Systems (iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch)
For those of you Apple users, Sonos offers an additional feature (that almost makes it worth it to ditch the Android). If you’re an Apple user and you have an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch, you can utilize the Trueplay speaker tuning software.
Even more casual music listeners know that the size and height of a room can dramatically effect the sound quality of a speaker. If you’re an audiophile, you’re most likely more well-versed in this area than others. If you’re not aware of how much of a factor the room acoustics play when it comes to getting the most out of your music, don’t worry.
What the Trueplay software (for iOS users) does, is take out the guesswork and experimentation of speaker positioning for you. To maximize the acoustics of whatever type of room you place your smart speaker, it analyzes every affected aspect and adjusts the sound accordingly.
This is one reason why the One is a truly smart device. (Not to mention the amount of money it costs for soundproofing/acoustic materials otherwise.)
Customer Feedback – Positive and Negative (But Mostly Positive)
You’re probably wondering (especially with all these great features) what the catch is, or if there is one at all. You can see recent positive feedback in the image below.
Here’s a quick, positive review video you can watch to get the full picture on this device:
As far as possible downsides/issues you might run into, we’ll explore that too. One issue that some customers have had is that their particular streaming service isn’t compatible with the One. For example, streaming content from YouTube requires an additional app that you can find here.
You can, however, stream YouTube media by connecting your device via the app I linked to above. If not being able to stream from YouTube directly is a major issue for you, this might not be the right smart speaker for you.
Another common concern is that this device doesn’t contain a built-in battery. This tends to vary from person to person but due to it’s extremely compact size, adding a built-in battery would take up more space. In order to keep the speaker as portable as possible, Sonos decided to skip the battery and give you an AC universal input instead.
First Time Setup – Bookmark This Page!
These devices can be a little bit overwhelming (for some) to set up for the first time but if you need any help, you can always bookmark this page and come back for future reference. All of the videos above should cover pretty much everything you need to know – from the Controller app, to pairing with an Echo/Echo Dot, to first-time setup.
Overall, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, despite the minimal concerns we just went over.
Pros and Cons To Consider
- WiFi media streaming
- Built-in Alexa voice features
- HiFi audio quality
- Easy setup
- Compact, portable design
- Works well with most streaming services
- Can be paired with other Sonos wireless smart speakers (for bigger, better sound in multiple rooms)
- Remastered Controller app allows you to interface with the speaker
- Humidity resistance makes it safe for use in the bathroom (important feature for those of you that love singing in the shower)
- Intuitive on-device controls
- Ability to multi-task (music keeps playing when you answer phone calls)
- No audio inputs (aux, etc.)
- Doesn’t have a built-in battery
All Good Things Must End
After reading through this entire rundown, you should have enough information to decide whether or not you want to try the Sonos One with Alexa. Are you ready to experience the future of sound?
Check out our review table below to see a final breakdown of everything we’ve covered. You can also see our final rating out of 10. If you’ve already made up your mind – want to try this truly smart wireless speaker, or see real-time customer reviews, use the link here or click the button below the review table.
I hope that all of your questions and concerns were answered. If not, feel free to ask below or leave a comment about your experience with this truly smart wireless speaker! Thanks for stopping by to read through our review, I hope you enjoyed!
Sonic Elevation: Ride The Waves.
Sonos One With Built-In Alexa
Multiple Speaker Pairing10.0/10
- Built-in Alexa Voice Features
- HiFi Audio Quality
- Can Be Paired With Other Sonos Wireless Smart Speakers
- Humidity Resistance
- Easy Setup
- Doesn't have a built-in battery
- No audio inputs (aux, etc.)