- Excellent sound quality
- Alexa voice control
- Spotify Integration
- Looks good
- Can be combined with other Sonos products
- Easy to use
- Privacy concerns addressed
- Toddlers will demand "Baby Shark" 24/7
- Todders will begin to yell the command "Alexa..." at anything speaker-shaped
Remember when you were a little kid and the future held so much promise? Science fiction captured our imaginations and provided glimpses of what could be – flying cars, hoverboards, and homes we could speak to.
So the hoverboards and flying cars never quite made it, but in many other ways the future is here, and it is incredible! Best of all, we can now finally (kind of) speak to our house!
The Sonos One (with Amazon Alexa)
Sonos is a brand that I have long admired, because they have a reputation for building quality speakers. First and foremost, excellent sound is their main game. With the new Sonos One, Sonos has embraced the latest in connected technology while still retaining their focus on delivering quality sound.
The Sonos One is a beautiful design. It’s subtle enough to work with any décor, yet elegant enough state its purpose as a quality speaker. Sonos sent me the black version, but it also comes in white. The main focus of the speaker is a wraparound matte black grille that shields the two Class-D digital amplifiers, tweeter and mid-woofer. The speaker is a hefty 1.85 kg – a sure sign that it’s packing quality components inside.
On top of the Sonos One is the control panel. It’s a minimalist design, with buttons for volume up, volume down and play/pause. Crucially, the final button on the Sonos One is for turning on and off the voice-assistant microphones. Sonos have hardwired the accompanying LED light to the microphones, which means that you will always know when the Sonos One is listening to you.
The controls on the Sonos One speaker may well be simple, but there is plenty of depth to this little beauty. That’s because most of the fine-tuning and music selection is done be the Sonos App, or by using Amazon’s Alexa.
Sonos One Sound Quality
One of my biggest criticisms of ‘the future’ that we live in is that we often sacrifice sound quality for convenience – our favourite music is available almost anywhere, yet we listen to it through inadequate mobile phone speakers or tinny-sounding wireless speakers. This all changes with the Sonos One!
The Sonos One might be a compact speaker, but the technical wizards at Sonos sure do know how to give a small package a big punch! When I say ‘small’, the Sonos One is about the same size as a typical quality bookshelf speaker.
When paired with the high-quality Spotify Premium stream, the Sonos One is an extremely satisfying listening experience.
The Sonos One packs more than enough power to fill the downstairs of my townhouse with music. To be honest, I haven’t even turned the volume up past ‘four’, for fear of disturbing the neighbours. At any volume the sound is crisp, clear and enjoyable to listen to. Vocals come across clearly and different instruments are well defined, even in complex tracks.
Of course, the Sonos One is just one speaker, so all of the audio is coming through a single channel. For me, that hasn’t mattered one bit – the listening experience has been enjoyable and rich – but for those who absolutely must have their music in stereo, this excellent speaker can be paired with another Sonos One. Simple and brilliant!
More Music (Thanks Alexa)
One of the great advantages of having the Sonos One in our house is that we now listen to a great deal more music. Once I had paired the speaker with my Spotify Premium account (which was extremely easy to do), it opened up our listening world. We were no longer tethered to the computer or mobile phone for music, it was all of a sudden just a simple matter of asking the cosmos (or at least the Alexa-enabled Sonos) for a song, and BOOM! On it comes!
With the Sonos One conveniently placed in the middle of our living area, it doesn’t matter what activity we are doing – if we want music, it’s just a voice-command away. The six internal microphones make sure that our commands are heard clearly from almost the whole of our downstairs. I may have even successfully yelled to Alexa once or twice from upstairs (NOTE – this activity is not spouse-approved).
Voice control via Alexa is particularly handy in the middle of cooking, for example. Why is it that toddlers always ask for things at the least convenient times? Now when Hannah feels like listening to ‘Baby Shark’ at the exact moment that I’ve plunged my hands into a mixture of raw chicken and marinade, I can put it on. Immediately. (as any parent of a toddler knows, being able to do something ‘immediately’ is a godsend. Toddler logic dictates that if something doesn’t happen straight away, it will never happen).
Living in the future update:
The 2yo now tries to command all speaker-shaped objects by using the words “Alexa, play baby shark”.https://t.co/jnPfJvJO9n
— dad (@blogofdad) July 16, 2018
I’m thrilled to be filling my toddler’s world with more music, more often. I genuinely believe that exposure to a wide range of music is hugely beneficial to the growing mind. I’m also thrilled to be filling my own world with more music. I’m sure it’s good for my old-man brain too!
Did I Mention Alexa?
Amazon’s voice-controlled assistant, Alexa, is a key feature of the Sonos One. You don’t have to use Alexa, but she does open up a whole new world of usability and interactivity if you decide to go down that path.
With Alexa activated you can Use the Sonos One to access your music, find out the weather, and listen to the latest news headlines. But that’s not all Alexa can do. As smart devices begin to work their way into our homes, The Sonos One with Alexa enabled can become the focal point for it all – the way through which we interact with these devices. I look forward to the day when I can ask my Sonos One to make sure all the lights are off and the doors locked as I go to bed!
For those of us who value our privacy (I’m inherently suspicious of new things) the Sonos One has those concerns covered. As I mentioned before, the user is in complete control of when Alexa is and is not listening. With the simple press of a button you can turn the microphones on and off. The hardwired light is a sensible precaution, it means there is always a visual indicator as to whether the outside world is listening or not.
As of the latest update, the Sonos One also features AirPlay integration. That’s good news for those heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem.
The Sonos One is a compelling choice for music lovers who want great quality sound and futuristic technology. The ability to access the Spotify library through simple voice commands is truly outstanding, and something that may just change the way you access you favourite tunes. At a recommended retail price of $299 AUD, it’s pretty good value too!
Disclosure – Sonos provided Blog Of Dad with the Sonos One free of charge, for the purpose of review and inclusion in the 2018 Father’s Day Gift Guide. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own views, based on my impressions of Sonos One.
Spotify has provided Blog of Dad with free access to Spotify Premium.
For further information, please visit my disclosure statement.