Current state of Sonos One vs. Play 1

This will likely be the last time I post on Sonos. I don’t think there is much interest in these posts.

There have been a few key improvements in the Sonos/Alexa relationship lately:

  1. Amazon and Apple added Apple Music to the music services that support Sonos via Alexa. In other words, you can ask Alexa to play music from Apple Music over your Sonos speakers. Other music services that also support Alexa and Sonos: Amazon Unlimited, Spotify, Pandora, Tune-in, etc.
  2. Amazon no longer requires that you speak the name of the speaker to direct sound to Sonos. Now, if the Echo device and the Sonos speaker are both in the same Alexa “Group”, you simply say “Alexa play Rolling Stones music” and it will start playing from the Sonos speaker grouped with whichever Echo you spoke to.

These two improvements essentially satisfied my complaints. Sonos has been generous in that they supported the old Play 1 speakers with the updates. But by doing so they’ve made the Play 1 a better choice than the new Sonos One with Alexa built-in.

If you purchase a Play 1 and an Echo Dot, the combined cost will be $180, which is $20 less than the current version of the Sonos One. The sound quality is virtually identical. The only negative about buying a Play 1 and Dot is you will have 2 devices rather than one. But the positives are numerous – the Sonos One contains a crippled version of Alexa and is missing many of Alexa’s features (which Amazon reserves only for its own devices). By getting a Play 1 and a Dot you have access to 100% of Alexa’s features. When Amazon updates its Echo hardware you simply swap the old Dot for a new one. On the other hand, hardware inside the Sonos One cannot be updated.

Assuming someone reads this post my advice is: Skip the Sonos One. Get a Play 1 and an Echo Dot, but place them separately in your room. The Echo is often unable to hear commands if placed right next to a loud speaker.


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