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Sonos One Gen 2 Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Updated Jan 25, 2022 at 03:38 pm
Sonos One Gen 2 Picture
6.6
Music
5.6
Videos/Movies
6.5
Podcasts
7.7
Voice Assistant
4.5
Outdoors
Bluetooth
No
Wi-Fi
Yes
Speakerphone
No
Voice Assistant
Yes
Battery Powered
No

The Sonos One Gen 2 is a small wired speaker that can be used alone or added to your existing Sonos soundbar setup as a surround speaker. It offers great built-in Alexa and Google Assistant support and an Ethernet port if you want to connect it to your home network. With its Trueplay room correction feature turned on, it has a slightly boomy sound profile, though it struggles to reproduce a thumpy low-bass. However, its balanced mid-range ensures vocals and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix. Its Sonos S2 companion app also features bass and treble adjustments to tweak its sound profile to your liking. Unfortunately, Trueplay is currently only available with iOS devices, which may disappoint some users.

Our Verdict

6.6 Music

The Sonos One is alright for music. It has a slightly boomy sound profile, though it struggles to reproduce a thumpy low-bass. It also requires a second unit to play stereo audio and has to downmix stereo content into mono when using it on its own, which doesn't sound very immersive. There's also compression present at max volume that can affect the quality of your audio during louder listening sessions. On the upside, the companion app offers bass and treble sliders to customize its sound profile to your liking.

Pros
  • Bass and treble sliders via companion app.
  • Decent directivity.
Cons
  • Struggles to get loud and compression artifacts at max volume.
  • Downmixes stereo content into mono.
5.6 Videos/Movies

The Sonos One is middling for videos and movies. While its default sound profile is slightly boomy, it struggles to reproduce low-bass, so it may not be suitable for thumpy, action-packed movies. However, it has bass and treble sliders in its companion app, meaning you can tweak its sound to your preferences. It doesn't get very loud, and there are compression artifacts at max volume that can affect the quality of your audio at louder volumes. It also requires a second unit to play stereo audio and has to downmix stereo content to mono when using it on its own, which doesn't sound very immersive.

Pros
  • Bass and treble sliders via companion app.
  • Can be connected to Sonos soundbars as surround speakers.
Cons
  • Struggles to get loud and compression artifacts at max volume.
  • Downmixes stereo content into mono.
  • No audio streaming via Bluetooth.
6.5 Podcasts

The Sonos One is okay for podcasts. While its boomy sound profile may muddy vocals and lead instruments slightly, you can adjust its sound using its bass and treble sliders found in its companion app. It also has decent directivity, so you should be able to hear your audio clearly from most directions. However, you can only use it wired, so it isn't very portable. You can also only pair it with one device at a time.

Pros
  • Decent directivity.
Cons
  • Struggles to get loud and compression artifacts at max volume.
7.7 Voice Assistant

The Sonos One has good voice assistant support. It has both Alexa and Google Assistant built-in and can pick up your commands, even from far away. It also has decent directivity, so you can hear your assistant clearly from most angles. However, it struggles to register your commands in noisier settings. There's also a lot of compression present at max volume that may affect audio quality when the speaker is pushed to its louder volume levels.

Pros
  • Supports Alexa and Google Assistant.
  • Decent directivity.
Cons
  • Struggles to get loud and compression artifacts at max volume.
4.5 Outdoors

The Sonos One is a wired speaker and isn't designed for use outdoors.

  • 6.6 Music
  • 5.6 Videos/Movies
  • 6.5 Podcasts
  • 7.7 Voice Assistant
  • 4.5 Outdoors
  1. Updated May 28, 2021: Retested with current 13.1 firmware.
  2. Updated Feb 03, 2021: Review published.
  3. Updated Jan 29, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The Sonos One is a smaller-sized speaker. It's meant to sit vertically on your table and comes in two different colors: 'Black' and 'White'. You can also pair this speaker with the Sonos Playbar, Sonos Playbase, or Sonos Beam if you're looking to upgrade your soundbar setup with surround speakers. If you're looking for a Sonos speaker that can blend in better with most home decor, check out the IKEA SYMFONISK Bookshelf speaker, and the IKEA SYMFONISK Speaker lamp.

5.3
Design
Portability
Volume
140 in³ (2,302 cm³)
Weight
4.0 lbs (1.8 kg)
Power Source
AC Only
One-Hand Carry
Yes

The Sonos One Gen 2 isn't very portable. You can hold it in one hand since it isn't very large or heavy. However, this Wi-Fi-enabled smart speaker is designed for use indoors. Due to its wired design, it needs to remain wired to an outlet for it to work, making it difficult to bring it outside with you.

6.7
Design
Build Quality
Material Quality
Great
Water Resistance
No
Dust Resistance
Unspecified
Impact Resistance
Unspecified
Floats In Water
No

This speaker has an alright build quality. Its top and bottom side are made of plastic, while a metal grille covers most of the speaker's front-facing sides, which makes it feel sturdy. Just like the Sonos Five, it's advertised to withstand high-humidity environments like a bathroom with a running shower. However, it doesn't have an IP rating for dust and water resistance, so it's best to avoid placing it near sources of water, like near your kitchen sink or in your bathroom.

8.0
Design
Controls
Ease Of Use
Great
Feedback
Great
Music Play/Pause
Yes (Tactile)
Call Answer/End
No
Volume Up/Down
Yes (Tactile)
Track Next/Previous
Yes (Tactile)
Microphone On/Off
Yes (Tactile)
Additional Controls
Yes

The Sonos One 2nd Gen has great controls. They're on the top side of the speaker. You can swipe left or right to return to the previous song to skip to the next one. You can press and hold the play/pause button to add music that's playing in another room or to group speakers together. There's also a 'Join' button to reset the speaker or connect it to a Sonos system. You can turn the status light on the top on and off through the companion app.

Design
In The Box

  • Sonos One Gen 2 speaker
  • Power cable
  • User manual

Sound
7.2
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
-0.22
Std. Err.
2.96 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
52.6 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.1 kHz

Note: Our sound test results represent the performance of the speaker after updating it to the firmware to version 13.1.

The Sonos One Gen 2 has decent frequency response accuracy, similar to the Sonos One SL. There's the Trueplay room correction feature that adjusts the speaker's sound according to the room it's placed in. With this feature turned on, the speaker has a boomy overall sound profile, though it lacks thump and rumble in the low-bass range, which may disappoint some fans of bass-heavy music like hip-hop or EDM. That said, the rest of its range is fairly balanced, so vocals and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix. You can customize its sound to your liking, thanks to its bass and treble adjustments. Unfortunately, Sonos' Trueplay room correction feature is currently only available with iOS devices.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
5.9
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
3.97 dB
Stereo
No (mono)

The Sonos One's soundstage performance is disappointing. While you can pair it to another compatible speaker to create a stereo pair, it downmixes stereo content to mono when using it on its own, which isn't as immersive. That said, its directivity is decent, meaning you can hear your audio clearly from most angles. If you're looking for a speaker with even better directivity, check out the JBL Pulse 4.

5.3
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
86.5 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
4.89 dB

The Sonos One's dynamics performance is sub-par. It doesn't get very loud, and its sound won't fill a large crowded room on its own. There's also a lot of compression present at max volume that can affect the quality of your audio during louder listening sessions. That said, you can use its Sonos S2 companion app to connect it to multiple other compatible speakers when you want to amplify your audio across a larger area without increasing its volume. For a home speaker with a better dynamics performance overall, consider the Amazon Echo Studio.

Active Features
0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power Saving
No
Charging Port
No Battery
8.0
Active Features
Voice Assistant
Alexa
Built-in (Wi-Fi Only)
Google Assistant
Built-in (Wi-Fi Only)
Siri
No
Voice Activation
Yes
Microphone Mute
Yes
Far-Field Performance
Excellent
Ambient Noise Performance
Bad

The Sonos One has great voice assistant support. It has Alexa and Google Assistant built-in and can easily register your commands from far away, though it struggles to do so in noisier rooms. You can mute the speaker's mic when you no longer want your assistant listening to you, which is nice. If you're looking for an Alexa and Google Assistant-enabled speaker that has an easier time understanding your commands in noisier rooms, check out the Bose Portable Smart Speaker.

9.3
Active Features
App
App Name
Sonos S2
iOS
Yes
Android
Yes
EQ
Bass/Treble
Stereo Pair Mode
Yes
Party Mode
Yes
Multi-Room
Yes

The Sonos S2 app is outstanding and is supported on iOS and Android. It offers bass and treble sliders but lacks a more comprehensive EQ. That said, the app allows you to connect it to another unit to create a stereo pair or link multiple speakers to cover a wider area together for a party. You can also connect multiple units in different rooms of your home, meaning you can play different audio content in different rooms of your home at the same time.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Wired
Aux Input
No
USB Audio
No
Other Ports
Yes

This speaker has an Ethernet port to connect it to your home network. That said, there's no AUX port you can use to wire older devices to the speaker.

0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
No Bluetooth
Bluetooth iOS Latency
N/A
Bluetooth Android Latency
N/A
Bluetooth Range
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
No

This speaker uses Bluetooth Low Energy so that you can temporarily communicate with your phone or other mobile devices so that you can simplify the first-time setup process. However, you can't use this connection to stream audio.

7.5
Connectivity
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Version
Wi-Fi 3
Wi-Fi Frequency Band
2.4GHz
Apple AirPlay
Yes
AirPlay Latency
28 ms
Google Chromecast
No
Chromecast Latency
N/A

This speaker is Wi-Fi compatible. It has very low latency via Apple AirPlay, meaning you can stream video without noticeable audio sync issues. That said, some apps compensate for latency differently, and your real-world experience may differ. Unfortunately, it doesn't support Chromecast.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Sonos One comes in two color variants: 'Black' and 'White'. We tested the White variant, and you can see its label here. However, we expect the Black variant to perform similarly to our model. We also tested the second generation of this speaker. Sonos advertises that the difference between this generation and the previous one is that they've increased the memory, added Bluetooth Low Energy for first-time pairing with the speaker, and added a more powerful and updated processor. That said, no features have changed.

If you come across another variant, please let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Speakers

The Sonos One Gen 2 is the second generation of the Sonos One. Unlike the Sonos Move or Sonos Five, it can be added to an existing Sonos soundbar setup if you want surround speakers, or you can use it on its own. While it has a boomy sound profile, you can adjust it using its companion app's bass and treble sliders. You can also only use this speaker wired, and while you can't stream audio to it using Bluetooth, it has an Ethernet port, meaning you can connect it to your home network.

Check out our recommendations for the best portable Bluetooth speakers, the best smart speakers, and the best Sonos speakers.

Sonos One SL

The Sonos One SL and the Sonos One Gen 2 are almost the same speaker. The primary difference is that the Sonos One SL lacks a microphone and doesn't support voice assistants. That said, both speakers have the same alright build quality, downmix stereo content into mono, and have disappointing dynamics performances. On the upside, they're both compatible with the Sonos S2 app, which offers bass and treble sliders.

Sonos Move

The Sonos Move is a better speaker than the Sonos One Gen 2 overall. The Move is battery-powered and has a handle built into it making it more portable. It's rated IP56 for dust and water resistance, so you can take it outdoors with you without needing to worry about it getting a bit wet. It can produce a more extended low-bass than the One Gen 2 and can get louder. It's also Bluetooth-enabled and can be paired to up to two devices at once, which can come in handy if you need to quickly switch between audio sources.

Sonos Five

The Sonos Five is a better speaker than the Sonos One Gen 2. The Five offers a bright sound profile that can produce the deep thump and rumble in low-bass that's typically present in bass-heavy music like EDM. It can get louder, and you can place the speaker horizontally to listen to stereo content, and vertically for mono. However, the One Gen 2 offers great voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. It has less compression present at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio at louder volumes. If you own a compatible Sonos soundbar, you can even add it to your setup as a surround speaker. 

Sonos Roam

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Sonos One Gen 2 or the Sonos Roam. The One Gen 2 offers a better-balanced sound profile that can produce a more extended low-bass with its Trueplay room correction feature enabled. However, the Roam is battery-powered making it significantly more portable. It's also rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, meaning it's certified to be dust-tight and immersible in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. It also offers slightly better voice assistant support, since it does a better job understanding your commands in noisier settings.

IKEA SYMFONISK Bookshelf

The Sonos One Gen 2 is a slightly better speaker than the IKEA SYMFONISK Bookshelf overall, though they are similar speakers. The Sonos offers very good voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. It also has a somewhat better-balanced sound profile than that of the IKEA. That said, the IKEA can get slightly louder with fewer compression artifacts at max volume, so your audio remains clean when listening at louder volumes.

Google Nest Audio

While the Google Nest Audio and the Sonos One Gen 2 are similarly performing speakers in most regards, the Google offers a better voice assistant performance. The Google only has built-in Google Assistant, but it has no problem understanding you, even in a noisy room. It also supports Bluetooth as well as Chromecast. However, the Sonos has both Alexa and Google Assistant built-in, but it struggles to understand you in a noisy environment. It also supports Apple AirPlay and has a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box.

Apple HomePod mini

The Sonos One Gen 2 and the Apple HomePod mini are similar speakers. The Sonos can produce a more extended low-bass with its Trueplay room correction feature enabled. Its companion app also features bass and treble adjustments you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. However, the Apple has better directivity, resulting in a wider and more natural-sounding soundstage. While it doesn't get as loud as the Sonos, it has less compression present at max volume, so your audio sounds cleaner at louder volumes.

Amazon Echo Studio

The Amazon Echo Studio is a better speaker for most uses than the Sonos One Gen 2. The Amazon can play stereo content, can get louder with fewer compression artifacts, and it supports Bluetooth. It also has a better voice assistant performance. However, the Sonos has better controls and can reproduce a bit more low-bass. It also supports Apple AirPlay.

Amazon Echo Gen 4

The Amazon Echo Gen 2 is a bit better than the Sonos One Gen 2. The Amazon is a Bluetooth speaker that can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, resulting in a more immersive soundstage. It also comes with Alexa built-in and does an excellent job of understanding your commands from far away and in noisier settings. That said, the Sonos comes with Alexa as well as Google Assistant, though it struggles to register your commands in noisier environments. While you can't use Bluetooth or Chromecast to stream your audio to the speaker, it supports Apple AirPlay.

Apple HomePod

The Apple HomePod is a better speaker than the Sonos One Gen 2. The Apple has a better-balanced sound profile and has fewer compression artifacts at max volume. Its built-in Siri voice assistant is also better able to register your commands, even if you're speaking in a noisy environment. That said, it may be harder to find in new condition now that it's been discontinued. 

Bose Home Speaker 500

The Bose Home Speaker 500 is a better speaker than the Sonos One Gen 2. The Bose has a better soundstage performance, and it gets louder with less compression at max volume. It also supports Bluetooth, and its voice assistant performs better in noisy environments. However, the Sonos comes with the Trueplay tuning feature, and it can also be paired with a Sonos soundbar.

JBL Charge 5

The Sonos One Gen 2 and the JBL Charge 5 are for different uses. The Sonos is a wired Wi-Fi speaker that needs to remain connected to a power outlet to work and is for use at home. It offers great voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. It can also produce a slightly more extended low-bass than the JBL. That said, the JBL is Bluetooth-compatible and is battery-powered, making it more portable. It can get a bit louder with less compression present at max volume and can pair to two devices at once, so you can quickly switch between audio sources.

Bose Home Speaker 300

The Bose Home Speaker 300 is a better home speaker than the Sonos One Gen 2. The Bose has a more spacious soundstage, supports Bluetooth, and has fewer compression artifacts at max volume. Its built-in voice assistant performance is better. However, the Sonos is better built and is slightly more neutral-sounding out-of-the-box.

Bose SoundLink Revolve

The Bose SoundLink Revolve is a better speaker for most uses than the Sonos One Gen 2. The Bose is more portable and better-built. It also has a wider soundstage and supports Bluetooth. However, the Sonos is better-suited for voice assistants. It has Alexa and Google Assistant built-in and has a companion app with bass and treble sliders. It also supports Wi-Fi.

Google Home Max

The Google Home Max is a better speaker than the Sonos One Gen 2. The Google has a slightly more extended low-bass and it can get louder with fewer compression artifacts. It also supports Bluetooth and its built-in voice assistant is better able to register your commands in noisy environments.

IKEA SYMFONISK Speaker lamp

The Sonos One Gen 2 and the IKEA SYMFONISK Speaker lamp are both Wi-Fi speakers designed for use at home. The One Gen 2 offers great voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. With its room correction feature enabled, it has a boomy sound profile. That said, the SYMFONISK is a collaboration between IKEA and Sonos. It has a dual function as a speaker and a lamp. With room correction enabled, it has a bright sound profile, though it can produce a more extended low-bass than the One Gen 2. It also has better directivity, resulting in a wider-sounding soundstage.

Denon Home 350

The Denon Home 350 is a better speaker than the Sonos One Gen 2 overall. The Denon offers outstanding support via Alexa. It has a better-balanced sound profile, has a more immersive soundstage, and can get louder with fewer compression artifacts. It also supports Bluetooth, although it has high latency on iOS and Android. That said, the Sonos comes with both Google Assistant and Alexa built-in, though it isn't as good as the Denon at registering your commands in noisier settings. It also has better directivity, resulting in a wider-sounding soundstage, though it has to downmix stereo content to mono in order to play it, which isn't as immersive.

Bose Portable Smart Speaker

The Bose Portable Smart Speaker is a better speaker than the Sonos One Gen 2. The Bose has better directivity, resulting in a more open soundstage. It's also suitable for outdoor use since it has a battery, while the Sonos needs to be plugged in to be used. Although both speakers have good voice assistant capabilities, the Sonos struggles to understand you in noisier environments.

JBL Xtreme 3

The JBL Xtreme 3 and the Sonos One Gen 2 are speakers with different strengths, and depending on your preferences, you may prefer one over the other. The JBL is more suitable for outdoor use since it's battery-powered, supports Bluetooth, and has an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance that certifies it to be dust-proof and immersible in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. It can also get louder and with fewer compression artifacts. However, the Sonos is better for voice assistants as it has Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. It also can be connected with Sonos soundbars as surround speakers.

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