Sonos One Gen 2 Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Feb 03, 2021 at 10:00 am
Sonos One Gen 2 Picture
6.6
Music
5.5
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 has great built-in Alexa and Google Assistant support, an Ethernet port if you want to connect it to your home network, and a companion app with bass and treble sliders. It also has Trueplay tuning, so it can adjust its audio reproduction to the room it's in. However, it struggles to get loud and has compression artifacts at max volume. It also has to downmix stereo content into mono, which doesn't provide the most immersive sound.

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 has to downmix stereo content into mono, which doesn't sound very immersive, and there are compression artifacts at max volume. On the upside, the companion app offers bass and treble sliders so that you can adjust its sound 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.
5.5 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 so you can tweak its sound to your preferences. That said, it doesn't get very loud and there are compression artifacts at max volume. It also has to downmix stereo content into mono to play it, 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, it can only be used wired, so it isn't very portable. It can also only be paired 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're able to hear your audio from most angles. However, the voice assistants struggle to pick up your voice in noisier environments. There are also compression artifacts at max volume.

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 can't be used outdoors.

  • 6.6 Music
  • 5.5 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.

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

This speaker isn't very portable. While you can carry it with one hand, it needs to be plugged into a power source if you want to use it.

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, and we don't currently test a speaker's water resistance capabilities.

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

This speaker has great controls. They're located 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 also 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 that can reset the speaker or connect it to a Sonos system. The status light on the top can be turned 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

Update 05/28/2021: We retested our sound tests after updating the speaker with the current 13.1 firmware. Its frequency response results are now very similar to the Sonos One SL speaker on the same firmware.

The frequency response accuracy is decent. It has a Trueplay tuning feature, which automatically tunes the speaker to your room by measuring how sound reflects off of your walls and other surfaces around it. With this feature on, it has a slightly boomy sound profile, though it struggles to reproduce a thumpy low-bass. The rest of the range is quite balanced, however, so vocals and lead instruments are still clear and present. You can also adjust its sound to your liking using its bass and treble adjustments.

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 has a sub-par soundstage. It has to downmix stereo content into mono, which doesn't sound very immersive. It has decent directivity, though, so your audio should sound clear from most angles. For a speaker with a more open and spacious soundstage, consider the JBL Pulse 4.

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

The Sonos One has a middling dynamics performance. It doesn't get as loud as the Amazon Echo Studio and there are a lot of compression artifacts at max volume, making it less-than-suitable for large rooms or house parties.

Active Features
0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power Saving
No
Charging Port
No Battery

This speaker can only be used when plugged into an AC source.

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 both Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. It can register your commands, even if you're far away, although it struggles more in noisy environments. It has a mic mute button, which is nice if you don't want the speaker to always be listening to you. For a speaker that can understand you more easily in noisy rooms and also has Alexa and Google Assistant built-in, consider 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 2 app is outstanding and is supported on both 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.

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

This speaker has an Ethernet port if you want to connect it to your home network. However, it lacks an AUX port.

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 won't be able to 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, so you can stream video without noticeable audio sync issues. However, 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 it can be used on its own. While it has a boomy sound profile, you can adjust it using its companion app's bass and treble sliders. This speaker can also only be used wired, and while you won't be able to stream audio to it using Bluetooth, it has an Ethernet port so you can connect it to your home network. If you're looking for a more portable speaker, check out our recommendations for the best Bluetooth 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 even rated  IP56 for dust and water resistance, though we don't test for this. It offers a better-balanced sound profile that can produce a more extended low-bass than that of 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 and is better-built with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't test for this, making it significantly more portable. It also offers slightly better voice assistant support, since it does a better job understanding your commands in noisier settings.

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.

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.

Denon Home 350

The Sonos One Gen 2 and the Denon Home 350 have different strengths and depending on your need, you may prefer one over the other. The Sonos has better controls and great voice assistant support. However, the Denon 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.

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, although we don't currently test for it. 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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