Home Theater Systems Buying Guide
Home Theater Receivers Buying Guide
Some product launches are more hype than substance. But when your name is Sonos and you suddenly offer up a major technical leap forward that will forever change the way people listen to music, well, then you've got something. And Sonos is calling that something “Sonos One.”
The new Sonos One wireless streaming speaker comes shipped with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant built-in, giving music lovers the power to play any song, in any room, simply by asking for it. Among other things, this means no more getting up and pushing buttons or looking for (or fumbling with) your smart phone or tablet.
With Sonos One, it's just ask and receive. As in, "Alexa, play Bruno Mars in the den". Or "Alexa, turn up the volume in the kitchen." Even if you're in the middle of a playlist you started with your Sonos app, Sonos one and Alexa will take your command and execute. "Alexa, skip the next song." Or "Alexa, pause the music." No doubt, this is good stuff - and it gets even better.
Sonos One with Alexa inside is a true, self-learning smart device, so everything gets better, faster, and smarter over time. Better at recognizing your voice, faster at executing your commands, and smarter by way of continual updates. (Not to mention smarter at managing all your music sources, too.)
According to Sonos, new skills, features, and services will come onboard regularly, including fully supported voice control for Spotify by year’s end, as well as Apple’s AirPlay 2 and Google Assistant in early 2018. Along the way, additional audio content (e.g. podcasts, audiobooks, multiple voice services, plus other audio content from more than 80 streaming services) and smart home support will come online as well. Rest assured, Sonos is future-proofing.
Though the Sonos mission is all about great sounding music – no wires, easy access to your favorite tunes, etc. – the addition of Amazon’s Alexa and her many skills means just about anything is possible. Like getting the latest news, sports, weather, or traffic by simply asking. Or dimming the lights, controlling the thermostat, opening the blinds and controlling all your smart home devices by simply asking. (Hello there future. Care to dance?)
The Sonos One comes in white or black matte and works well as a stand-alone speaker, or you can pair two Ones together for true stereo sound, or add a PLAYBASE or PLAYBAR to get home theater, surround-sound. The Sonos One is equipped with all of the multi-room audio bells and whistles of its predecessor, the Play:1, to allow for easy expansion of your wireless multi-room home audio system. (As a side note, the new One cannot be paired in a stereo configuration with its predecessor, the Play:1 - yet).
Inside, the Sonos One packs 2 class-D digital amps, a tweeter and a mid-woofer, all of which can be finessed with with Sonos Trueplay tuning software. The end result is everything Sonos has been all about since the very beginning: surprisingly rich, room-filling sound in a very aesthetically-pleasing little package.
The Sonos One may be little, but the Sonos sound is big. And rich. And crisp. And room-filling. (World Wide Stereo audio standards are famously high – if it doesn’t sound great, we don’t carry it.)
Sonos One gets it done with smart voice capture and noise cancellation, and six hidden microphones positioned to hear your every command - even over loud music and room noise. And when you want your privacy, the LED indicator light let's you know when the microphone is active or off. Sonos hardwired the LED connection to the mic to to ensure Alexa's only listening when you want her to.
And by simply updating your Sonos app to 8.0, Sonos One will find the Sonos speakers on your Sonos network – and teach them to listen and obey. Thankfully, this includes all Sonos speakers, whether an older PLAY:1 in the spare bedroom or a newer PLAYBASE in the den. Setup is simple; you’re up and running within minutes of unboxing.
If you have Sonos and an Amazon Echo or Dot, you’re good to get started – right now. As of October 4th, you can wirelessly connect your existing wireless Sonos speakers to any Amazon Echo or Dot, and start controlling your music throughout your home by voice alone with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. No need to pick up your phone or sort through the app - just tell her what you want to hear, where you want to hear it.
All that's required: updating your Sonos system and apps to Sonos 8.0 and then turning on the Sonos skill in your Alexa app. Alexa will find the Sonos speakers in your Sonos network and teach them to listen and obey.
Bottom line: Sonos One represents the kind of breakthrough technology that gets all of us one big step closer to The Jetsons / Star Trek / Minority Report world we’ve all been waiting for; a world where forward-thinking companies like Sonos and Amazon have already staked claims.
So thank you very much, we’ll take it – but let’s hurry up with the flying cars, the trips to Mars and the helper-androids who iron button-down shirts while giving foot massages. (Right?)
Final thought: Sonos had a nice line at their press conference regarding competitors, one with which we wholeheartedly agree: “there are lots of speakers you can talk to, but Sonos is the only one you’ll want to listen to.” Pretty much says it all.
The Sonos One is now available — get yours right here at World Wide Stereo!
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