Since Sonos blasted on the scene, the landscape of multi-room audio has changed. At one point Sonos dominated this category, however, now all the big boys are coming to play. Yamaha, Sony, Onkyo, Denon, and DTS all offer some semblance of a multi-room audio system. If that wasn’t enough Amazon, Google, and Apple have speakers with virtual assistants that can verbally give you news and weather updates as well as control smart home features. The bottom line is that Sonos needs to step-up their game if they want to survive and the Sonos One may be just what the doctor ordered.

 

Outwardly, the Sonos One looks very similar to their Play:1 speaker, however, Sonos has made some significant changes under the hood. The One incorporates an array of six microphones at the top that allows it to hear voice commands. At launch, the One will include built-in support for Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant so it will respond to your questions right out of the box. In 2018, Sonos has stated that support for Google Assistant and Apple Siri is also coming.

 

Sonos has always kept their platform closed off from 3rd party developers, but with the Sonos One that’s changing. With the One, Sonos is cultivating relationships with over 100 different tech companies including Logitech, Crestron, and SmartThings.

 

When it’s released, the One will be able to directly control iHeart Radio, Pandora, and Amazon Music. Spotify is expected to be available with a future firmware update. The top of the One also has physical buttons that you can use to play, pause & skip audio tracks.

 

Despite these upgrades, Sonos still claims that their primary focus is audio quality. Sonos speakers have consistently ranked among the best sounding multi-room speakers and Sonos has made it clear that they intend to maintain that level of quality while also giving Amazon, Google, and Apple a run for their money.

 

The Sonos One is expected to launch October 24 and can be pre-ordered now.


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