The Good: The Sonos Play:1 has good sound for a small speaker. The control app is easy to use. Adding additional speakers to your Sonos system is fairly easy.

 

 

The Bad: The Sonos Play:1 isn’t as expensive as the Play:3 or Play:5, but with an MSRP of $199, it could be too expensive for some. Wireless use may require the purchase of additional equipment.

 

Summary: The Sonos Play:1 is a small but mighty speaker. It doesn’t have the bass output or power of it’s more expensive siblings however, it still manages to deliver a clean and balanced sound. Partner this with the great Sonos app and the Play:1 easily becomes one of our top picks for wireless speakers.

Sonos PLAY:1 Compact Wireless Smart Speaker for Streaming Music (Black)

Price: $198.99

4.6 out of 5 stars (2711 customer reviews)

66 used & new available from $129.99

Sonos Play:1 Review

 

The compact Sonos Play-1 has an unassuming appearance. The little box which measures only 4.7″ wide x 4.7″ deep x 6.4″ tall is small enough that it quickly becomes inconspicuous in nearly any room that you place it. Weighing in at nearly 5 lbs it has a nice solid feel. Glance at the top of the Play:1 and you’ll notice that the controls on the speaker are minimal to say the least. The only buttons you’ll find on top are Play/Pause and Volume buttons. This may seem limiting at first, but with Sonos speakers your main method of control is with the Sonos app. You’ll rarely find yourself using the buttons on the speaker itself unless you’re trying to sync it with your app.

 

Behind the non-removable grill you’ll find 1 tweeter and 1 mid-woofer. With most mono arrangements such as this you’d expect the sound to be very localized and focused. However, the Sonos Play:1 has a surprisingly wide sound field. 

 

The Sonos Play-1 comes in two flavors; Black and White. The compact design makes it easy to carry from room to room, including the bathroom. Normally, damp spaces like bathrooms aren’t good for electronic devices, however the Play:1 is well adapted for bathroom listening since it’s humidity resistant.

Sonos Play 1

 

Play:1 Setup

Getting the Play:1 up and running can be a little tricky at first if it’s your first rodeo. However, once you get used to it, you could end up with a house full of Sonos speakers.

 

Despite the fact that the Sonos Play-1 is a WiFi speaker, it doesn’t actually run on your WiFi network. Instead it creates it’s own “sub-network” that all of your Sonos speakers connect to. In order for the Sonos network to function you need at least one Sonos component hardwired into your network via an ethernet cable. The component can be another Sonos speaker or a Sonos Bridge ($49). For all intents and purposes the Bridge is probably the easier route to go especially if you want the flexibility of moving the speaker around the house.

 

Sonos Bridge

Sonos Bridge

 

Sonos Play:1 Software

Once you have either a Sonos Bridge or Speaker plugged into your network, the only thing you have to do is install the Sonos app. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices and is also offered for both PC and Mac. After installing the software, it will automatically detect either the Bridge or the Speaker that you have plugged into your network. Syncing everything only requires you to press a couple of buttons on the top of your speaker and/or Bridge and you’re good to go.

 

The Sonos system is very flexible and supports a variety of streaming services including; Rhapsody, SiriusXM, Slacker, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Last.fm, Pandora, Beats Music, Google Play and Amazon Cloud Player. Streaming music from your computer is as simple as pointing the Sonos software to the music directory on your PC or Mac. However, the one caveat with this method is that your computer must remain on for the duration of your listening session. The Play-1 can also play nearly all non-DRM audio formats from iTunes although older DRM protected iTunes music may need to be updated in order for them to work properly.

Sonos App

The Sonos software overall is pretty intuitive. Once inside you can search by artist, song, album etc. You can also create your own playlists. If you have multiple Play speakers you can easily send different music to each speaker or you can have the same music playing through all the speakers.

Sonos Controller App

Sonos Controller App

 

Sonos Play:1 Sound Quality

For casual listening the Sonos Play:1 performs very well. The overall majority of people who purchase one will love the way it sounds. Truth is, considering it’s a “mono” speaker, it manages to produce a balanced full sound. It won’t make Audiophiles happy but for everyday causal listening it’s nearly perfect. In our listening tests we through a variety of music it’s way from Rock to Jazz, to Pop and Classical and to our surprise the Play:1 held it’s own. Overall it has a very neutral sound. Because of it’s diminutive nature it doesn’t have the bass extension of larger speakers, but despite this it still managed to produce some punchy bass. The only major weakness with the Play:1 is that it sounds best in small or medium rooms. In large rooms the Play:1 will struggle.

 

Conclusion

The Sonos Play:1 hits all the correct notes. It looks good, sounds good, is easy to setup and has an attractive price. Audiophiles won’t be impressed, but 99% of casual listeners will love it. The flexibility of adding more speakers to the Sonos system means you can easily place several of these speakers around your house to bolster your listening experience. When you consider all this little speaker has to offer, it’s easily one of our top picks for wireless speakers.

Buy At Amazon

Sonos PLAY:1 Compact Wireless Smart Speaker for Streaming Music (Black)

Price: $198.99

4.6 out of 5 stars (2711 customer reviews)

66 used & new available from $129.99

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