Indoors, outdoors, portable, and more, here are the latest SONOS speakers that are worth buying.
Ask any audiophile about SONOS, and chances are that he or she’ll be gushing about the brand’s unique speakers as well as why they’re some of the best in the market (which is no surprise, since SONOS speakers are created with input from top-tier music producers who work with the likes of Adele, Rihanna, and Radiohead).
However, with such a unique range of options ranging from TV soundbars to smart speakers, portable speakers, and more, deciding which SONOS speaker to buy can be a little confusing for first-timers.
Don’t have an audio expert in your life to ask for advice? No worries! Just keep scrolling for a list of the best and newest speakers in SONOS’s roster, accompanied by helpful (layman) explanations of what makes each of them special.
1. SONOS One – For a multi-audio experience in every room
The SONOS One is the SONOS’s first smart speaker so you can use it to voice-activate other home automation devices, like lights and appliances, in a smart home with either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant (both come built into the SONOS One).
However, that isn’t the only selling point of this nifty speaker because the SONOS One is the device for homeowners who want music piping through every room. Yes, that’s right, every room.
Have a favourite ‘wake-me-up’ song that you enjoy listening to in the bathroom or a relaxing, pre-bedtime playlist for your boudoir? With a SONOS One speaker in each room, you can synchronise all of them (with each other, or with other SONOS speakers) to get a rich and seamless audio experience throughout your entire home.
Other notable features of the SONOS One:
• Compact size lets it sit nicely on any shelf, table or counter.
• Humidity-resistant, so you can place it in a bathroom or a balcony.
• Streams over Wi-Fi, allowing it to be easily connected with other SONOS speakers to achieve different audio set-ups. (e.g. Living room surround, instant stereo.)
• Also available without built-in voice control/microphone as the SONOS One SL.
2. SONOS Move – For outdoor (and also, indoor) use
As its name implies, the SONOS Move is indeed a portable speaker, but to think of it as the same as any regular Bluetooth speaker would be a mistake because the SONOS Move is optimised for use in all sorts of environments, both indoors and outdoors.
Like to listen to some music while you cook or before you sleep? You can place the Move in the kitchen or by your bedside. Otherwise, if you’re on the move, it works well in vehicles as well as hotel rooms, and even open spaces, like the beach or pool.
Also, with the Move, you can forget about the issues that typically plague portable speakers, such as low battery life (the Move’s battery can last for 10 hours); poor clarity (there are built-in speaker parts – specifically tweeters and a mid-woofer – to ensure sounds are faithfully reproduced); and lack of connectivity (like the SONOS One, the Move works on a Wi-Fi network and also with Bluetooth devices).
Other notable features of the SONOS Move:
• Has an IP56 rating, which means it’s resistant to humidity, rain, snow, dust, UV rays, dust as well as extreme heat and cold.
• Comes with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa built in, which makes it a smart speaker.
• Can be tuned automatically with Auto Trueplay, a SONOS technology that analyses room size, speaker placement, and other acoustic factors to noticeably improve sound quality.
3. SONOS Five – For high-fidelity audio
The Five is SONOS’s newest high-fidelity wireless speaker and it’s meant to reproduce audio inputs with maximum accuracy, or put simply, ensure your music sounds the way that it’s actually supposed to.
Audio distortion usually occurs as the result of speakers being pushed to their limits, and the Five solves this with a customised design that has the necessary components – namely three mid-woofers, three tweeters as well as digital amplifiers – to ensure all of your favourite tunes are properly delivered, even at high volumes.
Putting aside its technical capabilities, the Five is also unique amongst SONOS speakers because it’s specially designed to be used both as a standalone unit and as a pair.
Place a single Five speaker on its side and it’ll automatically separate the left and right channels of a music track to create stereo sound; or sync it with another Five speaker to
realistically replicate the experience of being at your favourite concert or live performance.
Other notable features of the SONOS Five:
• Updated design with new details and a sleek monochromatic finish.
• Has increased memory and processing power over its predecessor, the SONOS Play:5.
• Compatible with Apple AirPlay 2, so you can easily share your favourite music, movies and more from your Apple device to the SONOS Five.
4. SONOS Sub (Gen 3) – For that extra-deep bass
While the SONOS Sub is technically a speaker, it plays a fundamentally different role from its counterparts like the SONOS One and Five because its purpose is to produce deep bass (i.e. low-frequency sounds) instead of higher frequencies that are more easily detected by the human ear.
Essentially, by pairing a SONOS Sub with surround speakers or a soundbar, you’ll get a more dramatic audio experience that’s (literally) felt as much as it’s heard. Or to put it in a more easily digestible manner, it’s the difference in vibe between watching a movie in a cinema versus your living room without a subwoofer.
Other notable features of the SONOS Sub:
• The latest version (Gen 3) of the Sub comes with updated internals that increase its memory and processing power.
• There’s also now a wireless radio built into the Sub (Gen 3).
• Eliminates vibrations and rattles with its two-driver, force-cancelling design.
5. SONOS Beam – For a smart, compact home audio experience
In many ways, soundbars are the middle ground between audio speakers and a complete home theatre setup; on one hand, you get to enjoy better sound quality, and on the other, they don’t eat up too much space on your console or wall – these are also reasons why the SONOS Beam is a great choice to consider as an upgrade for your existing TV set-up.
Moreover, because it comes with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant installed, you can use the Beam as a smart speaker that can be commanded to play music, check the news, set alarms and more; this in turn adds another layer of usefulness on top of the Beam’s main function as an audio device.
Making all of this possible is the Beam’s five-microphone array that’s designed to pick up your voice commands accurately – even when there’s an action-packed movie playing at the same time.
Other notable features of the SONOS Beam:
• Easy set-up and control through the SONOS app for phones and tablets.
• SONOS app can also be used to turn on the Speech Enhancement function, which clarifies dialogue when characters whisper or are drowned out during noisy scenes.
• Has Trueplay that enables it to be easily tuned for optimum performance.
6. SONOS Arc – For TV, gaming, music, and more
If the Beam is a great entry-level soundbar, then the SONOS Arc is the high-end upgrade that’ll maximise your TV/music/ gaming/ home theatre experience to the fullest. Why that’s the case is because, as one of SONOS’s newest products for 2020, the Arc is built to sound as good as it looks.
Thanks to a series of upward-firing drivers (internal components that help create the impression of sound coming from above) as well as increased processing power and memory, the Arc is able to support Dolby Atmos surround sound technology, which is a first for SONOS’s soundbars.
On top of that, hundreds of hours have been put into perfecting various features of the Arc, such as its Trueplay function and audio waveguides – a feat only made possible with the help of SONOS’s Soundboard, who are a team of talented music, movie and TV creators, led by Giles Martin, the son of Beatles producer, George Martin.
Hence, with a compatible TV, you can be assured that the Arc will faithfully output every sound to bring you the same immersive 3D audio experience you’d get at a cinema.
Coupled with an elegant design featuring a discreet profile, built-in voice control as well as auto-tuning via Trueplay, there’s no doubt that the Arc is a forerunner for the title of ‘best soundbar’ in 2020.
Other notable features of the SONOS Arc:
• Similar to the Beam, it supports the Speech Enhancement feature through the SONOS smartphone/tablet app.
• With TV remote sync, you can control the Arc and your TV with the same remote.
• Compatible with Apple AirPlay 2, so you can easily share your favourite music, movies and more from your Apple device to the Arc.
The SONOS advantage: Easy setup, great customisability, and brilliant sound
What differentiates SONOS and its speakers from other audio brands is simple: They offer brilliant sound, are easy to use, and allow you to listen in your own way with customisable systems that play what you want, where you want.