Why Is Everyone Talking About Sonos Smart Speakers?

By Steve Hall

September 26, 2018

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I’m not going to sit here and blow smoke about your smart assistant being the best smart speakers for playing music. I’d be lying if I told you that Alexa, Google Home, Siri or any of the other smart assistants on the market are worthy of your time and money for quality music because they just aren’t.

While smart assistants like the Amazon Echos and Apple Homepods of the world have gotten better the last few years, it’s no secret that smart assistants are very tinny sounding and are no replacement for a real stereo system. True audiophiles know the difference right out of the gate!

Sonos Smart Speakers VS. Smart Assistants

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Anyone who has used any of the smart home assistants knows that they don’t handle playing music in any kind of quality or real definition.

Maybe you’ve heard of Sonos, or have seen the little box at a local coffee shop mounted up in the corner that was playing your favorite tune in the highest of quality.

Well, that’s actually exactly what happened to me! I was sitting at my favorite local breakfast place and heard Bohemian Rapsody by Queen playing over in the corner.

I couldn’t get over how crisp and clear the sound was. How I could actually hold a conversation with my wife, but still hear every dulcet tone of the song that was playing on that little piece of technology was amazing to me!

I thought to myself “man, that is classy! I need to get me one of those!” So over the course of the last few years, I’ve now owned several different pieces of Sonos equipment. Heck, I’d darn near consider myself a Sonos collector at this point! Don’t get me wrong, I own several Amazon Echos and Google Home products like the Google Home mini and the Google Home Max. But the quality difference is just amazing!

What Makes Sonos Smart Speakers The Best?

The beauty of Sonos is that they have a cross-platform streaming music interface that is completely agnostic! It doesn’t matter if you are using Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music or Tidal, it literally covers everything you can think of!

They have perfected the way you listen to music! You can, in fact, listen to different songs or types of music in different parts of your home at any time. The other great thing is that you can control it all with your phone. No more hunting for remotes, this is the hi-fi system you’ve been looking for.

Sonos offers a smart speaker in the new Sonos One that is unparalleled and you won’t find it’s technology anywhere else. It works with all of your digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri.

Admit it! That’s pretty cool right out of the box! You can even see how easy they are to set up in the video below.

What Smart Speaker Options Does Sonos Offer?

Here’s the fun part. I’m going to have to break this down into three main sections because there are so many different options. Each has its own particular use and in the end, it’s really up for you to decide which one is going to serve your music and entertainment needs best.

Sonos speakers, for the most part, come in both black and white.  So they can fit the motif of just about any home, no matter which Sonos smart speaker options you decide to go with.

Standalone Speakers

If you are looking for a single smart speaker that gives you a big sound, then this is the section you are looking for. There are four options that Sonos gives us when it comes to finding the perfect speaker for a room.

Sonos One

The Sonos One gives you not only much better music quality than your standard Bluetooth speaker or smart assistant. But it also includes Alexa built right in. That’s what makes it smart, and a smart choice as well, as it will be a great entry point into a multi-speaker setup for your home. You can check out their current price right here on Amazon.

Sonos Play:1

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The Sonos Play:1 is the predecessor to the Sonos One. Basically the only difference with the Play:1 from the Sonos One is that the Play:1 does not have Alexa built in. You will still get the same rich music experience that you would with the Sonos One, and it is a little bit less expensive. This is the perfect option if you have a smaller room that you’d like to add music to and you have no desire to control music with your voice. As with all Sonos speakers, this will allow you to use the app on your smartphone or computer to control it. As I said, they are a little bit less than the Sonos One, but you can check out the current price over here on Amazon if you are curious.

Sonos Play:3

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If you want a little more speaker, then you might want to go with this mid-sized wireless smart speaker the Play:3. This speaker features one tweeter and two mid-range drivers as well as a built-in bass radiator. This is a great fit for any audio enthusiast and can be doubled up with a second one to give you the best stereo quality sound a single room can have in my opinion. You can also check out the current pricing and reviews over here on Amazon if you are interested.

Sonos Play:5

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If you are out to get the single biggest and best-sounding speaker then you’ll want to take a look at the Play:5. It features six amplifiers with six dedicated speaker drivers. The beauty of it is that you can fill even the largest rooms with a big sound. You can pair it with your stereo to make the sound even bigger and better! This is perfect for a big open concept home where there aren’t a lot of walls to get in the way.

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Speaker and Home Theater Sets

If you are a true audiophile, then you’ll understand the value of having more than one of these little speakers. Being able to listen to music in multiple rooms is a big thing for geeks like us. Not only that, but Sonos offers some really great home theater sets as well.

You know that scene at the beginning of Star Wars, where the Star Destroyer is coming into view from front to back on your screen? Well, I’ll tell you this, if you pick up one of the Sonos Home Theater packages, it’ll sound like it is coming in right over your head!!! It’s one of the best purchases I have ever made, hands down!

Sonos One Sets

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Out of all the sets that Sonos offers for music, I have to say that these are probably my favorite. Mostly because they offer smart assistant compatibility. I’ve got mine set up with Alexa and they work wonderfully! They offer two, three and a four-room set. Absolutely worth the money if you’d like to be able to listen to different tracks of music throughout your home.

They do also offer a two-room Sonos Play:5 system, which doesn’t offer smart assistant compatibility. But as I said before, you can just pair them up in one room for a really full sound as well. You can check out all of the different options for Sonos One sets over here on Amazon. More than likely you’ll find the perfect system for your smart home.

Entertainment and Surround Sound Sets

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There are so many different options when it comes to Sonos, especially when it comes to smart entertainment and home theater options. But basically, it’s broken down into two segments. Their slightly less expensive 3.1 audio entertainment system sets and their higher end 5.1 Surround Sound sets.

There are a lot of different configuration options as well, so I’m not going to go through all of them here, but you can just take a look at these over here on Amazon and you’ll get a pretty clear picture. Try comparing the Googel assistants like Google Home mini or Google Home Max or any of the Amazon Echo products. You’ll find that they come up very short of the bar when it comes to music.

Can I use Sonos with my existing speakers?

I’ve mentioned that I own a lot of Sonos equipment. But sometimes you want just a little more or a little better control over what you already have. So let’s say that you paid big money for a sound system and you don’t want to replace it or you prefer the vinyl sound over some of the newer digital audio.

If that’s the case then the Sonos Connect Wireless receiver might be a great fit for you! It plugs into your existing system to make it so that you can wirelessly control it. It also gives you all of the same functionality that you would have with any of the Sonos speakers without having to buy any new speakers.

If you are really die hard, you could alternatively pick up a Sonos Connect Amp. Essentially it plugs directly into your old speakers and gives you Sonos functionality, similar to if you have the Sonos Connect Wireless receiver.

There are also a few other companies out there that make some pretty useful tools to help you connect your Sonos system to the sound system you already have.

For example, this Russound 4-zone multi-room amplifier can help you take up to four separate Sonos One’s and turn them into the ultimate multi-room audio system! (They also have this 8-zone amplifier as well)

Does Sonos Make Outdoor Speakers?

No, not at this time. However, they have recently partnered with a company called Sonance to help provide ceiling, in-wall and outdoor speakers!

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Depending on what your needs are, you might find that the perfect fit is already out there. In fact, a good friend of mine recently helped me find out about this partnership between Sonos and Sonance.

You see, he wanted to have full outdoor audio surrounding his pool area, instead of having to unplug the Sonos and take it out there every time he wanted to listen to some tunes. Not only that, but he wanted much better sound quality, being that there is a lot more ambient noise outside.

So he ended up buying the Sonarray SR1 outdoor speaker system paired with the Sonos Connect Amp. I’ve got to say, I absolutely love these speakers and so did he! The sound quality is amazing and the setup was super simple! (I know because I went over to help him set them up). You can hear them clear as a bell at least up to 60 feet away.


So now that we’ve covered your options for the best smart speakers on the market, what are you going to do? If you are getting a smart speaker to listen to music then don’t waste your time and money on an Apple Homepod, Echo Dot or a Google assistant like the Google Home Mini or Google Home Max. Go pick up a Sonos One and give it a try! I think you’ll find that the quality is outstanding and the options you have to expand after the fact are neverending. You’ll thank me later.

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Steve Hall

Steve Hall is the founder of this website, a certified technology professional and a smart home tech enthusiast fascinated by the power of connected devices.

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