Driven by two Class-D digital amplifiers, one tweeter, and one mid-woofer, Sonos One delivers surprisingly rich sound for a speaker of its size. The Voice capture technology with echo cancellation allows the speaker to hear you over the music.
The volume intelligently lowers, or “ducks,” when you speak to it so you don’t have to shout over the music. A built-in six-mic array and adaptive noise suppression focus on the right person and ensure the voice service understands everything clearly. A light even illuminates if the microphones are active.
“We live in a golden age of streaming entertainment,” said Sonos CEO Patrick Spence. “But so much of this great content is being pushed through smart speakers that aren’t designed with sound quality in mind. With our open approach to collaboration, agnostic approach to voice services, the strength of our many innovative partners, and a sound platform designed for the whole home, we’re helping people listen more and listen better.”
Sonos One is part of the Sonos home sound system, so it can be used as a standalone speaker and works seamlessly with other Sonos speakers. You can wirelessly pair two for stereo sound, or use them with Sonos Playbase or Playbar to create home theatre surround sound.
Although the voice controls, things like pause, skip, volume up and down, and even asking what’s playing will not be available straight out of the box unless you are using Amazon Alexia. And only within the US, UK and Germany. For other apps, you will have to wait until 2018. For all other regions, the wait could be longer.
Still, Sonos One is an impressive wireless speaker, and voice controls aren’t everything. Sonos One launches globally October 24 in all-white and all-black matte finishes. The speaker will retail for $199 USD & $299 AUD.