Best Sonos Setup: Which Sonos Speakers, Soundbars Should You Buy?


Here at WIRED, we like Sonos audio system. Throughout the final six years, we’ve reviewed all the things from its small Play:1 speaker to its new Beam and advisable each certainly one of them. But it’s not low cost to show your private home right into a Sonos-powered shrine to sound. Like Apple merchandise, Sonos audio system are constructed to work with different Sonos audio system, and don’t come low cost, beginning at $200 for the least costly, smallest mannequin. But which of them must you purchase? Read on for our suggestions.

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Updated August 1, 2018: We’ve added the Sonos Beam soundbar to our suggestions and up to date the information for Late 2018.

1. Best Sonos Speaker

Sonos One

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The Sonos One (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is simply concerning the smallest Sonos speaker, but it surely nonetheless packs sufficient oomph to fill most rooms and its hands-free Alexa integration is a number of enjoyable. Sonos took the time to make Alexa sound nice, and due to its voice instructions, the Sonos One has grow to be my go-to speaker. It holds the premiere spot in my kitchen, the place I wish to hearken to tunes essentially the most every day. Alexa works like regular, and might play music, inform you the climate, discover a recipe, and reply easy questions. Amazon retains including Skills to Alexa, making it extra helpful on a regular basis. Support for Google Assistant is promised for 2018. The Sonos One can also be the primary third-party Alexa gadget that allows you to use voice management to stream Spotify.

I’ll advocate different Sonos audio system on this information, however you can also’t go fallacious simply shopping for 2-4 Sonos Ones to fill your home up. You get a reduction on orders of two or extra. They’re far more reasonably priced and their small dimension means you’ll be able to disguise them in any room.

Buy the Sonos One for $199 on Amazon or Sonos.com

Play:1 is a Good Alternative: The Play:1 is $150 on Amazon and Sonos.com. It sounds about pretty much as good because the Sonos One, however does not have contact controls or microphones for Alexa. If you already personal a One, it is a great way so as to add extra satellite tv for pc audio system to your private home.

2. Best Party Speaker

Sonos Play:5

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If you actually wish to get together, I like to recommend including a Sonos Play:5 (8/10, WIRED Recommends) to your setup. It has sufficient of a kick to dial a celebration as much as 11, or actually annoy your neighbors. I positioned mine within the largest room of my condominium and it’s actually extra energy than I would like. Sonos boasts that this mannequin has six Class-D digital amplifiers: three tweeters, three mid-woofers, and a phased speaker array. In sensible phrases, it’ll fill a really massive room, or basement with ease.

Out of the 4 normal Sonos audio system I examined, this one delivered the biggest vary of sound, with sufficient thump to fulfill followers of any style.

Buy the Play:5 for $499 on Amazon or Sonos.com

Avoid the Play:3: The medium-sized Play:Three is an older mannequin that hasn’t gotten an bodily replace since 2011. It nonetheless sounds first rate, but it surely doesn’t have the depth of the cheaper Sonos One.

3. Best Sonos Soundbar

Sonos Beam

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The Beam (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is certainly one of three soundbars Sonos gives. It does not sound fairly as spectacular because the older, bigger Playbar, but it surely nonetheless sounds unbelievable and its smaller dimension and additional options are well worth the tradeoff. It’s $300 inexpensive, too.

Unlike the Playbar, it could actually hook up with your TV by way of HDMI ARC, letting you flip your tube on and off with your individual voice…as a result of sure, it additionally has Alexa built-in, and Apple Airplay 2. Later this yr, it is getting an replace to unlock Google Assistant. Even if you happen to do not notably want a voice assistant at the moment, you could change your tune in a couple of years. If you personal a Fire TV Stick, it is already potential to make use of fundamental Alexa instructions on the Beam to observe any TV present or film. No voice assistant is ideal, however they’re all the time bettering.

Buy the Sonos Beam for $399 on Amazon or Sonos.com

Save Up for the Subwoofer: Sonos hasn’t but launched a extra reasonably priced Sub to match the cheaper Beam. The normal Sub is excellent, however it’ll value you $699 on Sonos or Amazon. Don’t trouble shopping for encompass audio system till you personal a Sub—it is a far larger improve.

4. Best for Big Home Theaters

Sonos Playbar

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A soundbar could make all of the distinction in a house theater, and prices lots lower than a full encompass sound setup. The Sonos Beam is nice for flats, however if you happen to actually need a highly effective soundbar, the Sonos Playbar (8/10, WIRED Recommends) remains to be the perfect. With extra mid-woofers, it delivers deep bass and has extra stability and depth than the Beam or Playbase. It’s additionally constructed to hold on a wall, however at simply over 3-inches tall and 5-inches thick, it could actually additionally sit in entrance of most TVs with out problem.

If you intend to spend the additional cash to purchase the Playbar, it’s best to save up $699 extra to get a Sonos Sub.

Buy the Playbar for $699 on Amazon or Sonos.com

Playbase is Best for Pedestal TVs: The Playbase (Playbase sounds just a little sharper than the Playbar on excessive treble sounds, like cymbals, but it surely’s nonetheless probably the greatest soundbars you should purchase. It’s made to take a seat below a standing TV and prices $699 on Amazon or Sonos.com.

5. Best Sonos Surround Sound Setup

Sonos Playbar, Sub, and a couple of Sonos Ones

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To allow encompass sound with certainly one of its soundbars, Sonos requires two rear audio system, one for the left and one for the precise. I’ve used two Play:5 audio system, but it surely’s overkill. Two Sonos One audio system are a greater match. You merely place them to the left and proper of your sofa. They don’t add as a lot profit as you get from the Playbar soundbar and Sub combo, however if you happen to watch a number of films and wish to hear issues like TIE Fighters flying over your head in Star Wars, you’ll like the additional juice a few Ones present. You can purchase the speaker combo piecemeal or in a bundle.

Sonos audio system will be configured to output 5.1 encompass, however the firm’s merchandise usually are not presently geared up to ship Dolby Atmos. Still, this is likely one of the best encompass sound methods to arrange. You simply open up the Sonos app, add a encompass speaker, and comply with the directions whereas the software program does the remaining.

If you don’t have a desk on either side of your sofa to set these audio system on, Sonos sells Sanus Speaker Stands for $100 and Wall Mounts for $60. I’ve not examined these, however I don’t see any pink flags.

Buy the Playbar bundle for $1,678 on Amazon or Sonos.com

Or Try a Beam Bundle: The Playbar nonetheless sounds higher, however the Sonos Beam works nice as the middle of a house theater, too. You can purchase a Beam, Sub, and two Play:1s for $1,396 on Amazon. The bundle is not out there on Sonos.com.

What’s WIRED about Sonos audio system

After flooding my dwelling with each Sonos mannequin you should purchase (and filling all remaining house with the containers of mentioned audio system), I’ve discovered that not each Sonos speaker is identical, however they’ve a chic synergy and sound that no different speaker system appears to have. There’s an additive impact, as effectively—the extra audio system you hook up with your private home Wi-Fi, the richer your private home audio turns into. If you’ve got a couple of audio system in a room, it’s virtually laborious to inform the place the sound is coming from. The crystal clear music can utterly engulf you. Here are the highest causes to purchase into Sonos:

Easy streaming: There isn’t one other speaker system that allows you to string collectively a number of audio system as simply, or join them as much as stream in several rooms of your private home whereas preserving the audio completely in sync. The Sonos ecosystem may deal with dwelling theater purposes, and might assist a full encompass sound setup. It’s additionally extremely straightforward to arrange these audio system. The Sonos app guides you thru the method of beginning a brand new system, or including audio system to an present system. AirPlay 2 is now out there and Google Assistant is on the best way.

They sound wonderful: Sonos audio system are all top quality and ship constant, interesting sound. It’s straightforward to argue that Sonos {hardware} is simply too costly, but it surely’s troublesome to fault the best way they sound.

Spotify on Alexa: Spotify can now be accessed utilizing Alexa voice management on the Sonos One, the speaker with Amazon’s voice assistant in-built. If you’ve got certainly one of these audio system, you’ll be able to set Spotify as your default music service within the Alexa app. Then, while you ask Alexa to play one thing, it performs from Spotify.

What’s TIRED about Sonos audio system

As wonderful as all Sonos audio system sound, and as seamlessly as they join collectively, they nonetheless have some limitations, each in utility and know-how. We don’t assume these are dealbreakers (but), however you would possibly.

Aging Connectivity: The tweeters and woofers inside Sonos audio system nonetheless sound wonderful, however the best way they hook up with your community (or TV) is dated. Sonos audio system solely have 2.4GHz Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g, which implies that they can not join on the typically sooner/cleaner 5GHz frequency generally used at the moment. I’ve but to note loss in constancy or have dropouts on a Sonos, however the lack of assist for at the moment’s Wi-Fi requirements, together with N/AC, could finally hang-out these audio system. If you do have points, the perfect resolution is to attach certainly one of your Sonos audio system instantly by way of ethernet. It will share its sooner reference to the others. Sonos’s soundbars (besides the Beam) additionally depend on optical cables, missing trendy ports like HDMI, and newer requirements like Dolby Atmos.

No Batteries or Bluetooth: None of the audio system have battery energy or Bluetooth, so you can not use them exterior of your private home. You can unplug and transfer them from room to room, but it surely’s not precisely inspired—the app has you tune their sound to every house and provides them names like “Kitchen.”

You Must Use the Sonos App (principally): Sonos has accomplished an admirable job updating its audio system with new options via its app, however the app can also be the solely solution to hearken to many sources of music. Sonos is slowly liberating companies from its app, permitting you to instantly broadcast to any speaker inside the regular Spotify, Tidal, Audible, and Pandora apps, for example. But for many others, you’re nonetheless caught utilizing the Sonos app, which features high-quality, however isn’t preferrred.

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