2017 was the year of smart speakers with Google launching a fleet of smart home speakers for every kind of user they wanted to target. With already Google Home and Google Home mini in the market, they introduced the Home Hub and the Home Max.
Speakers are a very important part of one’s life, be it for a mother of two or some DJ just throwing a party in his backyard. Major league tech manufacturers like Google, Apple, Samsung, and Amazon have been in the smart speaker game for some time now and we have seen tremendous play too.
Q2 2018 also saw an additional 2 million sale for compact internet speakers like the Home mini and the Echo dot. And at CES 2019, Google Assistant adds function to Sonos One, Sonos Beam and other Sonos products.
The underrated wired or WiFi connected Sonos speakers do not fall in the compact category. And without a Bluetooth feature, they are probably never going to top the smart speaker sales. With various similarities and difference, scroll down to check out the Sonos One vs Play 1 comparison.
Sonos one is the first smart speaker from the company that started multi-room audio. Sonos does lack an AUX and a Bluetooth feature but it balances itself with the audio quality and the music streaming services it has teamed up with.
After all, audio quality is what users look out for in any smart speaker and when it comes to Sonos One vs Play 1, it is not very distinctive. Users these days require an all-in-one smart speaker which is the reason for higher sales of Google Home devices.
But, there’s a catch, Sonos One comes out of the box with Alexa and now supports Google Assistant, and Sonos is doing Alexa better than Amazon. Sonos also has a cheaper version called the Play 1 with ethernet support alongside with hard buttons on the top. When it comes to voice user input for Sonos One vs Play 1, the Sonos one with Google Assistant now stands ahead of its successor.
The Sonos Play 1 is one of the most liked Sonos products around the globe. The speaker comes with hard buttons on the top all aligned vertically. Unlike the Play 1, the Sonos one has touch capacitive keys along with a microphone array all placed across the top metal cover.
When it comes to Sonos One vs Play 1, the One shows a generational gap with the Play 1. The sleek looking speakers have a minimalistic front design. The Play 1 has a threaded input along with an ethernet cable in case you want to wire the speaker through with your router.
The Sonos One has a little connector button to pair and there is no support for threaded insert, mounting it will not be as hassle-free as the Play 1. Both of the Sonos speakers run through the Sonos app that connects automatically after you go through a couple of sign-in screens when you fire it up for the first time.
The Sonos app also needs the Amazon Alexa app alongside it. Once you are done with setting up the speakers, you can choose from a behemoth array of music services like Spotify, Amazon Music, Napster, SoundCloud, Apple Music, etc to listen to.
With an amazing lineup of services for both the devices, there is no comparison for Sonos One vs Play 1. These are wired WiFi at home speakers with the feature of playing songs only through a couple of ways, using the ethernet port or using the WiFi.
There have been steady complains in the Sonos community to add auxiliary inputs or the Bluetooth 2.0 for a 33 feet audio playback and hence they lack optimum user experience like other competitors.
Both the speakers are great at audio quality and you won’t get disappointed if all you want from your smart speakers is to listen to great music. When it comes to playback input selection for Sonos One vs Play 1 neither of them has got AUX input or Bluetooth support.
Specs Comparison: Sonos One vs Play 1
Sonos One and Sonos Play 1 don’t have a lot of differences. Both of them have got the same single tweeter and mid-woofer under their hoods. The build quality is different and so is the price point.
The Sonos One is more premium looking with the touch capacitive buttons along with finer speaker grills. The color contrast on the speaker grills of the Play 1 makes it look good but feels like plastic.
Both of the devices can be controlled by the single app or the Alexa app. Voice user interface is what companies nowadays are focusing on and Sonos does it really good.
You can talk to the speaker and ask questions like, “How’s the weather?, What’s 3 kilos in pounds?, What day is today?” and much more.
When it comes down to a VUI experience comparison of Sonos One vs Play 1, the One is definitely more likely to win.
Here’s the specification list of Sonos One vs Play 1. The comparison of companions.
Sound Quality: Sonos One vs Play 1
Because Sonos lacks on the port selection and support for additional playback settings, they have got a huge focus on the quality of audio that gets out of Sonos one and Sonos Play 1.
The new Sonos One vs Play 1 doesn’t differ a lot when it comes to sound quality. Both the speakers are of the same height and near about the same dimensions.
Both speakers are comfortable to place on any desk and for a size comparison of Sonos One vs Play 1, both are nearly equal.
The Sonos One and the Sonos Play 1 are packed with two Class-D digital amplifiers, a single tweeter for high-frequency throw and one mid-woofer for bass. The sound quality is definitely top-notch for anything around this price category.
The app asks you to scan the room to know the audio layout of the room you want to keep the speaker in with your microphone. This is done by Google using machine learning but a manual layout gives you a better tailor-made audio output.
So, finally, when it comes to a comparison of Sonos One vs Play 1 on sound clarity, both of them rank pretty much the same. Sonos should’ve added better features to the newly released speaker.
Sonos gives you the feature of adjustable bass and treble along with a stereo output only when paired with other speakers. If you have a couple of Sonos One or Sonos Play 1, that is all the sound you are ever going to need.
The smart speaker understands the user and plays songs to fit your needs. The audio is clear on both the devices, the crisp sound beats any device in the comparable range.
Finally, for the Sonos One vs Play 1, the bass sounds slightly flat in the Play 1 and that points at some cost-cutting measures that Sonos might have undertaken.
Build Quality and Ease of Use: Sonos One vs Play 1
We focused on the inside of both the speakers and there wasn’t any distinctive difference in sound quality or audio output selection. For Sonos One vs Play 1 on the outside, there lie some significant changes.
The Sonos One has zero hard buttons on the top surface of the device. It makes it look more futuristic as Sonos is trying hard to do that with Amazon Alexa built-in. In the case of Sonos Play 1, it is a whole new story.
There is also a single button for play/pause. Both the devices have a single indicator LED placed on the head of the devices.
Both devices are made from durable metal and plastic and the Sonos One is made minimalistic with a single tone body whereas the Play 1 looks cheaper with a dual tone body with a contrast speaker grill.
When it boils down to the two of Sonos, the Sonos One vs Play 1, the Sonos One definitely beats the Play 1 in build quality, minimalism, and ease of use.
Both the speakers are good but the major selling point is not their build quality or ease of use. It is the Sonos lineup teaming up with more than 50 music streaming services that allow for better use of the devices.
Sonos One vs Play 1 in case of stable music playback, Sonos has got you covered. If you have a smart WiFi speaker, you might have faced the dreadful lag in music playback when the WiFi is weak or slow.
With an Ethernet cable this problem if not solved completely, might reduce at least. You will get a more stable connection than Bluetooth and WiFi. You won’t be disturbed with a ‘bing’ when your messages or notifications pop up.
Additional Features: Sonos One vs Play 1
Sonos is a company that started multi-room audio which is one of the major selling points of Sonos speakers. Both, the Sonos One and the Sonos Play 1 can sync in and have the same songs playing over on all your connected devices.
For this feature, Sonos One vs Play 1 is at a similar level. Sonos certainly understands their users and hence within the Sonos app, you can sync up your music around your house.
Sonos is selling an unmatched experience here. Let say you are listening to music in your bedroom and you move to your kitchen, while you move out of your room the audio levels remain constant.
This enriching experience comes with multiple Sonos speakers working in symphony. When this experience is compared for Sonos One vs Play 1, either of the devices sounds pretty crisp with Sonos compatible devices.
Yes, you can connect Sonos One with Sonos Play 1 to play them together for your beach house party. The Sonos ecosystem is very vivid and you can connect multiple devices and have rich sound experience and Sonos is the best at a multi-room audio experience.
In case you are wondering if you can use as a home theatre, you can’t use it without a smart TV. If you have a Fire TV you can then sync up the device.
There is no stereo output programmed into these devices. You can’t have two Sonos speakers placed on your right and left and channeling right and left audio.
This could’ve been a great addition to the Sonos app though. These bad boys are great but when it comes to feature pack speakers, they are just ‘okay’. There are speakers like the Echo that have more tweeters, microphones and even an AUX input for giving your TV an audio boost.
For the price point comparison of Sonos One vs Play 1, Sonos could’ve made the Play 1 less like the One. Sonos One and Play 1 don’t have a lot to be compared with, the audio is what speakers are meant for and they barely inequal.
On a final note for all the additional feature comparison of Sonos One vs Play 1, the One is for you if you like hands-free and the Play 1 is for you if you want the same package for a lesser price.
One on 1
Both the devices are top-notch when it comes to audio quality but I don’t have high hopes for their trajectory. They need to rethink how to build their audio products from the ground up if they want to keep the future of audio in the focus.
Comparing the Sonos One vs Play 1 with companies like JBL, Beats, and Bose who are doing great with wireless audio devices and Sonos is more like a traditional company trying to stay afloat by incrementing technology in the fast-moving industry.
Sonos is doing great with the multi-room audio and the synchronize feature of their products, but with a Bluetooth and more minimalistic design, the Sonos One and the Play 1 would’ve truly stood apart.
When it comes down to One on 1, the One beats the Play 1 with its build quality and crisp bass that is barely recognizable. What it comes down to is that if you don’t want additional AirPlay 2 support then the Play 1 will do the job.
But if you are more into voice controls, then chose the One as there is little to no audio quality difference in the two. Hence, the Sonos One is slightly smarter but as now Google Assistant is coming to both the devices in early 2019, that problem is solved.
Either of the devices is great if you want to step in the Sonos Sound ecosystem. That’s the bottom line for Sonos One vs Play 1.