Written by Laurence

Specialists review of the Sonos Play: 1

The SONOS PLAY:1 has become an iconic multi-room speaker over the past few years. That's why I was immediately excited when I was given the chance to do an extensive review. I wasn't only curious about the sound quality, but about the app and the playback options as well. Is this speaker really as user friendly as people say it is? On this page, you'll find my observations.

Sonos One: successor to the Play:1

Sound quality according to customers: Excellent | Integrated voice assistant: Yes | Spotify Connect: Yes
in stock

The Sonos Play:1 is no longer available. Its successor is the Sonos ONE. The One has Google Assistant, which allows you to operate the speaker via voice commands. This way, you can easily switch to the next song or ask for the weather forecast.

First impression

Sonos Play: 1

When I unboxed the speaker, it was heavier than I expected. This certainly isn't bad, though. A lightweight speaker is more prone to vibrations, which leads to a loss in audio quality. On top, there are buttons that let you pause the music or adjust the volume. The rest of the controls are operated via the app. In addition to a power cable, a network is included. If you connect the speaker your home network via WiFi, you won't need this cable.

Specifications at a glance: installation

Installing the speaker was easy as pie. All you need to do is connect the speaker to a socket and download the Controller app on your smartphone or tablet. This app guides you through an easy installation procedure. Each step is clearly explained with help of images. All in all, it cost me about 10 minutes to fully set up the speaker.

Highlighted specifications: the app

After the installation was complete, I was immediately given access to different playback option. TuneIn was featured in the list of available music services, for example. This lets you listen to radio via the Internet. I could hardly wait to start streaming music via Spotify, as this is my most frequently used source of music. After I had added the service and entered my log in credentials, I was directly given access to my playlists. Within a couple of minutes I was browsing my music and adding songs to the queue.

Specifications highlighted: sound

For a speaker of this size, I'm highly positive about the sound quality. I played back Massive Attack's Unfinished Symphony in order to test the bass and high frequencies. Especially the vocals and sounded clear. The bass was audible, but not very defined. Still, I thought it was quite the feat for such a small speaker to produce a reasonable bass. I did notice that mean tones quickly faded into the background. This sometimes led to the loss of subtle samples and effects.

Highlighted specifications: connectivity

Due to the lack of audio ports, the speaker is only suitable for streaming. You can't use a 3.5mm AUX cable to connect an MP3 player, for example. I would've like to connect the speaker to my TV, but unfortunately, that wasn't possible. In order to do this, you first need to connect a PLAYBAR, PLAYBASE, or CONNECT to your TV. After that, you need to connect your PLAY:1. All the remaining connectivity options work via the app. This lets you turn 2 speakers into a multi-room or stereo setup.

Specifications highlighted: suitable for different rooms

thanks to the splash proof design the speaker is suitable for your bathroom. It's especially these kinds of spaces where the sound quality comes into its own. The speaker isn't powerful enough to entirely fill a large room. If you're looking for a speaker to place in your living room, you're better off with a PLAY:3 or a PLAY:5. I mostly view the PLAY:1 as a useful speaker for an extra room, like the bedroom or kitchen.

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Customer rating: 9.2 / 10 - 20,199 reviews