The word ‘smart’ is becoming consistently more applicable to everyday commodities found in our workplace and home. Being at the point where almost anything that runs off electricity can now be controlled by an app; the possibilities to control the tech within our everyday surroundings makes life much more convenient and even enjoyable.
The smart speaker has been around for a little while now, and 2017 has seen the intelligence of these audio products move away from a gimmick, to being genuinely useful in your day-to-day. The problem is, that often, sound quality is put on the back-burner in place of features.
SONOS have recognised this gap in the market since day one, and hold audio output in highest regard. Their latest release, the SONOS ONE, makes no exception. Just ahead of the release, we took the smart speaker for a test run. Here are our SONOS ONE first impressions:
Straight from the box, the SONOS ONE provides a much easier set-up than previous iterations. The app has also had a fairly hefty upgrade, which makes for swift integration between other SONOS speakers. This can be done wirelessly with one other, or through PLAYBASE as a home theatre configuration.
It’s well known that SONOS’ reputation in the contemporary audio market is second to none. The sound of their products has a quality that can be heard across their diverse range of speakers. The ONE features updated spec that improves on this yet again with two Class-D digital amplifiers, a mid-woofer for deep and rich bass, as well as a tweeter for those crisp mids and highs. Designed in-house and with customisable sound using the SONOS app, it’s ensured you’ll get the most out of the speaker regardless of the genre playing.
Accessing an array of music streaming services has been meticulously planned out as per usual, while the connectivity between Spotify and the ONE remains just as impressive through either respective apps.
Unfortunately, Australian customers haven’t been given the green light for any voice service integration just yet. A slight restriction on the true capabilities of the speaker, yet we’re confident this isn’t too far away.
In terms of aesthetics, nothing has changed drastically since its predecessor. The smoothed rectangular shape is reminiscent of most SONOS speakers, and the wrap-around grille looks almost identical to previous models.
There are however a few neat updates. Most notably is the slick all-white body, a welcome change from the previous white and silver combo. The control plate on the top has also received some attention. Rather than being concave, this now sits flat and feels much more ergonomic to the touch. The capacitive controls have also been tidied up with LED indicators and a touch sensitive panel for volume, play/pause and previous/next track instead of physical buttons.
The power plug sits flush in the rear of this speaker. The Ethernet port and reset button are discreetly tucked away for that signature SONOS aesthetic, too.
The SONOS ONE performed exceptionally well as a standalone speaker, or as an addition to a multi-speaker set-up. For those who take their audio seriously, you’ll notice the sound quality has taken another bound ahead.
If you can’t justify the A$299 price tag for the sound quality alone, take solace in the fact that voice control is only a few updates away (we hope). Once these come into effect, it’s assured that this will be one of the smartest and best sounding speakers on the market.