Sonos is a well-known and reputable brand when it comes to speakers, and at WIRED, we are no strangers to their products. Over the past decade, we have reviewed and recommended all of Sonos’ wireless speakers, from small shelf speakers to TV soundbars. However, it’s no secret that Sonos speakers come with a premium price tag, starting at $120 for a basic model. With so many options available, it can be challenging to decide which Sonos speaker is worth investing in. That’s where we come in. In this article, we will provide recommendations and updates on the latest Sonos speakers to help you make an informed decision.
Our top pick for the best overall Sonos speaker is the Sonos Era 100. With a rating of 9/10 and our recommendation, this speaker has replaced the Sonos One (Gen 2) as our favorite Sonos speaker. What sets the Era 100 apart is its improved sound quality and features. It retains the sleek design and compact size of the Sonos One, making it easy to blend into any space. The Era 100 now comes equipped with a volume slider and a play-pause button, eliminating the need to use your phone for control. It also has a USB-C input and a switch to disable the built-in microphone for privacy. The Era 100 includes larger woofers and angled tweeters that create real stereo sound, along with a faster processor for software updates. WIRED associate editor Parker Hall notes that the Era 100 delivers punchier bass, crisp definition, and room-filling sound compared to its predecessors. Another noteworthy addition is Bluetooth pairing, which allows you to stream audio without a Sonos account and pair the speaker with a Bluetooth turntable.
If you’re looking for a more affordable option that doesn’t have microphones, the Sonos One SL is a solid choice. While you can only control it from your phone or the touch buttons on the speaker, it offers excellent sound quality and is a great way to expand your Sonos system with additional satellite speakers.
When it comes to filling out a room, the second-generation Symfonisk bookshelf speaker is highly recommended. Priced at $130, it comes with memory and a faster processor compared to its predecessor. This speaker can be mounted on a wall or placed on a bookshelf or table. While it doesn’t have built-in microphones for audio commands, it can be controlled using a Sonos One, Sonos Era 100, Google speaker, or Alexa speaker. It offers all the features you would expect from a Sonos speaker and is an affordable way to network multiple speakers together for a larger room or connected rooms.
If you prefer a speaker that doubles as a lamp, the second-generation Symfonisk Speaker Lamp is a fantastic option. It offers great sound quality and adds a touch of elegance to any room. While it lacks a microphone for voice commands, it can be connected to an Amazon or Nest smart speaker for smart assistant support. Ikea also offers the Symfonisk Picture Frame, which combines a Wi-Fi speaker with wall art for a unique audio experience.
For those looking for a large speaker that delivers powerful sound, the Sonos Era 300 is highly recommended. Despite its slightly awkward appearance, the Era 300 features six speaker drivers, four tweeters, and mid/bass drivers that produce detailed, big, and confident sound. It also boasts spatial audio, spreading sound in all directions without compromising on definition. The Era 300 comes with physical controls, including a volume slider and play/pause buttons, and supports voice-assistant interaction with a choice between Amazon Alexa and Sonos Voice Control.
If portability is a priority, the Sonos Roam is an excellent choice. This compact speaker offers built-in Bluetooth connectivity and can be easily carried in a tote bag. It delivers impressive sound quality with bold bass and clear highs, making it ideal for outdoor use. With up to 10 hours of battery life, it will last you through a full beach day.
If you’re in need of a larger portable speaker with better sound, the Sonos Move is worth considering. It offers Bluetooth connectivity, 11 hours of battery life, and onboard microphones that adapt sound to the environment. It is also water-resistant, making it a versatile choice for both indoor and outdoor use.
When it comes to soundbars, the second-generation Sonos Beam is highly recommended for most users. It offers impressive sound quality and comes with a faster processor, support for Dolby Atmos, and an HDMI eARC port for higher-definition audio. It also includes hands-free Alexa and Google Assistant, and is compatible with AirPlay 2. Additionally, you can pair it with a Sonos Sub and two other Sonos speakers for a surround sound experience.
For those with smaller spaces or just starting out with soundbars, the Sonos Ray is a solid option. It offers a compact design but delivers powerful sound and includes features like voice control and wireless connectivity.
In conclusion, Sonos offers a range of speakers to suit different needs and budgets. Whether you’re looking for a compact speaker for personal use, a speaker to fill out a room, a large speaker for powerful sound, a portable speaker for on-the-go use, or a soundbar for a home theater setup, Sonos has you covered. We hope our recommendations and insights help you choose the right Sonos speaker for your needs.