Whats the Difference Between Sonos Play 1 and Sonos One?

The Sonos Play 1 is an extremely popular wireless speaker system. Due to this the physical device itself has not seen any updates since its release in 2013. That is of course until the recent release of the Sonos One. The Sonos One is the latest offering from the renowned audio giant. It is in the affordable range but how does it differ from the Play 1? If you are already a happy owner of the Play 1 should you upgrade and are there any additional features that you should be aware of? In this post we will look at the difference between Sonos Play 1 and Sonos One wireless speaker devices. This is to allow you to decide whether to go with the more affordable Play 1 or the newer Sonos One product.

Sonos Play 1 & One Price Compare

Use the price compare table below to pitch the two Sonos devices against other wireless speaker systems.

ProductImageDetailPrice
JVC Flip 4
JVC Flip 4
Truly portable speaker. Connect up to two smartphones or tablets. Built-in battery with up to 12 hours life. Fully water resistant. Connect multiple speakers using JBL connect+.
Bose Sound Link 2
Bose Sound Link 2
Big sound from small device. Rugged soft touch silicone exterior. Built-in battery with up to 8 hours life. Mic for digital assistants like Siri & Google.
SONOS Play 1
SONOS Play 1
Excellent sound, low price. Stream audio from the internet or wireless devices. Controlled by SONOS app. Link multiple speakers to stream to any room. Excellent build quality.
SONOS One
Sonos One
Same feature rich wireless speaker as SONOS Play 1 but with built-in Amazon Alexa. It includes the full Alexa so you can control your music, appliances or ask questions.
Bose SoundTouch 20
Bose SoundTouch 20
Works with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices to play music services like Amazon Music, Spotify & your home collections. Can be used as part of a multi room setup. Supports Alexa.
SONOS Play 3
Sonos Play 3
The big brother of the Play 1. All the great features including access to both local music and online services but with more power. Can be combined with other SONOS speakers.
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay M5
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay M5
Provides the True360 Bang & Olufsen Signature Sound. Crafted aluminium finished top. Personalise your sound through Beoplay app. Can be part of a multi-room solution.
SONOS Play 5
Sonos Play 5
The big daddy from SONOS. If you have a large room to fill or simply want power this will deliver. Features six amplifiers & six speaker drivers. Supports Alexa and multi-room.
Sony HTCT290
Sony HTCT290
Provides the full surround sound experience. Slim and fully wall mountable. Stream music over Bluetooth. USB socket for digital files. Perfect for HTPC & TV solutions.

Whats the Difference Between Sonos Play 1 and Sonos One?

In this article we will asses the difference between Sonos One and Play 1 in terms of the features, design and hardware. At the end of the post we will provide our take on who each device is best suited to.

SONOS One & Amazon Echo

Lets cut to these chase and put it straight out there! The difference between the Sonos Play 1 and Sonos One is the integrated Amazon Alexa Assistant that the latter offers. The Sonos One is designed to offer all of the great functionality available on the Play 1 but with the added bonus of voice control. The older Play 1 can be controlled using voice commands but requires the addition of an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot device.

With the Sonos One this is all integrated. You can command Alexa either from the speaker or using the Sonos app on a smartphone or tablet. This kind of justifies the increased price point of the Sonos One. The price is pretty much the same as purchasing both the Sonos Play 1 and and Amazon Echo Dot separately. So if you are yet to invest in personal assistant smart home technology the Sonos One would give you this and a great wireless sound system.

difference between Sonos One and Play 1

Sonos Play 1

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The built in Amazon Alexa functionality of the SONOS One will allow you to fully control your audio experience. You can ask Alexa to play and pause or skip onto the next track. You can also ask her to launch popular online streaming services like Spotify or Napster. It is important to note that the Alexa integration is not just for controlling the Sonos One functions. You can use it to do anything that the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot devices can do like asking questions or controlling your home lighting. If you are looking to own both a wireless speaker system and a personal assistant then you can combine both with a Sonos One. [Read: The Best Things You Can Do with Amazon Echo & Alexa]

Difference Between Sonos Play 1 and One Designs

The next difference between Sonos One and Play 1 can be seen in the design. The two devices do look very similar. They have the popular cylindrical build designed to fit neatly into almost any location and the full mesh speaker surround. The colour of the surrounding mesh has been closer aligned to the plastic on the Sonos One however. It has a whiter shade on the white device and a darker shade on the black. Rather than using buttons as the Play 1 did the top features a touch pad with the buttons more spread across the surface area. You can also see a spherical arrangement of dots on the top surface. These are used by the built in Alexa Assistant speaker. [Read: Best TV Box for Netflix and Online Streaming Services]

Difference Between Sonos Play 1 and One

Sonos One

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Both the SONOS Play 1 and the One both weigh pretty much the same and have the same device dimensions. The Sonos One is missing the socket located on the bottom of the device for attaching a stand. This may not be of interest to most readers but it is worth noting. There is also the addition of a pairing button on the rear of the Sonos One just above the Ethernet socket. [Read: Steam Link Review – Stream Games to Every Room]

Difference Between Sonos One and Play 1 Hardware

In truth there is very little difference between Sonos Play 1 and Sonos One hardware. Both devices feature 1 tweeter, two amplifiers and a mid range sub-woofer. The main hardware addition of the Sonos One  is of course the Amazon Alexa integration and the microphone located on the top of the speaker. This can be switched on or off using a button on the top of the device. An LED shows whether both the microphones and Alexa are active. The Sonos One was designed to integrate the Alexa assistant and not really to improve upon the hardware formula of the popular Play 1. [ReadBest NAS for Plex – A Network Media Server]

HMP Verdict – Difference Between Sonos Play 1 and Sonos One

The main difference between Sonos Play 1 and One is the Amazon Alexa integration of the latter. If you are already a Sonos Play 1 owner then it is not worth an upgrade to the Sonos One. If you would like to see Alexa operating in your home then it would be more cost effective to purchase a separate Amazon Echo Dot device. But, if this is your first wireless speaker system then for a small extra fee of the Sonos One ($70 £50 approx) you can enjoy the addition of voice control.

Buy SONOS Play 1 from Amazon now!

Buy SONOS One from Amazon now!

Remember that the Amazon Alexa integration of the Sonos One can do everything that an Echo or Echo Dot can do and so can be used for so much more than just an audio system. If as a newcomer you do not have any desire to use the Amazon Alexa personal assistant then with Sonos One having few changes to the original design or the hardware go for the lower prices Play 1 option. [Read: 3 Best Windows TV Stick Devices- Alternatives to Android]

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