6 things I wish I'd known before I bought a Sonos One smart speaker

We look at the things you need to know before buying the Sonos One smart speaker

Sonos One in black and white, on black background
(Image credit: Sonos One)

Sonos makes some absolutely incredible speakers – such as the Sonos Beam and Sonos Arc, easily among the best soundbars – and the Sonos One is a great example.

Perhaps the most recognisable speaker that Sonos makes, the One is a squat, rectangular speaker that connects to your WiFi network for completely wireless listening, anywhere in the house. 

I've owned the Sonos One (well, two of them) for over a year now and they're basically perfect, both in terms of sound quality and the overall form. 

The Sonos One ranks among the best smart speakers, albeit on the slightly more expensive end, and fits nicely into the wall-powered niche (ie, not portable), meaning there is more attention paid to sounding superb. 

We have nothing against the best Bluetooth speakers but sometimes music can do with a little extra heft. That's where the Sonos One comes in. 

Sonos One smart speaker in black colourway on wooden desk

(Image credit: Sonos)

1. Sonos One sound quality is excellent

As T3 states in its Sonos One review, this smart speaker is such a good buy as, for its size, it offers excellent sound quality.

Obviously, there isn't a huge amount of bass, but vocals are always clear and instruments stand out and are well defined. Precise and nimble are good words to describe the Sonos One's audio output, with the overall soundstage well-balanced.

You can also pair two Sonos One smart speakers together for stereo output, with distinct left and right channels delivered. This is a useful feature but I honestly don't think you need to do it unless you're looking to fill a very large room with audio.

2. The Sonos One app is great

While you might use Spotify or Apple Music as your main music app, the Sonos app – a requirement for setting up and managing your Sonos devices – works really well and comes with some nice features. 

One good example is the huge library of music and background noise available in the app, some behind a monthly subscription paywall, that offer something different to other apps. It's a nice touch. 

You can also control granular settings, such as the EQ of each device, and group/un-group devices in different rooms. 

3. Sonos One comes in white and black 

Sonos makes the One in two colours: white or black. Depending on your decor, choosing between them is one of the most important choices. 

I personally went for the white versions, which can look a little dirtier (obviously) but fit the aesthetic of my flat better. But the black version look very sleek and might fit better with your living room or bedroom. 

Luckily, besides the colour, the black and white versions are identical. 

Sonos One SL playing music on wooden stool

(Image credit: Sonos)

4. There's a Sonos One with voice control

Sonos makes two versions of the One: the One and One SL. The only difference between them is the One SL comes with voice control, symbolised by a microphone on the top of the device. 

If you love smart devices, such as the Amazon Echo, then this will be perfect and Sonos includes compatibility with major voice assistants. 

Personally, I don't like the idea of having an always-on mic in my house so opted for the mic-less Sonos One, but it's something to keep in mind. 

5. Sonos One needs good WiFi network coverage

Because the Sonos One speakers rely on having a constant internet connection to play music (there's no Bluetooth connection on offer), making sure your WiFi network is up to the task is important. 

We'd recommend setting up a mesh network or getting a more powerful router, like the Eero 6 Pro, especially if you plan on having your One quite far away, as unlike a Bluetooth speaker you can't move your streaming source closer to the speaker.

The device's built-in wireless is powerful, though, and I've never experienced too many issues despite having the One in my kitchen, far from the router in the bedroom.

However, I could foresee issues if you had a Sonos One in a garden outbuilding or far away from a router in an older home with thick stone walls.

Sonos One SL smart speaker next to a lamp on a shelf

(Image credit: Sonos)

6. Sonos One is always on

With the cost of living crisis underway, and energy bills set to increase dramatically, having always-on speakers like the Sonos One isn't the best idea. 

One simple trick that I make use of: get some timer switches and make sure the speakers are off overnight and on during the day. (The same applies to your TV and other devices too of course!)

Every penny helps, after all, and having speakers on needlessly doesn't make much sense, especially with electricity being so expensive.

Max Slater-Robins has written for T3 now on and off for over half a decade, with him fitting in serious study at university in between. Max is a tech expert and as such you'll find his words throughout T3.com, appearing in everything from reviews and features, to news and deals. Max is specifically a veteran when it comes round to deal hunting, with him seeing out multiple Black Friday campaigns to date.