In a nutshell, the new speaker is the existing Sonos One hardware but without AI assistants Alexa or Google Assistant built-in. If that sounds like the Sonos Play:1, that's by design – the Sonos One SL replaces the Play:1 in the current line-up, and will be at the same, slightly cheaper price point.
Sonos announced Sonos One SL at IFA 2019 in a blockbuster keynote. Also launched were the portable Sonos Move, and Sonos Port, which lets you attach your turntable or other devices and stream it around the house. From today all of them are available to buy.
Unlike the Sonos One, which lets you request songs, albums, playlists, and podcasts using the Google Assistant or Alexa voice assistants – as well as all the usual AI assistant tricks too, Sonos One SL can't understand any of that. In fact, we'd strongly recommend not barking Domino's orders at your One SL as you'll look like you're one track short of an album.
Instead, the Sonos One SL is focused on delivering the same room-filling sound we're accustomed to from the Sonos One and, before it, the Play 1. Since there's no Alexa or Google Assistant, the Sonos One SL doesn't have any far-field microphones – making this speaker ideal for those concerned about the privacy implications of digital assistants. It also means if you are using a Sonos Beam for your AI requirements, you're not wasting money on a pair of Sonos Ones to use as rear surrounds.
What it lacks in talkative assistants, the Sonos One SL makes up for with all the usual Sonos smarts. The Sonos One SL has access to more than 100 streaming services controlled with the Sonos App, Apple AirPlay 2, individual music apps, and more.
Sonos One SL features two Class-D amplifiers as well as support for Sonos Trueplay tuning technology which lets you wave your iOS or Android handset around the room to calibrate the sound to the size and shape of the room. Unlike the Sonos Move there's no automatic tuning.
If you already own a Sonos One, you can pair it with a brand-new One SL in the same room to use as a stereo pair or as a rear pair in a home cinema set-up, with a Playbar, Playbase, or Beam. If you decide you do want to add Alexa or Google Assistant you can do so by linking to an Echo or Home speaker.
Sonos One SL price and release date
That's slightly cheaper than the Sonos One, which costs £199 from Sonos. Sonos One SL ships in black and white finishes, just like Sonos One…