The best Sonos speakers from $ 100

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Sonos was already quite robust, with features like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, Apple AirPlay 2 and support for the largest number of music streaming services, including applications like Spotify. But with the launch of Ikea Symfonisk speakers, the quantity of products that include the transmission of Sonos music on board means that the system is more diverse than ever.

But as the quantity of Sonos products grows, it is also more difficult to determine which models to buy. With that in mind, we have prepared a quick guide to the world of Sonos to help you discover which products are right for you and which offer the best performance for your money.


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What is sonos?

Sonos is one of the oldest multi-room audio systems on the market and also one of the most successful. Since the way we consume digital music has changed from playing recorded CDs to streaming services and more, the system has also adapted and grown.

Sonos began as a way to play MP3 on your existing speakers and has grown to support music streaming services on a range of table speakers, amplifiers, sound bars and subwoofers. System control began with a desktop application and the CR100 portable controller, then became mobile applications and now voice assistants. Sonos offers two products, which work with the voice commands of Google Assistant and Alexa.

Here are some things about the product line you need to know:

  • It works without a hub through a standard Wi-Fi network (without Bluetooth)
  • Supports more than 100 transmission services
  • It works with Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri.
  • Compatible with Apple AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect
  • Supports only 16 bits / 44.1 kHz (no high resolution)
  • Stream your music with analog connection throughout the house (with amplifier or connection)
  • Dolby Digital only (sound bars): no DTS or Dolby Atmos support for
Sonos one

The One is our favorite Sonos speaker.

Sarah Tew / CNET

The current Sonos line is as follows:

Which Sonos is right for you?

Sarah Tew / CNET

The new Ikea Symfonisk line is the result of a collaboration between the Scandinavian furniture giant and Sonos. It is fully compatible with other Sonos products, and both the bookshelf and the table lamp can also be used for stereo sound or as a relatively inexpensive rear surround sound pair ($ 200 for two shelves versus $ 400 for two). If you want a Sonos smart speaker for the price of a Bluetooth speaker, this is the model you should purchase.

Read the review of the Ikea Symfonisk bookshelf.

Read more: The Sonos Move speaker cuts the cable and becomes portable

Sarah Tew / CNET

Although it seems to be long gone, Sonos Play: 1 is still the cheapest speaker in the line. However, for $ 20 more you can upgrade to a model that has better value for money. The Sonos One (Gen 1) has excellent sounds and includes both Alexa and Google Assistant on a speaker (although you can only choose one at a time).

As you can see, there are two slightly different versions of Sonos One, but they work in exactly the same way. You can still find Gen 1 for sale for $ 179 or less, while Gen 2 costs $ 199.

Read the Sonos One review.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Now that the Sonos Play: 3 has been discontinued, a pair of Sonos Ones is your next best option. Setting up a stereo pair is easy with the Sonos app and the system sounds better than equivalent price speakers like Google Home Max or Apple HomePod.

Read the Sonos One review.

Sarah Tew / CNET

With the addition of Google Assistant, Sonos Beam is the smart soundbar to get. It may be a small bass light without a subwoofer, but it will make your movies sound huge with their virtual surround sound capabilities.

Read the Sonos Beam review.

The Sonos Play: 5 is a relatively specific product: not many people have room for a large and expensive table speaker, but it offers the best sound of any Sonos device. The only drawback is that it does not have the voice command functions of the newer models.

Read the Sonos Play review: 5.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Sonos Playbase is a completely formed sound base with excellent performance (which means that your TV is on top). The system does not need a subwoofer, and unless Sonos presents a cheaper Sub, this is the best money you can spend on less than a grand.

Read the Sonos Playbase review.

Sarah Tew / CNET

At the upper limit of what most people should pay for a soundbar surround sound system, this system will offer a lot of surround sound and musical emotions. You can combine the Sonos Beam ($ 399), Sonos Sub ($ 699) and a pair of Ikea Bookshelves ($ 99 each). While the Sub alone is quite expensive, it is a great companion for the smaller Beam, while adding envelopes completes the effect. The system has no Atmos, but if you mount the bookshelf speaker on the walls behind you, you will not lose it.

Read the review of Sonos Sub.

The Sonos application

Until voice control completely replaces it, the Sonos application remains where you control most of the setup and playback of your audio. The focus of the application has changed over the years, led by the transmission and now by the voice. But now it has moved away from the services to concentrate on the speakers themselves. The application still has one of the best universal searches, and it is also easy to configure your speakers.

Sonos Beam

The Sonos application

Sarah Tew / CNET

The application is available for the following devices:

In addition to the Sonos application, you can also serve the audio speakers directly from your favorite applications using Play To Sonos. These include: Google Play Music (on the device with the Sonos application installed), Spotify, Pandora, YouTube Music and Tidal. The system also supports streaming from iOS and software compatible with Apple AirPlay 2.

Competition

01-polk-command-bar

The Polk command bar is a smart sound bar that supports Amazon Multi-Room Music (MRM) music

Sarah Tew / CNET

The main competitive standards for Sonos are Bose Music, DTS Play-Fi, Google Chromecast built-in, Yamaha MusicCast and Denon HEOS. Amazon Echos is also compatible with the Amazon MRM system.

Wireless audio speakers start at around $ 100, most with Apple AirPlay, Chromecast or both, and excellent wireless sound bars like the Polk command bar start at $ 250. These are some of the best multi-room music systems..

Read more: What Google Home speaker should you buy?

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