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Which Sonos speakers should you buy?

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Sonos one SL

Here at WIRED, We like Sonos speakers. We really do. Over the past decade, we’ve reviewed all of the company’s wirelessly connectable speakers, from its small bookshelf speakers to its TV sound bars, and recommend them all. But turning your home into a Sonos-powered sound sanctuary isn’t cheap. Like Apple products, Sonos speakers sell at a premium, starting at $120 for a base model. But which ones should you buy? Read on for our favorites, from small Bluetooth speakers to full home theater systems.

Updated May 2024: We’ve added the Victrola Stream Carbon as another great Sonos turntable option and updated links and pricing.

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Best overall Sonos speaker

The Sonos Era 100 (9/10, WIRED recommended) is our favorite Sonos speaker, for its perfect combination of sound and features. It’s the same shape and size as the previous Sonos One, meaning it blends easily into most spaces. The speaker comes equipped with a volume slider and a play and pause button so you don’t have to take out your phone when you want to control it. It also has a USB-C input, along with a switch on the back of the speaker to manually disable the built-in microphone for added privacy.

The Era 100 has large woofers and angled tweeters that create true stereo sound, along with a fast processor that allows the speaker to receive software updates for longer. WIRED senior editor Parker Hall says the speaker sounds noticeably better than the previous two generations of Sonos One speakers. It features punchier, tighter bass, crisp definition, and room-filling sound. There’s also a room tuning feature that adjusts the audio depending on where you place it (but works best on iOS devices). We’re also happy to see the addition of Bluetooth pairing, in addition to Wi-Fi, so you can stream audio without a Sonos account and also pair it with a phone easily.

Sonos One SL

Photography: Sonos

If you’re looking for a less expensive speaker that also doesn’t have microphones, the Sonos One SL is a solid alternative. You can only control it from your phone or the touch buttons (and you don’t have to worry about someone listening in on your house). The SL is also a good way to add more satellite speakers to your home.

The best speakers to fill a room

In 2022, Sonos teamed up with Ikea to launch a second-generation version of its bookshelf speaker. At $130, it’s a little more expensive than its $99 predecessor, but it comes with some upgrades, including an increase in memory and a faster processor. We have yet to test the second-generation model, but we liked the first-generation version.

You can mount it directly on the wall or place it upright on a shelf or table. And if you want to network a few speakers for a larger room or connected rooms, this is the most economical way to do it. It doesn’t receive audio commands directly because it doesn’t have a microphone, so you’ll need a Sonos One, Sonos Era 100, a Google speaker, or an Alexa speaker that you can shout at if you want to control it with your voice. Other than that, it does everything you’d want a Sonos to do.

Photography: IKEA

Like the first model, the second generation Symfonisk speaker lamp has excellent sound and is a nice addition to any room. I keep it on the media console in my apartment. The lamp shines bright enough to light up the living room and I love using the speaker to listen to podcasts every morning. It also has a more modern and elevated look compared to its predecessor, with glass screens available in black and white. But it’s a fingerprint magnet. I recommend it the textile screen ($240) if that bothers you. My only complaint is that it lacks a microphone, so you can’t control it using voice commands. However, you can connect it to an Amazon or Nest smart speaker to take advantage of smart assistant compatibility. If wall art is more your style, Ikea offers the Symfonisk Photo Frame with Built-in Sonos Wi-Fi Speaker for $260.

Best large speaker

The Sonos Era 300 (9/10, WIRED recommends) has a rather awkward and surprising appearance (we think it looks like a robot’s butt), but the sound quality makes up for it. Under the hood are six speaker drivers, four tweeters, and a pair of mid/bass drivers, all of which deliver detailed, spacious, and confident sound. The standout feature, however, is the spatial audio. With sound that travels in all directions and over a substantial distance without lacking definition, we think the Era 300 outperforms the Apple HomePod by a wide margin when it comes to filling rooms. It’s worth noting that it supports Amazon and Apple’s spatial audio catalog, but not Tidal’s Dolby Atmos content library.

Like the Era 100, the Era 300 has physical controls including a volume slider, play/pause, forward/backward, and voice assistant interaction (with a choice between Amazon Alexa and Sonos Voice Control). On the back, you’ll find a power outlet, a microphone mute switch, a USB-C auxiliary input, and a button for Bluetooth pairing (which means you don’t have to use the Sonos app to control it). . If you opt for the Sonos companion app, you can adjust the equalizer, tune the speakers to your environment via the TruePlay feature, and pair other Sonos speakers.

The best portable Bluetooth speaker

Sonos Roam (9/10, WIRED recommended) is the company’s smallest and most portable speaker. With built-in Bluetooth connectivity (it’s one of our favorite Bluetooth speakers), you can easily throw it in a carry-on bag and play music on the go. With the Sonos app, available for Android and iPhone, you also have the ability to stream from major services like Spotify, Apple Music (AirPlay 2 compatible), Tidal, and more. And you can control the speaker via voice commands using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

It may not offer audiophile-approved sound for its stature, but it’s still pretty impressive. The dual driver system, subwoofer and tweeter work together to provide rich bass and clear highs, without distortion when the volume is turned up. And with up to 10 hours of listening, it will last you a full day at the beach, and then some.

Photography: Sonos

The Sonos Move 2 (8/10, WIRED Reviews) isn’t as portable as the Roam (it weighs 6.1 pounds while the Roam weighs 0.95 pounds), but the second-generation version comes with a good number of upgrades ( which explains the higher price). It includes 24 hours of battery life (a significant increase over its predecessor’s 11 hours), a touch interface for media controls (instead of physical buttons), and the option to connect via Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi (the original Move was strictly Bluetooth or Wi-Fi when in use). It also comes equipped with a second tweeter (both firing left and right above the mid/bass driver) and a third digital amplifier, delivering powerful and detailed sound. It’s worth noting that unlike the first Move, the latest version does not support Google Assistant. You can choose between Amazon Alexa or Sonos Voice Control. It’s a solid speaker for those already part of the Sonos ecosystem and looking for a speaker they won’t take beyond their living room or backyard.

Best Sonos soundbar (for most)

Like the original Beam (8/10, WIRED recommended), the second-generation Beam delivers impressive sound and has a sleek design. In terms of upgrades, it has a faster processor, Dolby Atmos support (with compatible TVs and streaming apps) for improved sound, and an HDMI eARC port for higher definition audio. You’ll also get hands-free Alexa and Google Assistant, and it works with Airplay 2. You can pair it with a Sonos Sub (an expensive subwoofer) and two other Sonos speakers for surround sound.

Sonos also tweaked the design, adding a polycarbonate grille to the front instead of a fabric cover as seen on the Gen 1 model. This is supposed to make it easier to integrate with interior decor. It costs $50 more than the previous model, which is not that Much more expensive than the already expensive sound bar. For non-Sonos alternatives, read our guide to the best soundbars.

Sonos generation 3 subspeakerPhotography: Sonos

The standard Sonos Sub will cost you $799 at Sonos. It’s magnificent but expensive. If you work in a smaller space, the less expensive Sonos Sub Mini is $430 at Best Buy. However, don’t bother buying surround speakers until you have a Sub. It will make a profound difference.

The best small sound bar

If you have an apartment or smaller room, or are just starting out in the soundbar department, the Sonos Ray (9/10, WIRED recommended) is a solid choice for you. The Ray comes in a compact frame, but don’t let that fool you. The sound bar produces clear, crisp sound that easily fills your space with zooms and booms, quiet conversations, and any other moments you don’t want to miss from your favorite movies and shows. Plus, with adjustable settings in the Sonos app, you can configure your ideal listening experience for each song on your favorite album.

This small sound bar easily fits into entertainment centers and vanities, or you can mount it on the wall to free up as much space as possible.

Do you want to take it to the next level? You can pair the Ray with the one mentioned above. Sonos Mini to complete the sound in your room. The Sub Mini is wireless (aside from the power cable), so it connects seamlessly to your current system via the Sonos app.

Best for large home theaters

A sound bar can make all the difference in a home theater and costs much less than a full surround sound setup. And if you’re looking for one that’s really powerful, the Sonos Arc (9/10, WIRED recommends) is the way to go. It has full Dolby Atmos support, and in many rooms, it can bounce sound off the walls and ceiling well enough to make it feel like you have a surround setup.

With three tweeters and eight mid-woofers, it offers deep bass and has more balance and depth than the Beam. It’s also much longer, measuring 45 inches, or about the width of a 55-inch TV. Its design is sleek and understated in the usual Sonos style: you won’t always notice the bar, but when you do, it’s not an eyesore at all.

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