Here at WIRED, we love Sonos speakers. We really do. Over the past decade, we’ve reviewed all of the company’s wireless speakers, from its small shelves to its TV clocks, and we’ve recommended every one of them. But turning your home into a Sonos-designed shrine to sound doesn’t come cheap. Like Apple products, Sonos speakers sell for a premium price, starting at $120 for bookshelf speakers. But which one should you buy? Read on to find out what we want.
Updated December 2022: We’ve added the Sonos Ray Soundbar and the Sonos Sub Mini subwoofer with updated dealer prices.
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The Best Sonos Speaker
The Sonos One (Gen 2) is Sonos’ smallest speaker, but it packs enough oomph to fill most rooms. Compared to its predecessor, the Gen 2 model has a faster processor and more memory. So not only does it sound better, it also lasts longer – which means you won’t have to worry about upgrading for a while.
We recommend the Sonos speakers in this guide, but you also can’t go wrong with just getting more Sonos to fill your home. Their hands-free integration of Alexa and Google Assistant makes them extremely flexible. They can play music, tell you the weather, figure out how to cook, and answer simple questions, just like all of our favorite smart people. They also work with Siri via AirPlay 2. They are more expensive than other Sonos speakers, and their small size means you can hide them in almost any room.
It’s almost identical to the One but it doesn’t have a microphone, so you can control it from your phone or touch buttons (and you don’t have to worry about someone listening to you). SL is a great way to add satellite speakers to your home. And if you want a speaker that can be turned off, the Sonos Five ($549) sounds better and less expensive.
The Best Speech to Fill a Room
Earlier this year, Sonos teamed up with Ikea to release a second version of its speaker. At $120, it’s cheaper than its $99 predecessor, but it comes with a few upgrades, including more memory and a faster processor. We haven’t tried this model yet, but we liked the first generation version.
Looks aside, it sounds just as good as the Sonos One. You can hang it on your wall or place it on a shelf or table. And if you want to connect a few speakers together for a larger room, or connected rooms, this is the cheapest way to do it. It doesn’t directly support voice commands, as it doesn’t have a microphone, so you’ll need a Sonos One, Google speaker, or Alexa speaker to be able to shout if you want to control it with your voice. Other than that, it does everything you want Sonos to do.
Sonos and Ikea have also launched a new version of their unique table lamp. There is a white version, a black version, and a $169 version with a light shade of fabric. It provides an added accent and is more customizable this time, with adjustable shades. The first example, which you can read in our two-part review, sounded good. We have high hopes for the new version. Finally, if wall art is more your thing, Ikea offers a Symfonisk Picture with Sonos Wi-Fi speaker for $249. We are currently testing the table lamp and will update this guide with our thoughts soon.
The Best Bluetooth Speaker
The Sonos Roam (9/10, WIRED Recommends) is the company’s smallest and most portable speaker. With a built-in Bluetooth connection (it’s one of our favorite Bluetooth speakers), you can easily throw it in a bag and play music on the go. Using the Sonos app, available for Android and iPhone, you can also stream from major sources such as Spotify, Apple Music (supported by AirPlay 2), Tidal, and more. And you can control the speaker using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
It may not offer audiophile-approved audio for its looks, but it’s still impressive. A system of dual drivers, subwoofer, and tweeter work together to deliver bold and clear bass – with zero distortion when the volume is turned up. And listening to up to 10 hours, it will be a full day at the beach—and then some.
Sonos Move is a great portable speaker with better sound. It packs Bluetooth connectivity, 11 hours of battery life, and built-in microphones that adapt to the environment, and it’s waterproof. Can’t decide between Wandering and Moving? You can buy both for $578 at Sonos.
Best Sonos Soundbar (For Most)
As with the original Beam (8/10, WIRED Recommends), the second-generation Beam delivers impressive sound and has a unique design. In terms of upscaling, it has a fast processor, support for Dolby Atmos (with compatible TVs and streaming apps) for better sound quality, and an HDMI eARC port for better sound quality. You will also find Alexa and Google Assistant hands-free, and it works with Airplay 2. You can combine it with a Sonos Sub (cheaper) and two other Sonos speakers to surround it.
Sonos has also changed the design, adding a polycarbonate front grill instead of a fabric cover as seen on the Gen 1 model. This should make it easier to blend in with your interior decor. It’s $50 more than the previous model, which it isn’t that more expensive than the already expensive soundbar. For other non-Sonos products, read our Best Soundbars guide.
A standard Sonos Sub will cost you $749 at Sonos or Target. It is expensive but expensive. If you’re working with a smaller space, the cheapest Sonos Sub Mini is $429 at Sonos (Target). Don’t bother buying surround speakers until you have a Sub, though. It will make a big difference.
Best Small Soundbar
If you have a small apartment or room, or are just starting out in the soundbar department, the Sonos Ray (9/10, WIRED Recommends) is a solid option for you. The Ray comes in a compact frame, but don’t let that fool you. The sound system produces crisp, clear sound that easily fills your space with zooms and booms, quiet conversations, and any other moments you don’t want to miss in your favorite movies and TV shows. Plus, with the customizable settings in the Sonos app, you can customize your listening experience to any music you like.
This small sound easily fits in the entertainment area and wardrobe, or you can hang it on your wall to free up as much valuable space as possible.
Want to take it to the next level? You can combine the Ray with a Sonos Sub Mini to bring sound to your room. The Sub Mini is wireless (aside from the power cord), so it seamlessly connects to your current system via the Sonos app. This subwoofer is $429 at Sonos and Target.
Best for Watching Big Home
Sound can make all the difference in a theater, and it costs a lot less than putting sound around. And if you’re looking for one that’s more powerful, the Sonos Arc (9/10, WIRED Recommends) is the way to go. It has full Dolby Atmos support, and in most rooms, it can reverberate through your walls and ceiling so it feels like you’re surrounded.
With three tweeters and eight woofers, it delivers deep bass and has more depth and depth than the Beam. It’s the longest, stretching 45 inches, or the width of a 55-inch TV. The design is sleek and minimal in typical Sonos fashion—you won’t see the bar, but when you do, it’s not noticeable at all.