Sonos One vs. Amazon Echo: Which should you buy?

Both of these speakers would be a great addition to your home, but it all comes down to which one fits your needs. The Amazon Echo is a great choice for family homes on a budget, but the Sonos One has features that are significantly upgraded for a better experience. The fact that it can double as a central hub for any of your other Sonos speakers in a simple and clean way makes this device a lot easier for getting your entire home ready for entertainment.

Breaking down the abilities

When it comes to deciding which speaker is best for your home, you'll want to take a look at what's going on behind the scenes. Each one has different abilities that you'll want to make sure are compatible with the things you want it to do. I've compiled a side-by-side comparison here for you to compare the speakers.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Sonos OneAmazon Echo
Size4.8" x 4.8" x 6.4"5.8" x 3.4" x 3.4"
Alexa SupportYesYes
Smart home controlYesYes
AirPlay 2YesNo
Multiroom AudioYesYes
Line-outNoBluetooth and line-out for external speakers

So, why the Sonos One?

Amazon Echo is a big name when it comes to smart speakers for your home, but the Sonos is steadily climbing in popularity. The Sonos One is a speaker fit for your smart home that is arguably better than the Amazon Echo in every way except the price. Both of these speakers have Amazon Alexa built into the device to give you more control over your Smart home. What the Sonos gives, that the Amazon Echo doesn't, is support for AirPlay 2.

While Alexa now has an official app on the App Store for iOS products that allows you to control your Alexa products from your iOS device, it still isn't compatible with AirPlay 2. AirPlay 2 is for iOS and allows you to stream Apple TV and Apple Music directly from your iOS devices, control multi-room audio from your iOS device, and set up voice commands through Siri.

Arguably one of the best features of AirPlay 2 is the ability to create a wireless network between compatible devices. The way it works is pretty simple. AirPlay 2 creates a network between your iOS device and your Sonos speakers that will register as it's own Wi-Fi connection for the sole purpose of still being able to connect your devices to the Sonos, even when you have no Wi-Fi connections available.

The Sonos One is an upgrade with only one sacrifice — price.

The Sonos One doesn't have Bluetooth or line-out abilities. Instead, it connects to your devices purely through Wi-Fi. That doesn't mean you can't use the Sonos for either of these features. There is a separate device, called the Sonos Connect, that will give your Sonos One access to line-out abilities and it's also compatible with any of your other Amazon Alexa devices outside of your Sonos speakers.

As you would assume by the size and price, the Sonos speaker is also capable of getting much louder than your Echo. Not only does the Sonos have better acoustics than the Amazon Alexa, but it gives you the ability to create a whole new sound system with your home. All of these features, plus the features from the device, app, and Connect, work like an intricate web that pulls your stereos together instead of having them work independently. The sound system for your home can be revamped by linking multiple Sonos speakers and Alexa compatible devices to one another. It will improve your sound, help your home be more Smart accessible, and keep everything simple and easy to use!

Is the Amazon Alexa still a good option?

Of course! Amazon Alexa is still a phenomenal speaker capable of doing all the things you want it to. It may not be as loud or sound as crisp as the Sonos One, but that doesn't mean this speaker is going to disappoint you in any way. With a 360-degree omnidirectional speaker, you're still going to be able to fill a room with all your favorite music.

It's still compatible with smart home features. You can use voice commands to control smart products in your home, start up your music, and control your Echo. With a simple, "Hey Alexa," you're one step closer to a home you control hands-free.

Sure, the Alexa doesn't work with AirPlay 2, but it does have Bluetooth and a line-out for external speakers. You can connect your phone to Alexa, open up your music app, and play it right through the speakers without having to set up a complicated connection.

The last bonus to an Amazon Alexa is the price. This speaker is perfect for homes on a budget. You won't get a crisper sound or controlled settings like you would with the Sonos One, but you can still get your hands on a great speaker with Smart home controls for half the price.

Essa Kidwell

Essa Kidwell is an expert in all things VR and mobile devices who can always be found with an Oculus Go, a Pixel 2, and an iPhone 7+. They've been taking things apart just to put them back together for quite some time. If you've got a troubleshooting issue with any of your tech, they're the one you want to go to! Find them on Twitter @OriginalSluggo or Instagram @CosmeticChronus.