Sonos One vs Sonos Play:1: What's the difference?

The Sonos One and Sonos Play:1 are two amazing speakers — neither of which will leave you disappointed when it comes to audio quality. The Sonos One goes above and beyond, however, in that it brings along Alexa support out of the box, giving you options more for voice and smart home controls.

Sonos One vs. Sonos Play:1 Specs

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Header Cell - Column 0 Sonos OneSonos Play:1
Alexa SupportYesWith an Echo device
Smart home controlYesWith an Echo device
AirPlay 2YesNo
Multiroom AudioYesYes
Button TypeCapacitivePhysical

One on 1

These two speakers are very much on par when you go down the line. They offer near-identical features, leaving the Sonos One to break away with Siri and Alexa support and the ability to control it using your voice. Both the Play:1 and the One will give you amazing sound in a small package, allow you to create a stereo pair (with each their siblings, not each other), dead-simple setup, Wi-Fi support (no Bluetooth), and the ability to stream from over 50 services through the Sonos app.

The Play:1 has been around since 2013 and is the smallest and least expensive Sonos speaker (I have five of them in my house). It's arguably the easiest way to get into Sonos and streaming music in your home since you can just stick it on a table or in the corner of a room. The Play:1 can also create a stereo pair with another Play:1, or you can create a surround sound system using a Playbar, Playbase, or Beam. What you won't get with the Play:1 is voice control of any kind without using an additional Echo device or an AirPlay 2 supported Sonos speaker.

The Sonos One brings along the same features of the Play:1, but builds upon them for 2018. It ditches the physical buttons for capacitive, and also adds a microphone for voice control. The One has Alexa support right out of the box, meaning you can not only control your Sonos with your voice, but also other smart devices in your home as well. It also supports AirPlay 2, which gives you some playback control access, as well as, Apple Music streaming. Here again, you can use the Sonos One to create a stereo pair with another One, or a surround system with a Playbar, Playbase, or Beam, however, you can't create a pair with a Play:1 and a One.

A big thing to note as well is that while the Sonos One natively supports AirPlay 2, with the Play:1, you won't get AirPlay 2 support without using a Beam, Sonos One, Play:5 or Playbase to start your stream.

Play On

What it comes down to is this: do you want voice control or AirPlay support? If yes, then the Sonos One is the speaker for you. It has a great design that fits in almost anywhere and will save you from having to use yet another device to gain additional features. If having AirPlay or voice control isn't important, or you don't care about controlling any smart home devices and want to save some money, then you'll be just fine with the Play:1.

Adam Zeis
Editorial Director - High Yield

Adam is the Editorial Director of High-Yield content at Future. Leading an outstanding team, he oversees many articles the publisher produces about subscriptions and services including VPN, TV streaming, and broadband. In addition to identifying new e-commerce opportunities, he has produced extensive buying guides, how-to-watch content, deal news, and in-depth reviews. Adam's work can be seen on numerous Future brands including TechRadar, Tom's Guide, T3, TTR, Android Central, iMore, Windows Central, and Real Homes.