Best Sonos Speakers iMore 2021
Sonos provides a range of wireless speakers, from small, medium, and large single speakers to a soundbar and sub for home theatre to interfaces for your existing sound systems. More than wireless, though, Sonos is connected. You can control it from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, and you can use it to stream almost all of the popular music services, including Apple Music, Google Play Music, Amazon Prime, Pandora, and more! But which Sonos speakers are right for you? A lot of that depends on where you want to place them and how you want to use them. Here are all the options!
- Best smart speaker: Sonos One (Gen 2)
- Value option: Sonos One SL
- Pro quality sound: Play:5
- TV smarts: Sonos Beam
- Big TV sound: Playbar
- Enhanced entertainment: Playbase
- Enriched bass: Sonos Sub
- Connect everything: Connect
Best smart speaker: Sonos One (Gen 2)Staff pick
This stand-alone smart speaker is the perfect starter for any up-and-coming Sonos fan. It's inexpensive, easily movable, and works with AirPlay 2 so you can use it with Siri. Pair it with a second Sonos One for stereo sound. It can also be grouped with any Sonos speakers on this list.
Value option: Sonos One SL
The One SL is Sonos' basic, room-filling stand-alone speaker. It's easy to set up and start playing music through right away, and it's portable. Though it's not a smart speaker, it does support AirPlay 2, so you can connect it to your iPhone and use Siri to control your music. It can also be grouped with any Sonos speaker on this list for full-house sound.
Pro quality sound: Play:5
The Play:5 is the perfect speaker for fans that are ready for more. It's more expensive but is designed to be your musical hub if you have more than one Sonos speaker in the house. You can even place the Play:5 vertically without changing the sound. The line-in 3.5mm jack lets you connect to compatible receivers. With AirPlay 2 support, you can use Siri to control playback.
TV smarts: Sonos Beam
The low-cost Beam brings voice control with Google Assistant or Alexa right into your living room. It's easy to set up and start playing and provides a reasonable sound boost to your movie-watching experience. It supports AirPlay 2, so you can also use Siri to control music and playback on your Apple TV. Connect it with a couple of Sonos One speakers, and you've got yourself a surround sound system.
Big TV sound: Playbar
With nine amplifiers, three tweeters, and six mid-woofers, you're going to have a premium audio experience with the Playbar in your living room. It uses Dolby Digital Audio for its virtual surround sound and connects directly to your TV using an optical cable. It can also be grouped with any Sonos speaker on this list for full-house sound, and if you have an AirPlay 2 supported Sonos Speaker, this will play voice-controlled audio.
Enhanced entertainment: Playbase
The Playbase is Sonos' top-of-the-line TV connected play bar. With 10 drivers, 10 amplifiers, and Dolby Digital Audio compatibility, every word, footstep, and breath is as clear as if you're in the movie yourself. Connect the Sub and a couple of Sonos One speakers, and you're going to make your neighbours jealous.
Enriched bass: Sonos Sub
Sonos' specially designed sub-woofer provides rich, deep bass sound without causing vibration. You can feel it in your chest, but not because your couch is shaking. With two amplifiers, two force-cancelling drivers, and acoustic design, you can wirelessly connect it to your Beam, Playbar, or Playbase.
Connect everything: Connect
The Sonos Connect is your gateway to wireless music. It's compact and connects to any receiver via analog, optical and coaxial digital audio outputs. It essentially turns your receiver into a wireless receiver so that you can pump your music out of your current speakers straight from your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Which Sonos is right for you?
The main thing to consider when deciding to join the Sonos family is what your needs are combined with your budget. The Sonos One is the perfect starter speaker for most people. It's reasonably priced and can be moved from one room to another with ease. You can get multiple sets of Sonos One speakers at a discount, which helps get the surround sound you need.
If your TV set doesn't already have an external speaker system set up, I recommend getting the Sonos Beam. I've got one in my house paired with two HomePod speakers (thank you AirPlay 2) and I love the sound quality I get from the setup.
Of course, if you're already invested in Sonos, you're here for an upgrade, at which point I think the Play:5 is your next purchase. It's got the best sound quality of the speakers on this list and can be grouped with all your other Sonos speakers for a full house experience.
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