Best Sonos setup (2022): Which speakers and soundbars should you buy?
At WIRED, we love Sonos speakers. We really do. Over the past decade, we’ve reviewed all of the company’s wireless connectable speakers, from its small bookshelf speakers to its TV soundbars, and recommended every single one. . But turning your home into a Sonos-powered sanctuary doesn’t come cheap. Like Apple products, Sonos speakers sell for a premium, starting at $120 for a basic bookshelf speaker. But which ones to buy? Read on for our recommendations.
Updated December 2022: We’ve added the Sonos Ray soundbar and Sonos Sub Mini subwoofer and updated prices and retailers.
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Best Overall Sonos Speaker
The Sonos One (Gen 2) is just about the smallest Sonos speaker, but it packs enough punch to fill most rooms. Compared to his predecessor, the Gen 2 model has a faster processor and more memory. So not only will it sound better, but it will also last longer, meaning you won’t have to worry about upgrading it for a while.
We recommend other Sonos speakers in this guide, but you also can’t go wrong simply getting more Sonos Ones to fill your home. Their hands-free Alexa and Google Assistant integration also makes them much more versatile. They can play music, tell you the weather, find a recipe and answer simple questions, just like any of our other favorite smart speakers. They also work with Siri via AirPlay 2. They’re also much more affordable 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 has no microphones, so you can only control it from your phone or the touch buttons (and you don’t have to worry about anyone listening to you). The SL is also a great way to add more satellite speakers to your home. And if you want a speaker that can really get it heard, the Sonos Five ($549) sounds fantastic and is micless.
The best speakers to fill a room
Earlier this year, Sonos got together with Ikea to release a second-generation version of its bookshelf speaker. At $120, it’s a bit more expensive than its $99 predecessor, but it comes with a few upgrades including increased memory and a faster processor. We haven’t tested this model yet, but we liked the first-gen version.
Other than that, it sounds almost as good as a Sonos One. You can mount it directly on your wall or stand it upright on a shelf or table. And if you want to network a few speakers together for a larger room or connected rooms, this is the cheapest way to do it. It doesn’t take audio commands directly, as it doesn’t have a mic, so you’ll need a Sonos One, Google or 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.
Sonos and Ikea have also launched a new version of their unique table lamp. There is a white versiona black versionand one $169 version with a textile shade. It offers improved sound and is more customizable this time around, with interchangeable shades. The first model, on which you can read in our dual review, sounded good. We have high hopes for the new release. Finally, if wall art is more your style, Ikea offers the Symfonisk Picture Frame with Built-in Sonos Wi-Fi Speaker for $249. We are currently testing the table lamp and will update this guide soon with our thoughts.
Best Portable Speaker with Bluetooth
Sonos Roaming (9/10, WIRED recommends) is the company’s smallest and most portable speaker. With built-in Bluetooth connectivity (it’s one of the our favorite Bluetooth speakers), you can easily throw it in a tote bag and enjoy music on the go. Using the Sonos app, available for Android and iPhone, you also have the ability to stream from major services like Spotify, Apple Music (with AirPlay 2 support), 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 quite impressive. The dual speaker system, subwoofer and tweeter work in tandem to deliver bold bass and clear treble, without any distortion when the volume is turned up. And with up to 10 hours of listening time, it’ll last you a full day at the beach, and more.
The Sonos Move is a bigger portable speaker with better sound. It incorporates Bluetooth connectivity, 11-hour battery life and built-in microphones that adapt its sound to the environment, in addition to being water resistant. Are you hesitating between Roam and Move? You can buy both for $578 at Sonos.
Best Sonos soundbar (for the most part)
As with the original harness (8/10, WIRED recommends), the second-generation Beam offers impressive sound and 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 audio. High Definition. 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.
Sonos has also tweaked the design by adding a polycarbonate grille to the front instead of a fabric cover as seen on the Gen 1 model. It’s supposed to make it easier to blend into your home decor. That’s $50 more than the previous model, which isn’t this much more expensive than the already expensive soundbar. For non-Sonos alternatives, read our Best soundbars guide.
The standard Sonos Sub will cost you $749 at Sonos Where Target. It’s great but expensive. If you’re working with a smaller space, the less expensive Sonos Sub Mini is $429 at Sonos (Target). Don’t bother buying surround speakers before you own a Sub, though. It will make a profound difference.
Best small soundbar
If you have a smaller apartment or room, or are new to the soundbar department, the Sonos Ray (9/10, WIRED recommends) is a solid option for you. The Ray comes in a compact frame, but make no mistake. The soundbar produces crisp, clear sound that easily fills your space with zooms and booms, quiet conversations, and any other moments you wouldn’t want to miss in 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 soundbar fits easily in entertainment centers and dressers, or you can mount it on your wall to free up as much valuable space as possible.
Want to take it to the next level? You can pair the Ray with the Sonos Sub Mini to complete your room sound. The Sub Mini is wireless (aside from a power cord), so it connects seamlessly to your current system via the Sonos app. This subwoofer is $429 at Sonos and Target.
Ideal for large home theaters
A soundbar can make all the difference in a home theater, and it costs a lot less than a full surround sound setup. And if you’re looking for a really powerful one, the Sonos Arc (9/10, WIRED recommends) is the way to go. It fully supports Dolby Atmos, and in many rooms it can bounce sound off your walls and ceiling enough to make it seem like you have a surround setup.
With three tweeters and eight mid-woofers, it delivers deep bass and has more balance and depth than the Beam. It’s also much longer, spanning 45 inches, or about the width of a 55-inch TV. Its design is sleek and understated in typical Sonos fashion – you won’t always notice the bar, but when you do, it’s not an eyesore at all.