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Best Sonos speaker 2020: Which Sonos should you buy?

Christopher Minasians
24 Mar 2020
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Sonos' multiroom audio system is a great way to get music playing everywhere in your home, but which speaker is right for you?

Sonos is the king of multiroom audio. Add two or three (or more) Sonos speakers to your home, and you'll be amazed at how quick and easy it is to have music playing wirelessly in multiple rooms across the house. Whether you subscribe to a music streaming service or want to play music from your phone, Sonos has created an ecosystem that makes it painless to playback music – and with the addition of Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support, you can even control a whole house full of Sonos products with your voice alone. 

Not only that, the Sonos system keeps being updated with streaming services. For example, it supports Deezer Elite's high definition service, as well as Tidal, Spotify and Apple Music among many others - a full list can be found on the company's website. Whenever new services are added to the Sonos system, new software is automatically pushed out to all of the speakers on your network, which is incredibly convenient.

If you're wondering which music streaming service is right for you, have a read of our guide: Best music streaming service - which should I subscribe to?

Sonos' apps are available on iOS and Android and there's also desktop software available for Windows and OS X. There are also third-party alternatives, such as Zonos, which work on Windows 10 devices.

READ NEXT: Our favourite portable, indoor, waterproof and budget Bluetooth speakers

The best Sonos speakers to buy

There are plenty of options in the Sonos range but it can be tricky deciding which speaker is right for your home and what accessories you need. We’ve made it easier for you by detailing every Sonos speaker and component below to help you get the party started.

Sonos One: A seriously smart speaker

Price: £199 | Buy now from Amazon

The Sonos One is the company's only smart speaker. Coupled with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant, you can ask Alexa general questions (such as the weather) or even set an alarm for you. You might be wondering here: what's the difference between an Amazon Echo device then? The sound quality. The Sonos One is by far the best sounding smart speaker for its size. It reproduces super-sounding audio and also works as a multi-room speaker through Sonos' fantastic ecosystem.

Read our full Sonos One review for details


Sonos Play:1: Small, yet powerful

Price: £169 | Buy now from Amazon

The Sonos Play:1 is the smallest and least powerful speaker in the Sonos range; it's basically the Sonos One minus the smart features. It's small and inconspicuous size makes it perfect for a bookshelf speaker, however. The Play:1 only outputs mono sound but you can pair two of them together for stereo listening. You can also connect it to the Playbar and Sub and use a pair of Play:1's as surround speakers for a 5.1 home cinema setup (see below). There's a choice of either white or black finishes, and occasionally limited edition models are released.

Read our full Sonos Play:1 review for details


Sonos Play:3: Bigger sound for medium-sized rooms

Price: £259 | Buy now from Amazon

The Play:3 will happily sit horizontally or vertically, making it easier to find a place to put it in your home. More powerful than the Play:1, it's better suited to medium-sized rooms. It uses a three-driver system consisting of a tweeter and two mid-range drivers, supplemented by a bass radiator for the lower frequencies. Like the Play:1, you can pair two of them for greater stereo separation. White or black models are available to match your decor.

Read our full Sonos Play:3 review for details


Sonos Play:5: The perfect pick for big rooms and even bigger sound

Price: £429 | Buy now from Amazon

Sonos Play:5 cutout

The Play:5 is the top-of-the-range Sonos speaker and produces the biggest sound, making it ideal for larger rooms. Sonos completely revamped its design, giving it a slicker, more svelte shape. It now incorporates a six-speaker system (up from five in the old version) using three tweeters and three mid-woofer drivers. The Play:5 also has a 3.5mm analogue line-in if you want to connect an external audio device, and allows you to stream audio from that device across your entire Sonos system. Black or white options are available.

Read our full Sonos Play:5 review for details


Sonos Playbar: A superb soundbar, with multi-room smarts

Price: £699 | Buy now from Amazon

Yes, it is possible to create a wireless home theatre setup using the Sonos System. The Playbar is Sonos’ soundbar, and it uses six mid-range and three tweeters as part of its nine-speaker system. It has an optical cord for connecting to your television and it can be paired with other Sonos speakers to create home cinema surround sound. You can add a pair of Play:1 or One as surround speakers, and add a Sonos Sub for more earth-shaking excitement. It's not quite as fully-featured as some other soundbars, lacking options like HDMI ARC, but if you're in the market for a soundbar and already a Sonos owner, it's a great addition.

Read our full Sonos Playbar review for details


Sonos Playbase: Pop your TV on top for some serious wallop

Price: £700 | Buy now from Amazon

The Sonos Playbase is a seriously big soundbase - it's got more oomph than the Playbar, and is perfect for those situations where placing a soundbar in front of your telly just isn't possible. Pop the Playbase underneath your TV (as long as it weighs less than 34kg, that is), and it'll transform your movies and music for the better. The Playbase has an extra woofer for more powerful bass than the Playbar, and doesn't need any help to produce a weighty, impactful sound. Add a pair of Play:1, One or the Sonos Sub, however, and you can transform it into the centrepiece of a fully-fledged surround sound system. 

Read our full Sonos Playbase review for details


Sonos Sub: Add some sub-bass to your Sonos setup

Price: £699 | Buy now from Amazon

The Sonos Sub is ideally paired with the Playbar, as it brings the low-frequency response to add to the explosions and rumble of your movies for 3.1 audio. Throw in two extra Play:1s on top for full 5.1 surround sound. The Sub will also happily work with Sonos speakers that aren't the Playbar, too. So if you want more low-end from your Play:1 you can also pair the Sub for more room-shaking bass. The Sub can be oriented how you like as well, so you can have it stood upright or lie it down flat to hide away under your sofa.

Read our full Sonos SUB review for details


Sonos Boost: Improves wireless range and performance

Price: £100 | Buy now from Amazon

The Sonos Boost was released following the 5.1 firmware update in 2014-15, which effectively replaced the Bridge, and is its replacement. It functions very much like the Bridge but on steroids, expanding the wireless range considerably through its enterprise-grade antenna. This will be handy if your wireless network doesn’t quite reach your loft extension but you want to keep the party going on every floor.


Sonos Trueplay Tuning app for iOS

Acoustic performance can be drastically affected by how you place your speakers, whether that’s close to a wall, recessed in a corner or hidden behind a curtain. The latter, according to Sonos, is a common occurrence when it talks to its users. It seems, not everyone wants to have their speakers out on display.

Sonos' Trueplay tuning software comes as part of the Sonos Controller app. Trueplay attempts to bring “acoustic transparency” by calibrating your speaker based on the acoustic response of your room. The speaker will emit a test sound and use your iOS device to take measurements as you walk around the room. You’ll need to wave your arms and device around in circles. It will also tell you when you’re not moving enough. Cheeky.

The Trueplay software then analyses how the test frequency bounces off different surfaces in your room and then tunes the Sonos speaker(s) accordingly. Trueplay, at present, will unfortunately only work with iOS devices. Due to the vast differences in hardware configuration on Android devices, it'll be a while till we see it ported over. Trueplay works with the Sonos One, Play:1, Play:3, Play:5, Playbase and Playbar.

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