CNET First Look
The Sonos Play:1 is a speaker you can actually affordThe new Sonos Play:1 finally brings the company's wireless audio magic to the masses, in a fantastically designed compact speaker that's just $199.
Hi. I'm David Carnoy, and I'm here with the Sonos Play:1, the company's new entry-level wireless speaker that costs $199. While it may be entry-level, we do like it better, and we think it's a better value than some of Sonos' other speakers-- which now include a sound bar and subwoofer in addition to the Play:3 and Play:5 speakers. For those of you who don't know who or what Sonos is, it's the current leader in DIY wireless multi-room audio systems. The system is simply listed up, and you can control everything from your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet using a free app. That app regularly gets updated with new features and works with almost all of the leading streaming audio services. You can also stream music around your home from your Mac or Windows PC. I'm not going to get into how it all works, we don't have reviews for that. But I will say the Play:1 is something of a breakthrough product for Sonos. Previously, the starting price point for Sonos speaker was $300 for the Play:3, and gave the price down to $199 makes it more affordable to start a Sonos system, as well as add speakers to additional rooms, which are referred to as "zones" in the Sonos app. Like high-end multi-room systems you can link your speakers together and play the same music through all of them, or choose which music to play in different rooms. I think the company has done an excellent job with the design of the Play:1, which is technically a mono speaker. It comes in white or black, and it fits in well with a lot of different dÃ©cors. It's pretty sleek-looking. It also has some heft to it. It feels like a high-quality speaker. Ostensibly, it's more of a bedroom, bathroom or kitchen speaker, but you could combine two of them to make a stereo pair with one acting as a left speaker, and one acting as a right. I can't tell you the speaker sounds awesome-- none of Sonos' speakers really do, but I do think most people will think it sounds good for its size. It outputs some bass, and plays pretty loud, but it won't fill a large room with sound. Where it falls down a bit is on the clarity and detail. I should also mention that it sounds a lot better when you combine two of them and make a stereo pair. Summing up, I think the Play:1 is a great addition to the Sonos line. It's affordable, has a nice design, it sounds decent for its size. It's also worth noting that through the holiday season, Sonos is trying to entice new buyers by including its normally $49 Bridge for free. That Bridge connects to your router and creates the mesh wireless network these Sonos speakers run on. I'm David Carnoy, and that's the Sonos Play:1 wireless speaker. Thanks for watching.