Sonos has created themselves an enviable position in the wireless audio market, fending off stiff competition from a range of AirPlay speakers and other streaming audio solutions. More recent additions to their product range includes the Sonos Playbar and Sub, but now they have added another entry level speaker in the Play:1.
There has been talk about the Play:1 ever since it was first spotted going through FCC testing and approval, and then leaked early in some Target retail stores in the US before there was even an announcement from Sonos themselves. But now it’s finally official and we have some more information about this latest addition to the Sonos family.
Sonos Play:1 is said to deliver ‘crystal clear sound’ from its dual Class D amps powering a 3.5-inch mid-woofer and a tweeter (the Play:3 has 3 drivers and the Play:5 has 5 drivers). In fact, Sonos is claiming that no other wireless speaker this size can deliver such “rich, clear HiFi sound”. That is a bold statement, and I can’t wait to test it out to see if I agree or not. For some reason I have a feeling that I might. Given the size and features of the Sonos Play:1, the ideal set up is likely to be with 2 or more of the Play:1 as part of a wider Sonos set up, as with at least two of them together you can get true stereo set up. While the portable bluetooth speaker market is booming, it could be that the new lower priced Sonos Play:1 is launched to tap into that part of the market. That said, it does not include a battery or Bluetooth, so is likely to work best as part of a wider set up, perhaps as rear channels along with the Sonos Playbar, or perhaps for use in smaller rooms as part of a whole home Sonos set up.
Read more! Overview of Sonos speaker products
If the Play:1 is the first Sonos device you own, you would have to hardwire it to your home network through the ethernet port found on the speaker. My guess is that many of you will already have another Sonos device, but if not the cheapest option would be to use a Sonos Bridge (£39 Amazon UK / $45 Amazon US) so that you can connect wireless to your Play:1 speakers, giving you the option to use them wherever you want to in the house. The rest you can do with your Sonos Controller / App, and get immediate access to a wide range of online music services, from Spotify and Amazon Cloud Player, to Last.fm and Napster. It can also access all your locally stored / NAS drive audio.
Early reports and reviews online indicate that the Play:1 performs at a very high level, and that the design feels high quality, as is expected from Sonos. I’m looking forward to going hands-on with the Play:1 in the near future myself as well, and will report back as soon as I have.
The Sonos Play:1 is set for a UK release date at the end of October, retailing around £169.