After months of gentle teasing, Sonos’s long-awaited smart speaker is finally here. The Sonos One is a $199 smart version of Sonos’s existing Play:1 speaker, but it will allow you to add voice control to your entire Sonos setup, if you already have one.
It integrates Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, and Sonos is launching a new Sonos Alexa skill so that you can control your entire Sonos setup with voice commands. Of course, since it’s got the full Alexa assistant baked in, the Sonos One will also work like any other Amazon Echo, with the ability to check weather, send messages, control smart home products, or buy stuff off Amazon.
The hardware looks like it’s based heavily on the existing Play:1 speaker, which is a good kitchen or living room unit. Of course, Sonos is hoping you’ll pair the One with a more extensive Sonos system for whole-home audio.
The One differs from the Play:1 with a six-microphone array built in, which should mean accurate voice recognition. Sonos is also playing to the privacy crowd: there’s an LED on the One hard-wired into the microphones, so if the mics are listening, the LED is on.
The Sonos One will go on sale October 24th for $199, a competitive price against the $149 Amazon Echo Plus, or the $349 HomePod (which is yet to be released). Sonos has long targeted people who are willing to pay thousands of dollars for a whole-home audio setup, but with the Sonos One launching at a low price, Sonos might think it’s time to take its reputation for good design and clear sound to the masses.