If you’re looking for a first time, entry level speaker then we suggest starting with the Sonos Play:1 with a great compact speaker that can deliver top of the range sound for a price of approximately £169. With the ability of expanding this wireless system into multiple rooms, through multiple speakers then we think it’s the ideal beginner speaker to make you fall in love with the Sonos range.
The Play:1 is jam packed full of surprises for its size being the smallest and cheapest of the family of speakers. Don’t let this fool you by any means as the speaker does not lose out on the quality that we have known and loved Sonos for delivering time and time again.
Design & Packaging
The speakers come neatly packaged and are available in both black and white variations, we opted for the black but this comes totally down to preference. The first thing we noticed out of the box is the weight of the speaker for how small in size it is, however you will see that this is only a sign of quality once up and running.
Upon opening of the packaging you’ll first notice the grated feel of the speaker that covers the entire speaker in the entirety of the body. On top of the speaker you’ll find manual buttons for control of the audio; including a play/pause button which can be double tapped to skip to the next song and a volume rocker to increase and decrease the sound as you wish. We found we only used these during set up of the speakers as control of these settings is much easier from the downloadable application.
On the back you’ll find a simplistic finish with an Ethernet port that allows you to plug directly into your router. On the bottom is where you’ll find the power connection that fits into the speaker with a specially designed recess that allows the wire to fit seamlessly flush to the speaker.
All in all, the PLAY:1 is a well-built speaker that would fit nicely into any corner or bookshelf of any room.
Set-up & Connectivity
The set-up and connection process for your Play:1 system is tremendously easily and is largely based around the application which is available for download on most phone, tablets and computers. Once the application is installed you are presented with a series of steps through the ‘’Setup New System’’ tab. If you follow all of these steps correctly your Sonos system will be up and running within 10 minutes.
You are first presented with steps such as connection to your WiFi network and then a sound test which is specific to your room layout for optimisation. One downside we did find with the set-up of the Sonos WiFi system is that if your wireless connection is poor then a Sonos bridge may be needed as an extra to plug into the router to get the whole thing working, these are priced at around £39.99.
Once set-up you are free to use the application as and how you please playing all the music you desire. You have access to a variety of shows, podcasts and over 100,000 free radio stations including the ability to access over 60 popular streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, SoundCloud, Goodle Music, Amazon Music and more.
My only negative about the application is that it does not support the ability to play music and videos through YouTube. This problem could easily be solved through the addition of Bluetooth capability and/or aux in. This capability is available on other Sonos ranges such as the PLAY:5.
We initially listened to our Play:1 device on its own in a fairly large bedroom for the size of the speaker. It certainly didn’t disappoint with the sound filling the room relatively well with warm vocals and deeper bass than expected for the size of the speaker. After this, we paired the two Sonos Play:1’s together in stereo mode and also switched into the left and right speaker mode. This for us, was the most impressive part about the Sonos Play:1 as it offered a fully, richer sound when paired with another speaker. Particularly for certain songs the left and right speaker mode gave a home cinema sound depending on where the two speakers are placed in your room.Order from Amazon
Update 1: Sonos recently announced that users can now control their Sonos system directly through Spotify giving them the option to access music how they prefer. Read more about it here.