Sonos PLAY:1 Compact Review

Editor rating

4.3/5 on November 23, 2016

User's rating

3,819 reviews


Great sound.

Easy to set up.

Runs on WiFi rather than Bluetooth.  Longer range


Not the prettiest of designs.

Higher Price

Like the more classic and recognizable brand Bose, Sonos is a speaker brand that has been around for quite some time, yet remained under the radar.  It used to be that this speaker system ran on its own wireless mesh network that required a bridge to clog up a slot on your router, but those days are gone and suddenly the all Wi-Fi Sonos brand is beginning to thrive.

They market themselves solely on the fact that they use Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth, so that means no song interruptions by phone notifications or incoming calls. However, with their free app they still allow you to play music from storage as well as internet radio apps like Spotify or Pandora.

Unfortunately, while their performance is top-notch, the speakers themselves cost a small fortune. Well, that used to be the case, but the PLAY:1 features a more compact case with the same high quality sound for a fraction of the price, but does it still feature the same great performance of other PLAY models or even Bluetooth speakers?


The design of the PLAY:1 is nothing to write home about really. It is smaller than all previous Sonos models, but it looks… Just like a regular speaker! However, its wedge-shape design not only helps so you can better store it in a corner or mount it on a wall easier, it is actually by performance design as well. The design allows it to fit a newly designed tweeter and mid-range driver that allows more cone and air movement for better sound than any other speaker of its size.

Range and Connectivity

You couldn’t want for a better range. As the Sonos uses Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth, as long as your Wi-Fi reaches an area of the house, you can turn on your speaker. As for connectivity, the PLAY:1 is extensively easy to set up, although you can spend all of that set up time you save exploring all the options inside the app, but that isn’t exactly a deal breaker.


When developing the PLAY:1, Sonos brought in a pretty knowledgeable engineer that went back and forth with them about using a chargeable battery. Unfortunately, to get the same rich sound, the battery needed would be pretty unwieldy and not fit for their “compact” model. So while, yes, you need to plug this particular speaker in and it makes for poor portability, you also don’t have to worry about a battery conking out.  Although not highly dustproof, it does have a fine enough mesh front so that it still works perfectly fine in particularly damp bathrooms.

Sound Quality

If there is one thing you can always count on being good with the Sonos brand, it is the sound quality. The PLAY:1 still provides the same rich and stunningly loud sound to fill a room. It has respectable bass, but since Sonos also sells a separate subwoofer, it won’t make your room rumble.

One of the best features of the Sonos is that you can always expand your sound later. With easy connectivity to other Sonos speakers, you can fill your house with rich sound by buying other PLAY speakers, the subwoofer, or even the TV bar. One nice feature is that, if you wanted to, you could enable your speakers to play different songs in different rooms. This has made this sound system an excellent choice for families that each have their own preferred sound.