What Sonos speaker you should buy depends on a few things.
Your budget it obviously important.
As is the size of the room where you plan to put the speaker.
And, of course, how you plan to use the speaker, i.e. for music, for movies, for a computer, etc.
It seems overwhelming, but don’t worry. We’ll help you figure out which speaker is right for you.
I definitely have a strong preference for one of them. I’ll tell you which in just a second.
But that does not mean it is also the best one for you.
I own all of them for a reason. They each perform different functions for me.
Keep reading for a breakdown of each speaker and the type of room and situation for which it is ideal. This should help you decide on the best Sonos speakers for your needs.
What Sonos Speaker Should I Buy?
The Sonos Five is not just the best Sonos speaker when it comes to sound quality, but one of the best speakers on the market period. It is the one I would choose.
Once you get a chance to hear the great quality it can deliver, it’s very unlikely you’ll want to go for a different speaker in the future. It is also the speaker you want, if you plan to hook your record player up to your Sonos system.
But it’s not the right Sonos speaker for everyone. Their other models sound great, too, and offer some distinct advantages.
The Sonos speakers all offer excellent audio quality. All of the speakers on their site can go to very high volume levels without distorting the quality.
One detail to highlight about Sonos speakers is that they are constantly receiving updates to add improvements.
Here is a bit more information about each of the Sonos speakers, mostly from my own experience (I have at least one of each, apart from the Move and the SL versions).
Stream music, radio, audiobooks, and more from all your favorite services. Control is easy with the Sonos app, your voice assistant, and Apple AirPlay 2.
Mix and match Sonos speakers around your home for multiroom listening, stereo sound, and immersive home theater. Everything works together over WiFi.
Inside this Sonos speaker, you have two midrange drivers, a bass woofer, and a tweeter. The experience is limited to mono audio, but it’s loud enough to fill a small room with fairly clear sound.
When I raise the volume to the maximum, it does not distort the sound, which is great.
The speaker also features Trueplay technology which uses the microphone of the connected iOS device to measure sound reflection around the room.
If you are using the Sonos One as the main sound source for a large room, then I would recommend adding another Sonos One, or a Sonos Sub to improve the bass (I very much enjoy bass, whether in rock or electronic music, so for me, it’s a must).
There is also an SL version of the One. The SL version costs less, but it does not include microphones for built-in voice control. That is the only difference, so if you don’t need voice control, you can save a bit of money and still get the same performance.
Sonos Play 3
When I heard the Sonos Play 3 at my friend’s place, the bass was quite powerful for the size, and it was free of distortion even when we ran it at high volumes (which we did repeatedly).
The only problem is that this model has been discontinued. You can still find them on on places like ebay, or even Amazon, but you will not find them on Sonos’ website.
And they are not compatible with the newer generation of equipment either. That said, it is still a great speaker. It integrates two midrange transducers, a radiator, and a tweeter, each one powered by its own amplifier.
The system supports almost any current sound file. It also includes Trueplay technology to improve audio optimization depending on the space where the speaker is located.
The volume level is quite strong and spreads well across a medium-sized room. However, the volume level is much higher on the Sonos play 5 (though this may be a subjective opinion, because I’m in love with the 5).
Stream music, radio, audiobooks, and more from all your favorite services, and enjoy easy control with the Sonos app and Apple AirPlay 2.
Use the 3.5 mm input to connect a turntable, CD player, or other audio device, then mix and match Sonos speakers around your home for multiroom listening. Everything works together over WiFi.
Finally, my love! The volume level here is loud enough to fill a large room with rich, powerful sound, without being distorted! This is due to the six class D amplifiers that it incorporates.
It also has three 10 cm midrange transducers, two 20 mm tweeters on the sides, and a 22 mm central one in the middle that ends up adding more quality to the sound.
This speaker also has Trueplay technology, but I believe it improves the sound much more than on the previous models.
The bass of the Sonos Five is quite strong. It may even reach ranges too low for some people’s ears. However, the EQ settings can correct this. Just reducing it a bit can help make it more tonally balanced.
After making that little correction there is no doubt that this speaker sounds fantastic and is worth every penny you pay for it. That’s why I now have two of them. And will add more once I’ve replenished my bank account a bit.
Additionally, the Five can connect directly to a record player. With other speakers, you will need to get a Sonos Amp or Sonos Port to connect your turntable.
Enjoy hours of music, radio, audiobooks, and more from all your favorite services thanks to Roam's long-lasting rechargeable battery.
Listen at home with WiFi and easily control the sound with the Sonos app, your voice, and Apple AirPlay 2. Use Bluetooth® when you're away.
Add more Sonos speakers around your home for multiroom listening. Everything works together over WiFi.
The Roam is Sonos’ portable speaker. You can take it with you anywhere and play music for up to 10 hours on a single charge (at moderate volumes).
The Roam boasts two Class-H digital amplifiers that power one tweeter and one mid-woofer. The mid woofer fills out the low range well, but the bass does lag behind all of the other Sonos speakers in terms of quality and power.
How can it not at this small size and low price? Considering that, it is still excellent.
The Roam is compatible with the Trueplay technology and it has a far-field microphone for quick and accurate voice control and automatic Trueplay tuning.
There is also an SL version available. Just like the SL version of the One, it is the same as the Roam, except it lacks the microphone. As a result, it is slightly cheaper.
Stream music, radio, audiobooks, and more from all your favorite services, and take the sound from room to room and beyond. The weather-resistant design, rechargeable battery, and wide soundstage deliver an exceptional outdoor listening experience.
Control is easy with the Sonos app, your voice, and Apple AirPlay 2 on WiFi. Switch to Bluetooth® when you're away. Effortlessly charge Move by setting it on the included Wireless Charging Base. Add other Sonos speakers around your home for multiroom listening. Everything works together over WiFi.
The Move was Sonos’ first portable speaker, and the only one they had until the newer Roam came along. The Move is much larger and much more expensive than the Roam.
Is it worth the additional weight and cost? Generally, no. It does have a much better sound quality, so if you want the best possible portable sound, get the Move.
Otherwise, the Roam makes more sense. As a newer model, it includes a better version of Trueplay and some additional nifty features that the Move lacks.
My favorite is the Swap feature. If you bring the Roam home from a day of listening to music, you can instantly “hand off” the sound to the nearest Sonos speaker.
That means no break in whatever you are listening to. It seamlessly transfers to your home speakers when you arrive home.
Like the Roam, the Move also can’t be used as part of a Sonos surround sound living room setup, in conjunction with one of the soundbars. But it can be used as an additional speaker that is paired with a surround compatible speaker, like the One or Five.
As mentioned, the Move has better sound quality (it should, given the much larger size and higher price), thanks to two class-D digital amplifiers that drive a downward firing tweeter and a midwoofer.
Best Sonos Speaker To Buy: Conclusion
Let’s take a look at a brief summary of my thoughts on the three basic Sonos speakers.
- Sonos One: The Sonos One is the cheapest complete speaker Sonos has to offer (especially the SL version). It can provide a very good mono audio experience for a small room, but it does not reach the same sound quality as the rest of the models.
- Play 3: The best thing about the Sonos play 3 is undoubtedly its bass which will leave you enchanted. It has a compact design thanks to which you can easily transport it and its price is not so exaggerated either. But it has been discontinued.
- Sonos Five: Finally the Sonos Five – in terms of sound, it is clearly much superior to the aforementioned and it currently offers one of the best sounds on the market. It is also the only speaker that connects directly to a record player.
- Sonos Roam: The roam is ultra-portable and the cheapest speaker overall. But it will not work as a surround speaker and it has the weakest sound quality (but still excellent, especially for the price). This is the speaker to get if you plan to take it with you to different places.
- Sonos Move: The move is a larger and more expensive portable speaker. for most the Roam is better. only get the move, if you need the improved sound quality and price and size do not matter to you.
All Sonos speakers are excellent and on par with the best competitors in terms of sound quality. See our comparison of Bose vs Sonos home theater systems for more on how they stack up.
If you want to buy a new Sonos speaker, but just don’t have the budget, you could look at getting one used. Or you could buy an older edition. Another possibility is to get a Shadow Edition Sonos speaker. They usually cost a bit less, too.