Sonos One getting better?

  • 23 November 2017
  • 13 replies
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I think there might be some hope. I had 3 Sonos Ones, one on its own in a room and the other two in another room as a stereo pair with a sub. The single One was really bad at waking and at recognition and I eventually gave up with it and returned it to Amazon. I now have my original Echo back there and am again enjoying accurate waking and voice recognition, even from another room. The other two Ones were equally as bad at first but now seem to have improved. They're not as good with voice as the Echos and Dots but I would say they are almost acceptable now.

Perhaps there was a fault with the single one as it never got any better, but I wonder if Sonos and Amazon have made software improvements that have improved the wake word response and voice recognition accuracy of the other two. I'm sure it's not my imagination as they were pretty bad at first and I speak to them in the same way as I speak to the Echos and Dots. Has anyone else noticed any recent improvements?

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13 replies

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No I'm improvements here. We still have to do the 'louder and closer dance' (as it was described in another thread!) to get it to wake up when we want. The number of false positives (with the associated infuriating ding!) hasn't reduced either. Its strange - it doesn't respond to 'Alexa' consistently, yet seems to wake up to random words quite often! The dot that it replaced did not have this issue. Mrs is ready to throw the thing through the window! I originally bought 3 but sent 2 back unopened (were going to be daughters' Christmas presents), its only that we wanted another speaker anyway that I kept one One. If I could get a dot and a Play1 for less than £199 I'd probably go for that. I'm hoping things improve over the next year or so.
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We still have to do the 'louder and closer dance' (as it was described in another thread!) to get it to wake up when we want.
That's what it was like for me, but it has definitely improved on 2 out of the 3 Ones. I didn't have the random wake ups any more than on Echos and Dots.
I tested the sound quality in John Lewis last night, and the sonos one was so much better than the dot, echo. They sounded so tinny. What are your opinions as you have/had both?
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I tested the sound quality in John Lewis last night, and the sonos one was so much better than the dot, echo. They sounded so tinny. What are your opinions as you have/had both?There's no contest: the Sonos One is better than any of the Echos or Dots for sound quality.
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Agreed, the sound of the One is much better than the dot (for obvious reasons) and the Echo we have. (we have an original UK Echo, not the smaller one recently released, so I can't say what the sound quality is like on those).
For us the dot is no good for playing music - they are used to turn lights on/off etc. We use the echo to play music (cranked up) from the main bedroom while we are in the bathroom - for that purpose it is great as you can ask it to turn up or down, change track,album (we have amazon music echo plan just on that device) while you enjoy your bathing!
The sound would not come close to the Sonos speakers we have but I would not change it as, due to the issues mentioned, I do not currently believe the Sonos One would hear us consistently from another room.
Also, if you are not already aware, there are some features that are not present on the One's currently - drop in/messaging for instance.
Thanks guys, is there a easy reckoner for the differences of the one vs the echo? Appreciate your help
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Thanks guys, is there a easy reckoner for the differences of the one vs the echo? Appreciate your help

Do you mean in terms of the Echo Alexa features (drop in etc) the Sonos One does not support? I'm not sure there is a definitive list. I know other threads have been asking for the same thing. Most of my knowledge of the differences have come from reading the posts on these boards.
I thought sonos one and play1 now both support Alexa? i meant the referred comment about the differences of alexa enabled features between the echo and the play1 eg messages etc
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!I thought sonos one and play1 now both support Alexa? i meant the referred comment about the differences of alexa enabled features between the echo and the play1 eg messages etc


All Sonos speakers now support Alexa if you have another Amazon device (echo/dot), the Sonos skill enabled in the Alexa app and voice services enabled in the Sonos App. The Sonos One has Alexa built in so you do not need another Amazon device. If you have a dot and a Play 1, you have access to all Alexa features including messaging etc through the dot (not the Sonos). In this case tho, Alexa will not 'speak' through the Sonos speaker (unless using Line In on a Play 5 I believe), she will only play music through the speaker when you ask her to eg. 'Alexa play jazz on Lounge' (Lounge being the name of the Sonos speaker).
The Sonos One does not currently support messaging, drop in etc. There are probably other things it doesn't do as well that I don't use - there have been some postings on the boards about it not working with other Alexa skills that work fine with the dots or echos. Things are improving - flash briefings were not available until recently and you can now integrate Spotify as well. Altho it appears you can only start one stream via voice and if someone requests music in a other room with voice it wont work - this makes voice activation completely unviable in my opinion for homes with varying music taste and multiple speakers. You can still have multiple streams via the app though.
Modifiable settings for the Sonos One are also not the same as the echo/dot - you can't change the wake word from 'Alexa' and you can't turn of the 'ding' when it thinks its heard you - both are customizable in the dot settings.
Having replaced a dot + Play1 with a Sonos One on release date, the only advantage for me is that you don't have to specify room name to initiate playback on the One and there is no annoying 'ducking' on the other speakers when you ask it something. Oh and you only need one plug socket for the One which was an advantage given the location of ours.
Other than that, having played with it for around a month now, I kind of regret upgrading!.
Altho, to your original point, the sound is awesome
so im thinking a Echo ( maybe plus on offer ) in the bedroom and sonos one in the kitchen / conservatory then!

Excellent help thank you.
Userlevel 7
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so im thinking a Echo ( maybe plus on offer ) in the bedroom and sonos one in the kitchen / conservatory then!

Excellent help thank you.


If you value true multi room, I would suggest another Sonos One in the bedroom, if your budget can stretch to it.
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If you value true multi room, I would suggest another Sonos One in the bedroom, if your budget can stretch to it.


From personal experience, I would never put a current Sonos One in a bedroom, given we always have to shout at it. Plus the annoying wake ding when it thinks it has heard its name! Your experience may be better, but for us, these 'features' wouldn't exactly lead to the bedroom being a restful place!
It's such a shame cos we love the Play1s and Play5 we have and we've even got used to the new app!
Userlevel 7
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If you value true multi room, I would suggest another Sonos One in the bedroom, if your budget can stretch to it.


From personal experience, I would never put a current Sonos One in a bedroom, given we always have to shout at it. Plus the annoying wake ding when it thinks it has heard its name! Your experience may be better, but for us, these 'features' wouldn't exactly lead to the bedroom being a restful place!
It's such a shame cos we love the Play1s and Play5 we have and we've even got used to the new app!


Perhaps it's the red wine! 🙂 To be honest, the false wakes are much less now, 1 or 2 a day at most on my set-up and with the Sonos One about 6 -8 ft from the bed I don't need to shout, although I do need to talk 'to' it.

I've also tried swapping it out for a Goggle home which was marginally better on both counts, so it'll be interesting when Sonos supports Google Assistant as well.

I still think it's worth sticking to the Sonos One, it's getting better each week and the future road map looks very good.