- For a limited time, audio company Sonos is offering two of its smart “One” speakers for $US350 starting Friday.
- Considering how the Sonos One uses Alexa and supports voice controls for Spotify and other streaming services, the One sounds like a better deal than Apple’s HomePod, which supports voice controls only for Apple Music.
- Sonos will also be adding Google Assistant and even AirPlay 2 support to the One in 2018, which will let you use Siri through your Apple devices.
Sonos announced on Thursday that for a limited time, it will offer two of its smart “One” Alexa-powered speakers for the same price of a single Apple HomePod smart speaker. You can take advantage of this deal starting Friday.
That’s a smart move by Sonos. It means you could get fantastic stereo sound in one room using two Sonos One speakers, or have a Sonos in two different rooms, for $US350.
It also means you’ll get to use Amazon’s Alexa smart voice assistant, which has proven to be more capable than Apple’s Siri assistant. With that said, you don’t quite get every Alexa feature with the Sonos One as you do with an Amazon Echo speaker. Still, the important basics are there, and Sonos is constantly updating the One speaker with more Alexa features.
In addition to Google Assistant, Sonos is also promising support for Apple AirPlay 2 in 2018. That means you’ll be able to play any any audio – including Spotify, YouTube, and Netflix streams – from an iOS or macOS device, like iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers, on the Sonos One.
As for Siri on the Sonos One, you’ll be able to use any Siri-enabled device to issue commands to the One speakers. It’s almost like having Siri on the One speaker itself, except you have to make the voice commands from an iOS or macOS devices instead of speaking directly to the Sonos One.
That said, Siri only supports voice controls for Apple Music, not services like Spotify or Pandora. You’ll be able to play music from other services via AirPlay 2, but you’ll have to control it with your Apple device.
The Sonos One also delivers fantastic audio quality. One of my favourite things about the One speaker is that it makes music sound amazing with rich bass even at lower volumes. So far,Apple’s HomePod also reportedly delivers excellent audio that could even exceed the Sonos One, but we’ll have to fully test it for ourselves to confirm those claims.
On almost every level, the Sonos One is the opposite of Apple’s HomePod. The One is an open platform that allows users access to different voice assistants and services. The HomePod, on the other hand, is a closed system that supports Apple Music and a few third-party “messaging, lists, and notes” apps.
The HomePod will have to sound significantly better than the Sonos One to make it worthwhile. Even then, a single $US200 Sonos One speaker seemingly poses a better deal than the $US350 HomePod.