Sonos Gen 1 Bluetooth Speaker
Last updated date: December 23, 2019
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We looked at the top Wireless Speakers and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Wireless Speaker you should buy.
Update as February 18, 2020:
Checkout The Best Wireless Speaker for a detailed review of all the top wireless speakers.
In our analysis of 57 expert reviews, the Sonos Gen 1 Bluetooth Speaker placed 9th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
Sonos One blends great sound with Amazon Alexa, the easy to use voice service, for hands free control of your music and more. Use your voice to play songs while you cook. Tell Alexa to turn the volume up while you’re in the shower. You can even request your favorite lullaby when you’re tucking the kids in. Sonos One connects with Amazon Alexa easily over Wi Fi. Just set up the speaker, select the Sonos skill in the Amazon Alexa app, and you’re all set to play music, get news and answers, manage your smart devices, and enjoy everything else Alexa does using nothing but your Sonos One. Since Alexa responds to any voice, anyone in your home can take charge of the music. Kids can call out their favorite sing alongs. Friends can skip or replay tracks and adjust audio settings, no app required. Party guests can request their favorite songs in real time. No matter who says it, Sonos plays it.
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An Overview On Wireless Speakers
As technology marches forward, it shrinks our world in a lot of ways. And yes, there’s the metaphoric way in which rapid communication brings us all closer together. But many objects literally get smaller and less complex. Nowhere is that more obvious than a roundup of modern wireless speakers.
Just a decade ago, the default image of a home speaker was a hefty, block-shaped unit that was at least the size of a breadbox — and usually much bigger, if we’re talking about speakers designed for an expensive audiophile’s stereo system.
Nowadays, wireless speakers are becoming the norm. They’re typically no bigger than a medium-sized shoe, and — as the name implies — there are no wires connecting them and your music player. The technology that powers them is still evolving, which means you can find wireless speakers in a dizzying range of shapes. Knowing a little bit about how they work can help you make a decision about which one is best for you.
There are a lot of ways to remotely connect two devices, but the standard for most wireless speakers is Bluetooth. Bluetooth technology uses radio waves, the same type of electromagnetic radiation that’s been bringing us music since the turn of the century. The main difference between Bluetooth devices is the way they use frequency.
Standard radio-controlled devices operate by establishing a certain frequency that both devices will operate on. When one device (say, an RC car) receives a signal from another in that specific frequency, they turn on, change direction or speed up depending on what the signal is. Obviously, other devices can interfere with that signal if they come within range.
Bluetooth devices get around that potential interference by establishing a protocol that allows both devices (in this case, a music player and speaker) to switch frequencies in tandem, hundreds of times every second.
Again, technology is constantly improving. When speakers mention their Bluetooth capability, it’s typically followed by a version: 4.0, 4.2, 5.0, for example. Generally speaking, you can expect a better range and a more consistent signal out of your speaker the higher that number gets.
Speakers operating on Bluetooth 4.0 or higher generally use less power than earlier counterparts. The latest version of the technology is Bluetooth 5.0, and it’s a significant leap over the rest. Devices with that capability not only use less power but have four times the range and twice the speed. They can handle data transfers of up to 2 Mbps, meaning the sound quality on compatible players should be better. You can even pair up audio signals to two devices at the same time (say, two different speakers or a speaker and headphones). It’s worth noting that this benefit only comes from using a speaker and music player that both have Bluetooth 5.0 capability. 5.0-enabled speakers will still work with older versions, but they’ll operate at the output and specs from the lowest version.
Performance can vary even among models with the same version of Bluetooth. And as for the sound? Audiophiles used to turn up their nose at wireless audio because data compression didn’t deliver a “full” listening experience. That’s changing, and the latest wireless speakers can compete with the highest-quality CD audio.
Of course, the biggest advantage of wireless speakers is freedom. Keep in mind that some speakers may not be entirely wireless in that they still stay connected to a power cord. But most Bluetooth units have a rechargeable battery that can keep your playlist going for a few hours on average.
All that makes wireless speakers great for the outdoors. If that’s where you plan to use them, make sure you don’t spoil the fun (and your speaker) by checking to see if it’s waterproof.
The Wireless Speaker Buying Guide
- As we’ve mentioned, waterproof speakers are nearly a must if you plan to use them outdoors, around the pool or near the shower. Some speakers are so waterproof that you can use them inside the shower. How do you tell what your speaker can take? Check to see if the speaker gives an IPX waterproof rating. The “IP” in that rating stands for “Ingress Protection,” and it’s an industry rating regulated by the International Electrotechnical Commission. The rating for tech products goes from IPX0 up to the highest protection from moisture at IPX8. IPX0 offers no protection against even tiny drops of water, which means you probably won’t see that rating advertised. The middle numbers should be good in light rainfall or some incidental spray. Speakers rated with an IPX7 or 8 should be able to work even after being completely submerged in water.
- How long can you expect the music to last? The last thing you want is for your speaker to run out of juice in the middle of a party. Most wireless speakers have a rechargeable battery, but that battery life can vary. Most will mention a time estimate on the features, but it can vary depending on what you do with them. (Using your speakers for two-way audio can run down the power quicker, for example.)
- Remember, style can be a factor! Wireless speakers aren’t hemmed in by the traditional boxy shape of their wired counterparts. Most are small and cylindrical, but some can look like miniature sculptures or mimic retro devices. Some speakers are even equipped with LED lights that pulse in time to the music.
- Remember, once you get your speaker you’ll have to pair it up with your smartphone or another audio player. That usually only takes a few seconds, after which the two devices should recognize each other once they’re turned on in the same vicinity. Most Bluetooth devices can pick up a signal from within the same average-sized house, but weaker models might need the audio player to remain close by. Check the range before you buy.
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