Sonos is the biggest name in multi-room audio. Sure, the likes of Amazon's Echo range and Apple's HomePod have added some much needed mainstream competition, but Sonos is still the name that regular folk associate with sorting a multi-room speaker setup for their homes.
It's super simple to get a Sonos system up and running in your house, although if you're starting from scratch, it can be daunting deciding which speakers to invest in.
Make sure you check out our Sonos missing manual for an in-depth walkthrough of the system in its entirety, but if you're just looking for a rundown of the latest, best Sonos speakers then read on.
The best Sonos speakers
In total, there are eight different Sonos speakers capable of audio output, though one of these is a sub and a few are TV-specialists. Confused? You needn't be β here's the lowdown on each and every one of them.
The cheapest entry in a Sonos setup, the Play:1 is a bookshelf speaker that's ideal for bedrooms, offices, kitchens and the like. It's a powerful little speaker on its own but it also works brilliantly in a larger room, paired up to form a duo of stereo speakers.
It weighs in at less than 1.85kg and measures just 16cm tall, but the baby of the bunch still packs in plenty of audio bang for its buck, with two Class-D digital amplifiers, a tweeter for clear high-frequency response and a mid-woofer for mid-range vocal frequencies.
The Play:3 is the stereo mid-ranger, with three Class-D amplifiers and three custom-built drivers for an impressive sound stage. There's also a bass radiator for the low notes.
Like the Play:1, it comes in black or white and you can also pair two Play:3s together as left and right speakers in a stereo setup. It's also pretty versatile, as while it naturally sits as a horizontal speaker, it can also be positioned vertically.
The flagship Play:5 is a highly-evolved version of Sonos' first ever speaker. It boasts six Class-D digital amplifiers, six dedicated speaker drivers, three tweeters and three mid-woofers.
The Play:5 has a line-in on the back for CD players, turntables and the like, and also offers up a pair of Ethernet ports so it can act as a handy switch or extender for your wired devices. Like the Play:3 it can sit in either portrait or landscape.
The Play range β 1, 3 and 5 β all come in either black or white finishes.
The Sonos One is essentially the Play:1 with the added boost of Amazon's Alexa packed in.
You can control your non-Alexa Sonos speakers through your Echo devices, but the One is a dedicated Sonos smart speaker, i.e. you can use it to control your lights, locks and the like, as well as asking for Alexa's help with various digital tasks. It's also an AirPlay 2 speaker, so it can be grouped up with HomePods and other AirPlay 2 enabled speakers.
In March 2019, Sonos refreshed the One with the Gen 2 model; the differences are a faster processor and more memory β and the addition of Bluetooth Low Energy, making it easier to set up the speaker initially.
Like the Play models, it's white or black as standard β but there are also HAY Sonos One Limited Edition versions (of gen-1 Ones), which add a splash of colour for $30 extra.
Gen 1 models, while stocks remain, are priced up at $179.
The newest and most compact member of the Sonos gang, the Sonos Beam can, of course, be used as a regular Sonos speaker but really it's designed to beef-up your TV's audio β it connects via HDMI ARC. It's also Sonos' second speaker to pack in Alexa.
It boasts a single tweeter in the middle and three passive radiators, as well as four full-range woofers. Thereβs also a five-mic array for voice control, which makes it easy for Alexa to hear you from a distance over whatever is being played through the speaker. AirPlay 2 is also on board.
Sonos' ageing soundbar is a heavier hitter than the Beam and can be wall mounted, or can sit below the TV on a unit. It's easy enough to set your TV remote to control the volume and the sound stage created by a solitary speaker for movies and TV shows is awesome.
Like the Beam, it can also be used as a speaker for non TV audio, and it boasts nine amplified speaker drivers: six mid-range and three tweeters.
The Playbase is Sonos' soundbase β designed to sit under your TV. On paper, it trumps the Playbar with an extra digital amplifier, but Sonos has tuned them to sound as similar to each other as possible, so your choice comes down to what works best with your TV setup.
Both the Playbar and the Playbase connect to your TV through a digital optical cable, and as well as playing back your TV's audio in stereo or Dolby Digital, they can also play music from the same sources as a regular Sonos speaker, in addition to being part of a multi-room speaker setup.
The Playbar, Playbase and Beam all add brilliant sound improvements to your home cinema setup solo, but can also be teamed up with other Sonos' speakers as part of a surround sound setup β and that's where the Sub comes in.
However, Sonos' subwoofer isn't just for a TV surround setup; it's also brilliant for adding bass to your music and, again, you can just throw it into a group as per a regular speaker.
Sonos Architectural by Sonance
The new Sonos Architectural by Sonance lineup includes in-wall, in-ceiling and outdoor speakers. Technically, they aren't Sonos speakers β you can buy alternatives that do the same thing β but Sonos sells these direct, so we felt we should include them here.
You'll need to wire them up to a Sonos Amp to get them in sync with your system. The Sonance lineup consists of the Sonos In-Wall ($799), the Sonos In-Ceiling ($599) and the Sonos Outdoor ($799).
The Sonos Amp will auto-recognise and connect to the speakers and youβll be able to tune them using TruePlay.
Grab a Sonos speaker now - great savings
More Sonos guides
More Sonos guides
How to set up and use AirPlay 2 with your Sonos speakers
How to add your Apple HomePod smart speaker to your Sonos system
How to use old Sonos speakers for AirPlay 2 multi-room music
How to control Sonos with Google Assistant
How to associate Sonos and Echo speakers and create groups
How to use Sonos and Alexa: Every command you need to know