Our Verdict
For those buying great sounding home speaker on a budget, the Sonos SL is an excellent choice. It booms with such bass power and sings with such clarity that belie its small stature, and does so while costing substantially less than a lot of the top models available in the market. In addition, it comes with the capability to easily pair with other Sonos speakers, if you ever have the desire and ability to get started on expanding right into a multi-speaker system. Really, our only gripe with this speaker is its insufficient the Bluetooth connection or physical port, rendering it somewhat difficult to directly hook up Android or Windows devices (AirPlay compatibility circumvents this matter for Apple users). However, assuming you have an AirPlay compatible device and/or are fine with just streaming music right to the speaker via WiFi, the Sonos One SL will be your brand-new best friend.

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as of May 17, 2022 1:30 am
Last updated on May 17, 2022 1:30 am

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Our Analysis and TEST OUTCOMES
The One SL may be the basic foundation of the multi-speaker system made available from Sonos, but also for those shopping on a budget we think it sounds great all alone. The sound quality is impressive for such a tiny speaker, and it has a lot of volume for the common living room or small apartment.

Want Voice Control Built-in?
The Sonos One is acoustically and aesthetically identical to the SL, but adds a range of microphones that permit you to use Alexa and Google voice assistants without the external accessories.

Performance Comparison

Sound quality
The SL is one of the better sounding small home speakers available to buy. If you are looking for the boomiest bass possible, it may well not be for you personally, but otherwise it’s sure to please.

Sonos has largely built brand on the impressive clarity of its speakers, and the SL completely offers on that front. Acoustic numbers heard on the speaker undertake a largely live feel, with every slight tremble in a vocal or slide on a guitar string clear and audible. This characteristic also helps it be an excellent device for hearing podcasts and talk radio.

When music with an increase of low end enters the equation, the SL still sounds great. It pushes out impressively powerful bass notes given its small size, and manages to take action with hardly any of the muddling heard in lots of other small speakers. However, it cannot match the rotund bass proposed by a number of the larger (and generally more costly) speakers that you can buy. For some varieties of music that difference is pretty much negligible. However, if your jam is bass-heavy hiphop, metal, or EDM, the SL may sound somewhat thinner than you would like. The being said, we’ve yet to locate a bass powerhouse in this cost range, so we’d still consider the SL a viable option for budget-conscious bass lovers.

THE MAIN ONE SL offers great sound for a lesser price than a lot of the competition.

User Friendliness
The SL offers an excellent user experience, but with a significant quirk you will need to observe.

No Bluetooth Connection
Most persons expect modern home speakers to include a Bluetooth connection, but that is clearly a technology that Sonos has largely eschewed. Instead, this speaker forces you to stream music right to the speaker via WiFi (or through a hard-wired ethernet connection) using the Sonos iphone app on your own phone/tablet/computer as a handy remote control with which to gain access to your selected music streaming services (Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, Apple Music, etc).

The most notable of the speaker features simple play/pause and volume touch controls.

The only other option, which is merely open to Apple users, is by using the SL’s AirPlay compatibility. This essentially enables you to treat the SL as a typical Bluetooth linked device, playing audio tracks from things such as Netflix, youTube, or saved non-streaming files, but only when you have an Apple device that’s linked to the same WiFi network as the SL.

Sonos has their known reasons for not offering Bluetooth, with better quality streaming over WiFi and too little musical interruptions whenever you get yourself a text being chief amidst them. We’ve both tested and lived with Sonos systems for hundreds of hours and generally haven’t found having less Bluetooth limiting. However, in case you have a Windows or Android notebook computer or tablet and want to manage to beam the music to your speaker, the SL will leave you disappointed. Additionally, it’s somewhat hard for people to your home to dominate DJ duties unless they’re ready to log on your WiFi and download the Sonos app. You should consider the similarly priced options from Bose, which all give a Bluetooth connection, if this appears like a limiting factor for you personally.

The Sonos App makes finding music and managing multiple speakers incredibly easy.

A Streamlined App
Sonos isn’t the only speaker company which allows you to stream content directly on the internet, freeing you phone from its duty as an intermediary. However, the iphone app it uses to perform such a feat is among the finest around. It’s relatively simple to log into your Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, and other accounts within the app, and search that combined library of music in a single convenient place. After that you can play some of that music on the SL while leaving your phone completely unencumbered. This iphone app also works ideal for owning a multi-speaker system, should anyone ever feel inclined to really get your SL some siblings.

You can hardwire an ethernet connection if your WiFi is commonly spotty.

Smart Home Compatibility
The SL works with with both Amazon Alexa and Google Home Voice assistants. The SL does not have any internal microphones, however, so you need to pair it with an external smart device if you wish to summon it together with your voice. If you prefer a voice assistant built-in you can spend just somewhat more on the Sonos One (no SL), which may be the same speaker but with va capacities baked right in.

Comparable to its bass power, the SL sounds impressively loud given its relatively small size. When hearing it within an 800 square foot apartment, it had been able to fill the complete space with sound, despite having half a dozen persons milling about. In the event that you finished up having a raucous party with dozens of folks attempting to dance to loud music, the SL might struggle simply a bit, but otherwise we think it provides lots of punch.

You can send music to the SL via WiFi using the Sonos app, also via WiFi using AirPlay and a compatible Apple device, or with a difficult wired web connection through the ethernet port. However, the SL lacks in any manner to hook up to it without the web. You can’t send audio tracks saved on a mobile device right to the speaker via Bluetooth, and there is absolutely no physical audio tracks port. Therefore, if your web falls, the SL loses most of its functionality.

The Sonos One SL provides impressive sound quality for a comparatively reasonable price, so that it is an excellent option for an audiophile on a budget. In addition, it offers almost limitless opportunities for expansion, so that it is a good option for all those that want to invest a little to create their house system sound better now, but don’t want that investment to dry out if you decidet to upgrade later on.

If you’re looking once and for all sound that won’t break your budget, and also have an AirPlay compatible device or aren’t fussed by having less a Bluetooth connection the Sonos One SL will last well.