Curious in adding Sonos to your home? I tested four of their most popular models to find out what’s right for you

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I set up a Sonos sound system, and here’s how it works

Sonos has been manufacturing audio equipment since 2002, and the company is well regarded in the industry for its high-quality sound and sleek-looking speakers. These days, all of their models offer some level of smart functionality and wirelessly connect to each other and other devices. 

I decided to test the Sonos Beam, One, Roam and Move speakers to see if they really live up to the hype. I was also interested in the innovative design that allows each of these speakers to be used individually or as part of a larger whole-home audio system. Here’s what I learned.

What is the Sonos sound system?

The Sonos sound system includes multiple speakers that you can mix and match. All are equipped with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and enabled with Alexa and Google Assistant. The sound system has a diverse lineup of soundbars, bookshelf speakers and portable speakers that can all be controlled via the company’s intuitive app or using their on-device touch controls. All Sonos speakers feature a built-in amplifier and a combination of woofers and tweeters to ensure they sound just as good alone as they do in a connected system.

How the Sonos sound system works

What’s interesting about the various Sonos speakers compared to most others that you would use in a home sound system is that every Sonos speaker offers the versatility to be used independently or as part of a larger audio setup. 

All of the Sonos speakers connect to each other via a secure mesh network that allows you to use them together or individually as needed. For example, if you want surround sound when watching a movie, you can set all of the speakers to play the same audio as the soundbar. You can also play the same music across multiple rooms by setting up speakers throughout your home. Alternatively, you can have each speaker play different music so listeners in different parts of the house can enjoy their own tunes.

I set up my system with the Sonos Beam soundbar and the One bookshelf speakers in my television area and put a Move speaker in another room. For on-the-go use, I tested the portable Roam, which is compact, lightweight and waterproof. You can also take the Move speaker on the go if you prefer something with more robust sound and don’t mind the added bulk and weight.

What you need to know before purchasing a Sonos sound system 

Unlike many other sound systems, which can be intimidating to set up, the Sonos sound system is exceedingly simple, thanks to the app that walks you through every step of the process. You simply download the Sonos app, plug in the speaker and connect both the speaker and your phone to the same Wi-Fi network. You’ll be prompted to complete every additional necessary step.

You can also use the Trueplay feature on the Sonos app to fine-tune the speakers to your specific space. As with the initial setup, the app also walks you through the fine-tuning process.

Where to buy the Sonos sound system

You can purchase Sonos speakers on the Sonos website.

Best Sonos Speakers

Sonos Beam

Sonos Beam

The Sonos Beam is ideal for those who want premium audio from a small soundbar. Though more compact than speakers from many other competitors, its sound easily fills an entire living room, and it maintains its pristine audio quality through years of use. The Gen 2 release also features Dolby Atmos for truly immersive surround sound.

Sold by Sonos and Amazon

Sonos One

Sonos One

The Sonos One is a great any-room speaker for most listeners’ needs. It’s also the perfect speaker to accompany the Sonos Beam for those trying to enhance the depth of their TV’s surround sound system. Like most Sonos devices, it can be conveniently voice-controlled, and its small size allows for easy placement almost anywhere.

Sold by Sonos and Amazon

Sonos Move

Sonos Move

The Sonos Move is intended for both indoor and outdoor use. Though it is weatherproof, it’s not waterproof, so it should never be fully submerged. Like the One, it is a good every-room speaker, but it boasts an 11-hour battery life and a more durable build to stand up to the rigors of on-the-go use.

Sold by Sonos and Amazon

Sonos Roam

Sonos Roam

Though the Roam can’t compete with the Move’s robust sound and deep bass, it far surpasses it in terms of portability. It is also completely waterproof, so it’s the best choice if you need something compact that you can use at the pool and beach, and even take with you when lounging on a floating inflatable.

Sold by Sonos and Amazon


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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.


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