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HOME / Audio / Sonos One vs Amazon Echo 2 & Google Home [Video]
Sonos One vs Amazon Echo 2 & Google Home [Video]
These are the top smart speakers incorporating Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant
If you’re not well versed on the smart speaker market, here’s the basics of what you should know. The speakers connect via Wi-Fi to stream music, podcasts, and the radio. You control them via voice or with their companion app. They can also control your smart home products, add things to your cart to purchase later, create reminders and timers, and catch you up on the news, sports, weather, and traffic. That’s the big stuff.
Beyond that, all three devices on this list are wired and are not portable, however, they all pair with other speakers. The Sonos One pairs with other Sonos speakers. The Amazon Echo 2 pairs via Bluetooth or AUX with other speakers. And the Google Home can pair with other speakers as long as you have a Google Chromecast Audio connected to the other speakers.
Why get the Sonos One vs Google Home or Amazon Echo 2nd Gen
The first and most compelling reason is that the Sonos One sounds noticeably better than the other two speakers. In fact, this is the best sounding smart speaker we’ve tested to date. It sounds fantastic. Crisp, clear, rich, deep sound with very little distortions. If you’re primarily concerned with playing music, the Sonos One is your best bet for getting quality audio. You can also even adjust the bass and treble within the Sonos app if you’re so inclined.
Secondly, the Sonos One has an ethernet port that allows you to stream music via wired internet, thus potentially getting a stronger, more reliable signal. Even more, when you use the ethernet port, you can setup Sonos Boost, which basically creates a separate network for your other Sonos speakers so that they don’t need to use the same network as your other Wi-Fi devices. Again, if you care about listening to music, this is a pretty helpful additional feature.
The Sonos also has Amazon Alexa built-in right now, but in the future it will also get Google Assistant so you can actually choose which voice assistant you want to use. Not a major feature, but nice that you’ll have the option. Apple AirPlay 2 is also coming in the future, which allows you to control the speaker via Siri.
Those are the major advantages for the Sonos One. It does have some downsides. Most notably, it doesn’t have a calling feature, which you will find on both the Echo 2 and Google Home. You can essentially call phone numbers and contacts using just the smart speakers. It’s a pretty neat feature, but I don’t consider it a deal breaker that the Sonos One doesn’t support this feature.
Additionally, it’s not a Bluetooth speaker, which means you can’t play music, podcasts, and audiobooks from your phone over Bluetooth. You’re restricted to a list of voice-enabled streaming services (Amazon Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn and SiriusXM with Spotify coming in late 2017), plus a very large list of streaming services that are only available via the Sonos App (i.e. not through Alexa). Here’s a screenshot of all of the services Sonos One supports.
UPDATE: As of November 21, 2017, Sonos now supports Spotify over voice search.
Final thoughts on Sonos One vs Amazon Echo 2017 & Google Home
There’s really one big reason to get it: audio quality. Everything else is minor in comparison. If you’re fine with the price ($200) and want premium audio, it’s a fantastic device.
Well…it’s half the price. That’s a pretty compelling reason. The Echo 2 is $100 at retail [check current price on Amazon], making it a fantastic value. It still has pretty good audio, just not as good as Sonos. It’s not as rich or deep, but it’s still clear and fairly crisp. You definitely make a compromise on audio quality, but the $100 price difference might be worth it for you.
Aside from that, the Echo 2 supports Audible directly, allowing you to play your favorite audiobooks via Alexa. Neither Google nor Sonos give you this option, although since Google Home can be a Bluetooth speaker, you can beam your audiobooks from your phone to the speaker. With Sonos, as of this post, you’re out of luck entirely, unless you use Audiobooks.com.
UPDATE: As of late March 2018, Sonos now works with Audible!
Next, since Sonos has Alexa, it has access to all the Alexa-enabled smart devices, but Google does not. As such, Sonos is pretty much on par with Amazon here – they support more devices than Google. In Google’s defense, however, it supports the same category of devices as the other two. It works with smart thermostats, lights, cameras, and more. Basically what it comes down to is if you’re going to purchase a lot of smart home products, you may want to look first at an Alexa device.
The Sonos One and Echo 2 both use Alexa to shop on Amazon, so there’s not much to dwell on here. We do, however, prefer the shopping experience with Amazon to that of Walmart/Google. It’s just a better developed feature at this point.
Amazon Echo 2017 vs Sonos One – Final Thoughts
The audio quality is good enough for us, especially considering it’s $100 cheaper than the Sonos One. We can see a compelling reason for going with Sonos, but I’d probably rather get two Echo devices than just one Sonos.
Well…again, price is the first reason. The MSRP for the Google Home is $130, $70 cheaper than the Sonos One. On price alone, you gotta go Google.
Further, Google has deeper integration with it’s Chromcast devices, so if you’re using those, it makes sense to stick with Google unless you’re really looking to use Google Assistant with the Sonos One.
Next, Google has a translation service, which will in real time translate select languages. I can see a real application for this. Of course, the translation isn’t perfect nor is the dialect always appropriate, but it’s a really neat and innovative feature nonetheless.
Google also has a swappable base that allows you to customize the look of it. Not a major selling point, but something that’s kind of neat with Google.
And lastly, Google can be used as a Bluetooth speaker, but you can’t do this with the Sonos One…as previously mentioned.
Google Home vs Sonos One – Final Thoughts
Unless you’re married to Google or will seriously use the translation service, the Echo 2 makes too much sense if you ask us. If music is your chief concern, however, the Sonos One is best device to go with, if you’re fine with paying $200.