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Break into Sonos’ walled sound garden with the $200 Play:1 wireless speaker

Check out our review of the Sonos Play:1 wireless speaker.

Sonos is like the Apple of the distributed audio scene. Its products “just work” thanks to intuitive design, and they strike an aesthetic that is simultaneously simple and classy. Unfortunately for many, the similarities between Sonos and Apple also extend into pricing. The fantastic Sonos:Playbar, for instance, is one of the best sounding options in the sound bar category, but it runs a spendy $700, and that’s without a subwoofer. But the latest speaker from Sonos, the $200 Play:1, is a deliberate effort to attract a new fan base to the company’s walled sound garden, and it looks mighty enticing. 

The Play:1 is smaller in both stature and price than the larger, $400 Play:5 or the $300 Play:3, but that doesn’t mean it will sound smaller. Sonos has a way of coaxing big sound out of its small packages, and we expect this speaker will be no exception. Sonos Play 1 crop

The Play:1 isn’t a Bluetooth speaker, and it doesn’t work off of Apple’s AirPlay wireless protocol. Instead, it works off a dedicated wireless “mesh network” that you set up in your home using a Sonos:Bridge. The Bridge simply hooks up to your home’s network and sets up a peer-to-peer network exclusively for any Sonos products in the home. You control the speaker with your phone or tablet, and can stream just about anything – from Spotify to Pandora to your personal music library – to any number of Sonos speakers. 

The Play:1 is a mono speaker, but if you use two of them, they can be paired to offer stereo sound. And, since the Play:1 is part of the Sonos family, a pair could also be used as surround speakers in conjunction with a Playbar and/or Sonos:Sub. 

Through the holidays, the Sonos:Bridge is free with purchase of a Play:1, but when the deal runs out it will cost you $50. The Play:1 comes in white and black and is available now. Check out Sonos’ video below to see the Play:1 in action. 

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