Supreme sound: The ultimate Sonos buying guide 2024

Our Sonos expert breaks down the popular audio brand's products. Read on for the best from Sonos.

The Ultimate Sonos Buyer's Guide

by Harvey Isitt |
Updated on

Whether you're a Sonos newbie or a seasoned user looking to expand your setup, choosing the best speaker for you can be daunting. With a diverse range of speakers, soundbars, subwoofers, and various architectural products in Sonos' 2024 lineup, where do you begin? This article aims to provide you with all the necessary information to make an informed decision. We'll discuss each speaker, their key advantages and disadvantages, and our recommendations, all in the hope of helping you find the perfect Sonos speaker or speakers for your needs.

If you've encountered any of our previous articles, you'll know that we regularly feature Sonos speakers in our home audio recommendations – with its speakers often grabbing the top spot. While we openly love and continually recommend Sonos among other brands, we aim not to push you into buying the most expensive setup. On the contrary, we take pride in providing alternatives to big brands and high price points that offer great value without compromising on quality. However, as you may have gathered from our site, we firmly believe that Sonos justifies its price – and then some.

The complete Sonos buying guide at a glance

Best speaker: Sonos Era 300 - View on Amazon
Best portable speaker: Sonos Move 2 - View on Argos
Best soundbar: Sonos Arc - View on Amazon
Best subwoofer: Sonos Sub (3rd Gen) - View on Argos
Best audio component: Sonos Amp - View on Peter Tyson

All right, let’s talk products. This buying guide is designed to be your one-stop resource, with four main sections covering wireless speakers, portable speakers, soundbars, and home cinema. We'll also provide a brief overview of the Sonos architectural range and their discontinued, unsupported products toward the end.

But before we start, let's begin with their highly anticipated new product, the Sonos Ace, which marks their debut in the headphone market.

The complete Sonos buying guide 2024

All prices are correct at the time of writing. Prices, stock and deals are subject to change without notice.

Headphones

A man listening to music with Sonos' new Ace Headphones
©Sonos

As dedicated Sonos enthusiasts, we were both thrilled and apprehensive about the long-awaited release of Sonos' wireless headphones in 2024. Departing from its usual product range, Sonos set its sights on producing a high-end pair of headphones to rival top-tier models like Apple's AirPods Max and Bose's QuietComfort Ultra Headphones. The question is: Has it succeeded?

Best headphones

Sonos

Sonos' new Ace headphones, a new product category for Sonos, offer high-end noise cancellation and exceptional sound quality. They have eight beamforming microphones for unmatched noise cancellation and voice targeting for their transparency mode.

The headphones also feature a unique capability that allows seamless playback of your TV's audio for private home cinema viewing. However, unlike other Sonos products, they cannot stream music over Wi-Fi or be grouped with other Sonos speakers.

These headphones are a pleasure to wear, a testament to Sonos' commitment to comfort and luxury. Their lightweight construction, metal and vegan leather elements, and memory foam cushioning provide a luxurious feel and a comfortable fit around your ears.

With 40mm custom drivers in each ear, these headphones produce vibrant sound with a wide soundstage. They support spatial audio, Dolby Atmos, and dynamic head-tracking, all contributing to a truly immersive audio experience. For those who prefer a wired connection, the headphones come with 3.5mm and USB-C adapters, supporting lossless audio.

The headphones have physical, tactile control buttons, including dedicated power and mode toggling on the earcups and a volume slide button known as the "content key". This button also functions as the TV Audio swap button, allowing seamless switching from soundbar to headphone audio.

An exciting future update for Sonos is the release of a software feature called TrueCinema, designed to enhance the sound based on the room environment. The Sonos Ace is also supported by Apple and Android.

Pros

  • Top-tier noise-cancellation comparable to Apple, Sony, and Bose
  • Unmatched comfort with lightweight build and memory foam cushioning
  • Seamless audio switching from Sonos Arc to headphones

Cons

  • Lacks Wi-Fi music streaming capabilities, unlike other Sonos products
  • Build Quailty
    5.0
  • Sound Quality
    4.5
  • Design
    5.0
  • Value
    4.5
Dimensions191 x 160 x 85 mm
Weight312g
ConnectionsBluetooth 5.4, USB-C, 3.5 mm
Battery Life30 hours
Charging3 hours (3 minutes for 3 hours)
WaterproofingNo
Available coloursBlack – Soft White
Additional featuresSpatial audio, Active Noise Cancellation, Lossless audio, Aware mode, Dolby Atmos, Dynamic head tracking, Rapid charging, Wear detection

Speakers

Two Sonos Era 300s on floor stands in a living space
©Sonos

Best overall speaker

The Sonos Era 300 is a ground-breaking speaker designed for immersive audio with Dolby Atmos support. It has six optimally positioned drivers: four tweeters and two woofers, providing 360-degree sound. Smaller and less powerful than the Sonos Five, it supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and line-in via USB-C. The Arc delivers an extraordinary listening experience, combining advanced acoustics with aesthetic appeal. It offers easy setup, adjustable EQ, and Trueplay tuning while redefining spatial audio.

Sonos offers a stand, wall mount, floor stand, tilt & swivel wall mount for alternative placement and space-saving.

Pros

  • Immersive Dolby Atmos sound performance with incredible bass
  • Sleek, premium build – upgrade any living space
  • Ergonomic “pinched hourglass” design for enhanced audio dispersion

Cons

  • Slightly less bass than the Sonos Five
Dimensions160 x 260 x 185 mm
Weight4.5kg
ConnectionsWi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, Apple AirPlay 2, Line in
Battery lifeN/A (AC-powered)
WaterproofingHumidity resistant
Available coloursBlack – White
Additional featuresDolby Atmos, Voice enabled, Trueplay, Touch controls

Best value speaker

Sonos
Price: £199.00

The Sonos Era 100 is a significant upgrade from the now-discontinued Sonos One speaker (which we have reviewed highly and is still available). It offers finely tuned stereo sound with rich bass. The speaker boasts dual tweeters, a 25 per cent larger woofer, and advanced connectivity options such as Bluetooth and USB-C line-in, resulting in a significantly deeper bass and a vaster soundstage. Ideal for any room, it can also be paired with additional speakers to create a cinematic surround sound experience.

Sonos offers a wall mount, stand, floor stand, tilt & swivel wall mount for alternative placement and space-saving.

Pros

  • Wide soundstage with crisp and clear detailing
  • Great bass and treble adjustments
  • Revised design with sleeker volume slider

Cons

  • Some sound compression at max volumes
Dimensions182.5 x 220 x 130.5 mm
Weight2.02kg
ConnectionsBluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay 2, USB-C
Battery lifeN/A (AC-powered)
WaterproofingHumidity resistant
Available coloursMatte Black – Matte White
Additional featuresVoice enabled, Trueplay, Touch controls

Best Hi-Fi speaker

Sonos

Known for its unparalleled Hi-Fi sound quality, the Sonos Five is the largest standalone speaker offered by Sonos. It provides clear stereo separation, detailed vocal reproduction, and deep bass for audio immersion. The speaker features three high-excursion woofers and three angled tweeters designed to deliver excellent performance. It also includes a 3.5mm line-in connection, allowing seamless integration with turntables, CD players, and other devices. The speaker can be positioned horizontally for stereo sound or vertically for mono and is controlled by adaptive touch controls. Available in matte black and white, the Sonos Five is a versatile option for individual use or as part of a multi-room setup.

Sonos offers a Sanus speaker stand for optimal listening height.

Pros

  • Biggest, most powerful of all Sonos products
  • Large and loud volume with rumbling low-bass
  • Wide room-filling soundstage - perfect for bigger living spaces

Cons

  • Wired-only design which may be limiting for some users
Dimensions203 x 364 x 154 mm
Weight6.3kg
ConnectionsWi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, Apple AirPlay 2, Line in
Battery lifeN/A (AC-powered)
WaterproofingHumidity resistant
Available coloursBlack – White
Additional featuresApple AirPlay 2, Touch controls, Dual orientation

Portable Speakers

Two men dancing, one of them holding the Sonos Roam 2
©Sonos

Best portable speaker

Sonos

The Sonos Move 2 is an upgraded version of its 2019 Move speaker, with improved Bluetooth 5.0 and WiFi 6 connectivity. With a new acoustic design, it boasts two tweeters for stereo sound and a precision-tuned woofer for a deep, captivating bass. The Move 2 also boasts an enormous 24 hours of battery life, doubling its predecessor's. It is weather-resistant and equipped with a built-in handle for easy portability. It's worth noting that the Move 2 does not support Google Assistant.

Likewise, extended battery life is the primary factor to consider when deciding between the Move 2 and the original Move. If you do not plan on using the speaker on the go and are happy with 11 hours of battery life, we recommend choosing the first version of the Move to save money.

Pros

  • Up to 24 hours of battery life
  • Detailed woofer for deep, engaging bass
  • Reliable IP56 rating for peace of mind while out and about

Cons

  • Size can limit its portability
Dimensions241 x 160 x 127 mm
Weight3kg
ConnectionsWi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, Apple AirPlay 2, Line in
Battery life24 hours
WaterproofingIP56
Available coloursBlack – White – Green
Additional featuresDrop resistant, Trueplay, Touch controls, Voice enabled

Best battery life

Sonos

The Sonos Roam 2 is the perfect companion for summer excursions, delivering robust sound and impressive bass in a compact, resilient package. Whether at the beach, on a trail, or lounging by the pool, its lightweight construction is waterproof (IP67) and drop-resistant. With a battery life of 10 hours, it ensures continuous enjoyment. Though high volumes can compromise audio precision, the Roam 2 consistently delivers exceptional clarity and versatility, making it an excellent choice for music enthusiasts on the move.

Sonos offers an Otterbox case and wireless charger for improved portability and more comfortable keeping.

Pros

  • Excellent IP67 waterproofing
  • Breezy, lightweight portability
  • Reliable 10-hour battery life

Cons

  • No Google Assistant support
Dimensions168 x 62 x 60 mm
Weight0.43kg
ConnectionsWi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.2, Apple AirPlay 2
Battery life10 hours
WaterproofingIP67
Available coloursBlack – White – Red <strong>–</strong> Blue – Green
Additional featuresTrueplay, Button controls, Voice enabled

Best cost-effective

Sonos

With a microphone-free design, the Sonos Roam SL provides a cost-effective alternative to its predecessor, the Roam. Although it foregoes features such as voice command, Trueplay, and Sound Swap, it remains a compelling choice for music enthusiasts. Seamless connectivity via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth ensures uninterrupted streaming no matter where you are. Its durable construction can withstand various environments, and the meticulously tuned amplifiers and drivers deliver exceptional sound quality. Portable and lightweight, it's prepared to accompany you on all your adventures.

Pros

  • Highly portable for easy on-the-go use
  • Drop-resistant and IP67 protected
  • Affordable alternative to the Roam

Cons

  • Lacks microphone support
Dimensions168 x 59 x 62 mm
Weight0.42kg
ConnectionsWI-Fi, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2
Battery life10 hours
WaterproofingIP67
Available coloursShadow Black – Lunar White
Additional featuresDrop resistant, Button controls

Sonos

The Sonos Move is a versatile, portable smart speaker with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. It has dual Class-D amplifiers, a downward-facing tweeter, and a faithful mid-woofer to ensure an incredible listening experience. It can last up to 10 hours on a single charge. The Move has an IP56 rating, protecting it against dust, water, and harsh weather. The speaker features Auto Trueplay technology, which adapts the sound to any environment. Its sturdy build and ergonomic handle make it a breeze to carry around.

Sonos offers a Travel Bag, Wall Hook and Indoor/outdoor mount for improved portability and convenient at-home placement.

Pros

  • True-sounding mid-woofer for fantastic audio experience
  • Incredible IP56 rating for protection against harsh weather
  • Alexa and Google Assistant integration

Cons

  • Heftier than other portable speakers on the market
Dimensions240 x 125 x 160 mm
Weight3kg
ConnectionsWi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, Apple AirPlay 2, USB-C
Battery life11 hours
WaterproofingIP56
Available coloursShadow Black – Lunar White
Additional featuresDrop resistant, Voice enabled, Touch controls

Best compact

Sonos Roam Portable SpeakerSonos
Alternative retailers
Walmart$134.92View offer
Adorama$179.00View offer

The smallest and most portable speaker in the Sonos lineup, this compact marvel seamlessly transitions from indoor to outdoor settings, delivering surprisingly powerful sound wherever you go. With both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, it easily integrates into your Sonos multiroom setup or can function as a standalone Bluetooth speaker. It uses Automatic Trueplay technology to fine-tune itself for optimal sound in any environment. Rugged and water-resistant, it's crafted with precision acoustics to deliver impressive clarity and depth.

Pros

  • Smallest, most portable Sonos speaker
  • Powerful volume capabilities for outdoor environments
  • Reliable water and dust resistance

Cons

  • Does not impress as a standalone home speaker
Dimensions168 x 59 x 62 mm
Weight0.42kg
ConnectionsWi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, Apple AirPlay 2, USB-C
Battery life10 hours
WaterproofingIP67
Available coloursLunar White – Red
Additional featuresDrop resistant, Button controls, Voice enabled

Soundbars

A home TV setup with a Sonos Arc
©Sonos

Best soundbar

Sonos
Price: £677.96

The Sonos Arc is a top-tier Dolby Atmos soundbar, replacing the now-discontinued Playbar and Playbase. Boasting 11 high-performance drivers, it delivers an immersive, multidimensional Dolby Atmos sound experience. The Trueplay tuning technology optimises the audio based on your room setup. Its elegant design seamlessly fits in front of a TV or can be mounted on a wall. The Sonos Arc supports HDMI eARC, AirPlay 2, and voice control via Alexa or Google Assistant, offering easy setup and smart home integration to elevate your home cinema and music experience.

Sonos offers a wall mount and extendable Sanus TV mount for more seamless home integration.

Pros

  • Upward-firing drivers for immersive, multidirectional sound
  • Elegant design will upgrade any home sound system
  • Dolby Atmos compatible for richer listening experience

Cons

  • Only offers an eARC port and lacks EQ tuning
Dimensions87 x 1142 x 116 mm
Weight6.25kg
ConnectionsWi-Fi, HDMI eARC, Ethernet, Apple AirPlay2
Batteery lifeN/A (AC-powered)
WaterproofingNo
Available coloursBlack – White
Additional featuresDolby Atmos, Voice enabled, Trueplay, TV remote sync, Touch controls

Best value

Sonos

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a sleek soundbar with an exciting update: Dolby Atmos support. Despite not having upward-firing drivers, its upgraded CPU, 40 per cent faster than the original Beam, can generate virtual height channels for a captivating audio experience. The new Beam has an eARC connection and a polycarbonate grille, retaining its predecessor's aesthetic. It offers sound reproduction precision for music and movies, featuring clear dialogue and well-balanced audio. Dolby Atmos delivers immersive spatial audio, enriching the depth and dimension of every scene and musical piece.

Sonos offers a wall mount and Sanus TV mount for seamless home integration.

Pros

  • Size-defying Dolby Atmos supported sound
  • Easy setup and a significant upgrade from its predecessor
  • Refreshed design with more luxurious outer mesh

Cons

  • No additional HDMI ports
Dimensions68 x 651 x 100 mm
Weight2.88kg
ConnectionsWi-Fi, HDMI eARC, Ethernet, Apple AirPlay 2
Battery lifeN/A (AC-powered)
WaterproofingNo
Available coloursBlack – White
Additional featuresDolby Atmos, Voice enabled, Trueplay, TV remote sync, Touch controls

Best compact

Sonos

The Sonos Ray is Sonos' latest, most compact, budget-friendly soundbar, tailored for use with smaller and older TVs equipped with optical connectivity. In contrast to the Arc and Beam, it lacks Dolby Atmos, built-in microphones, and smart speaker capabilities. Nevertheless, the Ray delivers impressive sound quality for its size and seamlessly integrates into Sonos multi-room or home cinema setups. A 40 per cent faster chip enables virtual surround sound, while its elegant design features a precisely perforated grille, making it a stylish addition to any home entertainment system.

Sonos offers a wall mount for space-saving home integration.

Pros

  • Crisp, precise vocal reproduction with a wide soundstage
  • Compact design for smaller living spaces
  • Most budget-friendly soundbar available from Sonos

Cons

  • Lacks voice assistance
Dimensions70 x 557 x 93 mm
Weight1.9kg
ConnectionsWi-Fi, Optical, Ethernet, Apple AirPlay 2
Battery lifeN/A (AC-powered)
WaterproofingNo
Available coloursBlack – White
Additional featuresTV remote sync, Touch controls

Home Cinema

Sonos Sub placed on the floor in a living space
©Sonos

Best subwoofer

Sonos

The Sonos Sub, Sonos' sole wireless subwoofer, enriches any system with its clean, pulsating bass. Its force-cancelling drivers effectively eliminate distortion, and its sleek, high-gloss design allows for vertical or horizontal placement. The Sub seamlessly connects wirelessly to any Sonos speaker or Amp, elevating the experience of a multi-room or home theatre setup. Simple to set up using WiFi and the Sonos app, it provides the option to fine-tune bass levels. Featuring a low 25 Hz frequency response and automatic EQ adjustments, the Sub delivers a more immersive, powerful sound. Offered in black or white, it seamlessly combines style and functionality.

Pros

  • Elevates any Sonos setup with thunderous bass
  • Refreshed design and easy single-button setup
  • Excellent investment for achieving at-home surround sound

Cons

  • Works exclusively with Sonos products
Dimensions389 x 402 x 158 mm
Weight13.15kg
ConnectionsWi-Fi, Ethernet
Battery lifeN/A (AC-powered)
WaterproofingNo
Available coloursBlack – White
Additional featuresDual orientation

Best compact subwoofer

Sonos

The Sonos Sub Mini is a smaller, more budget-friendly version of the Sub, weighing 14 pounds instead of the Sub's 36 pounds. It boasts dual force-cancelling woofers in a cylindrical, acoustically sealed design, stands vertically and connects wirelessly via 5 GHz WiFi. You can pair the Sub Mini with Sonos Ray, Beam (Gen 2), Era 100, One, and One SL soundbars or speakers to enhance the bass. For a fuller, more immersive audio experience, Sonos recommends pairing the Sub Mini with the Ray or Beam.

Pros

  • Excellent handling of lower frequencies
  • Budget-friendly alternative to the Sonos Sub
  • Compact design ideal for smaller spaces

Cons

  • Cannot pair with portable Sonos speakers
Dimensions305 x 230 x 230 mm
Weight6.35kg
ConnectionsWi-Fi, Ethernet
Battery lifeN/A (AC-powered)
WaterproofingNo
Available coloursBlack – White
Additional featuresTrueplay, Join Button

Audio Components

Sonos Amp on a sideboard table in a home living space
©Sonos

Best wireless amplifier

Sonos

The Sonos Amp sets itself apart from the Sonos Port by featuring an HDMI ARC port. This allows you to connect passive bookshelf speakers to your TV and Sonos system without a soundbar. It provides a cost-effective alternative for individuals with an existing speaker setup who may need more money or space for a soundbar or desire a more immersive surround sound experience with speakers positioned throughout their space.

With 125 watts per channel, it can power outdoor speakers and deliver crystal-clear, undistorted sound at higher volumes. You can connect your CD player, TV, and turntable and indulge in multiroom listening with other Sonos speakers. The Amp's advanced heatsink guarantees optimal heat management, while seamless smart home control through partner integrations allows you to craft your perfect sound system without compromising on space or aesthetics.

Sonos offers a Sanus wall mount for convenient placement.

Pros

  • Supports high-fidelity sound for a range of speakers
  • A single Sonos Amp can power up to six passive speakers, an extra pair than most amps
  • Improved power from a respectable 55W to a significant 125W

Cons

  • Requires a careful setup and EQ adjustments
Dimensions64 x 217 x 217 mm
Weight2.1kg
ConnectionsWi-Fi, Apple Airplay 2, HDMI ARC, Line in
Battery lifeN/A (AC-powered)
WaterproofingNo
Available coloursBlack
Additional features125 watts per channel, Touch controls, ETrueplay

Best Wi-Fi network streamer

Sonos

The Sonos Port is designed to integrate non-Sonos equipment into your system seamlessly. Connecting to your existing stereo or receiver transforms your sound system to support multiroom listening. Notable features include AirPlay 2 support and a 12-volt trigger, automatically activating your connected receiver via the Sonos app. The Sonos Port's matte black finish blends seamlessly with other stereo components.

Pros

  • Sleek, modern, space-saving design with easy integration
  • Upgraded digital-to-analogue converter and 12V trigger automatically turns on amplifiers
  • The only Sonos product with a line-out for integrating existing amp and speaker systems

Cons

  • Only comes with a single RCA cable
Dimensions138 x 138 x 41 mm
Weight0.47kg
ConnectionsWi-Fi, Digital Coax, Line in, Ethernet, Apple AirPlay 2
Battery lifeN/A (AC-powered)
WaterproofingNo
Available coloursBlack
Additional featuresAutomatic 12V trigger, Built-in DAC

Home Décor

SYMFONISK, the collaboration between Sonos and IKEA, was launched in 2019 and redefined home sound systems. These WiFi speakers offer innovative space-saving solutions by seamlessly blending technology and design. According to IKEA Home Smart Business Leader Björn Block, "Our collective work aims to save space, eliminate cords, and integrate sound beautifully into the home." The SYMFONISK range provides versatile options, from the artful Picture Frame speaker to the dual-purpose Table Lamp speaker. These mountable and customisable speakers effortlessly merge into your décor, transforming lamps into sound sources and shelves into speakers.

Best aesthetic speaker

IKEA
Price: £220.00

www.ikea.com

This innovative speaker seamlessly combines art and audio. Designed to be hung on a wall in any orientation or leaned against it, the speaker's grille can be personalised with interchangeable artwork. Despite its compact cone, this speaker delivers awe-inspiring sound quality comparable to the Sonos One. Additionally, it can be paired with another picture frame speaker to create a stereo setup. Offered in black or white frames, it effortlessly integrates into any home décor.

Pros

  • Space-saving and blends seamlessly into any space
  • Minimal compression at max volumes
  • Adjustable bass and treble

Cons

  • Narrow soundstage with no Bluetooth support
Dimensions410 x 570 x 60 mm
Weight5.25kg
ConnectionsWi-Fi, Apple Airplay 2, Spotify Connect
Battery lifeN/A (AC-powered)
WaterproofingNo
Available coloursBlack/smart – White/smart

Best bookshelf speaker

IKEA
Price: £115.00

www.ikea.com

The Symfonisk Bookshelf Speaker (Gen 2) is an affordable and versatile speaker available in either black or white. It offers functionality and performance similar to the Sonos One. This speaker can be positioned upright, placed horizontally, or mounted on a wall to serve as a shelf for storing books. While it may not match other Sonos speakers' premium build and sound quality, it is the most budget-friendly option in the Sonos lineup. The speaker seamlessly integrates with other Sonos products, supports popular streaming services, and produces rich, expansive sound.

Ikea also offers separate mounting brackets, floor stands, and variations of the bookshelf speaker - one with an LED light and the other with an LED spot – making it even more distinct and space-saving. They can also be purchased as a pair, with an additional book cover front for a more seamless blend into your bookshelf.

Pros

  • Unique design ideal for limited spaces
  • Cheapest way to experience Sonos
  • Bold and precise soundstage

Cons

  • Lacks detailing at high volumes
Dimensions100 x 150 x 310 mm
Weight2.52kg
ConnectionsWi-Fi, Apple Airplay 2, Spotify Connect
Battery lifeN/A (AC-powered)
WaterproofingNo
Available coloursBlack smart/gen 2 – White smart/gen 2