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Sonos buying guide

Want more music in your life? Sonos speakers and components make it easy

In this article: We'll explore what makes Sonos great for music and home theater, and walk you through all the latest Sonos wireless speakers and accessories, including...

...and we'll also provide some helpful tips to help you get started with Sonos.

Hanging out with friends, relaxing after work, house parties — all of these things are better with music. One of the easiest ways to add music to lots of rooms in your house (and one of our favorites) is with Sonos.

Sonos also offers some great options for setting up a wireless home theater. And it’s easy to set up and control wirelessly with your smartphone or voice. Read on for advice on what you need to add wireless surround sound and multi-room audio to your life.

All your favorite streaming services in one app

The Sonos app lets you play music, podcasts, audiobooks, and more from hundreds of streaming services. You can build playlists from multiple services linked to your account, along with other sources, including your personal digital collection.

Want to play a new song from Spotify, followed by an old favorite song stored on your iPhone? No problem. It's another feature that makes the Sonos app such a pleasure for music lovers who are always in search of the right song for the right time.

Sonos app

The Sonos app gives you streamlined control of multiple music sources.

You can customize the app to show the various music services you would like to use. And you can even add multiple accounts for the same service, so your wife doesn't have to be subjected to your Pandora stations. Remember: some services require subscriptions.

Multi-room music made easy

A Sonos wireless music system is a cost-effective alternative to hiring a custom installer, plus it couldn't be more simple to set up and control. Once you've set up one Sonos component, it's even easier to add more. The app makes it easy to group rooms together for playing back the same song through multiple speakers or queue up different songs in different rooms. You can see at a glance what's playing where at any given time.

Stream Apple AirPlay 2 to your Sonos speakers

Sonos speakers and sound bars are also compatible with Apple AirPlay 2, so you stream audio to them directly from your iPhone or other iOS device. You can choose to play music in just one room or play the same music in every room.

And if you’re an Apple Music subscriber, you can use AirPlay 2 to play different music in different rooms and use Siri to play Apple Music selections. And you can stream Netflix and YouTube soundtracks to your Sonos speakers as the video plays on your compatible iOS device.

Voice control — say it to play it

With Sonos, you can use voice commands to control your system. Some Sonos components have microphones built in, so you can talk to them directly. Others can be controlled by voice commands sent through networked devices with their own built-in mics.

Sonos Voice

Sonos offers its own voice control system, Sonos Voice. This is built into their components with microphones. Activate it by saying "Hey Sonos." It's a quick and easy way to get your music playing.

Amazon Alexa

Sonos components with built-in mics also come with built-in Alexa support. Once you've connected your Sonos components to your Amazon Alexa app, you can say "Alexa." to activate it. You can control your Sonos system either by speaking to a compatible Sonos component, or through an Amazon Echo device.

And you can access all of Alexa's features through your Sonos system. So you can ask the Sonos Era 100 in your bedroom, "Alexa, what's the weather today?"

Google Assistant

You can also use Google Assistant with your Sonos system. Control is through the Google Home app on your smartphone, or a smart home device with Google Assistant built in.

And you can mix and match. Have your Sonos Arc in the den respond through Google Assistant commands, while your Sonos Roam in the kitchen is controlled by Amazon Alexa. And both will work together in the same multi-room audio system.

Which Sonos wireless speaker is right for you?

If you want to replace your current speaker system or add music to different rooms, Sonos offers a variety of wireless speaker models. Each is available in black or white.

Sonos speakers fantastic standalone speakers, but they can also be set up to work in stereo pairs for an even bigger sound. It’s a great option for large rooms where a single speaker may not be enough. Just remember you can only pair two of the same model.

Sonos Era 100

Sonos Era 100

The Sonos Era 100 features built-in Bluetooth for more streaming options. It's a solid all-around speaker that's great for medium-sized rooms like a living room, kitchen, master bedroom, or small family room.

Built-in speakers: 2 angled tweeters and 1 mid-woofer

Voice control: built in

Placement: tabletop; wall- or stand-mountable

Sound: angled speakers deliver clear, clean stereo sound with a spacious sound field

Sonos Era 300

Sonos Era 300

The Sonos Era 300 has a six-speaker array that projects balanced, stereo sound in all directions, making it perfect for spatial audio formats like Dolby Atmos Music. This robust speaker is great for large, open rooms and can easily fill a space with rich, immersive sound. It also has built-in Bluetooth so friends and family can easily share their music.

Built-in speakers: 4 tweeters (including center, side-firing, and upward-firing tweeters) and 2 woofers

Voice control: built in

Placement: tabletop; wall- or stand-mountable

Sound: full, three-dimensional stereo sound with rich detail and strong bass

Sonos Five Wireless powered speaker

Sonos Five

The Sonos Five is the largest Sonos speaker available. It's ideal for open floor plans and larger rooms like a living room, master suite, or kitchen.

Built-in speakers: 3 tweeters and 3 high-excursion mid-woofers

Voice control: with optional voice control assistant

Placement: tabletop; wall- or stand-mountable

Sound: Full-bodied and detailed with a spacious sound field

Portable Sonos speakers

Sonos portable speakers work a lot like regular Sonos wireless speakers, but they have built-in rechargeable batteries and a few extra features that make them perfect for expanding your Sonos system to the outdoors or taking your music on the go.

Sonos Move 2 wireless portable speaker

Sonos Move 2

The portable Sonos Move 2 lets you take your music anywhere. It's perfect for decks, patios, and on-the-go listening. When it can connect with your home Wi-Fi, it can be a part of your Sonos multi-room system. You can also take it anywhere you would any portable speaker (it's water-resistant), and use it as a Bluetooth speaker. It's a great choice for bringing music to your porch or sunroom.

Built-in speakers: 2 tweeters and 1 woofer

Voice control: built in

Placement: tabletop

Sound: clear and balanced with full-sounding bass

sonos roam

Sonos Roam

The compact Sonos Roam is another great portable option. Within Wi-Fi range, it lets you extend your Sonos multi-room system to your garage, deck, or backyard. As a Bluetooth speaker, the Roam is ideal for the beach, the pool, hiking, or camping.

Built-in speakers: one full-range driver

Voice control: built in

Placement: any flat surface — the Roam can be placed horizontally or vertically.

Sound: clean and clear

Get more bass with a Sonos subwoofer

If you’re really serious about excellent sound with plenty of deep bass, we recommend adding a Sonos subwoofer to a pair of Sonos speakers.

Sonos subwoofers help fill out the low frequencies. They're great for a system that will rival some pretty nice receiver-and-speaker setups (they're also great for movies and TV — keep reading). You can pair a Sonos subwoofer with a single Sonos speaker, though we recommend using it with stereo pairs.

Sonos Sub (Gen 3) Wireless subwoofer

Sonos Sub (Gen 3)

The Sonos Sub (Gen 3) is great for open floor plans or large rooms like a living room or master suite.

Built-in speakers: 2 force-canceling woofers with dual acoustic ports for enhanced bass performance

Placement: floor, either upright or flat on its back

Other features: Ethernet port for a wired connection, or wireless connection with Sonos sound bar or speakers

Sound: Powerful, clean bass with minimal distortion

Sonos Sub Mini

Sonos Sub Mini

The compact Sonos Sub Mini is ideal for smaller rooms or setups where floor space is tight. It's also great for mid-sized rooms like a living room, den, master bedroom, or office.

Built-in speakers: dual 6" force-canceling woofers in an acoustic suspension (sealed) enclosure

Placement: floor

Other features: Ethernet port for a wired connection, or wireless connection with Sonos sound bar or speakers

Sound: clean, clear bass with minimal distortion

Add Sonos to your current stereo system

The Sonos Port allows you to enjoy all the wireless music benefits of Sonos speakers through your existing stereo system. It offers digital and analog audio outputs, so you can connect it to an integrated amplifier, preamp, stereo receiver, home theater receiver, or powered speakers.

Turntable and Sonos Port stereo system

The Sonos Port lets you tie your existing stereo setup into a wireless multi-room music system.

Add vinyl to the mix

The Sonos Port can let you add your existing turntable and phono preamp setup to your Sonos system. Then you can stream your vinyl collection to Sonos speakers in other rooms.

If you don't already own a turntable, though, consider a Victrola Stream. The Victrola Stream Carbon and Stream Onyx are belt-driven turntables with Wi-Fi and Sonos streaming technology built-in. No Sonos Port necessary!

Both are semi-automatic turntables with a built-in preamp and line-level output. You can connect either turntable to your current audio system through its stereo RCA outputs.

Victrola Stream Carbon and Sonos Era 300

The Victrola Stream Carbon has Sonos streaming built in, so you can stream directly from the turntable to your Sonos speakers

The Stream Onyx comes with an Ortofon OM 5E moving magnetic cartridge and a straight aluminum tonearm. The Stream Carbon features an Ortofon 2M Red moving magnetic cartridge and a straight carbon fiber tonearm. It also has an anti-resonant die-cast aluminum platter and a solid aluminum and MDF plinth.

Already have speakers? Get the amplified Sonos player

The Sonos Amp is a versatile amplified player for use with any pair of stereo speakers. Just connect your speakers to the terminals and start streaming tunes wirelessly. It also has a mono subwoofer output, for a 2.1 audio system.

You can connect a TV to a Sonos Amp and stream its audio to other Sonos speakers in your system. It also has analog inputs for connecting a source component like a CD player, as well as a preamp output for a powered subwoofer.

Sonos Amp - Amplified streaming music system for passive home speakers

Use the Sonos Amp to enjoy Sonos with a pair of stereo speakers.

Multi-room installations with in-wall or in-ceiling speakers

You can use multiple Sonos Port music players along with stereo or multi-room amplifiers to power in-wall or in-ceiling speakers in several rooms. It’s a great way to enjoy music throughout your home while all the gear remains out of sight.

Sonos-in-wall-outdoor-speaker-group

The Sonos Amp makes it easy to add in-wall, in-ceiling, or outdoor speakers to your wireless multi-room music system.

Sonos by Sonance architectural in-wall, in-ceiling, and outdoor speakers keep everything in the Sonos ecosystem. But you can use other brands of in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, so it's easy to integrate your already-installed speakers into a Sonos system.

To learn more, read our article on How to use Sonos with ceiling speakers and outdoor speakers, or get in touch with our A/V Design group.

Sonos for TV and movies

If you want to put together a system for your TV room or home theater, Sonos has some cool options that offer great sound and wireless music capability.

Each option has its own advantages. Sonos home theater systems can play wireless music from the same sources as all the other Sonos components. And these sound bars let you stream audio from your TV to Sonos components in other rooms.

Sonos Ray

Sonos Ray

The conveniently compact Sonos Ray fits easily under most TVs. It's great for simple setups and smaller rooms. It doesn't have built-in voice control like the bigger Sonos sound bars, but you can still control it through Sonos Voice-enabled Sonos devices. And you can control it through Alexa or Google Assistant-enabled devices, like an Amazon Echo or Google Nest.

Built-in speakers: 2 high-efficiency woofers, 2 tweeters

Connection to TV: optical digital

Voice control:: with optional voice control assistant

Placement: cabinet-top, wall-mountable

Sound: spacious sound with clear TV and movie dialogue

Sonos Beam

Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) gives you big sound from a compact bar. It's great for small to medium-sized rooms like dens, bedrooms, and home offices. The Beam supports Dolby Atmos audio signals for a more lifelike soundstage with compatible TVs.

Built-in speakers: 4 full-range drivers, 1 tweeter

Connection to TV: HDMI ARC port; includes an adapter if you prefer an optical digital connection

Voice control: built in

Placement: cabinet-top; wall-mountable

Sound: spacious sound with clear TV and movie dialogue

Sonos Arc Powered sound bar/wireless music system

Sonos Arc

The Sonos Arc is a great choice for both music and home theater systems. The Arc supports Dolby Atmos audio signals for a more lifelike soundstage with compatible TVs

Built-in speakers: 8 elliptical woofers, 2 up-firing drivers, dedicated center channel

Connection to TV: HDMI ARC port; includes an adapter if you prefer an optical digital connection (optical digital connection does not support Dolby Atmos)

Voice control: built in

Placement: cabinet-top; wall-mountable

Sound: spacious, detailed sound from both movie soundtracks and music tracks

Expanding your Sonos home theater system

You can wirelessly pair a Sonos subwoofer with any of these sound bars to expand and strengthen the low register, adding dimension to your TV and movie sound. The Sub Mini is a natural match for the compact Ray, while the larger Sub(Gen 3) is the perfect companion to the Arc. And you could use either one with the Beam, depending on your room size and preferences.

Sonos Arc with Sonos Sub

The Sonos Arc and Sub(Gen 3) offer dynamic, impactful sound for movies and TV.

For even more immersive home theater sound, you can use two Sonos Era 100 speakers as surround speakers with your Sonos sound bar. Along with the Sub(Gen 3) or Sub Mini, this gives you a 4.1-channel surround sound system with the Ray or a 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos system with the Arc or Beam and a compatible TV.

For a truly immersive Dolby Atmos experience, consider making a pair of Sonos Era 300s your rear surround speakers. The Sonos Era 300, with its center, side-firing, and upward-firing tweeters take that to the next level. Use Sonos Era 300s as your rear surrounds with an Arc or a Beam (Gen 2), and you can enjoy a 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos system.

Our bundled Sonos surround sound speaker systems are a great way to set up your Sonos home theater from scratch. Or if you already have a Sonos sound bar, you can add a bundled set of Sonos speakers. You save money, and — depending on the bundle — you can add more speakers for additional rooms.

Sonos Beam and Era 100 surround sound system

Sonos ARC, Era 300s, and Sub in a surround sound system

Sonos components make it easy to put together a wireless surround sound system in any space.

Getting your Sonos system set up

One of the appealing things about Sonos is how easy it is to set up. When you first plug in your Sonos speaker, just download the app, follow the simple on-screen instructions, and you'll be listening to music in minutes. See below for more tips on getting your system up and running and optimizing the sound quality.

Do I need to connect anything to my network router?

All Sonos devices work with your existing Wi-Fi network, without any hard-wired connection to your router.

Trueplay speaker tuning for optimal sound

If you use your Sonos control app on an iPhone®, or iPad®, you can fine-tune your Sonos wireless speakers and sound bars with the Trueplay feature. It uses your Apple device to measure how the sound reflects off your walls and furnishings and adjust the speaker's settings for the best possible balance. (For iOS devices only.)

Sonos Era 100 and Era 300 speakers also let you access the Trueplay feature through an Android smartphone. Those speakers use their built-in mic arrays — rather than your phone's — to sound out the room.

The Sonos Move 2 and the Roam also have a different version of TruePlay built-in. When you place one of these portable speakers in a new environment, it will automatically make continual adjustments based on sound reflected back to its microphones. This lets the speaker optimize the sound for the space it's in on the fly.

What about legacy Sonos gear?

Some older Sonos products won’t work with the newer S2 Controller app. You can still control them (and most Sonos products released after 2015) using the older (S1) version of the app.

Sonos products released after May 2020, however, will work only with the S2 app. These products can't be grouped with older S1-only products. Sonos has a handy guide showing product compatibility with the S1 and S2 Controller apps. You can also check with our Advisors.

Sonos speaker stands and wall mounts

Sonos products are super-flexible when it comes to placement. If you're going for a seamless look, there are stands and wall-mount brackets available for most Sonos speakers and components.

Sonos Era 300 speakers and stands

You can set up Sonos speakers on stands anywhere that's close to a power outlet. These stands have built-in tracks to hide the speakers' power cables.

Questions?

If you have additional questions about finding the right Sonos product for your needs, just ask! We're ready to provide one-on-one help with product selection. Contact us today for personalized shopping advice.

And check out our tips for Sonos users for even more ideas about what you can do with your new Sonos gear.

  • MDWJEDI from Hutchinson

    Posted on 7/7/2022

    So I have a Beam Gen 2! I will be adding two Sonos Ones and a Sonos Sub. But the endgame is to get a Dolby Atmos set up. Is this possible in the Sonos eco system? If so please tell me how. I have been trying to get this question answered for quite some time and no one has been able to do so. Hopefully you can help!

  • MDWJEDI from Hutchinson

    Posted on 7/7/2022

    So I have a Beam Gen 2! I will be adding two Sonos Ones and a Sonos Sub. But the endgame is to get a Dolby Atmos set up. Is this possible in the Sonos eco system? If so please tell me how. I have been trying to get this question answered for quite some time and no one has been able to do so. Hopefully you can help!

  • Andrew Francolini from Marietta

    Posted on 3/26/2022

    I purchased a SONOS Gen 2 soundbar. What wireless speakers can I get from SONOS for surround sound in a large bedroom? How much will they cost. I already have two apple air play speakers ($300 ea) will they work?

  • Bo from Dublin

    Posted on 12/31/2020

    When I watch TV I have trouble hearing voices over the background noises. Would a beam solve that issue? The TV does not have ARC, so I would have to use optical.

  • Jose from Mayaguez

    Posted on 9/14/2020

    My Sonos setup was working perfectly with my Play:1s while using the old app. Then came the S2 app. Since installed I am unable to access the iTunes in my computer. It worked fine with the old app. The new app shows a 1101 error. Is this a common complaint? Please help!!! Send me new Sonos installation instructions.

  • Renee from NY

    Posted on 8/16/2020

    Does Sonos make a system that has a record player and cassette player all in one?

  • John from Southington

    Posted on 5/13/2020

    Do I need a Google Home, Google Nest Router, etc. to use the built in google assistant or is it stand alone?

  • Ted from Jacksonville, FL

    Posted on 4/8/2020

    I'd love to hook my existing stereo system into my Sonos speakers. Can I run my receiver speaker out to the port in? Or preamp out? I have multiple sources.

  • Scott Mattson from Venice

    Posted on 2/15/2020

    I would like to get a Sonos amp if I can turn off a pair of speakers with my voice over Alexa. I would like a pair of speakers over the pool and another pair over the sitting area on the other side of the house. Thanks

  • Commenter image

    David Brown from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/21/2018

    Les, I'd say that depends on where you have them set up. The main benefit to adding another Boost is to increase the range of the dedicated Sonos wireless network. If you're having issues with speakers that are farthest away from your Boost, adding another one to act like a range extender could improve performance.

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