Sonos One SL review 2023: great sound quality

Sonos One SL review

A smart speaker that doesn’t work with your voice, Some people love Alexa and use Amazon’s voice assistant, Siri, or the Google Assistant to control the music, lights, and other things in their homes. But there are some people who won’t buy the newest and best Sonos speaker just because it has a voice assistant. Here comes the Sonos One SL, a Sonos One (Gen 2) without an always-on microphone and, therefore, without Alexa or any other voice-activated helper.

If you think that makes the Sonos One SL an old-fashioned device, you should know that the Sonos One SL exists and will do well for three big reasons. First, there’s privacy. No one would have believed it a decade ago if someone had said that by now we would all be buying gadgets with always-on, networked microphones to put around our homes.

Sonos One SL specifications

Amplifiers2x Class-D amps
Dimensions (hwd)16 x 12 x 12cm

Sonos One SL review: Design

Sonos One SL review

One SL is a clear step up in style from the Play:1 because it has the same monochromatic finish as One. The top of the unit, which comes in black or white, has a soft matte finish that prevents fingerprints and has some capacitive touch controls. Here is where the One and the One SL are very different.

Since voice control has been removed, there are no longer microphones or a separate “button” for the microphone. Instead, there are only the “buttons” for play/pause, volume up/down, and track skipping, which you can use by swiping across the whole area. There is also a small LED status light that shows when the One SL is connected to the network. You can get this speaker from its official website.

Sonos One SL review: Setup

The One SL is a great little speaker that sounds bigger and louder than its size would suggest. It can be used on its own, in a stereo pair, or as part of a Sonos home theatre system. Sonos calls the One SL the essential home speaker, and based on this performance, it’s easy to see why.

Sonos One SL review: Features

The Sonos One SL can be used with a Sonos system or on its own. You don’t have to pair it with another speaker. So, for this review, we tested it on its own. The app‘s sound tab has two important sound features: Trueplay and the Loudness switch in the EQ settings.

Trueplay looks at the One SL’s surroundings and makes changes to its sound balance based on what it finds. It also involves walking around our listening room while waving an iPad (or an iPhone, which works just as well) and hearing lightsaber noises from the Sonos drivers.

Sonos One SL review: Sound quality

Sonos One SL review

Two Class-D amplifiers are inside the One SL. They power a single tweeter and a mid-bass woofer. It has the same setup as the Sonos One and, for all intents and purposes, the sound quality is the same as well, which is to say that it sounds great.

Once the Trueplay tuning is done, the One SL focuses on clarity and detail and has a midrange that is open and free of noise. When vocals are separated from the rest of the music and given room to breathe, they stand out for how clear they are.

Sonos One SL review: Performance

We set up Dave’s rap-heavy Question Time to learn more about the SL’s low end. The vocals are front and centre, and they stand out from the low bass tones, which can be heard and fit well with the high hat. When it comes to the bass, it sounds just as lively, punchy, and detailed as its voice-controlled sibling.

Sonos One SL review: Price and availability

As a bonus, the Sonos One SL ($199, £179, AU$289) is a little cheaper than the Sonos One (Gen.2) ($219, £199, AU$319), which has a voice assistant. However, both speakers have recently gone up in price.

Still, this makes the Sonos One SL look like a very smart, if slightly unexpected, product that should do very well because it should appeal to a wide range of people.

Final Words

The Sonos One SL is the version of the Sonos One Gen 2 that doesn’t have a mic. Even though it doesn’t work with voice assistants, this wired speaker keeps the audio-focused features of the Gen 2, like Trueplay tuning, which changes how the speaker sounds to fit the room it’s in. It’s made to work with your existing Sonos system, and you can even add a pair as satellite speakers to your existing Sonos-compatible soundbar.

Sonos One SL Ratings

  • Design
  • Setup
  • Sound quality
  • Performance


At this level, it’s a solid sound win for Sonos, whether it’s used in stereo, as part of a home theatre set-up, or by itself.


  • Excellent build quality and sound
  • Apple Airplay 2
  • Trueplay Tune


  • No Bluetooth support.
  • Downmixes stereo content into mono.


Is Sonos one or One SL better?

Both the Sonos One SL and the Sonos One Gen 2 are speakers that are almost the same. The Sonos One SL doesn’t have a microphone and doesn’t work with voice assistants, which is the main difference. Still, both speakers are made well enough, turn stereo content into mono, and have disappointing dynamic performances.

Are Sonos One SL good for surround sound?

But models like the One and the One SL, which are similar, can be used together as surround speakers. 1Era 100 can be used as surround speakers for an Arc, Beam (of any generation), or Ray.

Are Sonos speakers better than Bose?

The Sonos Beam is the clear winner because it has a great ecosystem and lets you choose from different voice assistants. But if you want a speaker for your TV that will make it sound better, choose the Bose. 

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