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Sonos buying guide

Want more music in your life? Sonos makes it easy

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 is easy to set up and control wirelessly with your smartphone or voice. And it's cost-effective compared to hiring a custom installer. We can help you get started. Read on for advice on what you need to add wireless multi-room audio to your life.

Sonos for music

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

Sonos speakers and sound bars are also compatible with Apple AirPlay® 2. This lets you stream directly from iOS devices (like an iPhone®) and use Siri to play Apple Music selections (with subscription). It also lets you stream Netflix and YouTube soundtracks to your Sonos speakers as the video plays on your device.

Sonos One

The Sonos One has Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice control built in.

Sonos One

Great for: smaller rooms like a bedroom or a dining room

Built-in speakers: 2 full-range drivers

Built-in voice control: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

Placement: tabletop; wall- or stand-mountable

Sound: well-balanced with clear detail and expansive sound field

Sonos One SL

The Sonos One SL is great for smaller rooms where voice control is not needed.

Sonos One SL

Great for: smaller rooms like a bedroom or a dining room. The Sonos One SL is virtually identical to the Sonos One, except it doesn't have any voice control capabilities.

Built-in speakers: 2 full-range drivers

Placement: tabletop; wall- or stand-mountable

Sound: well-balanced with clear detail and expansive sound field

Sonos Move speaker by the pool

The portable Sonos Move lets you take your music anywhere.

Sonos Move

Great for: decks, patios, and on-the-go listening

Built-in speakers: 2 full-range drivers

Built-in voice control: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

Placement: tabletop

Special Features: The Move is portable, with a built-in rechargeable battery. 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 waterproof), and use it as a Bluetooth speaker. It's a great choice for bringing music to your porch or sunroom.

Sound: clear and balanced with full-sounding bass

sonos roam

The Roam makes a great portable Bluetooth speaker — and a flexible addition to your Sonos wireless audio system.

Sonos Roam

Great for: on-the-go listening

Built-in speakers: one full-range driver

Built-in voice control: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

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

Special Features: The Roam is compact and portable, with a built-in rechargeable battery. 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 waterproof and dustproof), As a Bluetooth speaker, the Roam is ideal for the beach, the pool, hiking, or camping. Within Wi-Fi range, it can be great for your garage, deck, or backyard.

Sound: clean and clear

Sonos Five Wireless powered speaker

The Sonos Five is ideal for larger rooms.

Sonos Five

The Sonos Five is ideal for larger rooms.

Great for: large rooms like a living room, master suite, large kitchen, or open floor plans

Built-in speakers: 6 balanced drivers: 3 tweeters and 3 high-excursion mid-woofers

Placement: tabletop; wall- or stand-mountable

Other features: 3.5mm line in and headphone jack

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

Use two Sonos wireless speakers in the same room for bigger sound

All Sonos speakers can be set to function in stereo pairs, for a wide stereo image and left/right separation. It’s a great option for large rooms where a single speaker may not be enough.

Of course, you can only pair like to like. So you can pair two Sonos One speakers or two Sonos Five speakers.

Get more bass with a Sonos Sub

Sonos Sub (Gen 3) Wireless subwoofer

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

The Sonos Sub features dual woofers and acoustic ports, so it will fill out the low frequencies. It's great for a system that will rival some pretty nice receiver-and-speaker setups (it's also great for movies and TV — keep reading). You can also pair the Sub with a single Sonos speaker, though we recommend using it with stereo pairs.

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.

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 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.


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 Beam

The Sonos Beam is a compact sound bar for simple systems.

Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

Great for: dens, bedrooms, home offices

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

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

Built-in voice control: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

Placement: cabinet-top; wall-mountable

Sound: spacious sound with clear TV and movie dialogue

Sonos Arc Powered sound bar/wireless music system

The Sonos Arc is a great choice for both music and home theater playback.

Sonos Arc

Great for: advanced home theater and music systems

Built-in speakers: eleven — 8 elliptical woofers, 2 drivers, center channel speaker

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

Built-in voice control: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

Placement: cabinet-top; wall-mountable

Special features: supports Dolby Atmos® audio signals for a more lifelike soundstage with compatible TVs

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

Expanding your Sonos home theater system

The Sonos Sub can be paired wirelessly with any of these sound bars to expand and strengthen the low register, adding dimension to your TV and movie sound.

Sonos Arc with Sonos Sub

Sonos Arc and Sub — the Sonos sound bar and subwoofer offer dynamic, impactful sound for movies and TV.

You can use two Sonos One, or Sonos One SL speakers as surround speakers with your Sonos sound bar. Along with the Sub, this gives you a 5.1-channel surround sound system (or a 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos system with Sonos Arc and a compatible TV), for immersive sound in your home theater.

A great way to add surround speakers is to purchase a bundled set of Sonos speakers. You save money, and — depending on the bundle — you can add more speakers for additional rooms.

Wireless surround sound with Sonos

Enjoy a wireless home surround sound setup with Sonos components.

Getting your Sonos system set up

One of the appealing things about Sonos is how easy it is to set up. See below for 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.

Sonos Boost

The Sonos Boost ensures reliable wireless performance throughout your home.

If you plan on purchasing three or more Sonos devices or wish to place a speaker in a room where your Wi-Fi signal is weak or non-existent, we recommend that you use a Sonos Boost.

The Boost is a compact device that connects to your router via Ethernet cable. It creates its own dedicated wireless network for Sonos, without being affected by traffic on your existing Wi-Fi network. The Boost can also expand the range of the network, so you can place Sonos speakers in more rooms.

Sonos App for simple setup and control

The key to setting up and enjoying Sonos is the free app. 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. Once you've set up one Sonos component, it's even easier to add more.

You can customize the app to show the various music services you would like to use. 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.

With your music options in place, you can search across all of them simultaneously. Just enter the artist name, song, or album title in the search field, and you'll get results from all your music services as well as music stored on your device or networked computers.

You can also queue up tunes and create playlists from different listening options. 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.

The app also 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 easily see what's playing where at any given time.

What about legacy Sonos gear?

Some older Sonos products won’t work with 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.

Take control with voice commands

The Sonos One, Arc, Beam, Roam, and Move all have built-in far-field microphones to pick up your voice. These Sonos speakers and components come with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. You select which system to use for voice control.

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

If you have just one Sonos product with voice control built-in, you can use it to control your entire Sonos multi-room system by just speaking.

With voice commands, you can easily control playback and volume on all your Sonos components. Both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant can help you search for music and stream different content to different rooms.

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.)

The Sonos Move and the Roam also has a 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.

stand mounted speaker in living room

You can set up Sonos speakers on stands anywhere that's close to a power outlet. This stand has built-in channeling to hide the speaker's power cable.

Options for fitting Sonos components into your décor

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.


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. Give our expert advisors a call at 1-888-955-6000.

  • 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.

  • Commenter image

    David Brown from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/21/2018

    Alicia, I'm afraid you have to have a smartphone or tablet to set up a Sonos system. This is a change that Sonos made to their software recently, which removed some functionality from their desktop controlller app. If you purchased your gear from Crutchfield, you can visit this page to set up a return.

  • Alicia from Wood River

    Posted on 12/21/2018

    Just received the Connect and two Play:1s. None of these came with actual instructions to get started. These replace my old Acoustic Research 900MHz Wireless transmitter and speakers. I listen to Sirius radio that is connected to an audio distribution block. I do not have a smartphone and have Windows XP. Don't want to have to run computer and I don't think Sonos has software to run on old pc anyway. And I do not wish to use home theater receiver for Sonos. Just want to hear line-in audio from Sirius. Connected ethernet cable from Connect to Linksys router, connected RCA cable out from Sirius radio to Audio Input on Connect. No guide explaining buttons and indicator light colors. Do these even have On/Off buttons? Unable to get sound from Play:1 speakers. Did I expect too much or buy the wrong devices? I simply wanted to listen to Sirius radio. Thank You

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