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Can You Use Just One Sonos Speaker

Sonos speakers are known for not only producing amazing sound but also for being incredibly convenient and easy to install. The intelligent speakers also respond to voice commands, making them a breeze to use. While having multiple speakers throughout the home is great, what if you only wanted a speaker in a single room? Is this even possible? Can you use just one Sonos speaker?

While Sonos allows you to pair many of its speakers into a stereo configuration, you can use any Sonos speaker by itself. The only exception is the Sonos Sub which will need to be paired with a Sonos speaker.

Put simply, you can use just one Sonos speaker and it won’t affect sound quality much. Admittedly, there are other reasons why it can make sense to only use a single speaker. However, there are many cases where you may want to think about adding a second one, more importantly, if you’re serious about your home theater entertainment system you’ll likely wind up adding more anyway.

Benefits of Using Just One Sonos Speaker

Sonos One SL as Surround Speaker 1 - Smaller

There are a few benefits to using a single Sonos speaker. Depending on which Sonos speaker you’re using it’s often cheaper than buying a pair. However, there are several models in the Sonos line at varying prices like the Arc soundbar (on Amazon). Purchasing only one speaker to use with the soundbar, won’t save you a lot of money but you’ll enjoy great audio.

Even a single Sonos speaker is designed to work by itself. You’ll still hear the full-audio range without any dead spots. There is an exception to audio quality. If you only have a Sonos sub, you’ll want to add another speaker. Otherwise, all you’ll hear is exceptional bass and you won’t have the rest of the frequency range that fills out the sound.

Additional Benefits of Using One Sonos Speaker

Even though Sonos speakers are designed for placement in multiple rooms, not everyone wants audio throughout their house. With one Sonos speaker, you’ll enjoy an immersive audio experience in the area you placed it. It’s also easier to connect a single component instead of multiples. There are fewer speakers to connect to your system and manage. Another benefit is with one speaker you have the opportunity to try out the Sonos ecosystem before you decide to go with the full setup.

Will You Miss Stereo Sound with Only One Sonos Speaker?

Connecting only one speaker usually means that audio quality suffers. Even if the speaker comes with a built-in sub, there is still a difference in audio quality. With one Sonos speaker to replace your outdated wired ones, you immediately notice an improvement in sound quality which we’ve explored before in our guide on wired home theater systems. Both vocals and music will sound crisp and clear across upper and lower frequencies.

One Sonos speaker will sound great, but two are always better especially if you’re adding surround sound to a soundbar like what’s explained in our other article. If you’re using the speaker for your home theater system or need multi-channel audio for movies and shows, stereo sound is always the best way to enjoy your entertainment. However, even if you are only using one Sonos speaker with your system, it’s a definite improvement over your small TV speakers.

Reasons You May Want More Than One Sonos Speaker

There are a few reasons why you may want more than one Sonos speaker. If you’re undecided about how many you need or want, a good idea is to take a look at your space and home entertainment setup. One speaker is fine for a single room and audio quality won’t suffer, but if you’re thinking about adding more later you might not want to wait.

It is less expensive to buy the speakers in pairs than one at a time. It’s also a little easier to install multiple speakers together, instead of separately. Installing two Sonos speakers also gives you a surround sound experience if both units are in the same room. You can even move one speaker to another room and network the two components together. Now you see what multi-room audio is like and if you want it throughout your home.

Which Sonos Speakers Should You Start With?

You have several options when you’re starting with Sonos speakers. Here’s a quick look at your choices so you have a better idea of which one is best for your audio needs. (All of the following links down below will take you directly to Amazon).

Sonos One

Sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker With Amazon Alexa Built-In - White

The One is similar in size and sound quality to the brand’s original Play:1 speaker. It comes with a built-in Amazon Alexa so you can control the speaker with your voice. Turn it on, listen to music, and even get local weather and traffic updates. The One is also compatible with other Sonos speakers, even those that don’t come with voice control.

One SL

Sonos One SL - Microphone-Free Smart Speaker – Black

You will need another Sonos speaker with built-in Alexa if you want to use your voice to control the One SL. The “SL” indicates speechless, but otherwise, it comes with everything else you get with the Sonos One. The audio is rich and clear, and the small speaker fits almost anywhere. It’s also resistant to humidity, making it a great option for home bathroom use.

Five

Sonos Five - The High-Fidelity Speaker For Superior Sound - Black

If high-fidelity sound is what you’re looking for, and space isn’t a problem the Five by Sonos delivers exceptional audio. It is the largest speaker currently produced by Sonos and can be used solo or as a pair. You will get better audio quality if you use two speakers. You have your choice of installing the speaker horizontally for a wide-stage sound. Laying it vertically will produce a more direct sound. It’s up to you how you want the audio to sound.

Sub (Gen 3)

Sonos Sub - The Wireless Subwoofer for Deep Bass - Black

The wireless Sub (Gen 3) is a great addition to your sound system or to connect to another Sonos speaker. It produces deep, heart-thumping bass without distortion at any volume level. It easily connects to your Wi-Fi network and will boost lower frequencies from the other speakers with the press of a button.

Playbar

Sonos Playbar - The Mountable Sound Bar for TV, Movies, Music, and More - Black

With 9 speaker drivers, the Playbar is ideal for use with movies, music, shows, and more. It’s compatible with most TV remotes and is a breeze to set up. The Playbar also boasts a flexible installation, in other words, you can mount it in almost any way that you choose, including to a wall or flat on a shelf.

Beam

Sonos Beam - Smart TV Sound Bar with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black

The Beam is a compact smart soundbar that is perfect in small and mid-size rooms where you don’t need a lot of powerful sound to fill the area. It comes with a speech enhancement function so voice audio is always crisp and clear. It’s also easy to pair with your TV remote and other components thanks to the HDMI ARC compatibility.

Arc

Sonos Arc - The Premium Smart Soundbar For TV, Movies, Music, Gaming, And More - Black

Updated for a sleeker appearance and boasting 11 high-performance drivers, there’s a lot to like about the Arc soundbar. It comes with both Alexa and Google Assist built-in, and also allows you to stream music, podcasts, and radio programs. The primary addition, and what sets it apart from other Sonos soundbars is the addition of Dolby Atmos sound.

Playbase

Sonos Playbase - Sleek Soundbase for TV, Movies, Music, and More - Black

The Sonos Playbase is almost identical to the Playbar, with one exception. It comes with 10 drivers and is capable of producing the most bass out of the other Sonos speakers. It also comes with built-in streaming apps and is simple to set up even for first-time users.

Move

Sonos Move - Battery-powered Smart Speaker, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with Alexa built-in - Black

With the Move, you get a portable speaker that is Bluetooth enabled and comes with a built-in battery. It can connect to other Sonos speakers or used separately. It’s also waterproof making it ideal for use outdoors. All you need is a Wi-Fi signal to listen to music with the Move.

Conclusion

Even though you can use one Sonos speaker and still get great quality audio, it will sound better with two. There are several models to choose from and all are designed to work together, whether you buy the speakers separately or in pairs. When you’re ready to upgrade your sound system, take a look at one of the Sonos speakers, and see which is best for you.