It’s not exactly what I’d consider to be a successor or proper sequel, but Sonos tells me that beginning March 7th, it will start selling a new revision of its Sonos One smart speaker with improved internals. The new “Gen 2” model will include Bluetooth Low Energy, a faster processor, and more memory than the original Sonos One. There are no changes to the external design whatsoever, nor does the revamped model gain any new, exclusive features. It’s just a little more powerful and future-ready. Sound performance should be the same between both.
As the upgraded Sonos One makes its way into retail channels, consumers will likely be able to find discounts on the hardware it’s replacing — at least while supplies last. The Sonos One normally sells for $199 (and Gen 2 will continue to), but the outbound original will drop to $179 at participating retailers.
The company isn’t yet saying how it will put the faster chipset and expanded memory to use. But it might help prolong the device’s long-term support and guarantee more features and updates down the road. Last year, Sonos acknowledged a lack of “horsepower” prevented several of its older speakers from receiving native AirPlay 2 support. (Those older speakers can still stream AirPlay 2 audio so long as you own another Sonos device that offers it.) So it’s plausible that someday the Gen 2 One might receive an update or feature that doesn’t extend to the original.
As for the addition of Bluetooth Low Energy, right now it’s only being used to make first-time setup of your Sonos hardware a little easier and more convenient. BLE allows for quicker, temporary communication between the Sonos One and your mobile device.
Sonos has said it plans to add Google Assistant to the Sonos One and Sonos Beam sometime this year. We heard a demo of the company’s progress back at CES, but there’s still no firm time frame. The company confirmed to me that both versions of Sonos One will be getting Assistant, in case you were worried that the newer model would be required.
How do I know which Sonos One is which?
If you’re wondering how to tell the old and new Sonos Ones apart, just look for “Gen 2” text on the product label — both on the box and speaker itself. The original speaker only says Sonos One.