Sonos is officially phasing out the Play:1, its entry-level speaker that was released in 2013, and replacing it with the just-announced Sonos One SL. If you think the Sonos One SL looks familiar, there’s a reason: it’s identical in every way to the Sonos One (Gen 2), except it doesn’t have built-in microphones and therefore doesn’t have Alexa or Google Assistant baked into it. The lack of microphones also means that the Sonos One SL is more affordable; the Sonos One SL costs $179, while the recently updated Sonos One (Gen 2) costs $199.
The big difference between the Sonos One SL and the Play:1 is support for AirPlay 2. Up to this point, only Sonos’s newest products (Sonos One, Sonos Beam, Sonos Playbase and the second-generation Play:5) supported AirPlay 2, which allows anybody stream Apple Music straight from their iPhone, iPad or Mac. Naturally, Sonos is looking to update its product line, so it makes sense to update – or in this case, antiquate – the Play:1 speaker.
Privacy is obviously a hot topic in this age of smart speakers, but the Sonos One SL actually makes sense for buyers who aren’t particularly worried about being listened to, too. For instance, you can buy two Sonos One SL speakers and use them as rear-channel speakers in a Sonos home theater system – thus saving you $40, rather buying two Sonos One SL. Or if you already have a Sonos smart speaker, you can use your voice to control the new Sonos One SL. (If the speakers are in the same room, there’s little need to have more than one speaker listening to you.)
The new Sonos One SL is available for pre-order right now. Shipping is expected to start on September 12. Like the Sonos One, the Sonos One SL is available in either white or black.
It’s worth also mentioning that, while supplies last, you can still buy a Play:1 from Sonos and third-party sellers for $149. You can also find the older Sonos One (Gen 1) smart speakers online at Amazon for $179, the same price as the new “non-smart” Sonos One SL.