The Best Sonos Speakers for Every Kind of Audiophile 

We're sounding off on which speakers are right for you.
Best Sonos Speakers of 2023 Find the Right Sonos System for You

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If you've ever thought about kitting out your home with a sound system, you've thought about Sonos. The best Sonos speakers for your situation act as Lego-like modular solutions to the wireless audio system of your dreams, combining superb sound quality and clean aesthetics with a simple setup. Which explains why the relatively small brand has managed to become more or less synonymous with wireless speakers, even as bigger brands have stepped on its turf.

The problem, then, becomes figuring out what the best Sonos speakers are for you. It makes bookshelf speakers in all sorts of sizes, two subs, three sound bars, two portable speakers, indoor-outdoor speakers, and more. And that's before you add in the Sonos line of speakers built specifically for Ikea, the Symfonisk line, which will have you wondering: Do I want a lamp that also doubles as a speaker?

So let us do for Sonos' lineup what Sonos did for wireless audio: make it a lot easier. We've pulled out the brand's all-star products, including some of the starter sets for home entertainment. Ultimately, you'll be able to put together whatever speaker configurations will offer you exactly what you need.


The Best Sonos Speaker Overall: Sonos Era 100


Era 100

The Era 100 is the basic building block of the Sonos experience: the easiest way to dip a toe into the wireless audio arena and a jack-of-many trades if you're building something complicated, like a beefy surround-sound operation. It's about as big as two Chipotle burritos, but sounds much more enjoyable, what with three amplifiers, two angled tweeters, and bigger-than-ever midwoofer.

In our review of the Era 100, we found that it makes every listening experience—music, podcast, movies, television—sound stellar. A single Era 100 will handle a mid-size room, and two can fill most any space short of an atrium, delivering crisp vocals and voices with okay low end. (Sonos, like Bose, does not tune its speakers to go bump in the night, though you can adjust the equalizer if you're not in love with how the integrated Trueplay automatic audio tuning handles things.)

Plus: Amazon Alexa, Apple AirPlay 2, and Sonos' voice control are built in, and the Era 100's humidity resistance makes sure it's happy to live in a steamy bathroom (though it's not meant for the outdoors).

The Best Sonos Speaker for Bigger Spaces (and Spatial Audio): Sonos Era 300


Era 300

The fascinatingly shaped Era 300 is Sonos's bookshelf breakthrough into the nascent world of spatial audio (non-soundbar division), which creates an awe-inspiring soundstage by redirecting audio to make it fill a room naturally. It works so well that we inducted the Era 300 into our first class of the GQ All-Stars, a compendium of our favorite…everything.

To get more specific, the Era 300 processes Dolby Atmos-encoded audio so that whatever's playing feels like it's happening around you. When Tom Cruise is ripping around in the control tower getting a fly-by. Music puts you on the stage. It's a stunning experience.

The only downside to the Era 300 isn't entirely its fault. To produce the “in the middle of it all” effect, it needs audio that's been Dolby Atmos-optimized. Spotify users are out of luck; only Apple Music, Tidal Hi-Fi, and Amazon Music Unlimited bring the Atmos-enabled goods. And Atmos works on a movie-by-movie basis, though most major streaming platforms have them, particularly newer films. There's no guarantees when it comes to audio standards, but Atmos seems poised to only get more and more popular in music and film mixing.

That's not to say the Era 300 can't absolutely slay when it comes to non-spatial-enabled music. As Sonos's second-biggest bookshelf speaker (under the more powerful, probably-soon-to-be-replaced Sonos Five) has more power, clarity, and agility than the 100.


Best Starter Soundbar: Sonos Beam


Beam (Gen 2)

The best thing you can do to boost your TV's subpar speakers is to hook it up to a quality soundbar. Say hello to the Beam, Sonos' middle-child soundbar. Despite its Malcolm-in-the-Middle status, it's the best bang for your buck. In its second generation of life, the reasonably affordable Beam is jam-packed with audio goodness for its price, including the support of Dolby Atmos that'll make this relatively small soundbar sound larger than life. If you don't want to piss off the neighbors, the soundbar also offers a night mode that we love, which scales down booms but elevates dialogue and quieter elements so you're not left wondering what the hell they just said.

And while Sonos' entry-level bar, the $280 Ray, is a no-caveats starter soundbar, we think the Beam's Dolby Atmos inclusion, voice control features, and overall better sound quality easily warrant the jump in price. Especially if you can find it on sale, which happens regularly.

Best Cinema Buff Soundbar: Sonos Arc

The question you're already asking: if the Arc soundbar costs twice as much as the Beam, is the Arc twice as good? By the raw specs, Sonos's top-end soundbar doubles (or more) the Beam's hardware—and uses that hardware to powerful effect. Where the Beam works magic with sound-processing by artfully (if imperfectly) faking overhead sounds, the Arc's twin upward-firing tweeters handle over-the-top with more fidelity and power.

Particularly with Dolby Atmos-encoded audio, the Arc is a single-speaker three-dimensional surround-sound system in a tube. Seriously, watching a horror movie made it feel like the killer was walking up behind our couch. We will admit that the Arc is begging to be paired with the Sonos Sub so it has the thump to match the surround. If you agree, Sonos sells exactly that two-piece system for a few dollars off the total of buying both products a la carte (see below).

For the Person Who's All About That Bass: Sonos Sub

Adding the Sonos Sub to your surround-sound system isn't just about adding an extra thwomp of bass. It's true that neither Sonos's soundbars or bookshelf speakers are low-end powerhouses, making the Sub a necessity if you're seeking mild heart palpitations from a ripping drum solo or Michael Bay explosion. But the Sub also frees up those speakers from having to muscle out the lowest bass frequencies, freeing up their processing power to do what they're best at: room-filling, articulate, well-rounded mids and highs. Which means your overall listening experience is improved.

The Sub's unique design—y'know, that gap in the middle—reduces any unwanted vibrations, because the drivers housed inside cancel each other's rattling. We've had ours in a New York City apartment for years, and never once had someone bang on their ceiling with a broom to complain. Which is to say: we stan the Sub.

If you can't see your way to spending the $800, Sonos' recently-released $429 Sub Mini is a more affordable, excellent alternative—though it can't be paired with a second Sub Mini, the way the big daddy Sub can be doubled up for extreme bass.


The Best Traveling Portable Speaker: Sonos Roam

The Sonos Roam is a bit of an outlier in the Sonos world, in that it's meant to leave the driveway. And yet: it still packs plenty of Sonos touches. Which explains why in our review of the Sonos Roam, we called it the “best sounding portable speaker [we've] tested." That statement still holds today, in a still-crowded category.

The Roam nails the everyday portable speaker basics: it's IP67 rated (meaning it can be submerged in up to three feet of water) for no-worries beach and poolside duty. Integrated Amazon Alexa and Sonos' automatic audio-optimizing Trueplay are baked in (though you can save $20 on the Roam SL, which has neither).

But the most Sonos thing about the Roam is that it has WiFi, as well as Bluetooth. Which means it seamlessly syncs into your home's Sonos setup, letting you treat it like a carry-everywhere speaker. The Roam is also available in more than just the usual Sonos black or white. Which doesn't make it work better, but is certainly more fun.

The Best Sonos Speaker for a Backyard Party: Sonos Move


Move 2

We love the Sonos Roam, but it's very much a travel speaker at heart. The Move 2, Sonos' bigger battery-powered speaker, is what you want if by “portable” you mean “I wish I could take my Sonos speakers out to the yard.”

It is, for all intents and purposes, an Era 100 speaker that's cut the electrical umbilical. The Move 2 has the same array of hardware inside, including a similar dual angled tweeter setup for projecting sound all around. But pull the Move 2 off its wireless charging base, and you can drag it anywhere.

An IP56 rating means it can withstand humidity, a little drizzle, and hotter temps, plus it has a shock-absorbing design. (Though don't go tossing it around.) It'll stay in sync with your home's Sonos system so long as it can hook into WiFi, but Bluetooth means you can just treat it like a travel speaker—a bigger, boomier, better travel speaker. We called it the “ultimate party animal,” and you can find out more about why review of the Move 2.


The beauty of Sonos speakers is that you just need to plug them in, add them in the app, and they all play nicely together. To make life even easier—particularly if you're upgrading your entertainment system audio—Sonos sells bundles that net you a nice discount. Here are three Sonos speaker bundles worth checking out.

The Best Entry-Level Sonos Sound System


Surround Set with Beam

A pair of Sonos Era 100s and a Beam (Gen 2) is all it takes to make your movie nights (and music-filled days) exponentially better than before. The compact Beam, our favorite Sonos soundbar, pairs perfectly with a couple of excellent bookshelf speakers, and it all comes in at under a grand.

The Best Mid-Tier Sonos Sound System


Premium Entertainment Set With Arc

Alone, the Arc is an exceptional soundbar that can make it feel like you have something close to a surround sound system, thanks to the way Sonos Trueplay's automatic optimizing and the Arc's angled speakers work magic. But add in a Sub, and you'll find it hard to pay for a movie theater ticket every again.

The Best High-End Sonos Sound System


Ultimate Immersive Set with Arc

It's expensive, sure, but not that expensive given what you get: an Arc, a Sub, and two Era 300s. With sound coming at you from all sides and angles—and zero time spent running speaker wires across your floorboards—you'll feel like you're at the recording studio with your favorite artist or on set for whatever you're watching.