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Sunday
Mar112018

Elevating audio in streaming speakers with Sonos One stereo pairing

By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

More than rediscovering my favourite music, playing it back on a Sonos One stereo pair made me feel like I was hearing a lot of it for the first time.

We live in a wonderful time where we can talk to smart speakers backed by the power of cloud computing. We can access millions of songs from streaming services and play them instantly provided we have an Internet connection and a music subscription. We also have outstanding speakers that can fill a room with sound, emulate the acoustics of a concert hall and turn a dormroom into a club.

Not all smart speakers are created equal. For Sonos, Santa Barbara, California company made its bones by creating lag-free Mesh wireless connectivity and also by creating great sounding speakers that sound awesome on their own. The real magic with Sonos devices happens when you combine them to create environments.

A single Sonos One smart speaker is likely the best sounding standalone smart speaker available in Canada. Now with Amazon Alexa, it is capable of accessing services like Spotify, Deezer, Google Play, TuneIN radio and many others. 

Two Sonos Ones in a stereo pair makes it possible to listen to music as it was originally recorded. You get a sound stage, you get layers and separation and if you close your eyes and really listen, you are almost transported to where the music is playing live.

More than rediscovering my favourite music, playing it back on a Sonos One stereo pair made me feel like I was hearing a lot of it for the first time.

I played Jaco Pastorious' "Come on, Come over," and was entranced by they floating keyboards, the horns and the depth of the drum tracks not to mention Pastorious' eloquent 'bass playing spiraling into complex runs.

Playing John Coltrane's "I'll Wait and Pray," from a CD rip of The Complete Atlantic Recordings of John Coltrane (CD2) at less than one-half volume transformed my room into The Village Vanguard in New York City.

The only thing missing was the sound of glasses and hushed conversations. The full range of Coltrane's glorious sax clearer and more resonant than I've ever heard it.

What's great about the Sonos One and using it as a stereo pair is that it isn't the endgame for getting quality wireless audio, it is actually the beginning. You can consider pairing the two Sonos Ones to a Sonos soundbar or subwoofer to create a surround sound home theatre system and really push the limits of wireless audio.

Of course, this can get expensive, but not more than what one would spend on a wired and un-smart home theatre audio setup. 

The best thing for me about discovering the joy of paired stereo speakers is that I am enjoying my music collection and streaming services more.

It isn't just background music to me, it has become an event. Who do I spend my Sunday afternoons with? The Miles Davis Quintet at the Plugged Nickel or U2 live at Slane Castle? Whatever my mood or choice I know I'll hear every nuance and instrument the way the music was meant to be heard.

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