(Pocket-lint) - Sonos has lowered the bar even further by launching a new "entry-level" speaker for its Sonos multi-room music system.
The new Play:1 will cost £169, come bundled with the company's bridge device (until Christmas) and get you up and running within minutes using streaming services like Spotify or Amazon's Cloud Player.
"Sonos was created upon the belief you should never have to choose between quality sound and an easy way to access all your music at home," said John MacFarlane, CEO, Sonos, Inc. "The Play:1 makes getting started with Sonos even more accessible to music lovers than ever before."
The compact speaker works in the same way as the company's other Play speakers. Connected to the internet (via that free bridge or an existing system) the speaker is controlled by an accompanying Android or Apple app. Two Play:1 speakers can be paired together to create a stereo offering, or they can be used with a Sonos Playbar and Sonos Sub to create a surround-sound system for your TV.
Offering something most other Bluetooth speakers don't, the Sonos Play:1 lets you connect up to 32 Sonos speakers within one huge system in your house, letting you play the same music in one room or different music in every room.
Unlike Bluetooth speakers, you are free to use multiple devices to control the music at the same time, and as long as you are on the same Wi-Fi network are able to control the music at any time. Sonos sees the Play:1 as its "mass market move" and plans to offer the entry-level experience for those looking to start out, rather than wanting to go straight for the more expensive Play:3 or the even bigger, beefier Play:5.
READ: Sonos Play:1 review
As for a lack of battery, Sonos has this to say: "We're certainly not against battery-powered speakers per se but in this case it wasn't the right direction. Our speakers are designed for the best listening experience in the home.
"Adding a battery introduces a number of compromises to the sound quality - ie, a battery with enough capacity to provide enough listening time is expensive and takes up a lot of space - both of which result in poorer sound quality or a more expensive device. Because we're very focused on listening in the home, the best listening experience at this price is with a powered speaker."
The Play:1 features a custom-designed mid-woofer and tweeter by Sonos in-house that will be perfect for kitchens, bedrooms and small offices - although having heard it in a big room it will cope just as well. Like all Sonos speakers, the Play:1 speaker will be available in black or white.
Those wanting a range of colour options should look elsewhere. As McFarlane explained to Pocket-lint at a demo of the new speaker: "We build the speakers to last you a decade and that includes a style that needs to be effortless."
The Play:1 is available from 29th October for £169.