I am stunned (in a positive way) at the price/audio quality ratio of the Sonos One.
I have two questions:
Are there other devices, even at a multiple of the cost, that do materially better?
Issue with the Sonos: It appears limited to situations where I have either wired ethernet or strong wifi. That is not available for some of my family who are in college dorms, or shared housing. What is a Sonos-One type system that has more input options? (Pref: Aux In + Bluetooth + RCA)
Ruark MR1 Mk2: I have had them for 3 years and still use them on my desk with my MacBook Pro 13. They look great and match nicely a minimal decor. They do not go obsolete in 6 years (like sonos) as they don’t have any smarts and the amp inside is Class AB (no digital). Lovely sound but… a bit boomy if placed near a wall or on bookshelf as I have them. In this case they need EQ which unfortunately is not offered. I use AudioHijack on my Mac to reduce bass from 120Hz downwards. This way they sound amazing.
I would also consider Dynaudio monitoring speakers
I have Sonos One’s and love them. For great sound quality try a pair of Sonos One’s plus Roon for stereo set up. You can also add a Sonos sub for extra bass.
For the ultimate solution look at Buchardt A500s or A700s. These are Active speakers (paired with a hub for loads of input options) with built in DACs and DSP for true next generation audiophile experience. Different league
I bought a pair of used Beolab 4500’s and slapped a pi behind 'em. You even get a DIN input. They’re a couple of hundred each in good condition, so not the cheapest option, but they look damn good and they’re pretty great as space-savers on a college dorm wall. I’d like to find a way to get the display to work, though (it’s a B&O protocol).
If you want to buy new, Audio Pro has some nice options (I’d pretty aggressively restrict its connectivity though), and since you said “multiple the cost”, Naim’s Mu-so QB.