I missed this when it was first announced last fall. It’s a Sonos speaker with all of the software and features you’d expect, but it doesn’t include any voice assistants. In fact, the device has no built-in microphones at all. With AirPlay 2 and a $179 price tag, this seems like an excellent alternative to the HomePod for areas of your house where you’d prefer not to have any microphones.
We have a HomePod in Josh’s room so we can play lullabies and white noise from our phones, but we have “Hey Siri” disabled on it to prevent us from accidentally invoking Siri during his naps. Although we can still hold the top to speak with Siri, in practice, that never actually happens. I might pick up one of these One SLs to replace his HomePod.
That will also let us move the HomePod into the living room. The spot I have in mind is conveniently located near our front entryway, the doorway to our basement/garage, the hallway to our bedrooms, and the dining room. It’s the perfect location for a HomePod because we pass by it to go just about anywhere in our home. We can easily speak to Siri on our way to turn on any HomeKit devices we need.