How do you improve the Sonos One speaker when there aren't too many qualms about the basic design? If you ask Sonos, it's all about future-proofing. The company is rolling out a Gen 2 version of the One that shares the same design, but includes Bluetooth Low Energy, a newer processor and more memory. In other words, it should perform next-generation tasks that would simply be too much for the original to handle -- not that Sonos is saying just what those additions might be.
The Gen 2 model is "transitioning" into the market, and you'll see the original One discounted to $179 to help clear out stock. We've asked Sonos if there will be a way to tell whether you're getting a Gen 2 beyond the price, but it's safe to say you'll want to double-check that you're buying the latest version. When Sonos introduced AirPlay 2 support, it had to leave older speakers behind. There might come a time when you'll need a Gen 2 speaker to use certain features, even though it's otherwise functionally identical to its predecessor.