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When looking for a new set of high quality speakers to buy, many people come to the same crossroads between two of the most popular brands: should you settle with something by Bose or something by Sonos?
While Bose has been in the audio game since the mid 1960’s, Sonos is a relatively newer company that emerged in 2002. Both companies have made quite a name for themselves with their soundbars, headphones and of course their speakers.
I wanted to find out for myself which company is better at manufacturing high quality speakers with great features, great sound quality and great build quality. So in this audio battle of Bose Vs Sonos, who will win?
Continue reading to find out the answer so you can make a more informed choice when you buy your next set of speakers.
Bose Vs Sonos: Build Quality and Design
I remember many years ago when Bose would get a lot of flak for the build quality of its products, particularly its headphones. However, I don’t think there is any denying that Bose eventually started to really step up their game and vastly improved the build quality of their products, headphones or otherwise.
Many of Bose’s speakers have been impressively crafted, with the Bose SoundTouch 30 Wireless Speaker being a great example. It looks sleek and it comes with an equally stylish mini remote control. The speaker itself is relatively portable for around the house and while I don’t think it could survive many drops, it certainly feels sturdy to the touch.
Despite the credit I will give to Bose, Sonos’s speakers are even more sturdy. While I personally prefer the aesthetic design of Sonos products in general, I do understand that this is mainly a subjective preference. However, I cannot deny that the build quality of Sonos products is definitely better.
The Sonos Play:5 is a great example of a good fidelity speaker that really feels robust despite its smaller size compared to large sized speakers. While Bose has definitely stepped up their game, Sonos seems to be one step ahead of them.
Bose Vs Sonos: Software and Features
When getting a good quality speaker, it can be very important to make sure that it comes with a lot of extra features or is at least compatible with many other devices you already own.
People already know that many wireless speakers by Bose and Sonos are compatible with things like Alexa and other supplementary devices, but in my experience, Sonos products seem to be a lot more intuitive when it comes to connections and installation.
Setting up a group of wireless Sonos speakers such as the Sonos One SL was quite a breeze. Sonos has really nailed down the intuitiveness that Apple and their products are extremely famous for. But setting up Bose wireless or Bluetooth speakers such as the Bose SoundTouch 10, while wasn’t hard, was a little more of a cumbersome process.
The Bose app is known for being a little frustrating to use and I too had that same experience. The Sonos app on the other hand works seamlessly with any iOS, Android, Mac or PC device.
Sonos also gets a plus for being able to natively support Apple Music streaming, something which Bose products do not support.
Bose Vs Sonos: Sound Quality and High Fidelity
Here’s the category that we’ve all been waiting for – in the battle of Bose vs Sonos, which speakers actually give a more realistic, enriching sound?
This is a little tricky to answer because depending on some factors like price point or types of speakers, the results may be a little mixed. However, after a lot of mixing and matching, I believe I can say with confidence that Bose is the victor here.
For the sake of convenience, let’s compare the speakers that showcase the best sound quality both Bose and Sonos have to offer: The Sonos Play:5 and the Bose SoundTouch 30 Series III.
Sonos Play:5 Vs Bose SoundTouch 30
With the Sonos Play:5, you will definitely be treated to a very pure and clean sound. The internal packaging is very tight which helps reduce any annoying echo effects if you have your speaker or speakers placed in a rather large room.
The Play:5 is also a fairly powerful device and one speaker on its own can reach some impressive volumes, making it a very good fit for playing music at parties or for a home theater set up.
But as good as the Sonos Play:5 is, the SoundTouch 30 Series III is better. Not only is this speaker capable of going even louder than the Play:5, but it excels at two areas that are very important to people these days: bass and soundstage.
Bose speakers are known for delivering very satisfying bass that can still sound both booming and crisp at any volume. For anyone who really wants to hear the bass in their music or their movies, choosing Bose over Sonos is a no brainer.
The SoundTouch 30 also has superior soundstage, which is a speaker’s ability to have separation between all of the instruments. It can be a little hard to describe, but with a wider soundstage, instruments sound like they are coming from different angles.
This sort of “virtual spacing” helps emulate the experience of what it might be like if those instruments or sounds were actually in the room with you. Soundstage is one of the most important aspects of all high fidelity audio, and Bose is definitely the winner when it comes to that.
While I think that Sonos makes the cooler looking, better build and the more intuitive speakers, Bose wins at the most important category of all which is delivering the best sound quality. So deciding on which brand will be better for you will really be a matter of analyzing your own tastes.
Do you want speakers that are very easy to use and have as much streaming support with other platforms as possible? Then pick Sonos. Or, do you want a speaker that is a little cumbersome to install but will have unbeatable bass, loudness and soundstage? Then like me, you will want to go with Bose.