Sonos and Bose are two of the most popular speaker brands out there on the market today.
They’ve both released a wide variety of different models over the years, and they’re often compared to each other. Both brands have various different audio options to choose from, from full home speaker setups to small portable speakers.
If you’re looking to get yourself a new home theater, then you’re probably looking at a ton of different brands that are on the market. It can be really difficult to know what the best option may be for you.
Two of the most popular brands on the market are Sonos and Bose – two brands that are both known for producing some awesome audio equipment.
Deciding on a Home Theater system is not a decision that you’ll want to take lightly.
Both Sonos and Bose are good options – if you want a prestigious brand, you can opt for Bose but you shouldn’t discount Sonos too easily – they produce some of the best home theater systems on the market too.
If you’re struggling to decide between the two, then we’re going to run through some of the differences between the two so that you can make an informed decision on which is the better option for what you need.
Let’s take a look at the two brands histories, then we can have a closer look at the pros and cons of each brands.
Sonos vs Bose – Home Theater & Speakers
The difference between Sonos and Bose is generally that Sonos is the better company in terms of their software and installation, as it’s very easy to build your own multiroom setup. However, Bose still has the edge on Sonos when it comes to sound quality.
This makes sense, as Bose history is steeped in audio experience, whilst Sonos has been a software focussed company from the very beginning.
Both brands have a good variety of options, from portable speakers to full floorstanding speakers. But, these aren’t the only two differences between the two. So, let’s look a little closer at both Sonos and Bose.
Do Bose even need an introduction? They are one of the best known brands within the industry, and their brand really speaks for itself.
Though they are probably better known for their headphones than any other product, they also offer a ton of other products as well. Bose are also known for their stereos and definitely for their Bluetooth speakers, like the Bose Revolve (we compared the Bose Revolve and Sonos One here).
Sonos are nowhere near as old as Bose in age – they were only started in 2002. But, this doesn’t mean to say that their products are not as good as Bose products. In fact, Sonos were started to try and fulfil a gap in the market and they’ve done it well – the company has seen growth year on year since it was started.
When we’re comparing the two, it is generally accepted that Bose are a little bit better when it comes to quality. But in comparison to this, Sonos are the better brand when it comes to their app and integrating the device with your home theater system.
So, you can see that it’s going to be a tough battle between the two.
So as I’ve mentioned, the intention of Sonos right from the beginning was to have the easiest software to use with their speakers. They’re well known as the most popular brand for people looking to get a multi room speaker setup in their home.
Whereas in the past a speaker system would likely take up a whole lot of space, this isn’t the case with Sonos. Their products are specifically designed to take up as little space in your home as possible.
As well as being fairly compact, there’s also a massive emphasis on usability with Sonos products as well. They’re intend to be used by the average person, so you don’t need to be an expert to use their products.
Whilst they’re not limited to full speaker sound systems, this is where their specialty is, and it’s one of the reasons they’re so commonly compared with Bose.
Probably the most well known brand in the speaker industry, Bose have been at the forefront of audio for a long time.
They’ve been in the business for more than 50 years now, and it’s fair to say that they’ve got their critics as well as their loyal supporters – their Bose Home speaker systems are well known and are pretty much a household name at this point.
Bose sell a wide range of different audio equipment, and they’re as well known for their headphones as they are for their speakers. Where they’re most often compared to Bose is in their home speaker setups, but both brands have a good array of portable speakers too.
At the higher end they’re known for superb audio, though critics have their issues with cheaper Bose Home speakers.
Out of the two brands they definitely have more products on the market to choose from, but this doesn’t necessarily make them better. Whilst many Bose speakers are good, they’ve also released some bad ones over the years too.
Sonos vs Bose Home Theater Pros
There are some undoubtable positive of using Sonos speakers throughout your home, and you should definitely consider this set if you want something for your home.
The set I’m looking at in particular are a good option; it’s the 5.1 Playbase set from Sonos.
With this set, you get their Playbase, a subwoofer and two of the Sonos Ones– their more popular smart speaker that you can easily set up in your home.
One of the benefits to this is that you can integrate this home theater system in easily with Amazon. This means that you can use it easily with Amazon Alexa.
The Sonos One produces sounds that are a million times better than the Dot or the Amazon Echo, so you should consider that if you watch a ton of films in your lounge and need a good sound system.
The Sonos Sub is also extremely good quality, and it will create some awesome deep sounds. Along with the Sub, you of course get the Sonos Playbase. It plays down to around 25 Hz, which is what you need from a decent subwoofer.
The Playbase features 10 amplified speaker drivers, which helps to create a really powerful sound coming from your system. It’s really easy to control the treble and bass on your sound system, so it won’t be difficult for you to get the sound settings you need.
- Probably the main difference that you’ll see between the brands in my opinion is that Sonos software is much better than Bose. It’s very easy for someone to completely redo the audio in their house with Sonos software. It’s much more difficult to do this with a Bose sound system in my opinion.
- Sonos has the ability to support Apple music natively, which isn’t the case with Bose. This makes a massive difference if you’re an iPhone and Apple user, and puts Sonos as the better option of the two.
- As well as supporting Apple music, Sonos is the better in terms of working with a variety of different streaming services too, including introducing Amazon Alexa onto some fo their speakers more recently.
- As main components, your purchase include: One Console, 4 OnmiJewel side speakers, One Omni Jewel center speaker, One Acoustimass wireless bass module, universal remote control, 2 wireless receivers, One ADAPTiQ headset and Owner’s guide
- Dimensions (”): Console – 15.98 W x 2.56 H x 10.16 D | Omni Jewel Side speakers (each) – 1.84 W x 5.77 H x 1.84 D | Omni Jewel Center speaker – 21.34 W x 1.9 H x 1.84 D | Bass module – 11.61 W x 12.8 H x 11.61 D | Wireless receivers – 6.54 W x 1.6 H x 3 D
- Wires length: 6-foot IR emitter, 5-foot optical cable, 6-foot HDMI cable, 5-foot power cord, 20-foot center speaker cable, 20-foot wireless surround speaker cable, and 20-foot front speaker cables
If you’re looking for another of the better home theaters, then you want to consider the Bose Acoustimass.
You will get a far more complete sound system with this one than the Sonos, and if you shop around, typically it’s a little cheaper too.
If you want to make things easy for yourself, you’ll want to take all of the speakers out of the box before you start to set it up. This will make it a lot easier for you to set it up, and you won’t get confused with all the different wires.
I’d advise getting the set with wall mounts, as this means that you can set the speakers up around your TV mounted on the wall.
They are some good quality speakers, and you’re sure to get a decent sound from them. If you want something to watch movies with, then this is undoubtedly one of the best options for watching films.
- There are some areas where Bose are definitely still at the top of the audio market. Of course, this is definitely the case for headphones. But, they’re also still the kings of portable Bluetooth speakers in my opinion too. So if you’e looking for something lightweight and easy to carry around, then Bose might be the right brand for you.
- Overall, I’d pick Bose as the speakers with better sound quality all round over Sonos. There isn’t much of a difference between the two, but over the products that I’ve owned, Bose has the edge in terms of sound.
- Bose has more of a selection if you’re looking for speakers that have dual band audio (works over both a 2.4GHz connection and a 5.0GHz connection too). Sonos speakers are primarily all working over the same 2.4GHz band.
It’s also worth comparing the UX of both speakers by looking at the Bose app and then the Sonos app too. The Bose music app is far from perfect however, and that’s just one reason why you may want to avoid going with the brand.
But, we’ll get to that in a minute – first, let’s run through the downsides of going with Sonos.
Sonos vs Bose Cons
There are a couple of things that you’ll want to consider about the Sonos Home Theater System that may effect whether you end up purchasing their products or not.
Firstly, the main issue with the full Sonos set is that it’s particularly expensive. Unless you have a significant budget for your speaker set, this isn’t going to be the best option for you. It’s not a budget set, so bear that in mind before your purchase.
Secondly, another thing that you should consider is that it isn’t able to be integrated with Google until 2019.
This was originally meant to be released in 2018, but it’s since been pushed back. So, if you want something that you can use with Google, this may not be the system for you (yet!).
If you’re thinking about going Sonos, you could also consider looking at the Sonos Playbar. The Sonos Playbar can make up part of a full home surround sound system, and it can be a crucial part of the set up too.
It has a good sound quality, and it will work well in any multi room set up. It has good connectivity in terms of wifi too.
- The sound difference between the two brands is pretty negligible, and different people will have a slightly different opinion. But Sonos is still a little bit behind Bose in my own opinion, though there’s not much in it.
- Whilst Sonos is great for Apple music and works well with IOS, it’s not as good with Android phones. So, your choice of phone might actually have a big impact on your decision.
- One area where Sonos could probably improve upon is their connectivity – many of their models released over the past few years haven’t had easy connectivity, like a HDMI input port.
The Bose Acousticmass set is awesome, and there aren’t a lot of negatives about it to mention. The two things that spring to mind are that the quality of the Bose sound system isn’t quite as good as the Sonos System.
It’s also not the most attractive set up, though this doesn’t seem to bother the majority of people looking for a home theater system.
You could also look at the Bose Soundbar 700, which is fantastic for anyone that’s looking for something with high audio quality and easily integrated music services.
If you want a better listening experience in your living room, then getting some Bose products in there might be a good idea.
- Although setting up a Bose system isn’t too difficult for those that have experience with audio speakers, it’s not easy for beginners. The app could definitely be improved to make it easier for you to set up your Bose sound system. If this were to happen, then I’d be much more likely to recommend Bose as a brand.
- Another common criticism of Bose speakers is that they’re overpriced for what you’re getting. Although Bose has a lot of critics, you’ll actually rarely find folks out there saying that they’re not good speakers. But, many folks think that Bose speakers are just overpriced for what you’re actually paying.
- The app could be improved with Bose, but so could it’s ability to work with different streaming services out there as well.
In conclusion, to be honest there isn’t a great deal of difference between these two brands.
Those new to audio would likely be better off going with a Sonos setup, as it’s very easy to install and get everything started yourself. Those with a little more experience might do better to look at Bose, which can offer a higher quality of sound, as well as better connectivity too.
Overall, it’s difficult to pick between these two brands if you’re looking to set up your own home theater.
Whilst Bose are undoubtedly the most prestigious of the two, this doesn’t mean to say that you should completely discount Sonos. When it comes to something you can use on the go, then it’s hard to look past a Bose portable home speaker though.
Typically, you can find a Bose sound system a little cheaper than Sonos – this is mainly because they have a wider variety of products, so there are undoubtedly difficult scales of speakers that you can choose.
You don’t get that option with Sonos, and if you want the full range you’re going to have to pay for them – though they are worth the price.