Bose VS Sonos – Who Is Better?

Bose and Sonos are two heavyweights when it comes to home entertainment systems. Because they’re so close in terms of what they offer and deliver, you may be torn when it comes to deciding which brand is best for you.

The following article will give you an idea of which is best for you and your ears!

Who Is Better Bose Or Sonos?

Because both have relatively extensive ranges, comparing them in their entirety can be a bit of a difficult task. However, we can start with a general overview, outlining the biggest differences and similarities.

Product offerings

Bose has slightly more to offer in terms of the products it sells. While Sonos primarily offers smart speakers, loudspeakers, and soundbars, Bose offers home audio systems, soundbars, car audio systems, noise-cancelling headphones, and professional studio equipment.

This already puts Bose slightly ahead of Sonos and accounts for why they made more revenue than them in 2021.

Pricing

This is generally where people start when it comes to choosing a product. Despite Bose being in the market for over 50 years, their products, particularly their speakers, tend to be marginally cheaper than that of Sonos.

Sonos products grew in popularity due to their functionality but Bose does offer many more affordable options. While expensive products can sometimes be a good long-term investment, there are some cases in which expensive isn’t necessarily always better, so this is something to be mindful of when choosing between the two brands.

Reputation

Since being founded in 2002, Sonos has made a significant impact on the audio market, with them even managing to capture Apple’s attention during the early stages of its existence. They did lose some market share around 2010 but since their rebranding and revival between 2011 and 2014, they’ve solidified themselves as a premium quality brand.

Bose, on the other hand, has dominated the audio equipment industry for decades, despite it initially taking them some time to perfect their formula. Sonos is often said to be more technologically advanced, however, Bose is a more widely respected and trusted name. They both tend to do very well in terms of online reviews.

Sound quality

This is where the Sonos vs Bose debate gets really interesting. Sonos and Bose both offer a solid audio experience, regardless of which one you pick, you can expect an excellent bass response and clear dialogue.

Sound quality may greatly come down to individual opinion, however, Bose products arguably offer more immersive surround sound and clearer dialogue but this could also vary depending on the model you go for.

One frustrating thing about Bose in this department is that they typically don’t publish audio specifications, so this could grind the gears of audio professionals or those who are invested in knowing those kinds of things.

Design

It’s hard to separate Bose and Sonos when comparing their designs. They both take an extremely minimalistic approach in terms of their designs and have limited color options. While this may frustrate some, both brands compensate for this by ensuring their devices are durable and built from high-quality materials.

Compatibility

Sonos tends to put more emphasis on software, whereas, Bose primarily focuses on hardware, so those who are fond of technology such as smart assistants may lean towards Sonos speakers. Additionally, Sonos speakers have more compatibility with music streaming services and top voice assistants such as Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant.

While Bose does have its fair share of integrations, it can’t really be compared to the integrations that Sonos has. It’s evident that Bose prefers to focus on the quality of the audio rather than whether it can hear you say “hey Siri.”

Accessibility

Bose may have cheaper products overall but they tend not to do well where the initial setup is concerned. Both have the Bose Music app and Sonos app, respectively, for setup, connection, and control but Sonos provides a more streamlined experience. Conversely, the Bose app does offer slightly more control and customization options.

In addition to this, both the Sonos and Bose ranges can be controlled via either remote control or the app or voice assistant but Sonos still has more options in this regard. It’s also worth noting that a lot of Sonos products don’t come with a remote but you can program your TV remote or a universal remote to control them.

Should I Buy Bose Or Sonos?

If you want a technologically advanced smart speaker, then go with a Sonos speaker. If you want a robust piece of audio equipment that emphasizes audio quality, then go with a Bose speaker. They’re hard to separate in many areas, so you could also make your decision based on how much you’re actually willing to pay.

Can You Use Bose Speakers With Sonos?

Bose has a reputation for being relatively stubborn in terms of cross-brand compatibility but you can indeed use Bose speakers with Sonos products but not exactly wirelessly.

If your Bose device has its own amplifier you can use a Sonos Connect. Alternatively, you can use Apple Airplay 2 to group them together which will thus play audio on both devices, simultaneously.

Bose Or Sonos For Home Theater

If you’re looking to create your own home theatre setup, then TV speakers generally won’t do the job, regardless of the brand you’ve got your eye on. This is why Bose and Sonos offer great soundbars. Two soundbars that stand out are the Bose Soundbar 700 and the Sonos Playbar.

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Neither of these soundbars will completely blow you away but both will deliver rich bass and captivating surround sound, which is perfect for creating that home theatre experience. The Bose Soundtouch provides a better overall theatre experience compared to the Playbar and most other Sonos speakers with similar specs.

If you do go with the Soundtouch, then you may still need to pair it with a subwoofer to fully experience those low notes.

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Bose VS Sonos Multiroom

For those who don’t know, multi-room audio is simply the ability to play music in several different rooms, essentially through a network of devices.

The Sonos Playbar has a sync feature that allows you to have multiple speakers in different rooms. The Bose Soundtouch also makes multi-room listening a seamless experience, so this is another instance in which the two brands are inseparable.

Final Thoughts

In many regards, trying to choose between Bose speakers and Sonos speakers is like trying to choose between granny smith apples and golden delicious apples. They’re different but at the end of the day, they’re both apples. So, like with most things, it may be a matter of personal preference and your individual needs.

Many believe that Sonos represents the future of audio equipment, which is easy to see given that they don’t shy away from integrating technology into the products. However, Bose may still have the resources to easily make software improvements and subsequently continue its dominance in the market.

Ultimately, for those who care more about sound quality and the reputability of a brand, picking up a Bose speaker certainly would be a worthwhile investment. For those who are more willing to try something new and love the idea of extensive software integrations, then a Sonos system is more than likely best for you.

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Matt Tomkin

I am an avid tech lover and the journey started back when LCD TVs and Plasma image burn were all too common. Over the years I have sold technology in retail stores but more recently have been building numerous businesses all based around technology. It's great to be able to test new tech and provide my thoughts on a platform like this.

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