Small WLAN Speakers In Comparison: Bose, Apple, Sonos - What Are The Differences?

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Small WLAN Speakers In Comparison: Bose, Apple, Sonos - What Are The Differences?
Small WLAN Speakers In Comparison: Bose, Apple, Sonos - What Are The Differences?

Video: Small WLAN Speakers In Comparison: Bose, Apple, Sonos - What Are The Differences?

Video: Small WLAN Speakers In Comparison: Bose, Apple, Sonos - What Are The Differences?
Video: Sonos Roam vs Bose SoundLink Mini - BINAURAL SOUND COMPARISON 2023, March
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  • Prices and test ratings
  • Similarities between Apple HomePod, Sonos One and Bose Home Speaker 500
  • Differences between Apple HomePod, Sonos One and Bose Home Speaker 500
  • Sound comparison
  • Conclusion and buy recommendation

The Californian company Sonos was once a lonely pioneer in the field of multiroom systems, and there has long been fierce competition for the favor of customers. Among other things, the speaker giant Bose mixes in, but also Apple with the somewhat special HomePod. The question arises as to which horse to put on and stick to - because the combination of different brands within one household is only possible to a limited extent.

Prices and test ratings at GIGA

Let's take a look at the compact class of WiFi speakers:

  • Apple HomePod: MSRP 329 euros, street price approx. 280 euros, GIGA test score: 75%
  • Sonos One (Gen 2): RRP 229 euros, street price approx. 200 euros, GIGA test score: 86%
  • Bose Home Speaker 500: MSRP 449 euros; Street price approx. 325 euros, GIGA test score: 83%

Bose Home Speaker 500 at MediaMarkt

In terms of price, we see gradations, with the Home Speaker 500 in particular being significantly cheaper to buy than from the manufacturer, so that its price is roughly on par with the Apple HomePod. Not in comparison here, because not yet published: The smaller Bose HomeSpeaker 300 without display. The Sonos One was recently introduced with the technically slightly improved 2nd generation, (so far) without profound effects in practice.

Apple HomePod, Sonos One and Bose Home Speaker 500: Similarities

All three promise a good sound - they keep this promise, but each in their own way (more on that later). In any case, there is an audible distance to speakers such as Google Home or Amazon Echo, which are designed as useful smart speakers rather than multiroom speakers for enjoying music.

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There are still intersections, so everyone supports a digital assistant: Sonos One and Bose Home Speaker 500 can be controlled with Alexa and Google Assistant, the HomePod relies on Apple's in-house assistant Siri. When using it, I restricted myself to rudimentary voice commands, i.e. music control (Amazon Prime Music and Apple Music) and the simplest questions ("How will the weather be in Berlin tomorrow?") - my focus was on the sound and the flexibility in the setup.

A blessing for Apple users: All three speaker models support AirPlay 2. I eagerly used this with my iPhone 8, much more often than voice control. I like the control with the display and finger input, which is best suited for “viewing” a large selection of music.

iPhone 8 on Amazon

All three models can form stereo pairs - but only with "themselves". So two HomePods can be combined to form a “stereo system” (left and right channel), but not a HomePod and a Sonos One. Playing synchronously (e.g. the same song on HomePod and Sonos One in different rooms, each in mono) works.

Apple HomePod, Sonos One and Bose Home Speaker 500: differences

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Sonos One on Amazon

Only the Bose Home Speaker 500 has a small display to show useful information, such as the album cover. In addition, it is the only speaker equipped with a jack (Sonos has the big play: 5) and also accepts music via Bluetooth. In short: the Bose is the most flexible speaker when it comes to sources. For this purpose, the Sonos One, like all Sonos boxes, supports a gigantic selection of supported streaming services, while the HomePod has only integrated Apple Music.

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Download Bose Music Developer: Bose Corporation Price: Free

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Download Sonos S1 Controller Developer: Sonos, Inc. Price: Free

Bose and Sonos offer apps for their speakers ("Bose Music" and "Sonos Controller"), which can be used for setup and control (for Sonos). Both can be used to influence the sound (equalizer), but Apple cannot do anything of the sort. The HomePod can be found in the home app (multi-room configuration) - it does not have its own app.

An important but often underestimated point: the room measurement to optimize the sound. At Sonos it happens manually with an iPhone ("Sonos Trueplay"), while the Apple HomePod does it all by itself as soon as its position in the room has been changed. The audible miracle can work especially in acoustically "difficult" rooms. Bose painfully misses this function, so you have to rely on a clever setup (by trying it out) and the skillful use of the equalizer.

On page 2: Sound and buy recommendation

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