So, had the sonos 5.1 (2 x play1 + playbar + sub).
Now i have the heos 5.1 (2 x heos 3 + heos bar(the big one) + heos sub).
Thought id share my experience.
Round 1: app interface
Sonos clear winner (there was a update some time back, that put the two apps on par for a periode, but now that sonos ended their absurd app-experiment, and are back to a user friendly app, sonos steamrolls heos). Sonos is so far ahead that i connected a sonos connect to the heos speakers, so that the heos speakers act as part of the sonos eco system.
Heos is NOT wife-friendly! I would almost go as far as to say Heos is wife-hostile!
Round 2: Esthetic/Looks
Sonos clear winner, heos looks like sh*t in comparisson. This goes for all heos products, except the sub, where heos is more discrete. The heos soundbar, and the heos 3´s look horrible. Any time we have guests over we put the heos 3 speakers in a drawer.
Round 3: music sound:
Close, but heos seems to have an advantage when exclusively pushing music from the soundbar+sub. Soundbar vs soundbar without sub is probably a draw. But when the sub is added, the tide turns to heos's advantage. There is something subtle yet present about the the heos sub, that i just dont know how to explain. Comparing music from the rear speakers in the setup would not be fair because i was using play 1, and now heos 3. But in 1v1 my sonos 3 sounds better than my heos 3.
Round 4: movie surround:
Heos clear winner. DD 5.1 sources sound far more emersive on heos, not to mention DTS, DD+ and magical HDMI ports.
Round 5: Functionality:
Heos clear winner. Heos has a lot of awesome features, that leave sonos in the dust. Bluetooth, nfc, aux, usb and the heos 1 battery pack. I have never used any of these awesome features, and i cant see myself using them any time in the near future, but i guess the features are nice to have.
Round 6 - stability
Sonos clear winner. Heos has gotten way better over the last few updates, but is no way near on par with sonos. Every now and then a heos speakers disconnects from the group, and i have to reboot heos speakers, power off, power on, or unpair surround, and then pair again. After the latest updates heos has become more stable, but still not there yet.
Round 7 - customisability:
Heos clear winner. You can tweak on pretty much anything. For audiophiles and enthusiasts customisability probably is awesome, but I am no pro, so I dont really use it (i made minor changes, minor!)
Round 8 - investment:
I know this sounds like a stupid category, but i felt an urge to share my experience. I sold my 3 year old sonos playbar and 2 year old sonos sub for 90% of the original price. My heos system is about 6 months old now, and id be lucky to get 66,6% of the original price.
I am satisfied with me new setup. For years a tried a myriad of work-arounds to get the playbar to output sound. I have spent more than 300€ on gadgets to make the playbar output sound.
My family are all happy for sonos, and we use sonos on a daily basis, but getting the playbar was a mistake. A mistake that i spent three years trying to justify by doing a number of different work-arounds. Getting the sonos sub was an even bigger mistake. I tried to add sub to make music and tv better, again to justify that i bought the playbar, but was disapointed. To be honest i didnt even feel a real upgrade going from playbar alone to playbar with sub. The sub might have a bigger wow-effect when used in conjunction with a stereo pair of play 5's or 3's, but for me the playbar was fine on its own.
I gave heos an honest shot, by buying the whole 5.1 package, and thought that I might be able to slowly push sonos out of the picture, one speaker at a time. This is not going to happen. Heos sounds amazing on video sources with surround sound, absolutely amazing compared to sonos 5.1 setup, but heos just doesnt seem as "ready" for the mass market as sonos. Its a bit like heos has launched a beta version of a product. Loads of potential, loads of ways to go, loads of options, Great sound, but heos seems like a product that isnt quite finished yet.
I am considering selling my heos package to buy a dedicated soundbar, sub and wireless rears, like samsung Hw-k960, and using the connect to make it part of the sonos eco system.
I used to be furious at sonos for not giving me HDMI or DTS support on playbar, and i was more than willing to pay extra for these features. Then the light dawned on me: Sonos connect + a receiver or soundbar with HDMI and DTS support = the whole package.
If you have any questions that i havnt touched on, just let me know.
Hope this helps,