Sonos Ones or HomePod

  • 18 January 2018
  • 31 replies

I am deeply entrenched in the Apple ecosystem and am looking to start to move away from it (although I don't plan on eliminating their products, completely). What do folks think about my purchasing two Sonos Ones and using them as a stereo pair versus waiting for the HomePod (especially others with Apple devices)? Does the potential of Airplay 2 on Sonos devices in the future mean that it will ever be compatible with Siri? Is it a bad idea to start to fragment things too much? I wish I could get these to work with my TV or Apple TV via Airplay 2 in the future, but I guess I'll just have to save up for the soundbar and sub, which may take some time, but I'm more interested in listening to good music than I am in watching TV, anyways. What are your thoughts for someone heavily entrenched in the Apple ecosystem, but really wanting to go with Sonos? I currently do not own any Sonos products. Thank you!

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31 replies

I bought a Homepod yesterday and was comparing it to my sonos play 5 and play 3 earlier. I like the homepod a lot. It is clear and has good bass and overall just sounds excellent. That was in my living room, I have since moved it to my bedroom and am going to compare to my sonos one. then its over to my brother in laws house for him to compare to his sonos ones in stereo pair. My first impressions are that the sonos has better midbass and overall it gets louder, which is a big deal for me. The homepod has very good bass and clarity it is just not that great in the midrange and the overall volume level is not as loud as my play 5 for sure and maybe even my play 3. I will try to remember to get back on here when i have a chance to compare the homepod with the sonos ones.
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The blind test also doesn’t mention if he did trueplay setup or not. A lot leave that let out of review.
Consumer Reports, which doesn't take advertising, thus has long been the most trusted review magazine, ranks the Sonos One higher than the HomePod.
The first blind test says stick with Sonos.
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I saw one review that matches up pair of play:1s favorably but said the Apple HomePod had a little more low end bass.

I think it comes down to what ecosystem you want to be in Sonos (and fairly open) or Apple (works well within it ecosystem but limited outside).

I’m also using Alexa with all my home automation and Apple to me doesn’t provide what I have with Alexa and smartthings from an automation standpoint. My reason for the speakers is whole home under one app which is Sonos.

I think the HomePod is an amazing piece of technilogy and I’m sure sounds terrific. It doesn’t fit my needs but may others.

Not sure how much feedback you will get here since I’m not sure how many regular posters here are going to jump to Apple.

You may have better answers on something like Avs forum where you may find those checking it out.
Now that the HomePod is released - can anyone share their opinion of whether or not I should purchase 2 Sonos Play Ones and set them up as a stereo pair or get the HomePod. The price is the same right now as many of you know. I’m concerned strictly with which sounds better - the pair of Sonos 1 or a single HomePod.

This question is for anyone that has had the chance to experience both.

Also, do the Play Ones really fall short on bass (simply due to their size)?

Thank you.
Will not both play as independent speakers? Come to think of it, they will almost certainly not be in sync, so it won't work even if they do. So there will still be no way to evaluate a HomePod pair v a 5 pair for some time to come.
As balanced an article as any on the subject, including references to how the same situation prevailed at the iPod/iPhone/Apple Watch launch:

With the rider/twist in the last sentence; only time will tell.
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The article I read this morning said even stereo pairing is coming later - so I'm assuming if you have 2 Homepods there really is no way to use them both in same room.
No synched multi-room?
I suppose this does not apply to using two HomePods in one room - Apple has been implicitly claiming superiority of that to conventional stereo pairing or independent grouping since June. Anything said if there are more than two HomePods in the same space?
As near as I can tell from the sources I've read, it's only for music purchased through Apple music, so apparently not my imported CDs. Which seems not good. Love to be pointed out as wrong, although I don't think I'll be giving up my Sonos investment anytime soon.
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They even say not full Siri.
What!? No synched multi-room? So it's just a months delayed glorified Airplay speaker?

Bwahaha, way to go Apple! :8
Available February 9th.
Rats too late to edit, of course you need Apple Music and other Apple devices to work it. So does leaves Android users out and severely limited with the choice of music service.

And... major fail on launch no synced multi-room music.
Available February 9th.
The HomePod gained FCC approval yesterday so should be available within a month.
I bought my wife an Apple Watch this Christmas because it just made sense to complement her iPhone versus another smart watch.
There is nothing like the touch/feel of Apple products even today. I use an Android phone because iPhones don't meet my value for money benchmarks and I don't need most of the features. But using an old iPhone that my son has discarded, as a Sonos controller and bluetooth audio source, is a pleasure. It is a lot slicker than my newer Android phone in the way it feels and responds akin to the difference between Macs and clunky PCs. It isn't a surprise that Sonos emulates Apple in many ways, down to package designs.
I would not be surprised to see a usable integration of the Apple Watch and HomePods...that, if it comes, will take some time coming to Sonos. Another reason for some patience:-).
A couple of more points about Apple - as far as HomePod goes, the true measure of its sound quality IMO would be in comparison to a pair, compared to a 5 pair. At a price slightly below a 5 pair, but both quite expensive. One could even argue that the HomePods look better with a smaller footprint and the 360 degree arrayed 7 tweeters sound interesting and worth giving a whirl. Audiophiles would violently disagree of course.

As to planned obsolescence I have a mixed experience of Apple - my 2011 wireless Time Capsule basestation and Express extenders from Apple work flawlessly even today in the manner of a generic product, and firmware was seamlessly upgraded just a month ago. I also have no issues with two MacBook Pros - one from 2010 and one from 2014. On the other hand, my 2011 iPod touch, while fully functional, now cannot be used for hosting a Sonos controller because the iOS versions no longer are accommodated on it. But it works fine as a dedicated to music bluetooth source even today.

As with Bose, if one picks and chooses, good results can be obtained. It is not necessary to either shirk all their products or be a 100% adherent, for best outcomes.

PS: the other thing to evaluate would be stability of Airplay 2 running HomePods versus Sonos on Sonos net. Music play stability trumps everything else.
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Well when I say Apple In This instance I mean airplay2 which is more full Apple experience.
Apple Music isn't full featured on Sonos even today because it lacks the Like/Heart feature that is there in the native app that still cannot be used with Sonos. For some, this is a big on going miss. With HomePods, this will be available from day 1. And it will be interesting to see if the voice control is better integrated than for Sonos at this time with Alexa that is still clunky.

And Apple claims a different approach to getting better sound from a HomePod pair in a room than conventional stereo pairing. It would be interesting to see if these claims hold up in actual user tests.

As a long time Sonos user, I see no reason to switch to HomePods, but in the OP boat I would be waiting to evaluate it before making any calls. As to all in one versus not being locked in, the same argument would have applied to the iPod on its launch in 2000. We know what happened then. As I wrote, another good reason to wait and watch for someone making a first time call.
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I agree with jjayf. It nice not being locked in with Apple. With Sonos One you Sonos, Alexa, upcoming Google, and upcoming Apple. All in one. Versus a HomePod which Apple dictates what it is ever capable of. And there is no way two Sonos Ones don’t blow away Homepod in sound.
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First off you can get two Sonos Play:1’s for the cost of a single HomePod. That’s a bonus right off the hop.

I’m huge into the Apple ecosystem which is what drove me to Sonos. Apple Music is trouble free on Sonos, and you have to option of all the other streaming services.

While I suspect Apple will allow other streaming services with HomePod, I’d expect that to roll out slowly.

Once AirPlay 2 is released, using Sonos with Apple is going to be even better.

These were the basis for my decision to invest in Sonos rather than to wait for HomePod.
Will Apple slow them down as they age? Lol.

Seriously, though, Apple is in the planned obsolescence business. Three years hence, they will begin to obsolete the HomePod with some new “must have” replacement, and the Apple lemmings will be standing in line to buy it. Predictable as the sunrise.

Ugh. I know. That's why I'm so torn, chicks.

I am going to wait for the HomePod to roll out and get into the hands of some end users as Kumar has a good point about it a) being right around the corner and b) end to end integration. I've been using Apple products (an Apple lemming, if you will :D) since before I could purchase them myself (family machines as a kid decades ago). I've always loved them. I bought my wife an Apple Watch this Christmas because it just made sense to complement her iPhone versus another smart watch. I have, however, had a few very sour experiences over the past few years whereas I went decades with barely an issue previously.
One can hope that HomePods will be more like iPods before the advent of iOS. Working iPod classics are not obsolete even today.
Will Apple slow them down as they age? Lol.

Seriously, though, Apple is in the planned obsolescence business. Three years hence, they will begin to obsolete the HomePod with some new “must have” replacement, and the Apple lemmings will be standing in line to buy it. Predictable as the sunrise.
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I just have to pull the trigger and enjoy the music and the speakers they're playing on or I'll still be waiting when I'm in my grave.
Just when HomePods were announced months ago, the above made sense; it is just that now that their launch is a month or so away, it isn't a long wait. I believe that inventory building at Apple is in full swing to be ready for the impending launch. The thing to see is if Apple can replicate what they did with iPods on launch some fifteen years ago when their all integrated product swept away the players that were not end to end integrated the way iPod was.

Very fair point.