Sonos v Bose Soundtouch


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As a long term Sonos user (play 1, play 3, 2 play5, sub, connect and amp) when a friend bought a Bose Soundtouch II (with a $200 discount), I wonderered if the Bose would be so good that I wanted one.

The reviews seemed to pitch Sonos and Bose fairly equally.

However, after an hour of the Bose, I was left feeling Sonos is far superior:

- spotify on Bose has to be played through the spotify app on phone. No music services are integrated. Didn't try Deezer, the only other option here in Canada
- queue on Bose is only done on one device's account - another user has to queue on their device, thereby disconnecting the first user and their queue.
-sound - bass was ok but it just didn't sound as full and rounded as the sonos.
- no options to adjust treble, bass etc on Bose
- bose app very limited
- preprogrammed buttons nice but not sure how often would use
- oled white now playing display is good.

Overall a disappointing experience and made be realise how good the Sonos system and app really is.

Am surprised how the reviews come out so evenly but Sonos is still a long way ahead.

Even more happy with my Sonos now, knowing it still is the best!!

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- no options to adjust treble, bass etc on Bose
Like the saying goes: "No highs, no lows. Must be Bose."? 😉
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I couldn't agree more. I bought one when they first came out because I was curious. I used it once. When I decided to take another look at it and pulled it out of the closet, the curved plastic back had popped off on one end. Bose replaced the unit as defective but I still don't use it.
The world seems to be polarized with respect to BOSE. Some love it, some hate it and there is no middle ground. Over the years I have learned to avoid criticizing a friend's BOSE system.

Similar to APPLE, the BOSE marketing is very strong. Anyone who is confused in the marketplace is encouraged to purchase APPLE because it is "easy", and BOSE because it "sounds best", right?
Consumer Reports is one of the few magazines that doesn't accept advertising of any kind, so its reviewers are immune to the stupidity of the "costs more, sounds better" mantra of the Hi-Fi rags.

Their comparison of the Play:1 vs the competition:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/03/wireless-speaker-shootout-sonos-play-1-vs-the-bose-soundtouch-20-and-samsung-shape-m7/index.htm

BTW, a stereo pair of Play:1s is now $349, so an even better bargain than before.
I am a big play 1 fan for its combination of form factor/looks + modular possibilities + price + sound quality at the price point of each combination, including the one with Sub added.
Now with the admittedly subtle improvement in sound quality with 5.4, the best gets better.
Bose do make good products too - my 251 external speaker pair is giving great service into its second decade.
Recently my son who wanted a small simple bluetooth player picked up the latest Bose Soundlink Mini for portable use - I still have to hear that one, but he has a play 1 in his room and he is very happy with the Bose for all that it does in a very small, well made and convenient package with a rechargeable battery built into it.
Horses for courses, I suggest.
I was always a fan of Bose for their simple design and sound. A few years ago I bought into the Soundtouch system, purchasing a Soundtouch 30, 20 and the SA4 amp (for outdoor speakers). The main thing that made my decision easy was the apple airplay integration. After owning the system for the past 3 years, I found the entire system to be unreliable. The Airplay feature had a mind of its own, it would work one day then stop working the next. The fix was to unplug the speakers so the system reboots, then it would work again. Also, their product line was constantly changing...after investing over $1,400 into their products, it was very disappointing to see that they have discontinued the products I have purchased to come out with a ver2 then ver3 which dropped the Airplay feature. I get that we are in the upgrade cycle age where we the consumers are to pour money into a company. I was expecting Bose to keep their new product line around for many years as they did with their previous product lines. The rep at the Bose store claimed that they would be releasing software updates so that I could keep my existing hardware current. Over the 3yrs, they updated the software a few times with very little feature improvements. So yesterday was the day I gave up on Bose. I have just ordered several Sonos products to replace the Bose System. I am looking forward to having a stable product line and start enjoying music.
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What an interesting comment on Bose sp1234. As ratty said some six months ago... "No highs, no lows -- must be Bose" always springs to my mind! But I cannot decry their Soundtouch system personally. I do hope you report back to the community once you have your new Sonos kit up and running.

As The_LHC implied on another thread earlier today, Sonos does essentially just work out-of-the-box. However some basic understanding of good domestic network practices can help ensure the stable result you crave. For example the use of Reserved IP Addresses by your router can reduce the chance of unwanted duplicate IPs arising when kit gets re-booted. And while use with conventional WiFi is fine, as the scope of your Sonos system expands (and it will, as players become addictive), use of the proprietary SonosNet mesh network makes for much better coverage throughout your property. Each ZonePlayer (CONNECT, CONNECT:AMP, PLAY:1/3/5) acts as a bridge extending the mesh. One caveat is that care does need to be taken with some models of network switch to avoid Spanning Tree Protocol issues. Lots of guidance about this on this community though.

The final point I would make is that almost every complex wireless audio client can encounter problems sometime, be it due to radio interference or whatever. But please do bear in mind that Sonos Technical Support is the model that other companies should aspire to match. And this community has lots of very experienced users, some of whom have been around almost since Sonos started. Also a few cynical ones, but most are only too willing to share their expertise and offer sound advice when a problem does arise.

Enjoy your Sonos!
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Also, their product line was constantly changing...after investing over $1,400 into their products, it was very disappointing to see that they have discontinued the products I have purchased to come out with a ver2 then ver3 which dropped the Airplay feature. I get that we are in the upgrade cycle age where we the consumers are to pour money into a company. I was expecting Bose to keep their new product line around for many years as they did with their previous product lines. The rep at the Bose store claimed that they would be releasing software updates so that I could keep my existing hardware current. Over the 3yrs, they updated the software a few times with very little feature improvements.
This is something you won't have to worry about with Sonos. 6 years after Sonos introduced the Play:5 speaker, they just updated its design. However, the old Play:5, as with all Sonos devices, will continue to receive software updates that add new features and functionality. Sonos usually has major software updates 2-3 times a year (controller app updates might be a little more frequent, if there's a bug that is found between major releases).

Welcome to the world of Sonos! 🙂
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This is something you won't have to worry about with Sonos. 6 years after Sonos introduced the Play:5 speaker, they just updated its design. However, the old Play:5, as with all Sonos devices, will continue to receive software updates that add new features and functionality. Sonos usually has major software updates 2-3 times a year (controller app updates might be a little more frequent, if there's a bug that is found between major releases).

I started my Sonos system almost 10 years ago with two ZonePlayers. Back then I only used it to play my music collection which resided on a SMB share on a NAS. Unlike other competing systems at the time which are no longer around, these old ZonePlayers have been updated and kept current, and many new features have been added. I have added new controllers, Play: speakers, streaming services... I can control my expanded system from my iPhone, play Prime music, Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM... Sonos has been a very wise investment, and while many technological products promise to be future proof, very few manage to do it the way they have. Best return on investment ever.

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