Apple Music vs Spotify on Sonos

  • 3 November 2021
  • 10 replies
  • 676 views

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Greetings,

 

We have a Sonos system in our home. Does anyone have positive or negative experience or advice with using Apple Music vs Spotify over a Sonos system? For the most part, all of our devices are Apple products (computers, tablets, phones, etc.).

Any tips or tricks on how to optimize it?


10 replies

Userlevel 7

Both music services are very popular and work well with Sonos. Apple Music has slightly better audio quality than Spotify. If you have an Arc or Beam (Gen 2) and an Apple TV 4K, you can listen to Spatial Audio/Dolby Atmos music on Apple Music.

Some users in this community have experienced audio dropouts with Spotify on Sonos, but it isn’t very common.

Since you primarily use Apple devices, I would recommend Apple Music over Spotify because Apple Music just works really well with Apple products. But Spotify is a great music service too.

Userlevel 7
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Having used both I much prefer Spotify.  In fact I absolutely hate Apple Music.  This could be because I was used to Spotify first.   

Sound quality wise, I can’t say I have noticed any difference.  Where Apple Music might be a preference is the Spatial Audio in conjunction with Airpods.

 

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I recently switched back to using Apple products but am a long time Sonos user. Since switching from Android back to iOS I have gone back and forth between Spotify and Apple Music over the last few months. I have some observations and preferences based on my comparison.

Firstly, I tend to stay within the dedicated music apps and generally don’t use the Sonos app to browse and control my music listening. This means I use either Apple AirPlay or Spotify Connect to hand off the audio to the Sonos speakers from each dedicated app. In my use case I find Spotify Connect more functional that Apple’s AirPlay for one simple reason.The difference is in the way Spotify does the audio handoff to the Sonos system. Spotify Connect takes over the stream of the audio directly from the Spotify servers to the Sonos speakers. The phone app is still used as a remote control but that’s it. With Apple AirPlay the audio travels from their servers via the phone to the Sonos speakers. If you start a stream and your phone then goes out of range of your wifi signal (when you go out to the garage or backyard etc.) the music stops. This is not the case with Spotify Connect since the music is streaming directly from their servers to the Sonos system. You can come and go with your phone but the music will keep playing.

As for audio quality, Spotify will soon launch the HiFi tier that was announced earlier this year. To my older ears I expect I’ll be equally happy with this quality when it becomes available in comparison to the Apple Lossless offering. As for Dolby Atmos & Spatial Audio, good old stereo listening has served me well for decades. It’s early days and some of the tracks I’ve listened to have varied in quality and haven’t always sounded better than a good stereo mix. I’ll wait to see how things play out in the long run.

Other than that, I also find the Spotify music recommendation engine throws up much more interesting and useful choices based on my listening history. That’s more important to me than anything else I’ve mentioned up til now. You may feel different but that my two cents based on my experience.

Make use of free trial periods offered by both services if you haven’t already and have some fun listening to your favourite tracks along with some new discoveries.

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Thanks!

One thing I’m trying to figure out is how to set up alarms for different parts of my home with different playlists, though I’ve found the Sonos interface to be limited. For instance, I understand that you can only really set up alarms for one room and its associated rooms at that particular moment (rather than picking the various rooms, regardless of what is being associated with). Likewise, though I haven’t tried this yet, I’d be interested in playing different music in different rooms at the same time for the alarm feature - is that possible?

Userlevel 5
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Apple Music is currently borked with Sonos unless you have an iPhone. The Sonos S1 and S2 apps on Android phones have been unable to add Apple Music for 3 months now, and PCs and tablets are not allowed to add Apple Music in the Sonos apps, so you’d better have an iPhone.

To my understanding, Sonos on Android works just fine with an already set up Apple Music account, it’s just adding a new one that’s challenging. You likely could easily set it up on another device on your Sonos system, and use it without issue on an Android device.

I have both; they are just two flavours of essentially the same ice cream. I prefer using Spotify with Sonos because it can cast music to Sonos via the native Spotify app which I prefer to the plain Jane Sonos app. Apple Music does not have this casting capability and one has to use the Sonos app to play it.

Note: My S1 system is not capable of Airplay, but I think that Airplay is nowhere as elegant a route as casting. I would not use it even if it was possible to do so.

I have been using the Sonos Connect with Spotify for several years now and it works quite well.   This week I was tempted to try Apple Music. 

 

  • I like the Apple Music interface better than Spotify.  It is more orderly and logical in my opinion.
  • However, I like to control things with the SONOS app.  And using the SONOS app with Spotify is quite nice and easy and pretty much gives me all the features of Spotify.  However, unless I am missing something … using the SONOS app with Apple Music is TERRIBLE.  It does not allow me to “like “ a track.  The album images are too tiny to read.  Etc.

I would appreciate some advice if somebody has better luck with the SONOS/Apple experience using the SONOS interface.

 

Larry

Userlevel 7
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I would appreciate some advice if somebody has better luck with the SONOS/Apple experience using the SONOS interface.

 

Larry

That is largely down to Apple.  Spotify choose to work with Sonos.  Whereas Apple, who have their own wireless speaker option, choose not to offer such a close integration.  I doubt this will change.

 

I am interested that you find Apple music better, I just can’t get on with it.

Userlevel 5
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I would appreciate some advice if somebody has better luck with the SONOS/Apple experience using the SONOS interface.

 

Larry

That is largely down to Apple.  Spotify choose to work with Sonos.  Whereas Apple, who have their own wireless speaker option, choose not to offer such a close integration.  I doubt this will change.

 

I am interested that you find Apple music better, I just can’t get on with it.

It is probably just what you are used to, I used to use Spotify, but moved to Apple Music when it launched with the Family subscription. Every now and then I try Spotify and find it frustrating and confusing to navigate now.

 

I tend to use Sonos with Alexa a lot for starting music, radio etc. But also use the Sonos app.

 

They are both great services, with pros and cons…. I guess it just depends what you get used to.

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