Sonos vs Audioengine – Detailed Comparison

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Sonos and Audioengine are two renowned and well respected brands in the audio industry. Sonos focuses on the hifi market and targets audiophiles while Audioengine focuses on the budget customer.

In this article, we will cover a general overview of both brands, looking specifically at sound quality, durability, price and so on. Of course, each brand has different devices at different price points, however we will compare them as closely as we can.

Quick History

Sonos Quick History

Sonos, Inc. is an American company that specializes in the development and manufacture of audio devices. They are best known for their quality multi-room audio products. The company was co-founded in 2002 by John MacFarlane, Craig Shelburne, Tom Cullen, and Trung Mai.

The company displayed its first prototype at an industry event in 2004 and started shipping in early 2005. The company is always expanding its services internationally, for example to the UK in 2005 and Japan in 2018.

In January 2015, Sonos was rebranded by Bruce Mau Design, with a new visual identity and improved logotype.

Audioengine Quick History

Audioengine was founded in 2005 by Brady Bargenquast and Dave Evans, both of whom had previously worked with companies like Apple, Harman, Gibson Guitars and Alesis. It is an American company that designs and builds audio products such as powered speakers, amplifiers, subwoofers, cables, and other audio accessories.

The company still manufactures audio equipment with the aim of building ‘…products that not only sound great, but don’t cost a fortune.

Sound Quality

Sonos Sound Quality

One of the most distinctive features of all Sonos speakers is their superb audio quality. The sound output is rich and clean, with deep bass and clear mid-tones.

Sonos has a team of seasoned musicians such as Grammy-winning music producer Giles Martin that assist in fine-tuning their speakers to ensure a natural and superior sound. Each Sonos speaker sounds really great on its own but you can connect two or more speakers together for a really immersive experience.

Audioengine Sound Quality

Audioengine manufactures speakers that offer exceptional audio quality, especially at their price tags. Their speakers have remarkably accurate sound production and detail in some cases without extensive DSP. This ensures that their speakers give a clean and balanced audio output without overemphasis on some tone ranges.

Features

Sonos Features

Sonos is very popular for the suite of features that are incorporated into their products to ensure that you get the best out of your gadget. Most of the features ensure versatility in the speakers, which allows you to use them throughout the house, or outside.

Here are some features you can expect from your Sonos device:

Sonos App: The Sonos app is available for both iOS and Android to bring additional functionality to all your Sonos devices. Apart from functioning as a remote control for your speakers, it has a lot of other features such as the Calm app that plays relaxing music if you’re going to sleep, or you can set your alarm so that you wake up to your favorite music. It also has a sound equalizer feature to tweak the sound of your speaker to your taste.

Sonos Trueplay: To produce the best sound effect wherever you are, Sonos has a tuning feature known as Trueplay. Trueplay optimizes the sound of the speaker based on the acoustics of the room they are placed in.

Support For Multiple Music Platforms: Sonos has partnered with over 100 music service companies around the world such as Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, and Amazon Music to ensure that you can listen to your favorite music, podcasts, or TV shows regardless of the platform you use.

Surround Sound: Sonos speakers can be connected to each other for a truly immersive stereo or surround sound experience.

  • Support for Bluetooth, WiFi, Airplay 2 streaming
  • Voice control support for Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Siri, and in-house Snips SAS
  • Multiple input and output ports such as HDMI and optical audio input for TVs and type C to charge the battery-powered

Audioengine Features

Audioengine speakers have a lot of features that make it easier for users to operate them. Here are some commonly found features on Audioengine devices:

  • Bluetooth 5.0 compatibility and support for AAC, AptX, and SBC codecs.
  • 5mm Aux input, LFE wired connectivity
  • Very low distortion, even at high volumes
  • Support for USB 1.1 and above
  • Built-in ComboPorta for charging your iPod and other USB charging devices
  • Remote control support
  • Audioengine app for remote control and other functions

Build Quality

Sonos Build Quality

Sonos uses sturdy materials like polycarbonate for the grille and a mixture of ABS and 10% glass fiber for the chassis to ensure a solid build, though this makes their speakers bulky. But if you prefer durability to portability, Sonos is the way to go.

Sonos devices

Some of their speakers have IP ratings, which means they are water-resistant and dust-resistant, therefore allowing for outdoor use.

Audioengine Build Quality

Audioengine focuses on using the right materials for every component in their devices to give the best output.

The Audioengine 5 for example, has a Kevlar woofer for deep bass and silk dome tweeter for smooth highs. Everything is enclosed in a solid chassis made of sturdy plastic.

Ease of Use

Sonos Ease Of Use

Sonos products have a minimalistic design and a clean look without a clutter of buttons, which makes the products easy to operate.

Older Sonos speakers have a pause/play button that can mute if you press and hold or skip a track if you double click. Newer speakers have a touch-sensitive button that skips to the next or previous track if you slide from left-to-right or right-to-left, respectively.

Multiple speaker connectivity is easy to set up across different rooms using WiFi, Bluetooth, or connection to a single router.

Audioengine Ease Of Use

Audioengine devices are easy to set up and use. They’ll probably work with your existing remote controllers as they support universal remote controls

Audioengine speakers also have a wide range of connection options, so you’ll surely find some that work well for you. Their speakers are usually light and portable too (the Audioengine 512 weighs just 2.5 pounds), so it’s quite easy to carry them around.

Cost

Sonos Cost

Sonos products are quite expensive, but they are known to always deliver quality regardless of their price tag.

Sonos products are known for always delivering excellent performance, build quality, and strong connections compared to other brands in the same price range. In short, Sonos makes products that give great value for money.

Here is a price range for some Sonos products:

Soundbars: $150 – $850

Smart speakers: $150 – $500

Premium speakers: $200 – $900

Amplifier: From $600

Subwoofer: From $700

Audioengine Cost

Audioengine speakers offer superior sound output for very cheap prices. Most of their speakers are well below the $500 mark,(the Audioengine 512 costs somewhere around $100) though they still offer great audio quality. This is in line with the company’s focus of building ‘…products that not only sound great, but don’t cost a fortune’.

Check out the range of prices for their most common products

  • Amplifiers: $170 – $230
  • Subwoofers: $100 – $350
  • Speakers: $100 – $650

Space Requirements

Sonos Space Requirements

Sonos speakers tend to be bulky, so they require ample space to use. Though this doesn’t mean that it cannot be used on your desk or placed on a bookshelf.

Some Sonos speakers, like the Sonos Roam and Sonos Move, focus on portability. Therefore, they produce the excellent audio output that Sonos is well-known for at a reduced weight and size.

Audioengine Space Requirements

Audioengine devices differ widely in size and therefore require different amounts of space. Their products range from small, portable Bluetooth speakers and desk speakers to large home cinema speakers.

Remote Controls

Sonos Remote Controls

There are several universal remote controls supported by Sonos products. There are some custom-made Sonos remote controls for easy operation of your devices. Sonos devices can also be remotely controlled with the Sonos app which allows you to control each device connected to the network individually.

Sonos gadgets also have Snips SAS, Sono’s custom AI technology for connected devices with the purpose of bringing a music-specific voice assistant to all its devices.

Audioengine Remote Controls

Some Audioengine speakers come with their own remote control, while others support the use of universal remote controllers. Audioengine also has apps that you can control your device with.

Connectivity Options

Sonos Connectivity Options

Multiple Sonos gadgets in a single household can be connected to each other wirelessly, through a wired Ethernet network, or a mixture of both. Wireless connectivity includes Bluetooth, WiFi, and LAN network for Internet connectivity.

Wired connections include HDMI for connecting to TVs and Ethernet connection to connect to multiple devices. Sonos devices can also be connected using Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, or Snips SAS.

Sonos gadgets can be connected to any device with Bluetooth or WiFi connection such as your smartphones, digital TVs, and other Sonos devices over the same network.

Audioengine Connectivity Options

Audioengine devices connect wirelessly to your PC or phone with Bluetooth, AptX, and SBC codecs support. You can also connect multiple speakers together for an immersive sound experience using the Google Home app.

Wired connectivity includes 3.5mm aux audio input and a lot of USB connectivity options including USB 3.0, USB 1.1 and micro-USB.

Power Range

Sonos Power Range

Sonos devices have different power ranges depending on the device’s performance. An average Sonos speaker consumes from 55 Watts to 125 Watts per channel.

Most Sonos devices do not have power buttons but have an idle/standby mode, consuming from 4-8 Watts in this standby mode.

All the information on the power range of a device is included in the product manual, so you can get information on the power range for your particular device.

Audioengine Power Range

The power range differs for different Audioengine devices based on their performance and power source. Battery-operated speakers consume much less power compared to powered speakers. The battery-operated Audioengine 512 consumes about 20 Watts while the active Audioengine A2+ consumes 60 Watts.

Frequency Response

Sonos Frequency Response

Sonos speakers have pleasing frequency ranges to suit the various types of usage scenarios. The Sonos five, for example, has a -3 dB bass response frequency of 88 hertz, which is excellent for a speaker of its size.

Audioengine Frequency Response

Audioengine produces speakers with a wide frequency response range. The frequency responses are pleasing to hear and give precise sound outputs. The Audioengine 512, a compact Bluetooth speaker, has a frequency range from 60Hz on the low end and 20KHz on the high end while the Audioengine A2+ ranges from 65Hz to 22KHz.

Conclusion

Sonos is a company that’s dedicated to manufacturing products with premium quality for a decent price. Their products have a wide range of features to suit each person’s needs. As said above, Sonos is a company that produces devices that give good value for money.

If you want to get the best speakers you can find but are on a tight budget, the Audioengine line of speakers will give you what you want – quality sound that won’t break the bank.

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