Sonos and Bose are two of the most popular home theater and speaker brands on the market. Their home theater systems deliver more robust, immersive sound than most of their competitors. However, they are not created equal. So, if you’re considering buying a home theater system, which one should you choose, Sonos or Bose? Read on for a detailed answer.
Comparing Sonos and Bose, Bose offers better sound quality and the brand is very popular. Bose also offers a wider range of products. However, Sonos offers better software and installation options. Their software and devices allow you to build your own multiroom systems with ease. Their devices are also compatible with a wider range of systems.
Comparing Bose and Sonos is similar to comparing Bose and Definitive Technology.
Company History and Background
Founded in 2002, Sonos is an American manufacturer of multi-room audio products. They offer excellent multi-room audio software and devices as well as excellent compatibility with a wide range of products om companies such as Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Siri, and many more.
Since they focus on multi-room audio, their systems use multiple products, and so they try to keep them as small as possible while being highly usable.
Of note, Sonos specializes in full-range speaker systems, though their offerings are not limited to that.
Bose Corporation is an American audio manufacturing company established in 1964 and is based in Framingham, Massachusetts. They are extremely popular for products such as speakers, noise-canceling headphones, and so on. Even so, some Bose devices aren’t as compatible with Sonos. For example, connecting Bose speakers with non-Bose receivers often requires special connectors.
Bose definitely offers a wider array of products to choose from than Sonos which is more focused on multiroom audio.
You can check out our comparison of the top Bose speakers to learn more.
Which Brand is Better for Home Theater System, Sonos or Bose?
To answer this in a detailed and simple way, let’s take a look at the essential features of these popular home theater systems.
Sonos and Bose home theater systems have premium, minimalist designs. They naturally blend into modern 4K TVs and look sleek.
The Bose Soundbar 700 and Sonos Beam are the most visible components of these home theater systems. They perfectly fit below your TV.
Moreover, the aluminum grille, light bar, and glass top of the Bose 700 is a subtle blend of futurist and industrial. At the same time, the Sonos Beam’s solid matte smoothness appears positively hyper-modern.
Other components of these home theaters are also eye-catching. The Sonos Sub stands out due to its hollow middle. Overall, the glass polish of Bose surround system looks flashy. On the other hand, the Sonos surround looks almost muted and unobtrusive.
Sonos, both speakers deliver pristine audio and built-in voice controls via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. But Bose is better than Sonos when it comes to pairing and connectivity. While the Sonos One can only play songs over WiFi or AirPlay 2, Bose lets you stream music via WiFi, AirPlay and Bluetooth.
Setup and Controls
The Bose home theater set comes with a universal remote. Moreover, you can customize the setup to fit in almost any room. Sonos has a mobile app that’s easier to use. It’s also much faster to set up.
To get your Sonos 5.1 surround system working, you only require to do this:
- Connect your Sonos Beam to your television.
- Follow the instructions in the Sonos app or the box.
Alternatively, you can use the HDMI-ARC port. This is an excellent option if you want your surround system to detect your remote control automatically and sync itself. It allows you to control the entire system with a single, easy-to-use device.
If you want other devices to discover the system via WiFi, you should plug in the Sonos One SL Speakers and Sonos Sub.
As we’ve mentioned, it’s also relatively easy to set up and customize the Bose 5.1 home theater. However, if you are interested in maximizing the surround system’s performance, you’ll have to spend a little bit more time.
The ADAPTiQ headset that the Bose Soundbar comes with is designed to prompt you to move to different parts of your listening room. As you do this, it properly adjusts different sound levels and improves your watching experience.
However, you might encounter some problems if you are using older TV sets due to compatibility issues. The Bose Soundbar 700’s universal remote works best with modern TVs. Its soundbars are touch-sensitive. They come with a limited number of buttons. Overall, the Sonos app is more user-friendly than the Bose Music app.
As we said initially, if you’re looking for a home theater system that delivers powerful and immersive audio, you should go for either Bose or Sonos set.
You may have to dig deeper into your pocket to acquire these packages. However, that’s worth it if you are looking for a system that can add the best clarity and depth to your home entertainment.
Bose and Sonos subwoofers let you get bone-numbing low as much as you want. What’s more, the Bose Module 700 and Sonos Sub use innovative engine engineering that eliminates distortion from the bass.
So, these home theater systems guarantee you pure bass as well. In other words, there is no significant difference between these two surround systems when it comes to sound quality.
Before making your decision, you should note that the Sonos Beam comes with a Speech Enhancement mode that specializes in ensuring that dialogue stands out. This means if you want a home theater that allows you to follow what the participants are saying without having to turn up the volume, the Sonos home theater set could be your best choice.
The Bose home theater could be best for you if you have several spots where you can sit. As we said, the Bose Soundbar 700’s ADAPTiQ setup allows you to customize your audio system much better. However, you should not forget that the Sonos app features a speaker-tuning app known as Trueplay that can help you accomplish this.
Bose Home Speaker 300 or Sonos One?
There’s no question that the popular Sonos One Speaker is one of the best due to its sleek design and well-balanced sound. Many audiophiles think that the Bose home speaker 300 is another great alternative that you can use whenever you want to receive in-depth, immersive sound.
It’s important to note these two speakers come with lots of smart features like the Bose and Sonos soundbars. They deliver built-in voice controls through Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. Sonos One can play your favorite songs over AirPlay 2 or WiFi. On the other hand, Bose allows you to stream music via Bluetooth, AirPlay, and WiFi.
What does that mean? Sonos One and Bose smart speakers deliver superb audio. However, the Bose smart speaker beats Sonos One for pairing and connectivity. In other words, if you want a speaker with better pairing and connectivity to be part of your surround system, you might find the Bose home speaker 300 to be the best.
Since Sonos and Bose soundbars have built-in voice assistants, you have nothing to worry about if you want to expand your surround system.
Since your compatible speakers can be auto-discovered via WiFi and other connectivity and pairing options, you’ll find that adding compatible speakers to your Bose and Sonos surround system is easy. You can control the speakers via voice control or app, depending on your preference.
Sonos Vs Bose: Which Soundbar Is Better
Featuring a minimalistic design, the Sonos Playbar is sleek and subtle. The device doesn’t come with a remote and so you have to configure your TV’s remote to control it.
The bass, mids, and high are pretty clear and punchy. Overall, the soundbar is great for an in-home experience.
Bose Soundtouch 700
The Bose Soundtouch also offers a minimal and modern design. However, it comes with a remote that you can use to easily control the device.
The bass response is pretty good, but you will need a sub if you want something more powerful.
Funny enough, the Soundtocuh is a bit better at emulating surround sound than the Sonos Playbar.
Which Soundbar Is Better for TV
The new Sonos Playbar is a true 5.1 channel soundbar that comes with wireless rear speakers offering an immersive audio experience. These speakers not only offer you the freedom to place the speakers at your convenience but keep the wire clutter at bay thus not interfering with the interiors of your home. In terms of audio output, the Sonos Playbar offers a combined audio output of 600W for a cinematic audio experience.
Bose Soundtouch 700
The Bose Soundtouch 700 has a subtle yet classy-looking design that impresses the moment you take it out of the box. This is also one of the best budget soundbars out there for those who are on a budget
It sounds better than what any mid-range TV can offer. It’s not very loud but enough for a small to medium-sized room. It is tuned for cinematic audio. You get deep bass and strong highs, which gives a fulfilling movie-watching experience
The Soundtouch 700 is also quite compatible with most TVs using HDMI ARC or optical. Check out our guide on how to connect a Bose Soundtouch 700 to your TV to learn more.
You can’t go wrong with either the Sonos or Bose home theater systems. There’s no clear winner between them. Whether you choose the excellent pre-packed Bose 5.1 home theater set or Sonos 5.1 home theater set or add compatible audio devices like speakers and soundbars to the system, you’ll get immersive, high-definition audio.
Overall, since Sonos and Bose home theater systems are evenly matched in performance, you can decide based on the price tag, setup and controls, and design.
Check out our review of the Bose Soundbar 700 vs Sonos Arc for an example.
Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics.