Wireless streaming services like Pandora Internet radio and Spotify are very popular nowadays. However, it can be difficult to choose the right wireless multiroom streaming system for your needs. In this article, we look at Sonos and Definitive Technology. By the end of the discussion, you will be able to decide, whether to go with Sonos or Definitive Technology.
Sonos is the better choice if you want your own wireless network (better range and bandwidth), more choices for music, a cool app, and more than 5 units throughout the house. Definitive Technology is better if you want the best sound quality and if you like being able to control your music without waking up your devices.
Let’s get into more details.
Before that, here is a short overview of each company:
Sonos: Sonos is the market reader in the wireless multiroom system and is the most popular offering today. In fact, they have been providing these systems longer than any other manufacturer.
Definitive Technology: Definitive Technology is a popular and well-respected speaker company that is doing well with its wireless multiroom offerings.
Comparing Bose and Definitive Technology is similar to comparing Bose and Sonos.
What’s so special about Sonos Vs Definitive Technology
Sonos supports the ability to play different tracks in various parts of the home, sync them together and control them all from your phone. Simply put, Sonos gives customers choices of high-end audio and a range of sleek speakers that can fit in just about any room.
Definitive Technology on the other hand has become synonymous with the best sound in home theatre and music. Their world-class speakers set new standards of performance for the latest advances in AV technology — including 3D cinema and immersive sound formats. It’s a big sound in a small package, with a tremendous musical performance.
Sonos Wireless Multiroom Systems
Sonos is therefore a class leader in terms of sound quality, usability, and functionality. In fact, Sonos pioneered the idea that music should not be restricted to one room or by cables. In fact, they started making these systems even before Denon’s Heos. You can check out our comparison of Sonos vs Heos to learn more.
Sonos is therefore still a leader in the manufacture of multi-room family sound products ranging from wireless speakers to soundbars, amplifiers, and portable Bluetooth speakers.
Sonos Company History
Founded in 2002, this company was built with a vision to transform home sound systems for the digital age.
Originally, the Sonos wireless sound system worked by connecting a single speaker to a home network before adding more Sonos units to a maximum of 32. This connection was made possible with a dedicated secure wireless mesh network also referred to as Sonosnet.
In 2004, Sonos launched the amplified CR100 controller and ZonePlayer ZP100. More features such as voice control and streaming services have since been added. In addition, the arrival of the Sonos S2 platform in 2020 sparked more serious upgrades making the experience with Sonos even much better.
What Is The Sonos Setup Process Like?
Setting up the Sonos speakers is very simple. With the Sonos app available on iOS and Android, you can simply and easily finish the speaker setup. You will only need to synchronize the speakers to the app and enter the wi-fi password to complete the connection.
Also, the app makes it easier to assign speakers to every room, program it, and allow it to be independently controlled through your TV’s remote. You can also add your favorite streaming services.
Sonos has also added a new feature in the Sonos S2 update known as “Room Groups.” This solution helps you to create groups of particular zones especially those that are regularly used.
Therefore, if you have particular rooms such as the kitchen and lounge that you regularly use together, the app allows you to group them for easy synchronization whenever you need to use them again.
What Does A Sonos Badge Mean?
Not all the audio systems you buy from the market will be compatible with Sonos products.
Sonos however makes it easier for you to make the right choice, especially when buying products that are supposed to work with other Sonos products already in your store.
You should therefore look out for a “works with Sonos” badge on products you buy for seamless connectivity with the Sonos family.
Which Sonos Speaker Is The Best?
Across the entire Sonos ecosystem, it is not very easy to fault any Sonos product. Whether you are looking for an expand-as-you-go ethos, or you need a system well-built to fill your room with adequate bass. Here are some of the best Sonos speakers.
1. Sonos One
It may be the smallest Sonos speaker, but with integrated Alexa and Google Assistant, it is still versatile and will fill most rooms with adequate sound. In addition, you can find a recipe, answer simple questions or tell the weather from the speaker. Sonos One also works with Siri via AirPlay 2.
2. Sonos And Ikea Symfonisk Bookshelf Speaker
If you have a larger room, this speaker gives you limitless ways to wire several speakers together. The speaker can be mounted on a wall or used as a standing speaker on a table or bookshelf.
It however lacks a mic and will not take any voice commands like Sonos One.
3. Sonos Move
Sonos Move is Bluetooth-enabled, water-resistant, and has up to 11 hours of battery life. This is the right speaker to take with you to the backyard and not worry about long cables to the mains or external battery.
Why Choose Sonos?
Below are the main advantages that Sonos offers:
- Trust: Sonos is a trusted brand in the audio arena especially when it comes to wireless multiroom systems.
- Music Options: Sonos has partnered with more companies than any other audio manufacturer and so you will have a wide array of choices in music when using their platform.
- Support: Sonos offers excellent after-market support.
- Network: Sonos systems use their own wireless network which improves range and bandwidth. This means your wireless system is more reliable.
Definitive Technology is an American private corporation founded in 1990. The company is based in Vista, California.
The company builds and sells soundbars, floor speakers, home theater audio systems, wireless home audio, and headphones.
The Definitive Technology Speaker Approaches
· Bipole Approach
The Definitive’s bipolar speakers have frontal and rear drivers that radiate sound in phase to both directions to create a huge, deep sound stage more superior than what traditional, direct-radiating speakers can afford.
Bipolar speakers cannot however achieve pin-point imaging of direct-radiating speakers. And, you will still have to put the speakers at least 6 inches off the wall for better sound performance.
· Built-in Amplifiers
Definitive Technology speakers are built with internal Class D amplifiers. This helps with the delivery of smoother, consistent bass across the room. Besides, the multiple subwoofers in the speakers help eliminate nulls in sound delivery.
Which Is The Best Definitive Technology Speaker To Buy?
Some of the best Definitive Technology speakers are:
This is a 52-inch-tall tower speaker with two 12-inch bass radiators, a 1-inch aluminum dome tweeter, and a 12-inch subwoofer.
Smaller than BP9080x, it has a 1-inch aluminum dome tweeter, two 10-inch bass radiators, two 4.5-inch Class D amps, and a 10-inch subwoofer.
3. A90 Atmos-enabled Speaker
This is an upgrade to the old A60 Atmos-enabled speaker. It has a 1-inch aluminum dome tweeter and a 4.5-inch midrange driver.
4. CS9060 Center Channel
The CS9060 has a 1-inch dome aluminum tweeter bordered by an 8-inch powered subwoofer and two 4.5-inch bass-mid woofers. The speaker is however non-bi-polar.
Why Choose Definitive Technology
Sound Quality: Definitive Technology offers the better sound quality, hands down! Yes, you will get better sound quality with Def Tech at the same price point as Sonos. For example, we compared Definitive Technology WAMP and the Sonos CONNECTAMP. In our tests, the Def Tech WAMP was louder, cleaner, and produces stronger bass.
Sleep/Wake Feature: When Def Tech devices go to sleep, you can still control them. However, with Sonos, you need to go into the devices and wake them up. That can be quite a hassle.
Sonos Vs Definitive Technology
Sonos has the largest partnerships in the audio industry. There are therefore more choices for music for audiophiles choosing Sonos than any other company can offer. Also, Sonos offers amazing aftermarket support.
On the other hand, Definitive Technology sounds more superb. Tests show that at the same price, Definitive Technology speakers sound better than Sonos.
For instance, when comparing Definitive Technology WAMP and the Sonos CONNECTAMP which are both wireless and have built-in amps, WAMP offers better overall sound quality.
Also, with Definitive Technology’s portable W7 and W9, navigating the controls is much easier compared to Sonos PLAY5 which has to be woken up in case the phone sleeps.
Sonos vs Definitive Technology: High-Resolution Audio
On Sonos, you can stream up to 24-bit/48 kHz Hi-Res FLAC on your compatible hardware. Tracks with a sampling rate above 48 kHz will be delivered to your Sonos hardware as 16-bit/44.1 kHz FLAC (CD lossless quality). Older products may only support up to CD lossless quality for all tracks.
Play-Fi will normally playback all files it supports in their native formats and encoding. High-resolution files are a special case, and though they are not transcoded, they are down-sampled to CD quality to maintain stream and network performance.
Which Is The Best Choice Between Sonos And Definitive Technology?
Both Sonos and Definitive Technology do well especially to deliver wireless speakers with flexible controls. However, if you want speakers that give you the most choices for music, Sonos wins. On the other hand, if you want the best sound quality and also to be able to control the music without having to constantly wake up the devices, Definitive Technology is the right choice.
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.