Sonos and Marshall are two renowned and well respected brands in the audio industry that produces high quality speakers, headphones, soundbars, and subwoofers.
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.
Sonos is known for its high-quality wireless home audio systems, while Marshall is a well-known brand in the music industry known for its high-quality guitar amplifiers and other music equipment.
Pros and Cons of Marshall:
- Pros: Known for producing high-quality amplifiers and speakers with a distinctive vintage design. Many of their products are well-regarded for their sound quality and build quality.
- Cons: Some of their products can be expensive, and some users have reported issues with volume, stability and poor audio.
Pros and Cons of Sonos:
- Pros: Sonos is known for producing high-quality, easy-to-use wireless audio systems that can be easily integrated into a home network. Many of their products have good sound quality and are easy to set up.
- Cons: Over the years, many users have complained about Sonos as it relates to connectivity and in some cases, even reliability. In addition, their products can be relatively expensive.
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.
Marshall Quick History
Marshall, also called Marshall Amplification, is a company that is well known for the production of crunchy-sounding amps. Jim Marshall, a successful drummer and drum teacher, started the company in 1962, with its headquarters now in Bletchley, Milton Keynes, England.
Some of the world’s best bands and musicians have praised Marshall’s equipment. Products produced by the company include amplifiers, headphones, subwoofers, and speakers.
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.
Marshall Sound Quality
The company had surpassed expectations in terms of sound quality and had become one of the most well-known brands since 1962.
They are especially popular for producing products that sound “crunchy” and loud, and their amps and speakers are popular among rock and metal players. Although some Marshall devices have an anemic and weak low end, the treble and mid-range are crystal clear.
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
The majority of Marshall products have a classy design and are highly durable. Below are some Marshall device features that make their devices user-friendly:
- Dual-host functionality (allowing you to connect and switch between two Bluetooth devices)
- Marshall mobile app to customize or control the sound
- Micro USB port.
- Microphone connectivity
- Bluetooth and microphone connectivity
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.
Some of their speakers have IP ratings, which means they are water-resistant and dust-resistant, therefore allowing for outdoor use.
Marshall Build Quality
Compared to other audio products in today’s market, Marshall devices have an averagely good build quality. Marshall headphones are made of vinyl and plastic mix with a lot of padding for added comfort.
Some Marshall devices are built with a leather-clad exterior, brass fittings, a cloth grille, and of course, the iconic Marshall logo. Most speakers have rubber feet on the bottom to keep them from shifting and to preserve the surface they are placed on.
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.
Marshall Ease Of Use
Marshall devices are easy to use and set up due to their ergonomic features. The Marshall app is available on both the Android and Apple stores, making it very convenient to use on any device. Users can also consult the guide booklet if they are having trouble setting it up.
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
There are lots of audio manufacturers that sell at a higher price than Marshall, but this doesn’t mean that Marshall products are cheap. Below is the price range for different types of Marshall products:
- Speaker: $150 – $500
- Headphones are sold for around $150
- Amplifiers: $150 – $500
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.
Marshall Space Requirements
Marshall produces some portable devices which take up less space in the room, while they also produce some heavy and wide space-consuming speakers. Hence, depending on the product you’re buying, you should put your available space into consideration.
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.
Marshall Remote Controls
Most Marshall devices don’t have a remote control. One of the devices that comes with one is the Marshall electronics IR remote control for cameras, which allows you to handle several of the camera’s settings, including presets (up to six), zoom, focus settings, white balance adjustment, and more, from a distance of about 10 metres.
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.
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.
Marshall Power Range
Marshall products do not really consume power compared to some other products. The power produced by their products ranges from 30 watts to 200 watts max. Marshall amplifiers output about 240 watts of power.
Most of their smaller products come with inbuilt batteries that are rechargeable.
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.
Marshall Frequency Response
Marshall products’ frequency ranges from 20Hz to 22KHz, which is quite okay, but of course, it varies depending on the kind of product you’re buying. For example, the Marshall Kilburn speaker has a frequency of 62Hz to 20KHz and the Marshall Woburn Bluetooth speaker has a frequency of 35 Hz – 22kHz.
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. Similarly, Marshall Company, since its establishment, has been producing easy-to-use and inexpensive devices that don’t even consume much power. You will most likely find a fit for your needs, irrespective of your taste and budget.
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.