Sonos vs Naim – Which Brand Is Better?

Norvan Martin
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Sonos and Naim are two renowned and well-respected brands in the audio industry that produce high-quality speakers, headphones, soundbars, and subwoofers. Naim also produces electronics such as amplifiers and receivers. 

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 Naim is a high-end audio brand known for its premium-priced home theater systems and audio equipment.

Sonos and Naim Comparison Table

CriteriaSonosNaim
Brand ReputationSonos is well-regarded for its user-friendly and versatile wireless audio systems.Naim is known for its high-end audio products and dedication to musical fidelity.
Sound QualitySonos offers good sound quality with an emphasis on convenience and multi-room setups.Naim products prioritize detailed and dynamic sound reproduction for audiophiles.
Build Quality/DesignSonos products feature modern and minimalist designs with a focus on simplicity.Naim products often have a classic and robust design, reflecting their premium build quality.
Product RangeSonos provides a broad range of wireless speakers, soundbars, and home audio solutions.Naim specializes in high-quality audio components, including amplifiers and streaming devices.
PricingSonos products are positioned across various price points, catering to different budgets.Naim products are typically priced in the premium to high-end segment.
FeaturesSonos emphasizes user-friendly features, wireless connectivity, and smart home integration.Naim products may feature advanced streaming capabilities and customizable audio settings.

Before we continue, you can check out similar comparisons in the series:

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.

Pros and Cons of Naim:

Naim is a well-respected brand in the audio industry, known for producing high-quality home audio products such as amplifiers, receivers, and speakers. Here are some pros and cons of Naim products:

Pros:

  • Known for producing high-quality home audio products with excellent sound quality and build quality.
  • Strong reputation in the audio industry.
  • Offers a wide range of products to choose from.

Cons:

  • Some products may be on the expensive side.
  • May not have as wide of a product range as some other brands.

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.

sonos audio

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.

Naim Quick History

Naim was founded by Julian Vereker in 1973. Vereker was a racing car driver, entrepreneur, and self-taught engineer with a deep passion for music. He spent his spare time listening to and recording his friends playing live in the 1960s.

Naim logo

His disappointment with the sound of professional recording equipment at the time led him to design his power amplifier. The company’s headquarters is based in Salisbury, Wiltshire.

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.

Naim Sound Quality

Naim devices are a good option for those who want uncompromising sound-quality devices. They give you the exact sound as it was recorded, either good or bad.

This type of original recording reproduction is suitable for vinyl record players and turntables. They have a balanced sound at every volume, while the bass hits hard and has a lot of elasticity.

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 effects 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

Naim Features

Naim possesses many beneficial features which include the following:

  • Multiroom and high-resolution audio support
  • Wi-Fi, AirPlay, Chromecast built-in
  • Touch Controls
  • Naim App for Android and iOS
  • Bluetooth and Ethernet Connectivity
  • HDMI ARC, Optical, USB, digital and analog Inputs
  • Alarm clock (in some devices)

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.

Naim Build Quality

Naim devices have unique styling and luxurious build quality. For example, the Naim Mu-So speaker is built with a remarkably wooden cabinet in a layer of anodized aluminum with an elegant brushed finish.

Naim mu-so QB V2

There is a mirrored acrylic base light at one end to highlight the Naim logo, with an extruded heatsink that keeps it cool.

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, left.

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

Naim Ease Of Use

There are many easy ways to control Naim devices at your fingertip. You can control them using the remote, the Naim smartphone app, or their stylish touchscreen display. There’s also a video and a manual to help you whenever you have difficulties installing or using the devices.

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

Naim Cost

Naim devices seem a little bit expensive for the kind of devices they produce. Below is the price range for different devices produced by Naim:

  • Preamplifiers: $2000 – $5000
  • Amplifiers: $1500 – $6000
  • Speakers: $1000 – $3000
  • Digital Audio devices: $500 – $1500

Space Requirements

Sonos Space Requirements

Sonos speakers tend to be bulky, so they require ample space to use. However 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.

Naim Space Requirements

Some Niam devices consume a lot of space due to their shape and size, while some do not. An example is the Naim compact multi-source music player with a 10.5 x 9.7 x 3.8 inches and weighing 15.43 pounds. It is advised to consider the available space before getting any product.

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.

Naim Remote Controls

Naim only has a remote control for a few devices, though they produce remote controls that work perfectly for more than one device. Naim mobile app can also be used to control some of their devices. The remote control works in a range of 10 meters to 15 meters.

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 an 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.

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.

Naim Power Range

Naim devices are power-saving, i.e. they use less power consumption. They have an average power range of 100W to 200W. Most Naim amplifiers produce power of 70W per channel into 8 ohms.

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.

Naim Frequency Response

Naim frequency responses are not so wide and generally range from 20Hz to 20kHz. Though the frequency response of Naim devices varies. Like the Naim mu-so QB V2 with a wider range frequency response from 24Hz to 48kHz.

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.

Naim devices have a beautiful design, extensive features, and outstanding sound quality. Naim is one of the best audio devices you may get out there, especially if you like good looks. It may be a bit costly when compared with some other audio devices, but its stunning design and performance easily justify the hefty price tag.

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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. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin