Sonos vs Polk – Which Brand Is Better?

Norvan Martin

Sonos and Polk are two renowned and well respected brands in the audio industry and produce high quality speakers, soundbars, headphones, and subwoofers. Yamaha also produces receivers and amplifiers.

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 a well-known brand in the home theater and audio industry, known for its high-quality wireless home audio systems, while Polk is a well-known brand in the audio industry known for its high-quality speakers and home theater systems.

Sonos vs Polk Comparison Table

CriteriaSonosPolk
Brand ReputationSonos is known for its wireless multi-room audio systems and smart speakers, praised for their seamless integration and ease of use.Polk is a well-established brand recognized for a variety of audio products, including speakers, soundbars, and home audio solutions.
Sound QualitySonos speakers deliver balanced sound with a focus on reliability and versatility for multi-room setups.Polk products are known for providing quality sound experiences, often with a focus on affordability and value for money.
Build Quality/DesignSonos products feature modern and minimalist designs, emphasizing simplicity and ease of use, with an emphasis on wireless connectivity.Polk products often feature solid build quality, practical designs, and attention to affordability without compromising on performance.
Product RangeSonos specializes in wireless audio solutions, including smart speakers, soundbars, and home theater systems.Polk offers a comprehensive product range, covering speakers, soundbars, subwoofers, and home audio systems across various price points.
PricingSonos products are positioned in the mid to high price range, reflecting their focus on quality audio and smart home integration.Polk products cover a range of price points, often providing affordable options while maintaining a reputation for delivering good sound quality.
FeaturesSonos speakers include features like multi-room audio synchronization, voice control, and compatibility with popular streaming services.Polk products may include features such as wireless connectivity, subwoofer options, and advanced audio technologies depending on the model.

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

Pros and Cons of Polk:

  • Pros: Known for producing a wide range of speakers, including home theater systems, soundbars, and outdoor speakers. Many of their products are well-regarded for their sound quality and value for money.
  • Cons: Some users have reported issues with their Polk speakers cutting out.

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.

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 logo

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.

Polk Audio Quick History

Polk Audio is an American audio device manufacturer best known for its home and car speakers headquartered in San Diego, California.

polk audio speaker brand

A wide range of additional audio devices, such as amplifiers and FM tuners, are also produced by Polk Audio. Polk audio was purchased by Directed Electronics in 2006.

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 One Wireless Speaker

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.

Polk Audio Sound Quality

The downside to Polk devices is that they aren’t of the best quality when it comes to sound, so if you’re looking for a high-end sound system, it could be worth stepping up your budget a little. Polk speakers are best as entry-level speakers.

This means that they may not appeal to expert audiophiles and cannot be used for professional purposes.

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

Polk AudioFeatures

Polk audio devices come with some features that make them more suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

  • Auto-off timer
  • More physical input such as (HDMI in port, AUX port)
  • All controls are on the rear edge
  • Slim, compact design that allows you to place them on walls.

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.

Polk Audio Build Quality

On average, Polk audio build quality is comparable to industry standards. The Polk T50 is a great example of this.

Although Polk made the T50 sound better by sacrificing some build quality, the speaker is still reasonably strong and, given its popularity, replacement parts are easy to come by.

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.

Polk Audio Ease Of Use

The controls on Polk Audio Bluetooth equipment are easy to use. A lightweight design and high-quality materials ensure that the user is comfortable while using them.

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

Polk Audio Cost

Polk’s speaker collection shows that good-sounding speakers do not have to be expensive. They have home speakers to suit every budget.

So do you want tower speakers but don’t want to spend more than $500 on them? There are Polk audio speakers that sell for less than $500 and still have great sound. They’re commonly available for around $300 or less a pair, and they sound fantastic.

Here are some price ranges for Polk audio products:

Home speakers: $200 – $2500

Soundbars: $100 – $500

Car speakers: $100 – $500

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.

Polk Audio Space Requirements

Most Polk Audio devices are space-efficient. Take, for example, Polk’s LSiM 703s speakers which are 16.8-inch tall bookshelf speakers with a 6.5-inch midbass, a 3.5-inch woofer for low frequencies, and a 1-inch tweeter for high frequencies. This implies that only a minimal amount of space is needed.

Remote Controls

Sonos Remote Control

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.

Polk Audio Remote Controls

Polk Audio produces speakers that are compatible with their own remote control as well as those of other remote control manufacturers such as HQRP and Motiexic littlefishlittlecat.

This remote is powered by lithium batteries and has a 10-meter range. Note that no program or special setup is required.

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.

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.

Polk Audio Power Range

Speaker: 20 watts to 200 watts rated power

Subwoofer: 50 watts to 500 watts rated power

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.

Polk AudioFrequency Response

Polk audio frequency responses are usually in the region of 50Hz to 50kHz. The Polk Audio Signature Series S10 2-Way Surround speakers, for example, have a Medite MDF cabinet frequency response of around 67Hz to 40 kHz for excellent treble reproduction. It can endure 20 to 100 watts of continuous power.

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. On the other hand, Polk is unquestionably a fantastic option if you need a good home audio system, but there are other companies that are equivalent or even better than Polk audio. However, if you need a good entry level speaker that doesn’t cost much, Polk Audio may be your go-to.

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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