Sonos vs Sony – Which Brand Is Better?

Norvan Martin
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Sonos and Sony are two renowned and well-respected brands in the audio industry and produce high-quality speakers, soundbars, headphones, 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 Sony is a well-known brand in the audio and electronics industry known for its wide range of high-quality audio products and other electronic devices.

Sonos vs Sony Comparison Table

CriteriaSonosSony
Brand ReputationWell-known for wireless audio systems, smart speakers, and multi-room audio solutions.Global electronics brand with a diverse product range, including audio equipment, headphones, and home entertainment systems.
Sound QualityEmphasizes clear and balanced sound, with a focus on multi-room audio synchronization.Known for delivering high-quality audio, often with a variety of audio enhancement technologies across different product lines.
Build Quality/DesignFeatures modern and sleek designs, often with an emphasis on simplicity and ease of use.Emphasizes stylish designs and durable build quality, with a focus on blending aesthetics with audio performance.
Product RangeSpecializes in wireless smart speakers, soundbars, and home audio systems with a focus on the Sonos ecosystem.Offers a broad range of audio products, including headphones, home audio systems, and portable speakers.
PricingVaried pricing, offering options for different budgets, with both entry-level and premium smart speakers.Varied pricing, catering to different budgets in the consumer electronics and audio markets.
FeaturesKnown for features such as multi-room audio synchronization, voice control integration, and wireless connectivity.Emphasizes features like advanced audio processing, noise-canceling technology in headphones, and compatibility with various audio formats.

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

Pros and Cons of Sony:

  • Pros: Known for producing a wide range of audio and video products, including speakers, headphones, and home theater systems. Many of their products are well-regarded for their sound quality and value for money.
  • Cons: Sony products tend to be expensive and many would describe them as overpriced. 

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.

Sony Quick History

Sony Corporation is a Japanese manufacturer of consumer electronics products incorporated in 1946 by Ibuka Masaru and Morita Akio as Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation.

Before this, Ibuka had used his Japanese Precision Instruments Company to supply electronic devices during World War II. He met Morita while they worked for the Imperial Japanese Army as engineers designing heat-seeking missiles during World War II.

sony logo

In 1952, Ibuka made efforts to license the transistor from Bell Laboratories in the US before Morita signed a deal with Western Electric there the following year. The agreement led to the production of the Totsuko’s transistor radios, Sony’s TR-63, in 1955. In 1958, Sony became the official company name.

The name was derived from the Latin word Sonus which stands for “sound.” Its pocket radios were the company’s most significant success and led to its international brand recognition.

In 1960, Sony Corporation of America was created with headquarters in New York City. Sony then introduced the MD-5, the first all-transistor desktop calculator, in 1964 during the New York World’s Fair, followed by the historic shipping of its first Trinitron color television in 1968.

Sony currently focuses on research and development (R&D), planning, designing, manufacturing, and marketing of electronic products for the consumer and professional markets.

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 PLAYBAR TV Sound Bar

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.

Sony Sound Quality

Sony products generally sound good. Compared to other competitors, Sony is a premium brand that takes a lot of time to research and develop its sound systems, making it one of the best-sounding audio products.

Sony HTXT1 2.1-Channel TV Base wireless Speaker

The soundbars are feature-loaded, have great surround sound performance, and most of them support Dolby Atmos content. Sony is at the forefront of technology innovation, its sound-loving engineers work tirelessly to maintain the standard of its high-quality Hi-Fi speakers.

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

Sony Features

Sony is known to manufacture high-quality products. Some of the key features of Sony speakers include:

  • Bluetooth speakers with prolonged battery life
  • Compact designs that make them easily fit in every home or office space
  • High-quality sound

Key features of Sony TVs include:

  • Good picture quality
  • New frame tweeter technology with sound-from-picture reality
  • Two-position stand
  • New Ambient Optimization
  • Hands-free capabilities such as remote control systems for easy management of TV programs
  • Easy connectivity
  • Compatibility with 4K 120fps

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.

Sony Build Quality

Sony was initially known for good-quality products. In fact, Sony originally maintained a high market price to compensate for the high build quality despite many customers saying they charged so high.

Most people say that Sony manufactures premium audio products with fantastic sound quality and build.

No company can handle a wide array of products like Sony while maintaining high quality. Sony leads in manufacturing cameras, audio, and mobile phones, among many other products. Besides, they offer a fantastic after-sales service.

sony srsxb2

However, some people note that the build quality they get from Sony is generally bad. This is mainly from customers who buy the Sony cameras who say they have had a problem or two with their Sony cameras, and even after Sony fixed them, the situation became worse.

Therefore, whether Sony products are of good build or not remains an opinion whose outcome mainly depends on the type of product and the experience of individual users.

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.

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

Sony Ease of Use

Some Sony products are not easy to use. For instance, getting Sony KDL-32EX650 to work is not very easy. Besides, setting up a wireless network takes a long time.

Also, setting up the Bravia KDL-40WD650 (Bravia is a Sony brand) is more complicated despite Sony 43XG7005 being the most intuitive and easy-to-use Sony TV with a quick and responsive menu.

The speakers are however easy to use with the Bluetooth ones easily connecting to your devices to provide on-the-go entertainment.

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

Sony Cost

Speakers: $40 – $4000

Receivers: $20 – $1000

Amplifier: $30 – $500

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.

Sony Space Consideration

Every person wants to maximize their small spaces. This is why every audio manufacturer puts more effort into researching to use of versatile drivers that can deliver high efficiency while reducing the volume of materials used.

Sony products are generally constructed with a compact design and build. They take smaller spaces than other products and will perfectly fit into your small spaces whether you buy a smart TV or home theater system.

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.

Sony Remote Control

Some people report that remotes for Sony KD-55XD8005 TVs, KD49X8309C, KD49XD8077, and KD-55X8508C, among other brands, have occasional problems. The issues are mainly that the remote controls become unresponsive occasionally and have to be troubleshot to continue working.

Sony remote controls are, however, generally excellent and responsive. However, where the remotes show problems, Sony offers quick customer support to ensure you continue using your remote control perfectly to enjoy your TV programs.

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.

Sony Connectivity Options

When it comes to connectivity options, Sony is one of the most evolving brands in the market today. For instance, Sony Bravia (Bravia is a Sony brand) comes with a wide range of connectivity options, from USB to wireless connectivity channels.

Some of the connectivity options supported by different Sony products include:

    • RCA for older products
    • USB ports
    • HDMI ports for digital connectivity
  • Bluetooth
  • Composite video inputs
  • Wi-Fi for wireless connectivity

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.

Sony Power Range

Like many audio products in the market, Sony products work perfectly well with the conventional power range of 110 V – 240 V.

They have a shallow standby power consumption, and the TVs are built with a power-saving mode backlight on and off control to help minimize power consumption.

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.

Sony Frequency Response

Most Sony audio products deliver within the frequency range of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. This frequency range effectively supports a good delivery of audio outputs for both the Sony speakers, subwoofers, and even the Sony TVs.

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, Sony is good for playing jazz sound. The brand is versatile with numerous connectivity options and good build quality. Besides, there are products for all price ranges.

 

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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