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Sonos vs Yamaha – Detailed Comparison

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JBL and Yamaha 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.

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.

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.

Yamaha Quick History

Yamaha is a Japanese brand that was established by Torakusu Yamaha in the year 1887. It produced the first Yamaha piano in the 1900s, which eventually laid a solid foundation for the many products that followed.

Yamaha is one of the largest audio product manufacturers with a reputation that sees their products used in international competitions and by renowned musical maestros. The Yamaha brand has a wide range of products that cut across professional audio equipment, digital and acoustic musical instruments, home audio products, and many others.

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.

Yamaha Sound Quality

Yamaha audio equipment is known for producing clear and rich bass delivery and overall exceptional quality sound.

Yamaha speakers have multiple sound modes with an incredible ability to deliver soft but loud sound delivery. This is because of their high dynamic range, which includes a great deep bass and an extended high.

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

Yamaha Features

Yamaha has one of the most diverse selections of audio products with diverse features, which might make the feature hard to generalize. However, here are some across their audio devices.

  • Wireless connectivity including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Music Cast (for multi-room connection).
  • Voice command features such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
  • HDR10+, HDMI, 8K/60Hz, and 4K120Hz
  • Online streaming support for Spotify, Apple AirPlay, etc
  • Virtual surround

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.

Yamaha Build Quality

Yamaha products use modern groundbreaking technology to deliver high-end audio products. Their products are known for delivering premium performance and last a pretty long time.

Yamaha home theater system

Yamaha products come with an impressive aesthetic delivery and long-lasting function. This is because they pay attention to the use of high-quality material in the production of their devices.

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.

Yamaha Ease Of Use

Yamaha offers an array of easy-to-use audio equipment. This includes wireless-enabled streaming speakers such as the Yamaha MusicCast WX-030. Yamaha products include devices with buttons that are easy to operate and remote control for use across the room.

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

Yamaha Cost

Yamaha has an array of products that are more affordable than most other brands. For example, the Yamaha R-S202BL Stereo receiver is a high-quality receiver that costs around $200 to $300 but offers more features than other products in the price range.

The price tag you will get for most Yamaha products is listed below.

  • High-quality receivers from $200 to $1500

Speakers:

  • Centre channel speakers –  $70 and upwards
  • Indoor/outdoor speaker – $100 and upwards
  • Ceiling speakers start at $130, and
  • Bookshelf speakers from $120

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.

Yamaha Space Requirements

Most Yamaha products, particularly the soundbars and Bluetooth speakers, are a great fit for ‌any room. The portable size and sleek design of most of these devices make them fit easily into small spaces without demanding too much space.

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.

Yamaha Remote Controls

Most Yamaha audio devices come with a handheld remote control for simple control of the device. But, beyond the physical remotes, Yamaha designed a virtual remote for almost all the audio products from the brand. This includes headphone control, multimedia music control, MusicCast Controller, and AV Controller.

This virtual remote can be downloaded from the app store for Android, iPhone/iPad, and PC use.

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.

Yamaha Connectivity Options

You can connect to your Yamaha devices with one of the several available connectivity options. Wireless connections include Wifi and Bluetooth for most of their devices.  

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.

Yamaha Power Range

The power range for an average floor-standing Yamaha speaker is around 100 watts to 200 watts. However, a Yamaha bookshelf speaker has a power range of 200-600 watts.

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.

Yamaha Frequency Response

Yamaha audio equipment has a general frequency range of about 28 Hz-25kHz.

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, Yamaha is one of the oldest audio companies in the world today, but they have only grown better over the years. They have a range of diversified products, including musical instruments and professional and personal audio products.

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