A smart speaker is a superb improve to any home – not solely does it allow you to play music out of your telephone, it additionally provides voice management to the combo due to the built-in private assistant.
However with a lot alternative, which mannequin must you purchase? The Sonos One and Apple HomePod are two of the perfect round, each incomes stellar five-star opinions. They each carry out a lot the identical perform, however when you look intently there are fairly a number of variations between them. These can play an enormous half in deciding which to plump for.
We have put the 2 side-by-side to see how they examine, and, finally, which you can purchase. So stick a playlist on, and let’s get right down to enterprise.
What’s your price range?
One of many main elements when shopping for any new piece of hi-fi equipment is: how a lot are you in a position (or keen) to spend? And Sonos One vs Apple HomePod is not any completely different, as they’re fairly otherwise priced.
You may choose up a Sonos One for round £179/$179. However the HomePod is dearer, at £279/$289.
They’re pretty completely different propositions, so we’re not evaluating precisely like with like. However as we undergo the varied sections, it is value holding the sizeable value distinction behind your thoughts.
**Winner: Sonos One**
Will it’s a part of a multi-room system?
A sensible speaker is an excellent factor, but it surely may solely be one piece of the puzzle – hook a number of collectively, and fairly quickly you’ve got acquired a complete house-wide multi-room system. Meaning voice controls in each room of the home, completely different music to set completely different moods in numerous rooms, and full management of sensible dwelling gadgets comparable to your thermostat and lights from wherever you’re in your abode.
In different phrases, correct 21st-century dwelling.
Sonos stays the undisputed king of the multi-room recreation. (It has been making multi-room audio system since 2005, when the idea of the sensible dwelling was simply pie within the sky.) It makes an in depth vary of dwelling audio system that every one work collectively seamlessly, remodeling your house right into a fully-connected, technological haven.
For instance, take the Sonos Symfonisk Lamp and Sonos Symfonisk Bookshelf audio system. These are each made in collaboration with flatpack furnishings flogger IKEA – the previous can be a lamp, whereas the latter is extra of a standard bookshelf speaker. Each are nice, and the bookshelf is the most affordable Sonos speaker accessible, at simply £99/$99.
Sonos additionally makes TV audio system – the Sonos Beam and Playbar are soundbars, whereas the Playbase is a soundbase that sits below your set. They’re all implausible choices, incomes five-, five- and four-star opinions respectively.
The Play:5 is Sonos’ largest speaker, whereas the Play:1 is rather more petite (and less expensive). The Sonos One is principally a Play:1 however with the addition of two voice assistants: Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. That is no dangerous factor – it is top-of-the-line specced and most versatile sensible audio system round.
Lastly, there’s the Sonos Sub, a wi-fi subwoofer that may add lashings of bass to your house cinema set-up.
Sonos can be engaged on a portable Bluetooth speaker referred to as the Sonos Transfer, which can add to the ecosystem’s versatility.
As we are saying, all of those work collectively seamlessly. You might purchase the Sonos One, and some months later add one other speaker or two as the necessity arises, protected within the information that getting them to work collectively shall be a cinch.
Against this, Apple makes two sensible audio system – the HomePod and HomePod Mini (£99/$99/AU$149). However there are many different methods to make the HomePod a part of a multi-room set-up. Due to Apple’s AirPlay 2 wi-fi tech, it would play good with audio system made by different corporations like Naim and B&O (although these are typically on the pricier aspect). You may even accomplice it with sure Sonos audio system, which means you will not should splash out for a HomePod for each room of the home. Phew.
However whereas with the ability to combine and match audio system from completely different manufacturers may be very tempting, it is value stating that an AirPlay 2 multi-room system merely is not as totally featured or slick as a Sonos system.
Which music providers will you utilize with it?
Now it is a actual level of distinction between the 2. The Sonos One helps a variety of music providers together with Amazon Music, Spotify, Deezer, TuneIn and Audible. It additionally works with the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice assistants. Spectacular.
HomePod, nevertheless, is a little bit of a closed store. Apple’s Siri is the one voice assistant, and Apple Music is the one streaming service that Siri can management (although the speaker does additionally work with BBC iPlayer, Tidal, Spotify, TuneIn and extra). Apple’s Beats 1 can be the one radio station you possibly can stream from the cloud (others require you to ping them to your speaker utilizing AirPlay out of your iPhone or iPad, working down the battery of your cellular machine). There is a little bit of a sample rising.
This is not too large an issue should you’re already a part of the Apple ecosystem, however should you’re not, you will discover HomePod slightly restricted. You may’t even set it up with out an iOS machine, so Android customers ought to look elsewhere.
Will you management it utilizing your telephone?
Voice management may be very useful, however typically you need to have the ability to see your management choices. By which case, utilizing your telephone as a distant may be very handy.
When you can management the Sonos One utilizing the Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa voice assistants, you can too achieve this utilizing the Sonos app (as you possibly can with all Sonos audio system). That is famend for its glorious usability – it brings all of your streaming providers below one roof, letting you flick between them seamlessly. Put merely, it is a pleasure to make use of.
The HomePod is rather more voice-centred. Whereas the Apple House app does embody some tweakable settings, and the Apple Music app has fundamental instructions comparable to skipping tracks and adjusting the quantity, the overwhelming majority of the controls are completed by voice.
It is value noting that Siri is an excellent digital butler, in a position to pick your instructions even in a loud room. However should you desire to do most of your controlling utilizing your telephone, the Sonos One is perhaps the One for you.
**Winner: Sonos One**
How loud would you like it to be?
How loud you need it to go actually is determined by the place you will place your sensible speaker.
The HomePod is the bigger of the 2, and so is extra of a celebration centrepiece. As such, it deserves pleasure of place within the lounge or different massive room, that it’s going to fortunately fill with sound.
Being a little bit smaller, the Sonos One is healthier suited to a kitchen or eating room. Although its sound remains to be very spectacular for the dimensions, and it will not battle to make a superb impression on most decent-sized lounges. It is simply the HomePod has the sting when it comes to sheer oomph.
**Winner: Apple HomePod**
Verdict: which must you purchase?
It actually is determined by your scenario. Each are glorious audio system, however Apple followers with massive rooms to fill will in all probability get extra out of the HomePod than the Sonos One. Offering they’ve deep pockets, that’s.
The Sonos One is the smaller, cheaper, extra agile, and extra versatile choice, ideally suited for anybody utilizing a broad vary of music providers (and undoubtedly these utilizing an Android cellular machine). However whichever you purchase, we assure you will discover quite a bit to love.
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