Sonos One / Play 1 Stereo plus Sub or Apple Homepod Stereo

  • 22 November 2018
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Hi Fellow Musicfans!
In case someone wonders like me, what stereo setup performs "better" I wanted to share my thoughts and feelings about the sonos one / play 1 in stereo with the sub installed vs. the apple homepod just in bullets

Location is a very difficult to fill (in audio terms) room with lots of corners and open spaces to other rooms at about 30 m2. Speakers were put aproxx 40 cm from the walls in each direction in tow of the corners at about 5 m distance (sonos subwoofer in between)
Listening spot in about 5 m distance just in the middle of the speakers (triangle) - sonos one paired to stereo with sub, apple homepods paired to stereo. Speaker hight at ear level aprox 1,10 m (sub level set to neutral (recommended) from true tone setup at sonos)

- Installatioin is super simple with both systems (on IOS)
- Audio Setup is a little bit pro for the homepod, since it adjusts automatically everytime you replace the speaker while you have to redo the truetone setup everytime on the sonos (homepods just a little more flexible)
- sonos without truetone sounds (ofcourse) a bit muffled due to its "pure" audio output
- when properly adjusted with truetone (auto with homepod) both systems blow your mind because of what comes out of them - the sound initially is so "well balanced" that you just think how can they do this with such a tiny system.
- if you listen to various types of music both systems show their weaknesses
- homepod is always a little bit on the "too much base" side
- middle tones are just a tiny little weak on both with a little pro towards homepods
- highs are (only compared with the two systems) a little too less on the homepod an a little too much on the sonos
- sound stage is good but not phantastic on both systems
- the overall sound is (only compared with the two systems) "warmer" for the homepd while lacking a littel bit of highs (again just compared) while a little bit "tinny" on the sonos
- assistant (siri/alexa) only tested with homepods (quite impressive with the homepods, siri get's your voice from almost anywhere (though it my not get the meaning of what you're saying :)))))
- homepods lack basic base control feature that shines on sonos app
- sonos music app shines with tunein integration and other services while homepods only shine with apple music (what was okay for me)
- too bad for homepods - you cannot put em on stands (sound muddy than) - there are great options for the sonos one play 1 out there

I decided to start my test consciously with the systems both not compared and listened to them each for a little while with different songs and types of music. And as I said, I was quite impressed by both of them (maybe even more from the homepod due to what ammount of base comes out of these little guys without a sub).Maybe two of the sonos 5 in stereo without a sub may sound equal to the homepods in stereo. I found this video very interesting:

In the end I think on what you'll like better will mostly depend on what eco system you're in. Soundwise there is not much of a difference between these setups. Average music lovers will find both the sonos with the sub and the homepods appealing tonal as I did. If you're more into the apple eco system you may find siri more helpful than alexa. If you already own sonos or are more into android you'll be better off with them.

As a final note I'd like to add, that I have an old denon receiver in our basement with a sub (elac) an two vienna acoustics webern attached to the wall. If I'm in the mood for great music experience and my three kids let me, I'd rather go down there, press all the knobs to start this little old guy, get it warm, hit play and close my eyes for a "real music experience" - so may you - or you just enjoy the convenience and eas of use and the anyway good sound of a sonos one plus sub in stereo or a pair of stereo homepods.

I'm curious about your thoughts on this!

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