May 2, 2018
Have been a BIG Bose supporter for years. Still love the sound that my Soundtouch 300 produces whether it be Music, TV, or Movies. Have a Soundtouch 300, Accoustimass 300, Invisible Surrond Speakers, and a Soundtouch 10. Looking to add outdoor speakers, and another Soundtouch 10/20. Where Bose has failed up to this point is competing with Sonos and there suite of music services and Alexa compatibility. Have searched these forums back and forth to see if enhancements are on the horizon, and any Bose rep simply provides lip service with “It’s coming” without any concrete timelines.
So I ask Bose or anyone on this forum... why should I stay with Bose vs. switching my eco system to Sonos? Taking a loss on investing in Bose up to this point is not a deciding factor for me. So what are other reasons why I should stay with Bose and continue to invest in future hardware? Having a tough time answering that question on my own right now...
Appreciate any insight!
Sep 12, 2016
You are better off switching to Sonos. They have more music services and the sound quality is equally good. Bose adds one new music service every two years. I bought a soundtouch 30, and I regret it everyday.
Its a personal descision based upon what your priorities are.
This is coming from a person who has owned both companys products. Sonos definately have done a good job on getting all the music services on board, but having said that how much music choice can a person possibly need? Spotify has 99% of the music that i need outside of Internet radio.
When i owned Sonos I did have a play around with some music services and have actually trialed Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, Google Music and Amazon Music. The upshot of it is that they all pretty much offer exactly the same thing, unless theres a specific reason to go towards one of them or something a bit more unique such as SoundCloud then all the extra music services quickly become unneccesary and unused. For all the music services on offer after my trialing stage i used Spotify and Tunein, the rest was just not necessary. If you are a big Soundcloud user then maybe thats a reason to consider switching for example.
My friend owns a Sonos Playbar and openly admits my SoundTouch 300 sounds and looks better, hes been tempted to sell his Sonos for Bose a few times but he wont switch over as he uses Apple Music, i told him just to switch over to Spotify as it basically does the same thing but he is a Apple geek and has no other response then "i like Apple", whilst i can't understand his logic in sticking with this music service for no other reason then he likes the company at the expense of getting to his own admission a better sounding product, that is his personal choice.
I like the sound quality, the presets are used daily especially by my partner and having Bluetooth has even come in handy on a couple of occasions for the odd YouTube video for the kids.
Write yourself a pros and cons something like this:
Better sound quality especially on the ST300 + AM300 vs Playbar/SUB
DTS support and HDMI on ST300 (DTS is a big thing for me as many films only in DTS)
SA5 amplifer for outdoor speakers 100 watts vs Sonos Connect AMP 55W
Music service choice
More mature app with more features (alarm for example)
I was a SoundTouch owner from its inception, owned six devices, and loved the sound (even before the ST 300). However, in late 2017, due to all the empty promises, frustration over not being able to use song selection, playlists individually created on Amazon Music Unlimited (paid premium price and enjoy it) even though Bose did advertise these features were incorporated during that period, I sold it all and went to its competitor. I admit though, Bose does sound better!! I want so badly to return with the ST300, which does IMHO blow away the Sonos playbar, but while I have asked for an update to see over the past year if they fixed the features in Amazon Unlimited Music (no answer yet), from what I am reading it looks like not, just still the same stations and curated playlist and no individual song selection. I hope I a, wrong, but scanning the forum, doesn’t look like it. UGH, really want that ST300!
Thanks so much, that will do it for me, time to go buy that ST300 and get back to that quality Bose sound. (I really appreciate your response because no reply from an email to Bose support or any of the mods on my two postings).
Apr 11, 2017
I've owned ST30, I currently own only ST20, and a few Sonos products: a few Play1's and a Play5. Here's my take on the topic:
1) In general, Bose does not sound 'better', just very different, in my opinion. Bose products emphasize the vocals and mid-range, and then add a thumping, big, at times intrusive bass on top (especially the ST30). This makes the vocals and the leading instrument stand out, but then sound a bit distorted and the rest of the musical background gets a bit lost. I would also describe the Bose sound as 'chemical' - you can really hear the dsp working in the background. Do I like it? Hard to say - sometimes yes, sometimes no. "Baby it's cold outside" definitely does not sound soft and soothing on the ST30, there is a lot of detail being lost in the background when compapring ST30 and Play5. On the other hand Metallica pieces tend to sound more focused on ST20/30 because of the emphasis on the leading instrument and less background stuff, which is heavy in such music. I have not really listened to any hip-hop, house and stuff like that, where Bose might have the upper hand due to its stronger woofer - the bass is better on ST30, but that's relevant only in some genres, and in some other is even a downside - for example, Sting's 'Every breath you take' sounds worse on the ST30, due to the rythm being so emphasized.
2) A single PLAY1 sounds worse than ST20, but 2 Play1s in stereo mode sound much better than ST20. The stereo effect is huge for me, and since ST20 roughly costs the same as 2 Play1's, the pair is a better choice.
3) Sonos gives you WAY more options to control your sound - an equalizer, TrueTune, etc. You can adapt your sound to your liking, while Bose just gives you the option to reduce that blasted bass a bit.
4) PERMANENT GROUPS on Sonos!! When you stereo-pair or group Sonos speakers for 'play all', this setting persists even when some of the speakers go offline or are powered down. I can't tell you how annoying this was with Bose when I wanted to play my music in the entire house - you need to go to the app, wait for it to initialize, choose your master speaker, click 'play all', then go to your music service EVERY SINGLE TIME, as the settings were lost if the sepakers went to sleep or where powered down. In Sonos, once you make the group, it is visible in Spotify as a group until you change it back yourself, so you can always start your music with one click, in one second.
Perhaps Bose imporved this. Last time I checked was ~6 months ago, and I got so frustrated with this back then that I never tried again. I just couldn't believe such a basic functionality was implemented so poorly.
5) Bose preset buttons - I really like them and miss them on Sonos!
Overall - having owned both the ST30 and Play5, I think the trick Bose does to sound 'better' is just strong digital signal processing to pick up and emphasize the leading vocal/instrument, at the cost of making it sound chemical and slightly unnatural, and reducing the supporting backgroud sounds. This makes an impression when you listen to Bose products alone, but rarely sounds superior when you have a chance to compare the sound of both devices in your own room to the same music, at the same time. I can honestly say that I prefer Sonos to Bose both in sound and software functionality. I haven't used anything more than Spotify, so one of the key strengths of Sonos - the number of supported music services- wah not a factor.
Apr 26, 2018
I currently own a ST300 with sub alongside a ST20. As an Apple Music user switching to Sonos is currently a consideration. I do not want to switch my music service to Spotify as my car is equipped with Apple CarPlay and the voice control over Apple Music while driving works very well for me. Apple Music also syncs my personal music collection from my iTunes collection from the pre streaming days a lot of which isn't available on the main streaming services. The decision on whether to give up on my Bose setup is hanging on two things at the moment...
1. Whether Bose are going to introduce Airplay 2 on the Soundtouch 300 and Soundtouch 20. While Sonos have issued a press release advising exactly which of their existing speakers will be compatible with Airplay 2 in the future via firmware update, Bose's position of referring to an update made last June while not providing any new information is frustrating to say the least. If Sonos are able to disclose this information, why can't Bose?
2. What Sonos are going to announce at their June 6th event. They appear to be launching a new home cinema speaker. If this is a sucessor to the playbar and has everything that I need it to do, including Airplay 2 and HDMI (optical only was a reason of mine for discounting the Playbar in the first place) then I will seriously consider getting rid of my Bose kit. As an added bonus, the new Sonos speaker is rumoured to have Alexa / Google assistant built in. More info here... http://variety.com/2018/digital/news/sonos-june-6-event-1202796800/
Sound is a subjective thing, although hearing friends' Sonos systems they seem to be on a par with my Bose kit. The ability with Sonos to be able to tune the system EQ wise to anything other than the standard calibration as is the case with Bose is also a bonus as I find the Bose system to be lacking a little in the mid range with no way of correcting this. I have not been able to give sound of the Bose speakers a fair chance though having been streaming my music over bluetooth for nearly a year which I know affects the sound quality. I'm happy with the sound when watching the TV though.
On the software and features side as well as communication of this with their customers, Bose seriously need to up their game. I will add that I am aware that the delay in Airplay 2 is down to Apple... the implementation is not my issue here, it's the lack of information.
If Sonos release their new speaker and it does everything that I want, while Bose remain silent and unhelpful on upcoming features I can see myself making the switch.