The competition between smart speakers is getting fierce by the day. There are some smart speakers that are powered by digital assistants which make them stand out from the rest. However, if you are willing and able to pay an extra dollar for better sound quality, then we bring you the best of the smart speakers – Sonos Play 5 and Homepod.
In this post, we are going to compare the various aspects of the two speakers and see which one emerges the winner. But we would like to point out that if you are able, you will be happier with both speakers.
In this comparison between Sonos Play 5 Vs Homepod, we will compare and contrast by looking at various specs of the speakers. We will compare factors like:
- Compatibility among others.
If you are using a music service other than Apple Music, then we will recommend that you go for the Sonos Play 5 because when compared to other speakers, it has a better sound quality at a below $500 price range. You can directly from any of your music apps using the Sonos App. However, if you love the services of the smart assistant, then you will not get that from this speaker.
On the other hand, if you are an avid user of Apple music user, then we would recommend that you go for the Homepod. It sounds better on Apple music, it is portable and is cheaper as compared to its counterpart. However, Siri is not that perfect and Airplay as well.
Now, let’s dive into the comparison between Sonos Play 5 Vs Homepod on various aspects.
First and foremost, when you play the music using the Sonos Play 5, you can be able to play from any major music app either from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify, Google Play and so much more. In other words, Sonos Play 5 is compatible with all music apps without limiting on any.
For instance, if you use Spotify connect to play your music, you can use 5 different apps inside the Spotify app rather than using the Sonos app to play music. Also, whether you are using either an Android device or iPhone, you can be able to cast your music server either from Amazon music or Google play to Sonos and play.
Moreover, no matter what music device you are using, you play by plugging in your device to the Sonos Play 5 port and play. Simply put, it is a plug and plays a speaker that does not need drivers to run. Another salient feature of the compatibility of Sonos Play 5 is that you can Airplay audio music from any music app that is iOS-powered as long as it has the Airplay button.
On the other hand, when you are using the Homepod, you cannot be able to set up an Homepod if you do not have an iPhone. It is possible to Airplay your music from any music app from your iPhone to the Homepod. However, you can only voice control the music you are playing if you have Siri from Apple music.
Apart from that, if you are using Airplay to play your music, you will encounter the following limitations:
- When you pause or play next, you will experience a few seconds of lagging
- You cannot start playing a song by Siri because Siri will not be able to identify songs
- Once in a while, you will experience an audio cut. Although this is a common occurrence, it happens. However, when using other music apps such as the Sonos app or Spotify, you will not experience the cut.
In addition to that, when using the Homepod, it does not have plug-in ports and there is no Spotify connection option.
Therefore, in terms of compatibility, Sonos Play 5 is the ultimate winner.
Another area that we would like to compare and contrast between Sonos Play 5 and Homepod is the sound output.
On one hand, Sonos Play 5 come with 6 custom made drivers that have dedicated amps. There is no smart speaker below the $500 price mark that sounds better than the Sonos Play 5. It comes with a crispy, clear sound accompanied by perfect mids and bass response.
The major difference between Sonos Play 5 and Homepod is the level of mids that they have. This is the separating wedge between the two speakers. The Sonos Play 5 is louder and can fill a big room with sound than the Homepod. It full blast, it can affect your eardrums if you listen for long.
Unlike most speakers whose loud sound becomes distorted, the Sonos Play 5’s sound does not distort at high volume. With 60% of the volume, it is loud enough to fill a big room.
Moreover, it only produces sound from the front side of the speaker. In addition to that, it does not have the noise-canceling ability which is really helpful in noisy environments. But if you would wish to create a custom, you can use the TruePlay to adjust to the configuration of your room. However, the Sonos Play 5’s TruePlay only works with iPhones and you will have to configure the settings when you move from one location to another. On the other hand, the Homepod comes with an automatic TruePlay which adjusts to the configuration of the room.
On the other hand, the Homepod comes with 6 microphones, a 4” woofer, and 7 tweeters. All these put together, even at the highest volume, it does not produce any distortion. Therefore, on this point, they match with the Sonos Five.
The highs of the Homepod are crispy with deep bass but must be controlled. But the mids are not as good and the Sonos Five sound better on the mids.
Furthermore, the Homepod cannot fill a big room with sound. But a small room will be well filled with sound. Therefore, if you prefer playing your music at low tones and the sound profile does not change as you crank up the volume, the Homepod is best suited for that. The sound quality retains its details at all volumes.
Apart from that, the Homepod speaker is designed with an omnidirectional polar pattern with an A8 processing chip. That means, the Homepod can configure its sound depending on the room that it is placed in. it does not need any setup to work but automatically adjusts itself to ensure the sound produced is identical when listened to from any corner of the room.
That is not all, the Homepod comes with a noise cancellation microphone which helps to cancel out any background noise. That is why even when you are playing at 100% volume, you can still speak to Siri and she will hear you perfectly.
The Homepod comes with an accelerometer which helps to detect a change in position and re-adjust the sound automatically to suit the surroundings of the room where it is placed.
Based on its size, the Homepod sounds great and probably there is no other speaker in the same size category that sounds better.
Overall, Sonos Play 5 has a better sound quality as compared to its Homepod counterpart. If we were to grade them the Sonos Play 5 will get an A+ while the Homepod will score an A-. But, when Homepod is compared with the Sonos One, it sounds way better.
We are now going to compare and contrast between the softwares used in the two speakers.
Sonos Five uses the Sonos app which allows you to add any song you like and from any music app. Besides that, if your friends are using Wi-Fi and have the same app as you, they can add songs to your Sonos app. That is really awesome and maybe the best thing about the Sonos Play 5 software.
However, Sonos Play 5 does not have a smart assistant. But if you wish, you can download and install the Echo Dot which you can use to voice control the Sonos Play 5 with Alexa. With Echo Dot, you can be able to command your Sonos Play 5 on which song you would like to play from your playlist. However, getting the speaker to work with Alexa is not a walk in the park.
The Sonos Play 5 comes with a TruePlay which you can use to configure the speaker to your room. However, TruePlay does not work perfectly. When setting it up, you will have to wave your phone around the room for up to 3 minutes before it can work. Also, if you move the speaker from where you placed it when you configured it, you will have to repeat the whole process of configuration.
Sonos Play 5 is usually used as a standalone speaker but you can pair it up with up to 5 speakers. With the help of Airplay, you can connect up to 5 speakers. The interesting part is that with Airplay, you can connect even speakers that are not of the Sonos brand.
On the other hand, the Homepod sets up seamlessly as long as you have the iPhone home app. What’s more, it is smarter as compared to its Sonos Play 5 counterpart.
It comes with the Siri smart assistant which you can use to control any task on the speaker. For instance, with Siri, you can command the Homepod to play any song from the Apple Music app, by mentioning either the name of the artist, song, playlist. Better still, Siri can select music for you based on your music preferences.
As compared to all smart speakers on the market today, Homepod has the smartest Siri. Even if you whisper Siri can hear you as well as when playing at full blast, you can still command Siri and hear you perfectly.
Another thing about the Homepod software is that you can connect multiple speakers using Airplay 2. Even if the speakers are of different brands than the Homepod, they can connect as long as the other speaker is Airplay compatible.
Overall, Homepod has better software as compared to its Sonos Play 5 counterpart.
In terms of design, the Sonos Play 5 is quite a piece of art, it has a stunning design. It is very attractive to behold. However, it is bulky and heavy. Besides that, it does not come with any physical buttons which you can use t control various functions.
Instead of buttons, to control the Sonos Play 5 you need gestures to control it. For instance, if you would like to increase the volume, you will tap your hand and make a gesture for the increase. Similarly, to go to the next song on the playlist, you tap your hands and make the next sign gesture with your hands.
The Sonos Five comes with a remote control that allows you to control the speaker remotely. So, if you do not like taping your hands and making gestures, you can use the remote control to control the various functions as you wish.
In terms of color, the Sonos Play 5 is available in two universal colors – bland and white and both have a matte polycarbonate finish.
The speaker weighs 14 pounds which is quite heavy. So if you are a mobile person, this might be a limiting factor. Due to the heaviness, if you accidentally drop the speaker, it will break and get damaged. What makes the Sonos Five heavier is the ferrite magnet that is used. As compared to its Homepod counterpart which uses the neodymium magnet which is lighter and more powerful with crisp and clear audio.
That’s not all; it is also big in size. It is 14 inches long. Therefore, if you have limited space in your room, the Sonos Play 5 is not an ideal choice for you.
The Homepod, on the other hand, comes with a sleek and beautiful design. It is covered by a mesh material which makes it stand out from the crowd.
It comes in gray and white colors to choose from. The design of the Homepod is detail-oriented in such a way that the charging cable matches the color of the mesh material used on the speaker. The design itself makes the Homepod the number one choice.
In terms of size, the Homepod is one-third smaller than its Sonos Play 5 counterpart. Therefore, if you have a small space, the Homepod can fit perfectly. Also, it is lighter and portable. So if you like moving around with your speaker, you can take the Homepod with you whenever you go without any inconvenience. You can place the Homepod speaker on the kitchen counter if need be and it will not get on your way through the kitchen. In other words, you can place the Homepod anywhere in your house and it will not hog up space.
The Homepod uses neodymium magnet which is very light as compared to the ferrite magnet. Therefore, you can carry the speaker comfortably. However, it does not have a remote control but you can use the prefect Siri assistant to control the various functions of the speaker.
In overall, in terms of design, the Homepod is the ultimate winner.
When we compare the auxiliary inputs between Sonos Five and Homepod, the Sonos Five comes with 3.5mm jack which allows you to connect various audio devices to the speaker and play the music. With the jack, you can connect either your MP3 player or a DVD player and play your favorite playlist.
On the other hand, both Sonos Five and Homepod can connect to the Wi-Fi. If this is an essential feature to you, both are Wi-Fi enabled. However, they both do not have Bluetooth connection ability.
Also, both can play via Airplay which allows you to connect to external speakers and screens. With this ability, you can be able to connect your gaming device or computer and play either video or music. Also, you can connect with your smart TV and do a slide presentation if need be.
Still on connectivity, another essential connectivity is Ether. It is only Sonos Play 5 that can connect to the Ether while its Homepod counterpart does not.
Overall, in terms of connectivity, both the Homepod and Sonos Five level on this ground.
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After comparing and contrasting Sonos Play 5 Vs Homepod, we can say that Sonos Play 5 is the ultimate winner. Although it costs more than its Homepod counterpart, it is more compatible and sounds better.