Sonos Play5 vs. Bose SoundTouch 30: Which Is Better?

When considering buying a smart speaker, two models invariably stand out Sonos Play5 and Bose SoundTouch 30. This review aims to take a close look at the two models to help you decide which one is best for your specific needs and preferences.

Sonos Play5 vs. Bose Soundtouch 30. Which brand and model wins in a head to head duel? Which one deserves your attention more?

About Sonos

Sonos has become a household name in recent years because of its smart speakers that are easy to use, produce high-quality sounds, and can seamlessly integrate with myriads of streaming services and smart devices available today.

About Bose

Bose has been a long-time player on the smart speaker market for a long time. It has built a sizeable fan base that has remained loyal to the brand primarily because of the rich audio that Bose products produce. Although the Soundtouch 30 lacks some of the features of the Play5, it is nevertheless equipped with impressive features that make it deserving for a prominent place in your home.

Sonos Play5 vs. Bose Soundtouch 30 Comparison Chart

Sonos Play5

Bose Soundtouch30

Stereo Output

In horizontal position

Yes

Mono Output

In vertical position

No

Class D Digital Amps

6

0

Speakers/Drivers

6

2

Tweeter

3

0

Mid-Woofer

3

0

Woofer

1

0

Adjustable Bass & Treble Controls

Yes

No

Audio Line-in

Yes

Yes

Connect to TV

AUX cord

AUX cord

Own Remote

Yes

Yes

Voice Control over Siri

Over AirPlay2 soon

No

Voice Control over Alexa

Yes

Yes

Voice Control over GA (Google)

Line-in port

Line-in port

Trueplay

Yes

No

Wi-Fi Set-up

Yes

Yes

Humidity Resistance

Yes

No

Bluetooth

No

Yes

Ethernet Port

1

1


The rest of this post will tackle the differences and similarities of the flagship products of Sonos vs. Bose to help you appreciate each smart speaker better, and decide which one is perfect for your particular needs and preferences.

Sonos play5 vs. Bose Soundtouch 30: Similarities


Audio Line-In

One of the best features of a smart speaker is it allows you to play music over Wi-Fi. If you want to project the sound through high-quality speakers, you sometimes hook up your speaker to a record player or your friend’s phone.

Audio line-in support on both Play5 and Soundtouch 30 lets you bypass Wi-Fi, and directly play music from a hooked-up device. This is a big advantage if you have devices not attached to your wireless network.


Amazon Alexa Voice Control

Probably the most easily recognized voice assistant is Alexa, primarily because of the fast expansion of devices such as the Echo Dot and Echo. Either Play5 or Soundtouch 30 supports Alexa, allowing you to have control over your music using simple voice commands. It is great in times when your hands are busy with other chores.

Sonos Play:5 - Ultimate Wireless Smart Speaker - Black

Click for More Details (Sonos Play:5) 


​Google Assistant Voice Contro

Both the Sonos and Bose speakers have voice control support over Google Assistant. However, you need to employ some workarounds to make it work. While Amazon Alexa, by default, seamlessly interfaces with the two speakers, you will need to make full use of the audio line-in if you intend to make Google Assistant work with the speakers. It may be a bit inconvenient, but it is possible.


Wi-Fi Set-up

It’s a check for both Play5 and Soundtouch 30 in terms of Wi-Fi set-up support. Out of the box, you can plug in the device and get it running right away using a mobile app. Installation is simple – for either speaker. Thus, you can enjoy your podcasts and playlists in no time.


Ethernet Port 

While both speaker models boast of Wi-Fi capabilities, they also come with an Ethernet port. This way, you can hook up the speaker either directly to a router, or use it as an internet access source for other devices. This way, the speaker functions as a type of internet extender. This flexibility allows convenient setup and use of new devices.

Bose SoundTouch 30 wireless speaker, works with Alexa - Black

Click for More Details (Bose SoundTouch 30) 


​One App Control

Either the Bose Soundtouch 30 or Sonos Play5 supports practically any audio streaming service available. But more impressive is the fact that both speakers give you control over your content from one centralized location. Instead of switching between services such as Pandora and Spotify, you can search your favorite song from all your subscriptions through the dedicated app of the smart speaker.


​Flexible Mount Options

Finding a spot in your home for your speaker can sometimes be tricky, what with all the existing furniture and fixtures. One great thing about the Bose and Sonos smart speakers is that they come with flexible mounting options. You can choose the set-up that will work for your particular situation.


Design

There are striking similarities in how the Play5 and Soundtouch 30 look. Thus, whichever unit you prefer, you'll get black and white color options. Likewise, the speakers require just about the same amount of space.


Sonos play5 vs. Bose Soundtouch 30: Differences

Sound Quality

Sonos vs. Bose sound quality, which is better? While both Sonos Play5 and Bose Soundtouch 30 boast of superior sound quality, some distinct differences are worth considering

Play5

Undoubtedly the most powerful speaker model in the Sonos line, the Play5 is equipped with a suite of drivers and speakers that drive your sound through 6 class D amps. These amplifiers are designed specifically to provide clear, loud, and crisp audio in a compact design. The 3 midrange woofers and 3 tweeters offer a true to life reproduction of instruments and vocals. These are all intertwined with the Play5 chassis’ full-bodied bass.

Soundtouch30

The flag-bearer in the Bose Soundtouch line, the Soundtouch 30 uses the trademark Bose Acoustic Waveguide Speaker Technology. This involves audio waves traveling through a snaky path of air tunnels to create a rich, deep sound that seems like it is coming from a much larger speaker. The high-powered woofer and two drivers work harmoniously in giving you the full range of lows and highs from your favorite music.

Advantage: Play5 slightly better

 Sonos Play:5 - Ultimate Wireless Smart Speaker - White

Click for More Details (Sonos Play:5) 


​Adjustable Bass & Treble Controls

The speakers’ default settings are often sufficient for normal listening. The audio they produce is decent and acceptable in most cases.

Play5

If you prefer to tweak the audio settings to match your preferred sound, Sonos5 offers 2 options for customization for groups or individual rooms to provide the best sound for the particular space.

Soundtouch 30

On the other hand, Soundtouch 30 doesn’t have a feature to adjust the sound’s bass & treble.

Advantage: Play5


​Humidity Resistance

If you want to listen to music while in the pool, you’d want a speaker that won’t get affected by some humidity.

Play5

Sonos built Play5 to be resistant to humidity. You only need Wi-Fi access and a power outlet to bring out the speaker in your living room to your patio. However, keep in mind that the speaker is not waterproof or weather resistant. Thus, you still need to keep the speaker from getting wet.

Soundtouch 30

The Bose Soundtouch30 isn’t humidity resistant. This means you need to keep it dry always to keep the potential damage at bay.

Advantage: Play5


​Controls

As previously discussed, both speakers support Alexa. However, they differ in terms of their control, other than using the virtual assistant. They both have their own remote that allows you to play tracks and adjust the audio without touching your phone. The two speakers also give you control over your music right from the device.

Play5

The smart speaker offers nifty standard button controls. It is also particularly attractive for Apple users because of AirPlay 2 that allows support for devices that are Siri-enabled.

Soundtouch 30

While Google Assistant is also useable using the speaker’s audio line-in feature (also available with Play5), it offers no support for Apple users. It also lags with the standard button controls.

Advantage: Play5


Trueplay

This involves a speaker’s audio adjustment feature that routinely adjusts audio levels to fit the room it's in. The size and composition of the room are taken into account in delivering clear, rich, and crisp audio.

Play5

Trueplay is a standard feature of the Sonos smart speaker line, including Play5. The speaker combines Trueplay with adjustable bass & treble controls.

Soundtouch 30

Bose speakers simply fall short in this aspect.

Advantage: Play5


Connectivity

Both Soundtouch 30 and Play5 derive their appeal partly from their ability to do music streaming over Wi-Fi. However, they do this in different ways.

Play5

The Sonos Play5 utilizes your home’s Wi-Fi to create SonosNet, a dedicated wireless network of its own. The Sonos System uses this network in communicating with all the other connected speakers in streaming your music. This reduces congestion, as well as interference from other devices present in your home. This way, it is easier to add more speakers if you need an audio system expansion.

Soundtouch 30

The Soundtouch 30 offers the option to connect to other speakers via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. While you will most likely use Wi-Fi more often in streaming music and communicating with other devices, the Bluetooth functionality comes in handy when you prefer to play music via your phone’s YouTube app without switching to another wireless network. Previous Soundtouch supported AirPlay, but it was dropped with the Soundtouch 30. Music streaming through iPhone is still possible, but you’ll need the Soundtouch app to do this, and not by directly streaming the music.

Advantage: Even

Bose SoundTouch 30 wireless speaker, works with Alexa - White

Click for More Details (Bose SoundTouch 30) 


Supported Services

In terms of the number of services supported, there is a wide disparity between the two speakers. Sonos vs. Bose, here’s how they fare:

Play5

With Play5, you get support for 80-plus music streaming services. You can access content from practically every major media service available. You can easily stream from playlists on services such as Spotify, Apple Music, or Google Play music through the Sonos app.

Soundtouch 30

While Soundtouch 30 plays existing music on your device or PC, it has difficulty in supporting streaming services in default mode. You can still stream Spotify using your Bose speaker – via Bluetooth – but the connection is somewhat limiting compared to the tougher streaming platform that Play5 supports.

Advantage: Play5


​Extension to 5.1 Home Theatre Sound Systems

Play5

This is possible with Play 5 when paired with the necessary Sonos equipment.

Soundtouch 30

Bose Soundtouch 30, unfortunately, can't be extended. On its own, it is a high-quality speaker but it won't quite match up with a full audio suite from Sonos.

Advantage: Play5


​Integration

This feature allows the speaker to seamlessly integrate with other smart products. This would make controlling your entire smart home possible by using only one convenient app.

Play5

The Play5 reigns supreme in this area. After all, practically all products from Sonos’ many partners seamlessly integrate with the smart speaker system.

Soundtouch 30

Bose pales in comparison to Sonos in this aspect. For one, Bose has a lot fewer product partnerships. But, Soundtouch integrates well with SmartThings, one of the top home automation systems around.

Advantage: Play5


Final Word

Both smart speakers from Sonos and Bose are of high quality and offer rich and crisp audio that users expect. Likewise, the two share a lot of premium features that contribute to their popularity. But, they also have a lot of differences as broken down in this post.

After a detailed rundown of the smart speakers’ similarities and differences, Sonos Play5 emerged ahead in a lot of aspects. This is not to say, however, that Soundtouch 30 is an inferior product.

In terms of Sonos vs. Bose sound quality, Play5 is slightly ahead. It also offers humidity resistance, expandability, and easy integration. Simply put, the Sonos smart speaker is a slightly better product compared to Bose Soundtouch30.

Sonos Play5 vs. Bose Soundtouch 30: Which smart speaker should you pick? If you want the best available speaker around, then Sonos Play5 comes highly recommended. However, Soundtouch 30 wouldn’t be a shabby purchase either. This is particularly true if have been used to the sound that Bose products produce. After all, Bose has been recognized as among the best speaker manufacturers for a long time.

(Last Updated On: March 14, 2020)
john andrews
 

HI, John Andrew here. I’ve been an audiophile since I was a little kid. I’m an original member of myaudiolover . It emerged as a way for me to share my passion and knowledge for audio technology. If you’re looking for tips, techniques, and insights about audio-tech, that can enable your productions that professional edge, then MyAudioLover is the place for you!

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