Sonos and Bose are both known as the best audio system manufacturers on the market. While Sonos is largely thought of as the leading one, Bose is slowly gaining a lot of traction.
Both of these companies have released several best-selling, robust and well-built speakers. Two of their notable creations are the Sonos PLAY:1 and Bose SoundTouch 10.
These two speakers are from the same price range and are direct competitors. Both are quite promising and reliable, but we need to know how they differ and what makes each unique.
Table of Contets
- 1 Sonos PLAY:1 vs Bose SoundTouch 10: Pros & Cons and Verdict
- 1.1 1. Setup Process
- 1.2 2. Design
- 1.3 3. Features
- 1.4 4. Sound Quality
- 1.5 5. Mobile Application
- 1.6 6. Advantages and Disadvantages
- 1.7 7. Support
- 1.8 8. Comparison Chart: SONOS PLAY:1 vs BOSE SOUNDTOUCH 10
- 1.9 The Bottom Line
Sonos PLAY:1 vs Bose SoundTouch 10: Pros & Cons and Verdict
In this Bose SoundTouch 10 vs Sonos Play 1 article, we’ll compare, rate and evaluate the crucial aspects of both speakers. We’ll also create some detailed charts and, lastly, we’ll come up with a reasonable verdict and crown one of these two as the leading product.
1. Setup Process
The first topic we need to cover is the installation process for each speaker. It’s essential for both of them to be easily activatable since no one likes spending hours reading manuals and watching YouTube guides to complete a simple task like this.
Sonos is well-known for its DIY devices and it’s one of the primary reasons why it has become a huge success. While Bose’s setup is straightforward, Sonos’ is way easier.
All you need to do is download the Sonos mobile application and it’ll guide you through the whole setup. If you want to know what’s involved, take a look at this video guide:
If you prefer written instructions, here is my step-by-step guide:
- First, connect the speaker to the power source
- Then turn it on
- Connect it to Wi-Fi using the mobile application
- Do the wavy-wavy-hand-dancey
- Done. You can start playing music.
To be honest, it’s the simplest setup a device can have. There’s no chance of messing up. If you still have some questions, read the user manual that’s included with the speaker package. Alternatively, you can reach out to the Sonos support team; their customer service is superb.
Bose SoundTouch 10
Setting up a SoundTouch speaker is pretty simple and straightforward. We’ve installed dozens of these devices and can confirm that it only takes a few minutes.
If you’re interested in how to do it, we’ve included a wonderful video guide uploaded by Bose that’ll guide you through the whole thing.
So you just open the app, enter the password of your Wi-Fi, register for Bose, and that’s it. Your SoundTouch 10 is good to go. If you encounter any issues during the installation, refer to the user manual. It’s well-written.
It’s crucial for any modern device that contributes to an interior’s ‘look’ to have an aesthetic design. Ideally, speakers such as the PLAY:1 and SoundTouch will blend seamlessly with their surroundings and be an object of beauty in themselves.
Like every other Sonos speaker, the PLAY:1 looks amazing. It can blend well with a room’s overall interior design and has the Sonos signature look.
The PLAY:1 is well-sized and is currently available in two colours – black and white. On top of the speaker, there are a few buttons to adjust the volume or play/pause music. Plus, there’s an Ethernet socket.
If you don’t know how the Sonos PLAY:1 looks, see the picture posted below. Compared to Bose’s SoundTouch 10, it’s much more attractive and eye-pleasing.
It’s a quality-built speaker that never disappoints. A single interaction is enough to understand how well-made the product is.
The dimensions of the PLAY:1 are 4.7 x 4.7 x 6.4 inches, and it weighs 4.1 pounds. While the speaker is quite heavy, note that there’s no built-in battery. Sonos PLAY:1 is meant to be placed in a room and not moved (of course it can be moved and set up in a different room should you so wish, but never outdoors if not covered).
Bose SoundTouch 10
The SoundTouch 10 is a well-sized, beautiful and eye-catching speaker. It’s the smallest speaker in SoundTouch series. It’s available in two colours: white and black. Measuring 8.34 by 5.56 by 3.43 inches and weighing 2.9 pounds, SoundTouch 10 is a compact speaker that fits easily anywhere in the house.
Compared to its competitor model Sonos PLAY:1, the SoundTouch 10 doesn’t have the same quality feel. A lot of Bose users reported that it looks like a ‘meh’ speaker.
While you can use your phone or the remote to control your Bose SoundTouch 10, there are shortcuts on top of the speaker and also a power button, AUX/Bluetooth switch, and volume control. The only drawback is that we don’t have the mute or play button.
Overall, it’s a nice product that is compact and looks good.
Another important topic we need to address is the features of Sonos PLAY:1 and Bose SoundTouch 10. We need to know if these two offer anything special and if Sonos and Bose truly deserve the attention they’re getting.
In order to find out, we’ve created a wonderful chart listing all the main features of both speakers.
The chart clearly shows the similarity between these two models. While Sonos and Bose share a majority of features, there’s a noticeable difference in performance.
4. Sound Quality
This is the crucial aspect of our Bose SoundTouch 10 vs Sonos PLAY:1 comparison article since the main reason why people purchase these speakers is due to their sound capabilities. If these two can’t meet our requirements, we should look for alternatives.
The first thing we should note is that the PLAY:1 is the smallest speaker in the Sonos family. If you already own either the PLAY:3 or PLAY:5, don’t expect the PLAY:1 to perform on the same level.
On the other hand, don’t take a low view on this device. Despite being small and compact, the PLAY:1 sounds amazing. A lot of buyers even noted that it sounds better than the PLAY:3.
While that’s not entirely true, the PLAY:1 surely keeps up with the competition. As a standalone speaker, it has a rich sound and, for its size and price, delivers an out-of-the-box experience.
The sound of this little guy is so room-filling and enjoyable that it’s completely possible to use it as the main music source. If someone can’t afford to pay more for the PLAY:5 or the PLAY:3, the PLAY:1 can deliver fantastic results.
We tested the speaker in numerous scenarios and played different kinds of music to measure its full potential.
To begin with, Techno and House music sound amazing on medium volume. Due to the nature of the music, on max volume the PLAY:1 had trouble to properly reproduce the bass. Don’t freak out since it’s perfectly normal.
Using TruePlay and adding another PLAY:1 speaker will solve the ‘full volume bass’ issue. Drake’s Hotline Bling sounded clean and solid. I also played Hans Zimmer’s ‘Gotham’s Reckoning’ when my friends were around and, I must say, it was pretty neat.
As for the insides of the speaker, a single Sonos PLAY:1 has two drivers, a mid-range/bass driver and a smaller tweeter. What makes the sound of the speaker exceptional is the stronger driver magnets it uses.
The majority of the speakers that are the same size of the PLAY:1 have to compromise sound quality but Sonos thinks differently. Compared to every speaker we’ve tested, PLAY:1 has the best sound by far.
The biggest drawback of the PLAY:1 is the inability to fill a large room with high ceilings. If you live in a house with such elevated ceilings, consider getting at least a pair, and, if you can afford it, aim for the PLAY:5 speakers.
Unlike its brothers, the PLAY:1 is more sensitive to placement. From dozens of tests, we’ve gauged that these speakers work best when placed in a corner.
We’ve also paired two PLAY:1 speakers and the results were great. You might hear from others that the full potential of a Sonos speaker is unlocked only if you purchase a pair. Well, it’s kinda true since the sound is way better and cleaner.
Bose SoundTouch 10
Bose is a well-known manufacturer that has strong marketing and good speakers. While Apple is recognized as ‘easy’, people purchase Bose because ‘it sounds best’.
You’ll find a lot of people who think Bose manufactures the best speakers on the market. While their speakers are really good, many purchase them due to the brand name.
Bose SoundTouch 10 has four active drivers, a passive radiation system to prevent sound distortion at high volumes, and two opposing drivers. Compared to other battery-powered speakers, SoundTouch 10 offers a superior experience.
Still, the SoundTouch 10 isn’t de facto the most noteworthy, powerful speaker. Compared to PLAY:1, it’s inferior.
If you do a quick listen with both Sonos and Bose, it might seem that SoundTouch 10 has a superior treble extension but if you keep on listening, vocals coming from the PLAY:1 are more three-dimensional.
With the SoundTouch 10, you end up with a great speaker that sounds pretty neat. But you can invest that money in speakers that are even better and enhance your overall experience.
Another drawback of the speaker is the inability to change the tones. The only thing you can adjust is the bass. And there’s not much to adjust. SoundTouch 10 is a simple mono speaker, not a sub-woofer.
As with the PLAY:1, we played some music on the SoundTouch 10. We used the same tracks to compare them effectively.
Techno and House music sound good, but if the volume is above 70 percent, distortion and crackling start to show up. Compared to its competitor, Bose can’t deliver appropriate results.
Drake’s Hotline Bling sounds okay. We also played Hans Zimmer’s ‘Gotham’s Reckoning’ with my friends around and they were more impressed with the PLAY:1’s performance.
What we didn’t expect from Bose was the awful distortion at 100 percent volume. At that level, it was nearly impossible to listen to anything.
5. Mobile Application
Having a functional mobile application is essential for every smart home device. Since we’ll be using the mobile apps of Sonos and Bose to control our speakers, it’s crucial for these to be straightforward and user-friendly.
Sonos’ mobile app is awesome. It’s very straightforward, easy to use and intuitive. As soon as you receive the speaker, the first thing you have to do is download the mobile app which will guide you through the whole setup process.
What I love about Sonos is the ability to stream music from popular sources like Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Google Play Music, Pandora and Groove. Plus, you can play your private collection using your computer and drive.
The sole drawback of the Sonos’ app is TruePlay being uniquely available on iOS devices. If you’re into Android, you’ll have to borrow an iPhone from a friend to calibrate the sound of the speaker.
If you don’t know how the Sonos app looks, I’ve dropped a few pictures below that show all the main aspects.
The one thing that would’ve made the app an out-of-the-box experience is if it could stream music, YouTube clips or video game sounds directly from your smartphone. It can still do so by having a cable and the 3.5mm jack, but it would be great if these were as directly accessible as Apple Music or Spotify.
Compared to every other app we’ve tested, Sonos takes the top spot; it’s a killer.
Bose’s mobile app isn’t that good. It feels like Bose didn’t spend much developing it. It feels sloppy, buggy and not user-friendly. The main issue with Bose’s app is the ‘low-quality’ user interface that makes everything hard to understand.
I’ve included a picture of Bose’s mobile app deployed on my iPad. You can clearly see the low-quality pixels and the text being stretched.
As for the rest, the app is structured nicely, it won’t take long for you to understand what’s where. Like Sonos, Bose allows its users to stream music from different sources.
If you’re an active Spotify user, good news. Spotify is integrated into the app and you can stream all your favourite tracks from there. Two other big names, Pandora and iHeartRadio, are also supported.
Sadly, SoundTouch 10 doesn’t support Apple Music or Tidal. If you really want to play music directly from your phone, you’ll have to do it via Bluetooth.
MP3, WMA, AAC, and FLAC are all supported and can be streamed from your network.
Another drawback is that Bose doesn’t offer anything similar to TruePlay. We only get the basic bass control feature. We also tried streaming from Pandora and Spotify. As expected, we didn’t encounter any issues and everything went smoothly.
In short, the app is nice. It’s not as good as Sonos’, but Bose gets the job done.
6. Advantages and Disadvantages
Another important topic we need to address is the pros and cons of SoundTouch 10 and PLAY:1. It’s crucial to know what these two offer, and what they lack, to avoid any misunderstandings before taking the plunge and purchasing.
In order to find out, we’ve created a detailed chart that lists all the advantages and disadvantages of both speakers.
|Well-Balanced Bass||No Bluetooth|
|Wall Mountable||Proprietary system|
|Multi-Room Audio||No High-Res Support|
|Works with Streaming Services||No Aux Input|
|Amazon Alexa Support|
|Straightforward Mobile Application|
|Clear Mids||PURCHASE SONOS PLAY:1|
BOSE SOUNDTOUCH 10
|Shortcut Buttons||Sound Distortion|
|Bass Control||No Apple Music|
|Multi-Room Audio||Bluetooth Issues|
|Works with Streaming Services||Buggy Mobile App|
|Amazon Alexa Support|
|AUX||BOSE SOUNDTOUCH 10|
SoundTouch 10 and PLAY:1 are similar in features but there’s still a noticeable difference. These two significantly differ from each other in performance capabilities.
If you encounter any issues with your speakers and can’t find answers in the user manual, simply reach out to the Bose or Sonos support team.
I’ve personally talked with them and can confirm that they’re top-notch. Their customer service is responsive, communicative, caring and friendly.
So if anything bad happens, don’t hesitate, be sure to reach out. I’m pretty sure they’ll help with any issue you might be facing.
8. Comparison Chart: SONOS PLAY:1 vs BOSE SOUNDTOUCH 10
Before concluding our SoundTouch 10 vs PLAY:1 article, we’d like to present a detailed chart to provide a direct and comprehensive comparison.
Both speakers are really good. SoundTouch 10 and PLAY:1 are best-selling products released by trusted, top-notch and reliable companies. Sonos and Bose have competed in the music industry for years and both have proven their worth.
While these two are similar in features, the PLAY:1 takes the lead by offering superior sound quality and user experience. If you want to purchase the best speaker at an affordable price, Sonos PLAY:1 is the way to go.
The Bottom Line
Bose is a popular brand and is widely known as a company having the ‘best sound’. While their marketing is top-notch, their products lack a few key features – the first and most important being the inability to play music without distortion at high volumes.
PLAY:1 and SoundTouch 10 are in the same price range, and if you want to make a better investment we advise getting the PLAY:1. It’s way better, more reliable and well-built.
Sonos’ speakers have an exceptional design and blend seamlessly with interior aesthetics. The PLAY:1 is no exception and is an object of beauty in itself.
If you’re willing to invest a little more, consider getting a pair of PLAY:1 speakers. That’s when the full potential of Sonos is unlocked.
If you already own the Bose speaker, adding another SoundTouch is something to explore. Pairing Bose speakers will enhance the sound experience.
Frankly, in the battle of Sonos PLAY:1 vs Bose SoundTouch 10, the PLAY:1 takes the top spot. It’s a superior speaker that exceeds its competitor in every major aspect.
|Audio Speaker||SONOS PLAY:1||SONOS PLAY:3|