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Sonos vs Bluetooth - A Home Audio Review
In this article, we explore why WiFi and Home Audio systems make the perfect combination for your listening experience.
Sonos WiFi speakers or Bluetooth
Bluetooth has been around since the mid-90s and was originally intended as a simple file transfer mechanism across two devices close to each other.
Since then, it has achieved massive growth and due to its simplicity and usefulness, is now a natural feature of many portable speakers.
It allows any Bluetooth-enabled device to connect wirelessly to the device, as long as it is in range. They are often battery-operated so perfect for taking to parties, the beach or your friend’s house, usually without even needing to plug it into the mains.
However, when it comes to Home Audio, we want as few limitations as possible and the ability to stream music seamlessly without any interruptions.
Sonos believe the solution to this is connecting directly to WiFi, rather like your laptops and phones do. We completely agree. Here are the benefits:
Sonos your home, not just one room
Have you ever enjoyed music in the Living Room, only to find out when you take the device with you to the Kitchen, the music stutters, and stops?
This is because the Bluetooth audio device constantly requires a signal from your device so it has to be within range to receive it.
As the signal is communicated via WiFi and not each device, the Sonos speakers can talk to each other wirelessly.
Additionally, if you are playing music from a playlist, the Sonos app will remember the playlist so if you need to nip out of the house, the music will continue playing for your guests until the end.
Continue the music even when Mum’s calling
As Bluetooth simply copies whatever sounds your device is making, whenever someone is calling you or you receive a notification from an app, everyone else in the room hears it and breaks up the song!
As Sonos uses an app to playback music that relies on an internet connection, any audio coming from other apps or the device itself plays concurrently through its own speakers without interrupting the music that is currently playing.
No more “Pairing unsuccessful”
Take the hassle out of pairing your device to the speaker every time you want to listen to music. After the initial setup is made, the Sonos speakers will permanently be connected to your network so you can take your phone/tablet anywhere, then come home and press play instantly.
Control from your IOS lock screen is also possible with Sonos.
Every room sounds different. With Trueplay, they’ll all sound great
Every time you play music on a Bluetooth speaker, it effectively thinks it’s playing music for the first time from your device. Sonos has cleverly innovated a way in which your speaker can get to know your own personal surroundings such as walls and furniture so you get the best possible sound for your room layout.
This method of sound optimisation is a feature that Bluetooth devices would never be able to achieve.
Preserve the battery life on your device
When your device is using Bluetooth to play music through another system, it severely drains its battery. When the battery is empty, the music will stop playing on the speaker as it is not receiving a signal.
This results in having to shackle your device to a nearby power source while it charges giving you no freedom to roam your house with your phone.
As Sonos communicates via your WiFi, your music controller will be able to preserve battery much more efficiently than Bluetooth. And if your phone does run out of battery, Sonos will continue to play whatever music is left in the queue / playlist, giving you time to charge your device until it comes back on, all whilst the music continues to play.
If you have a PLAY:1, we have more good news for you. You can now mount it on a stand whilst charging your device. What's more, whilst it emits an ambient light to fill your room with atmosphere. Take a look here.
Enjoy pure, uncompressed audio
The amount of digital information that can pass through Bluetooth is much less than WiFi. This means Bluetooth devices have to compress the file size which means audio quality subsequently suffers which is not ideal.
You will notice that if you listen to a song on a Bluetooth device and then through a WiFi device, the difference in quality is actually quite noticeable.
To wrap up, we understand the benefits of Bluetooth but for filling your home full of music, WiFi offers much more freedom and flexibility to enjoy your music exactly the way you want to and that is why we love Sonos so much.
Have a good look through our blog to find out how you can start off your wireless journey with Sonos.
Does Sonos need to be plugged in?
Yes, all Sonos speakers need to be plugged in to mains power to be used. As they are not likened to a battery-enabled Bluetooth speaker, and a speaker that's designed to take pride of place in the same spot of your home, they must be plugged in to receive power.