Apple Homepod vs Sonos One

Discussion in 'iOS Devices' started by lparsons21, Dec 21, 2018.

  1. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Topic Starter SatelliteGuys Master Lifetime Supporter

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    I've been toying with the idea of getting one or the other of these. One of the reasons is for when I'm reading. I like to play classical music as I read and my soundbar setup just really isn't good for music. It is all about TV/Movies.

    Couldn't figure out which one to get and noticed that both were on sale today at BestBuy. $249 for the Homepod and $179 for the Sonos One, so I figured what the hell, buy one of each and take back the one I don't like. So I did.

    Homepod - Of the two, this really sounds good and sounds good pretty much regardless of music selection.
    It is designed to work only with Apple gear but there are apps for Android that will allow casting from there. No Siri though, just casting music. Siri isn't quite as good as Alexa or Google Home, but it is good enough for me, and my lighting controls and thermostat are compatible with Homekit so that isn't an issue for me.
    Setup is quite easy. Plug in, hold your iPhone or iPad close to it and it will start the setup, download any updates needed and you're good to go. Couldn't be simpler

    Sonos One - To me it sounds a bit 'muddy', but it does play louder than the Homepod. Not bad at all, just not quite as good as the Homepod. It works with Alexa now as well as Airplay (apple) with a note that Google Home support is 'coming' for whatever that's worth. Pretty much anything you can do with an Echo you can do with the Sonos One which is an improvement over earlier support.
    Setup is a little more daunting than the Homepod, but also quite easy. Before you even plug it in, you download the Sonos app and start it. The app will tell you when to plug it in and step you through the process. Unlike the Homepod, you have to link your music service to it, but it is easy to do and the process is fairly smooth.

    One thing I found with both these little jewels is that the need to be near a wall or corner. Initially I set them on a shelf between my kitchen and front room which is a very open space. I found that neither sounded as good or as loud as they did when I moved them closer to a wall. Moving them made a world of difference to my ears.

    Which to keep? Darned good question! I like the flexibility of the Sonos One but I like the sound quality of the Homepod a whole lot better. But then, Siri and Homekit can be a bit limiting, but they work fine for what I want them to do and I can control my lights and thermostats from the Echos I have here and there. I'm thinking seriously of keeping both. Put the Sonos One in my bedroom and the Homepod in the front room. But I have a few weeks to decide.


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  2. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    I'm wondering why you limited your selections to these two devices.

    There are a quite a few Alexa-enabled speakers from name brand audio companies (Yamaha, Denon, Pioneer, Onkyo, Sony) as well as some Internet radios that are in the same price range as these and offer good or better sound (although the Homepod is regarded highly for its sound quality -- if not quantity).

    If you're looking to integrate everything (home automation), Apple appears to be really struggling with their limited Homekit offerings and I've not seen a lot of automation plug-ins for Sonos devices (also known for being a mostly closed eco-system).

    If you're not averse to Samsung, they've got a pretty cool setup for automation (SmartThings) though maybe not as flexible as a Vera or Insteon controller.
     
  3. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Topic Starter SatelliteGuys Master Lifetime Supporter

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    I’m not locked in yet, but am leaning towards the HomePod, primarily because I’m well into the Apple ecosystem.

    My home is about as automated as it will ever be though if I keep the HomePod I’ll need to change out 4 bulbs from Sengled that aren’t HomeKit ready. Probably use Lifex mini whites.

    Currently I have a few Lutron dimmers and an Emerson Sensi thermostat that work with Alexa and HomeKit. I have a few Echo devices as well as a couple Google Home devices that came free with some other gear.

    I can stream from iPhone/iPad to the HomePod so selection of what to stream isn’t an issue.


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  4. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    I have door locks and all manner of lighting and appliance controls so Homekit isn't a viable option. I chose a non-Nest thermostat so that I wouldn't necessarily rule out Homekit, but it seems like that's not going to be an issue. My Ecobee 4 has Alexa built in (a mini-Echo Dot of sorts) but can also be controlled through my Vera.

    Next year I'll be working on adding irrigation control at some level.
     
  5. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Topic Starter SatelliteGuys Master Lifetime Supporter

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    Another smart speaker getting good reviews is the Riva Concert available at Amazon.


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  6. Foxbat

    Foxbat Addicted to new HW Supporting Founder Lifetime Supporter

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    I've enjoyed my Sony Bluetooth speaker, so I might look into that choice, but with the Amazon there is some question in the Tech community about what gets used in the audio that gets sent to AWS and how things you talk about start to show up in your online Ads. Plus, HomePod is available for $100 off, which is where it should have been all along (IMHO). But I don't have the HomePod either, since I don't see the need for one. Yet...
     
  7. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Topic Starter SatelliteGuys Master Lifetime Supporter

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    Yeah the $249 price on the HomePod is a very good price. I’m learning to like the whole HomeKit setup though it is Apple only from what I understand, and there are limits to what 3rd party gear will work with it.


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  8. rad

    rad Supporting Founder Supporting Founder Lifetime Supporter

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    I would have liked to go with the HomePod but Apple not including Pandora support was a no go for use. I got two Sonos:One and have them set up for a stereo pair. For us it’s good enough for background music, if I want to blast music I just turn on the DD5.1 system.
     
  9. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Topic Starter SatelliteGuys Master Lifetime Supporter

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    I tend to pick music from the iPhone or iPad and play via Airplay more than asking the speaker to play something.

    More listening to the two turned up,some oddities. Which sounded better really depended on the music playing. Big band, jazz and classical seems much better on the HomePod, with rock or soul, it is a mixed bag depending on song.

    Most likely I’ll get another HomePod and return the Sonos.

    My Samsung KW950 Atmos soundbar does a great job of tv/movies, but not very good for music.

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  10. fireponromance

    fireponromance Member

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    I own one HomePod and really like it but I see the obvious drawbacks of it. It sounds great and is well made but if you’re not in the Apple ecosystem, subscribe to Apple Music or just love Apple products I would find something better and probably cheaper.


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  11. rad

    rad Supporting Founder Supporting Founder Lifetime Supporter

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    Did you play around with the equalizer settings in the Sonos app to see if that helped?
     
  12. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Topic Starter SatelliteGuys Master Lifetime Supporter

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    Yes, and it helped on some music, not so much on others


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  13. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    The bigger question is whether or not it is a good value at that price. Given that it is hobbled by Homekit and Siri (indisputably the two featherweights in their respective disciplines), many would say that it is a poor value as a hub.
     
  14. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    That's a Pandora thing. Pandora has apparently decided that they don't want anyone using a device that can't make purchases. You can Bluetooth or Chromecast to anything you want as long as you're using an app that has access to your credit card.
     
  15. rad

    rad Supporting Founder Supporting Founder Lifetime Supporter

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    I have a Pandora app on my car infotainment that doesn’t have a credit card. I have it on my smart TV’s that don’t have a credit card. I think it’s more of Apple not wanting competition against their Apple Music.
     
  16. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    Pandora policy towards speakers and radios is different from their car apps. Grace Digital claims this is why they don't include a Pandora app in their newest Internet radios (Mondo+ and Encore+). To wit:
    Perhaps Pandora is telling different stories to different manufacturers, but Grace Digital thinks they've found a common thread as it relates to speakers and the like. Obviously, their previous models had a Pandora app, but they're no longer allowed to do that.

    This may or may not extend to "smart speakers" as Alexa can apparently set your default music library to Pandora but I suppose that's a function of an Alexa app and not a direct interaction with Pandora.

    It seems likely that the rules are changing as Pandora seeks to squeeze more revenue out of its users.
     
  17. Scott Greczkowski

    Scott Greczkowski Scanning the Skies! Staff Member HERE TO HELP YOU!

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    For me Sonos is better, I can listen to SiriusXM on it, TuneIn Radoo, Slacker, Calm Radio and apple Muisc on it plus play all my music from the computers in my house.


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  18. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    Does your car infotainment system operate independently of your phone or is it a screen scrape like CarPlay or Android Auto?

    If not, the Pandora app is installed on the phone and you're using the car system to remotely control your phone.
     
  19. rad

    rad Supporting Founder Supporting Founder Lifetime Supporter

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    It’s an app that runs within the system. It uses the cellular OnStar connection, the phone is not used at all.
     
  20. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    I see from the reviews that this system is essentially a phone that stays in the car with most all of the features that a smart phone has (less cameras?) along with some added goodies. To call it a car system in the popular sense is surely selling it short.
     

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