When it comes to smart speakers, one of the main names that you are going to hear about a lot is Sonos. The brand produces some of the most popular speakers on the market.
The brand’s competitors often struggle to follow in their footsteps, and we often see imitations of their products from companies like Google that simply do not measure up.
In most cases, the competitors of Sonos have something missing in their products that mean that they aren’t quite as good as the top brand. In fact, Sonos even filed a lawsuit against Google because the company used their audio patents. They ultimately won the lawsuit.
There is one competitor though that seems to be giving Sonos a run for their money – Bluesound. The question is, which of these lines of products are better? Here are the key differences and similarities between the products.
Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i And The Sonos One
Cost: The BlueSound Pulse Flex 2i Is a little bit more expensive than the Sonos One.
The connectivity on the Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i is certainly the elite option in comparison to the Sonos One. With the Flex 2i, you will get a Type A and a Type B USB port which you can find on the back of the device.
It has a 3.5 mm aux output that you can use for headphones of your choosing, and you will also get a power bi pin port and digital input that you can use for an optical cable. The device is compatible with Bluetooth 4.1 technology too, which is something that you won’t get with the Sonos One.
If needed, you will have access to an Ethernet port too. This will work with 100BaseT and RJ45 connections.
In comparison, you will just get a Join button and an Ethernet Port at the back of the Sonos One – not nearly as much connectivity as with the Flex 2i.
Both of these devices are pretty great in terms of the smart features. They will both work with the main smart software out there – Airplay 2, Google Assistant and Alexa. You can then control the device using this smart software.
There is one difference though – this software for voice activated operation of the speaker is built into the Sonos One, whereas that is not the case with the Bluesound and you can simply install them instead.
Operation In Multiple Rooms
Here’s the question – can the Bluesound beat Sonos for multi room functionality? Sadly for them, the answer is a resounding no.
With the Sonos device you can have your music in multiple rooms – just have one speaker connected to a wired connection, and then the other speakers can sync up to it through a wireless connection. The same music in multiple rooms at once – it’s perfect for creating ambience!
With the Bluesound device though, you will need to connect every single speaker up to a wired or wireless connection using the Wi-Fi in your home. It’s a lot more challenging to get the multi room functionality to actually work.
Appearance And Specifications
The Sonos One is pretty heavy. In fact, it’s around double the weight of the Bluesound device. In terms of looks, the Pulse actually does look a little better with a neater looking control panel.
The Sonos One doesn’t look as good, but the other features certainly make up for that. With the Bluesound you will also get an IR sensor that you can use for controlling it.
Sonos Move And The Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i
The Sonos One is pretty great, but what about the Sonos Move? The Move is actually even better, with an enhanced quality of sound that you are sure to appreciate in your home and beyond.
It’s certainly one of the best speakers on the market for sound quality, and because of this it’s a very good choice for use outdoors too. In addition to this, the Sonos Move also has Bluetooth functionality, a feature that was not present in the Sonos One.
The Sonos Move is more expensive than the Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i.
When you first look at your Sonos Move device, you will notice a join button, a USB C port and a power Button on the display. The device can be used without being plugged in, and as such it comes with an indoor charging base that you can use to replenish the battery.
When it’s not connected to a power supply, the device will run for a period of up to 11 hours in total. It will also work with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but there isn’t a way to connect it to the ethernet since there isn’t a port for it.
On the flip side the Flex 2i instead comes with additional connectivity ports that you can use, most notably 2 USB ports, Wi Fi, Bluetooth, an ethernet port, an optical in port and a jack you can use for your headphones.
Appearance And Weight
Once more, the heavier option of the too is the Sonos Move which weighs 6.61 lbs. This certainty isn’t the smallest speaker! The Pulse Flex instead weighs 2.7 lbs.
Sonos Play 5 Or Bluesound Pulse Mini 2i
You may have a hard time telling these two devices apart when you first look at them both side by side – they look so similar! The main difference that you will see is the control panel positioned on the top of the device.
Bluesound Pulse Mini 2 is much more affordable than the Sonos Play 5. ]
The Pulse Mini 2i is pretty akin to the Pulse Flex 21 in terms of connectivity. You will get a headphone jack, 2 USB ports, ethernet connectivity, a 2.5 mm audio input, an optical input and two way bluetooth.
On the flip side, you will get a join button, an ethernet port, a power supply port and a 3.5mm headphone jack to use with the Play 5.
So what about the sound? Well, with the Pulse Mini 2i you will get 2 tweezers, 2 woofers and a DSP engine that combine together to create some epic sounds. With the Sonos Play 5, you will instead get 3 mid woofers, 3 tweezers and 6 class D amplifiers.
The sound quality is great in both, but which is better is debatable since it ultimately depends on your preferred sound quality. You can use the Play 5 in both horizontal and vertical positions, but unfortunately you can use the Mini 2i in just one position – horizontally.
Some people do say that the sound quality is much better with the Pulse Flex 2i than it is with the mini 2. The Play 5 will give you a much clearer sound, regardless of how high or low the pitch is. It’s pretty neutral in the tone too which is great.
Sonos Arc Or Bluesound Pulse Soundbar
If you want something more affordable between these two options, then you will be better suited to the Bluesound Pulse soundbar.
The Sonos Arc costs a few hundred dollars more than the Pulse Soundbar, so it’s definitely the option if you have some spare cash to play with and think that the features are worth it.
Despite the extra cost of the Sonos Arc, the Pulse soundbar is actually the better option for connectivity. You will get an optical cable, a HDMI cable, stereo RCA to RCA cable that can be used to connect to older Tvs and more.
The HDMI port is pretty versatile. You will get an Ethernet port, a port for the subwoofers, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 2 additional USB ports.
What about the Sonos Arc? Well, with this option you will get an ethernet port, HDMI, optical audio port, Wi-Fi connectivity and unfortunately there’s no RCA cable.
What you will get instead is an IR receiver sensor and this will allow you to control the soundbar using the remote for your TV. It works with HDMI CEC too, which is not the case with the Pulse option.
The Sonos Arc is made with Dolby Atmos technology – this is not the case with the Pulse soundbar. It also comes with 8 elliptical woofers, 8 digital amplifiers, 3 silk dome tweezers, sound enhancement and trueplay.
With the Bluesound Pulse, you will get 2 woofers, 2 tweezers, 2 midrange drivers and 2 passive radiators. The connectivity is much simpler with the Bluesound, but it does not measure up to the Sonos Arc in terms of the quality of sound.
Sonos Beam Or Bluesound Pulse Soundbar
The Sonos Beam is pretty small. As such, it can be bought for a fairly affordable price, and it’s ideal if you are limited on the amount of space in your home.
If you want to be able to use your Sonos Beam with your TV, then you will need to ensure that the TV has an optical output port or HDMI connectivity. This is because with the Beam, you will get an optical in, HDMI, join button and an ethernet port.
The connectivity on the Pulse Soundbar isn’t too bad. It’s fairly simple to get it set up with your TV, and it’s definitely going to be easier to set it up with the TV than it would be if you were connecting the Sonos Beam instead. The connectivity options are rather impressive, making it a versatile device.
Despite its small size, the Sonos Beam emits quite the powerful sound. It comes armed with one tweezer, 4 woofers, 5 digital amplifiers, 3 passive radiators and a microphone. Both of these speakers are very strong options as far as speakers are concerned.
Bluesound is a worthy rival to Sonos in this regard. Unfortunately though, they miss out on being the best since Sonos is elite for producing sound. The Trueplay is a trump card in its favour too since you can alter the sound depending on the size of the room.
Sonos Port Or Bluesound Node
These are both streaming components from Sonos and Bluesound, respectively,
The more affordable option is certainly the Sonos Port if you are looking for an option on more of a budget.
So how is the connectivity in the Sonos? Is it any better than the Bluesound Node?
If you purchase the Node, you will get a HDMI eARC port, an ethernet port, a Lan/USB port, 2 RAC audio out ports, a subwoofer out port, an optical in/out port, a coaxial cable out port, power in port, and IR in port.
The connectivity options are much more limited with the Sonos Port. You will only get a join button, an optical digital out port, 2 ethernet ports, an audio line in port, audio line out port and a 12V trigger. You’ll get additional accessories with the Node too, so it’s the superior option for connectivity.
You will not get a control panel on the Sonos Port. On the flip side, there’s a fully functional control panel on the Node that you can use to do everything you need to do – there are preset buttons, alongside the basics like play/pause, previous/next, increase volume and more.
If you are using a Sonos ecosystem then it’s usually a lot better to use the Sonos Port with it. In terms of sound quality as a whole though the Bluesound is certainly superior thanks to the improved Digital to Analog Converter, or DAC for short.
With that being said though, a lot of people aren’t particularly fond of the BluOS app, whereas the Sonos controller app is much more in depth and easier to use. Likewise, the app for the Sonos comes with the ability to support hi resolution audio as long as the speaker works with the Sonos S2 app.
Sonos Connect Or Bluesound Node 2i
The Node 2i is like an upgrade to the Bluesound Node wireless streamer. There’s a key difference between them both though – you will get a USB port with the Node 2i rather than the HDMI eARC.
The Sonos Connect is pretty akin to the Sonos Port. You will get an optical audio out port, ethernet ports, coaxial cable out port, an analog audio in and out port and more.
Unsurprisingly the Node 2i will give you even better connectivity though, with an ethernet port, a LAN/USB port, a coaxial RCA out port, a subwoofer RCA out, IR in, optical in port, a digital optical cable port out, a USB C port and more.
You will be able to connect to Bluetooth, and use smart features like Google Assistant, Alexa and Airplay 2.
You can also use the Bluesound device for multi room audio. All you need to do is connect all of the speakers using the BlueOS app.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Sonos And Bluesound Work Together?
Unfortunately, the answer to this is likely no, since the two brands are competitors. If you try to use a workaround then sure, they may work together, but you probably won’t get the same results in terms of the quality of sound.
Which Of These Two Options Is Better?
Bluesound generally triumphs in connectivity, but the sound quality from Sonos is truly unbeatable.
Both of these speakers are great, but as with any product, they have their strengths and weaknesses. The Bluesound speakers generally have better connectivity, whereas the sound is better on Sonos devices. It all depends on your priorities.