When it comes to streaming and playing music, Sonos is one of the most used brands all across the world.
Their Sonos Connect product has turned stereos into music streaming systems for years and is even able to connect to home theaters and powered speakers to allow for all kinds of use.
This is why Sonos Connect is one of the most loved brands by audiophiles as it allows them to stream music and audio wirelessly using whatever equipment they have.
But now, there’s a new kid on the block – Sonos have released their next generation product to replace the much-loved Connect. In September 2019, Sonos revealed Port, the new replacement product for Connect.
But what’s the difference between the two products and is it worth upgrading to Port just yet?
Here, we are going to compare the two Sonos products together to see if you should rush out to grab yourself a Port as soon as possible or if you will be better off holding onto your Connect for as long as you can.
With all that being said, let’s get down to business.
Connect Vs Port: Features
So what exactly do these products do and what do they feature to help make them the best of the best?
Well, both are wireless stereo adaptors that transform the stereo of your choice into a music streaming system. You can control the music through the Sonos app on your phone, as it gathers all of your favorite music and streaming services into one.
This way, you can quickly combine your music from Apple, Deezer, Spotify, and more all together and browse them using one app.
You have the option on both products to use this stereo system wirelessly or connect it to your speakers using cables.
This makes them both very easy to use as they both feature dual ethernet ports to help connect to the internet (or just use WiFi, the choice is yours), audio inputs to fit RCA in from CD players or LP turntables, and audio outputs for amplifiers or receivers.
Okay, so both Connect and Port have a lot in common when it comes to features – so where’s the difference?
There are a few little differences that lean towards Port’s favor. For example, while both Connect and Port are compatible with a range of music streaming services, Port is the only one that supports Apple AirPlay 2.
Port also has an alarms feature that can be handy to play alarms through your speakers to help keep you on track, and Port also supports virtual assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.
While the Apple AirPlay 2 and alarms feature may not influence many customers, the ability to interface with virtual assistants is definitely a feature that will turn heads.
Virtual assistants have been growing in popularity for years now and they are found in a lot of homes, so as Port is compatible with these other devices, it means that Port can be used for more various purposes than Connect.
So, if using your Sonos system alongside your own virtual assistant is definitely something you have wanted to do for a while now, then you can upgrade to a Port and be able to do so.
This feature is a definitive plus for Port, and gives it that little edge over Connect in our eyes.
Connect Vs Port: Power And Design
Putting the Port and Connect side by side, you can definitely see a difference between the two.
While they are similar in dimensions, Port is actually half as tall as Connect which makes it easier to carry around and fit into tight places.
This means you can tuck your Port away so it’s safely out of reach and not an eyesore while still maintaining its function.
Connect is a little more bulky, but both boxes are fairly small anyway – but if you find yourself taking your Connect with you to a lot of different places, then perhaps upgrading to a Port will make maneuverability a lot easier for you.
As for color and customizability, neither Port or Connect are that great. Both are available with only one color – matte black for Port, and light gray for Connect.
This means you are very limited in choice when it comes to choosing a device that best suits your aesthetics, but luckily both are very neutral colors which makes it easier for them to fit into whatever room you want to use them in.
Whether you prefer the gray or black is down to your personal taste – it’s just a shame that neither offer more variety in color options.
So that’s aesthetics and appearance out of the way when it comes to design, but what about any design features that help improve its performance or use?
Well, both Connect and Port act more like tuners rather than amplifiers. They don’t power or drive speakers like amplifiers do.
This means that if you want to increase the sound, either turn the volume up or use a separate amplifier component with these players.
Power wise, both require the same type of adaptors. Both need auto switchable 100 – 240 VAC at 50/60 hertz adaptops.
They both also require a rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery to be used – these are already built into the product but degrade just like any other battery. Luckily, this kind of battery can be easily replaced when the time comes.
So when it comes to power and design, both the Connect and Port are very closely on par with one another.
The Port just edges a little above the Connect due to its smaller and more compact design, but both use the same kind of power and are limited when it comes to color choice.
But overall, there is very little difference between the two when it comes to power and design. If you are desperate for a small Connect for whatever reason, then the Port would be a useful upgrade for you – but it is a very small difference.
Connect Vs Port: Sound Quality And Performance
Now we come to the real deciding factor between the two products: sound quality and performance.
After all, the whole point of Connect and Port is to stream music, so they need to be able to stream music that maintains good sound quality and performances well as a streaming stereo device.
If neither are any good or stream unclean audio, then there’s no point in using either product at all.
Thankfully, we found that both products do help you stream clear and high quality audio. The audio from the Connect lean a little too hard on the bass, giving out rather neutral audio that is slightly dark.
This is way more noticeable when you compare the audio to the Port, where the audio is a lot more clearer and rich.
This is because Port has an improved signal to noise ratio when compared to the Connect, allowing for better clarity and quality in the Port’s audio
For this reason, Port wins us over in the sound quality area. It really helps out when you are listening to condensed files that can often come across as flat.
Another great reason why Port beats our Connect in this field is because you can actually change the sound quality yourself through the Sonos app.
This means you can adjust the line-out settings with just a click of a button, allowing you to find the right kind of audio sound you prefer.
This kind of customizability affects the areas you need it most: the sound.
The whole point of getting yourself a Port or a Connect is to listen to audio so the better and more control you have over those aspects, the better the product.
But Port isn’t perfect, and neither is Connect. Neither products support 24-bit music files so if you enjoy hi-res audio, that option is out the window for you.
You can still enjoy formats like AAC, WMA, and MP3, but not the very high quality stuff that a lot of potential customers would have liked to see (including us).
But to sum up the sound quality and performance of both the Connect and Port, both are great although the Port is the clear victor in this field.
It not only offers the more pure audio out of the two, it also gives you the option to adjust the sound quality to suit your ears.
Connect’s audio quality is fine but a little unclean due to the heaviness of the bass, but on the other hand this could be preferred by some people.
Overview: Should You Upgrade To Port?
When we compared the Connect and the Port side by side in a range of different fields, we have to admit that we preferred the Port overall.
It offers more features like voice assistant compatibility than the Connect does, it has the better sound quality in our opinion, and it’s more compact.
However, this doesn’t mean that the Connect is garbage. We liked the Connect too as it also offered a lot of good features and is well designed.
The issues we had with the Connect’s audio quality is very minimal and only noticeable after we heard the Port’s audio quality. Connect is still a very impressive product that we would recommend.
So which one is it – the Port or the Connect?
We think that if you are a new customer looking to get either the Connect or the Port, then go with the Port.
However, if you already own a Connect and are just thinking about upgrading to the Port, we would hold out until your Connect breaks or becomes unusable before spending the extra dollars upgrading to a Port.
Both are great products that work really well, but there’s not enough improvement between the Connect and Port for us to justify spending all that extra money on upgrading on a whim.
Personally, we would wait until our Connect was unusable before trashing it and upgrading to a Port.
But if you’re new to these kinds of products and want to know if you should choose the Connect or the Port, then you might as well go for the Port.
It’s very similar to the Connect but offers more features and will have longer longevity than the Connect.
So those are the differences and similarities between the Sonos Connect and the Sonos Port.
As you can tell, there are more similarities than there are differences but the Sonos Port just edged into the lead in every category.
Overall, we think that it’s slightly better than the Sonos Connect as it offers more features and better sound quality in our opinion, but it’s not a huge improvement over the Connect.
So, we hope that cleared up some things about the Sonos Connect and the Sonos Port. Enjoy your respective streaming stereos, and have fun!